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LAME Turbo V6 Camaro


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So I really like to punish myself, and mind is pretty much set. I have my plans for the winter.

I told myself I wasn't going to do it, but I'm gonna friggen do it. Sub-frame connectors. I still have them propped up against the garage wall. Despite the haggard frame channels and rad support, I've put too much labor into this shell to abandon ship. The floors are fixed, and I shouldn't have to remove the interior, so repairing these two little sections of frame and adding connectors should be chump work in comparison. It's still going to be labor intensive, but it shouldn't cost much, and the stiffened frame will make justification of coilovers, and tubular links a lot easier. If I get that all figured out fairly quickly I'll move into the engine bay.

I know I said this was going to be my "racecar" but that doesn't mean I need a dump. I really only did this because the initial idea for the build started as "NFG", low-buck, offensive, rust bucket, but here I am. Apparently I gave too many f***s and now I want to keep the car a while. :ROFLMAO: I doubt that I'll make enough power for a quality exhaust to be restrictive anyway. A nice rear exit would make this thing so much more comfortable to drive. I can always put a side exit cutout after the down pipe if I want to hear the cow moo. This will involve cutting up some of the pre-turbo plumbing, but nothing too wild. To be honest the transition I made from the round pipe to square T4 flange is pretty heinous anyway. I'll feel a lot better having that smoothed out.

If I get THAT done quickly, that hideous 90 degree cast intake elbow will be gone! I can't stand it. However, the equally ugly upper radiator hose is kind of in the way of the pluming I envisioned. This shouldn't be a big deal. Just to get something going I'll probably make a steel pipe to reroute it, but aluminum would be the future upgrade. That wouldn't be until I decide to spend some real money on a nice radiator and prettying up the core support. That's way down the road though. The radiator I have is very new and works fine.

All of this stuff is just time. I won't want to take the car down until winter, but once it's too cold for outdoor activities and racing around, I'm going to be looking for projects. I think then will be a better time than ever to start fixing and refining what I have already started rather than trying to upgrade. This of course could all go out the window if something unexpectedly lets go. We'll see.
 
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Impulse got the best of me. Pro5.0 shifter incoming!

I've been getting the hang of driving this thing. It's way more fun when you aren't embarassing yourself at every possible moment. lol I think a good shifter will make driving it a lot easier, while also helping with keeping this transmission from exploding. Then again, I can tell that to myself all I want. The easier it gets to drive, the harder I'm going to push it. :LOL:(y)
 
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Little by little I'm trying to get a feel for how far I can travel in this car. The only way to do so is by taking it on trips! Not knowing where I can get E85 sucks, but at least the car has given me double digit mpgs.
1595256168180.png


Once I got home I was excited to ditch the dump truck shifter in favor of some sportiness. Isn't this a familiar site! At least I remember all the tricks to getting the console removed, so it's not nearly as bad to do anymore.
1595256404200.png


It was super satisfying just to get rid of the rusty stamped thing to make way for this shiny billet piece! I thought it was pretty nifty that Pro5.0 designed this to work with a modified dust boot. Instead of the boot surrounding the lever, it needs to be cut to fit around the body of the shifter. I was a bit worried since this part is intended for a 3rd gen, but it worked exactly the same.
1595256521174.png



I tried installing the new shift knob with the button but I broke it. For some reason it never bottomed out and ended up destroying the button. :mad: Oh well. I had grown to hate having the wires hanging around and the gawdy looks anyway. I just rewired the line lock to be activated by the switch only. I think that will work fine as I won't be shifting while attempting to engage or disengage the line lock. Now that the button is gone, I'm glad I rethought everything. This looks and fells way better!
1595257229767.png


Speaking of feeling way better, I wish I did this a long time ago! This has to be the single nicest part I've bought for this car. It's listed as fitting only 82-93 Camaro T5s (even has the application engraved on the part), but it fit into my 02 like a glove! I had seen some newbs on youtube screwing around with modifying cheap Mustang shifters to fit with ugly results, and I no longer know why. This part is really nice and I would recommend it for any T5 car. As recommended by many other T5 gurus, I opted to reuse the stock plastic isolator cup. I had heard that even the expensive bronze versions do not fit properly and cause more problms than anything. Since my plastic piece felt like it was in good shape, I left it there.

