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Author Topic: Joel's LS1 FC parts list/swap thread (remixed)  (Read 683929 times)

Offline frijolee

Re: Joel's LS1 FC parts list/swap thread (remixed)
« Reply #105 on: June 21, 2010, 04:51:33 PM »
Head Gasket Annoyances
 
A warning for folks playing with heads/cam?

I had a slow water leak down one side of my block at the rear of the passenger side head. It turned out to be two issues.

The first part was minor? the ls6 steam tube block off plug had been installed with a bolt that was a hair too long so it bottomed out and didn?t quite clamp correctly.

The second part of my issue appears to be HUGE pain the rear. Get this: GM MLS (multi-layer steel) head gaskets are NOT COMPATIBLE with all GM LSx heads!

The problem results from the evolution of LSXs from graphite head gaskets to MLS. The old graphite head gaskets stuck hard and were pretty messy to change out. As such, GM designed a little window relief on the exhaust side that lands on the #3 or #6 cylinder depending on the head. This relief exists so you can stuff a screwdriver or prybar in there and break the head loose on disassembly.

Faster forward a half dozen years and the MLS gaskets don?t require nearly the same force to break them loose. The relief windows go away and the gaskets are designed to seal on the true perimeter of the head. The problem is that in sealing the head gasket GM also runs a thin rubber bead at the edges of the clamping surfaces. If you?re using heads with windows (like I am), the window MISSES the rubber bead and only tries to clamp the metal next to the bead.

There?s just enough of a pressure difference in the clamping load that the head weeps coolant. You?re only solution is to either run the old nasty graphite gaskets or pick up the expensive MLS gasket like Cometics that don?t use the rubber bead.

I guess you could fill the relief with TIG weld and resurface the head, but that?s not exactly trivial either.


Unfortunately it means I need to pull my heads and that?s lame considering how long I?ve been messing with it already? Anyone tried doing a head job by removing the brake booster instead of pulling the motor?
 
------------------------------------------
 
Head gasket fixed...
 
I ran into a problem with my GM MLS head gasket such that it would weep coolant. Thankfully, Rosey was right, the both heads can be pulled with motor in the car but it?s a pain in the ass and that last bolt is tricky.
 

 
 
Here?s the little leave out window cast in that caused me so much grief:
 

 
 
This means you can?t run GM MLS gaskets because the rubber trim around the edges of the sealing surface make it so it can?t seal. 
 

 
I either had to go back to graphite gaskets or step up to an aftermarket MLS gasket.  Given the fact I suspect this may not be the last time I have these heads off I went with a set of 0.040? Cometics just for the cleanliness factor.  I believe stockers are 0.052? so this will bump my compression a hair too.  I?d already verified piston to valve clearance (and dialed that in with an adjustable timing set) so I should be good to go.
 
The question was whether or not to prep the Cometics with copper spray.  There?s some debate whether this is a good idea or not but they more I looked into it the more it made sense to me to go for this.  It should help to seal any irregularities in the surface and it?s shouldn?t damage the gaskets in any way.  I?d spent about 4 hours cleaning the mating faces on heads and block already but a little extra precaution seemed wise. 
 
Here?s mine prepped with Permatex Copper Spray-a-Gasket.  Internet wisdom says you install it while still tacky.
 

 
 
Heads were retorqued w/ ARP moly assembly lube per ARP?s instructions: 70 ft-lbs on the big bolts, 23 ft-lbs on the little guys.
LS2 stroker FC, Mandeville big brakes, widebody, etc
Build thread:  http://www.norotors.com/index.php?topic=1274.0
www.roninspeedworks.com

LargeOrangeFont says: "Joel is right, and I love Joel. But his car sounds like the wrath of God."   ;)

Offline frijolee

Re: Joel's LS1 FC parts list/swap thread (remixed)
« Reply #106 on: June 21, 2010, 04:51:47 PM »
Winter Mods
 
I just went through a more intensive round of winter mods than I?d really planned on.  Par for the course for v8rx7s?
 
It always starts with something simple: in this case I wanted to try a different intake and add an Accusump.  In the end what happened?
 
