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 My '89 Caprice Wagon Project

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BoxWagon

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PostSubject: Re: My '89 Caprice Wagon Project   Tue Nov 12, 2013 9:27 pm

Nice idea Fred. I was thinking of something similar but not with exhaust piping. That will work much nicer. Thanks for the idea, I'm not to worried but I'll be looking into it.

-Tony
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Fred Kiehl

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PostSubject: Re: My '89 Caprice Wagon Project   Tue Nov 12, 2013 10:06 pm

You can use zip ties to hold the spring to the lower perch. If you have drop shocks in the rear, they may stop the wheels from dropping too far, but you may find that you can not get the wheel out from under the body.
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PostSubject: Re: My '89 Caprice Wagon Project   Tue Nov 12, 2013 11:44 pm

Wrong wagon Fred,the boxy has open rear fenderwells thus there should be no problems removing the rear tires.
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Fred Kiehl

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PostSubject: Re: My '89 Caprice Wagon Project   Wed Nov 13, 2013 7:38 am

I forgot to look at the picture.
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loweredd



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PostSubject: Re: My '89 Caprice Wagon Project   Thu May 01, 2014 7:48 pm

Updates???
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BoxWagon

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PostSubject: Re: My '89 Caprice Wagon Project   Mon Feb 02, 2015 1:38 pm

Lots of updates and pictures coming in a few minutes. Stay tuned
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BoxWagon

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PostSubject: Re: My '89 Caprice Wagon Project   Mon Feb 02, 2015 1:40 pm

So I know it’s been forever and I've been horrible about updates! Well the wagon is back with some big changes underway. Since my last update I've graduated college and have been working for some quite some time at pretty much my dream job for this time. I split my time between working as a Marine Engineer on a drillship in the Gulf and doing side jobs as a mason at home. Work for 3 weeks at sea, home for 3 weeks, great deal for me.

Anyway. Back to the important stuff, the car. Last I let off I was tuning the car's carb. Since then I came across a steal on a 2004 Chevy 3500 Express with a blown head gasket. So its probably obvious where this is going. The van has a 6.0 Lq4 and a 4l80e. I've had plans to ls swap the wagon for a while and now I have a job to fund it. The build is still very slow going especially now during the winter since I work in my driveway. So patience please!

Here's the donor.





And a little preview of my plans. Borg S475.






Thats the overview. Almost all my inspiration for the engine set up comes from a group called Sloppy Mechanics which I have been following since they first started out. I recommend doing a google search and checking it out, lots of good info on cheap turbo lsx builds. Details to follow and anyone interested in all the little things just ask.

So I pulled the 350/200r4 from the wagon and sold it for a cool $600.





So much room for activities.




With the wagon free and clear of its powertrain I began focus on the van. I was able to part out various things I didn't need and made some good money to help with funding the build. The engines are set real far back in these things and the removal was quite the task. There's probably 10 different ways it could have been done but we got it out through the front, transmission too.






Lots of grease.





I moved the engine and started to tear it down to see how the head gasket affected everything.


There's your problem




Overall it wasn't terrible, I've seen worse engines. It is pretty obvious coolant got into cylinder 7 though.




This how professionals do it, right?




I drained out the oil pan and found a fun mix of coolant and oil.




The engine had 2.5 gallons of crap in it.




So I went to work cleaning and scrubbing on almost everything.




For this build I'm using headstuds and Ls9 gaskets since boost is in its future.





For the motor mounts I bought the recommended set from Dirty Dingo. These are supposed to just bolt to the existing clamshells. They worked but I found out later they were a bit of a mistake for my application and I had to make adjustments. Very nice pieces for the money.



Here one is installed. The small black piece above the oil filter is a 1/4" npt port for the turbo oil feed.




With the block mostly clean I focused on the heads. After my $8 harbor freight spring compressor immediately broke I made a very sloppy but effective spring compressor from stuff lying around. Doing my best to stay on budget haha.




Worked flawlessly!





I'm keeping the stock 317 heads, these give me a CR of 9.4:1. Which works well with boost. For springs I went with PAC 1218's from Brian Tooley Racing. Very reasonable priced and should work well in my case.




On to installing the heads.




Hmmm, looks like I do the same thing at work.





While torqueing the heads down one of the studs snapped off deep in the block on the first 25 ft-lbs tightening sequence. I oiled the studs and made sure not to completely bottom them out. My only guess is that the one stud was defective. I attempted drilling and using an easy out along with some heat but the first easy out snapped in the block.

