My L67 swap story/thread... (lots of pics) - Monte Carlo Forum - Monte Carlo Enthusiast Forums


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Old 06-27-2009, 08:46 PM
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Default My L67 swap story/thread... (lots of pics)

I know this thread is extremely old on other forums, but I thought I'd post it up here since it was recently bumped on mymonte. Well, here it goes (with a few additions):



I got my 96 monte with about 30k on it, and drove it up to about 80k miles (did the swap about 100k). As I was approaching there, I started wanting to get more into performance mods. As many of you know, the 3100 market was (and still is to an extent) extremely small, and its hard to get a lot of power out of them without boost (and I really had no idea how to custom build a turbo setup, or add a supercharger at that time). I did a HAI, and exhaust- but I wasn't satisfied; the thing ran solid high 16s at the strip, and I was getting beat by 99% of the cars out there, even on street night.

One day, my buddy wanted me to race one of his friends- who had a 98 red GTP. He let me have the hit, and even with my perfect launch- he still walked probably 4+ cars on me by 100; the blower screaming the whole time. Thats the first time I realized that the GTP was a supercharged car, and started looking into those engines. I did all kinds of reading on L67swap.com and such about the few other guys who had done it in a 5th gen monte already.

I was very intimidated at first, mostly becuase I hadn't done much beyond basic maintenance at that point. What made it worse was some of the guys who were doing the swap, or had done the swap- ended up with extremely buggy cars; never running right- and no one wanted to touch them due to all the custom work. With that said, I was still intent on doing it, I needed more power.

So I started saving, and searching- I had a few local hits, but the price was too high, or the mileage was too high. One day on clubgp I stumbled across a suitable donor.

The donor car was a 98 GTP with about 60k miles on it- totalled from hitting one of those concrete sewer drains that hadn't been installed yet (hit on the drivers side- pretty much tore off from the wheel back). The car was in NY, I live in IN- so I had to find a way to get the stuff back. I tried for a long time to get a truck/trailer to two it back, but couldn't. So I ended up taking my 00 Impala out there to get the parts I needed. I bought a large tarp and made basically a fluid tub in the trunk, so that fluids wouldn't seep out- and I also put in spring blockers in the rear springs.

Pic of the car sent from the guy:



There ended up being 4 of us go- me and my girlfriend; and my best friend with his girlfriend. Plus all the tools and snacks- the inside of the car was loaded. We set off on Friday evening after my GF got off work around 6pm- and drove straight there (it was around Syracuse). We ended up getting up there early in the morning- say 2 or 3 am, and I was beat, and it was snowing so hard that traffic slowed to a crawl. We ended up pulling off and stopping at some rathole motel for $30 for the night. Ended up waking up around 8am, and leaving by 9ish to drive the last 30 minutes to this guy's place.

We arrived, and immediately began disassembly of the car. The interior was basically already gutted minus the front seats and dash- but the goal was to get as much of the powertrain as possible. Me and my friend worked under the hood- and the girls started on the inside (getting the airbags, HUD, DIC, etc). We took a single half hour break around 4pm to get some BK, and kept on thrashing after that. Finally around 12 or 1am we had the trunk of the Impala filled to the brim (stuff fell out if you opened the trunk)- plus there was extra inside- the car was literally crammed. The rear suspension was pretty much bottomed out, except the fact that the spring blockers were keeping it from sagging all the way down. We set out at 1 am finally, and headed for home-driving straight through back to IN, and getting there sometime just before noon.

I have never been so tired in my life- I couldn't sleep at the motel from anticipation, and worked as hard and fast as I could for those 12 or so hours- the drive back was terrible. Me and my GF kept switching as we got drowsy, and we kept stopping every so often to get coffee or something. When we got home, we had to unload everything- so we took plastic garbage bags and spread them out- and unloaded the entire car onto them (so as not to spill fluids). The worst part was the short block and trans. The 4 of us (2 guys/2 girls) had to carry each in after being dead tired. The transmission was the worst because the 2 girls let go coming through the door (since we were gonna try and walk right in), and we almost dropped it from ~3ft up. Finally managed to get everything in, and we slept for probably 10-12 hours straight.

