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Old 10-29-2012, 02:54 PM   #1
yossarian19
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Project: Over My Head

Well, I've been lurking for a while and asking questions about bits & pieces of the project. Since I've been working on the truck a bit I figured it was time to start a build thread. First, a picture & a paragraph or two with the back story.
Here it is on the day I hauled it home: [IMG][/IMG]
Back in '78, my girlfriend's parents bought this truck to get to work & haul firewood, construction supplies, etc. Despite constantly breaking down, leaking gas fumes into the cab (with both parents & 3 kids in it) and generally being under-maintained due to poverty the truck served the family well into the 80s.
Depending whose story you like better, it is suspected that my girl's cousin Vinca was conceived in the back of this truck. It's total unreliability caused more than one marital dispute, though, so as with most things it seems to balance out pretty neutral.
Eventually Steven, girlfriend's father, upgraded to something newer and the truck got parked for 10 years or so until his son Jeffrey, girlfriend's brother, put a camper on it got it running and used it for a Burning Man rig, like so [IMG][/IMG]
Not long after the truck takes on this role, though, the #2 conn rod bearing goes out and makes a helluva racket. Jeffrey's mechanic says it will be a $2500 rebuild, at least, and he decides to sell the truck.
Girlfriend asks me if I want a project. 6 months later, here we all are taking it home:
[IMG][/IMG]
About me...
I'm a professional mechanic who thinks mostly in practical terms. I was raised by a computer dork / born researcher(mom) and a hot rodder / electrical technician (dad). All of this together means that I want a reliable, powerful car that doesn't burn too much gas. I'm not afraid of wiring and I try to do my homework before I start buying parts / getting my hands dirty.

Now, on to the plan.
2001 Vortec 4.8 w/ 4L60E, Camaro LS1 fuel system, hydroboost brakes (disc / drum) and stock height suspension. Long term, might try to do a truck-rated IFS swap. Eventually, it will get body work & paint done. The first phase, where I get it running, is being done at work during lunch breaks & evenings. So I'll try and get it out of the boss's way without too much drama.
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Old 10-29-2012, 02:56 PM   #2
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Re: Project: Over My Head

So far I've stripped the drivetrain, the wiring, the steering box and most of the mud the grease and the grime. Like so.[IMG][/IMG]
Now that all that has been done, I'm waiting on my CPP cross members to get the motor & trans bolted in to place. From there, I start wiring.
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Old 10-29-2012, 02:59 PM   #3
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Re: Project: Over My Head

Oh - and as for the title?
Girlfriend and I are talking marriage and kids, I can only *just* afford to fund this project at its most basic level, I'm 2 years into my career track and just finding my stride, I've never taken on a project on my own cars bigger than changing a water pump & I don't know body work from back pain. So... I think it fits
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Old 10-29-2012, 03:13 PM   #4
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Re: Project: Over My Head

your truck looks like good tin, that is a good start.
if you can *just* afford a basic build, i'd suggest throwing a junk yard motor in it and drive it.
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Old 10-29-2012, 03:57 PM   #5
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Re: Project: Over My Head

Looks like a nice truck to start with and sounds like a good plan.
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Old 10-29-2012, 05:01 PM   #6
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Re: Project: Over My Head

@Ogre - the Vortec *is* a junkyard motor.
I considered going SBC & leaving the rest stock for now. I talked to a handful of car-hobby lifers, though, and they were unanimous: pick the engine you *really* want and get to work. No sense doing more than one motor swap, they said. So here I am.
Sold the I-6, all 9 pieces it was in, today. Snapped an engine bay photo while I was at it. I'll figure out how much of the firewall to smooth out once I have all my wires run. The battery box will probably get replaced but I doubt I'll move it. Still have to remove the clutch pedal assembly, though.
[IMG][/IMG]
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Old 11-04-2012, 10:43 PM   #7
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Re: Project: Over My Head

