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Author Topic: White 94 FD LS2/L92 build thread  (Read 28268 times)

Offline Bob H

White 94 FD LS2/L92 build thread
« on: May 14, 2010, 05:30:50 AM »
Ok, finally decided to pull this from the old forum.  Will do the best I can to copy/paste.  If your reading this for the first time - I didn't change the "dates" so it will say "today", "next week", etc.. bear with it!  It will make sense in a few months!   :D

Its my second LSx swapped FD, and my 5th FD overall.

Many know I recently sold my Silver Touring LS1 swapped car. Its only been gone a few days but I miss driving it already!

So why this one, what direction, etc..?

Non-sunroof car for daily driving,(70+ miles a day), A/C and 8+ track events a year. Was close with my last car, but the sunroof was the killer. So I'm starting over with a color I preferred - white with red interior.

Why this car? Simple - no sunroof. I bought the last swapped car with the intent to make it a dual purpose drive and track car. I'm a HPDE instructor - and when I had the silver FD, I was chief driving instructor for our local Porsche Club. The irony of being the chief driving instructor was that I didn't get to drive very much! But enter the big problem with our FD's - headroom for taller guys. I'm 6'1" tall and have an avg sitting height for my overall height. When I drive on track, I prefer a more upright sitting position.
That coupled with a helmet didn't work very well with a sunroof - I've documented the height problems well in this thread,(which has a link to the RX7club thread as well):

(I'll update this with a thread link here when I can repost it)

So I searched for around 6 mos to find a non sunroof 94 or 95 car - oh yea, only in silver or white.... Came close a few times - the last Jan, found a white 94 base model for a good price. Bought it, drove it home, and promptly parked it.
You see, I have several car projects, which my wife calls a "disease" :) Ok, I call it a "disease", my wife tolerates it very well!

Project #1 in the garage:

My "FD" problem:

So I made an agreement with my wife that I wouldn't touch the white FD until I sold the Silver car and made some progress on my Datsun,(which is currently a 6+ year project).
So I finally sold the Silver car - but that didn't stop me from buying parts/etc.. And I made some progress on my Datsun.

I'd driven my Silver FD for a year and a half, changed numerous things, fixed problems, found out shortcomings, and made my list for this car.

First, I weighed it just before coming home. Around 1/2 tank of gas - 2790 lbs. Not too bad! That was bone stock with an aftermarket head unit. That was it. I'll weigh it when its all done to see the overall change.

So, list of parts/planned track:

Samberg swap setup - subframe, radiator, tranny mount and stock FD rear diff mount. I have an aluminum driveshaft already.

2006 Trailblazer SS 6.0 LS2 motor. Obviously the intake, oil pan, etc.. had to go. I found a great deal on a set of L92 heads when I bought my built F-body T-56. So it will have a custom Comp cam, L76 intake, L92 heads, injectors to support, Hinson Mid-length stainless headers, stock short block, F-body pan and Improved racing baffle. Oil cooler will be down the road, but after I get it running.
Got a good deal on the exhaust with 3" stainless back to a Y then into my 3" Racing Beat dual tip exhaust.
Clutch is still up in the air.

Tein SS 16 way adjustable coil-overs with stock upper mounts running 10k springs up front, 8k springs in the rear. Tri-point front sway, rear is stock for now, still evaluating options. Brakes, Stoptech 332mm up front, rear 99 RZ rear calipers,(brand new), and Precision brakes two piece rotors. Bigger than stock, slightly smaller than the Racing Brake setup.
Rims - Volk TE-37 in black all around for street, still searching for the track setup.

99 spec plateless front bumper and 99 lip. Recently got into the group buy for the HID lights to go in the stock flip-up headlights. Not cheap, but well built and far cheaper than the other HID offerings and I like the stock pop-ups and they have the proper cut-off, very important to me. That's it - nothing more, stock exterior.

Red carpet and hatch carpet. Full sound deadening throughout,(I have two big rolls), 2 x 6V batteries like color me gone did in his car - i.e. keeping the stock rear bins uncut. My stereo used to be in my Yukon - Memphis speakers, Eclipse head unit and some undetermined sub that I can remove for track use.
Seats will remain stock cloth for now - I cut out padding to make more headroom. I'd like to find some red seats with at least equal headroom and daily comfort,(not RZ seats). Still searching.

