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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
I bought a 01 IS300 with 180k miles two years ago to use as a drift car.
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I manual swapped it with an AR5 a few months after buying it.
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In the front I have extended lower control arms, cut spindle, and I designed and machined a new lower ball joint/tie rod pickup for more angle.
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I have BV toe and traction links in the rear as well as a welded diff. I also got an Apex exhaust and coil overs and have lowered it a bit. I’ve done some events and practice days with it and so far it has been flawless besides the harmonic balancer pully flying off at my last practice.
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In April I got a 36k mile LS1 from a 02 Pontiac Firebird at a price I couldn’t refuse. My goal for the motor is to keep it stock for now but do all the reliability mods for drifting. I will also be using the AR5 I already have as there was a pretty simple adapter kit from Fabbot. I will be using a LS7 flywheel and clutch, as they work with the trans adapter kit. My engine came with an auto trans so I just needed the bell housing from that. I bought a Canton drift oil pan, trunnion upgrade, valve springs, lifters and a harmonic balancer. I also decided to replace all the seals, the motor has been sitting for almost 16 years.

About a month ago I started working on the engine and intended to swap it over Christmas. Once I removed the valley cover I saw the motor was full of sludge.
I am guessing the oil had been changed once at most in its short life. Wear looked minimal but there was sludge everywhere.
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I ended up tearing it completely down and sent it out to get cleaned. I am still waiting for the shop to get it back to me so I can start rebuilding it.
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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Since I don’t have my motor back, I have been working on a few other projects. I wanted some water sprayers for the rear tire so I can cool them down after a run. I bought 3 solenoids and using the windshield washer reservoir and pump I ran lines to the rear tires and the radiator. I used a set of windshield washer jets as the nozzles for the rear tires. One solenoid that is normally open controls flow to the windshield washer nozzles on the hood. The other two solenoids are normally closed and control flow to the rear tires and radiator. With a switch on the dash I can open the solenoids to allow the water to flow to the rear tires or radiator and then use the windshield washer button to pump the water. The normally open solenoid for the windshield washers will close when power is supplied to either of the other solenoids. When I want to wash the windshield I set the switch in the center position and use the washers as normal. The only downside is that whenever I use the system the windshield wipers activate. I still need to redesign the bracket for the solenoids and tire sprayers but for now it’s good enough.
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A while ago I made a bracket to relocate the oil filter next to the brake master cylinder so it's easier to change. I bought the cheap ebay oil filter relocation kit. I got it mounted and it looks like it fits pretty well even with the water solenoids so close.
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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
I also started on relocating the battery to the trunk. My first car was a 05 Mini Cooper S and they have a front positive terminal I really like. I got one from the junk yard and printed a mount for it. The main power and starter wires were just long enough to work in this position. I ran the power wire through the interior like the PHR kit. I had some -10 hose lying around so I used that to protect the wire from chafing in tight areas. I will start making the battery box this week.
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Discussion Starter · #6 · (Edited)
Today I machined the lower battery mount and got the battery installed in the trunk. The final box will fully enclose the battery but it will require making a few more parts.
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For now I will get a cover for the positive terminal. It took a few attempts to get it in the right place. I still may need to move it forward more when I finish the full box. I reused the battery clamp to hold it down.
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I also got the fuse mounted and was able start the car again.
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When I bought the car I added an aux cable and Bluetooth by soldering the aux cable wire to the radios motherboard and using the tape setting to activate it. I finally got around to hardwiring the Bluetooth power.
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I also removed the front cigarette lighter and replaced it with two USB ports with a mount I printed. It still holds the light so hopfully it will still glow at night.
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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
I got my engine back today and it cleaned up really nice. I can start building it back up this weekend.
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I've also been working on a mount for the LS ECU. I plan on keeping the stock ECU so I can keep gauges and ac. I will mount the LS ECU where the battery used to go. I first tried mounting it to the bolt holes that held down the battery tray.
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That took up a little more space than I'd like. I will probably relocate the abs to that area to so I designed a mount that attaches to a tab on the firewall and gives more space for the abs. I did not check the orientation of the connectors though so I will need to rotate it 180.
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Discussion Starter · #10 · (Edited)
I've been working on rebuilding the LS for the past week. I built a tent in the garage to act as a clean room.
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I measured the crank and rod bearings. The crank is all good. I am using arp rod bolts as it seems the LS rod bolts can fail at sustained high RPM. The arp rod bolts deformed the rod bearings enough to put them outside the factory tolerance. I took them back to the machine shop and had them oversized with new rod bearings.
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I also got the crank polished. I installed the valves with summit stock replacement springs. Since the motor has been sitting since 2006 I was worried some of the spring may have lost their shape. The summit springs were cheap and provide a bit more spring force. I also painted the valve covers orange. I put the LS coolant temp sensor in one of the heads and a Lexus temp sensor in the other. This way the coolant temp gauge will still work.
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This weekend I got the crank and pistons back from the machine shop. I got the crank and cam installed.
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Unfortunately I am on travel for the next two weeks so the pistons will have to wait.
 

