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SkinnyG UltraDork
12/15/18 8:04 p.m.

Was at Pick-N-Pull chasing bits for the V8 Firefly, and nabbed a couple items for the '61's LQ4.

I got a starter (my, are they ever wee compared to an old-school SBC starter), a replacement purge valve at the top of the intake manifold (I think it's a purge valve, it's broken anyway), a dipstick for the 4L80E (I'll need to shorten it), a belt tensioner (6.0L came with a crushed one), and a steering rack out of a Fox-body Mustang.

Still keeping an eye open for a non-key automatic column from an old truck or van.

My camera is taking worse and worse photos.


SkinnyG UltraDork
12/16/18 7:06 p.m.

Oxy-Acet torch action, a bit of crayola, a drill, an EZ-Out, a splash of penetrant, and I got five broken exhaust bolts out.  Not sure where #4 & #5 went (I took them out a few days ago).

SkinnyG UltraDork
12/22/18 8:57 p.m.

Stripping the LQ4 with my son over Christmas break. I am VERY pleased with the insides. I do have video coming....

Under the valve covers looks super clean:

Deep in the intake ports looks good.

Cylinders have zero ridge.  This is not what I'm used to seeing on the old 'Murican V8s of old.


Looks like Gen4 rods in there!!!

LonH New Reader
12/22/18 9:13 p.m.

I've followed the Firefly, and the Hardbody. Think we talked on the Hardbody forums.... I really dig your builds, and look forwar to seeing where this goes. I too moved from a square C10, but I went up a model. I love the GMT400 series myself. Also LS swapped. The first thing i learned was to expect broken exhaust manifold bolts. Nice truck, good luck with it. 

ClemSparks UltimaDork
12/22/18 9:24 p.m.

Crayola?  You have my interest piqued.  I'm not aware of this trick (I assume it's a trick).

SkinnyG UltraDork
12/22/18 10:06 p.m.

Melt the crayon onto the threads, it wicks its way into the threads. I don't know if it's any better than a good penetrant (I use Moovit).

My old apprenticeship instructor said you should use Cherry chapstick. I think there's some naughty humour in that.

SkinnyG UltraDork
12/22/18 10:10 p.m.


I've learned a lot with each project. The Hardbody evolved as I avoided major fabrication, but when I shortened the '77 Silverado and then built the Firefly, I'm going straight to full-on butchery with this one.  Do it once; do it right. But still budget, because me.

SkinnyG UltraDork
12/26/18 4:59 p.m.

Bottom end all apart. Bearings look really good. Almost "I might reuse these" good.



Norma66 Reader
12/26/18 8:04 p.m.

Wow those are clean! 

SkinnyG UltraDork
12/27/18 6:57 p.m.

Parts ordered.  Thanks RockAuto for the discount code, saved me $36CDN.

Summit Racing got me the things RockAuto didn't carry.

I -did- order ARP head studs.  I waffled over this for months. Golly are they pricey. Theoretically ARP bolts are certainly good enough, but I think I feel a bit better (and lighter) knowing that this is the best way to go. If I want to venture close to 22psi in boost, I may wish I -had- studs. I know, I know, the Sloppy guys re-use torque-to-yield fasteners, and they still live to tell the tale.....

I also ordered all new bearings.  Even though these bearings look really good, they have taken a bit of schmoo through them, embedding the junk like they are designed to do.  I figured "I'm here, why would i not put fresh bearings in?"

Interestingly, if I ship Summit's stuff to my Customs Broker in the States, I have to pay WA sales tax, plus the broker's fees and taxes.  If I get it shipped to my house, it's really not that expensive.  I don't know how Summit is doing it, but I like it.

Or, I miss-read everything, and I have a BIG bill coming......

SkinnyG UltraDork
1/3/19 1:49 p.m.

I've been having my son go through this motor with me, teaching him about it, and trick to get it a part and staying organized.

Got the heads disassembled yesterday with my son, and checked guides with a dial indicator and also with telescoping gauges. Guides look gosh-darn good enough to run. Intake is in spec, and the exhaust is near service limit.  It will work. I don't see spending $160+ to close up .001".




Did a wack of research about how best to port the heads, and I am undecided.  Some light smoothing and cleanup is definitely in order, but how far to go?  Many folks remove the swirl step in the heads and grind off the rocker bump, but how much will I be giving up for low speed torque and fuel economy by doing so?  If I'm honest, the engine will spend most of its time below 6000 as a street daily driver, with boost for fun. If I want gobs of low end torque, I think a nice smoothing, but not going hog wild is best. 

Anyone with LS experience have thoughts?

Rock Auto delivers! Yes, I like Felpro. Those are GM LS9 head gaskets. PAC-1218 valve springs should arrive early next week. ARP junk from Summit Racing will ship once the backordered crank bolt comes in.

SkinnyG UltraDork
1/5/19 7:46 p.m.

I have 3/4 of a cylinder head soaking in a totally non-eco-friendly pail of diesel (and a piston in a coffee can of diesel).  I hear it works good.  Going to find out....

ClemSparks UltimaDork
1/5/19 8:21 p.m.

I've been using the ghetto parts washer (diesel in a drain pan) a lot lately.  I don't have a purpose-built parts washer and the diesel seems to do alright (if slowly).  On engine parts it's nice because it doesn't really dry.  I wouldn't say it leaves a residue (though, it probably totally does)...but things don't seem to flash rust after they've been bathed in diesel.  

