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Old 12-14-2015, 06:46 PM   #1
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Default Chimp's LQ4 6.0 242

8/8/18 - 8.8 goodness below

Here is a quick recap of my 242 LSx swap. I don't care what haters say about originality - this project was a pretty big reach for me – I haven’t been wrenching for long and just kind of took this up as a hobby. In hindsight, there were probably many other hobbies to choose from that don’t make you want to stab yourself in the face on a regular basis – oh well.

I couldn’t have even started this project without help and support from some knowledgeable friends – especially TurboTim at Anything Automotive who let me use space at his shop.

Started in early 2014 and finished in fall of this year – mostly working on it during the winter. Been driving the car for the last couple of months and it’s been a blast!
Here is the car I started with, a stock 82 242 that I towed out of the dessert and into the rust belt in 2011. The car was running on kjet but not well.

After I got it home and got kjet working well, I put a worn out 15g and 90+ manifold on this. It was OK but not great. Then I did some bad things trying to push more out of Kjet. I increased fuel pressure and did the mod to the mechanical timing advance but wasn’t able to go above ~14 psi without constant detonation. I also put in a new harness and redid all the stock suspension with mostly poly bushings, lowering springs, struts/shocks etc. At some point an ipd cam and npr IC was added. Kjet seemed to be doing OK on fuel but not timing so I did a MS conversion with some big injectors for e85. Eventually it started making some rotational/rod knock type noises and could barely start. Here is the MS conversion that ended up being pulled out.

So this ish has to go. A lot of it ended up on the 745.


My initial plan was to build a 300+hp performance redblock. After making a rough budget for parts and machining for the b21ft I began to reconsider. When I factored in vendor drama and the very high likelihood that my poor tuning skills would break it within the first year, the v8 swap started to look more appealing. Besides, it seemed like the learning curve would be similar for either project – I knew exactly the same about swapping as I did about building a motor - jack.

I got a whole 6.0 iron block lq4 on ebay. Standing on the pallet as delivered, it was enormous and didn’t look like it had a chance of fitting with the hood attached.

It was a little crusty. I think a squirrel had been living in it.

Cleaned it up. I also spend an entire weekend with a power washer and wire brush trying to remove a good portion of the New Mexico dessert from the empty bay – when mixed with oil and allowed to cure for 30 years, it makes some kind of impenetrable cement.

Following the TB/hackster swap recipe, I got the mast lo-pro oil pan. The neck on the truck water pump seemed a little problematic and unsightly so I swapped over to car accessories using the fbody locations. In hindsight, I would have worked harder to use the truck stuff – or I would have started out a naked motor or long block. The boss for the alt bracket is undrilled on the lq4 for I had to drill/tap that and also use an aftermarket PS bracket adapter. I started with a corvette crank pulley but it didn’t line up so I think I ended up with an fbody underdrive pulley.

One of 30+ test fits.

Mock-up with truck intake. I think this would have worked with some shaving but I stumbled across a crazy deal for a performance typhoon intake and opted for that.

Shop kitty with gps bling!

Here is what it was looking like underneath.

I wasn’t crazy about the placement even with the Mast pan – it was either too high or too close to the firewall. I probably could have got it to work with stock cross member but I didn’t want to risk it so the cross member got modded and a little reinforced for good measure.

At this point, a lot of hammering and test fitting occurred. I’m sure I moved more metal than was required. This portion really seemed to take me a long time. Moving the metal wasn’t hard – but moving just the right amount was. Small changes in engine placement made big differences in the tunnel. Pro-tip: with the right touch, the air hammer with a big flat bit sculpts sheet metal like butter – you can even knead in ok looking ridges and corners. Finally the motor and trans could be dropped-in as one piece.

4l60e from a fbody Camaro. Hooker hugger manifolds. I copied Hackster’s motor mount approach and used the stock x-member mount location. These seem to work well but if I were to do it again, I might look at a frame mounted approach.

Even with the huggers, I was having clearance issues with the steering shaft. I could have probably created a small gap by wiggling and shimming before final mounting but that didn’t give me a warm fuzzy feeling.

It just seemed too close and I didn’t want it to come back to haunt me so I made some modifications to the steering geometry. It turns out that the spline pattern on the rack and shaft is the same as an old vw bug so lots of weld-on steering parts are available for the dune buggy crowd. I elongated the middle section of the shaft.

Mock up.

Installed. Making this part took me two attempts because even a small amount off center on the splined coupling made for a huge wobble towards the firewall. Lots of room now.

This is how the 4l60 lined up with the stock shaft using an auto front shaft. I don’t think I could have measured a better fit. The u joint is a 1330(?) and I found a 4l60 to 1330 slip yoke in just the right length on ebay. My original plan was to use a custom single driveshaft but I was also running out of time and money. This was so easy that I decided to give it a shot just to get it drivable. So far, it’s actually held up with stock power. I will definitely make some sort of loop before it sees any hard use and then I can (more) safely see where the weak point is – who knows, maybe the driveshaft will outlast the trans. You can also see the minor modification to the cross member to allow a stock gm mount.