After a long drive, I'm really starting to get a feel for this car and what it wants. The valve float is becoming more and more apparent which really sucks. The car pulls so damn hard up to 5500 and then starts breaking up and popping. :( I supposed these are good problems to have as more fun parts are going to be the answer for that. I just know that this particular issue is going to be a big rabbit hole. I have a lead on a free L67. It needs to be gone through and refreshed, but I would feel better about having new rings and a fresh hone in any used engine I plan to install. In other words. It's going to be a hot minute before I get too far. I'm thinking about band-aiding the car along with just a quick LS6 spring and retainer swap. Then I'll pop the front cover off, check the oil pump's condition and change out the timing chain with a single roller. My buddy at work has a brand new one he's willing to sell me cheap. None of this should keep the car down long nor cost a lot. Plus, it might help keep my interest alive longer while I take my time building another engine up on the side. We'll see!
 

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My buddy's car was dropping power at 5300 rpms with 13 psi when he was on stock springs too. I'm not sure if he ever did springs without the cam to see how much of a difference that made.
 
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My buddy's car was dropping power at 5300 rpms with 13 psi when he was on stock springs too. I'm not sure if he ever did springs without the cam to see how much of a difference that made.
I like to experiment. Especially since this car has only 150k on it I think it's a decent mule. LS6 springs are super cheap, so that will probably be the route I choose. I like seeing good results with a low price tag.
 
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Well that was fun. At a fairly solid three weeks, this is the longest running amount of fun I've had with the Lame V6.

However, there is no such thing as a happily ever after when it comes to my cars. Once again, my clutch is toast. I had a hunch that something was wrong with it, and after doing a little research today I found that the big bad 6-puck clutch job to end all clutch jobs was still not good enough. I forgot that the Spec Stage 4 kit for 3800s is only torque rated for 417. I guess its cool that I ended up making way more power than I anticipated, but I still feel like an idiot. In a fit of rage I went full f***-it and gave her hell. As fun and liberating as it was to mash the pedal, bang shift 1-2-3-4, and not let go until I was ready, the fate is now sealed. I can't go half throttle without noticing clutch slip now.

I don't want to dwell over this too much. The fact of the matter is that future upgrades are going to require engine removal regardless of the clutch condition. I'm just bummed that I once again CAN'T enjoy this car until I do all that major surgery. :mad: My life as a slave to the garage continues.

Speaking of slave labor. Keep in mind that this is the second car in a matter of a week that went from fully functional to barely limping along. Moose is awaiting parts from the world's slowest parts supplier, so my C30 is being driven daily by my girlfriend at the moment. Hopefully the Camaro will hang on at least a until the fuel pump job is complete.... Otherwise, Ginny is on deck!

With that being said, don't forget that both my V6 can be purchased at any moment. The cars and I are having moments of weakness, so now is the time to pick one up cheap if you like them! :LOL:
 
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I'm triggered.

Yeah, okay. I get it. Nobody cares about V6 Camaros. The manual versions are kind of a bastard and uncommon, but they're far from rare. It seems like a lot of aftermarket parts I need are listed for either "LS1" or "82-93" cars which is slightly poor marketing IMO. I had to do my own research to find out that everything in the clutch release system (slave, hose, master, ect) share the same part numbers between V6 and LS stuff. Why not just label everything as fitting a 4th Gen??

I'll give them a little credit. I have very high doubts that these parts have ever been tested on V6 cars. Therefore, listing them as such could be slightly irresponsible. The market is nearly non-existent anyway. I guess that's the price (and reward?) of being different in a super common chassis. I get to play pioneer at times.

Anyway, I think I'm going to buy the Tick Performance adjustable master cylinder. My clutch is still grabbing just fine during my commute, but this sounds like another part that would have been nice to know about before I replaced everything last year! Oh well. These are the growing pains of learning a new platform. Do any F-body guys in here have a solid testimony?
 

