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JoeyNY

Amplified LS1 swap

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So back in the spring I bought an unknown exact year Amplified Performance car with an 091 and a J32A3. Was having some issues getting it running right with the aftermarket engine management, or so I thought. Turned out to be some issues in a shoddy engine harness. Well I repaired the harness issues took the car for a rip on a dirt road and broke the trans, started howling in second gear and when trying to coast in reverse trans locks.  So chances are trans was hurt and I finished it off.

I was already on the fence about swapping the car to LS1 and a 2D. As it would turn out a member on the board cut me a smoking deal on a fresh rebuild from Wright Gearbox when he was switching his car to an S4. I had a complete LS1 in the corner of the garage that is a good runner, may be hiding some issues due to previous owner putting the car up with water after they fixed a coolant leak. Car was then parked due to a bad leaking rear main and left to sit for about six months. I drove the car and ran it through multiple heat cycles and appeared to be ok however there was some definite corrosion in the cooling system of the steel components. I cut the radiator open and pulled the block coolant drains and all looked good in there so hopefully block and heads are ok. If not I have a 6.0 and a fourth gen 5.3 here as well that would work for a season. I have had life happen, so for sure starting this project way later than anticipated.


Was told by a couple board members to start a build thread so figured would start one today. I have been collecting parts for the engine just going to put in a new chain with tensioner, oil pump, new water pump and stab a little bump stick cam in it that should provide a nice torque curve and provide some more top end. Is .545/.545” lift 222/231 duration on a 112 LSA 5 degrees advanced. For engine management I decided to go with a Holley Terminator X, I own EFI Live but the Holley stuff is so nice and tuner friendly. I have run Holley HP on a turbo LS street car and my current turbo LS street car runs a Holley Dominator set up that controls everything from trans brake, bump box, CO2 boost control, flex fuel sensor etc. Picked up an adapter plate and 9” single disc Kennedy clutch with stage four pressure plate from CBM. Pro Am shifter, engine mount plates, trans mount plates and other miscellaneous from Foddrill’s. 

Going to have to relocate the radiator thinking about mounting it off the down bars behind the back seat and converting it to AN fittings. Hopefully the fuel tank will be fine where it is unfortunately will not know until I can mock up the engine and trans into the car. I plan on mounting the trans to the back side of the mounts and cutting the rear engine cage and installing tube ends that will allow for easy removal at the end of the seasons. 

Hoping I will have this all completed by December providing nothing else around the house or daily driver vehicles break. Wish me luck I am going to need it haha! Hoping I do not need to re-wire the entire car but from what I have seen they may just need to happen and may actually make my life easier in the long run.

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Edited by JoeyNY

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Hell ya! You got it. See you out there in early December. 🤘

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16 minutes ago, cwarkenton said:

Hell ya! You got it. See you out there in early December. 🤘

Thanks again Chris for the hook up on the trans and parts!

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Looks like you made all the right calls going with the Pro Am shifter and Holley Computer. The radiator behind the seats might not provide enough flow, but I'm also not sure what size fans you have. And AN's are the way to go.

You're already doing the wiring for the new motor, might as well rewire the car. Not much more work and will give you the peace of mind

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So I made some progress this weekend even though it does not feel like after finding more issues. However I would rather find the issues here in the garage rather than out in the dunes. 

None of the brake lines are tied to the frame at any anchor point they are literally just routed and not secured. Found the rear hard line rubbing on the shift linkage along with the clutch hydraulic line. No lines appear to be fatigued or have an major wear spots. 
 

There were relays located in three different locations as well as three different fuse panels. Found multiple abandoned wires in the harnesses and nothing labeled at the fuse panels or terminals. All in all was expecting something like this once I saw the engine harness prior. 
 
Was told when I bought the car that CVs were just serviced 🤔 Not that that matters now anyway.  
 

Cut the engine cage off in preparation of possibly having to extend it and wanted to use tube ends for ease of engine removal. In the case of having to extend the engine cage I will sleeve and plug weld the extensions. Engine and trans is ready to come out to go to its new owner, is just sitting there as space is at a premium in my garage.