Here's a pic of the apartment when we got back (one of the few shots that actually turned out from the disposable camera, unfortunately)- ignore the shortblock on the engine stand- that was already there from an earlier trip up to Chad Conklin's place in MI where I picked up a spare stock bottom end:



Once I had everything organized and put away- I began the collection of parts. I'm not gonna include pics of all parts, or a complete parts list- but I'll toss up some of the better part pics.

Got the new short block on the engine stand to start disassembly:



Picked up some new 1.7:1 roller rockers on clubgp:



Meziere flexplate:



ATI balancer:



Diamond 9.5:1 coated pistons:



ZZP MPS w/ 3.4 (polished myself):



ZZP ported LIM (I opened the inlet myself later), ZZP S4 heads, MLS cometic head gaskets:



I decided since I was not overly great at mechanics, that I should probably have the bottom end professionally done. I figured I had to have a machine shop do the machining anyways (balancing, bore honing, decking, etc)- that I may as well have them go ahead and time the cam, and put the bottom end together. This whole thing ended up being a huge deal. They quoted me like 2 months, and it ended up taking like 4 or 5 (they make valvesprings for summit racing on the side, and also built local circle track engines- so my 'non priority' job got pushed to the side. It wasn't a big deal at first, but then I had all these parts and no engine to put them on- so I had to start getting stern with them to get stuff done (I had payed a ton of money, and they were way past deadline- with no real apology or care). I ended up giving the place a lot of bad PR locally because they really never seemed to care, even at the end. They did a good job on the engine build (as far as I could tell)- but they were just not customer focused at all. Oh well, pic of the engine when I got it back (I put in the head studs for effect).


Last edited by bumpin96monte; 06-27-2009 at 11:40 PM.
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Old 06-27-2009, 08:47 PM
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New 3/8" pushrods:



Since I deleted the balance shaft (had to because of double roller timing chain)- I decided to remove it and block the rear oil passage. Everyone said the small bearing in a Chrysler 440 cam bearing set would work... they were wrong. I froze it in the freezer, and it still wouldn't go in with tons of pounding. I ended up having to put a 45* chamfer on the leading edge and used the stock balance shaft as a guide to hammer it in. Pic of it installed, blocking off the oil feed hole completely (there is normally a big hole in the side of the stock bearing):



Got the front cover assembled with the new oil pump gears, and put together all the rest of the bottom end stuff:



Test fit of rockers and LIM:



LIM installed:





Pics of my coolant (gold plugs) and EGR (red RTV w/ bolt) blockoffs:



Sent my blower to Gr8racingfool from clubgp, who rebuilt and polished my ported M90 for cheap:



Installed on engine:



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Old 06-27-2009, 08:47 PM
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Pretty much everything I put back on was degreased, derustified (lol), and either painted or polished before I reinstalled it.

Here is an example of the power steering pump:



Meziere electric water pump install:



PS pump on:



Painted starter ($25 off an 05 iirc from Morad, he said it had ~6k miles on it):



Headers came in (FINALLY-for those of you that knew the story w/ DPP); I just had to stick the front on to see how it would look:




I did end up running into a couple problems as I put everything back together.

One was the fact that the ARP main studs (actually the nuts) hit the oil pan. I had to dent it out in 2 spots using a hammer. I've only heard of 1 other person have this happen.

My second problem was the rockers scraped the insides of the valve covers. It wasn't terrible- but everyone seemed to agree it was just because of the high lift. I managed to fix it with a few minutes with the dremel tool- and the VC still has a lot of material left.
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Old 06-27-2009, 08:48 PM
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That was probably the last pic I had of it as an assembled engine in the living room. I got into finals, and then Christmas, so I buttoned her up when I returned.

At the end of December I officially started the L67 swap process. I spent over $100 in fluids one night at autozone (needed basically every fluid since it was 100% dry). Gathered all my tools, and bagged all the remaining bolts. I printed off every L67 swap guide I could find, and grabbed all of my service manuals for the car.

First step was to get the engine/trans over there. I had a buddy who let me borrow this beat up, old early 90s F150 5 speed. I'm not the best at driving stick, but this thing was terrible. They had recently done a clutch job, and the thing slipped like crazy. If you didn't pop the clutch pretty quick (driving very jerkily), it would slip the clutch badly before going. I was scared to death of this thing- there was a hole in the floor big enough to see the driveshaft- the doors wouldn't close, etc.

