The LS9 engine swap has begun! The LS3 is out of the car and ready for some test fitting.

Check out our ZR1 Pantera blog for awesome updates on the project as it's coming along!

http://zr1pantera.com/

We can't wait to get out on the track in this beast. It will be pushing over 700HP of reliable power at the crank!

Original Post
Very nice! You have to have a set to go against the Pantera purity community who will surly condemn you straight to hell, in your rear view mirror.

quote:

Originally posted by Chris Bell:

The LS9 engine swap has begun! The LS3 is out of the car and ready for some test fitting.

Check out our ZR1 Pantera blog for awesome updates on the project as it's coming along!

http://zr1pantera.com/

We can't wait to get out on the track in this beast. It will be pushing over 700HP of reliable power at the crank!

Chris,

What will you be using for an ECU? Also, do you have enough room at the front of the engine for the throttle body and air filter? If not, how will you resolve the problem? Do you need to make any other major changes, going from the LS3 to the LS9?

I'm looking forward to watching your progress.
quote:
Originally posted by David_Nunn:
Chris,

What will you be using for an ECU? Also, do you have enough room at the front of the engine for the throttle body and air filter? If not, how will you resolve the problem? Do you need to make any other major changes, going from the LS3 to the LS9?

I'm looking forward to watching your progress.


We are using the MAST Motorsports wiring harness and computer that is tuned very nicely for the LS9.

We are planning on running the supercharger, air filter, and throttle body in its stock location, unlike our LS3 which had it reversed.

So far it looks like the LS9 will not be any more difficult than the LS3. We are planning on doing a test fit with the engine this weekend to see how everything fits in the engine compartment.

Thanks for your interest in the project! It's going to be getting very exciting within the next few weeks!
quote:
does that bell housing work for both the ls3 and ls9?

What about the new LT4? Maybe you should wait?.....


Yes, the same bellhousing will work for both engines.

The LT4 is an awesome motor for sure, but, the LS9 has more HP with a tad less Torque.

The LS9 with a tad bit over 600 pounds of torque, should be just fine I think. Not to mention, I already have the LS9... Smiler
So over the past two weeks, we have been hard at work in getting the LS9 ready to go into the car. Last weekend, we started disassembling the LS9 so we can get it into the car. We took off the flywheel, exhaust manifolds, and the blower.



The LS9 and LS3 block and heads are almost identical on the outside, but on the inside, they are completely different. Many people believe that the LS9 is simply a supercharged LS3, which it certainly is not. The LS9 was engineered to handle the massive amount of boost the engine will be putting out.

The LS9 supercharger is AWESOME. When you look inside of the blower, you will see just how beefy the rotors are.



We put the LS9 into the car today without the blower and it fit very well in the same location as the LS3. When we attempted to put the blower on, there was not enough room for the front drive snout and throttle body under the window; which is an issue we knew we would have what with the increased height of the engine. In the picture that we have with the engine in the car, we removed the snout so we could see what the engine would look like when sitting in the car and boy does it look cool.



Our workaround for the throttle body issue is to lower the motor about 2.5 inches to make up for the lack of space behind the firewall. This will provide a few benefits for us: it will lower the center of gravity to provide enhanced handling when cornering & it will allow us to not have to modify the car to allow the pulley's and throttle body to fit behind the firewall.

Next weekend we will be lowering the motor and working on getting the front-drive system installed. Stay tuned!

See full gallery here: ZR1 Pantera 2-9-14 Updates
quote:
Originally posted by George P:
Lowering the engine that much, are you going to use a "flipped" ZF?


Hopefully we will not have to. It's not in our plans, but if need be, we will. It looks like the engine will be able to be angled enough so we won't need to.

In other news, we got the engine lowered an inch and a half this weekend and everything fits pretty good! Way better than we had anticipated.

We've updated the blog with a few more pics too.



Check them out! ZR1 Pantera 3-2-14 Updates
quote:
dare to be different - who is to say Alejandro de Tomaso would not have gone this way if he had the opportunity Wink applause


I bet if Ford pissed him off or Chevy made him a better deal we would have ended up with a 350 in our cars who's to say. I have to admit I am not gung ho for this swap either but it is much more tasteful than some of the stuff I have seen pantera owners do. One car comes to mind is the red roadster I posted a while back. YUK. At lease Scott will end up with a smooth running reliable and extremely powerful car when he is done. Most of all he is doing this because its for him and not for resale etc.
quote:
Originally posted by PanteraWanabe:
quote:
Originally posted by Belgiumbarry:
nice job !

but ...

putting that in a Pantera is as putting it in a Cobra

BLASPHEMY ! Razzer Big Grin


I know what you mean, I have to say a prayer and burn a candle every time I read this thread.


nono, they are right... with a 350 in our cars i could at least reach the dizzy without gymnastic Big Grin
I will take that old worn out LS3 off your hands for my Pantera. I could probably scrape together a couple hundred bucks. Heck, I would even throw in a case of beer too.

On a serious note, I think the LS9 swap is great. I would love to be able to do this to my Pantera. I would even be very pleased with a LS3. However, I am also the guy that joked about putting a LS3 into my 65 Fastback.

So what is your next project that your putting the LS3 in?

Devin
quote:
Originally posted by No Quarter:
quote:
BLASPHEMY !


Not at all. This is not a Ford with a smart body, it's a DeTomaso with all kinds of options on the engine side. Thankfully for us. Using the latest and greatest engine makes sense, regardless of who built it. IMO


all kidding beside, for a purist like me it's ofcourse not done. Sure not when wants to keep the value one can expect.Changing brand of engine makes it a "kit-car" , which can be great , but only for the owner.His "market" for resale will become smaller and smaller , but it is his decision and he has the right to do so.

I'm swapping a M5 S38 B8 in a '70 BMW CS... a bit the same curse but it's for rallying and "consuming" the car Big Grin , resale value is here of no importance .....
quote:
all kidding beside, for a purist like me it's ofcourse not done. Sure not when wants to keep the value one can expect.Changing brand of engine makes it a "kit-car" , which can be great , but only for the owner.His "market" for resale will become smaller and smaller , but it is his decision and he has the right to do so.


Yea right, my Pantera is a kit car...

I can tell you right now there are a TON of people that would want this car with the LS9, not just the "owner".

But who ever said anything about resale value? That is not what this project is about. This car is NOT for sale, nor will it be in my lifetime. It is nice of you to be concerned about my financial well being.

I am glad we can agree that it is my decision since this is a free country and it is, after all, MY CAR.

By the way, I could EASILY put the Cleveland back in the car if I ever did decide to sell the car in the unlikely event that hell freezes over.

Scott
quote:
By the way, I could EASILY put the Cleveland back in the car if I ever did decide to sell the car in the unlikely event that hell freezes over.


Well stated Scott. LMAO Like I said we very well could have have Chevy engines in our cars. Think ISO and Bizzarini. I bet Alejandro was not that married to the Ford marque. Most likely its the best offer he had at the time.
quote:
all kidding beside, for a purist like me it's ofcourse not done. Sure not when wants to keep the value one can expect.Changing brand of engine makes it a "kit-car" , which can be great , but only for the owner.His "market" for resale will become smaller and smaller , but it is his decision and he has the right to do so.


One of the reasons I bought a Pantera is so I could do what I wanted to the car without being looked down on by others. I guess this may not be true in some cases.
I enjoy my car MUCH more than an original car. Its different. It has character. Oh, and its fast. IMO, if you want original, go buy a vette or Ferrari.
Scott, when hell freezes over, let me know what you're asking. I would certainly be interested.
When you're done with the install, take a video of you driving the car cross country, smooth and reliable and also being able to smoke 95% of the cars on the road.
Lead. Don't follow.
Will
quote:
Originally posted by 4NHOTROD:
quote:
all kidding beside, for a purist like me it's ofcourse not done. Sure not when wants to keep the value one can expect.Changing brand of engine makes it a "kit-car" , which can be great , but only for the owner.His "market" for resale will become smaller and smaller , but it is his decision and he has the right to do so.


