Builds Another LS swap? Really???

Joined
Feb 20, 2017
Messages
563
Location
Tucson, AZ
Been a while since I updated, so I'll give a go here. Work, life and other stuff has gotten in the way of spending quality time with my project, but now that the heat is here and my garage is an oven, I can finally get some time to spin wrenches. I started with determining the location of the jerry can holder I am having built by Avid Offroad. I have a 38 gallon fuel tank, so I never planned to carry extra fuel on the bumper. I wanted to keep it trim and light, but I DO want to be able to carry a water supply sufficient for a good length trip. Enter a single jerry carrier. I will mount it on the hinge side of the swing, and have it positioned so that a hand pump can be used to dispense water right into a pot in cooking efforts. I laid out the swing to include a stove table behind the spare to keep the tail gate free and the stove out from under the lift gate(because you know, random flare ups do happen).

IMG_20200328_170202647.jpg


IMG_20200328_171210960.jpg


IMG_20200328_171227074.jpg
 
Joined
Feb 20, 2017
Messages
563
Location
Tucson, AZ
Next up was to install the new brakes that I have been holding in the parts cabinet for way too long. I was amazed at just how worn out the rear brakes were. While I was in there, I overhauled the parking brakes too. I will say this....WTF Toyota? That parking brake design is a rube-goldberg. I was cussing them when it came time to reassemble it all. The calipers were good, so I just cleaned the up and gave everything a coat of paint that I could get to. The pads were on the verge of engaging the squealers.

IMG_20200510_165855778.jpg


IMG_20200510_171253820.jpg


IMG_20200510_171306765.jpg


IMG_20200510_171314550.jpg


IMG_20200510_171522532.jpg
 
Joined
Feb 20, 2017
Messages
563
Location
Tucson, AZ
I have also been swapping all the suspension bushings out as I go. Huge thanks to @GeoRoss for helping me with his labor, and the use of his bushing dies. Those bushings are freaking in there and have no desire to come out. It is all my Harbor Freight 20 Ton press can manage on a few. I dont have any pics because it has been all my attention to focus on not smashing anything. I halted my progress on the bushings due to receiving a recall notice for the 6 ton jack stands I was using. I was able to get the castor plates installed, and correct the angle on my front bump stops. I had to extend them a bit more than the standard 2" due to have the LS oil pan risking losing a battle with the tie rod.

IMG_20200411_152226075.jpg


IMG_20200411_152233960.jpg


IMG_20200411_152307106.jpg
 
Joined
Feb 20, 2017
Messages
563
Location
Tucson, AZ
The biggest item I have been hammering on is the install of the Ron Davis radiator I picked up just as the quarantine started. I was looking forward to seeing the operation when I went to Glendale to pick it up, but Mr. Covid denied me. This rad is beautiful, but for what they cost, they should be. Not saying its not worth it. High quality comes at a premium price. This one is rated up to 600hp, so lets hope that I finally have the cooling woes nailed after this.

IMG_20200502_135101416.jpg


IMG_20200502_135115906.jpg


IMG_20200502_135131141.jpg


IMG_20200502_135153977.jpg
 
Joined
Feb 20, 2017
Messages
563
Location
Tucson, AZ
I am a believer that mistakes are an opportunity to begin again, but more intelligently. My first attempt at a shroud, I used a Summit Racing shroud kit. I TIG welded the entire thing, and two things happened. 1. My clearance between the fan and the surround was way too generous. 2. My limited TIG experience lead me to putting way too much heat into the aluminum and the shroud warped. According to Ron Davis himself, you want 3/8" clearance between fan and surround. I had almost an inch. When it is that generous, you get a phenomenon called inversion. That is when the air pulled by the fan swirls off the tip of the blades and heads righ back in front. Instead of pulling air through, you just swirl it around the tips of the blades. The L96 fan is a 20" 7 blade fan. It has PLENTY of capacity to move enough air, I just had a crap shroud. Beginning again, but smarter.