I managed to get it back to the house, only killing it once (popped the clutch too quick), and we rolled the engine out the door on the stand. The steps leading to the apartment were about 8" tall concrete, and there was nowhere to put the engine lift; so we were physically dropping (picking it up, and easing it down) one side at a time. We figured it would be too dangerous, and decided to put some MDF down on the wet grass and roll it over to the truck across the grass. That worked, except I stepped in dog poo twice. Why can't people pick that stuff up???

Anyways, the most funny part was driving to my friend's house with it in the back of the truck (along with my GF). We get to this hill, and the cars in front of me are going very slowly off the stoplight in front. I get it going, shift to 2nd and begin to climb the hill (its supposed to be a 30 mph). I press the gas harder and harder, and begin to notice that the engine is chugging, and losing speed. So I hurry up and clutch and downshift (would've probably been to 4-5k rpm), and the engine is still chugging, but starts accelerating higher (but we're still losing speed). I try popping the clutch once to see if it'll grab again (its slipping like crazy now, and there aren't any turnoffs yet and its a 1 way road, so I can't just pull a U-turn)- it doesn't. We manage to turn in the first off ramp doing about 5 mph (and probably 3-4k rpm)- and the clutch is smoking. I was scared to death. I guess they set it up so the clutch won't fully engage- so at higher loads, it is able to slip.

We let it cool for awhile, and I lightly drove it around the flat parking lot before attempting the last 1/3 of the hill. We came around the corner onto the hill in 2nd, doing almost 30 mph, and managed to make it- but the truck was a nightmare to drive again after that. You needed to really pop the clutch quick (almost burnout quick) to get it to grab, otherwise it would just slip like it was in neutral. It was definitely an experience.

We finally got the engine there, and came back for the car.

Honestly- the car drove the best it had in months as I drove over there. She always gave me problems starting (dead battery), the 1-2 shift solenoid made the 1-2 shift at 100% line pressure all the time, and the car always had a couple codes that would always pop up soon after taking off (random misfire, evap, and something else). This time, she shifted smoothly, no codes- engine felt the quickest it ever had. I don't really get it personally, but whatever.

I borrowed a garage from a buddy. They had what amounted to 6 cars worth of garage for 4 guys. 2 guys went home for Christmas break. The other 2 guys used the way smaller garage that was connected to the house (heated unfortunately); I used the big 4 car separate garage. It had power, and a radio- but no heat. I dressed as warmly as possible and brought my electric heater to try and help (it was totally uninsulated, so it didn't hold heat well). I just had to be out by the day school started (about a week and a half later on a monday)- because that was when the other guys came back.

I set up shop as best I could for it not being my place. We set up parts and fluids on the shelves- made up some garbage cans, and laid out the tool boxes:



So I pulled the car in and started hashing away. First order of business was to strip the front end bare so that everything was out of the way:





I started to drain the fluids- and its funny that the 3100's LIM gaskets had recently failed (last oil change was ~800 miles before, and the oil was perfect then):



Then I pulled the front suspension apart:



Finally got the old 3100 all hooked up and set to pull:



She came out on the 2nd pull (the first time I had the chain only bolted to 1 spot on the left side- it was an aluminum alternator support bracket which broke just as the engine lifted off the mounts)- from that point on, I always used 2 chain mounts per side.

Out:



We pretty much ended that day at that point (it only took us maybe 10 hours so far), so I paused to admire the new gaping hole under the hood:



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Old 06-27-2009, 08:49 PM
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I tried to sell the 3100/4t60e (before I knew about the LIM leak) on here and some other sites, but no one would bite. I went from open offer, to $300 picked up, to $100 picked up; and finally two weeks before- I said anyone that wanted them for FREE could come get them (and that they had about a week to do it in after I started the swap). I got some PM's, one guy said he'd give me $50 if I held onto it for a few months (impossible)- I had another guy have the ***** to ask if I'd ship it to him (ie I pay for shipping), lol. By the end, I was so tired of the cheapskates that I just decided I would throw out the old 3100/4t60 (no recycling yards close enough).

So, me and my girlfriend stipped the ole 3100 down, so it would be easier to maneuver and move.



pile o' parts taken off it:



I had intended to try and sell the parts individually, but by the end I figured there was so little interest in the setup, that it all went in the trash.