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I'm triggered.

Yeah, okay. I get it. Nobody cares about V6 Camaros. The manual versions are kind of a bastard and uncommon, but they're far from rare. It seems like a lot of aftermarket parts I need are listed for either "LS1" or "82-93" cars which is slightly poor marketing IMO. I had to do my own research to find out that everything in the clutch release system (slave, hose, master, ect) share the same part numbers between V6 and LS stuff. Why not just label everything as fitting a 4th Gen??

I'll give them a little credit. I have very high doubts that these parts have ever been tested on V6 cars. Therefore, listing them as such could be slightly irresponsible. The market is nearly non-existent anyway. I guess that's the price (and reward?) of being different in a super common chassis. I get to play pioneer at times.

Anyway, I think I'm going to buy the Tick Performance adjustable master cylinder. My clutch is still grabbing just fine during my commute, but this sounds like another part that would have been nice to know about before I replaced everything last year! Oh well. These are the growing pains of learning a new platform. Do any F-body guys in here have a solid testimony?
A testimony for the Tick master cylinder? Yeah I have one and its been great. My clutch hydraulics took a dump and the pedal was sticking to the floor, I got this and its been fine. I will say that right after install it started leaking at the one fitting but I called Tick and they said they would send me another one but suggested using Teflon tape and see if that works, which it did so it saved me time waiting to return one and having a new one shipped, although it was a pain in the ass to remove it and reinstall since there isn't a lot of room for the sucker to squeeze in there but I got it done and its been fine since. I do suck out the fluid with a turkey baster and put in fresh fluid at least once a season cause it tends to get dirty which is part of the problem with these systems. The clutch engagement is something to get used to, it grabs pretty much right off the floor, but if you know how to drive a manual car then you get used to it pretty quick.
 
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A testimony for the Tick master cylinder? Yeah I have one and its been great. My clutch hydraulics took a dump and the pedal was sticking to the floor, I got this and its been fine. I will say that right after install it started leaking at the one fitting but I called Tick and they said they would send me another one but suggested using Teflon tape and see if that works, which it did so it saved me time waiting to return one and having a new one shipped, although it was a pain in the ass to remove it and reinstall since there isn't a lot of room for the sucker to squeeze in there but I got it done and its been fine since. I do suck out the fluid with a turkey baster and put in fresh fluid at least once a season cause it tends to get dirty which is part of the problem with these systems. The clutch engagement is something to get used to, it grabs pretty much right off the floor, but if you know how to drive a manual car then you get used to it pretty quick.
That's good to hear. I've never noticed the sticking pedal pedal issue, but I haven't taken mine to a track or anything yet either. Do you have the speed bleeder too? I thought about getting it, but I've had pretty good luck just vacuum bleeding the system from the reservoir. I know it sounds crazy, but it's worked for me twice and doesn't even require getting under the car.
 

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That's good to hear. I've never noticed the sticking pedal pedal issue, but I haven't taken mine to a track or anything yet either. Do you have the speed bleeder too? I thought about getting it, but I've had pretty good luck just vacuum bleeding the system from the reservoir. I know it sounds crazy, but it's worked for me twice and doesn't even require getting under the car.
The pedal actually started sticking when I was driving home from a road trip, I was stuck in traffic on the expressway and I think the heat of sitting there and constantly clutching is what did it, plus the 20 plus year old parts and probably the original fluid from the original owner since it was black when I checked afterwards (I didn't think to check the clutch fluid after I bought it so my bad there). But No I did not get the speed bleeder, it comes as an assembly and even had fluid in it, I manually bleed it in the driveway before I installed it on the car to get any initial air out, then for good measure I crawled under and did a manual bleed by pushing the pedal and releasing the bleeder screw with the help of my neighbor pushing the pedal for me once it was installed to be sure.
 
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Thanks! It's certainly been a long and trying road for 333hp :ROFLMAO:. There should be quite a bit more where that came from though.
 
