5.3 LS e36 sedan

Thread in 'Project Cars and Builds Threads' started by Dutchman97, Jan 21, 2020.

  1. Dutchman97

    Dutchman97 New Member

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    What’s up everyone, I’ve been following builds on this forum for years and years, always inspired by the cool shit people build. After spending 4 years in a Honda using it as a track car, I finally moved on to a project I’ve been wanting to build since I was 15 years old. Finally got around to buying the shell, and since then it’s been nothing but a great learning experience.
     
  2. Dutchman97

    Dutchman97 New Member

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    This is the car when I picked it up back in March 2018. Car came with a 350sbc V8 which I originally had high intentions of swapping in for the sheer simplicity of it all, however I ditched simplicity, which I’ll get to later
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  3. crazyae86

    crazyae86 Well-Known Member

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    welcome mate in dw
     
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  4. Dutchman97

    Dutchman97 New Member

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    So after being persuaded by friends to ditch the old carbureted V8 in favour of a more modern 5.3 LS based truck engine, I sold the 350sbc for 450$ CAD and bought myself a new power plant (along with the ecu) with that same amount of money from a local scrap yard littered with these trucks. I really wish I took a picture of the engine at the time because it was unbelievably gunked up. the car sat for a few months and then finally got the motivation to start disassembling the engine. With the help of a couple of cans of oven cleaner, elbow grease, and a pressure washer, I was able to get the block looking less shitty. When paint time came along I opted for the classic Chevy orange in homage to the 350sbc that almost made its way into the car.
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    Don't worry, I was not keeping this timing chain cover as it had a small crack in it so I didn't mind the overspray.
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  5. Dutchman97

    Dutchman97 New Member

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    Next up it was time to send the heads off to get cleaned and resurfaced, the shop had it done within the day. Yes maybe setting the heads gently on the pavement wasn't the best spot for a photo shoot but I couldn't resist at the time. Also worth noting that since I spent the first 2 years of this build not documenting every little detail like I wish I did, I will be going back to the shop soon to take photos of parts I acquired shortly after this photo was taken and filling in the minor holes in the timeline to make sure everything flows properly for you all
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  6. Dutchman97

    Dutchman97 New Member

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    I now present to you what is probably going to be my personal all time best parts deal. Found a guy selling a Sikky Stage 3 LS e36 swap kit for 2400$ CAD about a 6 hour drive away from me. This kit usually sells for roughly 7000$ CAD shipped so this was WELL worth the road trip. This kit alone accelerated my build timeline by one year instead of having to get the swap parts individually. Kit consisted of a reflashed ecu, driveshaft, beautiful harness meant to plug directly to the factory e36 X plug, motor and trans mounts, oil filter relocation kit, rear sump baffled oil pan with new pickup tube, a slim steering shaft, and beautiful headers.
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  7. Dutchman97

    Dutchman97 New Member

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    I then worked on getting the entire front end out of the car to clean up some parts and also get ready to put the diy angle kit I sourced from a guy who had an sr20 swapped e36 which was really cool to see. I'll have to get pictures of the kit for this thread but it consists of e46 control arms , cut knuckles, rack spacers, and e34 tie rods. Also got a friend to help give the steering rack a much needed scrub before getting the new tie rods installed 78186200_1475374232620543_6620517822780932096_n. 83819879_899522557138085_4761151683487072256_n. 83134977_170991127549745_1915512000486572032_n.
     
  8. Dutchman97

    Dutchman97 New Member

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    Another fun little parts find in a place I would've never expected was scoring these 17" Style 32's at my local scrap yard for 80$ the pair (unfortunately the other 2 were nowhere to be found). Typically I NEVER check the wheels containers but the literal one time I do I find these stuffed waaaay in the back. Got right home for a little test fit and am very very pleased with the fitment. They're on my list of dream oem wheels to run and will likely get them powdercoated white when I can afford to do so.

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    Shortly after that I also found a pair of of rear camber arms that I'll be giving a fresh coat of paint to. Funny part about this purchase is that the guy actually used to be one of the old owners of this car when it used to have its M42 turbo setup! We both couldn't believe the odds of that 82890331_203185327523150_1332412633197838336_n.
     