-Hood pins (AreoCatch locking flush mount) w/ SS hardware
-Hood trimming
-Hood shocks
-Relocate all engine relays
-Wire up AC electrical (not installed yet but everything?s ready)
-Better ground wires
-Reroute engine harness grounding
-Finish idiot light relocation, repaint a portion thereof
-Mount Accusump
-Mount 5th point submarine belts
-Wire/plumb Accusump
-Replace/relocate coolant overflow
-Eliminate all hose clamps
-Create a brake MC brace to the shock tower
-Replace lower radiator hose (heat shrink clamps on splice)
-Chase coolant leak (turned out to be head gasket :wtc:)
-Pull/clean heads
-0.040? Cometic head gaskets
-Rebuild part two on HS rebuilt rockers
-Add header wrap w/ safety wire and sealant
-Relocate horns
-Trim/section side to side cross members
-Intake fitment
-Create LS7 MAF mounting tube
-Create intake shroud
-Rewrap entire engine harness
-Trim fuel rail covers for simpler install
-Reassemble everything
-Dyno tune
 
At least the end result came out clean...
 
LS2 stroker FC, Mandeville big brakes, widebody, etc
Build thread:  http://www.norotors.com/index.php?topic=1274.0
www.roninspeedworks.com

LargeOrangeFont says: "Joel is right, and I love Joel. But his car sounds like the wrath of God."   ;)

Offline frijolee

Re: Joel's LS1 FC parts list/swap thread (remixed)
« Reply #107 on: June 21, 2010, 04:51:58 PM »
While I had the heads apart I decided to address a few other things: namely rework valve rockers (again), add header wrap, and clean up some hoses.
 
Rebuilt Rockers (again)
 
When I first went to put my motor back together post blow up I noticed that a few of my Harland Sharp rebuilt rockers had bearings that were no longer smooth (action could be described as downright crunchy on a few).  Because I was trying hard to make SevenStock / SevenNotStock at the time I had thrown in a stock set of stockers to get the car running because I had them available.  However because I had to tear down the heads anyways I wanted to get the upgraded version back in so I called and talked to the guys at HS and ended up sending my modded rockers back to them for an evaluation.
 
I was kinda afraid I was screwed, that it was my fault that that my rockers had been damaged by particulate metal going through them when the engine blew.  The gents at Harland confirmed the trunions were toast but said they?d had a new bearing design and replaced everything for me for only a $30 service charge.  Considering the original mod was $250 I was pretty stoked about that.  A big thumbs up from me to Harland Sharp for great customer service.
 
Oh, and the new trunions have hollow ends so they?re even a bit lighter than before.
 
LS2 stroker FC, Mandeville big brakes, widebody, etc
Build thread:  http://www.norotors.com/index.php?topic=1274.0
www.roninspeedworks.com

LargeOrangeFont says: "Joel is right, and I love Joel. But his car sounds like the wrath of God."   ;)

Offline frijolee

Re: Joel's LS1 FC parts list/swap thread (remixed)
« Reply #108 on: June 21, 2010, 04:52:09 PM »
Header Wrap
 
To pull the heads you obviously pull the headers.
 
Well, it always bothered me how close my fuel line ran to the JTR headers.  It?s literally only an inch clear and I couldn?t seem to do much better without running smaller brake booster or doing some really crazy things with the routing (dodging around the steering linkage or putting it in the wheel well etc).  I?d already done a couple layers of corregated tubing and insulation on the fuel line itself but I decided to double up on my insulation and wrap the headers as well.
 
FYI 50? of two inch wide header wrap only does about half of a set of JTR long tube headers assuming you use 1/8 to ?? overlap like I did? You need ~100? if you want to do a complete job on both sides.  However 50? should be enough to keep heat off the fuel line and off my starter (the two areas I was most concerned about cooking).  Plus the bottom portion is more likely to get wet regularly so leaving it bare was OK by me.
 

 

 
 
Beware that each primary is a different length so you?ll want to do some math as you go and budget your wrap accordingly.  CoolTech recommends sealing header wrap with a follow-up coating.  So far as I can tell it?s similar to header paint (a resin based product that only really cures after heated) so that?s what I used to help these retain a little less water if they get wet.  End results:
 

 

 
 
Note the safety wire used on the ends (I used about 3 pieces of stainless wire on each  free end of the wrap and one on the starting ends shown). They sell SS straps you can use but this seemed simpler, lighter, and cleaner on net.
 