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I was overdue for another downward slope in the LAME V6 roller coaster. This is exactly what I get for s***ing all over 4T65Es earlier today. :LOL:

I don't know what this is going to mean for the car's immediate fate yet, but it's certainly time to hang it up for a while I figure it out. I could just find another 4th gen T5 and be done for about $200. However, I'll be right back in this spot very soon after. I could also go crazy with a TKO swap for about an estimated $3k. G-force gear sets are about the only thing in between that I can think of being feasible, but they're not going to handle much more than I'm putting down either. T56s are too expensive, and good automatic conversions are also too expensive once a swap is all said and done.

As usual, I'll be poking around for ideas. Until then, I guess I'll just have to blow the dust off the GN and enjoy that for a while. (y)
 

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4L80e and gift it to me!

See what i did there lol! Anyways ya ive never heard anything good of the T5 in the research i did for the fbody stuff. Auto seems to be where its at if making any sort of power above stock sadly.
 
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I definitely have a lot of push from friends to go with a 4L80e or th400. I just feel like a chump for spending $330 on a clutch master that hasn't even arrived yet and nice shifter with less than a week's worth of drive time. I'm probably keeping it T5 for a little while longer. I'll beef it up with Mustang parts or something if I can, but I'm not ready to drop coin on entire transmissions and expensive adapters. Not to mention that a 4l80e is going to require a controller and a new center console. $$$
 

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I can't quite see in your pictures. How did you run your crossover from the drivers side exhaust to the turbo? I didn't see it ran in front of the motor like most is the reason why I ask. Thanks.
 
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I can't quite see in your pictures. How did you run your crossover from the drivers side exhaust to the turbo? I didn't see it ran in front of the motor like most is the reason why I ask. Thanks.
Yeah, going in front is ugly and a huge waste of space IMO. I had to delete my AC to do it my way though. I guess you win some and lose some. However I think it would be possible to do something similar with AC if you were okay with an open downpipe.

I routed under the oil pan like the factory Y-pipe except instead of running back I routed it up and froward.
IMG_20180412_200009.jpg


The pipe fits perfectly between the factory K-member and engine mount.
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Then I made a merge to bring the driver side together with a modified FWD manifold.
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Nice thanks for the pictures. I am going to try to keep the A/C living in Texas not having A/C is like not having heat up North, all else fails though I'll just sweat it out haha. I agree with you running it in front of the motor looks awful and a mess, but I might have to do it to keep the A/C. I'm moving my battery rn, and hopefully i can move the a/c accumulator over enough to run my piping. Gonna be a tight fit either way. I've seen 1 video of a guy on youtube that was able to keep his a/c. He had to extend his a/c lines and move the accumulator to where the battery use to be.
 
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Nice thanks for the pictures. I am going to try to keep the A/C living in Texas not having A/C is like not having heat up North, all else fails though I'll just sweat it out haha. I agree with you running it in front of the motor looks awful and a mess, but I might have to do it to keep the A/C. I'm moving my battery rn, and hopefully i can move the a/c accumulator over enough to run my piping. Gonna be a tight fit either way. I've seen 1 video of a guy on youtube that was able to keep his a/c. He had to extend his a/c lines and move the accumulator to where the battery use to be.
There are plenty of ways to skin the cat. I sometimes wish I kept AC, but my plan for this car during it's initial inception was "full race car" and maximum serviceability. I also knew nothing about AC work at the time. I've seen a few people keep stock manifolds and run J-pipes under the K-member, but I hate the idea of putting anything under the K-member. It's up as high as it is for a reason. Anything below is asking for damage!
 
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First of all, these old pictures of the initial turbo build are reminding me of how terrible this car was when I first got it. I mean... it's complete garbage without 3rd gear right now, but I couldn't even dream of breaking stuff like that back then. I was lucky not to not fall through the floor! Reminiscing about all the hard work I've put forth already is motivating me to continue. It's too bad that my money situation is holding me back.

I don't have any actual updates, but I am most certainly back in the "honeymoon phase" in my "circle of build". You know when you start dreaming and planning for crazy project ideas without actually buying anything or turning a wrench? Yeah, that.

