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Old 13-01-12, 09:27   #1
InsaneVL
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[CUBED] InsaneVL's LS1 VL Calais Build Thread

Ok, time to start a thread about my car (i've only been on here for 10 years, had this car for 7 or 8 years and never done an info thread on my car..)

As the car sits now, it has 330rwhp from the RB30/MX7 combo on 16psi with pump e85. The plan is to remove the RB, and go with an LS motor upgrade.

This thread, i hope, will detail the steps along the way to becoming LS powered.


Before Now
__________

A little bit of the history of this car first. I picked this genuine 1988 Calais Turbo up about 7 or 8 years ago from an odd bloke named Rubin. Back then, Rubin was known for driving the Calais around, keeping real good care of it, and rarely giving it any stick.

When I bought it off Rubin, the car was fairly stock except for 3" exhaust, GroupA body kit, MX7 conversion, and a bleed valve to bring it up to 10psi. A dyno showed it had a respectable 197rwhp at this stage.

Before too long, the mods started with Nizpro style intercooler, and some more boost (12psi) to see the car go up to 236rwhp.

A few years later, more mods had been done including an upgraded cam, nistune ecu, larger fuel system, and a rebuilt highflow turbo which bought the car up again to about 300rwhp on 16psi.

Another while later and a forward facing plenum, xf throttle body, e85, and a retune saw the current power now made of 330rwhp.

Other mods than just the above listed were done - but thats the main gist of things.

Everytime a power upgrade was done (and many $1000's spent) - I contemplated putting in a V8 - however, I kept thinking that i'll just spend a little bit to go to the next level of mods and keep myself happy. Previously an LS coversion was out due to the price, and a Holden 5L just didn't cut the mustard when Power was considered.

The Current Pics
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The Decision
____________

I have now decided to bite the bullet, loose the investment made into the RB30 (btw, its all for sale) and change it all over to the LS. This way, the initial change will give me another boost in power, and future mods to the LS will keep me happy - and it'll be a V8!


The Current Plan
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The current plan is to buy an LS1 with some mild work (Cam? maybe heads?), put a T400 behind it, and with a good tune, see if I can put down about 370-380rwhp.
Fuel choice is still up in the air - I may stay with the e85, or I might go back to PULP.

The Future
__________

Down the track, I intend to put on a different manifold - maybe some L98 heads - and get the LS singing to the tune of over 400hp at the treads. Maybe look at forced induction, or swapping out for a 6.0 or 6.2L. Time will tell on these - but the current round of mods is really only the beginning

The Build/Coversion
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Ok.. So here we are now. I've made the decision, I have saved some $, and it's time to get some gear together.

First item I have purchased...

- Its some AU Thermo's. (exciting, i know).

Items currently being sorted out / purchased

- LS1 with all accessories ecu and loom.
- Custom grind cam (details still being sorted)
- double row timing chain setup
- B&M Pro Ratchet Shifter

There is obviously more (much, much more) to be done, sorted out, and the actual work to be started. I will try and keep this thread up-to-date with the details as I go along. Hopefully you may find it useful as I'll try and document the actual details of everything going in.

In the mean time - enjoy the pics of how the Calais is at the moment, and buy some of my RB30 stuff to give me $$ to finish this project!

--Mark
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Last edited by InsaneVL; 13-01-12 at 16:12.
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Old 13-01-12, 09:58   #2
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Subscribed for sure. Great to have some history on the car as well, I think I've got some pictures of the car floating around with some fluffy white seatcovers on it from back when Rubin had it.

When are you going to start pulling everything out?
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Old 13-01-12, 11:18   #3
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Engine/box and all RB30 equipment is scheduled to come out on Sun 12th Feb.

Hopefully by then i'll have the Engine, mounts, and wiring ready to go in at that stage.
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Old 13-01-12, 11:24   #4
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also subscribed, i'v found america is your friend when it comes to sourcing parts especially with the dollar at the moment
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Old 13-01-12, 15:24   #5
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U.S. could be good for some parts!

Started to organise exhaust. Whats on the board at the moment is: Full custom headers (possibly heat coated), 1 7/8" primaries with 4into1 collectors (if they will fit - otherwise Tri-Y's). Full twin 3" mandrel bent exhaust with highflow cats, mufflers, and resonators.
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Old 13-01-12, 15:25   #6
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Pacemaker make off the shelf mate.
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Old 13-01-12, 15:34   #7
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I know. I am thinking custom to a) get the best fit with the starter location and the T400 gearbox, and b) get 1 7/8" primaries. Quite honestly, I am getting a really good price on having the custom headers made that its not much more expensive than off-the-shelf, and I know it will fit perfectly the first time without stuffing around.
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Old 13-01-12, 15:41   #8
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Got to be happy with that then. Its going to be a cracker and with the larger pipe size, if you decide to stick a blower on it your always covered.
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Old 13-01-12, 15:56   #9
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Initial engine specs will be finalised this weekend. Will update everyone once finalised.

---------- Post added 13-01-12 at 19:26 ----------

AU thermo's picked up and marks the first of the parts purchased at a bargain $26 from eBay.