Header wrap is based on fiberglass which means it?s itchy crap to work with so plan on doing the entire wrap job in one session.  It took me about 5-6 hours to get it all done.
 You might also note the new 2 AWG ground wire in the above pic; there?s now one on each side.  This might be overkill but I wanted to match the 1/0 input cable from the starter.  Soldering with blow torches is fun!
LS2 stroker FC, Mandeville big brakes, widebody, etc
Build thread:  http://www.norotors.com/index.php?topic=1274.0
www.roninspeedworks.com

LargeOrangeFont says: "Joel is right, and I love Joel. But his car sounds like the wrath of God."   ;)

Offline frijolee

Re: Joel's LS1 FC parts list/swap thread (remixed)
« Reply #109 on: June 21, 2010, 04:52:19 PM »
Heat Shrink Hose Clamps
 
Because I had the coolant drained for the head work I also figured this would be a good chance to clean up some coolant runs as well.  I ditched all my worm gear hose clamp and went with the OEM hose clamps that use bolts (see pic above for the heater hose runs). 
 
I also replaced my lower radiator hose because my old one felt just a touch soft and I thought a bit of preventative maintenance was in order.  Ended up having to splice it again because I couldn't find exactly what I was looking for but I used the sweet heat shrink hose clamps that AndrewB70 turned me onto.  They're made by the Gates Corp and marketed under the name PowerGrip.  They come in a variety of sizes.  The cheapest source I found was Moss Motors. Pardon the crappy pictures but you get the idea.

[Edit 11/16/11:  I was going back to order some more of these and found Moss didn't have the size I needed.  I found them at RockAuto but it takes a little digging.  When you hit their site search via "part number search" and enter 329** for the part number and Gates for the manufacturer.  That'll get you the full line of clamps.]
 

 
 
I previously used the same stuff on my upper radiator hose.  Everything's working great and most importantly, leak free.
 
« Last Edit: November 16, 2011, 06:51:58 PM by frijolee »
LS2 stroker FC, Mandeville big brakes, widebody, etc
Build thread:  http://www.norotors.com/index.php?topic=1274.0
www.roninspeedworks.com

LargeOrangeFont says: "Joel is right, and I love Joel. But his car sounds like the wrath of God."   ;)

Offline frijolee

Re: Joel's LS1 FC parts list/swap thread (remixed)
« Reply #110 on: June 21, 2010, 04:52:37 PM »
Accusump Install:
 
[Ed note: For a good background read on the how and why of accusumps try this thread...]
 
I?m running a 3 qt Accusump and decided I couldn?t well fit it in the engine bay?  Conceivably you could put it directly behind the front bumper support but if I was ever in an accident it?d be toast plus I wanted the weight further back.  As such, that pushed me toward the driver?s storage bin (battery?s already in the passenger side).
 
After pulling the bin and playing with it for a while I decided that I?d mount one end on the frame rail and the other to the face of the bin frame.  Per instructions the oil end is slightly uphill so air bubbles get purged during pre-oiling prior to the engine cranking.
 

 

 
 
Overall assembly
 

 
 
The upper portion of the bin is then trimmed to fit and allow gauge readings. 
 

 
 
Mounting it up high like this tends to keep the bin viable for storage needs as well, you just can?t put anything hard/heavy in there which could ding the Accusump.  At least it?s out of harm?s way as far as the trunk is concerned.
 
 
Accusump hardware:
 
I used the top rear location and -8 AN hardware everywhere. From sump to engine it runs:
 
Accusump in drivers bin
-90 f AN to hose along frame rail
-90 f AN out firewall below fuse box
-oem pressure gauge w/ m-f AN gauge adaptor (shows accusump pressure)
-pipe to m AN adaptor
-electric check valve
-pipe to m AN adaptor
-pressure switch w/ m-f AN gauge adaptor
-aftermarket pressure gauge w/ m-f AN gauge adaptor (shows engine pressure)
-90 f AN to short hose behind plastic fender liner
-90 f AN through firewall at fender (below clutch MC)
-m-m adapator
-straight f AN to hose along firewall lip
-straight f AN
-m16x1.5 to m AN adaptor at block
 
Firewall holes are always a bit nerve racking.  Here?s where my first one landed.  I measured this about 4 times before I went to town with the hole saw.
 

