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LS1/T56 LX 4 Door


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#1 BENN0

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Posted 05 January 2021 - 08:47 PM

The longest project of my life!

Started approximately 10 years ago. Interrupted with work, work, work and then kids and more work.

 

 

The aim was to end up with an unflared, neat, LS1 / T56 combo that would be used as a streeter with decent brakes, decent suspension and a nice useable package. 

 

Most of the photos below are at the "raw" stage before being made all pretty. 

 

The car started out as a very neat and unmolested 6cyl SL. I also purchased a wreck (back when they were affordable) which had bunch of good stuff to take off (yellow number tacho cluster, manual pedal etc)

The car was stripped of all paint, a few small dents were knocked out, and then the engine bay painted in Hazard Yellow (VE Commodore colour) and interior in KBS black. 

 

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The T56 would not fit in the existing tunnel. So a new one needed to go in. 

While the cutting and shutting was occuring, a 9" diff was modified to fit. While that was occuring the diff was shortened to suit a 10" wide rim with coil overs (The upper sring perch was modified on tbe body to mount the upper coil over connection). The chassis rails weren't touched in this process. 

Shitty progress shots below

 

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Engine Mount / Sumps

Started with CAE mounts. These werent too bad to be honest. The engine was as far forward as you would like it, and height wise it sat pretty well.

Sumps......I went through a few. Started with a cut and shut rear hump factory GM sump. It fit up ok. I just didnt like the oil volume side of it. Moved to a Morosso pan with remote oil filter (it was all that was around at the time)

 

Brakes

I ended up using Nissan GTR calipers and a VP GTS rotor (330mm). I designed custom bracket to mount the calipers. It all fits up pretty well. The only down side is the increase in front track (no front flares) so front rim fitment became a big problem later on (We will get there)

A 7" booster and 1" mastercylinder was purchased and installed with a wilwood proportioning valve. 

 

Body 

Once all of the cutting, shutting and dummy fitment was complete (or so i thought) the body was finally painted and I installed dynamat throughout the interior, inside of the doors etc. A new compete rubber kit was also purchased and installed. 

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New bumpers, headlight surrounds, lights etc were purchased and mounted. 

I also experimented with some old parts as to what black bumpers, headlight surrounds and a grille would look like.

41-A6-E7-FA-3017-4-CA8-9-D90-E4-B0-B40-C

 

Suspension

UC upper arms, UC steering arms, front mount style sway bar, new UC steering rack, Koni reds and king springs in the front.

The rear runs a 9" diff (31 spline, Strange Trutrac centre from Altra 9)  with QA1 adjustable coil overs, adjustable upper arms, adjustable lower arms and sway bar.

FC6-A06-F5-95-E0-4-AFB-BD12-36-FE8267-F5

 

Exhaust

Biggest nightmare of the build.

I started with block huggers (No where near it)

Tried CAE headers. Modified said headers as much as I could. Moved the starter motor to the passenger side, hammered pipes until they were almost squashed flat and they were still miles from fititng.

I ended up taking a punt and contacting Boosted fabrications who i saw made a said of headers for a Torana with an LS1/T56. For a set of headers that were made without the car, they were neary perfect. I moved to tuff mounts which helped in relation to headers (but made clearance at the back of the engine and shifter position worse). 

The factory starter then went back into the correct position. One note, I replaced the rag joint in the steering with another knuckle. One of the cotter pins needed to be shortened (Threaded end) to not foul on one of the primaries when in the car. 

 

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Wheels / Tyres

The rear end of the car was built around a 10" rim with -9 offset. The front rim sizing was dictated by the brakes and lack of flares. I have ended up running 17" steel rims (from an Opel something). 17x10 on the back, 17x7 on the front (+44 offset from memory) They come in 5 x 120 so it worked out well. Im running a modified LJ centre cap  (Just because I like the look of the combination)

Advan AD08 tyres all round (I want to give it the best chance at stopping and turning!)

 

2-D310471-C0-B3-4-F4-C-B891-34-E6-E2-CDA

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Electrical

I went a little over board here I think. I spend a bit of time around some high end race cars and work with one of the best harness guys in the country. Seeing his work inspired me to have a go at improving the wiring in the Torana.

I started at the back of the car buy purchasing the original style connectors and plugs, using motorsport spec wiring, dual wall heat shrink (Raychem), Deutsch connectors and going from there. The original dash harness has stayed with a full strip, repair and re-seal occuring. New rear tail light harness, body harness, engine harness and headlight harnesses were made up. 

I hid the wiring under the gaurd for the headlights, wiper motor, horn etc. I added a bulkhead connector under the gaurd to make it nice and neat. The charcoal cannister, horn relay and headlight realy were hidden up under the guard. 

