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Update :1973 Monte Carlo Body off frame resto. Now with LS!

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g3chevy / Mr Pontiac
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Post by g3chevy / Mr Pontiac Fri Aug 23, 2019 12:32 pm

Great info on the hydro-boost upgrade! I often wondered why this was becoming so popular. And I have to say the hydro-boost on my GMC Safari works great with little effort. It's a little different feel from the conventional vacuum booster brakes on my other vehicles, but when you step on the pedal, it does its job. If I ever upgrade to bigger/4 wheel discs, this will be on my list of things to do for sure. Thanks for sharing all the details and photos. You rock!
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Post by thatfnthing Mon Aug 26, 2019 10:38 am

Excellent work -- looks better than a factory job! Do you find there's actually more room to work now with the factory booster gone?
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Post by impalamonte Mon Aug 26, 2019 12:55 pm

Thank you g3chevy.

thatfnthing.....I would have to say not really. The hydro boost set up is the same length as with the vacuum booster.

On that side of the car, the Vortech Supercharger set up takes up most of the real-estate in that area.  

Picture below is before the Hydro-boost conversion and you can everything associated with the SC. The 180 degree piping on the rear of the SC to turn toward the front of the car to the intake..... takes so much room I had to clearance the plastic fender well to get it all in.....

Update :1973 Monte Carlo Body off frame resto. Now with LS! - Page 5 Dsc04311
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Post by Hawk03 Mon Aug 26, 2019 9:12 pm

Great work as always!
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Post by impalamonte Thu Mar 11, 2021 10:36 pm

Hello G3GM members ,

 Long time since I have posted. But , made a big change to my set up. I know the LS is way overdone….but , here goes. We are not seeing a lot of “love” from the aftermarket for our 73-77 A-bodies, but it is seemingly “coming around”. Tons of information / parts out there for Camaro , Chevelle ( pre-73) , Novas, Mustangs though.

 So back in winter of 2019 / 2020 , bored and wanting a project I got to watching a lot of You Tubes on LS engines & swapping. Hadn’t thought a lot about it as I was happy with my trustworthy supercharged 93 LT1. But, the tubers made it look easy and power gains were kind of on the “cheap”. So I started looking for a “donor” LS set-up. Not an real LS of course...but LS architecture. Found a 2004 Chevrolet Silverado 2WD with 6.0 / 4l80e. Everything checked out and all the vital signs were good. Drove the vehicle upwards of 200 miles with no hick-ups. Oil pressure on point at roughly 48-52 lbs.

Pulled the motor and trans and parted it out for what I had in it. Minus a couple hundred. Then rebuilt the motor re-ringing for boost and maybe future bigger boost “ improvements”. The usual upgrades: Cam , valvetrain , gaskets ,Stall converter, Stage II HD trans-go kit for the transmission. No machine work.

Update :1973 Monte Carlo Body off frame resto. Now with LS! - Page 5 Img_3110

First ,  let me make a statement . What I had to make it fit for me and my set may not be absolutely what you have to do for yours. For me , trial and error for my needs.

I had to do some altercations to get it in the car. Namely to the crossmember. I used the Dirty Dingo motor mounts as on their web-page it was implied that the motor would fit if the upper passenger side motor mount was butted up against the back of the A/C bracket. I assumed that would allow me to keep my A/C on the bottom lower of the engine with no mods. Not the case for me.  Also , my Super Charger is going to reside on the upper passenger side of the motor which would not allow me to use aftermarket A/C brackets for that upper side of the motor as in most retro fits. ( As you know , there is a whole industry now for expensive brackets for that too.) Someone just keeping the air in the original location could use most of my set up and skip the $400.00 A/C brackets!

I do not know about other years. But , on the 73 ,  the motor mount on the passenger side sets lower than the mount on the drivers side. I had to correct that because when I tried to stab the motor in without the modification that I am about to show…the motor listed hard to the passenger side. To correct that issue I had to drill some holes in the frame to correct the “list” to the passenger side.

In the picture below notice the holes outlined in RED. These are the holes I had to drill created from a mirror image of the drivers side.
Update :1973 Monte Carlo Body off frame resto. Now with LS! - Page 5 Img_3210




To keep my A/C unit on the bottom passenger side I made spacers from 3/8” aluminum to go under the motor mounts.

Update :1973 Monte Carlo Body off frame resto. Now with LS! - Page 5 Img_3211

Update :1973 Monte Carlo Body off frame resto. Now with LS! - Page 5 Img_3212


The Dirty Dingo mounts do have 2.5” of “slide”. But I wanted the motor as far back in the car as possible and closest to stock mounting position as possible. This created a problem with my A/C compressor. The A/C bracket was not the problem. It cleared with plenty to spare. The A/C unit did interfere with the frame though. I trimmed a “lug” off the A/C compressor and done some clearance work to the side of the A/C housing. I most likely have an 1/8” clear on the bottom and side now.  