 
 
Firewall grommets?  I love grabbing spare body plugs while wandering the junkyard.  I used a few I had lying around to protect my oil lines in both places I went through the firewall.  If you ever need to cut near perfectly round holes in something rubber a hammer and a spare bit of pipe do wonders.  Lay rubber over the end of pipe and tap until the rubber is cut all around.  I intentionally offset my holes based upon expected exit points.  Pardon another crappy picture, this new camera?s autofocus is lame?
 

 
 
Accusump plumbing finished:
 

 

 
 
Here's all the valve stuff tucked behind the fender (note I have the shine/foresight wide body fenders so you may have to plan carefully to dodge the trim mount sticking through.) 
 

 
 
Don?t forget you need access to the fender mount nut that?s located about mid door height so you need to plan a way to snake a couple extensions horizontally past all this to tighten that last guy.  Still, I?m pretty happy with the end result. 
 
I think I may daisy chain in an LED so I know when the Accusump is activating, but I get a general idea by having the OEM oil pressure gauge reading on the Accusump side.
 
I?m running oil to the dipstick full line with about 60 psi in the sump.
LS2 stroker FC, Mandeville big brakes, widebody, etc
Build thread:  http://www.norotors.com/index.php?topic=1274.0
www.roninspeedworks.com

LargeOrangeFont says: "Joel is right, and I love Joel. But his car sounds like the wrath of God."   ;)

Offline frijolee

Re: Joel's LS1 FC parts list/swap thread (remixed)
« Reply #111 on: June 21, 2010, 04:52:44 PM »
It?s hard to get this deep into the car without doing some random bits as well.
 
5th point belts
 
While I had the rear bins out I went ahead and mounted the submarine belts (to date I?ve only ever run 4 of my 5 point harnesses.)  I already had some plates and hardpoints welded to the cross member behind each seat.  It?s not really an ideal location as it?s a bit far back and I?d rather have it below the seat but I?ll just run these on the loose side and call it OK.  Here?s the one the mounts just in front of the battery.  I notched the face of the storage bin frame on each side to allow the run.
 
LS2 stroker FC, Mandeville big brakes, widebody, etc
Build thread:  http://www.norotors.com/index.php?topic=1274.0
www.roninspeedworks.com

LargeOrangeFont says: "Joel is right, and I love Joel. But his car sounds like the wrath of God."   ;)

Offline frijolee

Re: Joel's LS1 FC parts list/swap thread (remixed)
« Reply #112 on: June 21, 2010, 04:52:50 PM »
Brake pedal brace:
 
I?m getting closer and closer to the rock hard brake pedal I?d love to have and one of the things that really helped was trick little brace I built that prevents firewall flex by supporting the end of the MC from the shock tower.
 

 
Can?t take credit for the idea here as this was something I ran across on the club.
LS2 stroker FC, Mandeville big brakes, widebody, etc
Build thread:  http://www.norotors.com/index.php?topic=1274.0
www.roninspeedworks.com

LargeOrangeFont says: "Joel is right, and I love Joel. But his car sounds like the wrath of God."   ;)

Offline frijolee

Re: Joel's LS1 FC parts list/swap thread (remixed)
« Reply #113 on: June 21, 2010, 04:53:22 PM »
New Intake Tract Prep
 
Everything that follows is somehow tied into my new intake tract.  FYI This is all based around the MTI Xcelerator intake for the C6 vette.  I believe the company folded so if you want to try this your best bet is some of the Corvette forum classifieds.  Be warned that it ended up being a damn big job.  You?re about to fully occupy pretty much the entire space ahead of the radiator so you have to move/replace quite a few things to make this happen.
 
Remove hood latch structure and add hood pins.
 
Decided on the Aerocatch flush mount locking pins...
 
Uprights installed?
 

 
 
One pin goes in the hood prop rod hole (prop rod is soon going away as well) the other gets drilled in the mirror spot after you clamp a bolt in place and bend the metal so the pin will be straight up and down.
 
Triple check the hood alignment, add a dab of grease on the head of each pin so you know where they hit and start drilling.
 
One you have the main holes you mark out the perimeter and start the real cutting.
 

 
 
Like the green hair?
 
Hole saws rough out the shape on either end
 

 
 
Getting closer using a dremel
 

 
 
I was worried about the top two layers of hood warping when I clamped them (the hood is actually three layers thick here) so I bondo'ed between layers to give myself a solid clamping surface.
 

