Ryan's 80 Build/Swap (1 Viewer)

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Mar 18, 2009
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Augusta, GA
Nothing exciting to post yet.

My engine is *mostly* together and I finally got my transmission back after 9 months at a shop. Work has been busy and the weather lousy, but I'm starting to put the pieces together.

I'm expecting things to really take off very soon and thought I would start a thread for tracking my progress.


The engine was a mess when I pulled it out. Overall, it ran great, but had some leaks and some worn out parts. The block and bottom end were good. Lots of rust in the coolant passages. Cylinders still had cross-hatching with ~180k miles.
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The heads were a different story. I found some cracks forming between valves, some of them completely across.
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I bought aftermarket heads, injectors, head studs, HO water pump, late gen dual thermostat housing, new turbo, new exhaust crossover, and a few other things. I even added a severe duty fan clutch and got a Duramax fan to fit onto it. Accessories are now installed, but I'm going to replace some of those as well. The power steering system is extremely important with hydroboost and the alternator is squeaking. Being and automatic, I may as well buy a new starter as well and just carry the old one as a spare.
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Due to using parts from different years, I'm running into a few fitment issues. For one, I had to install the thermostat housing backwards. The coolant outlet is going to be on the wrong side now. The original single thermostat housing outlet came out on top to clear the manual throttle linkage. The housing I am using, came on a drive by wire truck with no linkage. Now I'm going to have to run a radiator hose from the passenger side to the driver's side or find a different radiator. I also had to clearance the bracket for my tensioner. I'm hoping it holds up!
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I painted my transmission too. I've never done this before, but I have also never taken so much time doing something like this. If nothing else, I will at least be able to see leaks easier! This just came back from 9 months at the shop. It has new drums with a dual clutch feed mod, HD2 shift kit, and the new output shaft that I needed to run the LC adapter from Mark's.
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At this point, there's a few things I need to do before I am ready to think about putting this in the 80.

Upper intake manifold (I can't run the stock one because of interference with the coolant crossover) - parts on order
Exhaust crossover (I can't install what I have while it's on the stand) - on the shelf
Oil cooler - in the parts washer
Flush injector lines and bleed injectors - installed
Wire up glow plugs - installed
Wiring harness - on the shelf
Start the engine

Then I plan to get it in and check fitment, pull it back out, then paint and insulate the engine compartment.

Lastly, I will need:

Exhaust - hopefully 3"
Hydroboost - on the parts truck
Steering - just need adapters for the gear box
Brakes - just need adapters for the new master cylinder
Shift linkage - kit recommends hurst, but I think I can cut the tunnel and drop the linkage straight off of the stock shifter
Trans cooler lines - in my Amazon wishlist
...and a dozen other things that I haven't thought of
 
Joined
Mar 18, 2009
Messages
1,642
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Augusta, GA
I found some pictures of the new heads being installed. These have the later precups for more power than the stock heads. This engine was originally rated at 200hp per the sticker on the valve cover, so I'm hoping for a little more with the better precups and turbo.

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Joined
Mar 18, 2009
Messages
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Augusta, GA
Thanks Larry, you too! I just did intake tubing and received some steel plate to make an upper intake manifold. I'm hoping to have that built this weekend and start looking at getting the engine started. Once I verify that it runs and has oil pressure, I'm going to start pulling the engine and trans out of the 80.
 
Joined
Mar 18, 2009
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It's Detroit Alpine Green. I'm hoping it holds up. I sprayed the block down with Purple Power and oven cleaner, then steam cleaned it. I have a few places where the paint didn't stick very well, but I will touch it up as I can. Hopefully it will help me spot leaks in the future.
 
Joined
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I started filling it with oil last weekend and noticed a problem. There was a ding in the front crank seal that likely happened when I was trying to figure out what was wrong with the first harmonic balancer I installed. It was for a different year of engine and was way too shallow to fit on my crank. Anyway, I got the seal replaced Friday and was finally able to start it last night after priming the oil and fuel lines.