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Old 15-01-12, 09:42   #10
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cant wait to see the progress on this mark....

also u interested in sellin the mx7 conversion seperate ??
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Old 15-01-12, 10:17   #11
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MX7 conversion - may sell seperate after early Feb. Give me a hoy then and we can work something out if you are interested.

Engine has been paid for. Its a low km LS1 from a VY. Comes with all accessories, wiring, ecu, coils, etc. Going straight into the shop for a bigger cam, double row timing chain and valve springs. Cam will be in the high 230's, low 240's range. Builder will work out what's going to fit and be the best cam size for now.
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Old 16-01-12, 11:16   #12
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B&M Pro Ratchet Shifter has been ordered. Will be in my hands by the end of the week.

Update's are not all that exciting yet. Once I have things to take pics of i'll put them up and I suppose the real interesting part of putting the motor in won't be until Mid-Feb sometime.
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Old 16-01-12, 16:43   #13
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ill sell u my complete exhaust

---------- Post added 16-01-12 at 16:43 ----------

i also had a set of fans here i would have thrown in :P
haha
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Old 16-01-12, 21:03   #14
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lol... how much you after for your exhaust? and will it suit my needs?

Cam details are sorted. 237/248 with 112 LSA. Big cam for the standard head & manifold, but looking to the future - will probably go some 243 heads & a better manifold down the track.
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Old 17-01-12, 09:49   #15
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Shorten up the LSA Insano.. do something on 108. You will thank me later.
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Old 18-01-12, 17:15   #16
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Motor is also getting a New Oil Pump since it's apart while the cam goes in. Valve Springs have been upgraded to Double Springs to cope with the Cam going in.

Also, since the car is going auto - I have started to organise some Auto parts - got myself a standard Auto Console Surround in beige. Aim is to have the Shifter below the standard console.
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Old 18-01-12, 17:27   #17
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Motor is also getting a New Oil Pump since it's apart while the cam goes in. Valve Springs have been upgraded to Double Springs to cope with the Cam going in.

Also, since the car is going auto - I have started to organise some Auto parts - got myself a standard Auto Console Surround in beige. Aim is to have the Shifter below the standard console.
i'll get you a pick of my old ratchet you can fit them into the factory covers looks a lot nicer that way
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Old 18-01-12, 23:23   #18
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Yeah.. was thinking that. Was going to see if I can setup something to get the correct lights to light up with the gear selected aswell.



Well... Just got a call from Kyle who is doing the engine work, and there is Bad News and Good News.

Bad News:
- The LS1 that I bought seems to be in worse condition than I thought.
- It seems that upon being pulled down there has been previous issues with the engine, or other mismatching parts have been slapped onto it to make it look still ok.
- The bottom end will need a rebuild

Good News:
- The Block is fine. The bores will clean up with a quick hone.
- Heads seem to be ok.
- A partial refund was able to be had from the seller (this was awesome and unexpected!)
- The remaning parts are still worth the price I paid minus the refund.


So.. this means the engine will need a full rebuild, but this also means we can get the motor together with some extra goodies while its apart.

Not being made of money means that there is not going to be any Million Dollar bucks being spent to stroke or make this into a mega HP power buster. However, after a good chat with Kyle we are going to go with an almost standard rebuild with a few select parts to make a great reliable combo.

The "OK" has been given to rebuild the short block with all new rings, bearings, machining, and everything with a full standard rebuild. ARP Rod Bolts will be making thier way into the rebuild to make sure that there is no problems when the LS gets revved a bit

At least I now know that the engine is going to be a fresh engine with no more "surprises". I know Kyle & Phil at Hardcore Performance can build some awesome engines (hence why the engine went there to begin with), so I know I'll be looked after.

The heads will stay off for now while I work out if I can get some 243 heads for a good price to put on. The heads may end up being decked to increase the compression - but we will see on this a bit later. Cam choice is now on hold until the heads are sorted and we know what C.R. we are looking at.

Kyle and Phil from Hardcore Performance are really going all out to look after me with this one and for that I am very grateful.

I'll keep this thread updated with the Engine happenings and hopefully we see a good result from all of this
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Old 19-01-12, 08:34   #19
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Thats a good outcome Mark, considering it could of been a steaming pile left in your lap.
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Old 19-01-12, 13:09   #20
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Indeed. At least I know that its going to be a good motor that can take the abuse.

New injectors have been sourced. 8 x 650cc injectors on thier way!
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Old 19-01-12, 13:31   #21
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You sticking gas in it or something? 60lbers are 500rwkw territory unless your running E85?
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Old 19-01-12, 13:32   #22
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Depending on how much the heads are decked, the C.R. is looking to be well above 11:1, so will be running it on e85.
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Old 19-01-12, 13:56   #23
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Shorten up the LSA Insano.. do something on 108. You will thank me later.
haha it will be mega cranky with 108...
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Old 19-01-12, 14:26   #24
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mmmm..... Cranky...

Cam has been held off pending the state of the heads at the moment, so might have a chat to Kyle and see what his opinion of 108LSA is...
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Old 19-01-12, 15:49   #25
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my cam is a 231/247
.617 and .624 lift

sounds cranky as

anywho im guessing my exhaust set up will fit if a ls1 and ls2 are the same physical size and head design
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