Progress shots below before it was all tidyied up and sealed up (Shitty phone pics)

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For the LS1 wiring, i sent off the harness and ecu to have the generic mods done. When i got it back, I couldnt live with the mountain of condute split tubing so stripped the harness down to put some nicer looking protection on it. Once it was stripped, i wasnt happy with the solder/tape joins.

So i bit the bullet and decided to make my own engine harness from scratch.

All of the connectors and pins can be bought new (and fairly cheap) the tools are not expensive, so i thought why not. I started on a document to create all of the info and went from there.

I also wanted a nice bulkhead connector on the firewall rather than a massive grommet.

I designed the fuse box and realy circuits, mapped out the factory ECU pinouts  and planned where to integrate into the Torana wiring. Lastly was to measure up the harness, plan the branch lengths and get to it. 

The kitchen table looked a mess for a few nights, but we got there in the end. 

 

The car side of the harness:

IMG-2246-1.jpg

2x plugs to integrate into the car wiring, 1 x OBD comms, 1 x power, 1x fusebox to ECU, ECU plugs and the bulk head plug

Once it was finalised I then sealed it all up in Raychem.

 

Engine side progress shot:

IMG-2261.jpg

 

The heat shrink label kit is a nice little touch for only a couple of bucks also.

Before shrinking the Raychem, pinning out and adding the plugs

 

I ended up with bit of a mega document which covers off on the relay circuits, car integration, ECU pinouts, branch lengths, bulkhead pinouts etc. It made it so much easier when integrating. 

The only touch up needed was a bit of an embarrsing issue..... Bank 1 on an LS1 is the right hand bank when looking at the engine. I wired it up the other way around. Swapping the pins around at the ECU end took an hour and solved the issue. 

 

Final Engine Install (Hopefully)

The engine/gearbox is all in and clearing well. It starts and runs (headers only at the moment) Next step is to fab up an airbox. 

 

Speaking of air boxes: The standard blower fan box wont fit with an LS1. I bought a fibreglass slim line unit.... Dont bother if you actually want it to fit or work. The holes do not line up with the factory moutning holes and you need to cut your barrel fan down so there is 5mm of "blade" left. No way it will move any air. 

I ended up having the original heater box cut and shut to make it all fit nicely. While it was out, I re-routed the wiring so it stayed within the unit. Bit of mucking around, but got there in the end. It all works. 

 

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As you can see, its all in and fits nicely. The single bulkhead connector with the engine harness is visible under the blower fan unit (I used the hole for the blower fan)

 

Other Items:

Mal wood under dash clutch pedal

CRS chassis strengthening kit

Cable X speedo covertor

Reverse lockout solenoid cheater box

Aeromotive Phantom in tank fuel pump setup

Magnaflow mufflers, cats, X Pipe

 

Ive skipped a few steps in the above (many many items done twice/three times)

 

Left to do:

Windscreen install (front and rear). Booked for this week. So I can give it a nice wash (first in 10 years.....)

Tailshaft install (should get it late next week)

Exhaust install. Have mufflers, cats, cross over. Need it welded up once the tailshaft is in.

Carpet purchase and install

Seat re-trim

Cluster re-furb

Tidyups: Steam pipe plumbing (neaten up the water pump to bank 2 routing), re-coating of plenty of painted items, plus much mmuch more. Once it was close to running, i rushed a few items to make the most of some time off work (to make sure everything worked as it should)

 

Hopefully is on the road in around May.

 

 

 


Edited by BENN0, 05 January 2021 - 08:51 PM.


#2 LXCHEV

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Posted 05 January 2021 - 09:08 PM

Super nice! Loving the look of the black against the yellow.... she'll be a stunner.



#3 neglectedtorana

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Posted 05 January 2021 - 09:08 PM

Nice work Benno, looks great! Very neat and clean looking car, enjoy

 

Cheers, Tom



#4 jeffblanco

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Posted 05 January 2021 - 09:21 PM

Hi Benno,

love the colour, did you pick it or was that the colour of the car originally?

Iv'e never seen those rims before, but they look great, and sit just right under the guards.

What booster are you running?

Love to see more photos.

 

Regards Mando.



#5 purrlx

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Posted 05 January 2021 - 10:33 PM

nice work, it all takes time.



#6 Ice

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Posted 05 January 2021 - 10:49 PM

Looks awesome mate I’m a big fan of the LS engines

so neat and clean 



#7 BENN0

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Posted 06 January 2021 - 08:55 AM

Hi Benno,
love the colour, did you pick it or was that the colour of the car originally?
Iv'e never seen those rims before, but they look great, and sit just right under the guards.
What booster are you running?
Love to see more photos.
 
