LL8 Vega GT's Junkyard Dog

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LL8 Vega GT's Junkyard Dog

Postby LL8 Vega GT » Fri Mar 18, 2011 2:30 pm

Well, is has been said by some among us that if you don't have pictures it did not happen :wink: So after some the scrutiny that maybe my project is fictitious, here we go...... this could take some time..... i refer to my car as the "junkyard dog" because most of the stuff looks like it should be there or has literally come from a junk yard....coupled with my marginal fab skills and limited resources I think you soon will agree.

This car has been in my family for some time, it was purchased by my uncle and driven as a daily driver. My dad bought it from him and when i was a young kid and we took it to the local drag strip in the late 1980's with the stock 4 cylinder that he had modified, and i believe it ran in 15 second range in street trim on a pair of slicks and an offset scoop and a vertical gate shifter. I would ride shotgun in those days and we had a great time breaking the stock rear end etc. As i got old enough to drive it became my car and the intent was to make a pro street car so we back halfed the car, stretched the fenders and narrowed a for 9" rear end with monster disc brakes out of a Lincoln. Long story short the car never was finished and college etc. came along. the car sat in my dads shop in Washington even after I moved away until i shipped it out to where i live in the midwest. I was going to slap a SBC in it and go..... but then i realized that had been done half a million times, indeed a cool setup but just not for me...... I did know that this would be a drag race specific build and a non-pushrod engine, and since its an h-body, i wanted to bastardize it to my hearts content, no worries.... many times I sit around and think of things i could do to make most people cringe...... :th:
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Re: LL8 Vega GT's Junkyard Dog

Postby LL8 Vega GT » Fri Mar 18, 2011 2:45 pm

My dad was a in-line 6 guy from way back, and over the years he had his eye on this trailblazer with the 4.2 I6 engine (also in several other vehicles and know as the LL8). Turns out this really is a killer engine ( I can get into the details of why later) and I started testing the waters...... bad idea, its was like a recovering drug addict saying he would just take 1 more hit, but it was official, one way or another i had to have one for the build. It became very clear that this engine was not fitting in the stock engine bay (or at least not very easy), although all aluminum block/head and lightweight, it was only inches shorter than the titanic..... about that time I realized this project was going to get more involved......
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Re: LL8 Vega GT's Junkyard Dog

Postby LL8 Vega GT » Fri Mar 18, 2011 2:53 pm

I got to digging around and found that I could buy a near new engine through a VRG salvage yard. I found one about 40 miles away in Ohio, they had heaps of them with between 2-25 miles on them. There are differences in these engines that were built from 2002-2009, so I made sure i got a good one, so i paid my $1200, loaded my new engine with 24 miles on it and close to 300 base HP and almost as much torque and was on my way.
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Re: LL8 Vega GT's Junkyard Dog

Postby LL8 Vega GT » Fri Mar 18, 2011 3:09 pm

I got to digging around and found that I could buy a near new engine through a VRG salvage yard. I found one about 40 miles away in Ohio, they had heaps of them with between 2-25 miles on them. There are differences in these engines that were built form 2002-2009, so I made sure i got a good one, so i paid my $1200, loaded my new engine with 24 miles on it and close to 300 base HP and almost as much torque and was on my way.

I could not help but to peel some parts off it first thing... I mean it would be like getting a new toy when you were a kid and not taking it apart to see how it works :) I mean who wouldn't?? besides there was a ton of plastic junk on the engine and racecars don't have plastic engines.

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Re: LL8 Vega GT's Junkyard Dog

Postby LL8 Vega GT » Fri Mar 18, 2011 3:20 pm

This was going to take some creativity to get this packaged just right..... the stock nose would have to come off, firewall removed, engine shoved back, tall/long engine, front sump pan..... OK its going to need a complete nose job.... so were to start?