Update :1973 Monte Carlo Body off frame resto. Now with LS! - Page 5 Img_3310

About the transmission. No modifications to the trans tunnel of any sort for my install.

Now onto the trans crossmember. I opted for the G-Force unit specifically for the 4L80e in our cars and an adjustable trans mount with 2.5” of slide as well. This is a beefy unit! But, It does not “just” fit. The crossmember uses the holes in the frame set up for a 400 Turbo. The rear most set. I had to take a grinder to the top of the exhaust cut-outs as they interfered with the bottom of the floor plan. It would not set flush in the frame without doing so. I have some pictures here of the trans in. I don’t know if there is enough pictorial detail here to get the “lay” of  things. But here goes. (  As a side note , this “beefier” trans mount had created a lot of problems with the architecture with my E-BRAKE cables for my aftermarket rear disc set-up. It is overcome now , but , what a PITA! ) At the moment ,it seems I have 3.5-4" inches of clearance between the trans fittings and the trans tunnel.

Update :1973 Monte Carlo Body off frame resto. Now with LS! - Page 5 Img_3312

In the chassis. The oil pan I used was the TSP 81075. Dirty Dingo suggested using the Holley 302-3. I only found this out after I called them and noted the interpretation that I could keep the A/C on the bottom of the motor. They did see my point. Dont know if they changed anything on their page though. I haven't looked. And I stayed with the TSP oil pan!

Update :1973 Monte Carlo Body off frame resto. Now with LS! - Page 5 Img_3313

More to come.
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Post by g3chevy / Mr Pontiac Fri Mar 12, 2021 12:10 am

Wow, great update! You've been very busy on the Monte. Looking forward to seeing more pics and info on your build!
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Post by REVINKEVIN / Mr. 600+HP Fri Mar 12, 2021 6:38 pm

Hey. Looking great. You also need a different radiator, if you didn’t mention that already. Have you looked at these guys, link below? They have some good stuff for GM A Bodies. I was working with them when I was going to put my LS7 into my Laguna.

http://www.brphotrods.com/products/73-77%20A%20body%20products/index.html
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Post by impalamonte Thu Sep 30, 2021 8:56 pm

Hi fellow G3 ers,

See my work getting the engine into the car I posted prior.....its been a while. My last update on the project was back in March.

 I resolved I would not post more information....until I got it running. Yesterday , it ran for 20 seconds!! What a retro , and more work to go.

 Starting with my hybrid gas pedal and not buying an aftermarket unit that may not look " right" Used the gas pedal I harvested from my donor 2004 Silverado 2500HD. I cut the bottom off of it and the lower portion of my Monte's gas pedal. Drilled a hole and started some trial and error. In the car, I tilted the assembly clockwise about 15 degrees to make it " look" stock. The upper portion of the assembly will not be seen once the A/C ducts and such are reinstalled. Here are some pics.
Update :1973 Monte Carlo Body off frame resto. Now with LS! - Page 5 Img_3213
Update :1973 Monte Carlo Body off frame resto. Now with LS! - Page 5 Img_3214
Update :1973 Monte Carlo Body off frame resto. Now with LS! - Page 5 Img_3315
Update :1973 Monte Carlo Body off frame resto. Now with LS! - Page 5 Img_3215

Now onto the intake. I was not going to spend big dollars for aftermarket intakes that flow no better than the GM truck intakes.  I shaved the top of the intake and install a sheet metal cover to clean it up and wrinkle paint finished it. The sheet metal cover is glued with an adhesive called TEROSON in a grid pattern. The product declares a burst strength in the thousands of PSI. I had experimented with the "heat and melting " method of the cut off pieces into the holes left after shaving the top. It did not seem robust enough for a boosted application. After I melted a few holes up....I took a wrench and hit them with not much force. They busted through. Not very comforting. So, made my own!
Update :1973 Monte Carlo Body off frame resto. Now with LS! - Page 5 Img_3316

Also wanted to change the electric fans from the units I had from the mid nineties Camaro that I installed to a "cleaner" streamlined thinner set . I went with junkyard dual electric fans from a 2007 Ford Escape. These are two speed fans that will work off the set temperatures within the ECM to trigger operation. Followed up with Series 58 Volvo relays from the late 90's with the circuit breakers and 40amp fuses. I am powering each fan with a separate "bank". Redundant , yes....but reliable. The assembly fits well over the surface area of the radiators core.   Again ,  no reason to spend big dollars for aftermarket " pretty fans".
Update :1973 Monte Carlo Body off frame resto. Now with LS! - Page 5 Img_3410
Update :1973 Monte Carlo Body off frame resto. Now with LS! - Page 5 Img_3411

