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6th Gen ('00-'05): Motor, Transimission, Drive Train Swap

  #1  
Old 12-11-2017, 01:55 PM
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Default Motor, Transimission, Drive Train Swap

Hey guys my name is josh and I drive a 01 SS and have been dreaming of my car being fully build since I've owned the car, as is every guys dream. Very new to terminology, cost, as well as if there's a possibility of it being done.

I want the car to become a street sleeper, very modest and conservative looking.

However I've never seen a 6 or a 5 speed, Rear wheel drive 6th gen ever built or modified. Just curious to know if it can be done, what the logistics and limitations way be in my way as I embark on this build plan.
 
  #2  
Old 12-11-2017, 02:33 PM
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This guy just did a RWD conversion on his car: https://montecarloforum.com/forum/ne...2002-ss-59101/

I've also seen a few people build a manual 3800 car, using the Getrag 282 out of the early 90s w-body. But again, those don't hold power very well, and will require custom fabrication of a few parts.

Truthfully, it's way too much work to do the conversion as opposed to just getting a car that's already running the v8 RWD set up that you want.

However, if you want to build your 01 SS to be a nice sleeper, I would highly recommend just throwing on a ZZP Z7 turbo and calling it a day, while saving up for a new inevitable transmission when you break your 4t65e.
 
  #3  
Old 12-12-2017, 04:22 PM
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Originally Posted by Josh Yezierski View Post
Hey guys my name is josh and I drive a 01 SS and have been dreaming of my car being fully build since I've owned the car, as is every guys dream. Very new to terminology, cost, as well as if there's a possibility of it being done.

I want the car to become a street sleeper, very modest and conservative looking.

However I've never seen a 6 or a 5 speed, Rear wheel drive 6th gen ever built or modified. Just curious to know if it can be done, what the logistics and limitations way be in my way as I embark on this build plan.
As you probably know, this question comes up frequently on the various FWD GM boards. The vast majority of the time, people never follow through because it's so much work and expense. That alone is a good indicator that you probably shouldn't set your expectations too high of it actually happening.

The biggest concern by far is the skill to do it. Can you weld, can you do metal fab work, do you have an engineering background, etc. Keep in mind how many engineers work on designing a car from scratch between chassis, safety, etc - it truly is a lot of effort to do it right. If you dont, it's not a big deal, but then you need to have the cash to pay someone else to do it (which is horrifically expensive to have done right).

The next biggest cost is the hard components. Are you going to buy a donor car, a premade chassis, etc. What are you going to do about driveline, what engine, trans, fuel tank, suspension, etc. Its easy to get a bunch if money wrapped up here too. A premade chassis with a built LS, TR6060, a top of the line suspension, and all the parts to make it work together can be $50k+ Certainly there are cheaper options too depending how you go.

Your main options (as I see it):
-Buy a premade chassis and attach the top of your body on top of it. This likely is the safest option, especially if you take it to the level of having a full cage installed on the chassis, so whats left of your car is not much more than a NASCAR body. This way you'll know it's done safely and correctly and all of the safety and suspension / brake stuff is done right. Of course this is also the most expensive option.

-Find a similarly sized RWD car and use either the frame (if it's an old school body on frame design) or the lower unibody as a donor. Then you just cut the top part off your car and attach it to the donor cars bottom. This has the benefit of taking a lot of work out of the engineering side. Likely most of the donor suspension and powertrain will bolt right up, youll just have to figure out how to interface the two and deal with any spots that won't match up (ie one body being longer than the other causing the wheels not to center in the arch). This can be done much cheaper than the above depending on the price of the donor.

-Lastly is building it from scratch on your current body. That's building your own rear end setup either front a kit (like a back half four link) or from raw materials. That's also modifying everything else to work with that layout, cutting and welding as needed. In theory, this could be the cheapest route, but also requires the most engineering effort by far as you have to figure out the geometry and interface for everything to your current body.


There are two other concerns to think of when doing this:
-Insurance. How are you going to cover it in the event of a crash? Of course the cheapest way is to not report the change, but if you get rear ended and lose $25k worth of work and parts and the insurance will only cut a check for $2k blue book, then you could get screwed.
-Liability (mostly a concern if you do your own work). Think about what happens if you didn't design an interface properly and it came apart on the highway causing you to kill someone. If they can prove that your insufficiently engineered modification caused the accident, they could come after you for every dime you've got. I know its a one in a million chance, but when you think about all of the hours GM put into designing the car (and it's manufacture process), you'll quickly realize that you're going to have to cut a lot of corners on the design process to have any chance of finishing it by yourself in a reasonable amount of time.
 

Last edited by bumpin96monte; 12-12-2017 at 04:26 PM.
  #4  
Old 12-12-2017, 05:25 PM
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Bumping96monte I see you have done a lot of research on this as you are spot on for the most part. Biggest problem with option 3 is you have to design a front and rear suspension. That engine going the other direction cause's a big interference with steering.
 