One of the reasons I bought a Pantera is so I could do what I wanted to the car without being looked down on by others. I guess this may not be true in some cases.
I enjoy my car MUCH more than an original car. Its different. It has character. Oh, and its fast. IMO, if you want original, go buy a vette or Ferrari.
Scott, when hell freezes over, let me know what you're asking. I would certainly be interested.
When you're done with the install, take a video of you driving the car cross country, smooth and reliable and also being able to smoke 95% of the cars on the road.
Lead. Don't follow.
Will


yesyesyes... but .... Big Grin
i do not agree with buying a vette or Ferrari . What have those cars that a Pantera hasn't ? Why not buy a Ferrari and swap a LS9 ? The same story... i think i know, and without beeing pretensious , the pantera is one of the cheapest most mean looking exotic on the market , so damned to be the basis for all kind of "rich" kitcars .Just as the cheap beetle was rebaptisd in all kind of sand-buggys and ridiculous wannebee sportscars.
What's wrong with a healty 400HP Cleveland? Nothing, perhaps power in the straights.I have Europe's best coilovers ( Intrax ) and semi, road legal , race tires Michelin TB . And the 400 HP are enough, the chassis doens't need more beating.In corners i mean Smiler
I ever made the same mistake, had a 500HP Viper that runs very well, i had to put on a Roe Racing blower,because i could , had 700 HP and the car became just dangerous.Yes, i could smoke 95%. Sold it.
Please do understand i do not want to argue, just express my opinion and at least understand that we have some "bad" feelings everytime there's a swap in a Pantera. Everytime it loses his origine and just serves as a puzzle to what it could have been but not is.In fact , real blasphemy for the Ford Cleveland, a Ferrari with a another engine brand is just ridiculous accepted here in europe....and looked upon as a simple violated kitcar.No more , no less.Why not our Panteras ? Confused

again IMHO. sorry.
quote:
again IMHO. sorry.


I don't really care about your opinion. Please stop posting on this thread!

This thread is a build log for people that want to see the progress of this project. It is not intended to be a thread to debate the merits of the project.
quote:
Originally posted by ZR1 Pantera:
quote:
again IMHO. sorry.


I don't really care about your opinion. Please stop posting on this thread!

This thread is a build log for people that want to see the progress of this project. It is not intended to be a thread to debate the merits of the project.


please accept my apologies ZR1 Pantera ,you are right, i got carried away in my selfisch point of view which has nothing to do with the thread here.I was way off topic.
Even more , i do honestly admire your skills of work and ideas .
Sorry.
quote:
please accept my apologies ZR1 Pantera ,you are right, i got carried away in my selfisch point of view which has nothing to do with the thread here.I was way off topic.
Even more , i do honestly admire your skills of work and ideas .
Sorry.


Thank you Barry for saying that!!! You are an honorable man!!!
quote:
I remember a while back you were toying with building some 180s for the LS3 (before the LS9 project came about). What are the plans for the exhaust on the LS9?


I haven't decided yet. I really like the look of the 180's but the compact stock exhaust manifolds are a work of art. They are mini headers in compact exhaust manifold.

What do you all think? 180's or custom exhaust?

Attachments

Photos (1)
I would do 180's
quote:
Originally posted by ZR1 Pantera:
quote:
I remember a while back you were toying with building some 180s for the LS3 (before the LS9 project came about). What are the plans for the exhaust on the LS9?


I haven't decided yet. I really like the look of the 180's but the compact stock exhaust manifolds are a work of art. They are mini headers in compact exhaust manifold.

What do you all think? 180's or custom exhaust?
Why put a chevy engine in a Pantera?? Just because you can Is unexceptable. The 351c is more cost effective since you already have one. Easier to upgrade the motor with fuel injection, different heads etc. The cheapest bang for the buck is a stroked 302 or 351w. Lite weight too. But, of course If you can afford it, you could put any motor in. Just saying.
quote:
Originally posted by webbers:
Why put a chevy engine in a Pantera?? Just because you can Is unexceptable. The 351c is more cost effective since you already have one. Easier to upgrade the motor with fuel injection, different heads etc. The cheapest bang for the buck is a stroked 302 or 351w. Lite weight too. But, of course If you can afford it, you could put any motor in. Just saying.


The 351C was not more cost effective. If you had followed all of our projects beforehand you would know that about 3 years ago, our 351C block was unusable, and it was going to cost over $3,000 to get it fixed. Instead of waste our money on fixing up a motor that is over 4 decades old, we ended up selling all of our usable parts from it, made a good chunk of change, and put it towards an LS3. Then, once that didn't have enough power for us, we decided to swap it with an LS9. Why? Because the LS9 is just about the best small block V8 ever made and it is freakin' cool.

Why put money into an engine that is over 40 years old? Our car will be just as reliable as a brand new vehicle with more power than a 351C can reliably push. Tell me the next time you can drive from California to New York and back pushing over 700HP out of a 351C.

It's not so much as finding the cheapest solution, but more about finding a solution that makes sense for us and the LS9 fits every single need we had. Was it expensive? Yeah a little bit. But compare that to a comparable Ford engine (Ford GT motor: over $30k) and it is relatively cheap.

quote:
Originally posted by webbers:
My Apologies too. I find a lot of Panteras have different engines in them. Even a 426 Hemi. LS is a good motor.


Agreed. To each their own. Cool
Over the past few weekends we have made quite a bit more progress.

Last weekend we were able to cut the firewall opening a bit wider so the front drive would fit a little bit easier and we got the engine and bellhousing test fit and it fit great!

This weekend we got the LS9 and ZF in the car. Over the next week we will need to fabricate new ZF mounts to push it back about an inch so we can assemble the front drive on the motor.

Progress has been a little slow as a lot of our time has been working on our new product that we will be announcing in the coming weeks. It is surely going to improve the way the Pantera drives for ALL Pantera owners. (Sorry, I had to plug the new product in here. We are really excited about it! Big Grin)

More progress is coming soon, that's for sure! Check out our newest blog post on the site with more pictures! 3-16-14 Updates

Chris are the exhaust manifolds that came with the engine something other than cast iron? Too shiny in the picture to be rough cast iron?

Looks like they would want to exit right on the Pantera chassis member and engine mount?

Nice compact package (except for the blower drive).
quote:
Chris are the exhaust manifolds that came with the engine something other than cast iron? Too shiny in the picture to be rough cast iron?

Looks like they would want to exit right on the Pantera chassis member and engine mount?


They are Stainless Steel. If I used them they would need a quick 90 degree turn. I haven't even test fit them with the engine in so I don't really even know if they would fit at this point.

They are beautiful units but I am really leaning towards 180's...

Scott
quote:
Originally posted by ZR1 Pantera:
quote:
Chris are the exhaust manifolds that came with the engine something other than cast iron? Too shiny in the picture to be rough cast iron?

Looks like they would want to exit right on the Pantera chassis member and engine mount?


They are Stainless Steel. If I used them they would need a quick 90 degree turn. I haven't even test fit them with the engine in so I don't really even know if they would fit at this point.

They are beautiful units but I am really leaning towards 180's...

Scott


They are nice but shorties really don't do much for you anyway.

They do reduce restriction some but don't offer any scavenging effect.

Maybe a blower engine doesn't care that much?

If you went this far, stepped tube 180's would probably be worth the effort, at least for show.
Won't the other LS headers you had before fit this engine?

I've noticed a lot of the SC engines (of all makes) with short exhausts still blow out some flames when you step off of the throttle.

I got lectured by a local cop that my entire car was illegal. He wanted to know where all of the emission equipment was?

When he found out all I was required to have was a PCV and evaporative controls AND they were there, he was speechless and walked away in a grumph!

I love doing that but I know he is out there lurking with the DB meter somewhere waiting to pull me over and do a curbside test on the exhausts. You just never know when trouble will appear out of nowhere? Wink
quote:
Originally posted by PanteraDoug:

I got lectured by a local cop that my entire car was illegal. He wanted to know where all of the emission equipment was?