For the belt tensioner I went with a manual system over a spring loaded unit so I could get enough tension to drive the Supercharger without slipping. I purchased a manual set up from LSX innovation for a 2010 and up Camaro as I am using the LS3 water pump. Even after purchasing this unit I had to have the kits spacers machined down to "get in line" with the rest of the serpentine system. And then had to have an extra idler pulley created to route around the lower water pump snout. Also had to figure out how it was going to fit on the Supercharger bracket and it all work together as no holes were available for the manual addition. Trial and error. No extra pics of this...but can be seen on the engine.
Update :1973 Monte Carlo Body off frame resto. Now with LS! - Page 5 Img_3415
Update :1973 Monte Carlo Body off frame resto. Now with LS! - Page 5 Img_3413Update :1973 Monte Carlo Body off frame resto. Now with LS! - Page 5 Img_3414

More work to do....and it will never be easier to work on....than it is now with no front end on the car. Re-Assembly starting soon.

Mark
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Post by Hawk03 Thu Sep 30, 2021 9:45 pm

Dang man, great work. Can't wait to see it all back together.
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Post by g3chevy / Mr Pontiac Thu Sep 30, 2021 10:03 pm

Dang Mark! You got the skills to pay the bills! That Monte is going to be a beast when its done!
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Post by impalamonte Mon Oct 04, 2021 10:40 am

Thanks for the comments Hawk , G3chevy/Mr. Pontiac.
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Post by REVINKEVIN / Mr. 600+HP Mon Oct 04, 2021 8:28 pm

Great work. I so want to get back to building my car. I looked at this at work today and it got me inspired again. If I could ever finish this job that I’m on I will finish my Laguna and make G3chevy/Olds/Pontiac ride up with me to see your car in person. Your car looks completely awesome. I’m proud to know you.
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Post by g3chevy / Mr Pontiac Mon Oct 04, 2021 9:24 pm

REVINKEVIN / Mr. 600+HP wrote:Great work. I so want to get back to building my car. I looked at this at work today and it got me inspired again. If I could ever finish this job that I’m on I will finish my Laguna and make G3chevy/Olds/Pontiac ride up with me to see your car in person. Your car looks completely awesome. I’m proud to know you.

I'm definitely in for a road trip. Love to see Mark's Monte in person! And I'm still chomping at the bit to help finish your Laguna!
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Post by impalamonte Tue Oct 05, 2021 12:00 pm

Kevin,
That sounds like a plan !! I didn't know that I was inspiring others. It is much appreciated.

Honestly, this swap has beat me up just a little bit. Head Bang



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Post by REVINKEVIN / Mr. 600+HP Tue Oct 05, 2021 2:43 pm

Engine swaps are tuff to do at home. The guy who did some work on my LS7 told me that if they would have built my Camaro like I did in my driveway that they would have charged me $60,000. Ouch!  Sometimes DYI comes with some PITA. Here is a picture of an LS7 swap in my driveway. Nothing dangerous going on here.
Update :1973 Monte Carlo Body off frame resto. Now with LS! - Page 5 A7c90d10
Update :1973 Monte Carlo Body off frame resto. Now with LS! - Page 5 8b844510

Here’s a couple of the complete frame swap we did on the Laguna. It was g3chevy/olds/Pontiac/studabaker, 6 retired farmers, and me in a hot a$$ barn in Texas. Now that was 6 hours of thrilling danger.
The Update :1973 Monte Carlo Body off frame resto. Now with LS! - Page 5 611c4510
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Post by impalamonte Wed Oct 06, 2021 9:22 am

WOW!!!

Yeah, nothing dangerous goin on there!! affraid

We do what we have to do to continue our hobby and stay within our means.
I fully understand.....no judgement here.
And I kind of deny paying someone else for things I know I can do do own my own.....even with aggravation.
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Post by REVINKEVIN / Mr. 600+HP Wed Oct 06, 2021 1:05 pm

Hey. I might have an excuse to stop by for an hour if a couple of things work out. I am really in-like with a truck for work that’s in Ft Wayne Indiana. If I can get off this crazy job, and he still has it, I might be driving through your town. I don’t know if I can get g3 on an airplane, but who knows.
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Post by Iggy Wed Oct 06, 2021 1:30 pm

I really like your build, been through this a couple of times, but since my little hospital stay I find that my mind has turned to mush! If alright with you, I may PM you with questions on my own LS swap.
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Post by impalamonte Wed Oct 06, 2021 3:48 pm

Kevin......just let me know and I will " make the time" for you to drop by if all works out for you.

Iggy ....Yes Sir......that is fine with me.
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Post by Limey SE Wed Oct 06, 2021 4:06 pm

impalamonte wrote:WOW!!!

Yeah, nothing dangerous goin on there!! affraid

We do what we have to do to continue our hobby and stay within our means.
I fully understand.....no judgement here.
And I kind of deny paying someone else for things I know I can do do own my own.....even with aggravation.

I hear ya on that Buddy .... I for one cant wait to see this Done as well as MINE yee whoooo

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