A/C will work, PS will be GTO PS pump as my previous car had, Cruise - well, we still don't have a solution for cruise with the LS2 Drive by Wire throttle bodies. We'll see.

That's the big ticket items. Engine bay is empty, awaiting cleaning. Interior is stripped, about the pull the dash to get the carpet all the way out and clean up some wiring. Then install the sound-deadener, re-install the carpet and interior and go forward from there.
I also have the Raceshop Roll bar that I'll at least pre-install to get the holes cut in the floor. I likely won't have it in for daily driving even with the approved padding.... But it will be back in for track days.

My realistic goal is to have it driving in 6-8 weeks. May be sooner, but I'm trying to keep some lee-way for unknowns. I'm off work for that time, so I have the time, but still working on the last small list of parts to buy.
Back outside to finish the interior stripping!
« Last Edit: May 14, 2010, 05:33:30 AM by Bob H »
Datsun 240Z (2), Big Duramax truck

Offline Bob H

Re: White 94 FD LS2/L92 build thread
« Reply #1 on: May 14, 2010, 05:35:24 AM »
Interior is 100% out - sorry no pictures!
Unpacked the Raceshop Roll bar - wow, what an incredible piece of work! Fit and finish is amazing. Will test fit Monday and drill the holes, then start with the sound deadening.
Found something interesting - I've seen it on every FD I have - some slight water collection in the spare tire area. Traced the source back - found the two bolts that hold the rear bumper cover - under the outer rear lights - water leaks through the bolt. I'll be pulling it out, coating it with silicone and putting it back in. Should solve the slight leakage issues.
So roll bar install, sound deadener, carpet install then the dash goes back in.
I'll get pictures Monday or Tuesday - its supposed to rain all day tomorrow.
(edit - that timeline didn't even come close to happening!  That was posted on Nov 8th, it happened around oh, March/April.  Dash still isn't in and its May!)
Datsun 240Z (2), Big Duramax truck

Offline Bob H

Re: White 94 FD LS2/L92 build thread
« Reply #2 on: May 14, 2010, 05:38:31 AM »
Don't have the pictures for this yet - they were on the other forum.  I'll upload some and post it. 

Ok pictures!
Interior and engine bay stripped are the first few. Roll bar issues are the last two - my post on the club:
The "foot" plate for the main hoop - doesn't sit anywhere near flush to the floor. Well, it does sit near for three of the holes,(i.e. they are parallel to the floor), but one is not even close, and the side of the plate sticks down into the floor and when/if I were to tighten the bolts, it would clearly push through the floor, or dent it pretty significantly. What am I missing? Pictures attached. Notice the side shot.
I assume the plates are supposed to be flush up against the outside, and back towards the "rib" that runs left to right across the car. Even if I space it a little forward, its looks the same.

reply from: 333rx7
I just helped a freind install a M2 rollbar it was the same way. his main hoop also rubbed on the side panels.
Datsun 240Z (2), Big Duramax truck

Offline Bob H

Re: White 94 FD LS2/L92 build thread
« Reply #3 on: May 14, 2010, 05:39:20 AM »
Yea, I love my wife. Side note:
On our second or third date - she still had zero idea of my car addiction - thought I had one car and a truck. We were talking about houses,(I had just bought one), and she said her dream house would have a 4-6 car garage almost as big as the house on 5-10 acres of land. I knew I had a winner right then!

Did I mention I HATE the factory sound deadner! Holy crap - spent the better part of several hours today leaning over with dry ice chipping away at all the factory sound deadner.
I was waffling back and forth - leave it in and cover it, or pull it out and start fresh. In the end - the fact that the factory deadner is around 20+lbs did it for me. I'm putting in around 35-40lbs of high quality stuff, and the factory stuff doesn't work that great, and makes virtually no difference when you put better stuff over it.
Am trying something a friend recommended - we'll see and then I'll post it. Only worth trying if your ENTIRE interior is out like mine.
Tomorrow - more test fitting of the roll bar - and the more I play with it, the more I realize once its in - its staying in, its a MAJOR pain in the butt to pull it in and out. If mine were the simple hoop and bars back to the strut towers, maybe it would be different, but I have the bar for harnesses, braces, etc.. It does tuck nicely back into the car though - much further back than I had originally thought. I'm still not happy that the under-car plate is flat and the in-car plate for the hoop is not... I'll pull it back down closer - but that is nearly a 1/4" thick plate. Its not bending much.