When he found out all I was required to have was a PCV and evaporative controls AND they were there, he was speechless and walked away in a grumph!



I'm surprised he believed you.

Usually they are determined to "reinvent" history and say your 40 year old car should have every emission device on it ever thought of, even if they weren't invented when your car was built. Doh !
quote:
Won't the other LS headers you had before fit this engine?


Our prior engine used the stock exhaust manifolds. I made a header pipe that connected the exhaust manifold to the stock ansa exhaust. My plan was always to make headers for the old motor but I just never got around to it.

Looks like 180's are the way to go...
quote:
Originally posted by Aus Ford:
quote:
Originally posted by PanteraDoug:

I got lectured by a local cop that my entire car was illegal. He wanted to know where all of the emission equipment was?

When he found out all I was required to have was a PCV and evaporative controls AND they were there, he was speechless and walked away in a grumph!



I'm surprised he believed you.

Usually they are determined to "reinvent" history and say your 40 year old car should have every emission device on it ever thought of, even if they weren't invented when your car was built. Doh !


Worse! This cop wasn't born then yet!

I always think the issue is the headers. They are loud, but you know what? I just test drove a Porsche Cayman which is a little loud to begin with at idle and when you hit the "exhaust" button on the console the thing turns into a Harley Davidson.

The stacks of the Webers sticking up with no air cleaners on them doesn't help my case either.

I don't know how the California guys get by with this the way the CHiPs are and curbside inspections out there. NY generally doesn't care. You could always say you just blew out the muffler a minute ago here. Problem is he is still going to pull you over and the car has no ground clearance to go over the curb alongside of the road.

I had that discussion with a NYS Trooper and he wanted to know why it took so long for me to pull over. I mentioned the ground clearance and he said so what. I said that's all well and good but there was no safety/immediacy issue and I was looking for a safe place to pull over AND is NYS going to pay for the damage to the car particularly considering forcing me off of the road was not necessary? I don't think so?

He didn't like that. Gave me a speeding ticket. He does have to justify his job some how you know so that he is entitled to a pension? Wink



The way the PDK transmission works, you just keep hammering the floor with the accelerator and I'm telling you that car is loud AND you can get an optional $3500 "sport exhaust" factory installed! I don't think that makes it quieter?

Maybe Porsche comes and fights with the cop for you considering (JUST) the STANDARD Cayman is $88,000? Try about $100k for the S. The Cayman is the ENTRY level Porsche! The 911 I liked was $168,000.
So we've put quite a bit of work in the past few weeks.

We have fabricated our new billet aluminum transmission mounts that move the engine and tranny back an inch.



We got the mounts bolted onto the tranny, the tranny bolted in, and the engine mounted in.

The blower and front drive now fits perfectly in the car and the engine is perfectly centered in the car.

Our next step will be taking the motor back out, prepping the oil, fuel, and water systems, and mate the engine and transmission with the clutch and flywheel installed.

It's getting exciting! We can't wait to drive the car!



Look at more pics over at http://zr1pantera.com
Big-block conversions move the ZF back FOUR full inches with no known halfshaft problems. Biggest problem for most engines is the oil pan notch vs the under-engine crossmember. But some LS engines are dry-sump with shallow pans and can mount high enough that clearance is not an issue.

As far as the 'Chevy-in-a-Ford' thing, its well known that GM "borrowed" designs from a number of sources in building the LS series engines, including the hot-rodders. Some hard parts adapt almost directly from LS to thirty-years-older 351-Cs! Just look at them as modernized Clevelands, or what Ford might have done had they not thrown the Cleveland design in the trash in '74 & kept the Windsor truck engines.
quote:
As far as the 'Chevy-in-a-Ford' thing, its well known that GM "borrowed" designs from a number of sources in building the LS series engines, including the hot-rodders. Some hard parts adapt almost directly from LS to thirty-years-older 351-Cs! Just look at them as modernized Clevelands, or what Ford might have done had they not thrown the Cleveland design in the trash in '74 & kept the Windsor truck engines.


roll on floor See I guess we have a Ford after all...
quote:
Originally posted by Bosswrench:
Big-block conversions move the ZF back FOUR full inches with no known halfshaft problems. Biggest problem for most engines is the oil pan notch vs the under-engine crossmember. But some LS engines are dry-sump with shallow pans and can mount high enough that clearance is not an issue.

As far as the 'Chevy-in-a-Ford' thing, its well known that GM "borrowed" designs from a number of sources in building the LS series engines, including the hot-rodders. Some hard parts adapt almost directly from LS to thirty-years-older 351-Cs! Just look at them as modernized Clevelands, or what Ford might have done had they not thrown the Cleveland design in the trash in '74 & kept the Windsor truck engines.


I will say this, that is one heck of a compact engine package and really fits the chassis well.

There are 1000hp axle shafts available now, so that shouldn't be a problem.

Being the paranoid that I am I would immediately be concerned about the supercharger with the ZF since all published information and quotes from Butfoy state that it is a hard 550ft-lb torque limit.

Actually Quella proved with doing at least three 427 Ford installs into the Pantera that isn't necessarily a problem though.

There's no question the ZF held and is holding up fine with those installs.

The only thing aesthetically that bothers me here now is the coil packs sitting on the valve covers.

I acknowledge that I'm probably in the minority on that anyway as many will say form follows function and therefore they are beautiful?

There's no question that the fabricated parts like the engine and trans mounts are coming out beautifully so I can compensate by lusting for them.

I think ultimately what will set the finished install off is the headers? Those and the supercharger all tucked in like that are just going to be like a Tiffany diamond necklace hanging over the cleavage of a set of 36DD's.

I try not to stare in situations like that but most understand that it is a hopeless situation and that I am only being a moth attracted uncontrollably to the flame?

So far so good. I'm already working on my safety harness to keep me from falling into the crevice between those babies on this car.

It's seems inevitable though that you'll find me with my head stuck in there between...the header tubes! Just checking for fit you understand. Purely scientifically. Big Grin

Beautiful Chris. Can't wait to see it finished.
I personally love this swap and can't wait to see the final product.

As for Doug's aesthetic concern, I have often thought that the coil packs do take a little away from the look of the engine. Interestingly, I have seen remote mounts for the coil packs on the LS3 but do not know if they make them for the LS7. I have heard mixed reviews on these. There is also a company making a cover that looks like old school big block valve covers to hide them on the LS3.

I still would like to have that old, junk, worn out LS3 they are replacing for my Pantera.

Keep up the good work Chris and Scott.

Devin
quote:
This is what this topic is about. For those interested in the SACC Restorations LS9 Build.For those that want to start a topic to debate Chevy engines, please start your own thread. Thank you...

Sorry Scott I posted the ebay ad to show that there are others. Personally I don't like the approach the ebay car took. Your build will be fantactically functional. Looking foreword to seeing it done.
Thanks everyone for all of the positive feedback. We like doing the swap for our own enjoyment, but it's great when we get good feedback from other people that like our work as well.

Sorry for the lack of updates too, guys. We've been really busy tackling a bunch of things with the engine swap, including a couple of issues we've had to fix, and of course Easter this last weekend (which we hope everyone had a good one!)

Anywho, over the past few weeks we've been working hard in getting the engine mated with the transmission which turned into a much bigger project than we had originally anticipated. We began by installing the flywheel on the engine and it fit great! Then, we decided to attempt to polish our aluminum bellhousing and boy did that turn into a long process. We spent almost an entire day polishing that sucker and it came out pretty awesome. It could use a bit more work and elbow grease but it's good as a start. We also fabricated a brand new clutch mount that bolts directly to the bellhousing.





The next weekend we installed the discs and pressure plate onto the engine and that went very well. It fit perfect and looked bitchin'! But when we tried mounting the bellhousing onto the engine, we ran into an issue. Due to the new dual-disc and pressure plate design, the depth was increased from what we ran with the LS3. It was incredibly close to fitting, but it was off enough to cause us an issue. So to combat this issue, we ended up countersinking all the bolts on the clutch and the bellhousing so we didn't have any issues with it hitting the bellhousing.



