|LIFE OF A GT|
|October 31, 2008 - A new plan.|
The original intent was to install a Ford 302 into the MG, as it's cheap and readily available. However, that was before I got mixed up with transplanting an LS1 into a Miata. I fell in love with not only the performance, but also the packaging and the (relatively) light weight of the engine. So I've switched plans. It's going to be an LS1.
entry 63 - tags: engine choice, planning
|October 31, 2008 - Sharp eyes will notice the giant "LS2" on the last engine.|
Okay, so I cheated on the picture. And here's the engine I'm really considering. It's marketed as the "Vortec 5300" and it's found in late model Chevy Silverado trucks. But in the 1500 extended cab 4wd versions, it's a special high output version called the L33. Unlike the usual truck motors, it has an aluminum block so it's a lot lighter.
It's also taller, but the LS1/LS6 intake manifold and oil pan should bolt right on. Hopefully it won't be too big a deal to drop the alternator somewhat as well. It's a 5.3 versus the 5.7 of the LS1, and that's simply due to a smaller bore. With the right parts bolted on, it'll basically end up a slightly smaller version of the LS1, and all the same hop-up parts will fit. LS6 cam, perhaps?
But the big reason is that they're a lot more affordable. LS1s are well known and are expensive. Truck motors are not sought after by most enthusiasts. I've been able - without trying too hard - to find a 16,000 mile example for under $1000 shipped. I'm sure I can do better. I'll still have to buy a few parts to make it work, but it'll come in well under the price for an LS1. And with 335 lb-ft and 310 hp, it's not going to be a slouch.
entry 64 - tags: engine choice, planning
|November 9, 2008 - We have the drivetrain.|
While I was in the middle of trying to figure out just what an L33 would need to convert it into something closer to my needs, I spotted an ad for a 1998 Camaro on Craigslist. The whole car was going for about the usual price for an LS1/T56 combination. So there was a change of plans, and now there's one very evil looking black car parked in the driveway. I could have driven it home, but with the forecast of snow in the mountains I decided that it would be better to give it a ride.
These cars are enormous. It's ridiculous.
Not only do I have an engine and transmission, but here's my ECU, my wiring, potentially the guts for my instruments, a flywheel and clutch, a high-pressure and high-flow fuel system and anything else I might need. All sorts of things that had the potential to really nickle-and-dime the project.
Even better, the engine was rebuilt about 30,000 miles ago with an XR259HR Comp cam and a Comp cam "RPM kit". There's also headwork and some sort of aftermarket shifter. Best of all, because it's all in a running car, we could test drive it.
It's a happy engine. Very strong. The transmission likes to pop out of reverse. The seller - a fellow Grassroots Motorsports reader who originally bought the car as an engine for his GTO race car - thinks that it's simply a shifter in need of adjustment, and it does have that feel when you're trying to slot it into place. I'll see if I can fix that up. He also threw in a couple of extra oil pans he didn't need (the GTO uses a different one), a power brake setup from a GTO and a low-mileage oil pump that he doesn't need. Let's just say he was a kindred spirit when it comes to this sort of project.
So it was a bit more than I'd originally intended to spend. But there are a lot of resellable parts. That hood, for example. And the limited slip rear end. And the Borla exhaust. And possibly the stainless header (that I think includes cats) that was included, uninstalled, in the trunk. And of course, almost a complete car's worth of other stuff.
Janel announced that the car was at the bare minimum of loudness for her project with the Borla. I think I'm going to have to install some exhaust cutouts.
entry 69 - tags: engine choice, donor