When I'm done with it, I use it to start bush-pile bonfires, soak stumps for burning, etc.  

The project is looking good!  One of these days I'll come across another one of these trucks and have to bring it home.  I love 'em but they're HARD to find (worth having) anymore.      So.  Rusty.


SyntheticBlinkerFluid UltimaDork
1/5/19 9:03 p.m.

How haven’t I’ve seen this? I’m jealous. I’ve wanted an quad headlight early 60’s Chevy or GMC. Argh, so many classic trucks popping up lately, so little money. 

84FSP SuperDork
1/5/19 9:08 p.m.

Looking good.  I’m new to this LS thing as well but have an L76 (gen IV AL 6.0l).  Apparently the valve guides don’t really wear out.  Seemingly the only reason folks change out is bigger or different base metal of valves.  It would be cool to plug in the sodium filled LS3 valves for rev happiness.

There is a ton of info on Ls1tech for you.

With regards to what machine capabilities you have, there’s plenty to be done in the heads.  It seems like a vast amount of the power comes out of the valve job which should be a snap with your setup.  There’s more to be had and many ways to get there.

Given your turbo intentions you might get the biggest bang for the buck/effort from making up a nice intake manifold.  The heads flow well enough that the intake and throttle body seem to be the choke point.

SkinnyG UltraDork
1/8/19 7:56 p.m.

Soaked the block for a full day and a half with two cans of Heavy Duty Degreaser, then hosed it with two cans of full-fume Oven Cleaner, and a pressure wash.  Man this engine is clean - I've rebuilt MUCH worse than this.

Also, my porting kit came in.  I -might- have bought it off eBay?  I can't remember.  I have a wack of carbide cutters for doing iron, but I think I want to sneak up to it all with the alloy.  Still researching which way to go on porting, but I think I will only do gentle cleanup.

SkinnyG UltraDork
1/10/19 9:38 p.m.

PAC-1218 valve springs arrived.

I've had a cylinder head soaking in a pail of Diesel for 5 days now.  So far, I'm not impressed.  Glacial Cleaner.

And a rebuild kit for my Oxy-Acet regs, because I like to see my house from right where I am, thank you very much.

SkinnyG UltraDork
1/11/19 8:34 p.m.

I made Cam Bearing Drivers for my cam bearing installer tool for the LS.  Already had a set for old-school SBC's.  Dang picture couldn't focus.....

SkinnyG UltraDork
1/14/19 7:07 p.m.

I had a head soaking for a week in diesel.  Not impressed.  Maybe if I left it in for a month?

I debated dunking it in the pail of Pinesol at work, but instead dropped both heads off at the machine shop.  I decided I wanted new guides after all, so they're getting guides, seats ground, and re-surfaced.

SkinnyG UltraDork
1/21/19 6:49 p.m.

Went to pick up the heads from the machine shop.

I had said "do the guides, do the seats, and mill them."

They only milled them, saying they couldn't check the guides because they didn't have the valves.  I'm like "what?"

I recognize I am not a professional machinist. But I have a sheet of specs; I measured (both via dial indicator with a valve, and mic/telescoping-gauge); they don't match the specs; they're toast. It's a freaking Chevy, not some oddball outer-spacey planet thing.

The shop owner took a look, said the seats are hammered out and should be replaced.

But why didn't they just do what I asked?


Agent98 Reader
1/22/19 12:48 p.m.

Hey Skinny - hows the legroom in those quad-headlight trucks? 

Re: heads -maybe it's better to find another set on CL or FB depends on what the machine shop is charging....great build BTW

SkinnyG UltraDork
1/22/19 7:16 p.m.

I could get another set of heads that might be awesome, or need the same amount of work.  Or I paid money for something even worse. This is theoretically my last truck, I might as well make it something that can last for me.  I don't want to cobble together an engine that I'll be re-doing within 10 years.

For legroom, I'm only 5'9" and my height is in my torso, it's fine for me.  But I -do- understand why they call them "knee-knockers."

759NRNG SuperDork
1/22/19 8:55 p.m.
SkinnyG said:

Soaked the block for a full day and a half with two cans of Heavy Duty Degreaser, then hosed it with two cans of full-fume Oven Cleaner, and a pressure wash.  Man this engine is clean - I've rebuilt MUCH worse than this.

Also, my porting kit came in.  I -might- have bought it off eBay?  I can't remember.  I have a wack of carbide cutters for doing iron, but I think I want to sneak up to it all with the alloy.  Still researching which way to go on porting, but I think I will only do gentle cleanup.

SkinnyG the view of the main bearing webs looking at the underside of the lifter valley two shots up ....is there really that 'window' in the block casting on the left of the pic????

SkinnyG UltraDork
1/22/19 11:55 p.m.

Yes. It is an intentional hole in the casting.

I de-burred the snot out of the entire block, and smoothed a lot of the casting flash there and at the same hole on the other side.

SkinnyG UltraDork
1/23/19 7:57 p.m.

Picked up the heads today.


"Yeah, we didn't even measure them, they're mint."

Well, now they have new 3-angle valve seats, so I'm rolling with it.

And I finished my own cam bearing tool (I used one I made for the school to pull the bearings.  Figured I might as well have my own). LS drivers and SBC drivers.

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