Well damn...




I ground it flush and bought a tougher drill bit to drill through the hardened easy out. With lots of patience it’s out.




I put the heads back on and torqued them with no more problems. Now the transmission needed some love. The 4l80e is an extremely stout transmission. Many many builds I've followed have pushed these transmissions above 700 hp on only a shift kit. So the only thing I did was install a Transgo HD-2 kit.



The instructions were very clear and the install went smooth.

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BoxWagon

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PostSubject: Re: My '89 Caprice Wagon Project   Mon Feb 02, 2015 1:41 pm

More coming.
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BoxWagon

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PostSubject: Re: My '89 Caprice Wagon Project   Mon Feb 02, 2015 1:41 pm

I got the engine and transmission back together and ready to install in the wagon.








Like a glove.



The 4l80e sits much further back then the stock trans originally did. There are additional bolt holes on the frame but the cross member is already on the last set of holes. So to save some money I just modified the original piece.




Higher level math here.








Engine stands and clamps double as multi position welding stands





Not shown are the slots for the mount I made on top and bottom.




Once the engine was in and the transmission tail was at height, it was obvious the engine oil pan was way too low. I don’t have pictures but there was less than 2 inches from the bottom of the pan and the pavement, due to the fact my car is much lower now. Modifying the aluminum pan was unfortunately not an option for me. For maximum ground clearance I purchased a pan off of a 98-02 f-body as well as the pickup tube. The only problem is the sump on the f body pan is longer(front to back) than the van one. This caused it to interfere with the engine cross member.  The Dirty Dingo mounts were not high enough or far enough back to use the f body pan.

To get around this I made new solid versions of the clamshells the Dirty Dingo plates mount to. Took some time and the welds are far from perfect but they will work. These set the engine up an additional inch and backwards 2 more.  


Old vs new










In order for the ls1 pan to work with an lq4 the stock windage tray has to be cut and the new pick up tube bracket needs to be trimmed.






As of now I'm doing what I can between snowstorms. Lots of parts in just waiting to be installed. The hotside fabrication will start soon. I'm running a 2.25 inch fully divided hotside. Dual 38mm wastegastes. The turbo is a S475 t6 with a 83mm turbine wheel and 1.10 a/r. Should spool pretty well on the stock cam.


Lots of stainless



The wastegates are knockoff tial units. 38mm EMUSA units, plenty of people have run them with zero problems for years now.




31x12x3 inch CX Racing intercooler kit.

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BoxWagon

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PostSubject: Re: My '89 Caprice Wagon Project   Mon Feb 02, 2015 1:43 pm

And that’s it for today. Just sitting with a ton of parts waiting for some decent weather to get back at it. Hotside and mounting the intercooler are next. I know I’m lacking some build details but you’ll see them as they come now.

Thanks for looking!

-Tony
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loweredd



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PostSubject: Re: My '89 Caprice Wagon Project   Mon Feb 02, 2015 2:39 pm

Awesome. LQ4/4L80E wagons are awesome. Laughing
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benn

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PostSubject: Re: My '89 Caprice Wagon Project   Mon Feb 02, 2015 4:39 pm

Shocked

awesome! wasnt really expecting that! keep the updates coming!
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MalibuSSwagon



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PostSubject: Re: My '89 Caprice Wagon Project   Mon Feb 02, 2015 5:08 pm

Well nice progress! A guy down the road from me has a wagon just like this, same color, similar year. Going to stop by soon and see if I can make it mine.
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200OZ
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PostSubject: Re: My '89 Caprice Wagon Project   Mon Feb 02, 2015 5:57 pm

Good stuff. This thread just turned into one of the best threads on this forum in quite a while. Keep up the nice work Tony.
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stewzer55

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PostSubject: Re: My '89 Caprice Wagon Project   Mon Feb 02, 2015 7:38 pm

Surely one of the more exciting builds I've seen in a while, especially now with LS power and a biggo hairdryer force feeding the beast.

Are you a bricklayer type mason or a speculative freemason?
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BoxWagon

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PostSubject: Re: My '89 Caprice Wagon Project   Mon Feb 02, 2015 8:36 pm

stewzer55 wrote:
Are  you a bricklayer type mason or a speculative freemason?

A bricklayer type, more concrete work than anything.

Thanks guys. I'm real excited to get this thing going, definitely taking forever. I've always loved turbo power and sleepers so it all made sense.  Its going to be nothing more than a street car, no show car and I'm not trying to break records in the 1/4. Although the car should move around pretty nicely.