Have the LS1 all cleaned up and will be resealing it and installing the cam, valve springs, pushrods, timing chain, oil pump, and marry it to the Medeola. Hopefully will test fit it Saturday afternoon and possibly get it tacked in place.F87A5011-7D37-498E-8C4B-EC26E87B5ABB.thumb.jpeg.b6206bde86d30200b7b5defd9e99cdd5.jpeg

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looking good, only advise is to have it wheeled dyno, we had the same swap and after a year of self tune, we took it to the Dyno and pulled another 100HP at the wheels due to the holley would not advance the timing correctly for offroad

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7 hours ago, J Alper said:

looking good, only advise is to have it wheeled dyno, we had the same swap and after a year of self tune, we took it to the Dyno and pulled another 100HP at the wheels due to the holley would not advance the timing correctly for offroad

Jason -

That is Not exactly accurate... that issue had absolutely nothing to do with offroad or not....In that case the tuner essentially disabled the Knock sensors that were reading "knock" mostly because of valvetrain noise and retarding the timing.  That is pretty typical when you use the wizard and chose the under 235 degree @50 setting. Being safe is always preferred, but looking at a log (one of the nice things about the Holley)  would have found that in a second.  (if you knew to look for it, or posted the log on the Holley forum)

While I agree spending $1000 + on a Dyno tune with a good tuner is valuable (and I would like to hear about anyone spending less than that in 2019), but you can get very close with driving and logging and /or using one of the online tuners that charge between $250 - 350 a tune. Having just done a Terminator on my car, I really impressed by the wizard and self tune.

That does not mean I won't spend $1,000 on a Dyno tune myself, but I don't expect to gain any real HP, just being Supercharged I want a super safe tune thats not 11:1 AFR

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remember this car well.  Bought it out of Blythe.  Sold it to the guy you bought it from.  He was supposed to go thru the wiring, but looks like he only bandaided things up.  I didn't have time to tear this one apart, so it was just a quick turn thing.  I don't think I ever even drove it in the dirt.  The trans you got came from the next amp car I had.  I have another nicer one now if you want to save the headache of a swap!, but it looks like your pretty deep in it.  These are great cars and you will be happy with the performance in the end.  They really work best with an LS/mendi drive train, so your doing the right thing.  

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39 minutes ago, MGM/FRP said:

remember this car well.  Bought it out of Blythe.  Sold it to the guy you bought it from.  He was supposed to go thru the wiring, but looks like he only bandaided things up.  I didn't have time to tear this one apart, so it was just a quick turn thing.  I don't think I ever even drove it in the dirt.  The trans you got came from the next amp car I had.  I have another nicer one now if you want to save the headache of a swap!, but it looks like your pretty deep in it.  These are great cars and you will be happy with the performance in the end.  They really work best with an LS/mendi drive train, so your doing the right thing.  

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I know it would have probably been cheaper and easier to buy what I wanted to some extent. However I will know this car inside and out at this point, which can save you a lot of time money and aggravation later on down the road. Biggest issue with that is when something ends up being F’d up you have no one to blame haha

Guy you sold it to seems to be a nice guy, he definitely was not one for maintenance. When I brought it home almost every suspension bolt and nut were loose, front wheel bearing needed service and so on.  Soon enough I should have it all sorted then at the end of this season I plan on doing some suspension work and stripping the entire car to paint the frame and arms. 

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21 minutes ago, JoeyNY said:

I know it would have probably been cheaper and easier to buy what I wanted to some extent. However I will know this car inside and out at this point, which can save you a lot of time money and aggravation later on down the road. Biggest issue with that is when something ends up being F’d up you have no one to blame haha

Guy you sold it to seems to be a nice guy, he definitely was not one for maintenance. When I brought it home almost every suspension bolt and nut were loose, front wheel bearing needed service and so on.  Soon enough I should have it all sorted then at the end of this season I plan on doing some suspension work and stripping the entire car to paint the frame and arms. 

Peter,  that built these cars with seth at amplified is a good friend. If you need any parts or info,  I can put you in touch,

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1 hour ago, MGM/FRP said:

Peter,  that built these cars with seth at amplified is a good friend. If you need any parts or info,  I can put you in touch,

Thank you I appreciate that.

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2 hours ago, JoeyNY said:

I know it would have probably been cheaper and easier to buy what I wanted to some extent. However I will know this car inside and out at this point, which can save you a lot of time money and aggravation later on down the road. Biggest issue with that is when something ends up being F’d up you have no one to blame haha

Guy you sold it to seems to be a nice guy, he definitely was not one for maintenance. When I brought it home almost every suspension bolt and nut were loose, front wheel bearing needed service and so on.  Soon enough I should have it all sorted then at the end of this season I plan on doing some suspension work and stripping the entire car to paint the frame and arms. 

You are on the right track IMO  and looking good!  There is a definitely an advantage to knowing the car inside and out -  Not just you will always for more secure in the car and about the car, but there is a pride of ownership that cannot be beat!

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Sorta related, Peter helped me update my Amplified front end with Fortin rack, bulkhead, arms, tall beefy uprights, 2" hollow and bypasses.  Peter fabricated the key components and I did the remodel.  It's a whole different car now.  The Charlynn was not something I enjoyed.  My car eats the hardpack and rocks now.  I still need to test it out in the sand.  I'm running a Subi turbo E85 2D configuration. but I switch back and forth to 91 N/A.  Most of the time it's a rock buggy.  For some reason it identifies as an Ultra 4400 car. 