After doing that, we still had a few areas where the clearance was too close for comfort. So what were we to do? Well of course; we had to figure out a way to mount the bellhousing on our machine to machine the edge down where it was hitting.



After spending a couple hours machining, we finally got the bellhousing to fit.



Once we got it to fit, it was time to mate the engine and the transmission.



It's been a super busy past couple of weeks but we are finally going to get the engine and transmission into the car for the final time.

Oh and I also forgot to mention that we got the fuel tank out of the car as well. We are going with a new fuel system design (very similar to what the ZR1 Corvette uses). Basically we will have a 12-15 gallon tank in the trunk area with a smaller (2-5 gallon) tank near the engine that we use as the feed for the engine. This works very similar to a dry sump oil system that makes sure the engine gets a constant flow of fuel. (It also betters the cars weight distribution and makes the engine compartment a little bit prettier and more symmetrical, because hey, everyone loves symmetry Big Grin). And we figured, it's a purpose built sports car; we don't need trunk space. Cool

Check out the full gallery on our blog
This project is very interesting.

A long time ago, I was interested in doing a Crown V-8 converion into a Corvair.

I never liked the small block Chevy engine alternatives available.

That was also before I was aware of a ZF.

This drivetrain, if money and value invested was not a consideration, is a perfect solution to that one.

I always noticed the similarities in the the tubs between the two cars as well.

I haven't even heard of one of the Corv8's even still being around, but it was an interesting thought?

I never thought you'd have this much work to do on the bellhousing but the challenge looks like fun.

Thanks for posting. I'm enjoying the thread. Smiler
quote:
Originally posted by Dago:
Nice project Chris,
I am really interested in your cabel shifter system. Do have some more information that?

grtz Arno


Thanks a lot Arno! Your engine looks very nice too! We will have more info on the cable shifter very soon. Hang tight Cool

quote:
Originally posted by PanteraDoug:
Thanks for posting. I'm enjoying the thread.


Thanks Doug!
This weekend we got quite a bit more work done on the car. We got a new support piece installed to strengthen the side of the engine hatch opening area where we cut.

Check out the video of my dad welding it in

After we got the support piece in, we decided to get our new firewall panels installed. We used to have diamond plate on our firewall but with the new engine, we decided to go with a different design. We got a brushed stainless steel plate that turned out awesome. We finished both sides and were debating whether or not to do a top piece (since the engine will cover it) but since we have left over material, we're going to finish it off and do a top piece.



After we get the top piece in, we will be putting the motor in!

View more pics here
quote:
Originally posted by Chris Bell:
This weekend we got quite a bit more work done on the car. We got a new support piece installed to strengthen the side of the engine hatch opening area where we cut.

Check out the video of my dad welding it in

After we got the support piece in, we decided to get our new firewall panels installed. We used to have diamond plate on our firewall but with the new engine, we decided to go with a different design. We got a brushed stainless steel plate that turned out awesome. We finished both sides and were debating whether or not to do a top piece (since the engine will cover it) but since we have left over material, we're going to finish it off and do a top piece.



After we get the top piece in, we will be putting the motor in!

View more pics here


Gotta make Dad earn his keep! Big Grin

I did the brushed stainless bulkhead and engine covers in my car too. I have never been sorry about that at all. I think they are a classy touch to add to any Pantera.

They can always be taken out. They are just held in by a few strategically placed stainless sheet metal screws.

I know you will love yours. They help so much in keeping the engine bay clean and presentable.

Don't use Brillo pads on them though. For some inexplicable reason the pads transfer steel to the stainless and that will leave rust stains.

Very weird if you ask me. Wipe them down with Windex like you would do with the glass and the chrome and a paper towel.

I've worked before with stainless sheet and have found that in the long run you, anyone, is better off putting 90 degree bent edges on the sheets. For one thing it hides the cut edges but more importantly if you don't the sheets have a tendency of developing ripples that you can see in the surfaces. Especially when they are exposed to heat/cool cycles. Just my opinion of a better way to do them and you definitely need a brake to do the bends on.

In my case that fit into wanting to install more firewall insulation because it created a space to put it and a shield to protect it.

Now stop talking and get back to work so we can see the finished product.

Dad has got to weld up those headers. Big Grin
It has been a crazy couple months. We built our display and held the tech session at the Pantera Owners Club of America Annual Fun Rally, and continued development on our new cable short shifter, and finally finished the dry sump oil system for the Pantera.

To figure out the dry sump system, we had to first find a tank. We ended up going with the OEM tank out of the ZR1 Corvette. While it is a very nice tank, it was hard to find a location and a way to mount it because it is a very awkward shape with very few mounting locations.





We fabricated a mount for the dry sump tank that mounts it upright on the passenger side of the engine. This allows us to use very short oil lines into the engine.

Here are some pictures of the block that we fabricated for the oil input and output:



Now we are finishing up the Oil Cooling/Filtering system that will be located on the driver’s side of the engine.

Lot’s of fabrication work going on in the SACC shop. More updates to come shortly!

Check out more pics on the blog: zr1pantera.com
quote:
Originally posted by PanteraDoug:
I am ordering a Smithy! What you guys do with it is unbelievable! Nice work. How are you ever going to fit headers in there though? Its getting very crowded in there.


The Smithy is a great machine! Thanks a lot!

And it is getting a bit crowded but we are being sure to leave enough space between all of the components and where we are going to run the headers. Stay tuned Wink
quote:
Originally posted by Rocky:
Very cool.

So your alternator is driven off the Rotary Compressor, or is that one huge belt?

You need to consider one of those amazing "overdrive" water pump pulleys for the serpentine system!

Rocky


The Alternator, AC, and the Crank are on one, 6 rib belt, and the Supercharger, Water Pump, and Crank are on one, 11 rib belt.
The last two weeks have been jam packed with finishing systems. Our car is getting very close to being able to be driven. We are probably about five weeks out from having a drivable car.

Front Drive:

For the Front Drive system, we ended up having to find two custom belts due to the placement of the pulleys. For the supercharger serpentine belt, we actually had to buy a 12 rib belt, and cut it down to an 11 rib as they didn’t make the correct size that we needed in the 11 ribs. As far as we have found, the only 11 rib serpentine belt readily available, is the stock belt that is used on the LS9, which was too long for the amount of pulleys that we are using. We decided to forgo the power steering pulley and pump for easier fitment in the car. Plus, who needs power steering? Also, check out the little block that is in the pics below. While it seems little, that block is very vital for the engine to run right in our application. It is used to plug the hole where one of the emission sensors goes.

See more pics here



Cooling System

For the LS9, we decided to go with all molded water tubes. You wouldn’t believe the amount of time we spent searching for different shapes, sizes, and lengths for these water tubes. We ended up ordering 6 or 7 water tubes, and 5 of them fit absolutely perfectly in the car and look like they were made for our installation. We couldn’t be any happier with the cooling system.

Here is an overview of how the flow in the cooling system goes: Radiator > Electric Water Pump > LS9 > Oil Cooler > Radiator.

For the LS9, we decided to go with a water-to-oil cooler instead of the air-to-oil cooler that we used with the LS3. (Actually, one of the only Ford parts in our engine system LOL). It should be interesting to see what the water and oil temps look like with the use of the cooler.

See more pics here



Oil System

The oil system is now complete as well. As you saw in our previous post, we got the dry sump system all connected to the engine, but to finish the system, we needed to get the oil filter and oil cooler connected. In order to get the lines connected, we needed to make custom hose adapters to connect the AN style lines with the design on the oil cooler. (As a side note; it’s insane how many special adapters we have had to make to get the engine running. Thank goodness we have a machine to get all these parts pumped out quickly). We got all the braided steel lines put in and connected, and the engine is one step closer to being started.

