8 Jan 06

Okay, so I've been slacking on the site updates. Made lots of progress on the car though. Didn't do so well at taking pics as I went though.
The thermostat housing that came with the engine had been tapped for an electric temperature sensor. Not too sure why they just didn't screw it into the head, but I don't understand a lot of things they'd done to the engine. Replacement housing was only like 25 bucks from Scoggin-Dickey, and came with a new (stock) thermostat.
Went to put the passenger side head on - got all the main bolts done, but then the center bolt on the top (which gets torqued well after all the main torque-to-yield bolts are fully torqued) had no threads at all. Sigh. Pass head comes back off, and helicoil needs to be installed. Here I've removed the head, and taped everything off so the bits of metal the drill and tap leave behind don't fall into the cylinder.
Drilling was easy. Tapping - I've got a couple of different tap handles, and none of them fit the tap I needed to use. Luckily, these vice-grips worked great.
I'm a little concerned. The front bolt on this head was at about 100 lb/ft before it even seated to the head surface. I expect I'll be taking that bolt back out to see if I can't find out why.
With the heads on, it's time to put the rockers on.
LS6 intake installed. I don't like the blue anodizing on the fuel pressure gauge elbow though. Will probably strip that and either leave it bare or have it anodized black chrome.
Coil packs mounted. I had to buy a few extra bolts.
Cleaned up the throttle body (remember - it was pretty nasty during the teardown). Not sure if I'm going to do any porting or not.
AC belt installed. Not doing the main belt yet, I need to replace the power steering pulley (it's got a nick missing out of it, and a couple of the bolts attaching it to the bracket aren't catching).
Taped up the openings to keep children, insects, dirt, and moisture out of the engine.
Starting to look like an engine. I probably should have done some cleanup on the AC and alternator. I've since gone ahead and replaced the PS pulley and helicoiled the two bolts that weren't working well. Rented the PS pulley tool from Autozone ($40) and it worked like a champ.
I had planned to run the front crossover pipes both front and rear (I'd read somewhere about steam issues on the back corners with the plugs) but with the small amount of clearance the back of the block will have to the firewall, this just won't work. I'd also read somewhere that the stock LS1 crossover pipe can be used with the LS6 intake if you're willing to clearance the bottom of the manifold a little - but I tried it, and it won't clear the LS6 PVC port. Wish I'd taken a pic; tried to convince myself to pull it all apart to take the pic for y'all - but I failed.
I remembered the transmission as being pretty heavy. I'd been dreading trying to get it up on the bench. I'm not too sure why though; this wasn't all that much effort. Perhaps I was remembering how the tranny felt when I was having the back problems? Anyway, today is transmission day.
The shifter cover was pretty well glued on with silicone. Took some effort to get it off.
Blurry pic of the shifter saddle.
8 bolts hold the bellhousing on.
Even after wiping this much off with the rag... (sorry, blurry)
... there was still this much crap on the case magnets (again, blurry). NOT a good sign.
Rear housing with the reverse idler. Gear looks pretty good.
Little flecks of something metallic on the shaft, that you can't see in this blurry picture.
Okay, in order from left to right: Snap ring, speed sensor reluctor thing, two more snap rings, bearing, spacer, snap ring, reverse gear (plus the input shaft above it). Other than the input shaft, that's also the order they came out.
Needle bearings still on the the shaft.
This snap ring really didn't want to come out.
Okay, I've been following the writeup that's on LS2.com. The writeup has a tool that they made to use for pulling this gear. I'm relatively sure that this was NOT the way to do it - I was too lazy to cut the steel to make the tool like they had (oh, and I didn't buy enough steel but we won't talk about that) -- but this worked like a champ.
Trashed a T40 bit trying to take the shaft retainers out.
Once the above gear was out, the rest was pretty much straightforward.
Either I missed a step or the LS2 writeup skipped it, but once I drove the pin out of the shifter detent thingy the rest of the tranny came apart. None of the gears seem to have any issues, which is simultaneously good and astounding.
Empty tranny case!
Okay, so the T56 is waiting on new carbon fiber blocking rings and a steel 3-4 shift fork. Engine is waiting on me to take a look at that headbolt, and to install the set screw for the throttle stop. Oh, and I'll need to take it off the stand so I can tighten the rear cover bolts properly. Once it's on the floor, the clutch and tranny can be attached (once the transmission is done). I've got a McLeod dual disk clutch for this so I should be good on the clutch side. The slave cylinder is new, too. Once the engine is complete, it'll be time to shuffle the cars around. Still hopeful that the crossmember will clear without a custom oil pan.

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