We managed to get the shortblock, the heads, and all the accessories into the dumpster at my apartment (had another friend with a small Toyota pickup help me). We couldn't get the 4t60 into the dumpster, and didn't want to set up the cherry picker, so we just left it there by the dumpster. It was gone by the next morning.

Here's a random shot of me working on the trans:



the garage:



filling the converter: (3k stall-actually seems to be 250-500 higher)



mating the engine and trans: (I know the trans is dirty in this pic, it was bone stock except a shift kit/new fluid/new filter- the plan was to swap in a built tranny later... oddly enough its still in there in 1 piece- soon to be replaced by something much much better)


Last edited by bumpin96monte; 06-27-2009 at 11:44 PM.
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Old 06-27-2009, 08:49 PM
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So, I finally got everything cleaned up, and the new engine/trans mated together. I replaced the front sway bar with the Z34 one, and it was all set for the new engine.



In:



The guys that lived at the house were gearheads too (mostly import guys- both euro and japanese), so I decided to play with some of their spare parts for a couple shots: :lol:



Then it came time to build the axles. Everyone always said, all you need was the passneger side GTP inner- and to mate it to the monte's passenger outer. So I did that:



But when I went to put my stock drivers side axle back in, it wouldn't fit (because the 4t60 and 4t65 use different output shaft spline counts).

So, I didn't have a drivers side GTP axle, and the car needed to be done that day or the next, so I had to go to Napa and buy a whole new GTP drivers side axle for ~$100, only to tear it apart- use just the inner, and toss the outer. That sucked... But I really had no choice since I needed it same day.

One of the last shots of it all buttoned back up:



I hooked up the oil pressure gauge (only one that mattered really- boost and wideband didn't seem important). We tried to test fire it, but it was dead for some reason. Ended up I didn't have some grounds hooked up. Finally cranked it over to build oil pressure, and fired her up. Once she had fuel (I unplugged the fuel pump relay to crank it to build pressure)- it probably turned over like twice before it fired- I was so happy. You always see those shows on American Hot Rod, Overhaulin, etc where they've got a team of like 40 guys working and the car won't fire at all. I could've just seen that happen to me.
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Old 06-27-2009, 08:51 PM
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Although the swap was "done" and the engine ran- it still had some serious issues. Unfortunately it was Sunday night (about 7 or 8pm) and I had to be out by the next day, so I let all the issues go.

The major problems were:

-No power steering (I didn't have time to hook the lines up, so I just looped the rack)
-Engine was rocked way back because the headers were laying on the firewall
>no air filter because it hit the brake master cylinder
>found out later that the axle boot was rubbing on the cradle and ripped it off
>no upper motor mounts
-No exhaust (ran out of time, so it was running open dump right at the base of the firewall; it was stupid loud- you couldn't even hear yourself think inside that thing- it was so deafening)
-Sticky throttle (I had to bend the TB bracket to miss the brake cylinder (see above why) and as such, the throttle cable would only go on the outer cruise side- but at an angle- so when you'd hit the gas, sometimes it would stick down
-Stock PCM tune (the idle was so low that it was really lopey and it really wanted to die if you came to a stop)


The drive home was scary to say the least. I bet I made some neighbors very mad as I idled down the alley way. The ground was wet since it had been raining earlier too, so that made it that much worse. I didn't figure out the sticky throttle thing until the first stop light- the car was chilling at 2k rpm for no reason. At the second light it stuck around 3000-3500rpm- and it was all I could do to hold the car from rolling through with the brake- luckily it was a very short light and it let go shortly after.

About half way home, I smelled some awful smells (was worried about fire from the headers laying on the firewall and such)- so I had to pull over. I think it was just all the paint curing, the oils on the headers burning off, and normal smells from the first time an engine is started.

We finally got the car home and shut off- and went out for some BK for dinner- and I slept all the way until school started the next day.



I only drove it twice like this- once for a trip around the block, the second time up to school for a show. It was a blast to drive, I was having problems getting the fiberglass hood to close- so I just took the hood off. I was still running open downpipe, and its just unbelievable how loud the car was,even at idle. Starting it up the first time after the swap, it set off 3 car alarms just firing up and idling. You get all kinds of attention rolling around with a polished blower sticking out with a real lopey cam.