Details coming together

I sent the stock harness and computer out to be reworked through a service I found on ebay. The cost was reasonable and it was an overall good experience. I can look up the vendor if anyone is interested. Battery in trunk so ecu will get mounted on battery tray.

It took me a little while to figure out the dbw pedal. I tried a couple mods to make the truck version I had work but it just wouldn’t fit well. I ended up buying another version of the truck pedal and splicing on the original pedal – works and fits pretty good.

Getting the car to run was a bit of a challenge. After I got the ecu and harness installed, the ecu would not show crank events. I spent several weeks troubleshooting this – rather trying to learn how stuff works and then troubleshooting. Anyways, it turned out to be something stupid and I’m still a bit too embarrassed to go into details except to say that the gm ecu’s work better if they have more than a 9v supply. Once that was sorted the car popped on the first turn and is now the easiest starting car that I own. After getting it to start, I still had issues with dbw. Throttle would self-test and work with car off but not when running. This also took a little while to figure and featured an appearance by the parts cannon. Oddly, it turned out to be a vacuum leak kicking it into limp.

As fun as it was driving it around the block with a couple stubs of pipe on the headers, I figured it should get exhaust. I went dual 2.25 into 3 and then followed stock routing the rest of the way back with 3”. The 2.25 was pretty tight on the drivers side but seems to work. It runs pretty close to the fuel lines so I wrapped it for a little extra protection. I used a 20-something inch long 7” round magnaflow at the stock muffler location and put a cheap glasspack at the beginning of the 3” section. This combo breathes and sounds really good – cruises quietly and braaaps loudly when you crack the throttle. Drone isn’t too bad either.

All put together:

Now I have a laundry list of stuff that I want to improve on so I’m sure it will continue to keep me busy. Once I get a stronger rear end, I will probably start to think about turbos but right now this car is more than fast enough for a summer daily/hooner vehicle.

Last edited by turbochimp; 08-08-2018 at 08:04 PM.. Reason: 8.8
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Old 12-14-2015, 07:15 PM   #2
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Need videos Nicely done.
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Old 12-14-2015, 07:55 PM   #3
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I know I glossed over hundreds of details - would be glad to share if anyone is interested or planning similar.

I ended up using the stock radiator. I couldn't figure out how to fit a v8 rad without significant alterations and the mid size ones like taurus etc didn't seem to offer enough extra volume/surface area to justify a kludgy non-stock fit. I haven't tested in hot summer but so far the stock has been more than enough - i put too low of a thermostat in and it struggles to get to operating temp with heat on. The underdrive pulley is a different story though - temps can spike at idle if I dont give it some revs. I don't think rad size would have any effect on that.

I used stock guages where possible. Tach worked from gm ecu output but only after tieing in a 12v pullup through a resistor. Before the pull-up no signal whatsoever was detectable from the ecu - so don't let that fool you. For oil, I tapped in a vdo 5bar sender into a 10AN plug on the mast pan. VDO makes a 300F temp sender in a M12 thread that will fit the pass side plug on the rear of the head for clt. I haven't figured out a good speedo solution yet - I think I will have to buy a electric to mechanical adapter device. In the meantime, the bluetooth obd unit works great with the torque app on my phone.
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Old 12-16-2015, 03:17 PM   #4
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Started to make a strut brace. Its a nice improvement -the effect of the bracing is noticeable - its like you can feel the suspension working harder. Lower brace will be next. It mounts to the firewall on a piece of angle. Still need to grind down rough edges and paint.
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Old 12-16-2015, 05:51 PM   #5
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I love it! +1 on the videos
My other projects http://www.pbase.com/mikejr
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Old 12-16-2015, 06:00 PM   #6
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How did the intake fit? I've heard good and bad about those PP manifolds.
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Ohh god no, I'd rather eat hot diarrhea than drive a 7/9
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Old 12-16-2015, 11:33 PM   #7
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The intake fit fine but I did make sure to get the newer gasket The early waxed paper one did not seal well. The fuel rail that comes with it isn't great. The fittings are npt, not o-ring and you have to crank them to within a hair of cracking to get them to seal. If I hade to pay full-price I would have looked as something else but I found one for ~$250.
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Old 12-17-2015, 02:03 AM   #8
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Really sympathetic project. Nicely executed. One thing...

Originally Posted by turbochimp View Post
Are those front brake lines hanging loose like this now you drive it, or was this during the work-in-progress? Because it's... well, dangerous.
Ambitious but rubbish.