Since I need a place to take notes, I'll let you guys in on what I've come up with and what I have yet to figure out. I want to keep this car a stick. I know I got pouty about it for a while and was tired of all my T5 and clutch problems, but that can all be sorted. I bought this car because it was black and a stick shift. Yes, it has sentimental value as you all know, but I still would have passed if it wasn't either of those. I don't think I'll ever regret a strong manual, but I might ruin half the fun if I convert to automatic. To bury the whole idea you have to think about the entire conversion. I would need a new center console, shifter, adapter plate, converter, and means to control it. The adapter and controller alone puts in at a grand with a lot of work to go and parts left to buy! I could go with a TH400 or TH350 if I wanted be cheap, but without a mechanical throttle I have no way of actuating a kickdown cable. Screw having a manual valve body on the street. To me that would just be a weird flex that I can't live up to.

So! Maunals.

T56 is the knee-jerk reaction that most people have when I bring up the idea. Unless you can convince me otherwise, I don't see this as a good idea. The adapter from Mal Wood comes in at a hefty price. My understanding is that after shipping it comes out to almost $500 USD. Then the big suck is that it is meant for Holdens, so the transmission will not be tilted over like it should for F-bodies. Therefore, my shifter will not line up with the stock hole, a custom crossmember would be needed to mount the things and this all just sucks for installing a transmission that came as a factory option. Even if this tilt issue was corrected, I would need to find an F-body transmission. These things seem to be damn near impossible to find for sale outside of a running/driving car, and when you do, it's $2k or more. That just sounds absurd for a used 20 year-old transmission.

I also had the idea of building the T5. I shot that down fairly quickly. G-force gears are cool but nearly worthless without a case upgrade. No biggie. However, they are totally worthless without a main shaft upgrade which I cannot seem to confirm whether or not the upgraded shaft will work with my Camaro tail housing. Since the shaft is listed for Mustangs only while some gear sets are listed for Camaros, I will have to assume that's a "no." Besides, gears, case, and main shaft will cost more than TKO which is capable of holding a lot more power than a T5 can dream up.

TKO 600 is where my heart lies. I think this will hold long enough to suit my long term goals while also being a bolt-in solution. The trouble is that I cannot confirm the later... The 4th gen V6 F-bodies actually have a Ford case T5 which sounds like no biggie if you don't do your research. The Ford style TKO does NOT have a Ford style bolt pattern. It is similar but requires a custom bellhousing. As we all know, Quicktime isn't making anything for 3800s. The OEs might be able help me through this though. The third gen Camaros also have the tilt like 4th gens. The 2.8 and 3.1s use the same bell pattern, so this might be the ticket to utilizing a GM style TKO. <---TKOS SHOULD NOT BE TILTED. A couple of issues with this include the starter pocket being on the wrong side, and having external slave provisions. I could hack all that off and have my buddies at work add some material where it's needed, but hacking, drilling, and welding a cast aluminum bellhousing with no scatter shield sounds sketchy. I might need to bend something up.

The unknowns include but are not limited to input shaft length compatibility with the bell (I think an extended pilot bushing will be necessary), T5 bearing retainer compatibility with the TKO (can I use the stock slave?), TKO hydraulic slave upgrade compatibility with the stock clutch/pressure plate (it's probably fine), whether it's okay to tilt a TKO (I've never heard of anybody doing it), <--- DO NOT TILT A TKO the length from the engine to MY current shifter (will any of TKO's shifter locations fit into my stock shifter hole?), <--- IT'S GOOD and tilted TKO shifters (do they exist?). <--- OFFSET SHIFTERS EXIST TO COMPENSATE There is going to be a lot of unknowns in any conversion, but I think the TKO is the closest to fitting without any major fabrication. Unfortunately, I will not know for sure unless I either plunge and buy one, or buy some expensive measuring tools that I might only use once.
Camaro 3.1 bellhousing.jpg


NEW Info:

7/28/20 - Since it seems that TKOs are supposed to mount straight up and down, which is easier to mount to a crossmember anyway, the Camaro bell is a no-go. S10 2.8 bells are essentially the same except the slave provision is a bit different and the trans is mounted straight up and down. I would still have the starter pocket problems but probably wouldn't have to cut any of the S10 slave stuff off.
1595958406727.png


7/29/20 - Since I'm already talking about modifying bells, perhaps finding a good deal on an F-body T56 would be something worth jumping on... I forgot about this product.


