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Gen IV LS/NV4500 Swap

Discussion in '60-Series Wagons' started by ddelong6767, Oct 10, 2017.

  1. DickM

    DickM SILVER Star

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    Subscribed as well!
    Thanks for posting this in such a clear, concise manner.
    It is very evident that you have an engineer's approach to problem solving and attention to detail, and the results show it. Great build.
     
  2. Ol Yeller

    Ol Yeller

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    You've broken my first rule of enjoying this hobby...never EVER add it all up!

    Keep up the excellent work, and keep posting it here :)
     
  3. ddelong6767

    ddelong6767

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    On with the progress... With the trans and tcase done the next step was mounting it up to the engine. The AA kit had all the needed parts including clutch, pressure plate, flywheel, and dowel bolts to hold it all together. Installing and torquing that stuff isn't very interesting so I didn't snap photos. Once the engine and transmission were together, the next step was to deal with the slave cylinder.

    As noted in earlier posts, the AA bracket doesn't play nice with the Hooker manifolds I'm using. The only space is really rearward, which means I need a pull-style slave cylinder to actuate the clutch arm. You can find these under a few different brand names, I chose the Wilwood one (p/n 260-1333). They are universal and have heim joint mounts so you'll need to fab up a bracket of some sort. I chose to make a bent steel bracket that mounts to two of the top bolts on the NV4500 and comes down the side. There are two 45 degree bends to make the corner then a flat plate with an outboard support to put the joint in double shear. I went pretty heavy on this to make sure it's nice and stiff, it's made from 3/16" steel. I didn't get shots of the bracket in process, but in the one below you can see it and the whole system mocked up. Based on some prior photos and measurements I was pretty confident this would fit in the tunnel, and after installing the powertrain that turned out to be true.

    IMG_20171021_120134.jpg

    With the slave in place, I then worked on the hard line to supply this slave. The factory Toyota line comes down on the passenger side so I just scrapped it and made one from scratch using parts store hard line. The routing is shown below, I used both the factory mount on the firewall and my own points down lower. At the termination point in the transmission tunnel I flared the end for AN3 fittings to connect with a braided flex line.

    IMG_20171021_120506.jpg

    IMG_20171021_120409.jpg

    Also, a little lesson learned later when bleeding this system - I found that I had a leak at the master after filling everything up with fluid. The fitting on the parts store line is too short by about 1mm to put adequate pressure on the flare, it's enough to just get snug and contact but not create a good seal. Toyota's inverted flare fittings are longer than standard and should be re-used on any replacement hard line so that means you need to cut off the end and reflare the tube. This also cropped up on a replacement axle line I had to make. If anyone knows of a source to buy those Toyota tube nuts I'd be interested to know.

    One last step before installing the powertrain was to put a little insulation on the brake line running down the passenger frame rail to protect it from the exhaust pipe radiated heat. For this type of scenario I usually use something like this product from DEI - Cool-Tube Heat Sleeve. It comes in a number of diameters and varying lengths, it's pretty stiff and can be formed to follow bends and curves. It has worked well for me on my racecar to protect brake lines in a pretty extreme heat environment so it should be good for the Cruiser. Later in the build I added more of this around the junction block that is on the framerail and not yet installed in this pic.

    IMG_20171021_120625.jpg
     
  4. ddelong6767

    ddelong6767

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    With the powertrain assembled and the engine bay ready it was time to drop the motor in for the last time. It definitely feels good to torque the motor mount bolts and know it's there to stay.

    IMG_20171021_153525.jpg

    With the engine in place it was time to start making connections. First I tackled the fuel line jumper to the engine. This is a pretty short little run of the previously mentioned Earl's Vapor-Guard hose. I did a little research on adapter fittings and settled on using the Earl's AT991966 fitting for GM push-connect fuel rails. There are some reports online of earlier designs from Russell and others that use more simple lock mechanisms coming loose and spraying fuel with a few fires reported. This Earl's fitting is a newer design with a positive lock clip that should prevent that. It's a pricey little bugger at $32, but that's cheap insurance as compared to burning the truck down.