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Good call on resizing the big ends of the rods with the ARP bolts. Many people don't realize how different bolts apply different stress to the joint, and will distort the geometry differently.

Why stock replacement valve springs? Zero interest in a bigger cam?
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Yeah when I measured the rod bearings they were .0004"-.0005" out of round. I might have gotten away with it but it doesn't seem worth it.

As for the cam, I do plan to add more power later on. This is mainly a drift car and from what I've been told once you have 300-400hp tires get really expensive. Either you burn up the cheap ones really quickly or have to pay more for good ones that last longer. For my skill level, stock power will be more than enough. I've been doing just fine with the stock 2j, so 100hp will still be a big jump. In a few years I will probably do the intake, heads, and cam and go for 400-450
 

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I know nothing about drifting, but I'd guess a 3200lb car with 350whp and V8 torque would have no issue keeping the tires spinning!

If/when the time comes for more power, look thru Richard Holdener's videos on Youtube. He's tested just about everything for LS engines, very down to earth, and NOT trying to pitch you on fancy high dollar equipment.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
It’s been a bit slow recently. I’ve been out of town for a few weeks. When I came back there was a bit of rust on the crank journals. I pulled it back out and gave it a quick polish.
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I went drifting last weekend so I trimmed the carpet and got terminal covers so it would pass tech.
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This week I was finally able to make real progress. I got the pistons installed with the new bearing.
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I got a new oil pump and installed it. Then got the front and rear covers on. I installed LS7 lifters and trays.
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I almost got the heads on but the tapped holes have a bunch of junk in them so I need to run a tap through them.
 

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I almost got the heads on but the tapped holes have a bunch of junk in them so I need to run a tap through them.
Before using a tap to clean out threads, consider fashioning a tool out of an old head bolt:

Use a cut-off wheel on a die grinder or dremel to cut a lengthwise slit (or two) across the threads of the old bolt. Kinda like turning a bolt into a tap... Obviously this tool can't create new threads, but it does a good job of scraping the gunk out of a tapped hole. This tool is also much less likely to cut into your existing threads, which you do not want to lose (especially in aluminum).
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
I took your advice and made some "taps" out of the old head bolts. They did help but some of the threads are still a little to tight. It seems like the ARP bolts are a bit larger or tighter tolerence. I wasnt able to find a M11 tap so I will try the "tap" bolts again with acetone
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Your cut-off wheel skillz are strong! Looks good, but maybe make the flutes (the slits) longer. But I'm surprised it didn't work that well for you. I've had great luck with this technique.

Not much junk can fit into the slit, so it'll get packed and then not work anymore - so deep/long flutes are an advantage. Also, remove it frequently to clean out the flutes.

Adding a solvent like you mentioned is also good idea.

Not only do you need a somewhat odd tap - but i'll also need to be a LONG one, which is more uncommon. Also, I suspect you'd want it to be a bottoming tap, rather than a plug tap.

Hope attempt 2 works better for you! 🤞
 

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Also, when you get to the point where you're torquing up those ARP bolts... Be sure to follow the directions regarding where to put the molybdenum lube - and where to avoid putting it.

For reasons that make zero sense to me, lubrication in the wrong place on the washer/bolthead can really mess things up. My (very competent) buddy disregarded those directions and IIRC, snapped a bolt off in his LS3. ARP was super nice about it and replaced it - but scolded him on not following the directions. He did it right the next time an no problems.

Why this matters is an engineering puzzle to me and my buddy - but ARP is awesome and knows their stuff; so it was stupid to disregard...
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
I used a mill to cut the slits in the bolts so it was easy.

I can answer your question about the lube. I have done some torque vs clamping load testing at work. We were testing washers made from different materials and with plating. It was interesting to see the massive difference in clamping loads when using a gold plated washer vs stainless or titanium.

Basically clamping load (what your are trying to achieve) and torque are related but friction is also part of the equation. Using the same torque value on a bolt, a high friction surface will provide less clamping force than a low friction surface. Some of the torque will be "lost" to overcoming the higher friction surface. I think what ARP are trying to do is remove the friction between the bolt threads and the hole by applying lube. Then you are just dealing with the friction between the washer and bolt or washer and surface it's contacting.
With less sources of unknown friction (the threads) you can get a more accurate torque to clamping load ratio.
When your buddy applied lube to the bolt and washer he lowered the total friction quite a bit. So when he torqued the bolt to spec it applied much more clamping force than ARP intended and the bolt broke. Lower friction, higher clamping load. This is why on higher precision assemblies you measure the stretch of the bolt not torque. It's a much better way to get a accurate clamping load, but is difficult to do in a production setting.
In simple terms torquing bolts is not a great way to achieve accurate clamping loads. Torque then angle or measuring bolt stretch are more accurate as you don't have to worry about friction changing the end result.
I hope that make sense.
 
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