See more pics here



We have three systems left, the fuel, intercooler, and air intake systems. For the fuel system, we are getting a custom tank made that will fit in the front trunk. We are hoping to get about 10-12 gallons out of the front trunk, with a 3-5 gallon sump tank near the engine. This will help balance the weight in the car and should hopefully help handling. For the intercooler, we are going to mount the radiator in the front of the car right in front of the large radiator. It’s funny; when we were looking for a place to mount it, as soon as we looked under the hood, it was like the intercooler radiator was made for the Pantera. It fits perfectly (pictures coming soon). For the air intake system, we will be building side intake gills that will direct cool, fresh air right into the engine. We still need to construct the gills and mount the air filter so that will be about two weeks out.

Of course after we finish those systems, we need to run all of the electrical to run this beast, plus get the headers constructed. We are utilizing the MAST Motorsports ECU and Control System which, with the headers, should deliver around 700HP at the crank.

It’s getting really exciting over here. We can see the light at the end of the tunnel and it’s approaching fast.
quote:
Originally posted by PanteraDoug:
I can see your need for the cable shifter. Smiler

Why are there two tanks for this engine?


Yes, definitely a need for the cable shifter... LOL

The tank on the drivers side is actually for the air suspension, while the tank on the passengers side is for the oil system.
quote:
Originally posted by comp2:
Looks like you can pretty much eliminate the bubble.


Yes the bubble will be almost completely flat. The only hump we will have will be for the air intake which will have to come out the front and then down to the drivers side near the oil cooler. There we will be mounting the air box with cleaner and ducting it to the outer gills of the car that we will be constructing.
Wow, the last month has seen so much progress! Where to start...

Electrical System:

The wiring of the engine has begun. We mounted the ECU and have started wiring the engine. Our MAST Motorsports wiring harness has so many options for controlling the engine and other systems. It is designed to control almost every system in the car, but since we already have a pretty good wiring harness in the car, we are only going to use it to control the engine. We ran the wiring as clean as possible, but we will probably construct a few covers to make the engine compartment look even nicer.



Intake System:

We finished relocating the throttle body and constructing the intake tube from the blower to the throttle body. We are just finish welding it, and it will be ready to install for the final time. (We will have more pics of the intake system when we get the final weld done on the intake tube). The last part of the intake system is to construct the airbox and the intake gill. The airbox will be located in the cavity between the outer panel and the inner engine bay panel.



Intercooler System:

With the stock intercooler, we couldn't fit the water line adapter between the window and the blower. To overcome this issue, we made adapters that would convert the intercooler to AN style fittings. Now that we have that done, it's time to plumb the water lines to the intercooler radiator located at the front of the car.

Speaking of, we finished mounting the intercooler radiator in the front of the car. The last thing we have to do is mount the reservoir for the system which fits PERFECTLY behind the drivers side headlight bucket.



Fuel System:

The fuel system is getting close to completion as well. We designed a custom fuel tank and had it built, and it is awesome! The rough capacity is around 15 gallons and the tank is built out of 3/16" aluminum for extra strength. This will help balance the weight in the car as well. With the great fuel efficiency of the LS9, that should give us a realistic 300-350 miles of range on the highway (although, I don't think we will be taking it easy with this engine so I am not sure if we will attain that figure ;-) ). Right now, you are probably thinking "where are they going to put the battery?" We have decided to move it to the back, near the engine. We are going to use our current Optima Red Top, but we are looking into a lightweight lithium-ion racing battery to replace the heavy lead-acid battery.

Since the fuel tank is now in the front of the car, we thought it was a good idea to integrate a high-flow fuel sump system in the car for high performance. Our friends over at Radium Engineering thought our project was really cool so they decided to sponsor and help us out with a Fuel Surge Tank (FST). If you don't know what that is, an FST is designed to prevent fuel starvation to the engine on vehicles with inadequate fuel tank baffling. The FST fuel pump feeds the fuel rail. The volume of fuel inside the surge tank acts as a buffer to always keep the FST pump supplied with fuel. In this system, we will have that pump supplying the engine with fuel, and a lower powered pump to keep the FST filled with fuel.




So I guess my original prediction of 5 weeks until the car is drivable was a little bit exaggerated, but we are definitely getting way closer.

Oh, and I forgot one last thing. We decided to go with the exhaust manifolds until we take the car back apart to paint and do bodywork. Because of this, we decided to polish the manifolds and WOW do they look great.



Our to-do list is dwindling.

For more pics, check out our post on http://zr1pantera.com
quote:
Originally posted by No Quarter:
Wow Eeker


Thanks!

quote:
Originally posted by JTpantera:
I hope that you will consider bringing the car to the 2015 POCA Lone Star Fun Rally. I am confident people would enjoy seeing your creative fabrication on the Pantera


We are currently planning on going to the next POCA Fun Rally. It's looking to be lots of fun!
quote:
so chris at one time in your build you said something about cheap and reliable 650 hp with good fuel economy. i was wondering how thats working out how much are you spending just curious.


I am pretty sure he said "reliable 650 hp with good fuel economy". Not sure where you got cheap from. If he said that, I couldn't find it...

Thanks for your interest in the project.

Regarding the cost of the project, it is right where it should be! We thanks our sponsors for the help and support of this project!

Scott
Isn't a project like this worth whatever it costs?

If someone really wants to duplicate this project, "ball-parking" the price tag is pretty easy. If I were Chris and Scott, I wouldn't say how much it cost because then they'll just have to listen to people's opinions as to whether it's worth it or not.

My "beef" with this engine swap is, not only is it probably less expensive than my Fontana aluminum block based, SVO headed, IR EFI injected engine, it's probably more powerful and more reliable too. Not fair you guys :-(

If I was starting all over ...

Anyone want to buy an all aluminum Ford motor???
quote:
Originally posted by 73 l:
oh by the way i was referring chris bell's post on march 16th 2014 09:52


Here is what I said...

quote:
It's not so much as finding the cheapest solution, but more about finding a solution that makes sense for us and the LS9 fits every single need we had. Was it expensive? Yeah a little bit. But compare that to a comparable Ford engine (Ford GT motor: over $30k) and it is relatively cheap.


I completely stand behind my previous comment. If you look at the retail price of both motors (LS9: around $20k; Ford GT: over $30k), it is obvious that the LS9 is cheaper. Even when you add electronics and everything to run the engine, etc. it comes in under $30k.

We are doing more than just an engine swap, as many can tell. Did we need to do all of these modifications? No, but they make the car perform better. I can tell you that even if we put a Ford GT motor in the car, we would be making many of these systems modifications.

quote:
Originally posted by David_Nunn:
My "beef" with this engine swap is, not only is it probably less expensive than my Fontana aluminum block based, SVO headed, IR EFI injected engine, it's probably more powerful and more reliable too. Not fair you guys :-(

If I was starting all over ...

Anyone want to buy an all aluminum Ford motor???


roll on floor roll on floor roll on floor
Considering the extent of the work involved, the amount of fabrication, the project is beyond most's capabilities and well beyond "very interesting" but the only thing it makes me want is a Smithy. Then, look out world, I'm comin'! Hide all of your aluminum billet! Razzer

I'll just have to be happy with my iron Ford block, aluminum heads, Webers, 180 degree headers and a measly 550hp and 500 ft-lbs or torque, BUT it sure is enjoyable following the project.

Still don't see that cable shifter in there yet though? Big Grin

After all is said and done, I'm just a yester-retro kinda guy anyway? Groovy. Peace man V! Smiler
quote:
Still don't see that cable shifter in there yet though?


It's in there Doug!!! I'll ask Chris to post some pictures...

I am having a hard time keeping Chris from wearing out my ZF while it sits there waiting to hit the streets.

He likes the shifter so much he just keeps shifting it and shifting it and shifting it. I keep telling him to knock it off but he has so much fun doing it I don't know what to do. Damm kids!!!
Is it fair to say that the vast majority of the mods required in your swap from the LS3 to the LS9 were necessitated by the supercharger and its related components? It seems to me, a Pantera owner could install a dry sump LS7 for about half the cost of a Ford based equivalent. By "equivalent" I mean HP, TQ, weight, dry sump and EFI. In 2006, Hot Rod Magazine did an LS7 dyno test and found they could increase the engine's HP to 600 @ 6,800 RPM with only a cam and exhaust change.