Goal by the end of this week - all new sound deadener in, batteries secured, carpet installed, wires for battery and sound system run, dash back in and roll bar/interior back in. Bottom line, I'd like to have the interior back the way its supposed to and clear out my shed - note picture!  again, picture on old forum, will update eventually)
Datsun 240Z (2), Big Duramax truck

Offline Bob H

Re: White 94 FD LS2/L92 build thread
« Reply #4 on: May 14, 2010, 05:40:23 AM »
Well, a wee bit busy the past month - but not on the car. I'll get pictures updating all our work though. Finally got some headway over the past few days. Roll bar install is complete - I'll say it as I said in the RX7Club thread, WHAT A PAIN IN THE ASS! I was going to un-install it when I put the interior back in - no chance, its staying in. The Race Shop Roll bar is a great piece, well engineered - but has some serious shortcomings and a design flaw in my opinion on the lower plates,(one is perfectly flat, the other isn't). And why he changed the design of the bolt holding the diagonal bar from a recessed allen bolt,(sits flush with the bar), to an exposed big 12 point bolt that sits almost directly behind your head!
But I digress.
Interior is as clean and stripped as it will get. Started sound deadner install - will get a before and after picture. Suspension comes off and swapped tomorrow,(and subframe). Engine bay gets cleaned. Interior goes back in,(not all, but most).
I have my brother in law here,(BMW mechanic), for the next week and a half - plan to use and abuse him!
I've been ordering parts like crazy for the past month trying to ensure we have everything - who knows what I forgot - guess I'll find out soon!
Plan is to have everything inside the car done, everything under,(suspension/brakes/etc..), don't, engine assembled and installed with wiring started before he leaves. That leaves wiring and the last 5% for me to do - which of course will take several weeks I'm sure!
Pictures over the next few days.
Datsun 240Z (2), Big Duramax truck

Offline Bob H

Re: White 94 FD LS2/L92 build thread
« Reply #5 on: May 14, 2010, 05:42:11 AM »
Did I mention pulling out the stock sound deadner is a bitch? Oh yea, I did:

Quote from: Bob H
Did I mention I HATE the factory sound deadner! Holy crap - spent the better part of several hours today leaning over with dry ice chipping away at all the factory sound deadner.

So some came off easy:

Some not quite as nice:

And some had 2 factors playing - 1 it was hard as crap, and 2, it was the last area I did and I didn't care as much!:

But I will say we cleaned it up with acetone after - so it didn't look that bad before we applied the deadner. The First picture is actually after it was all cleaned up. The floor wasn't half bad beacuse I used dry ice for some of it - but that wasn't working great for this car. So heat gun came out, and a scrapin I went.
Total weight removed:
12 lbs.
Wish I took a picture of the box full of crap.
So what deadner? More in the next post.
« Last Edit: May 14, 2010, 05:45:26 AM by Bob H »
Datsun 240Z (2), Big Duramax truck

Offline Bob H

Re: White 94 FD LS2/L92 build thread
« Reply #6 on: May 14, 2010, 05:48:43 AM »
Ok, I'll try to go in the order I did the work - but sometimes it makes more sense to keep the areas together.

Deadner - I honestly don't remember. I think I used Second skin Damplifier Pro:


Bottom line, its a butyl backed aluminum damper that has its own adhesive. Each roll weights I think 24 lbs - I used one roll plus about 3 feet of the second - so with the 10-12 I took out, the net should be around 10-15 lbs. Well worth it for the long drives,(which I do a lot).
Anyways, pictures of the progress:

All cleaned up ready for the install:

Rear hatch starting:

Pass side near complete:

Of note - this is what Samberg's inner transmission mount looks like and where it should go!