Well, good news and bad news. The good news is that I went to SEMA. The bad news is that while there I missed delivery of the mounts I'd bought from CPP, so the drivetrain install is delayed a week or however long. Oh, well: worth it.
When I get the parts I'll get to work & take pictures along the way.
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Old 11-09-2012, 10:07 PM   #8
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Re: Project: Over My Head

FedEx delivered my engine stand today. I assembled it on my lunch hour and got the 4.8 bolted up to it after work (I got off early and had some time to kill).
After that, I labeled every wiring connector that was still in place & pulled the harness off of the motor. [IMG][/IMG]
With help from my buddies at the shop I got the motor + stand inside & next to my work bench, which is now high on my list of favorite places. I can now pick at it during lunch breaks until it is ready to drop in to the truck, rain or shine. [IMG][/IMG]

Not pictured is the broken remains of a nylon cam-strap still bolted to the engine. Be smarter than I am, guys - lift with chain.
That's all for tonight. Hopefully by Friday I'll have enough done for another update.

PS I swear, my work station is never that messy except for Friday evening!

Last edited by yossarian19; 11-09-2012 at 10:09 PM. Reason: Missing an important point..
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Old 11-09-2012, 11:02 PM   #9
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Re: Project: Over My Head

yossarian19: Your story cracks me up. I bet you have huge fun building that project because of the truck's history. You named the project "Over My Head" and that won't be the case if you ask the right questions and post lots of pictures in here. There are many well healed builders that frequent this forum who can help you with any problems you might incur along the way. That along with the fact that you are a mechanic, nothing will be over your head. Good luck with your project. I will be tuned in for sure.
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Old 11-10-2012, 12:07 PM   #10
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Re: Project: Over My Head

I love getting new things delivered to the house.
I agree with Chevette that it wont be over your head.
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Old 11-10-2012, 01:55 PM   #11
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Re: Project: Over My Head

Quote:
Originally Posted by yossarian19 View Post
PS I swear, my work station is never that messy except for Friday evening!
i believe you, even if your boss and co-workers don't
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Old 11-12-2012, 10:03 PM   #12
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Re: Project: Over My Head

So, I needed to test drive a customer's car & try to provoke a symptom we thought was coming on under heat soak. Naturally, I took the car up the road to the nuts & bolts specialist in town.
Didn't get the no-start symptom I wanted, but I did get (4) M10*1.5*110 & (2) M10*1.5*90 bolts so now I have an accessory bracket mounted to my Vortec and an alternator mounted on top of that, like so:[
IMG][/IMG]
Power steering pump bolts, which I'll get tomorrow, are (2) M10*1.5*35 & (1) M10*1.5*30.
I forgot to measure the accessory belt tensioner bolts, but I think they are M10*1.5*25 or 30.
Of course, if you just buy a complete motor you won't need to know any of this. In retrospect, that's clearly what I should have done.
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Old 11-15-2012, 09:30 PM   #13
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Re: Project: Over My Head

I've gotten the adapter plates, motor mounts & the power steering pump bolted up. At this point I'm waiting for the cross member I ordered (October 22nd, it was) to show up from CPP, then I can start seeing how it all fits under the hood.
Oh, I gotta bolt up the flex plate, too. Might even behoove me to change the plugs.
Pics when I get something picture-worthy to happen.
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Old 11-17-2012, 01:39 PM   #14
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Re: Project: Over My Head

Well, yesterday at lunch I got the idler bearing and PS pulley installed. Having bought a naked motor, I needed to buy a 2nd idler bearing (this one with shoulder bolt included). Bought an Ebay PS pump, so needed a pulley (of course). Went to throw the belt on it & of course, the power steering pulley was over-sized and so the factory-fit belt doesn't fit.
Oh, well.
Monday I'll bolt up the flex plate and call it quits until Christmas shopping is done. Might be slow on updates for a little.
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Old 11-26-2012, 11:27 PM   #15
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Re: Project: Over My Head

After a fair bit of screwing around, I got my engine & trans bolted together. Turns out the torque converter has to be screwed around with a fair ammount before it seats all the way in to the trans, and ARP's flex-plate-to-TC bolts are too tall to be left loose while you are spinning the motor over to the next one.
Eventually, though, I got this:
[IMG][/IMG]

