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Discussion Starter #1

It begins......
5.3L LS4 w/4T65E-HD out of an '06 Monte Carlo SS. Measures about 34 1/2" long and approx 30' wide. Something like 30" tall as well. A little slice here and a few gussets/welds there, with some cut and resplined axles, and of course a million hours of wiring....This will be SO much fun! The work, and definitely the finished product! I'll take pictures and try to describe what I do and have done. I'd like to say that I'm going to jump all over this and have it done within a month, but that's being overly optimistic and wishful. I will say that it WILL get done, and done well. Wish me luck and speed.
 

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GM SELLS AN ECU THAT Will allow you to tune that engine, it will also allow it to run without all the crap that is required for the donor car. It comes with harness and ECUs. Even allows the engine to be used with out the autotragic tranny. You could then assemble it using a custom flywheel and clutch and use a F40 6-speed.
But then you have to figure out the shifter and cables... but that is really easy.

wiring is childs play if you get the GM aftermarket ECU. get ABS hubs and you should be able to make the traction control work with the autotranny.
 

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Midship Specialist
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I'm gonna say "Toyolet" looks too much like it should be pronounced like "toilet". Very interesting choice though, I look forward to seeing this progress! Good luck!
 

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Discussion Starter #7
That was the point....a joke :smile: Thanks all for the advice. I'll look into it Bill. Don't have ABS now, but was thinking of adding it anyways.
 

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Bill - the major problem with the LS4/F40 combo is the starter. F40 wants an engine mounted starter, which the LS4 doesn't have the provision for, because it originally had a transaxle mounted starter. I'm working on the LS4/F40 swap, but haven't mated the engine to tranny to see how much work it will be.
 

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Discussion Starter #10 (Edited)
I'd be highly interested in that, as I'd prefer to have a manual trans and was thinking that I'd start here and decide if I'd change it later. There's more clearance issues with the F40 + an LS4 by at least 2 additional inches, which is why I'm going to make do for now. I'd actually forgot about the starter issue since I'd made peace with having the slushbox for simplicity.

I'm not planning on modifying much until it's hung. I figured one hurdle at a time is enough. Mods will delay the actual install, and I'm shooting for the end of summer for my first test drive. We'll see. I was planning on test fitting tomorrow, but this crappy local trans place was supposed to deliver two axle seals at 1pm for the Chevy HHR sitting on my lift and never showed. I called at 3:30 and the guy said "oops, I put them in will-call. I'll hand deliver them after work". Guess what's still sitting on my lift with no axles in it at 7:30pm? Crap. KNEW I should have went to get them. Some of the newer cars are a pain to get seals and bearings for on short notice. The company this car belongs to has another one just like this that blew out it's wheel bearing and the nearest location with one in stock was in Reno. I'm new to running a shop, but quickly learning about researching parts availability ahead of time. This is one more example of needing to stay on top of that. I've hardly ever personally had issues tracking down parts in the past, but having a few fleet accounts has taught me about high mileage newer vehicles. Learning never stops in this business. If I feel like putting that car somewhat back together and pushing it out of the way, I may still make progress this weekend.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Good news. I found a couple of seals to finish off the car on my lift, so I'll be spending time with my car this weekend. First time with a build thread of my own, but I've read many. I'll try to remember to take pictures of everything as I go.
 

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I would seriously consider keeping teh stock trans. This will really simplify you getting the car done.

With good specific output, the 5.3L LS4 V8 also delivers torque in exceptionally linear
fashion--90 percent of its 323 lb-ft is available between 1500 rpm and 5200 rpm ? and
surprising fuel economy. Its front-drive installation once again demonstrates the inherent
packaging flexibility in the small-block V8. With this new small block, the engineers and
analysts who claimed cam-in-block engines could not meet the demands of a new
millennium--or increasingly stringent emissions standards?were proven patently wrong.
That is one hell of a lot of torque. Most FWD transaxle wont handle that amount of torque for that long. That includes the F40.

You will need to have GM turn off certain functions in the ECU. This may be difficult to find as no GM dealer is going to risk their franchise by modifying the ECU.

Now after a bit more research it most likely will not be an easy swap.
The mechanical parts are the easy bits, the electronics not so much.

http://paceperformance.com/index.asp?PageAction=VIEWCATS&Category=12524

the above link shows ECU available for LS1, LS2, LS3 and LS7 engines. The LS4 just is not covered.
But my contacts at GM a few years back stated they could even make those ECUs work very well with the Northstar. So I don't see why it can't be built and pre-tuned for the LS4.
Now for the really bad news. Most likely that ECU will not control the transmission. And the GM trannies use a ECU to make them work.
I do have a programmable transmission controller I can sell for $500. The harness it uses works with the Northstar trans, but you can easily make up one to fit your trans. The programming is also out there for this trans so all you would have to do is download it and upload to the controller. Let me know. It is sitting on my bench collecting dust as my Northstar uses a F40.
 

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Discussion Starter #14 (Edited)
There's a shift kit for the trans, as well as a company that has a tuning program for both the ECM and the trans computer. I'll look into pricing soon. I have the engine ECM, the trans ECM, and the body ECM from the donor car, as well as the complete engine harness, the pedal, and the cluster. I'll have the dash harness next week to ease install of the cluster. First: Hang it all in the car. I'll focus on that for now and switch to electronics after it's in the car fully. If I want that controller at that point I will definitely hit you up.

-Edit- Thanks for the info Bill.
 

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I still might have connections at GM if they are still there after the turmoil of last year. These guys worked with the NASCAR side of things, I met them at the Virginia Formula SAE and their boss was my boss for the event. Good people that just want to make things work.
 

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Discussion Starter #16
Here's a few pics:

This first 7 are of the engine sitting on the ground and I've lowered the car over it using my lift. Looked promising.



 

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Discussion Starter #18
All of the pictures from this point on are of it lifted into the bay and nearly exactly where I want it.



Here's a shot of the space between the front exhaust manifold and the front firewall.


This one is of the rear engine manifold where it meets the rear firewall/trunk. I may trim some sheetmetal here, or make a downpipe that goes straight down before it 90's back.
 

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Discussion Starter #19
Here I'll consider trimming a little to clearance the serpentine belt. I'll figure out my belt route and go from there.


Believe it or not, I may not have to trim these off. I'll probably do it anyways and create a new mount location directly above it using the same structure/area.


Almost perfect.


The car will ride a little higher than this, but it gives a good idea as to the overall height compared to the suspension.
 

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Discussion Starter #20
The view from the passenger's side.


Here's a view straight through the passenger side hub.


This is the same from the driver's side.


It looks as though I don't have to cut much if at all to fit this in. Very good first day.
 
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