I have to jump to my battery setup because the next pics show the batter as well as the deadner.
I chose the same route Color me gone chose - 2 x 6 volt batteries. I wanted to retain my storage bins. I only made one mistake that I'll show later.

Here's a closeup of the drivers side - including which the ground,(used the JDM seat belt point):

Pass side - extra wire is the part running to the engine bay - not yet crimped:

Both together - I pulled back the covers over the terminals to show what I used. Also shows the completed deadner install:

« Last Edit: May 23, 2010, 12:32:31 PM by Bob H »
Datsun 240Z (2), Big Duramax truck

Offline Bob H

Re: White 94 FD LS2/L92 build thread
« Reply #7 on: May 14, 2010, 05:51:21 AM »
Ok, that last picture still wasn't quite complete on the deadner - I did cover the last few spots. You will notice I did not cover some areas in the footwell - I covered EVERYTHING in my Yukon and had some water drainage issues later on - if water does get into the car, I want to make sure it has somewhere to leave by rather than sit under the carpet. That was a conscious choice.

During this time, I did have a distraction - bought an Integra from a friend that needed some work. $1100. Did about $300 worth of work to it, sold it for $3300. It was a pain, but worth the profit.

So at Christmas - my Brother-in-Law came to stay with us after he graduated from the BMW STEP program,(at the headquarters, training to be a factory tech). Spent two weeks with us - and I used and abused him.
He did all the cleaning of the engine bay:

We did clean the hood later - no pics of that though...

A refresher - BEFORE:

Finished product. BIG improvement from the start - we honestly thought it would need a repaint. Steven pulled through in the end!:

He also helped tremendously with the suspension arms,(and the engine to come), cleaning it with a TOOTHBRUSH! That's love.

And before you all think I'm some horrible person - we did spend a day out at the Squadron/base and he got a solid hour in the T-45 simulator:

More to come...
Datsun 240Z (2), Big Duramax truck

Offline Bob H

Re: White 94 FD LS2/L92 build thread
« Reply #8 on: May 14, 2010, 05:54:45 AM »
Ok, engine.. Base was a 2006 Trailblazer SS 6.0 LS2 - so that meant E40 PCM, older 24x reluctor and 1x cam sensor. Basically a GTO setup. Pulled the motor apart and we cleaned each piston individually - they were filthy! I don't have any before pics - but for only 12k miles on the motor, it clearly wasn't ever opened up as the buildup was a lot. Just a full full throttle blasts would have cleaned a lot of it out. But I digress.
Had to pick up the F-body oil pan. Thought I had a pic of the Improved racing baffle installed, but this is it - after cleaning:

A lot of the next shots were taken from an Iphone, so the quality isn't as good. Still has good wear/minimal wear shown on cylinder walls:

Remember - dots forward! :

Cylinder heads are the L92 heads - they come on the LS3, L76 motors - better design, much higher flow stock, HUGE intake valves. I just had them milled a little to bring the CC's down to ~64.5cc's. Should give me just under or right at 11:1 CR. That coupled with the cam I spec'd should see 440-460whp based on previous similar builds. I'll be happy with anything over 440rwhp and am hoping for 450.
Installing exhaust studs:

Ok, cutting the splash tray to fit the F-body pan. As most know, the F-body splash pan,(what I'm calling it since I forget the proper name!), it only covers about 3/4 of the crank. The TBSS covers the entire crank. Well, that doesn't work with the front of the F-body pan. So I cut it up. Not quite the same as done previously by others - I wanted to keep some of it:

Here is the closeup of what I had to do where the oil-pickup bolts to the block - it was cleaned up a little, but you get the idea.

And the pickup tube hits the tray near the oil pump - so a little "encouragement" was needed - and it actually needed more than this picture.

More to come..
Datsun 240Z (2), Big Duramax truck

Offline Bob H

Re: White 94 FD LS2/L92 build thread
« Reply #9 on: May 14, 2010, 05:56:15 AM »
Ok - digression on engine mounts for the Samberg cradle.
I thought,(mistakenly), that any pedestal mount would work,(GTO or Corvette). Well, I ordered a set of LS1 GTO mounts.....Turns out one side is longer than the other in ALL GTO engine mounts! See this thread here:


and my pictures showing the pass side,(drivers side is the same as the Vette's). Bottom line, Only C5 or C6 engine stands. A lesson learned the hard way when I was mocking up the driveline in the car.....