I also got my CPP engine x member in the mail today, so if it is slow at work tomorrow I'll try and see how / where this mess will mount in the '57.
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Old 11-27-2012, 10:30 AM   #16
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Re: Project: Over My Head

cool.
Good luck with the install.
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Old 11-28-2012, 09:16 AM   #17
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Re: Project: Over My Head

Keep it up. Can't wait to see the LS installation/wiring. Looking good. dug224
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Old 11-28-2012, 10:57 AM   #18
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Re: Project: Over My Head

Small update: The CPP parts don't seem to fit right. I wrote an email to customer service asking about it, so no final judgement - but I honestly don't think I'll buy much else from CPP.
Despite that hiccup, my buddies at work were feeling *really* helpful and so we cleared off our alignment rack / junk collection and pushed the '57 indoors. Now I've got a well lit, clean, dry & level place to work on the truck. Like so:
[IMG][/IMG]
When I hear back from CPP, hopefully before lunch break today, I'll start actually test fitting for where I want the motor to sit. So far, all I know is "as far back as I can".
I'll probably be taking the steering box off again & maybe knocking some rivets around. We'll see.
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Old 11-28-2012, 10:33 PM   #19
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Re: Project: Over My Head

Determined, so far, the following guidelines to LS swapping in a stock '57:
Stock Vortec manifolds will fit between the frame rails but it is close
4l60E will be non-removable without sectioning or removing the stock trans cross member, but it can be installed
The truck pan sump can get behind the stock axle but getting behind the steering is a reach
The steering gear box needs to be removed & updated to an outside-the-frame PS box, like CPP's kit, unless you want the engine *way* forward.
The hand actuated parking brake seems like it can be left alone
The CPP x member is poorly made, if my experience is to be generalized.

Hopefully I'll have pictures of it mounted up by Friday evening.
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Old 11-29-2012, 08:27 PM   #20
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Re: Project: Over My Head

Spent a fair ammount of the afternoon measuring, eyeballing, shoving & considering engine placement.
With the CPP kit, which I wouldn't buy again or recomend to anyone, you want the engine crossmember caps flipped horizontally lengthwise with the leading edge 26.25" back from the frame rail. Lift as high as it will go & voila - it's all in place.
Of course, this puts your truck pan's sump 3.25" above the tie rod, and thats before the engine is resting on the suspension, but I have a plan for that...
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Old 11-29-2012, 09:32 PM   #21
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Re: Project: Over My Head

Sorry to hear about the CPP parts. That seems to be the norm for them. If you go to the bad deals part of the board here...

http://67-72chevytrucks.com/vboard/f...ysprune=&f=122

...you'll see you are definitely not alone. CPP shows up about every third post. I just tell people to avoid them. Anyhow...the plan sounds good and you'll be happy with the 4.8, my 5.3 is fantastic. Don't know if you knew but there is a LSx swap board on here under engines, if you have any questions about the transplant. Can't wait to see more.
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Old 11-30-2012, 09:15 AM   #22
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Re: Project: Over My Head

Im always a fan of LS swaps, yours is coming along nicely. STay away from CPP is you can!
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Old 11-30-2012, 04:08 PM   #23
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Re: Project: Over My Head

Are you winning the battle after the steering change?
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Old 11-30-2012, 04:27 PM   #24
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Re: Project: Over My Head

Haven't had a chance to work on my truck today, been busy with customer's cars & answering the phones.
I'm hoping that I'll be able to get the motor in its final position in the next week or so, but it is looking doubtful for today or the weekend.
I still need to clearance the cross member tube from CPP's crappy kit. I'm not comfortable with under 2mm from pan to tube, and don't intend on swapping to an F body kit if a torch & hammer will do the job.
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Old 12-01-2012, 11:29 AM   #25
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Re: Project: Over My Head

If it were too easy it wouldn't be any fun
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