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Re: LL8 Vega GT's Junkyard Dog

Postby LL8 Vega GT » Fri Mar 18, 2011 3:33 pm

Where to start with this disaster in the making? Hit the forum and find prolsc looking to trade a used glass nose for steel fenders..... call him up and we have a deal, my steel fenders for his glass nose. Sent my fenders/header panel in bubble wrap on the greyhound bus express shipping on the cheap and later his nose showed up to my place. Ok.... so now what do I do...... somehow this front heap of stamped sheet metal has to come off, but then after that I need a front clip to put back on it.......

Hit the net, search every chassis builder etc that makes a clip and they just are not what I need.... but I can modify one right? Well, after all the money is spent, and then have to modify.... I don't know, I am not feeling it......
Last edited by LL8 Vega GT on Fri Mar 18, 2011 6:17 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: LL8 Vega GT's Junkyard Dog

Postby LL8 Vega GT » Fri Mar 18, 2011 3:49 pm

Time to hit racing junk, something must be on there somewhere...... hey a vega guy who has sold stuff to others on the forum in northern OH, he has some mustang 2 type a-arms and brakes for a race setup..... $500 bucks with new brake pads ball joints, bolts and rod ends, throw in a rack and pinion, hubs, spindles and a set of old school centerline wheels (at least good for mock up) and.., i will take it! Just weld some tabs and bolt it up right?.....

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Re: LL8 Vega GT's Junkyard Dog

Postby LL8 Vega GT » Fri Mar 18, 2011 4:34 pm

I figured it was about time to start learning front suspension...... after all I had a pile of parts but how to put the puzzle together was another story :? understanding how much caster/camber I wanted per the application, shocks/spring rates, designing against bump steer, anti dive, camber gains and the list goes on. All I knew in the beginning was that I did want the car to sit low, and the wheels needed to be tucked under the fenders with clearance...... hmmm should have bought a turnkey clip and gone with it.... note to self I did this the hard way :bang: oh, a stock pinto style rack is to wide, ..... so bought a narrowed rack to keep things happy turns out the pivots are a good starting point of the design.... overall its not to difficult for a drag car I guess, but I am glad I looked close at it otherwise I really would have a mess on my hands :lol:

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Re: LL8 Vega GT's Junkyard Dog

Postby vegon71 » Sat Mar 19, 2011 10:09 am

Excellent job, very nice!
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Re: LL8 Vega GT's Junkyard Dog

Postby BadBowtie » Sat Mar 19, 2011 10:39 am

Interesting choice for your engine I think it will be the only one of its kind! Way to do something different :th:
James

1975 Vega GT 350 sbc, STR10 crossram w/dual 390CFM Holleys, M21 4-speed, Hurst shifter and ford 9"
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Re: LL8 Vega GT's Junkyard Dog

Postby waybad » Sat Mar 19, 2011 4:04 pm

:dance: :th: :bang: :bang: :shock: :th: :th:
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Re: LL8 Vega GT's Junkyard Dog

Postby 80 MONZTA » Sat Mar 19, 2011 7:08 pm

Huh, it does exist. :o
Can't wait to see it come together. :th:
LeRoy
1980 Monza, 305/Th350 removed for LS1/T-56 swap, can't wait to :burn: My Project
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Re: LL8 Vega GT's Junkyard Dog

Postby LL8 Vega GT » Mon Mar 21, 2011 9:39 am

80 MONZTA wrote:Huh, it does exist. :o

Well, at least on paper right? :lol:
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Re: LL8 Vega GT's Junkyard Dog

Postby LL8 Vega GT » Mon Mar 21, 2011 9:54 am

So needed a transmission, bracket racing=automatic for this car. The problem is this being a late model GM engine, the early Turbo trans and Powerglide bolt patterns do not mate to this engine. The transmissions that do match this engine are OD trans, not really a good choice....... come to think of it this engine has a good torque curve and the car is light. Its hard to beat a PG for consistency and 2 gears in enough...... not more than 3 needed if I wanted to run a Turbo trans which both have the same pattern.
Making an adapter plate.

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Re: LL8 Vega GT's Junkyard Dog

Postby LL8 Vega GT » Mon Mar 21, 2011 1:41 pm

I will need to come up with something better than the stock intake manifold and exhaust manifold for a hot rod, here is the starting point

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