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I also finished fabbing up the plate for my upper intake.
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Bayou State Land Cruiser Association
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Sounds good brother, your making awesome progress 👏 damn thats a bit too far to run over there for a wrenching session or I'd be glad to help. Sean Hebert is still going strong on his 80 project I've been over there a few times to help out he went the LS2 route. I'll have to post some pics next time I'm there I don't think he gets in here much.
 
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That would be great to see, Larry. The LS seems like a great powerplant for just about everything and I can't wait to see that one on a trail.

This 6.5 won't make a lot of power, but it will be torquey, efficient, and stupid simple. Also, it was "free", which is the best part for me.
 

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Bayou State Land Cruiser Association
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That would be great to see, Larry. The LS seems like a great powerplant for just about everything and I can't wait to see that one on a trail.

This 6.5 won't make a lot of power, but it will be torquey, efficient, and stupid simple. Also, it was "free", which is the best part for me.
You can't go wrong with a FREE deal an IMO you know that engine and you are comfortable with it. For my own preference I'd rather the 6.5 turbo setup you have I prefer the diesel torque and I think it will carry the 80's weight well even tow well. For my heavy foot I'm afraid with the power in the LS would cost me in the long run but it sounds damn good. Roger Theurer and his son transplanted 6.2 or 6.5 can't remember which one in their 62 and 40's we wheeled with them in Tennessee and they performed well.
 
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I started filling it with oil last weekend and noticed a problem. There was a ding in the front crank seal that likely happened when I was trying to figure out what was wrong with the first harmonic balancer I installed. It was for a different year of engine and was way too shallow to fit on my crank. Anyway, I got the seal replaced Friday and was finally able to start it last night after priming the oil and fuel lines.


View attachment 2605975

I also finished fabbing up the plate for my upper intake.View attachment 2605976View attachment 2605979
FYI NEXT TIME ON COLD START TAP GLOW PLUGS A FEW TIMES AFTER START TO WARM PRE CHAMBERS
 
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Messages
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FYI NEXT TIME ON COLD START TAP GLOW PLUGS A FEW TIMES AFTER START TO WARM PRE CHAMBERS
Exactly. I didn't think about it the first time. I have started it 2 more times and it started right up both times. Both of those times I gave it a little more glow plug after start and it cleared up fast. I always did that on the Chevy too.

I'm done staring the engine now. I installed the torque converter last night. I installed the transfer case 2 days ago. I have been pulling all of the unnecessary stuff from under the hood and cleaning it up for its new tenant. It is amazing how much you can get rid of. The engine should be in this weekend, then I expect it will take a couple of weeks to button up some of the little things.

I ordered a new radiator. The 80 radiator was corroded at the bottom behind the condenser. The Chevy radiator is too wide. I ordered an aluminum radiator with no trans cooler and will only run an auxiliary cooler unless I have temperature issues. I have to figure out radiator hoses, hydro boost, and steering. I have a couple of different options for the master cylinder.
 
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Messages
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She's in. I have the entire drive train slanted so that the t-case is a couple of inches more to the passenger side. I still have exhaust, linkages, wiring, brakes, fuel, and cooling lines to go.

I made an adapter plate for the hydroboost system, but the center hole was too large and I am going to weld in the center of the stock GM plate since it is keyed anyway.

I reversed the shift linkage off of the stock shift lever so that it drops on the driver side instead of the passenger. I have to cut a hole in the tunnel for the new position, but I think I can set up the linkage from there and use the stock 80 shifter.

Due to the positioning, I couldn't get to the oil cooler outlets on the transmission. I cut a hole in the passenger floorboard to get to them more easily and will patch it with some aluminum once everything is done. I will screw it in so that I can get back in later if needed.

My crossover is in the way of the front drive shaft. When I take it to the exhaust shop, I will have them make something different so that I have the clearance I need. I will definitely want to lift it a couple of inches to give myself a little extra room.

I used some aluminum angle to mount the stock GM oil cooler. I don't like mounting a cooler in a way that can trap air, but the lines are too stiff to do much else and it was mounted in the same position on the Chevy.

All in all, I think it fits well. It feels a lot "smaller" than the 3fe and everything is pretty easy to get to (on the engine anyway).