Peter's TIG fab work is unbelievable and knowledge of the Amplified chassis is invaluable.

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Made some minor progress last weekend, am currently out in the garage getting ready to mate the trans to the engine. Installed the cam, valve springs, Trick Flow one piece push rods, Cloyes single billet roller timing chain,  Melling timing chain dampener, Summit oil pump which is actually a Melling M295 pump with a Summit sticker over the Melling label for $35 less. 
 

I was originally just going to run the F-body oil pan but then started thinking that there would definitely be an oil starvation issue. I have a truck pan but then the oil pan would be the lowest hanging part on the engine. Considered running an LS3 oil  and wind age tray. Started looking around and I see Moroso makes a front sump oil pan with either remote oil filter or spin on filter options. By the time I tracked down all the items for a LS3 pan it would cost me the same amount if not more as a Moroso front pick up pan. Biggest difference would be oil capacity, Moroso 6.5 quarts vs LS3 at 8 quarts... 

Check out this page from Summit Racing https://www.summitracing.com/parts/mor-20138/

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Edited by JoeyNY

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On 10/28/2019 at 4:04 PM, fullthrottleguy said:

Jason -

That is Not exactly accurate... that issue had absolutely nothing to do with offroad or not....In that case the tuner essentially disabled the Knock sensors that were reading "knock" mostly because of valvetrain noise and retarding the timing.  That is pretty typical when you use the wizard and chose the under 235 degree @50 setting. Being safe is always preferred, but looking at a log (one of the nice things about the Holley)  would have found that in a second.  (if you knew to look for it, or posted the log on the Holley forum)

While I agree spending $1000 + on a Dyno tune with a good tuner is valuable (and I would like to hear about anyone spending less than that in 2019), but you can get very close with driving and logging and /or using one of the online tuners that charge between $250 - 350 a tune. Having just done a Terminator on my car, I really impressed by the wizard and self tune.

That does not mean I won't spend $1,000 on a Dyno tune myself, but I don't expect to gain any real HP, just being Supercharged I want a super safe tune thats not 11:1 AFR

I assume your talking bout my Holley tune.  Cost was $525 to dyno tune and he knows his stuff.  Tuner loves Holley and he really didnt have much tweaking to do once the computer was done with its self tune.  I only took it in to get a final HP number on the motor build.  There is a lot to be learned using that software.  I didn't know I even had an issue.  Now that I was shown how to look at that log and know what I was looking at I am sure I could tune another motor and get good results without the dyno.

I have been going out in the early morning when its cold and tweaking my cold starts.  Thats alone is nice.  Not something you can do in an dyno bay when its 90 outside.

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2 hours ago, r3meyer said:

I assume your talking bout my Holley tune.  Cost was $525 to dyno tune and he knows his stuff.  Tuner loves Holley and he really didnt have much tweaking to do once the computer was done with its self tune.  I only took it in to get a final HP number on the motor build.  There is a lot to be learned using that software.  I didn't know I even had an issue.  Now that I was shown how to look at that log and know what I was looking at I am sure I could tune another motor and get good results without the dyno.

I have been going out in the early morning when its cold and tweaking my cold starts.  Thats alone is nice.  Not something you can do in an dyno bay when its 90 outside.

Thanks for the info - $525 is great price, then again you are in PHX and I am in LA.  (CA costs just about everyone here gets $350 just to strap the car down, and minimum 2 hours on top of that, and they usually have wait times)  and I get your goals were different than mine on a tune. Personally  I would not accept a tune without cold start, I hate that with EGFI that can do it so perfectly when set up right,  to me thats 50% of the tune cost and labor.. just getting the IAC to cold tune and then sit at less than 2% when hot is chore, and I know its hard to do in 90 degree PHX weather... maybe impossible....

The education learning the proper way to read the logs is worth most of the price you paid, nit that it means you can fix everything the log tells you without some reading or training.  IMO if people want to not bother learning the SW since they would rather drive than tune - spend the money and get a good tune even with  Self learning ECM, but if they want to learn, their are some excellent on line courses that are pretty cheap and some come with over-the-shoulder remote tuning. I had a buddy sign up and do that, I watched and learned on his terminator X LS setup and while his car in self learn ran pretty good, it was super fat off idle and did not rev clean  (IAC and throttle body idle plate setting was off, SW does not catch that), now it runs super clean and nice gray ting to the exhaust instead of jet black.  He did three 5 minute cold start remote tunes in his driveway with internet an team viewer... That friggin Holley is amazing with a little knowledge of tuning

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Well I have made some more progress, well kind of... looks like I will have to extend the engine cage another 2.5” if I want to run the alternator in the stock location. Another issue I am battling is whether or not I should run the trans mounts as They set the engine at  a decent angle. I used a 10 degree mount set up as this would allow me to run whatever oil pan I choose.

