BUILD LAME Turbo V6 Camaro

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v6buicks

v6buicks

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I don't have the warmest and fuzziest of feelings toward this, but I just ordered this universal evaporator. It's not a good sign when even the ad photos show an entire row of bent fins. :rolleyes: It's the smallest automotive evaporator I can find with desirable fitting locations though. The Jeep unit is a bit bigger, and the tubes come out funny. I truly don't understand why this "universal" evaporator even exists, but I'm grateful. There can't be too many weirdos out there trying to build their own system using sub-standard shit. Fingers crossed that this POS fits in my tight quarters.
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I've been reading on some HVAC and construction websites that the relationship between evaporator and condenser sizing is also pretty critical if you want the system to work efficiently. I'm sure it's a lot more critical when you're cooling a house or large building than it is for a car, but it's still something to think about.

Speaking of which, my stock radiator and core support will be going bye bye soon. Therefore, a stock Camaro condenser is a bad idea anyway. I'll have to spec one out to fit in front of the shorter radiator.
 
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I took a half day from work, stopped at two small businesses in Marshall, IL and Terre Haute, and met two very cool F-body guys. I feel like I did good because the cost of gas in the Rav to get out there, the evaporator, and both of these HVAC boxes cost less than buying one HVAC box shipped from Hawks. I love Hawks, and I'm not bashing them, but this was a nice deal considering that both of these came with blower motors and cores. I don't need those, but the Hawks one would have been stripped bare. If you need 4th gen F-body parts, Adam Thompson and PJ Weber are both awesome to deal with.
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Besides the money part, the drive was also really nice. I didn't take the interstate at all on the way home. Google said there was a 35 minute delay due to construction. It's I-70 so I'm not surprised. Terre Haute is an interesting little city. You never know what you're going to see abandoned in rural Indiana either. I often forget how much cooler stuff gets off the the beaten path. I need to do this more often even if it takes longer.
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After sipping on a couple beers in the pool, I ordered a firewall plate on Ebay which made me realize that I can actually start hacking and test fitting stuff once everything arrives. The evaporator fitment and functionality is definitely the biggest hurdle in all this, so I should probably stop buying parts before I waste a bunch of money. lol I'm nervous but really excited!
 
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v6buicks

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First, I think the spark plug study was a bust.
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This is only marginally better than the old plugs. The extreme weather is probably at play here, but it was still not noticable enough to cause any potential performance issues.

Today was fun! I hate that the 3800 Gathering, the first ever Street Car Saturday Night at IRP, and this new local show all had to be on the same day, but I have no regrets.

This was the first time that I had been able to get both the GN and Camaro at a show together. We pulled the GN out of storage, and my wife drove it to the show.
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Sadly, I couldn't find time to change the plugs before the show and I paid for it a little bit. Perhaps not as much as if I didn't though.

It was popping and roasting the clutch like hell. At first I was embarrassed and kinda sad that I wouldn't be able to turn up the boost. I thought this would turn out to be a bust. Then I got my sheet and impressed everyone including myself!
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Hell friggen yes. No wonder my Spec Stage 4 is pissed. It was never made for that kind of torque! I'll also be playing with fire if I turned the boost up much higher with these Fel-Pro head bolts. I'm excited to up my ranking on the TCG Dyno board.
 

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Pretty damn good numbers for a stock 3800. Plus making the trip with it. Good work man that's gotta feel good
 
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v6buicks

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Thanks everyone!

I have no idea what clutch to go with. I'm done with Spec. I don't think the Stage 5 is enough of an upgrade if it even is one at all. A lot of my friends are trying to push me toward McLeod, but I have no idea if they're willing to make a custom one for me. If so, it may be cost prohibitive. Clutch Masters makes 3800 clutches that look fancy, but they have no ratings or intended usage advertised. I need to finally give them a call.

On a less exciting note, my evaporator arrived. The size appears to be too good to be true. I'm so excited to experiment with that.
 

