Other things I wish I would have known up front
I thought I?d mention a few of the various ?gotcha? moments that burned me. Beware that the good old General of GM changes many of details between various model years. Don?t assume things will fit unless you found someone who did EXACTLY what you planned to do. 98 heads/coil packs/fuel rail covers
-I upgraded to a set of lq9 ported heads and ran into several things.
-98 spark plug coil packs bolt directly to their respective valve covers NOT to a bracket THEN to the covers like the rest of the years.
-98 valve covers have a different bolt pattern that they attach to the heads with (around the perimeter rather than the normal 4 bolt up the center style). 98 valve covers
-The oil filler cap on the 98 valve covers doesn?t come with or require the use the oil filler riser tube (GM #1255-9505). You?ll need this or the cap will interfere with the front-most coil.
-The 98 style coil packs can be used with 99 brackets but one coil on each bank has to be flipped over to mount properly. It also makes your wiring loom rest with some weird lengths but it?s only a cosmetic issue.
-There are TWO types of coils that came on the 99-02 ls1. I believe the split is between 00 and 01. Coil pack brackets DO NOT mix and match so be sure you have the correct bracket for the correct year.
-98 fuel rail covers obviously have two inputs for the ?return? style fuel rail (vs only one hole for all other years.) However the studs that the fuel rail cover clips into down by the coil packs are located in different spots.
-The worst head problem I ran across was that you can?t use GM?s multi layer steel (MLS) head gaskets with heads originally intended for use with graphite gaskets. There?s a whole post about that here.
-To be fair everything I?ve played with are the cathedral port style heads. Similar caution should be planned when jumping into the L76, L92 type square heads. Corvette accessories vs F-body vs GTO:
-All belts sit ~1? closer to the block than do the Camaro/GTO counterparts. Generally this is a good thing especially for fan and radiator clearance but the high alternator location may require trimming of hood braces.
-A Camaro alternator will not fit in the Vette bracket nor will vice versa work.
-Because the corvette harmonic balancer lives ~1? closer to the block re-routing the sway bar becomes a pain. I bought Granny?s spacers and was forced to shim down an extra 3/8? beyond the 3/4? originally intended. That?s using an ASP under drive pulley. The AC belt on that ASP is a 10% reduction making for a 6 5/8? OD vs the stock 7 1/4? for the AC portion where the rubbing would occur with both tires simultaneously loaded (speed bump etc).
-The corvette AC compressor cannot be used with Granny?s ls1 adaptor plate mounts. This should not affect those with f-body accessories or those with Hinson mounts. Again this is due to the 1? difference in spacing. Assuming the Camaro compressor is the same size it would miss the mount by 3/8? vs. the 5/8? interference I found.
-My Corvette intake manifold didn?t have the threaded metal inserts needed so you can thread a normal throttle cable stop into it. If you need to ditch drive by wire you?ll want to be sure your intake manifold was from an f-body instead of the Vette (or buy and epoxy in the inserts. LS6 intake manifold upgrade
-won?t clear the ?steam tube? coolant crossover lines above the valley cover. I trimmed enough ribs off the bottom with my angle grinder that I was able to make it work. However I eventually switched the LS6 PCV and this requires LS6 steam tubes so I had to redo it anyways. Hardware
-I received incorrect bolts on several kit parts. This might sound stupid but double and triple check your hardware before you put it all together? Danzan and I wasted about 6 hours fighting motor mounts only to discover we got sent m10x1.5 bolts rather than the needed 7/16-14. The mounting plates were sloppy enough that the m10 actually fed in nice by hand but would ?strip? without much force. Rod Bolts:
ARP rod bolts required ?resizing rod ends?. The objection being that the clamping force of the bolts can cause the big end of the con rod to deform by enough to cause unhappy bearing wear.) The first time I ran across this I sent my ARPs back and bought Katech?s instead. Other members of the board have talked to reputable LS1 shops that said resizing was unnecessary regardless of whether ARP bolts were used or not. In hindsight, I believe this is simply an error in the instructions and I used ARPs on motor build 2.0. Resizing rod ends means shaving down the surfaces of the two halves of the con rod. This is impossible with ?cracked rods? because you?d lose the fracture surface. Tools
compare to list
-You need jacks and hoists and all the usual breaker bars obviously
-I?ve been forced to use both metric and SAE taps more times on this job than I?ll care to admit.
-An angle grinder and/or sawzall is nearly mandatory as well.
-3/16 tubing bender came in handy several times on hydraulic stuff as well.
-Load leveler is awesome for dropping the engine down with trans on it.
-I haven?t found a way to change the rear main seal on the t56 without the GM specialty tool either so I may eventually break down and buy that. Wiring
-You?ll be a lot happier trying to route the harness through the stock firewall grommet if you lengthen the connectors for the sensors behind the head (MAP, cam position). While you?re back there there?s a nipple that will need to be plugged for most folks. At first glance I thought this was just redundant to the hole in the throttle plate, but had I left this open it would have made for one hell of an (unmetered by the MAF) vacuum leak.
-Pay someone else to do your harness mods. It?s just not worth the headache and the learning curve is too steep. Motor Install Methodology
-Way too many folks have smashed MAP sensors installing engines with intake manifold in place. Do yourself a favor and do your install with the manifold off. This gives you the added advantage that the m8 bolts for the valley cover work great with a load leveler.
?Don?t bolt your load leveler to the back of the block. You can?t get the bolts back out with the engine against the firewall.
-FC?s can have motors installed from above or from below. If from above a load leveler is just about required.
-With Granny?s mounts you can put a light layer of grease on the mating surface of the mount to help slide the motor into place. You?ll also want to double check the width of the cradle as some have been found warped. If it?s too narrow the engine sits high and won?t find the holes. The inverse is true if it sits too low.