Maybe this would allow for a tilted stock T56 and shifter to at least bolt to the body and a 60 degree Camaro bellhousing. I really wish that there was a 60 degree/HTOB/Muncie bell :cautious: Sadly, that does not exist. There is a slight bit of hope though. I found these images on an MG page (they like swapping 60 degree V6s). Apparently the 2.8 Camaro bell has pockets on both sides and cleans up pretty simply. They also have this neat little slave with AN hoses on it. I really like this!
1596038414412.png
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One thing I cannot seem to get a straight answer on is how long my input shaft is from the tip to the bellhousing mating surface on the trans. I have some pictures of measurements I took last time I was in there, but it's still going to require some math. Luckily, the S10 bell I have is the same height as stock. I'll take the height of that bell and subtract it from the pilot stick out (level - tip to level's end = roughly 0.85"). If I can get this information I can figure out what the stack-up needs to be for a given T56 input shaft because this is fairly well documented.
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1596040544614.png


I will measure later, but I am pretty sure that the stock T5 input length is a lot longer than the common T56 lengths. This issue will only get aggravated by having a taller T5 bell with a spacer/adapter plate. I THINK the 3rd gen Camaro bellhousing and input shafts are shorter than 4th gen T5 stuff, but still not shorter than the T56 stuff. We'll see.

7/31/20 - I measured the S10 bell height in four places to ensure accuracy and got the same exact result. Back to that equation. 6.31" from trans to engine mating surfaces + 0.85" inches from engine mating surface to input tip = a total input length of 7.16". I thought that was going to be the case. Swapping to a trans with a longer input can be dealt with using spacers. As for making a custom longer input shaft or shorter bell housing, no thanks. Now I get why the Mal Wood adapter is a "must have" for the swap. Also, no thanks.

Back to the TKO. With a confirmed stock input shaft length of 7.16" and a TKO input shaft length of 6.71". I'm still going to come up a tad short. Thankfully, this is not short enough to be the end of the world. I should be able to cheat this less than half inch with a longer pilot bushing. <--- NOT NECESSARILY. 3.1 CAMARO BELL HEIGHT MAY BE SHORTER THAN THE 4TH GEN BELL
1596194201686.png
1596194234463.png


1596198718619.png


TKO TOB retainers are not interchangable with the T5 but have the same diameter as a stock 3rd gen retainer. There are two ways to approach and a lot of items to research. First approach is to go backwards in tech and install all 3rd gen clutch actuation parts. Assuming the 3rd gen TOB is the correct diameter for the 4th gen pressure plate and the external slave would fit under the 4th gen floor we know that it will "work" it's just worse than the stock 4th gen parts which I'm not cool with. I want an HTOB. I doubt that the stock 4th gen HTOB will slide over the TKO bearing retainer or lock into place. There is a GM TKO HTOB conversion kit but the lines are have -4 AN ends instead of the Camaro QC. I am also not sure how well this kit will jive with my master. There is also the 3rd-gen internal slave conversion. 3rd gens and 4th gens have the same master cylinder part number so I know the kit will work. What sucks is the price and that I already HAVE a Tick performance 4th gen master. *facepalm* Either I can suck it up and get the whole 3rd gen kit which MIGHT not lock into a TKO bearing retainer, or I can get the TKO conversion slave. In that case I'll have to figure out if the Tick adjustable master works with it hydraulically (7/8" bore vs 3/4" recomended by Tilton but adjustable sooooo 🤷‍♂️) AND build a custom stainless braided -4 AN hose.

TBH I don't like the sound of either one, but I'll bet Hawks would sell me just the internal slave and hoses from their conversion kit if I asked, and making a lock for retainer is not that difficult of a fab job. I'm leaning this way for now.

I THINK THAT'S IT!
1596212749743.png
 

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