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Old 10-14-2010, 09:19 PM
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Default The Red Camaro's build thread

I never wanted to do this thread until it was done but now it is so I'll make it.

Where to start, we'll this is my brother's car but as hes too lazy to post anything I'll do it for him. This car has been in the family for about 6 years but my brother bought it from my stepsister in 07.


It started out in life as a car which the only option that was ordered was sadly an automatic transmission, nothing else even though we have the original tape that tells about the car yet.

But enough of all of that garbage the fun started in june of 08 when my brother was up at wyotech to get his degree, biggest waste of money ever but that's another story. He originally just wanted to change the head gaskets as they had rotted away but since he was in a high performance program he decided to go ahead and port and polish the heads and intakes. He was gonna go ahead and cam it but funds wouldn't allow for it. Eventually by july it was all back together and on the first start it was running great but then about 3 minutes in it started to go a little crazy and shut off. They had determined that it was dumping fuel all the time but they could never figure out why. The only thing that wasn't tried was replacing the pcm I would've got him one but we were almost 300 miles away. By august the car had to be out of there so they gave up on it and took out the engine and trans so we could figure everything out when it was home. That in itself was an adventure. Heres some pics of the 3.4 some have seen these:







Now once we got it home he ran into some financial problems as wyotech never helped him find a job so he got stuck installing options on new cars at a dealership making only 8.50/hr. Then the student loan payments started earlier than he thought so the project stalled. Then the firebird came along and that drained anything that had been saved for the camaro so it sat for over year. The only time it got any attention was when we washed it or made it a christmas decoration.



Really we only started to do anything until sometime in 09 but it was only minor stuff like the front bumper and fender. It was sad and pitiful at that point it had even gotten my shitty rims and tires on it.


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The Famiry: 96 3.8 Camaro, 94 3400 swap Chicken 96 3.8 Firechicken, 87 5.0 IRoc, 95 Lt1 swap 3.4 Camaro, 95 Z28, 93 Trans Am RIP
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Old 10-14-2010, 09:46 PM
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Now after we started to do the body work we figured we should do something about the interior and actually thanks to Freakv6 we saw that red and dark gray interior and decided to keep going to the junkyard until we found it which eventually we did. Thats not all we did to it though the original interior was of the ugly and light gray variety so that had to go. Once we got the red seats we changed over to a leather steering wheel, leather shift knob, dark gray panels and carpet, dark gray headliner and visors, seat belts and eventually the door panels, BTW they are the only thing in that interior which isn't from the junkyard.






After the interior was all done we decided it was finally time to do something about the engine or lack there of. We figured that with tax return we could get the engine done but after getting the white z28 for 1k he changed his mind, he figured he wanted to make this option-less car into a top of the line model so we looked around and eventually found the Trans Am.

Now heres the back story on the TA it was bought for a 16 year old kid who just got his license, why I have no idea and of all of this in the middle of winter, but anyway the inevitable happened and he crashed it on black ice spun into a tree spun again and hit the back into a wall. So he put it on craigslist for 1000 and we bought it. Very sad though because at one point that car was beautiful.

The first pic is an example of what it did look like.





Now despite how bad it looked we actually got alot out of it. We got the whole subframe, a borla catback, 3.23 posi rear, driveshaft, the ecm, and the cluster, sadly the rest of it went to the junkyard.



Figured I put up the only picture with the four of them, the next day after that picture the Trans Am was taken away. R.I.P.
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The Famiry: 96 3.8 Camaro, 94 3400 swap Chicken 96 3.8 Firechicken, 87 5.0 IRoc, 95 Lt1 swap 3.4 Camaro, 95 Z28, 93 Trans Am RIP

Last edited by 3.8blackmaro; 12-30-2010 at 01:40 AM.
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Old 10-14-2010, 10:23 PM
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Now that we had the engine and trans out of it it was time to do some modding so off came the egr and air pump and a very nicely powder coated intake and block off plates were put on then we did the valve cover gaskets which were leaking painted that and put them along with some pacesetter long tubes, a new water pump, a new opticrap, plugs, wires, ac delete bracket. After getting all that back together it was ready to go into the camaro.





Next up the 3.4 subframe had to come out, not a hard job.





We were finally we ready to put the lt1 subframe up in there we had left all the accessories on and kept the engine harness off but even that went pretty smoothly let me tell you though you have to get it pretty high up to do it.







It was weird, putting that engine in that day was a spur of the moment idea. I was changing my Camaro's lower intake gaskets and I said since everyone is here we should put your engine in. That turned out to be a very busy day.