-Tony
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Andebe

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PostSubject: Re: My '89 Caprice Wagon Project   Tue Feb 03, 2015 12:18 pm

Exciting project! That will be such a sleeper when you are done. Please keep the Keystones!
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phantom 309

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PostSubject: Re: My '89 Caprice Wagon Project   Sat Feb 07, 2015 3:28 pm

i like the macgiver stuff,. well done,.
might be a bit harsh with no rubber isolators on the mounts,.

good job so far,.

interesting how that head gasket actually looked a little too small for the bore>??

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BoxWagon

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PostSubject: Re: My '89 Caprice Wagon Project   Sat Feb 07, 2015 8:33 pm

I'm sure its gonna be rough, thought about that and considered engineer something into my design. If something breaks I'll figure it out lol.

I was thinking the same thing about the gaskets. I also recently found a Jasper sticker on the block, its got me thinking now.

And the keystones are going no where. I love them on this car.

-Tony
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BoxWagon

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PostSubject: Re: My '89 Caprice Wagon Project   Tue Mar 31, 2015 7:53 pm

Sorry about the lack of updates. Recently got back from being away on the ship at work for a long time. Planning on a big update soon fellas. Late nights and I find it hard to get the computer. Little poor quality sneak peak of the car. Sums up the way things are going.

-Tony

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Andebe

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PostSubject: Re: My '89 Caprice Wagon Project   Wed Apr 01, 2015 10:41 am

Well,its in there...lol. Good to know youre keeping the Keystones. Looking forward to more updates.
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stewzer55

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PostSubject: Re: My '89 Caprice Wagon Project   Wed Apr 01, 2015 9:42 pm

I know in some installs the engine crossmember does need to be modified to fit the oil pans on theses LS engines, the one I see used most often in LS retrofits is the H3 pan. Looks great so far, whats the projected power and torque from this combination?
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BoxWagon

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PostSubject: Re: My '89 Caprice Wagon Project   Tue Apr 07, 2015 9:16 pm

Stew, I have no idea on the outputs. Plenty of of similar setups are in the 700+hp range. My tune is going to be rather conservative since I have a gen 3 sbe, not the gen 4. Id love to make 550 to 600 hp. There's a dyno day coming up in late may that i'm shooting for.

This set up is very similiar to mine but using a china 80mm turbo. Made 675 hp. This truck was actually my motivation.



I'm writing a big update right now.

-Tony
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BoxWagon

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PostSubject: Re: My '89 Caprice Wagon Project   Tue Apr 07, 2015 11:28 pm

First off, I apologize about the lack of updates. As I'm sure everyone finds, its not always easy to get to the computer. Enough excuses. So as usual this post will be more picture intensive than wordy. I'd rather see pictures personally. If anyone wants more details I'll be happy to provide.

With the weather being bad I was focusing on the little I could do in the garage not physically at the car. So I worked on my intake.

Using the stock truck intake. Might not be the prettiest but the longer runners verses car style ones are nice for a little extra torque. Plus, its what I have on hand already.

20150209_183213


First thing I did was remove the evap solenoid.

20150209_183230


This left me with a decent size port right behind the throttle body. Perfect location for an IAT sensor.

20150209_183244


I'm using an IAT out of a GMC typhoon. These come threaded. All I did was slightly ream the hole and thread it in. Ample rtv was used haha.

20150210_154712


Obviously the intake has been cleaned out, but as you can see the sensor sits nicely in the stream without being an obstruction.

20150210_155238


Next was the injectors. To keep up with the turbo  I'm using siemens Deka 80 lbers.

20150209_185556


Since these injectors are 1/2 inch longer than the stock ones. I purchased longer screws and nylon spacers. The hardware store didn't have 1/2 inch spacers. So I used two 1/4 inch spacers.

20150209_192111

20150209_192909


The spacers when between the rails and the mounts. Worked like a charm. No pictures of the spacers installed though.

20150209_190056

20150209_190859

20150209_190850





This came in, walbro e85 450lph pump. I don't plan on running e85 but its nice to have the option.

20150306_172156


Since I figured I was just being a pansy with the weather, I manned up and decided to drop the gas tank.

20150306_122620


My compressed air purging to dry out the tank haha.

20150306_131353


Next I cut off the larg hump on the tank.

20150306_161413


Then I started fabricating a cover and 2 piece flange for inside the tank. The cover is huge but made things easy. It will hold the pump, have a feed and return fitting, the electrical pass through and hang the original lever sensor.