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I contacted McLeod last year and they told me they weren't willing to do anything custom for me, but your luck might be different.
I ran the spec stage 5 for a while and it held 20 psi with 1.9 rockers pretty well. It squeaked a lot but otherwise grabbed really hard and held the power.

I really like the Monster twin disc I have right now, hell you might even be able to have them send you the same one they sent me if they kept their scans of the flywheel/clutch I sent them and potentially save that money. It's a lot thicker than the factory clutch but when I switched to it I was able to get rid of all of my spacers and it's fitting perfect without any. You'll need about an extra inch of room for it but I think you might be good there.

Really looking forward to seeing how you'll end up mounting your A/C compressor!
 

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I contacted McLeod last year and they told me they weren't willing to do anything custom for me, but your luck might be different.
I ran the spec stage 5 for a while and it held 20 psi with 1.9 rockers pretty well. It squeaked a lot but otherwise grabbed really hard and held the power.

I really like the Monster twin disc I have right now, hell you might even be able to have them send you the same one they sent me if they kept their scans of the flywheel/clutch I sent them and potentially save that money. It's a lot thicker than the factory clutch but when I switched to it I was able to get rid of all of my spacers and it's fitting perfect without any. You'll need about an extra inch of room for it but I think you might be good there.

Really looking forward to seeing how you'll end up mounting your A/C compressor!

That'd be awesome you should PM him the order number probably.

Was the green line the first pull? Wouldn't be surprised if the clutch got spme heat in it.Any smell?
 
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I contacted McLeod last year and they told me they weren't willing to do anything custom for me, but your luck might be different.
I ran the spec stage 5 for a while and it held 20 psi with 1.9 rockers pretty well. It squeaked a lot but otherwise grabbed really hard and held the power.

I really like the Monster twin disc I have right now, hell you might even be able to have them send you the same one they sent me if they kept their scans of the flywheel/clutch I sent them and potentially save that money. It's a lot thicker than the factory clutch but when I switched to it I was able to get rid of all of my spacers and it's fitting perfect without any. You'll need about an extra inch of room for it but I think you might be good there.

Really looking forward to seeing how you'll end up mounting your A/C compressor!
Is an "extra inch" literal? That's quite a bit, but if you were able to make it work by just getting rid of spacers, I should be able to just adjust my Tilton back down. I can even take my RTVd custom sleeve abomination off and put the nice Tilton bearing retainer back if I need even more space. Good to know. I'll let you know if I need some of your order information. I'm hoping kinda hoping Clutch Masters stuff is rated for respectable power because it would be a lot cheaper.

The compressor will just be screwed into the battery tray 😁 I'm giving 12V compressors a shot. I'm betting it doesn't work very efficiently nor reliably, but I'm sure it's better than no AC.
 
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v6buicks

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That'd be awesome you should PM him the order number probably.

Was the green line the first pull? Wouldn't be surprised if the clutch got spme heat in it.Any smell?
Green line is the last pull and it smoked/stunk baaaaad.

I don't like to be the guy full of excuses. I still wasn't, but everybody there was making them for me. When your car is misfiring and stinking up the whole event, you tend to get a lot of unsolicited "she's got a lot more in 'er" 😂
 

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the new clutch is 0.928" wider than the stock clutch by my measurements. So the LS1 bellousing + 1/2" spacer (malwood adapter) gave me the perfect clearance for it.

I had no idea they made electric A/C compressors! It would be amazing to only have to run an alternator with all electric accessories someday haha!
 

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Green line is the last pull and it smoked/stunk baaaaad.

I don't like to be the guy full of excuses. I still wasn't, but everybody there was making them for me. When your car is misfiring and stinking up the whole event, you tend to get a lot of unsolicited "she's got a lot more in 'er" 😂

Yeah that miss needs to get sorted out for sure. If you can get that under control shit's gonna fly more than it already does.

What you guys do with stock boxes that don't want you to do it is on the edge of miracle working. I'm surprised given the car and the manual you haven't cut loose of that fuckin box yet.
 