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Messages
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Just wanted to give a quick update since I haven't posted in a little while. I have the hydroboost done. It took some creative bending of the stock Chevy lines. The only real modification I had to make was the pressure line to the steering box. I cut off the o-ring style connector on the hydro line and flared it to fit the Toyota box with the stock Toyota fitting. These are both 3/8 lines, so it wasn't too difficult. I also cut the 10mm Toyota fittings off at the master cylinder and flared on some 3/8 fittings that are then stepped up to the master cylinder using adapters. I made a new mounting plate for the booster using some scrap 1/8 mild still and pressed the Chevy studs into it. I cut the keyed center out of the Chevy plate and welded it into the new mounding plate. I opened up the firewall stud holes a tiny bit, careful not to go in too deep. The Chevy shaft was shortened a hair. I used trial and error to get the length just right and tacked on the pedal interface.

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Trans cooler lines are completed. The original -6 AN fittings stuck out too far, so I used some 1/2 NPT to 3/8 Barb fittings.

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Another thing I did was modify the transfer case shifter base to get it to where I want it. It will sit a couple inches to the right of where it used to be. From the mount location on Mark's adapter, it is about 5 inches forward, 1 inch up, and 1 3/8 inches to the left.

For the transmission, I reversed the arm of the stock shifter so that it drops through on the driver side instead of the passenger side. I made an adjustable arm for the 4L80 transmission that I could move up and down to get the ratios right. After some testing, I noticed that I had issues getting into 1st and 2nd. The stock shift lever arm has about 45 degrees slant to the rear. When reverse, that is forward which makes the shift arm and the trans actuator almost in a straight line. I took the slant out of the arm and made some more adjustments and now it shifts smooth through all of the gears. I really like the idea of keeping the stock lever instead of going with a cable shifter and completely different setup.

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I had to cut some holes for the shifter changes. To fix this, I bought some aluminum sheets that I will shape and seal around the trans tunnel. I will cut the stock boots out of the original rubber seal and bond them to the aluminum. On top of all of that, I plan on building a custom center console to get ride of the useless square cup holder thing and make more room for switches and indicators.

The in-tank fuel pump was removed and replace with a straight piece of hose into the pickup sock. The tank now has diesel in it and it is waiting for me to install the lift pump as well as finishing up the fuel lines up to the filter housing on the back of the engine. On the topic of fuel lines, I get ride of the hard return line and set up everything so that it runs with rubber line to a 1/2 T. I just have to drop it down to the hard line at the frame with a rubber hose. I will cap off the vent line that went to the charcoal canister.

Lastly, I hooked up the temp sender, oil pressure sender, starter solenoid, and heater hoses. Next I need to hook up the alternator and bypass the neutral start switch.


I am waiting on delivery of a couple of silicone fittings to finish out the radiator lines.

I also ordered the Dobinson 3" heavy IMS kit. This kit has the 3" 220lbs coils front and rear, 3" rebuildable monotube shocks, steering damper, and offset control arm bushings. I originally only wanted 2 inches of suspension lift, I have limited clearance between my oil pan and the front diff. I plan to set bump stops where it sits now so that the axle can't get any closer to the pan. When I set my shocks up, I am going to try to aim for getting as much down travel out of the front as I can with the up travel closely matching where I am setting the bumps. The rear will remain stock with the exception of the lift.
 
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I gave up on trying to plan around the dump on the GM8 turbo. Today, I received deliver of an hx35 which will give me more options for running a down pipe. I plan on dropping between the fender and the frame into the back of the fender well. It will run straight back to the rear tire and turn out right behind the passenger side slider. Also, the hx35 has the removable silencer ring which is going to be coming out right away. The GM8 was just too quiet. The hx35 will breathe a lot better and keep the EGTs down. The hx35 also uses a boost driven wastegate actuator. I will likely modify this to be manual, but not until after I see what kind of boost it makes in stock form.

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I bought 2 interstate marine batteries with accessory posts. I plan on buying 0 and 4 guage wire and doing everything custom.

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