In addition, if you wanted to mount the engine lower in the chassis, you guys now have that all figured out too. It seems pretty "bolt-in" without the complication of the supercharger.

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quote:
Originally posted by David_Nunn:
Is it fair to say that the vast majority of the mods required in your swap from the LS3 to the LS9 were necessitated by the supercharger and its related components? It seems to me, a Pantera owner could install a dry sump LS7 for about half the cost of a Ford based equivalent. By "equivalent" I mean HP, TQ, weight, dry sump and EFI. In 2006, Hot Rod Magazine did an LS7 dyno test and found they could increase the engine's HP to 600 @ 6,800 RPM with only a cam and exhaust change.

In addition, if you wanted to mount the engine lower in the chassis, you guys now have that all figured out too. It seems pretty "bolt-in" without the complication of the supercharger.


For the most part. The fuel tank/fuel sump we did for better performance during track driving to ensure the engine doesn't get starved for fuel plus better weight distribution front to back. The only system that was done solely because of the supercharger was the intercooler system. Other than that, almost all changes would have been necessary for an LS7 swap as well (dry sump oil system, lowering the motor, moving the motor and trans back a couple of inches, airbox, etc.) because it is much better to leave the manifold in it's stock orientation and run the intake through the front.

The LS7 is a beast of a motor for sure. It was definitely a consideration when we were doing the original LS3 swap, but for this project, we wanted to go with the "cool" factor with the supercharger and get the biggest (in performance), & baddest motor. Wink
quote:
For the most part. The fuel tank/fuel sump we did for better performance during track driving to ensure the engine doesn't get starved for fuel plus better weight distribution front to back. The only system that was done solely because of the supercharger was the intercooler system. Other than that, almost all changes would have been necessary for an LS7 swap as well (dry sump oil system, lowering the motor, moving the motor and trans back a couple of inches, airbox, etc.) because it is much better to leave the manifold in it's stock orientation and run the intake through the front.

The LS7 is a beast of a motor for sure. It was definitely a consideration when we were doing the original LS3 swap, but for this project, we wanted to go with the "cool" factor with the supercharger and get the biggest (in performance), & baddest motor.


The LS7 would be a bit easier but not by much. Chris is correct that most of the changes would still be needed. The intercooler was a Pain in the a$$ and so was the air intake. The LS7 air intake would be much easier since that manifold could be swapped 180 like we did on the LS3.
quote:
Any update on when the cable shifter will be available to the public and the approximate cost?


Hi Richard,

I am very close to launching the product for sale. I made some geometry changes to the shifter end to improve the feel and am extremely happy with the result.

I am shooting for the price to come in under $1000.00. Early adopters may get an additional discount.

The unit is completely installed and functional in our project car for anyone that is close-by that wants to sit in the car and make rum-rum noises while shifting the car.

Take care, Scott
quote:
Originally posted by ZR1 Pantera:
quote:
Any update on when the cable shifter will be available to the public and the approximate cost?


Hi Richard,

The unit is completely installed and functional in our project car for anyone that is close-by that wants to sit in the car and make rum-rum noises while shifting the car.

Take care, Scott



....beda beda beda varoom, boom bada bada boom bada bada.

It's got a cam. Big Grin
We finally got back to work on the ZR1 Pantera project. I am happy to report we finally got the LS9 fired up last night for the first time. OMG did it sound GREAT. We had a couple of issues to work through but have now had the engine up to operating temperature a couple of times. Still not drivable since we have not yet built the hatch cover or the exhaust. We used the old LS3 exhaust to get the engine fired up. The sound of the blower whine is GREAT!!! More to come shortly!!!
quote:
Scott, you are such a tease. No pictures? I just may die of anticipation. LOL Congrats


LOL... Chris is mostly in charge of posting pictures but he has been, shall we say, busy with other more important activities.

He says he will do a complete update this weekend but if he doesn't I will...
Here is a shot of the drivers side area where the fuel tank used to be. It is getting a bit full in this area with new systems. The red at the bottom of the picture is the top of the battery that was relocated from the front trunk to here.

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I haven't checked in with this thread since it began and I just re-discovered it. Super cool. All the fabrication work and custom bits are fantastic. I'm very interested in your cable shifter as well. I'm even more interested to see how the car drives when you get it on the road. Boost on!
quote:
Originally posted by The Reaper:
I'm holding you to that promise of pictures on Saturday. You don't want to disappoint the Reaper.


Well with two hours to go, here is the update (as promised because I don't want to upset the Reaper Wink )

After two months (from our last update), we have finished so much on the car.



Here are our main items we finished on the car:

Air Intake: We finished the intake system and have the air filter installed and functional. The only thing we have left to do is build our side gill and build an air box around the filter. We should be finishing this within the next month.



Wiring: We did an enormous amount of wiring over the past two months. September was almost completely dedicated to wiring within the car. We finished wiring the controller for the air suspension, re-wired the entire interior of the car including a new fuse block for both the driver and passenger side, as well as integrating the engine controller wiring into the car. We also re-located the battery and moved the main power cable to the middle of the car. The wiring was a huge process that is now complete.



Fuel Tank: We got the fuel tank completely installed in the car including fuel lines, fuel pumps, etc. From our preliminary calculations, we calculated that the tank would hold around 14-15 gallons. After filling it with 10 gallons of fuel, it looks like the tank will be around 16-16.5 gallons. Very good size for our application. (Especially since the LS9 will get around 21 MPG on the freeway.)







Fluids: We filled the engine up with all of it’s fluids! Oil, fuel, and coolant.

Over the last week we got the engine started! We had an issue initially with the engine harness not firing the cylinders on the right side of the engine, but it turned out to be a connection issue within the harness. We got that problem fixed and then we decided to install the old exhaust system from the LS3 to get it fired up. After that bolted right up, we were able to start the engine, and WOW, this thing sounds great. Watch the two videos below and you will hear what I am talking about!

(At time of posting, the videos are still uploading. They should be up and ready in about an hour Big Grin)
https://vimeo.com/110684477
https://vimeo.com/110684503

Our last issue that we are overcoming now is an issue with our clutch connection to the engine. Unfortunately, when we first mated the engine and the tranny, we noticed an issue with the clutch disengaging. We recognized the issue and it was going to be a 50-50 shot if the clutch was going to disengage fully when installed. Unfortunately, the clutch does not fully disengage, like we had anticipated early on. Our next step will be pulling the transmission out, by itself, and swapping out the current throwout bearing with a hydraulic version that will have more throw. A slight monkey wrench in the project but not detrimental. We will get that changed out and we should be on the street in no time.

Once we have that issue knocked out, our last projects include finishing the air intake system, the intercooler system, the LS9 exhaust system, and buttoning up the interior including fabricating our new hatch cover. If all goes well, we should be on the road in the next month or two.
I am also interested in the cable shifter and was able to get a feel for it first hand. I'd seen and played with it at the POCA fun rally and was impressed, but it wasn't hooked up to a ZF there. Last month we were in Temecula and were able to stop by and visit with Scott in his shop and got to shift it in his car. He said they still had a few tweaks to do, but I thought it was fantastic as it was. The shifting was very light an precise and the throw was significantly (1/2?) shorter and the shifter was perfectly centered in the gate. On my car the shifter is maxed out (almost rubbing the gate) in R and 4th-5th.

I had a few concerns (about grit, dirt, and wear and also corrosion of bare aluminum) which I asked about in a followup email. Scott replied

"The reason the stock unit is enclosed in a case is because the pivot shaft must be heavily greased to function normally. It has a ball socket arrangement that must be clean and greased for a smooth operation.

Our design is maintenance free and does not require grease. There is nothing that will get gummed up with road grit with our design. There are only 2 moving parts. The rail direction movement has a ball bearing for the pivot. The cables are marine grade cables so they will be fine in the environment of the Pantera engine compartment. There is ZERO wear in the gear select direction of movement. Nothing to gum-up or get dirty that would affect functionality. There is nothing to have reservations about regarding the environment."