20150308_125659


20150309_171655

Pump bracket made up. Feed and discharge fittings installed. Level sensor welded in.

20150309_171655

20150309_171707

20150309_171747



I also glued in a thick o-ring into the groove I cut into the plate. Should seal up well.

20150309_172431




The tank was put off to the side and some turbo work began.

This s475 comes with a 3.5 inch v band compressor outlet. Since I was going to be running 3 inch intercooler pipework I needed to reduce it. I purchased a flange to match up with the compressor.  

20150327_093511


For the reduction I used a 3.5 to 3 inch transition piece.

20150327_093523

20150327_093541


Welded those pieces together and drilled a hole for a sensing port.

20150327_104255


I welded a 1/4 inch npt bung in the hole. Make fun of my terrible welds haha. The don't leak so I don't care much.

20150327_105533


Keeping it low buck I'm reusing the the stock exhaust manifolds.

Bad picture, I started with the stock van manifolds and cut off the flanges.

20150312_114640


Put a chamfer on the end.

20150312_114648


These manifolds are actually cast steel, not cast iron contrary to what some people think. So I 309ed a stainless 2.25 inch vband on.

20150312_120446

20150312_121220


This turbo weighs a ton. Needed the hoist for mock up.

20150312_171534

20150312_171548


Purchased a new radiator to make things fit nicely.

Just some mock up pictures.

20150327_112611


20150327_115233

2.25 fits the t6 flange nicely.

20150327_144428


Since the engine and turbo are both hard mounted I used some flex couplings for expansion and any relative motion.

20150327_172807

20150327_172813

20150327_172839



I took a day off from building to go help a buddy grab a car. He's doing a similar turbo build on this very soon.

20150328_134944



Back to it.

20150329_181903

20150329_181910


Built a quick and dirty scrap metal turbo mount.

20150330_153952

20150330_154137


Mounted the wastegates.

20150330_204426

20150330_204509



Next I did the coldside and the downpipe. I don't have many pictures of the process. But the downpipe is hard to miss haha.

Since I cut the IC piping wanted to put some bead rolls on the cut ends. I wasn't buying a roller. So I made a time consuming but alternate tool.

20150407_200321


Not beautiful, but it works well.

20150407_200419


In this picture you can see the stock water neck on the water pump was gonna cause some problems.

20150327_172827


Its pressed in. I heated it up and pulled it out. Pie cut it, and welded it back together. Then I used some jb weld and hammered it back in but rotated. Flow will be a little turbulent haha.

20150403_104153



The turbo will be draining to the timing cover. So I had to remove the crank bolt. That sucker was tight. I wasn't buying the flywheel holding tool so I improvised.

20150403_154656


Late night. I removed the cover and drilled and tapped it. I threaded in a 1/2 npt by 5/8 barb fitting. Using jb weld to seal the outside.

20150403_203039




I also did lots of little things that I didn't really take pictures of. Wastegate dumps are done, dipstick installed, a little wire sorting, vacuum/boost lines in, radiator and intercooler mounts made and installed, wastegate springs changed to lowest ones to start, throttle and shift linkage done, etc.


Anyway, that's it for now. But since pictures say more than I can, here's how she sits.

20150406_113031

20150406_113052

Its going to be loud for sure. Not so much a sleeper I guess.

-Tony
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Bobloblaw

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PostSubject: Re: My '89 Caprice Wagon Project   Wed Apr 08, 2015 12:23 am

Not sure how I have missed this entire thread!
Great build. Thanks for taking the time to upload all the photos.
I will definitely keep watching.
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Andebe

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PostSubject: Re: My '89 Caprice Wagon Project   Wed Apr 08, 2015 11:36 am

This is going to be so wild!!!! Thanks for sharing. Awesome work.
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stewzer55

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PostSubject: Re: My '89 Caprice Wagon Project   Wed Apr 08, 2015 11:43 am

Wow!
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BoxWagon

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PostSubject: Re: My '89 Caprice Wagon Project   Tue Apr 14, 2015 5:49 am

Thanks guys! I feel the pictures make tjr thread so i try my best to remember to take them along the way.

I got a few little things done, just some wiring, new battery mounts, and some tidying up. Trying to leave it in the best position possible to have it running quickly when I get back.

Well back to the work on the rig. No updates for a while. More wrenching, only on some 9500 HP diesels for 3 weeks.

-Tony
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