    IMG_20171021_152429.jpg

    At this point I decided to reinstall the front clip so I could work on placement and routing of the wiring harness. Before doing that though, I found a few problems the address. The inner fenders and core support were pretty grimy so I wanted to have a friend spray a fresh coat of paint on them. As I inspected my core support though it was clear there was some cancer treatment to be done first. Under the battery tray there was a typical amount of rust from acid leaking out over the years. As I picked at it the magnitude of the problem became clear...

    IMG_20171006_150818.jpg

    A couple hours of work with the grinder, welder, and sander and it looked pretty solid. The patch piece came from some leftover Mustang floor pan patches I had laying around so now it's a Toyota with both Chevy and Ford parts in it.

    IMG_20171008_122445.jpg

    Another common trouble area reared it's head - the bolt holding the battery tray to the inner fender. I tried to loosen the bolt and got this for my efforts:

    IMG_20171006_155819.jpg

    Again, a few hours of cutting, patching, welding, grinding and all was back to solid metal and ready for paint. We had the local parts store color match the gas cap and shot the panels then reinstalled everything.
     
  5. orangefj45

    orangefj45 Supporting Vendor

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    Mild steel tank. I'll try to get some pics next week when I'm back at the shop.

    Georg @ Valley Hybrids & Cruiser Brothers
     
  6. Str8Razor

    Str8Razor

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    Outstanding build, how is your oil pan to front dif clearance? Mine is super tight and my motor is about as high as I could get it....Lost all my pics in my build to photobucket, i need to go back and reload them..... keep it coming!!
     
  7. ddelong6767

    ddelong6767

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    Your question made me realize I never really covered the oil pan. In my early test fittings I tried using the stock truck pan that came on the engine but it was definitely too close to the driveshaft. I purchased the GM swap pan p/n 19212593 which many have had good success with. For $200 you get the pan, windage tray, pickup, and oil dipstick. It's a nice little kit and the sump is definitely an improvement, it is significantly smaller than the truck piece. As a bonus, it comes with the oil cooler port cover which I also drilled and tapped to mount the factory oil pressure sender.

    I snapped a few pics yesterday showing the driveshaft clearance from a few angles, this is with a Tough Dog suspension kit installed, probably about 2" over stock height.

    IMG_20171210_111523.jpg

    IMG_20171210_111217.jpg

    Oil port cover drilled and tapped with 1/8-28 BSP threads for the factory oil pressure sender. It's a sort of unusual tap, found it on Amazon.

    IMG_20171204_203651.jpg
     
  8. Elbert

    Elbert SILVER Star

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    is your engine sitting square with the radiator ? Some folks are having interference issues with either the driveshaft (issue with clearance on the side with the transmission) or potentially the oil pan sitting to low in relation to the front differential.

    Looks good. On my 5.7 we have the engine sitting as high as possible where I can still close the hood. I have taken a few hits on the oil pan but thats been some rocks.
     
  9. ddelong6767

    ddelong6767

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    My engine is parallel to the vehicle centerline but offset to the driver's side by 1 inch. I could maybe raise my engine one more inch, but the throttle body would be getting close to the hood liner at that point. The clearance looks pretty good to me, but I'll be watching it once I get the truck back out on the trails. Mounting a GoPro on the underside is a good way to see what's really going on down there while crawling over rough terrain, just make sure you put the camera in a safe place!
     
  10. ddelong6767

    ddelong6767

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    As mentioned above, with the engine mounted and in I went ahead and installed the front clip. At this point I wanted to be able to start routing the wiring harness and placing all the major components underhood. I left the inner fenders out as long as I could because it makes accessing the engine easier, but then reinstalled them when it was time to mount the PCM, airbox, etc.

    IMG_20171025_154722.jpg

    The next major decision for me was cooling strategy. I'm a big fan of going overkill on cooling system and because I'll be spending time in the desert southwest I wanted to be sure I could cool the rig at low speeds on a hot day. With that in mind, I decided to go with a mechanical fan setup. Mechanical fans are more efficient and move more air than virtually any aftermarket electric setup you can come up with. Using a mechanical fan also frees up the electrical load required to power electric fans. I snagged the part numbers from other build threads on here and ordered AC Delco Fan Clutch p/n 15-4694 and Fan 15-80692.