And closeup:

The ones on the block are the C5 mounts. C6 are supposed to be the same.

Something to log away for posterity for those using any subframe which requires pedestal engine stands/mounts.
NO GTO MOUNTS - Corvette only!
Datsun 240Z (2), Big Duramax truck

Offline Bob H

Re: White 94 FD LS2/L92 build thread
« Reply #10 on: May 14, 2010, 05:58:19 AM »
Back to the engine - Everything except the early F-body's,(and maybe C5's w/LS1's?), have the rear steam vent in the cylinder heads capped off. The early F-body's had a cross-over tube that ran from the back to the front. You can't really use it on the LS2's because of the tube routing - but... I had some different ideas.....

A little heat:

till its red hot:

Mocking up the new setup:

and again, but take note of the black market lines near the front - that is the "low" spot of the LS3 manifold - i.e. where the throttle body connects. I couldn't go across that - and you'll notice in this pic, I had something running across the front:

I'll come back and update when I get pictures of the final product,(thought I had them). Bottom line, I had to run a rubber connector from the pass side to the drivers side, and then it all "vents" from the drivers side. These were all brazed together. Still need a last pressure check before I install and put the intake on as I don't want to find out later that hot coolant is pumping out beneath the intake!
My goal was to get all 4 vents connected w/o resorting to lines over top of the intake. Hope it works!
Datsun 240Z (2), Big Duramax truck

Offline Bob H

Re: White 94 FD LS2/L92 build thread
« Reply #11 on: May 14, 2010, 05:59:57 AM »
So the last item before I could start putting in the carpet, was to finalize the roll-bar install. I went back and forth about cutting the strut tower covers as I'm eventually going to run the Tein electronic adjusters and will likely have to remove these. But in the end, I decided to cut them. Remember this:

Roll bar install is complete - I'll say it as I said in the RX7Club thread, WHAT A PAIN IN THE ASS! I was going to un-install it when I put the interior back in - no chance, its staying in. The Race Shop Roll bar is a great piece, well engineered

Oh yea - how about some DIRECTIONS! Nope, nothing.... Thanks to some folks here and on the club, I found out how the "template" is supposed to be used. too bad its designed for the strut brace that has the seat belt anchor points in it - and mine are in a different place. So here is roughly what it should look like:

First with the downtube installed to get rough position:

Then put the cover back on:

Oh, that opening is exactly the same size as the bar - but minor issue, the bar goes through the plane of the cover at an ANGLE.... So it has to be elongated. I ended up filing a lot by hand to get it where its supposed to be.

Kinda far away, but you can see how close they are.

MAJOR pain in the ass. The Race Shop roll bar is a great piece - but its a piece - i.e. not optimal design plates at the base of the hoop, ZERO directions, etc... I think its the best available right now - but I'm still not very happy about the plates or lack of directions.
Datsun 240Z (2), Big Duramax truck

Offline Bob H

Re: White 94 FD LS2/L92 build thread
« Reply #12 on: May 14, 2010, 06:01:42 AM »
Ok, the carpet - I did have to start on some of it before I re-installed the roll bar - the part that goes under the rear storage bins. Well, extra sound deadner, thicker carpet.... It wasn't that easy to say the least!

Finally got it all back in - and then put in the bar:

Biggest pain of that new carpet - nothing is pre-cut except the shifter hole.... Still working on that.
Here's two shots of the drivers and passenger side when I first laid it down. Man I love the red carpet in a white car! Yes, you have to cut down the part under the center console up front - otherwise it just doesn't lay down. Under all this was the matting you see in the first picture above.

And the firewall - I needed the original, plus my sound barrier, so I glued the new sound barrier to the old firewall matting here...THAT is a lot of work:

Datsun 240Z (2), Big Duramax truck

Offline Bob H

Re: White 94 FD LS2/L92 build thread
« Reply #13 on: May 14, 2010, 06:02:45 AM »
So that almost brings me up to speed - I decided to finally finish the rear suspension and brakes. I did replace the rear upper inside bushings from the Superpro I have everywhere else. Since you can't really find Superpro anymore,(only existing sets for sale, nothing new), I decided to try the powerflex, and I bought them through JKL engineering:

First, I like these MUCH better than the Superpro's. My main complaint on the Superpro's is they add extra resistance to movement - i.e. the arms don't freely move up and down - and yes, I did lubricate them correctly. These are a much better design.