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the new clutch is 0.928" wider than the stock clutch by my measurements. So the LS1 bellousing + 1/2" spacer (malwood adapter) gave me the perfect clearance for it.

I had no idea they made electric A/C compressors! It would be amazing to only have to run an alternator with all electric accessories someday haha!
Oh shit, I forgot that you use an LS bell. This won't translate as well then. I can for sure get a Muncie spacer, but I know for sure that the taller pressure plate won't clear the metric bell. Poop.

12/24V compressors are out there, but they're moreso meant to supplement an existing system in RVs or stretch limos rather than be a standalone unit. My fingers are crossed that it'll still be a lot better than nothing with tinted windows in my tiny Camaro cabin space.
 
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Yeah that miss needs to get sorted out for sure. If you can get that under control shit's gonna fly more than it already does.

What you guys do with stock boxes that don't want you to do it is on the edge of miracle working. I'm surprised given the car and the manual you haven't cut loose of that fuckin box yet.
Miss will be sorted out as soon as I go back to my normal plugs and gap. I was hoping to gain a couple MPG, but I got nothing. Oh well.

I don't have a stock box anymore. After busting two T5s in less than a month, I converted to TKX. It was a bitch, but at least it won't break.
 

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Miss will be sorted out as soon as I go back to my normal plugs and gap. I was hoping to gain a couple MPG, but I got nothing. Oh well.

I don't have a stock box anymore. After busting two T5s in less than a month, I converted to TKX. It was a bitch, but at least it won't break.
I meant a 60E, since you don't need a controller for it. I think that commits a lot of people to the ECUs they run.
 
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I meant a 60E, since you don't need a controller for it. I think that commits a lot of people to the ECUs they run.
Ohhhhh stock box as in ECM. I'm with you now. Yeah. I hate the stock junk, but it works for now. It's a lot of work and money to go standalone as it is, but the snowballing is what would get me. "While I'm doing this, I'll wire in CNPs. Shit, now I need to weld brackets to my valve covers..." ect. I can pay for a few more trips to Dyno Brian before I'd be the same amount of money into a Holley, and it would certainly be less work. At the same time, I'll only need to pay for the system once and the sky will be the limit.

It's a tough call. I could go bananas with this car, but I really don't have any desire to own a balls out racecar. As long as the stock ICM and coils can still do their job and the tune is safe, I'm probably going to stick with what I have. The only other benefits IMO would be the built in launch control, flex fuel input, self-tuning, and ease of tuning. For right now, none of that matters to me. I MIGHT be able to figure out how to tune on my own with a Holley, but I'm not betting on that.
 

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Yeah the ECU its self would be worth a huge percent of what the car is. I guess you have an aftermarket transmission is in it already though so maybe not. I think the big thing is you'd be able to go with a more basic ECU than a person wanting an "E" trans would.

I keep thinking about getting something to let the MS2 go at some point. The thing that bothers me the most is at times I can't tell if it's the engine, the subsystems or the box that is causing issues. I could never get the Astro running quite the way I wanted, it was really awesome when it ran tip top but at times it'd just say fuck off. I'm probably going to give the MS2 one more shot on this AMC Engine then it's gonna piss me off and be gone.

We'll see if I am okay with the 3 speed auto for a while, this fuckin thing has an internal system for the TCC in the trans of all things. Supposedly a basic rebuild is good for 450-500hp and they're cheap/easy to build too. If I need to I could dig a 727 up as well I think or one of the Jeep 4 speed autos which is supposedly a relative of the Supra Auto of all things. That makes that basic ECU real tempting, not to mention the resale value is probably real decent. If it was me I'd go see one get tuned up first.
 
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Yeah the ECU its self would be worth a huge percent of what the car is. I guess you have an aftermarket transmission is in it already though so maybe not. I think the big thing is you'd be able to go with a more basic ECU than a person wanting an "E" trans would.