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  9. Dutchman97

    Dutchman97 New Member

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    After completely stripping the interior, I revealed the darkest secret this car had waiting. Living in Canada im no stranger to rust but this was not something I expected considering that the rest of the shell is in rather good condition. The driver side floor had a huge rust hole (to put it lightly) patched up with sheet metal held in with screws. Also have to sort out the wonderful fab work done to the shock tower that made way for the previous turbo setup 83680314_868192190297391_4456937225766043648_n. 84343542_487179731995424_4709087750622543872_n.
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    To take my mind off of that mess I moved on to assembling the engine. Through a local LS parts facebook page I was able to find a brand new Brian Tooley Racing camshaft (specs I forget unfortunately) as well as the Brian Tooley Racing upgraded springs and retainers all for only 250$! Couldn't say no naturally. I also bought the Comp Cams trunion rocker arm bearing upgrade which is an absolute must for these engines. Another "must have" upgrade I installed was an Improved Racing oil pickup tube brace.

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    #9 Dutchman97, Feb 1, 2020
    Last edited: Feb 4, 2020
  10. Dutchman97

    Dutchman97 New Member

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    For transmission options I wasn't terribly limited as there a lot of companies who make adapter plates for various transmissions to bolt up to the LS. I could've also bought a T56 but, just like the adapter plate route for say a CD009, they're way out of budget for me so I picked up an NV3500 which is another GM transmission (off a pickup truck) which will bolt right up. I got it for a fantastic price and the man I bought it from started with 10 in his inventory and I was lucky enough to get the last one.

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    As you can all notice, the shifter on these transmissions sits in the middle which would cause quite the issue in a car application because I'd have to reach through my dash to shift. With a bit of research I found this simple yet genius solution to easily solve the shifter location problem. (Not my car, just showing the idea behind it all).
    Remote Shifter.
    After buying the transmission I ordered a 2001 Camaro clutch kit. Ideally I'd like to get a ceramic clutch disc to better handle the abuse.
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    I also picked up a welded 2.92 differential to replace my stock welded 318is differential. The goal here is to see if the longer geared diff can help regulate (for the lack of a better word) the short geared transmission I'll be running. Of course this is all theory in my head and I'll find out if I had the right idea or not once I take it for its first ever drive. Right now its looking a little sorry for itself but hoping to get around to possibly painting it.
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    #10 Dutchman97, Feb 4, 2020
    Last edited: Feb 4, 2020
  11. Dutchman97

    Dutchman97 New Member

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    Since the original harness in my car was chopped up and spliced in every way imaginable, I gutted absolutely everything leaving only ends of wiring for the power windows and lights. I've always wanted a car to have a switch panel so this was the perfect opportunity seeing as this car is only going to have what's necessary. I bought this specific switch panel as it comes built in with a 12V source, voltage gauge, and 2 USB charging ports. The total of 3 charging ports is nice since this car is registered and will be driven on the street so when I drive it I can charge my phone. Even more appealing is that I plan on using a tablet with a bluetooth OBDII reader to act as my cluster so I'll have a power source for that through this panel.
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    Next up was a project I had put off for a while because wiring scares the shit out of me, primarily because I don't fully understand it. After doing my research and buying the necessary materials I went and made my own fuse/relay panel. It felt extremely rewarding to have done something like this on my own and made the thought of tacking little wiring jobs less daunting. Very happy with how it came out for my first time. I'm missing one relay in the photos that I forgot to install but the panel will control my Ignition, Fuel Pump, Fan, Wipers, Lights, and Starter.

    Not all my measurements were super precise for the final mounting on the plate but I can live with it for now, I was just happy that the job itself came out as well as it did for my first time.
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    I then decided that I'll mount the relay panel where the glovebox would normally go as I wanted a tidy looking spot to slot everything while still having it in the open to "display" the panel. Also easy access was the ultimate deciding factor in the end. I still need to do some final trimming as the edges of the metal plate are looking rough but looks like it'll be right at home. The switch panel itself will sit where the radio unit used to be as I won't have any sort of entertainment system in the car anyways.
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    Need to sort out the ground wires to tie the clean routing of the wires together.
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  12. Dutchman97

    Dutchman97 New Member

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    Not much to update on recently. I work in a non-heated garage and the last few days where I live in Canada we’ve been getting -22 Celsius weather which put a halt to all my weekend plans. I did however get as far as mounting my Sikky headers just for extra motivation but that motivation plummeted when I stripped a thread going full gorilla mode on the bolt like an idiot (I still don’t understand what what going through my mind going that tight) .... at least the headers look great and I can’t wait to hear the car on first startup
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    Left the bolt threaded out as a reminder that I need to fix the threads in the head before moving on. Likely going to drill out the hole and install a helicoil to fix the issue 22E8F613-D6B7-4A65-9ACA-A8E3E6D7A872. 4AA9400D-D572-4F77-974D-A1E955C37061.
     