    For the radiator I read through most of the threads on here and narrowed it down to Griffin and Ron Davis. Both offer an FJ60 rad with LS connection ports and they are priced about the same at ~$850 for just the radiator. For another $300 or so Ron Davis will include a fan shroud with two electric fans they say are rated at 1600 cfm. Griffin can sell you a shroud but I don't think it includes a fan. The radiators are basically the same size and layout so it's pretty much a wash, however Griffin offers a 2 year warranty and Ron Davis offers a 90 day warranty. I've had good success with both companies in other builds so for this one I went with the better warranty and bought the Griffin.

    With all parts in hand, I did the first mockup of the cooling system. The pic below shows the Griffin rad sitting in the factory mounts and fan installed. Remember that my truck has a 1" body lift... you can somewhat see here that the fan is pretty low on the radiator core. The second shot shows the front view and I didn't love how the radiator protrudes quite a bit above the core support. As I eyeballed the setup and was thinking about how to build a shroud I decided that this was just too high for the radiator so I decided to build new mounts to lower it down.

    IMG_20171027_115402.jpg
    IMG_20171027_115418.jpg
     
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  11. JohnCapoccia

    JohnCapoccia

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    I intially used the stock Toyota radiator with mods to accommodate the Vortec. It was inadequate so I bought a Griffin. It’s been great even in desert conditions. I’ve got abouty 20K miles on it so far. It does look like your fan is slightly lower in relation to the radiator than mine. You may have some room to raise the engine a bit if you want to get some more clearance between the pan and the front diff. I don’t know think it’s really necessary to either raise the engine or drop the radiator. You can design a shroud that will fit. There will be enough air flow to keep the temp down.
     
  12. Elbert

    Elbert SILVER Star

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    gm fan clutch and fan clutch fan is the way to go, plus good radiator and good fan shroud. I tried other solutions...nothing else was adequate. I have the 5.7 version of the fan and fan clutch (similar to the 5.3 and 6.0 version). I'm using an aftermarket version of the OEM FJ60 4 core radiator, I did move the lower water neck on the radiator to the far right side (passenger side) of the radiator tank to allow for cooling fan clearance and I modified the top water neck on the radiator to allow for the stock use of GM radiator hose that matches the engine (1999 version of the 5.7 vortec). I did run an all aluminum radiator for a while but the core cracked after about 1.5 years of use which caused me a little frustration over the $$ spent. We did lower the radiator on my truck but that was an issue cause by a body lift I ran and then later I increased the lift which caused and interference issue with the fan shroud...etc. The ron davis radiator I had barely cleared the hood (given the height of the top tank).
     
  13. ddelong6767

    ddelong6767

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    Looking through my photos I can't seem to find any pics of the new radiator mounts and they're pretty buried now so it will be hard to get a clean shot. I used the same rubber isolators as the factory setup and mounts on the radiator so that if I have to change it later it's a simple bolt in swap. For the body mounts I took a piece of 3" wide flat stock steel and bent a 90 in it then drilled two holes into the vertical face. I mocked up the radiator then drilled through the core support using the two holes as templates and just through bolted it. The core has some doubler plates in this area so it's plenty strong to carry the weight of a full radiator. I positioned it so that it's about 1" below the factory mount location, this helped line up my fan and moved the top tank down in line with the core support.

    After that was done I reinstalled the radiator and fan and measured my clearance between the core and the fan. I decided to make the fan shroud from aluminum and started with the main box design. For my engine positioning, a 3" deep box with a 3" ring to enshroud the fan was feasible to leave good clearance to all key components. Step 1 was getting the flat pattern cut. The top and bottom wings are a simple extended wing for the 3" box depth. On the sides I added 1-3/4" on top of the 3" main section for return flanges to mount on the radiator, much like a factory unit. I used .065" 5052 aluminum which bends and welds easily and is plenty stiff for this application. In my tool collection I've got a band saw, shear, and box/pan brake so projects like this are pretty easy to manage. Here's the flat pattern before bending...

    IMG_20171104_142808.jpg

    A few quick bends in the brake and some TIG welding on the corners yielded a simple 5-face box. I laid it on the radiator to drill the mount holes then assembled the two together.

    IMG_20171104_194910.jpg

    The next trick to the job was figuring out where to put the fan ring. For this I installed the radiator/shroud combo back in the truck and put the fan/clutch assembly on the water pump. I held a sharpie on the clutch and spun it around to get a circle on the back of the shroud showing clutch position. I then used the fan blades in a similar manner to get some marks for the fan OD. After that I pulled everything back out checked position. The shot below shows the fan aligned with the marks for the clutch and blades. The fact that the two sets of marks both aligned simultaneously indicated my eyeballed sharpie method worked pretty well and I was confident I had the center very close to exact. As you can see, the fan blades extend beyond the core area of the radiator so that means I'll need a couple additional pieces to fully enclose the fan.