If it wasn't such a royal pain in the ass to remove the rest, I would have changed the front bushings - and may still yet.
That being said, the front steering rack bushings were not molded correctly and had to be trimmed. Stock next to the Powerflex:

Something to consider. If I did it over again, I'd do powerflex. MUCH easier to install vs the Superpro and less added rotational resistance. The steering rack bushings - I'm sure they can fix that. The flip side - JKL has had issues with customer service. I never had issues and I ordered one of their Mazdaspeed replica bumper,(that I sold), the first set of Superpro bushings and these bushings.
If you can find another source,(or the Powerflex directly), that's the way to go. These are what I endorse and will be installing on the other FD suspension I have.
Datsun 240Z (2), Big Duramax truck

Offline Bob H

Re: White 94 FD LS2/L92 build thread
« Reply #14 on: May 14, 2010, 06:04:30 AM »
Rear subframe. Had Samberg's subframe powdercoated - looked great. Did a rough install and left it. Finally got around to putting all the bolts in the cross bar up front. Couldn't get one side to line-up. Tried the other side instead, same issue. So I loosened EVERYTHING - the subframe front mounts, the diff - all 4 bolts, the front bushing bolt and the rear upper mount bolts. I then put rachet tie downs so I could try to line things up. Here is what I ended up doing - one from side to side, TWO pulling the cross bar back to line up the holes. Finally got it all settled, with one bent rachet tie-down. I was maxing their capabilities - I'd say around 700+ lbs each.

The holes with only 1 front-back tie-down.

Its all settled now - Hopefully with some driving, it will take a set so when I need to remove it, it won't be the same bear to re-install.

One item that held up the rear suspension was the final orientation of the fuel filter. I wanted a location that was easy to service, yet out of the way, plus allowed easy routing of the fuel lines w/o rubbing.
Finally settled here:

I originally had it in front of the axle under the storage bins,(behind). I just couldn't get good routing of the fuel lines and I can't access that area behind the storage bins, so I had to use a self-tapping metal screw, no bolt on the other side. Not ideal. The final location behind the subframe on the drivers side allows direct routing up to the fuel tank and an easy routing up over the subframe to the feed line. Used double fuel injection clamps on that and the fuel tank cover.
Public Service notice!
You can buy "Fuel" hose at most stores - but it is only rated for maybe up to 30 psi. Not ideal at all for a 60+ psi system,(pre regulator). Proper fuel injection hose should be expensive - to quote somewhere - if your not paying $$Dollars per foot, but cents per foot - your buying the wrong stuff. I think mine was ~$2/foot, goodyear Fuel injection line.

So with that, I finally got to install my new rear RS/RZ brakes!
Some of you may recall my issues with the hats - turns out I had the front hats on the rear rotors. I had sold the front brakes to a guy in Canada. Immediately sent an e-mail to him - asking if he had any issues because I thought I might have the wrong hats,(and sent him the wrong ones). I sent him the ones I did because they were already installed when I bought them - so I ASSUMED,(yea, I know), they were correct. His response - "I understand the problem now! I made the spacer for fit on my car now ! i have the the hat of rear brake with spacer !"
Why he didn't e-mail me when he originally had the problem - I'll never know. Regardless, I immediately sent him what I had, and paid for him to ship back what he had. Problem solved! The BRAND NEW rear calipers look great:

So for the first time in quite a while, the rear suspension is 100% complete. I'm now working on the fronts - I've been wandering around yesterday and today trying to find a castle nut for the lower ball joint. You wouldn't be surprised that not many places carry a 14 x 1.5mm castle nut! I'll have to go to the bolt specialty place on Monday. I'll post more when I make some progress there - pictures are always helpful.
« Last Edit: June 24, 2010, 10:28:07 PM by Bob H »
Datsun 240Z (2), Big Duramax truck