After the engine was in there was a few delays due to funds, but eventually it got all the accessories in it and a brand new engine harness. Then we had to swap the v6 fuel pump for the v8 one, we did this the way that all yous don't and dropped the tank but we did it like that for a reason. We didn't know which tank was in better shape internally so we dropped the v6 one realized it was in better shape so we put the v8 pump in it and put it back in. We also swapped in the v8 springs, shocks, sway bar, and the borla catback. Now I don't have any pictures of that because it was a pain to do and required my assistance. On a funny note though my brother was pimp smacked by one of the tank straps which was hilarious. Edit* I do have a picture from that day:



Now because we were running out of money and we had the parts from the 3.4 we decided to try something that no one recommended, we used the 3.4 radiator and single large fan. At first we were only gonna do this until we could afford a v8 one and dual fans but to this day the single fan has worked fine and the radiator too. And before anyone goes and says well that's because you haven't run it in the heat. This has been one of Pa's hottest summers and its kept it cool doesn't even go up to 215.


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The Famiry: 96 3.8 Camaro, 94 3400 swap Chicken 96 3.8 Firechicken, 87 5.0 IRoc, 95 Lt1 swap 3.4 Camaro, 95 Z28, 93 Trans Am RIP

Last edited by 3.8blackmaro; 12-30-2010 at 01:47 AM.
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  #4  
Old 10-14-2010, 11:08 PM
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Now with everything ready we finally tried to start it up. We filled it with fuel and went to turn it on and couldn't hear it prime. We then thought that that it was a wiring issue so we checked all the wires thinking maybe there was a difference from 93 to 95 but that didn't really bring anything to light so we just put the fuel pump on a switch no big deal. We think its something in the security system but the car wont let power go to the relay so the switch is in there just to override the relay. Now after that problem was figured out we finally started it which it started right up no hesitation whatsoever, but it had a knock.


Theres that tape I mentioned at the beginning.


After I stopped recording in that video I went under the car to see if I could find where the noise was coming from which I did. The flexplate/torque converter cover was dented badly and rubbing against the torque converter so when we took it out and started it up it sounded much better. So we hammered the dent out of the cover and slapped it back on.



Now that we had the Engine all figured out it was time to try the transmission. We had already put a new trans pan on it so we changed the fluid again for some reason and then tried moving it around the lot this was fairly annoying as every time you wanted to put it in reverse or park you would have to manually do it. That was because we didn't have a shift linkage cable and a throttle cable.



The next thing we got was a throttle cable and a power steering reservoir. After moving it around the lot we decided to run it through the gears so we took it out on the street but soon discovered it only would stay in first gear and that sucked, we thought we had a bad trans. Sadly I lost that video.

After looking up what it could be we found out it was most likely the throttle valve cable needed to be adjusted and that did turn out to be the problem but right as we were lowering the car after doing that and putting the shift linkage in it the jack slipped of the subframe and tore a massive hole in the oil pan. That was a pretty demoralizing blow.

After a couple days of depression I started to think about it I had just bought a Lt1 out of a roadmaster and I looked into if they have the same oil pan which it turns out they do. So we got my oil pan off and had to weld a bung in it, had a small hole, then got the camaro towed to my brothers new job. He put the new oil pan on and then did the front brakes and hooked up the rear sway bar.



After all of this it was finally ready for a road test. It drives amazing very very quick with the 4.10s, although the speedo is off by at least 20 mph and the tach doesnt work at all but thats a different problem. We also have replaced the cluster with a 93 one and those issues have been resolved as well.

Which brings us to today, its fully drivable after almost 2 years of sitting and all it needs yet is a y pipe to hook up to the borla catback and then its getting inspected, but all of that is meaningless for this cars one and only purpose is to get the christmas tree this year. Thats why we had to have it done by now, its that cars turn again. Since the time I posted this the y pipe is in and its inspected.

07

08

09


All in all it was a pretty fun project, learned a lot about these cars. Theres almost nothing we haven't touched on them. To a person who wishes to do this swap be ready for a lot of time and a decent amount of money. And if you actually read all of that why thank you.

List of odd facts learned:
fact: a v6 radiator will cool a LT1 just fine.
fact: the charge back wire/starter wire from a 3.4 will work with a LT1 but a 3.8s wont.
fact: v6s handle better
fact: a borla catback is very heavy compared to a stock catback
fact: this will be the 4th year in a row that a f-body will be bringing home our christmas tree.
fact: at least for me the capacitor trick will not work when going from v6 to v8 but it will work v8 to v6.
fact: for some unknown reason the 93 LT1s had only 1 fan relay but 2 fans.
fact: you must have patience to do this kind of a swap.
fact: swapping in a 93 engine is easier than the other years
fact: Ls1 is a harder swap.
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The Famiry: 96 3.8 Camaro, 94 3400 swap Chicken 96 3.8 Firechicken, 87 5.0 IRoc, 95 Lt1 swap 3.4 Camaro, 95 Z28, 93 Trans Am RIP

Last edited by 3.8blackmaro; 12-21-2010 at 12:35 PM.
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  #5  
Old 10-14-2010, 11:14 PM
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Well now that thats all done I guess I can put the mods list thing.