Last edited by Jeffs02rwdSS; 12-12-2017 at 05:32 PM. Reason: info
  #5  
Old 12-12-2017, 08:04 PM
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Originally Posted by Jeffs02rwdSS View Post
Bumping96monte I see you have done a lot of research on this as you are spot on for the most part.
I have flirted with the idea for many years on my own monte so I've researched the heck out of it, especially on this platform. The path I plan to take is using the unibody from a camaro similar to the John Moss monte (minus the LT1 - yuck). I've collected many parts to do it including the donor camaro. But there are 2 things that stop me from jumping in:

-I just got my monte back up and running a few years ago. I got to a point with the last round of mods where it sat for long times as I ran out of motivation since there was so much work to do. Now that it's up and running, I want to enjoy it a bit before I take it apart again. I think my trigger will be the transmission. I don't have a crazy GMR build and there's no way I'll ever drop that kind of money on a 4t65. So when the transmission blows, I'll probably abandon fwd at that point and start prepping for the swap.

-I've come to the realization that it's not going to happen in my current garage. I need 2 full bays side by side for a long time. I have a 3 car garage now, but the 3rd bay is short- barely long enough to fit a car. So if I tie up my two main bays with a big project, Ill be stuck for doing any maintenance on my other cars, especially if they need any major work. We're getting very close to moving, probably less than 2 years, so I'll get a place with a bigger lot so I can have a garage just for my projects.

Biggest problem with option 3 is you have to design a front and rear suspension. That engine going the other direction cause's a big interference with steering.
There are certainly a lot of ways to approach the 3rd option. I think it is possible to keep the stock front suspension setup with some mods. It would certainly require cradle modifications (mounts, and modifying the rear bar) and relocation of the rack (with relocated tie rod connection points), but it just depends on how one wanted to approach it.

Certainly the best way from a performance standpoint would be to scrap the whole thing and build it back up from scratch (perhaps full tube frame front end?), but that's a lot of engineering and fab work for 1 person.

Id think if one were set on the 3rd option, the best bet would probably be to buy some variation of a kit for both the front and back ends. Plenty of places sell back half kits and variants of the mustang II front end kits that you could get a pre-engineered setup that you'd just have to figure out how to tie in to your existing structure. Add in some home made frame connectors, and it probably wouldn't be a terrible way to go.

There are a few real advantages to keeping the car together and just modding the bare minimum needed to make it work:
-You'll have near zero exterior body work to mess with as you won't touch the outer sheet metal.
-You'll have very little interior work to do as most of the car will stay the same. Depends how much you get into the firewall and what you do with the tunnel, but you could save a lot of work, especially over buying a fully built tube chassis where you have to make an interior from scratch.
-Less chance of warping the body. When you cut the whole body off in the other options, you've got to be careful to brace it properly to keep it aligned correctly and keep it from warping. With this route, you could just cut out the trunk floor, then do that work, cut up the front and do that work, etc etc, so you still keep the unibody mostly attached and would need minimal temporary bracing.



2 more things I thought of that I wanted to point out to the OP:
-Make sure the monte is just a project car that you'll never had a need for. It can't be your DD, and it can't be your plan b DD because your main DD is unreliable. Back in the day, I remember seeing people struggle for months and sometimes years on an l67 swap trying to make the car reliable and not a total basket case. That's on a setup that bolts in and mostly plugs in. Here we're talking a complete redo of almost everything so it could take a very long time before it's usable again. Even if you had a shop do it, the project could drag longer than expected.
-Be prepared to lose the car completely. I've personally seen a few of these home brew builds end up in the scrap yard (not necessarily a RWD monte, but stuff with a similar level of difficulty). This is 10/10 difficulty level and will require a ton of time to do right. If something goes wrong, it could take some serious brains and effort to fix it. The biggest worry by far is that the thing warps on you while it's cut up. Without a proper table and tools, it could be extremely difficult to get the thing straight again. My point is, if this is your baby and you couldn't stand to see it scrapped, go buy a junk roller and cut that up instead. You can get a running car for not much over a grand and hack away at it.
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Last edited by bumpin96monte; 12-12-2017 at 08:28 PM.
  #6  
Old 04-15-2018, 03:52 PM
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Default 2003 monte carlo ss

Okay so i have a 2003 monte carlo ss over 200k miles on it i am the 3rd owner engine has been maintain new spark plugs ,alternator,radiator. I plan on changing starter and water pump as there are still factory. I plan on making performance upgrades but not really sure where to start or if i should jus rebuild with a new engine not really a car technician need experts and car owners help i know my car fast i jus want more speed any help
 
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Old 04-15-2018, 05:17 PM
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Originally Posted by Mobdark View Post
Okay so i have a 2003 monte carlo ss over 200k miles on it i am the 3rd owner engine has been maintain new spark plugs ,alternator,radiator. I plan on changing starter and water pump as there are still factory. I plan on making performance upgrades but not really sure where to start or if i should jus rebuild with a new engine not really a car technician need experts and car owners help i know my car fast i jus want more speed any help
I'd suggest starting your own thread. You probably won't get as many views or replies being buried at the end of someone else's thread.
 

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