However I am not sure I like the height and angle, if anyone has some input on this I would appreciate it before I finish weld the mounts in. Ran out of time last night cycling the suspension on the right rear to check for axle length on the left. Planning on taking the four axles I have and having them all cut to correct length. Plan is to have a complete back up set ready to go in the trailer. 

Was almost able to get no additional set back degrees is sitting at 3-4 degrees at most. When suspension is on the straps it is at 24 degrees and around 1 degree of offset. 
right side shorted measurement was 27&1/4” and longest 29&1/8” so figuring if I get that axle cut to 27” I should be good. Again if anyone with more experience has any input I am all ears this is my first time setting something like this up.

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Got some more work done to the car. Waiting on my headers to show up... Summit says Fedex has them, FedEx says Summit has them can not make a claim until Tuesday.

Engine cage, mounts are all welded in, radiator mounted and had a friend burn in some -16AN fittings for me. I decided to leave the old hose barbs in and weld the fittings to them will give me more room for clearance. Waiting for the headers so I can build the exhaust, standard sand car setup will not work for me. Would hang out pretty far past the cage and decided I did not want that.  Going to be adding five more tubes to the cage just waiting until I can build the exhaust.   

Installed an ICT Billet high mount alternator bracket, this enables me to not extend the engine cage any more than the 1&3/4” from adding the tube ends to make the cage removable.

Trying to figure out a fuel tank solution, the car had a plastic 12 gallon tank. Previous owner over tightened the fittings so when I tried to remove the brass fittings to install AN adapters they twisted in the tank. 

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Edited by JoeyNY

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Looks good.

Are you going to add some X bracing tubes and/or gussets?

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4 hours ago, lincster said:

Looks good.

Are you going to add some X bracing tubes and/or gussets?

The rear cage now completely disconnects so I am going to add two tubes to the side, one tube between the two bottom tubes between the engine mounts. Considering adding another tube with tube clamps over top of the engine so it can be removed for engine removal, that would essentially put the structure back to how it was prior to cutting the cage off.

Plan is to connect the upper and lower tube (red line) trying to decide if I want to run a 45 back to the down bar (blue line) or just a short run 45 like the green line and possibly add a tube (orange) from down bar to top tube of the cage.  

 

 

 

Edited by JoeyNY

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Nice.  I would add the blue and green and tie them into the same point on the lower part of the cage.

Maybe add a gusset from the tranny mount to the down tube closest to it?

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Mocked up, tacked my exhaust and added two tubes to the lower engine cage. Need to invest in a tubing notcher. Ordered an RCI steel plastic bladdered fuel cell was hoping to have it this weekend, downside is with out going custom 15 gallons is going to be the biggest I can fit. Like my headers last week it looks like FedEx lost the fuel cell as well have to wait until Tuesday to start a claim and order another fuel cell.

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On ‎11‎/‎11‎/‎2019 at 8:09 AM, r3meyer said:

I assume your talking bout my Holley tune.  Cost was $525 to dyno tune and he knows his stuff.  Tuner loves Holley and he really didnt have much tweaking to do once the computer was done with its self tune.  I only took it in to get a final HP number on the motor build.  There is a lot to be learned using that software.  I didn't know I even had an issue.  Now that I was shown how to look at that log and know what I was looking at I am sure I could tune another motor and get good results without the dyno.

I have been going out in the early morning when its cold and tweaking my cold starts.  Thats alone is nice.  Not something you can do in an dyno bay when its 90 outside.

Glad the dyno tune worked out so well, I think that we built it to a 416, that is a perfect size motor for a sand car, talking to Lance he also like the Holley system, not sure about the Terminator system, but when I talk to Holley the told me that to go with the HP system, not sure if this is correct or not, but Holley said that the Terminator system is not water proof nor is it dust proof and to put it in a sealed box with rubber mounts, they did not recommend the Terminator for offroad, was surprised the HP was $1000 over the Terminator system

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1 hour ago, J Alper said:

Glad the dyno tune worked out so well, I think that we built it to a 416, that is a perfect size motor for a sand car, talking to Lance he also like the Holley system, not sure about the Terminator system, but when I talk to Holley the told me that to go with the HP system, not sure if this is correct or not, but Holley said that the Terminator system is not water proof nor is it dust proof and to put it in a sealed box with rubber mounts, they did not recommend the Terminator for offroad, was surprised the HP was $1000 over the Terminator system

Having owned both HP and Dominator systems I can say there is a definite quality difference from them to the Terminator X system. Thought about going HP with this setup, but figured for $1K I can enclose it in a sealed box. Haha

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