 
 
Trim a bit more and the catches will finally sit flush so you can drill the perimeter holes.  Clamping two layers means you can't use the stock hardware but black oxide bolts will rust almost instantly anyways so I went stainless.  I used 10-32 x 3/4" screws which required a bit of additional countersinking but it came out good.
 

 
 
Nyloc install from the bottom requires holes big enough for nut and socket (I actually used a fine pair of needlenose).
 

 
 
Stainless hardware is a good idea if you don?t want these to rust. 
 

 
 
Just for giggles while I was messing around I rim-striped my wheels red...  Came out pretty good if I do say so myself.
 
LS2 stroker FC, Mandeville big brakes, widebody, etc
Build thread:  http://www.norotors.com/index.php?topic=1274.0
www.roninspeedworks.com

LargeOrangeFont says: "Joel is right, and I love Joel. But his car sounds like the wrath of God."   ;)

Offline frijolee

Re: Joel's LS1 FC parts list/swap thread (remixed)
« Reply #114 on: June 21, 2010, 04:53:32 PM »
Hood Shocks
 
I built my own hood shocks using McMaster Carr components.  They?re based around 50 lbf gas springs with a ~4.2? stroke (you?ll need something stronger if you have a steel hood).
 

 

 
 
Since then I found a company selling hood shocks complete for the FC on ebay.  If I had to do it over again I?d have definitely pulled the trigger on those instead as this job was a pain.  There?s a thread on RX7 club that discusses them.
LS2 stroker FC, Mandeville big brakes, widebody, etc
Build thread:  http://www.norotors.com/index.php?topic=1274.0
www.roninspeedworks.com

LargeOrangeFont says: "Joel is right, and I love Joel. But his car sounds like the wrath of God."   ;)

Offline frijolee

Re: Joel's LS1 FC parts list/swap thread (remixed)
« Reply #115 on: June 21, 2010, 04:53:38 PM »
Move/Replace Coolant Overflow Tank
 
I debated strongly trying to hunt down the coolant tank from an 86 FC base model (mounts by main fuse block) but I?d already cut off the mounting studs near the driver side shock tower and it was looking to be an extraordinarily long run to my radiator cap.  Inside I went wrecking yarding and found a random overflow tank from a Toyota product that looked it would fit well dimensionally behind my passenger side headlight.  This required a new mounting bracket.  This was just a piece of 1/16? aluminum plate that I formed up by hand to bolt into some factory holes behind the passenger side headlight.  I then riveted to the remaining piece of the OEM Toyota bracket and called it a day.
 

 

 
 
The final version is both simple and clean with an exceedingly short hose run.
 

 
LS2 stroker FC, Mandeville big brakes, widebody, etc
Build thread:  http://www.norotors.com/index.php?topic=1274.0
www.roninspeedworks.com

LargeOrangeFont says: "Joel is right, and I love Joel. But his car sounds like the wrath of God."   ;)

Offline frijolee

Re: Joel's LS1 FC parts list/swap thread (remixed)
« Reply #116 on: June 21, 2010, 04:53:47 PM »
Relay relocation
 
I started but cutting out the relay support
 

 
 
I then welded a short piece of this back behind the driver?s side headlight with all 4 relays I plan to use (and a 5th spot open in case I expand for some reason.)  Throw a couple coats of primer base and clear on there and then you just shorten and solder all the wires from the driver?s harness to fit it up.
 

 
 
While I was in there I made a few more tweaks to the harness grounds and the like so at the end the entire harness was then wrapped in GM OEM harness wrap.  It?s a lot like non-adhesive electrical tape, but it never gets nasty over time.  I bought some a while back from Year One for $10 a roll.  Year One now charges about $20 a roll so when I spotted an ebay auction for the good stuff for $2.50 a pop I loaded up.  Yeah stocking stuffers!
 
PS It helps to have relo?d your battery but it seems like most folks on here do that anyways.
LS2 stroker FC, Mandeville big brakes, widebody, etc
Build thread:  http://www.norotors.com/index.php?topic=1274.0
www.roninspeedworks.com

LargeOrangeFont says: "Joel is right, and I love Joel. But his car sounds like the wrath of God."   ;)

Offline frijolee

Re: Joel's LS1 FC parts list/swap thread (remixed)
« Reply #117 on: June 21, 2010, 04:54:03 PM »
Cutting for Intake Clearance
 
Once you have a bunch of free space created you can finally start fitting the intake itself.
 