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  13. Dutchman97

    Dutchman97 New Member

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    Temperature got much better today and managed to get a pretty nice piece of the puzzle installed which I've been excited to complete for a while. Got my DIY angle kit installed and everything fit up very nicely, excited to see how it feels in drift. To recap, the kit consists of e46 LCA's, cut knuckles, rack spacers, and e90 tie rods (I believe). In an earlier post I said they were e34 tie rods but was mistaken, I would however like to switch to the e34 ones.
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    Also made sure to get 4 new oem subframe bolts as the old ones had threads that were very messed up. As expected the new ones went in like butter.
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    And of course had to top it all off with a fitment test. I would have loved to show a photo of the angle but some may have noticed that I don't have the nuts for my tie rods and thats because I lost them lol.... so any attempt to turn the wheel failed as the tie rods would pop right out. Perhaps I can do a quick zip tie fix for demonstration purposes next time.
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    #13 Dutchman97, Feb 16, 2020
    Last edited: Feb 16, 2020
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  14. Dutchman97

    Dutchman97 New Member

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    With the help of an Amazon helicoil kit I was able to repair the damage done to the head and all is good in the world

    This was the first time I had ever needed to drill something and tap it so I was shitting myself just a little because I couldn’t afford to mess this up. Everything went smooth
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    Only complaint about the kit is that it didn’t even come with the tool to drive in the tap by hand, pretty ridiculous honestly. Luckily I already have a large tap kit with the handle so I used that

    I also got around to removing the janky hydro handbrake the car came with, going to get something a lot sturdier that I can have a bit more confidence in. Also something that doesn’t have a crooked reservoir will be nice lol

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  15. Dutchman97

    Dutchman97 New Member

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    Finally got a chance to sandblast my rear camber arms at school today and will hopefully have them painted soon. Likely going to go with purple BFE4BFE3-8A4A-4801-886F-3802478139EF.
     
  16. Dutchman97

    Dutchman97 New Member

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    Finally moving on to bolstering up the rear end to handle the abuse that the car will be put through. Got my Powerflex subframe bushings in, now waiting on a friend to make me all the rear end reinforcement plates including a diff brace. I’ll still have to get diff bushings and RTA bushings as well before I consider the rear end “done”.
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  17. Dutchman97

    Dutchman97 New Member

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    Recently picked up this electric power steering pump out of a Mazda3 at a junk yard. Hoping to convert the e36 to EPS however the only downside is that this unit is very very tall no thanks to the reservoir location so finding a suitable spot to tuck it in the engine bay might be tough.
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  18. Dutchman97

    Dutchman97 New Member

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    Today I picked up my “custom” 6 puck ceramic clutch disc. The original plan was to take the Camaro disc part of my kit and have the 26 spline center be changed out for a 10 spline to work with my input shaft but it wasn’t possible. At that point I gave the okay for the shop to make me a new one and I’m very excited about it. I can finally install it all and bolt up the transmission.
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    Also in other news, I unfortunately didn’t do enough thorough research about my EPS pump from the Mazda and turns out it will not work as it does in fact communicate with the ecu. Instead I’m going to pick up the electric pump from a Volvo S40 as I was told it will 100% work.
     
  19. Dutchman97

    Dutchman97 New Member

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    Finally got around to doing a quick rattle can paint job on my camber arms and I’m happy with how they came out. Much better than how I bought them
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    I also picked up the new electric power steering pump from a Volvo S40 to replace the one I got from the Mazda. This new pump just requires a power, ground, and signal wire which will be hooked up to my switch panel. I got lucky as this was the last pump left out of four S40’s in that yard.
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    While at the yard I also picked up a set of four 18x8.5 oem wheels (I don’t know what Style # they are) and I love how they look. The other two wheels are just out of frame. It’s always fun finding really nice oem wheels at 50$/each. Will be getting this set powder coated white eventually like I will with my Style 32’s
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  20. Dutchman97

    Dutchman97 New Member

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    Very exciting parts day yesterday as I took delivery to many many crucial pieces to the puzzle. Got my RCI fuel cell with a level sending unit, Walbro pump, 2 filters, Wilwood hydro, and a few other oem replacement parts not pictured like wheel bearings and my new e34 tie rods.
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    Also placed my order for a set of BC Racing coilovers so those should arrive in 3-4 weeks. I’m trying to have the car done by the start of June so I’ve entered a sort of crunch time with all my parts ordering. A lot should be happening within the next 2-3 months!
     

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