So now all we need to know is availability and price Smiler
I really like the sound of the supercharger. This engine sounds really healthy in there -- I'm sure you guys can't wait to put some street and/or track time on that bad boy. Congratulations! Looks like the stock engine cover would fit if you wanted it too. Total sleeper.......

Mark


So after a few weeks of troubleshooting, with tons of measuring and CAD drawings, we figured out what the issue was with the clutch.

We were completely off with the thought that the throw of the bearing was the issue. Our clutch only requires .375 in of throw to disengage, and we had well over .700 in of throw. After we figured that out, it was back to the drawing board to find the issue. We spent lots of time measuring the clutch and the transmission and drew both in CAD to see if we could diagnose the issue on the computer. Sure enough, after enough analysis, we figured out that the stack height within the clutch was too tall, and was arranged in a way that the second clutch disk was too thick to be completely engaged on the spline, and was rubbing on the stepped edge of the spline causing the disk to be engaged even when the clutch was depressed all the way.

The solution: we called up SPEC and discussed with their tech support and they decided that they would build us a new set of clutch disks based on our CAD drawings that would engage the splines correctly. In about 5 days, we had a new set of clutch disks sitting on our front porch, and sure enough, once we got those re-installed in the transmission, they worked like a charm!

The reason we had this issue is because of the design of the dual-disk clutch for the LS9. It was designed for the ZR1 Corvette, obviously, and the Corvette is designed with the transmission in the rear of the car with a torque tube that spans the distance between the engine and the transaxle. Because of this, they do not have to deal with the clearance issues that come with a transaxle being bolted directly to the engine.

After we got that issue fixed, we decided to go for a drive in the car before finishing up the rest of the systems.



The car drove GREAT and wow does it have a lot of power. Unfortunately, the car started to feel a little bit less powerful after driving for about 20 minutes and then we got a check engine light. We figured that it probably had something to do with the intake air temperature since the intercooler is not yet functional. After we came back to the shop we plugged in our laptop and sure enough, we had two trouble codes, Intake Air Temperature Warning Level 1 and Intake Air Temperature Warning Level 2. As expected, the intake air was getting a bit too hot for comfort so the engine started to pull timing to protect itself and threw a check engine light and trouble code. Even with that little issue, boy was it nice to drive the car after over a year of hiatus.

When we got back it was time to get some of the other items on our to-do list finished. The first thing on that list was obviously the intercooler.

Our previous design for the intercooler connections was a bit convoluted due to the space constraints between the firewall and the engine. We came up with a great new design that looks WAY better.



We also got the intercooler lines from the back of the car to the front of the car. (Also, check out all of the lines that span the length of the car! We will be constructing some nice stainless steel splash shields to protect all of our lines.



Our last tasks include finishing the connections for the intercooler to the intercooler radiator at the front of the car, constructing a new exhaust system using the LS9 exhaust manifolds (temporary until we decide to go with 180 headers), finishing the air intake system, finish the roll bar installation, upholster various interior pieces including the engine hatch cover, etc.

We are so close to having a completely functional car. With the exception of some other miscellaneous tasks that we have after our last big tasks, the car is almost done! We are aiming to have all of our tasks completed over the next 30 days to give us ample time between then and our next track event to break-in the engine and work out any bugs. We will be out at Willow Springs this March so we can track test our new beast!

Check out some additional pics of some other things we got completed over the past two months including the installation of our new seats and roll bar
quote:
Originally posted by David_Nunn:
Chris,

How was the "new" cable shifter on your drive?


WOW! It was great. I couldn't believe how great it drove. It felt like a very smooth, modern shifter. None of the issues that plague the standard mechanical shift rod shifter apply with the new cable shifter.
Put some miles on the car today! What a blast. The blower whine is so cool! It ran great. Only put about 30 miles on it but so far so good. No problems to speak of.

Next I need to build the LS9 exhaust as I installed the stock LS3 exhaust so I could get it out on the road for a test drive.

The engine really likes to rev. Way more than the LS3 did. Only getting about 5 pounds of boost so I need to look into that. Not sure if the restrictive exhaust would contribute to a lower boost output???
Put another 120 miles on the new engine today. Not a single issue! I love the blower whine.

I have some small items to button up and then it is off to Willow Springs in March.

I also am VERY happy with the cable shifter system. It is very smooth and precise. It is unaffected by heat or engine/drive train movement and never needs to be greased!

By the way, anyone see that shiny new lift I recently installed in my garage. Man, I should have done that long ago!

Scott
quote:
By the way, anyone see that shiny new lift I recently installed in my garage. Man, I should have done that long ago!

Not sure I'd install a lift with the word "bend" in it... Wink

Looks good, I have a scissor lift, gets most jobs done, not enough vertical space for something like you got...
quote:
Not sure I'd install a lift with the word "bend" in it...

Looks good, I have a scissor lift, gets most jobs done, not enough vertical space for something like you got...


Good one. They actually started business making tubing benders for the muffler shop market. Thats where the name came from. Unlike some of the other copies, they have been making lifts for 40+ years!

A scissor lift would be very nice as well however we are also taking advantage of the extra space to park my son's car in the garage.
Took the car out for another long drive this weekend. Have you ever heard of adding 2 tie wraps and getting about 100 horsepower more!

Neither did I!!!! But that is exactly what happened!!!

I can finally say that this car is scary fast. I was a bit disappointed when I first got the car running with the power level. It was faster than before but just wasn't as fast as I thought it should be. I haven't installed the new exhaust and the current exhaust is VERY restrictive so I though that might be the issue but it still seemed like it should be faster.

So last weekend I installed a boost gauge and low and behold, I was only getting 4.5 pounds of boost MAX!!!

The LS9 has a blower bypass butterfly valve that when open, it creates a passage around the blower. The stock GM Engine Management Computer controls the valve. I forgot all about that valve. The Engine Management Computer I am using doesn't have this specialized control.

So yesterday I took 2 tie wraps and forces the valve off, all the time, off!!!

OMG, what a difference!!! This thing runs like a bat out of hell. I couldn't be happier. And I am still running the restrictive exhaust. I can't wait to see how it feels with a free flowing exhaust.

And I am getting north of 20 MPG!!!!

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Pretty amazing!

Scott & Chris, have fun & don't get hurt. You know I care about you guys.

That type of power gives me reason to be concerned. Respect it. I know a guy who crawled out of the wreckage of his 505 BHP LS7 Corvette. Alive today due to seat belts, crumple zones, and sheer luck.
quote:
That type of power gives me reason to be concerned. Respect it.


Yes, indeed. I have the utmost respect for the new level of power. We mainly use the power on the track but it is also such a blast on the street. Very, very careful on the street. After I get the exhaust done I am going to have to go do some 0-60 and 1/4 mile runs to see where we are!

Years ago a spun the car on a freeway onramp and since then I decided to be smart and have fun on the track and be safe on the street. It was a wakeup call...
just from a google search, I found mention that the blow bypass valve was vacuum operated.

with high manifold vacuum (and boost not needed) the butterfly opens and reduces the parisitic load of an useless blower.

with loss of manifold vacuum (accelerating or high power demand) the butterfly closes.

maybe just disconnecting the vacuum hose would do the same as the tie wrapes, but it sounds like a feature you would want

please note this is just keyboard mechanic/engineering as I an humbled by your work Smiler
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I am going to have to go do some 0-60 and 1/4 mile runs to see where we are

I look forward to see if your modern tech will outrun my old school engine. BTW, I don't get 20 mpg...

Where is this ending? Will you market a kit so others can do the same as you? Or is it too much of a hassle to do, sometimes one finds during a customization like that that it's not worth all the effort? The mpg is not that important to me, don't drive it daily, but the drivablity, the 100k+ miles lifespan and the peace of mind driving it on long trips would be great
Maybe, just like with our cars, it's the journey, rather than the destination?