Upper cross member backing removed.  (The remaining lip was subsequently folded under.)
 

 
 
The lower cross bar (the one that used to support the lower half of coolant overflow tank) is cut, but I left the two tips in place so I?d have somewhere to mount my horns.  The black plastic frame that supports the nose is left intact.
 

 
 
Final test fit (note: the intake itself has to be pretty much as far rearward as you can get it.)
 

 
 
Side view (Note: I had to run it that low to clear the hood so although the results were good this still isn?t as perfect as it could be):
 

 
 
Now you start getting into hood trimming (you just go little by little)
 

 

 
 
Here's the finished underside painted. 
 

 
 
I can't emphasize enough how damn tight this really is. Poly motor mounts are recommended to lessen engine motion if you try this.
LS2 stroker FC, Mandeville big brakes, widebody, etc
Build thread:  http://www.norotors.com/index.php?topic=1274.0
www.roninspeedworks.com

LargeOrangeFont says: "Joel is right, and I love Joel. But his car sounds like the wrath of God."   ;)

Offline frijolee

Re: Joel's LS1 FC parts list/swap thread (remixed)
« Reply #118 on: June 21, 2010, 04:54:14 PM »
Intake Tube and MAF Interface.
 
This is 4? OD 1/16? wall aluminum tubing.  I needed ~6? but bought a foot and was glad I did when I discovered needed a bit more tube length to fit the MAF properly. 
 

 
 
My inspiration was this Lingenfelter piece but I wasn?t about to pay $300 when a $75 sensor and $30 in materials would do fine.  Connector was picked up from EFIconnection.
 
Silicon couplers are a 4-4? straight at the TB (OD of stock TB is 3.9? but it?ll work) and a 4.5-4? reducer coupler at the intake.  I got mine and the associated clamps from FroozenBoost.  You?ll trim these too before you?re done.
 
MAF lands pretty well in the center of the tube:
 
LS2 stroker FC, Mandeville big brakes, widebody, etc
Build thread:  http://www.norotors.com/index.php?topic=1274.0
www.roninspeedworks.com

LargeOrangeFont says: "Joel is right, and I love Joel. But his car sounds like the wrath of God."   ;)

Offline frijolee

Re: Joel's LS1 FC parts list/swap thread (remixed)
« Reply #119 on: June 21, 2010, 04:54:28 PM »
Shroud
 
Everyone needs a cardboard template right?
 

 
 
Transfer to 0.032 6061-T6 plate (1 ft x 4 ft does the trick)
 

 
 
Round corners were made using a hole saw with a thick piece of aluminum backing it to keep the centering drill centered.  I figured I might tear the face up if I didn?t do this.  A knock out set would be a pretty trick way of doing this as well.  The rest of the profile was cut with a jig saw with a fine toothed blade.  A sander, angle grinder, and deburring tool finished it off.  I eventually added a bit of edge trim as well.
 

 
 
Prior to final mounting a few of the thumb screw bolts (used to help a frame clamp a large rectangular K&N filter in place on the bottom side) had to be swapped out something lower profile so the lip could tuck underneath the edge of the cross member.
 

 
 
Push clips were used so this bolts in like from the OEM shroud pieces from the factory. 
 

 
---------------------------------------------
 
[Note:  After the fact I found I keep breaking these OEM clips.  Not sure they were just old and didn?t like being cycled so much or if I ended up with sharper metal edges than they were made for.  Either way I swapped them out for quarter turn panel fasteners by DZUS.  I picked these up from my friend Mcmaster Carr (part numbers 93442A413, 93442A212, 93442A311).  I went with the plastic version of the clips because they?re quite a bit more tolerant of the varying gaps.  Given my panel sits at a bit of an angle this is an unavoidable side effect of my setup.
 
[ED Note: pics to be added later]

LS2 stroker FC, Mandeville big brakes, widebody, etc
Build thread:  http://www.norotors.com/index.php?topic=1274.0
www.roninspeedworks.com

LargeOrangeFont says: "Joel is right, and I love Joel. But his car sounds like the wrath of God."   ;)