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Old 12-17-2015, 06:48 AM   #9
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So let me get this straight, all you needed to keep the stock driveshaft was a new slip yolk and u joint? Mind sharing the part numbers?
1983 242dl
*6.0 lq4 swaped* Build thread
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Old 12-17-2015, 09:51 AM   #10
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OP - coming along nicely! Sent you a pm with some questions....
'82 242 6.2L; '17 Mazda3; '16 CrossTrek
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Old 12-17-2015, 11:17 AM   #11
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That's gonna hurt some feelings.
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easiest way to run 11's is to build a 9 second car and turn it down a little.
My Project (It's a 1979 244DL...sort of.)
K-Jet to Megasquirt Article

The Departed: 1981 245, 1983 245 Turbo, 1983 244 Turbo, 1983 242 Turbo, 1984 244, 1985 245 Turbo, 1989 244, 1989 765, 1990 245 Turbo, 1991 244, 1992 245, 1997 855
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Old 12-17-2015, 11:32 AM   #12
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looks good, reminds me that I need to budget a few hours to loom my harness up so it doesn't look quite as hacked together.
"They bum rushed them in their own crib, they drank all their beer, they partied with their ladies and they left with the trophy"

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Old 12-17-2015, 02:42 PM   #13
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Originally Posted by 2fast242gt View Post
So let me get this straight, all you needed to keep the stock driveshaft was a new slip yolk and u joint? Mind sharing the part numbers?
Yeah, I hadn't planned it like that, but that's how it turned out. I think I had to swap out the front m46 drive shaft piece with the auto version - there's a couple inches difference if I remember. The shaft I had came with a 1310 u joint which I connected to this.

The slip yoke had about an inch of travel before bottoming out. I had - still have - some concerns about the strength of the 1310. I got a higher end Spicer non-servicable joint in the hope that it might be a bit better than stock. The research and back of envelope math I did says it should just handle it - its probably not the weakest link in the stock setup anyways. I am OK with it for now because the street tires I have seem to be acting as a fairly efficient fuse for torque. Comming out of a turn I can one wheel wonder through 70mph yo. I really need lsd.
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Old 12-17-2015, 03:17 PM   #14
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eh, I haven't busted one yet, I've got a conversion ujoint on both of my cars.
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Old 12-18-2015, 07:05 PM   #15
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Here are some crappy vids that someone took at a Mercedes meet.

Exhaust note

200 foot single stripe!

Last edited by turbochimp; 12-18-2015 at 07:13 PM..
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Old 12-20-2015, 10:53 PM   #16
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Here is a video from the torque app during a bit of a pull. Traction control kicked in at one point and it had to be pedaled a little bit.
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Old 08-08-2018, 07:46 PM   #17
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Default 8.8 update

Now with Ford 8.8 goodness

I've been threatening to do the 8.8 swap for a while now. I've had the Ford axle sitting around for some time but was hesitant to pull the trigger. Finally, a friend of mine and fabricator par-excellence took the reigns for the project.

I had all the adjustable supporting bits from Ben and my buddy wanted to machine all new tabs instead of cutting off the originals.

So, Usual method - cut down the long side by the difference between the long and short axle, get a second short axle, profit.

Here is the donor alongside an old rusty 1030 we had for mock-up purposes:

Cutting down:

We purchased the ruler/alignment tool on ebay. Highly recommended.

We may have cut more inboard than necessary even still, this is what the alignment tool showed us as straight:

Look at the awesome tabs Brandon had machined and then welded up:

Pictured are Ben's rear axle bushings. In the end, those where machined to remove the tapered steps and produce a press fit into the sleeve.

More tab goodness:

We had the same machinist drill axles and rotors for 5x108

Used the ford calipers. Made a bracket on the axle similar to the stock one where the volvo hoses attached. We used 2 passenger side ford hoses out of the calipers and then hardlined to the bracket with the volvo hoses.

Welding up:

and put it in........

F#$K!! Something ain't right

Much hand-wringing ensued and we finally came to accept that all the tabs had to be moved :/

Round-two - this time we pulled the stock one and put it up to the car. This ended up being an epic all-nighter.

Damn near perfect now - custom 3" shaft fits nicely in the tunnel and wheels are centered! Drove the car out of the shop to breakfast at 6am.

Had a chance to test it full bore on the track at powercruise usa (the best open event in the country imo - I was the only Volvo - you guys should come next year).

The car drives fantastic! It pulls hard with half the drama. Before, when I hammered it, wheels would spin past 70 mph - which is nice for a smoke show, but not so fast. Now, with decent summer tires on the rear, I only get the tiniest chirp from a full dig. It has really changed the feel of the car - its hard to describe.

I didn't get any good track video this year but found a snippet shot by someone else of me flying by into the 1/4 straight at BIR:

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Old 08-13-2018, 08:26 AM   #18
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Looks awesome! Do you have more information on the axle alignment tubes shown in post 17?

EDIT.... found it! https://www.ebay.com/itm/Rearend-Nar...8AAOxyzHxRN5ix

Last edited by 740atl; 08-13-2018 at 08:52 AM..
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