IMG_20200502_174629348.jpg


IMG_20200502_174638546.jpg


IMG_20200502_174644340.jpg


IMG_20200502_174650409.jpg


IMG_20200502_174657359.jpg
 
Joined
Feb 20, 2017
Messages
563
Location
Tucson, AZ
Round 2: This time, I cut some blocks of wood so that I could wrap strips of 16ga aluminum around the fan to get the 3/8" gap. I used a metal cutting blade on my table saw to get the width right, and cut long strips. Then after hemming and hawing around for way too long on the purchase, I broke down and bought a 3-in-1 shear/brake/roller. I researched it for way too long and discovered that it doesn't matter whether it says, Harbor Freight, Eastwood, JET, Grizzly, etc., they all come out of the same Chinese factory. I bought the Central Machinery one from Harbor Freight with a 20% off coupon, and ran some test pieces. I will say that my only regret is not buying this when I started this whole project. It works great. Most of the reviews and failure stories I read all came back to this NOT being a pro machine. It is simply a hobbyist rig. Of course it is! Having worked in heavy fabrication/manufacturing, good machine tools costs real money, but everything can work when used within its limitations. The third pic shows the 2 halves of the surround. I rolled the curve, sheared the length, and broke the tabs that will allow the top half of the surround to be removed. That way, I can remove the fan without having to remove the whole shroud, batteries, and headlights. Think of it as a Bush-Proofing measure. I also picked up a porta band saw and a Swag Offroad table. The right tool makes all the difference.

I'll post up more pics of the progress as it goes. Hopefully, I can finish it this weekend.

IMG_20200528_142959468.jpg


IMG_20200528_143056537.jpg


IMG_20200528_143022900.jpg


IMG_20200528_143032283.jpg


IMG_20200528_143043477.jpg
 
Joined
Feb 20, 2017
Messages
563
Location
Tucson, AZ
Another post just because I need to keep it going. I was able to scoop up a Rhino Rack and 270 awning off another CSCer. I am very thankful for the great deal. I also ordered a pair of the shovel holders. After using a full size shovel while out with @D_Web, I realized it was another item I wanted to have with me on trail. I cannot wait to get back out and use this thing again. It is a passion project to build my ultimate 80 series, and I love working on it, but I need some trail time soon. I also have many more goodies in the part cabinet waiting to be installed.

IMG_20200528_170242766.jpg


IMG_20200528_170258600_MP.jpg


IMG_20200528_170325794.jpg
 

Funner

SILVER Star
Joined
Jun 29, 2011
Messages
3,119
Location
Phoenix, AZ
 
Do you still have enough clearance to get out of the garage? I am guessing you have maybe an inch with the door rolled up.
 
Joined
Feb 20, 2017
Messages
563
Location
Tucson, AZ
Do you still have enough clearance to get out of the garage? I am guessing you have maybe an inch with the door rolled up.
Brian, that was a big concern of mine, and the reason I removed the Surco rack that I am trying to sell. It clears by about 1.5 inches or 30mm. The 80 lives in the garage, and I really wanted the rack/awning on there, so I was relieved to see it fit.
 
Joined
Feb 20, 2017
Messages
563
Location
Tucson, AZ
Quick update: The Ron Davis radiator is working like a charm. When driving, it holds at 195F all day long, no matter what kind of driving it is. When stopped in traffic in Tucson summer heat, it has crept up to 207F, but if I drop into neutral and brings the revs up to around 1700 rpms, the temps drops right back down to 195F. Fantastic. Are RD rads expensive? Hell yes they are. Are they worth it? At this point, I say yes. Ron knows his stuff and has been so helpful and willing to answer my questions. He not only answers them, but he has the answer immediately, doesn't have to think about it and show that he has seen it all. Only thing I would change, would be to spec it as a 2-Pass horizontal flow with both inlet and outlet on the RHS. That way I could eliminate the big Chevy Suburban hose that runs across the rad, but I have no real issues with this one. Last note, if you get one, MAKE SURE YOU GROUND IT. Stray voltage is a real threat to aluminum rads, and I was stunned to find ~.5VDC in the coolant. The fabrication of a bunch of new grounds with some grinding to get to bare metal brought it down to about .1VDC.

Also on the plate has been the wrapping of the collector piping for the exhaust, and the heat wrapping of the brake lines and fuel lines. This was motivated by a vapor locking experience on Rice Peak about a month ago. Cramming an LS in an engine bay that was designed with a hot side and a cold side, means you now have 2 hot sides. The under hood temps are much higher than I would like, and I have vents installed already. I am continually exploring heat options on the effort. Anyone have a louver punch???

Here's a few pics of the finished install. This time around, I made the shroud a 2-piece. That way I can remove the fan without having to remove the shroud and all the other stuff in the way.