I keep thinking about getting something to let the MS2 go at some point. The thing that bothers me the most is at times I can't tell if it's the engine, the subsystems or the box that is causing issues. I could never get the Astro running quite the way I wanted, it was really awesome when it ran tip top but at times it'd just say fuck off. I'm probably going to give the MS2 one more shot on this AMC Engine then it's gonna piss me off and be gone.

We'll see if I am okay with the 3 speed auto for a while, this fuckin thing has an internal system for the TCC in the trans of all things. Supposedly a basic rebuild is good for 450-500hp and they're cheap/easy to build too. If I need to I could dig a 727 up as well I think or one of the Jeep 4 speed autos which is supposedly a relative of the Supra Auto of all things. That makes that basic ECU real tempting, not to mention the resale value is probably real decent. If it was me I'd go see one get tuned up first.
What would your plan be in terms of everything else? It seems like MS2/Microsquirt with a GM TBI is pretty popular for super low buck and robust EFI conversions. I'd totally do that if I ever did the sloppy turbo V8 I've always dreamed of. Lol. It just sucks that Microsquirt can only batch fire 6 and 8 cylinder MPI engines.
 

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Shit, I forgot you have to cope with your gauges being it's an 02. I'm not sure what the cutover year was for the Camaros or if LT-1 parts would bolt in for that matter. What else would really run off your ECU? That's still a considerable expense though.
 
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Shit, I forgot you have to cope with your gauges being it's an 02. I'm not sure what the cutover year was for the Camaros or if LT-1 parts would bolt in for that matter. What else would really run off your ECU? That's still a considerable expense though.
Yeah, I forget about that sometimes too. I like my stock gauges and don't really care to replace them with a Holley dash, but it's a small price to pay when bolt-in Holley gauge bezels can be bought off-the-shelf for my car. It's the #1 reason I'm okay with having an F-body.

I don't think the ECM controls anything else that I would miss.
 

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The basic Holley doesn't have a way to read the VSS sensor so I still have my 3800 PCM underneath the seat reading the VSS and sending the pulses to the speedometer and cruise module. Lots of guys piggyback the stock PCM
I also have it sending pulses to the Holley but I'm having trouble getting it to read that signal right now.
I'm using dual senders for a lot of things since I have all autometer gauges but you could do the same for some of those gauges that the PCM still needs if it's sending that data over the data signal to the dash. Could also pick up an earlier dash with actual individual sensor inputs too if needed.

Benefit of the Holley is that you can keep the ECU for any other project down the road too.
It also means you don't need some of the add-on modules for a high HP 3800: MAF scaler, electronic boost controller, 2 step box, HPTuners/DHP
That's like $1,000 in modules you don't need anymore and have a better system that's easier to use and upgrade.
Downside right now is the custom harness you need to build though and the rest of the Holley EFI ecosystem (dashes, gauges) can get pretty spendy for what they are.
 

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I believe the pickup is 17 pulses per driveshaft rotation but it's been a while since I've checked it out. I'm sure it's just a matter of doing some digging to find out what I need to make it work, not sure what the DRAC is though.

For Holley, CNP just needs a bracket and plug wires. I used the LS1 harness and just cut off the wires for coils 7 and 8 and told it I had coil on plugs.
 

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A DRAC=Digital Ratio Adapter Control. It's a standalone box that's included in many of the "TBI generation" GM Vehicles that you use to adjust for things like gear ratio, tires etc. They usually used a 40 pulse per rotation VR sensor in them but they were completely independent of the ECU. They would also control cruise etc. as well.

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Calibration info here:
https://harristuning.com/Tbi/vssb-drac-calibration/

Dunno if anyone makes a way to do it with a 17 pulse wheel or not nor do I know if anyone has a wheel for your gearbox. Dakota Digital makes an adapter controller as well apparently but I've never done much with one. The DRACs aren't too bad if you have a soldering iron, you shift some jumpers around. Some people put DIP switches in em too.
 
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