About how it looked after the swap:





Shortly after the swap took place, I the fuel trims maxed out positive (adding fuel)- and I realized that the fuel pump was dead (rail pressure dropped to ~25 psig. So I drove it to my friend's house (the house we would be into with them in a semester, although I didn't know it at the time). Stuck a new walbro pump in the tank (fits like an OEM replacement), and got to cutting out the firewall with an angle grinder for the headers. It took about 6 hours to cut through (its 2 walls thick, and I had to be careful not to hit the headers)- but I ended up with a hole ~10" long by 5" wide where the headers poke through into the car. I had to rebuild the passenger axle due to the boot being destroyed- and finally managed to get a filter on it (it wasn't my DD, so I rarely drove it).


After we got out of our apartment, and into the house to live- I got a lot more loose ends tied up. I put the rear coilovers on, did the rear disk brake swap, and got to working on the engine more. About the only thing I really got finished was the sound system- I recarpeted the trunk, and got everything cleaned up and reran. We only stayed in the house for about 6 months, so I didn't have a lot of time to get much done.

Couple pics of the system:








How it looked after suspension stuff:








Found a place that would stick some temporary exhaust on the car- its just crush bent 3" with the quietest aftermarket muffler they had, so I don't care for the sound- but it draws less attention from cops than how it was before (you can hear it in the vid in my sig)




Doing some cleaning:















After that place, we moved back home (only had 1 more class to finish in college, so it made sense this way)- and I got to thinking abou what else I could do to make the car stand out more. Thats when I came across a brand new Whipple kit on clubgp for cheap:







This is the most recent shot I have under the hood (from last August-ish?)



It wasn't completely hooked up at that point, I put on an 85mm MAF of an LS2, with some polished stainless 4" intake tubing and the old 4x9 K&N cone filter. I also realized the stock fuel rails wouldn't fit, so I had to put on a set of PRJ's (see video in sig for how it looked after that). The car ended up with a lot more problems from the whipple swap (the adaptor kit sucks basically)- I somehow blew the pcm fuse, so it ran like crap- got a vacuum leak, and had some other minor issues.

Last edited by bumpin96monte; 06-27-2009 at 11:29 PM.
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Old 06-27-2009, 11:30 PM
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Not too long after I got all that done, the car got broken into. They popped out the drivers side lock, stolen both amps, the subs, and the head deck. At that point, I put it in a high security storage unit where it still sits today (we're currently looking for our own house, so I can get back to modding again). I'm not sure if I'll ever do a system again, they did probably $3k worth of damage/theft- and I don't know if I can justify spending it again. It just sucks trying to keep it semi-removable for at the track, but making it easier for theives to get it. If I do anything, it'll be smaller- and permanently installed. All I've got are the 8 main speakers, so we'll see....


For the future, the plans are starting again for round 3, and its gonna be a lot more hardcore this time. I've got a lot more mechancial experience from working on others' cars- and more tools (including a MIG). The parts I've got now are a new lower adaptor/intercooler:



as well as a PRJ alternator relocation kit (puts the alternator where the AC used to be- so I can run a belt for just the alt, or alt+PS), and an intense oil filter relocation kit/adjuster. Other plans include a 100mm Texas Speed MAF, a 90mm LS style TB, a new inlet adaptor, direct port nitrous (up from the bottom of the LIM floor)- as well as another major mod to improve traction as well as put in a trans that can actually hold the power (I'll announce it and post pics once I get working on it). So thats about it for now- the history of my L67 swap from the beginning through today- once I get a garage of my own again here soon, its gonna get real serious

Last edited by bumpin96monte; 04-25-2015 at 01:20 PM.
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Old 06-28-2009, 03:27 AM
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Blood ~ Sweat ~ Tears
4-Sure
WoW
Super Write `Up ~ SuperSuper Monte
Great Sunday Morning Read.
I really love the Living Room Garage My g/f freaked when she
viewed your Post...LoL
Really appreciate your hard work & sharing your love
for the Monte Carlo
You have built a one of a kind Monte Carlo and have
put your dreams into action : )
You just didn't talk your `talk, you acted it `out ....

Thanks `Chad for posting, but more importantly;
thanks for sharing & helping so many MCF Member's
when they need help. I've really learn from your posts.
Please keep us updated, and look 4ward to
Track Test/Time's
Thanks, it is appreciated by your MCF Family
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Old 06-28-2009, 08:02 AM
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Chad, that is one great write-up man. I'm going to sticky it for reference when others decide its time for a swap.
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