IMG_20200630_164817575.jpg


IMG_20200630_164826164.jpg


IMG_20200630_164832832.jpg


IMG_20200630_164843339.jpg
 
Joined
Feb 20, 2017
Messages
563
Location
Tucson, AZ
Another item on the docket recently was the addition of a single Jerry holder for a water Jerry. I went with the 38 gallon tank to eliminate the need to carry fuel cans on all but the longest run, but I still wanted a way to conveniently carry fresh water that didn't take up a bunch of interior space. I settled on a single 5 gal US Military water Jerry. I rang up Brandon at Avid Offroad in Mesa, and he set me up with a single holder to fit my space claim. I can now carry 5 gallons of drinking water, outside the ring, and after finishing the Spectre RV Pump Mod, I will be able to conveniently dispense water for drinking and cooking.

IMG_20200630_164951693.jpg


IMG_20200630_164957908.jpg


IMG_20200630_165021489.jpg
 
Joined
Feb 20, 2017
Messages
563
Location
Tucson, AZ
Next major event is the first big trip since the swap. We will leave Tucson on Friday the 17th heading to Mexican Hat Utah, camp there, and then spend the following week in the San Juan Range running the major passes, camping, and just hanging out. I am very much looking forward to the relief from the heat, and finally getting to run those runs. Giddy up!

2020-06-30_17-12-11.png
 
Joined
Dec 16, 2015
Messages
401
Location
Arizona
Pretty jealous of that trip even though ill be headed that way a few weeks later. Enjoy and post pics and tips of anywhere to stop at out there.
 
Joined
Feb 20, 2017
Messages
563
Location
Tucson, AZ
So, I took Lexi Jo on a shake down run this weekend down in the Santa Ritas. First off, I have always headed north when getting out, but the Patagonia, Senoita, Gardner Canyon, and Madera Canyon areas are great. I was quite pleased with the trip. We camped at 5700 ft and the temp was a welcome relief from the summer heat.

That said, I have an issue that I need to resolve with some importance. My under hood temps have always been much higher than I would like, and with the fuel filter/regulator under there, it is heat soaking the fuel and boiling it in the tank. After about 2 hours of hwy, or 30-45 minutes of crawling along, I will hear the tank go "BONG" as it swells. I can stop and remove the gas cap and get a plume of vapor shooting out of the filler. I did find that my charcoal canister is 100% clogged or failing to flow rather. There is zero flow, even when I hook my air compressor. Common thing I think for the age... Anyway, I am thinking the permanent fix might be to go to an in tank all in one sending unit with in tank filter/regulator, and run a single insulated fuel line to the engine. Anyone have any experience there? My interim action to get through my upcoming Colorado trip is to install the third(center) hood vent in my hood, and to bypass the charcoal canister to run a vent line out to a safe place to vent the fumes.

I welcome thoughts and ideas on this all. Cheers.
 

Funner

SILVER Star
Joined
Jun 29, 2011
Messages
3,119
Location
Phoenix, AZ
 
So, I took Lexi Jo on a shake down run this weekend down in the Santa Ritas. First off, I have always headed north when getting out, but the Patagonia, Senoita, Gardner Canyon, and Madera Canyon areas are great. I was quite pleased with the trip. We camped at 5700 ft and the temp was a welcome relief from the summer heat.

That said, I have an issue that I need to resolve with some importance. My under hood temps have always been much higher than I would like, and with the fuel filter/regulator under there, it is heat soaking the fuel and boiling it in the tank. After about 2 hours of hwy, or 30-45 minutes of crawling along, I will hear the tank go "BONG" as it swells. I can stop and remove the gas cap and get a plume of vapor shooting out of the filler. I did find that my charcoal canister is 100% clogged or failing to flow rather. There is zero flow, even when I hook my air compressor. Common thing I think for the age... Anyway, I am thinking the permanent fix might be to go to an in tank all in one sending unit with in tank filter/regulator, and run a single insulated fuel line to the engine. Anyone have any experience there? My interim action to get through my upcoming Colorado trip is to install the third(center) hood vent in my hood, and to bypass the charcoal canister to run a vent line out to a safe place to vent the fumes.

I welcome thoughts and ideas on this all. Cheers.
I recently did this but also drilled out the bb check valve. Seems to be working well and still looks stock.

 
Joined
Apr 20, 2019
Messages
69
Location
Arizona
I forgot to post this up yesterday. While heading up Gardner Canyon Road in the Santa Ritas, Benno spotted this little guy. He was not the least bit concerned with us watching him. He or she just did their thing and poked along without a care.

View attachment 2362249

View attachment 2362250

View attachment 2362251
I absolutely love the Santa Rita's, have never been down in the summer months but I've been caving down there, gone on some awesome hikes, and explored a lot of the trails but I always seem to find something new. I've always heard of there being black bear down there (along with a Jaguar or two) but have yet to see one myself so that is awesome!
 
Top Bottom