    IMG_20171104_195754.jpg

    The ring to enclose the fan is a pretty simple geometry equation. I measured a Chevy truck and found they run ~1" of tip clearance in their factory shrouds. Since my engine is much more firmly mounted I cut that down to 3/4" and cut a 3" wide strip to the appropriate length to make the OD (62.75, if I remember correctly). I don't have a slip roll so I stopped by my local HVAC ducting shop that helps me out on occasion and they were able to run the strip through their slip roll and make a nice circle. I used the TIG to weld it into a solid ring and then tacked it onto the box using the fan as a guide and leaving the 3/4" tip clearance as planned. Everything then went back in the truck for final checks.

    IMG_20171108_170021.jpg

    The last step was cutting out the fan opening and then closing out the portions where the blades protrude above and below the main box. The simplest method for this closeout would be just a flat face (much like the bottom of the factory shroud) but that basically makes that region of the fan ineffective so I wanted to do a radiused opening to connect the extended portion to the main box and promote airflow. I didn't take any in-process pics of this but it's not exactly easy. The shot below shows the mostly finished product from the back side, you can see how each piece is shaped in a sort of double crescent pattern. They also have compound curvature bowing out along the connection to the main box. I made everything in templates first using thin cardboard, then transferred it to alumunium, cut, formed, and then welded it all together.

    IMG_20171113_065255.jpg
     
    Last edited: Dec 12, 2017 at 11:44 PM
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  14. ddelong6767

    ddelong6767

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    So after all the fab work was done I dropped the shroud off at my local powder coat shop and had them cover it in OEM black, which as about 80% gloss. I then sprayed the radiator itself with a similar semi-gloss black to give it all a sort of subtle look. I'm happy with the finished product, the fan clearance looks good, the lower position is a nicer fit to the core support and the semi-gloss black is sort of low-key and not as blingy as all the raw aluminum.

    IMG_20171129_115202.jpg
     
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  15. ddelong6767

    ddelong6767

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    Connecting the power steering pump to the box was a relatively simple affair, I've taken a shortcut to get the truck on the road and didn't add a cooler yet. After the truck is running and debugged I plan to work on integrating a cooler in with the AC condenser mounting but since it's winter here, neither are a huge priority at the moment.

    On the stock PS pump (2012 Chevy 1500 pickup) the return connection pointed right at the steering box. I looked around at a few other late model GM pumps and some had marginally better configurations but I didn't see anything that looked like a home run. Rather than spend the money to buy a new pump when this one is fine I just decided to bend the return line to work. It came out okay, the tube shows a few lumps and bumps from the multiple bends and straightening, but it flows just fine. In the shot below you can see the final location of the inlet which is under the pump now. You can also see the factory oil cooler lines, more on that in a minute.

    IMG_20171029_121638.jpg

    The pressure line from the truck had a pretty nice bend in it which routed it out and under the pump so I decided to reuse that. My local hydraulics shop took the end and added a new hose, then I had 90 degree bends put on the pump side to finish things off. Of note - the box threads are M16 x 1.5 for the pressure inlet and M17 x 1.5 for the return outlet - don't mistakenly assume they're the same (easy to do since they are quite close in appearance).

    IMG_20171208_153517.jpg

    With everything installed here's how it looks from above. I've got nice clearance between the fan belt and the lines and good long sweep bends so there's no flow restrictions.

    IMG_20171208_213510.jpg

    As I mentioned above, while working on this I tried to fit the factory oil cooler setup which has two hard lines that connect to the side of the oil system above the filter then come forward to mount a small cooler near the radiator. There's plenty of room for the lines and cooler but I ran into trouble with the exhaust manifolds, as you can see below they pretty much run right into the flange. I'm just running a blockoff plate with the sender in it for now, but may circle back to this at some point. For those of you who run Corvette manifolds this might be a nice setup, if anyone wants the lines I have PM me.

    View attachment 1592369

    IMG_20171029_121341.jpg
     
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