I think that question was probably asked to Sir Edmund Hillary, Jørgen Jørgensen (one time Danish Ruler of Iceland), and Magnús Ver Magnusson (Worlds Strongest Man 91-96 - although he is Icelandic).

Smiler

Rocky
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Where is this ending?


Well, my car is never done so I do not know where it will end.

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Will you market a kit so others can do the same as you?


I do not plan to offer a kit for the LS9. If someone wants help with doing the same install I would certainly help. I already have a kit for the LS conversion but the LS9 is A LOT MORE WORK!!!!!

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Or is it too much of a hassle to do, sometimes one finds during a customization like that that it's not worth all the effort?


It was ABSOLUTELY NOT to much hassle and it was worth every second of effort. I couldn't be happier with the result and would do it again in a heartbeat.

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The mpg is not that important to me, don't drive it daily, but the drivability, the 100k+ miles lifespan and the peace of mind driving it on long trips would be great


The MPG is not important to me either but it is a nice side benefit. The driveability is great and the piece of mind is also very important. In fact, the piece of mind is in my opinion, the most important.

After I installed the LS3 years ago, the car became something I really loved to drive. Not that I didn't before, but it became so much more enjoyable because it ran like a factory new car and I never had a second thought of something possibly going wrong during a long trip somewhere. I know there are folks that get that now with the 351C but I never got that kind of piece of mind when I had my 351C. From a broken drive pin to a coil going bad to whatever, it just wasn't stress free. I have received so much more enjoyment since doing my initial engine change despite some negative comments from a small group of people.

I still have some items left to do to get the LS9 project completed. The biggest thing left is the exhaust. I don't know how much more power I will get from removing the restrictive exhaust but whatever it is, is just icing on the cake. Still can't wipe the smile off my face everytime I think about driving my new car!
quote:
just from a google search, I found mention that the blow bypass valve was vacuum operated.

with high manifold vacuum (and boost not needed) the butterfly opens and reduces the parisitic load of an useless blower.

with loss of manifold vacuum (accelerating or high power demand) the butterfly closes.

maybe just disconnecting the vacuum hose would do the same as the tie wraps, but it sounds like a feature you would want

please note this is just keyboard mechanic/engineering as I an humbled by your work


You are exactly right, there are three things that control the butterfly, vacuum, boost and the electronic solenoid. You could be right, disconnecting the vacuum line may indeed solve the issue. I may experiment with having it connected/disconnected and also having the boost line connected/disconnected to see how the engine and boost behave. But I couldn't be happier with how it runs with the 2 tie wraps! Smiler
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I checked out the CNC Performance shifter, which has a link to SACC, but can't seem to find it on your website. Can you post a link?


Hi Lui,

I will get the product up on our website in the next couple of days. A lot has been going on in the background to get this product available on a large scale. More to come on that shortly.

Scott
Haven't updated this thread in a while. We have been sidelined with other projects but I want to get back and get the Pantera finished. I completed the AirRide suspension and really like the ride and being able to slam the car at car shows. I am now adding ride height sensors to give it even better control.

Here is a picture of the undercarriage...

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Since this was asked in another post I thought I would post the link...

Here is a video of our Pantera with the LS9 conversion and cable shifter. It has a pretty awesome sound to it (and we haven't even worked on the exhaust yet).

Here is the video: https://vimeo.com/133242418

Also, we get the question a lot on why we chose the LS9 engine and I just wanted to give a quick bullet point list on why we chose the LS series over anything else:

  • Our first thought was to build a beefy Cleveland motor but we knew that it would not be able to make as much power as reliably as a crate motor and reliability was one of our top 3 concerns. So that meant we needed to start looking at crate motors.
  • The LS series is an extremely compact series of engines. Further, the new LT series of Chevy crate motors is even more compact than the LS series. This was the main reason why we chose the Chevy. It offers the best packaging of any crate motor that was on the market at the time. We did consider going with the very common 5.0 Coyote crate motor but we didn't because it is a lot bigger of an engine (wider/bulkier/heavier).
  • The LS series also offered the best value based on the power to cost ratio. When comparing engines, the LS offered the most power for the price. When looking at the Coyote motor, it was almost double the cost of the LS3 that we originally installed in the car and offered less horsepower and much less torque.
  • When we got tired of the LS3 power, we chose the LS9 because..... well just because it would be cool... lol. It was a logical extension from our original LS3 installation. The LS9 has a similar block design as the LS3 which allowed the engine to fit extremely well, even with the supercharger installed. Now that the LT4 is out, that engine offers even more power in a more compact package than the LS9 so it is a great choice to swap into the Pantera.


This is all information that we have talked about in our threads before but I feel like it was necessary to reiterate the information as more people are interested in swapping an LS/LT motor into their car.

The way we look at it is it's our car and we are going to make it how we want it no matter who likes it or not. We are in no way married to the idea of the Chevy crate motors but until another company makes a comparable engine with the value-to-power-to-packaging value that Chevy does, it will remain as one of the best options.
After almost four months straight working every weekend, we finally got a weekend off to work on our own car!

Since we installed the LS9, we have been using the exhaust system that we made when we installed the LS3, including the extremely restrictive LS3 exhaust manifolds.

We started the planning stages of our new exhaust system this past week and are finally getting started on building it.

The LS9 came with what is best described as a shorty header. It is constructed of stainless steel and it flows extremely well for a stock exhaust manifold. We thought about making custom headers but we decided we wanted to keep the engine as stock as possible.

In order to get our exhaust system perfect, we decided to buy some PVC pipe to mock up how we want it to flow. After we got the basic design, we started building it.

We're going to keep some of the details hidden until we get further along but here are some pics of our progress.













We will be bringing the exhaust up on both sides of the engine and out the back.

Not bad for a couple amateurs, right? Wink
I didn't read through all 18 pages, so apologies if someone has already said this...

This is what Ford gets for discontinuing development of pushrod engines. Enthusiasts do not want physically larger/heavier/more complex engines (that often do not make any additional power).
I don't intend to hi-jack this thread, I just want to point out to Perry H and everyone that may be thinking of a crate engine that the LS9 crate engine is being phased-out. It was $26,403.00, the price has been lowered $5000, down to $21,403.00. So its an even better deal ... while supplies last as they say.

But the Ford guys have this Jack Roush supercharged 5.0 liter 600 bhp crate engine pictured below, based on Ford's Coyote engine. $24,675.00

Ford Racing sells a 351W based crate engine for $11,000, 4.150 bore x 4.250 stroke (460 cubic inches) rated at 575 horsepower; naturally aspirated with a single four barrel carburetor. Jack Roush has a 351W based $14,000 crate engine, 427 cubic inches, 550 horsepower, naturally aspirated with a single four barrel carburetor.

There is something for everybody.

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This is what Ford gets for discontinuing development of pushrod engines.....


It seems hard for me to believe that there is a single Ford executive anywhere who is concerned in any way about the new development occurring on a 45 year old chassis that they once sold through their LM dealerships...
Sorry for derailing your thread with my gripe. I was actually cheering you on - really nice job. I think this (LS9 Pantera) is an awesome project. I think the choice makes a lot of sense over a modern Ford engine.

Referring to the picture. The one on the right has more displacement.

I know which one I would rather work on and try to fit in an engine compartment. The photo is a 4.6L DOHC and a 302, but a new Coyote is not much narrower than the 4.6 and a 351 is not much wider that a 302 (relatively in the context of this physical comparison).

This certainly is not a huge market that makes or breaks a giant corporation. But... if the decision is made objectively (without loyalty to a certain brand or considering past partnerships) modern (note "modern") engines transplanted into older cars, kit cars, race cars, etc., going forward will mostly be GM products due to packaging except for the most die hard Ford guys that go to the extra trouble and frustration. Most (like me) will probably stick with running the 60's era push rods instead.

Ford transitioned to the OHC engines around 1996. These are almost certainly more expensive to produce - not to mention the R&D invested. What did it get them? Refinement? For pickup trucks, vans, and Mustangs? Ability to meet emissions and efficiency regulations? GM seems to have that covered.

Ok - sorry again. I am done. Awesome car.

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