Engine:
93 Lt1 350ci The better version

Trans:
700r4
unknown shift kit

Rear:
Stock rebuilt 10 bolt
4.10s

Exhaust and Intake:
Pacesetter Longtubes
Pacesetter ORY
!cat
!egr
!air pump
Borla 3" adjustable catback
K&N FIPK
Trick flow elbow

Stereo:
A sony headunit
cheapo speakers

Interior:
Complete swap to red and graphite

Suspension:
Hotchkis STB
UMI 3 point subframe connectors
Spohn tunnel mounted torque arm
Spohn adjustable panhard bar
Spohn LCA relocations brackets

Rims and Tires:
!hubcaps
Shooters
Firestone Firehawks all around

In the pile:
Heated o2 sensors
Electric Water pump
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The Famiry: 96 3.8 Camaro, 94 3400 swap Chicken 96 3.8 Firechicken, 87 5.0 IRoc, 95 Lt1 swap 3.4 Camaro, 95 Z28, 93 Trans Am RIP

Last edited by 3.8blackmaro; 01-16-2012 at 11:01 AM.
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Old 10-15-2010, 05:11 AM
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Awsome thread. And yes I just read every bit of that at 4 am in the morning. So is this just a fun dd kind of car or will it eventually be built up ? Great work though!
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|freakv6 12:21| bone will let people take his car out for joy rides at the g14
|Pace 12:22| I vote we take the freak out for some joyrides.
|freakv6 12:22| you can pace, then maybe you can drive the car afterwords
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Old 10-15-2010, 07:29 AM
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This car is just gonna be a fun driver, the firebird is the dd. When funds allow for it that lt1 that I bought will be turning into a 383 to go into it, but for now its gonna be getting a paint job and some suspension work.
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The Famiry: 96 3.8 Camaro, 94 3400 swap Chicken 96 3.8 Firechicken, 87 5.0 IRoc, 95 Lt1 swap 3.4 Camaro, 95 Z28, 93 Trans Am RIP

Last edited by 3.8blackmaro; 10-15-2010 at 07:42 AM.
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Old 10-15-2010, 08:07 AM
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Now my recommendation to anyone that wants to do a swap like this is to just get a donor car, it saves so much hassle in the little parts that you will need. Heres what you need to know when swapping from a 3.4 to a LT1:

You will need:
- Lt1 subframe
- Lt1 engine harness
- Lt1 forward harness unless you got a 93 donor car like us, if your swapping from a 3.8 you wont need the forward harness unless you got a 93 donor car.
- Lt1 cluster
- Lt1 trans crossmember
- Lt1 radiator unless you rig the 3.4s to work like we did, the only thing youll have is not low coolant sensor that the v8s have. We just took the light out.
- Lt1 radiator hoses
- Lt1 PCM (94-97) or ECM (93)
- Lt1 throttle cable
- If you get a 94 up lt1 the fuel lines are alittle different but they go to the back of the engine the 93s go to the front like the v6s
- Lt1 fuel pump
- Lt1 ac lines
- Lt1 ps lines
- You dont have to but its stupid not too posi rear
- You dont have to but they say it rides worse, swap the rear springs with v8 ones. We have the v8s in.
- Youll probably have to overide the fuel pump relay.
- All lt1 accessories besides the ac compressor (3.4 only).
- Lt1 starter
- If 93 youll need a Lt1s throttle valve cable
- LT1 dual fans
- Lt1 exhaust manifolds
- Lt1 egr
- Lt1 air pump
- Lt1 y pipe
- Lt1 ps reservoir or rig up your own

Things that you dont really have to change if your on a tight budget:
- Rear brakes, drums work fine
- Rear end although not recommended unless you have a Y87 3.8
- Radiator but you will have to do some rigging
- If 93 you can keep the single fan from a 3.4, 3.8s dont have to worry about this.
- Stock v6 catback
- Cluster although your tach will be off
- Rear shocks and springs
- 2 piece driveshaft although they are a joke and should be changed
- torque arm, v6 works fine
- rear sway bar, v6s is just smaller
- the forward harness if you have a 3.8

I'll think of more then.
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The Famiry: 96 3.8 Camaro, 94 3400 swap Chicken 96 3.8 Firechicken, 87 5.0 IRoc, 95 Lt1 swap 3.4 Camaro, 95 Z28, 93 Trans Am RIP

Last edited by 3.8blackmaro; 12-21-2010 at 12:37 PM.
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Old 10-15-2010, 02:40 PM
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Nice job! Sounds like you had a lot of fun..lol Good write up!
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Old 11-28-2010, 12:52 PM
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And today is the day for which this car was made for:



But this year we didn't just take one Camaro, no this is the year of the Lt1s:




Btw I updated the build thread with some more vids and new pics.
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The Famiry: 96 3.8 Camaro, 94 3400 swap Chicken 96 3.8 Firechicken, 87 5.0 IRoc, 95 Lt1 swap 3.4 Camaro, 95 Z28, 93 Trans Am RIP

Last edited by 3.8blackmaro; 11-28-2010 at 02:19 PM.
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