Regards Mando.


Thanks! It was originally chamois. This yellow is from a VE Commodore (Hazard yellow). It was a bit brighter than the Torana absinth yellow and little “more yellow” than the Monaro devil yellow. The booster is a generic 7” dia booster.
The rims were widened with the offset to suit the car on the rear. Fronts untouched.

#8 Holdenbn74

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Posted 06 January 2021 - 09:53 AM

Looks great 👍 so close, love the yellow 👌

#9 gtrboyy

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Posted 06 January 2021 - 02:26 PM

How did you modify gtr centre caps to fit commodore stud pattern?

 

It was something I wanted to do on my lc gtr years ago.



#10 BIG KEV

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Posted 06 January 2021 - 05:37 PM

Well Done ......Top effort 



#11 racean69

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Posted 06 January 2021 - 08:01 PM

looks great



#12 Ricky Bobby

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Posted 08 January 2021 - 10:31 PM

Hi Benno, wow!!!!! that's a lot or work, I love your design and you will be very happy with the end product.The wiring is first class, I looked at using the Deutsch couplings but I didn't think I could trust every solder joint in a connector (a tip of the cap). The rear end is awesome with 10" rims and coil overs tucked under the guards, a couple of questions: What size are your primary headers they look like 2", where have you mounted the ECU and could you show a pic of your sump set up, cheers, Harvey



#13 MictheAussie

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Posted 09 January 2021 - 01:13 AM

Hi Benno, wow!!!!! that's a lot or work, I love your design and you will be very happy with the end product.The wiring is first class, I looked at using the Deutsch couplings but I didn't think I could trust every solder joint in a connector (a tip of the cap). The rear end is awesome with 10" rims and coil overs tucked under the guards, a couple of questions: What size are your primary headers they look like 2", where have you mounted the ECU and could you show a pic of your sump set up, cheers, Harvey

Deutsch connectors use pins that are crimped to the wire and then slid into the connector. No solder anywhere. You use a special crimp tool. One of the most durable connector I've seen. Weatherproof too.

 

 

Great build Benno. Love the clean look.



#14 BENN0

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Posted 09 January 2021 - 08:37 AM

There isn’t any solder in the harness or harness mods. The terminals all crimp to the wire and splices were all open barrel style. Pretty hard to get wrong when using Deutsch connectors. And they can be easily re-pinned which is nice.
The ECU is up behind the glovebox (just fits) and the fuse box sits in the recess of the factory LS1 ECU.
The sump ended up being the Moroso LS1 steel pan with the remote filter. The filter is mounted behind the passenger side splash guard.
Header primaries are 1” 3/4

#15 Toranamat69

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Posted 09 January 2021 - 09:32 AM

Very nice work. Love the yellow and black look.

Some very nice mods.

Matt

#16 warrenm

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Posted 10 January 2021 - 05:39 AM

Nice car, what are the wheels?



#17 jeffblanco

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Posted 10 January 2021 - 06:53 AM

Hi Benno,

you posted that you bought a complete rubber kit.

Where did you get it from, and were you happy with the way it fitted?

 

Regards Mando.



#18 BENN0

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Posted 10 January 2021 - 08:26 AM

Nice car, what are the wheels?


They are just 17” steel rims modified for width and offset.

#19 BENN0

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Posted 10 January 2021 - 08:31 AM

Hi Benno,
you posted that you bought a complete rubber kit.
Where did you get it from, and were you happy with the way it fitted?
 
Regards Mando.

Better Auto Rubber. Decent kit.
The door belts on the front didn’t fit very well (too long).
The front windscreen rubber also a little delicate (split upon installation)
On the windscreen: Don’t bother with the rare spares escutcheon corners. They are miles away from fitting correctly. I’m surprised they would even be released onto the market. Not even the correct shape.

#20 BENN0

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Posted 18 January 2021 - 01:44 PM

I finally gave it a clean on the weekend. 

Door card plastic gaskets installed, more tidying of the ECU and interior wiring, and few more parts ordered to push it along. 

 

Hopefully the carpet, door cards and seat brackets arrive this week so I can get onto getting the interior ready to roll. 

 

IMG-2415.jpg



#21 snuff1966

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Posted 18 January 2021 - 07:03 PM

Looks great, much better with the chrome bumpers and silver trim i reckon 



#22 Heath

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Posted 20 January 2021 - 09:47 AM

Excellent stuff! Thanks for sharing.

 

I love seeing when someone bothers measuring fitment nicely. You've got the rear end of that car sitting absolutely spot on.

 

That's some top shelf wiring work. Classy stuff with the booted DT connectors. Making us look like cheapskates! (Whoa, my rope came loose)



#23 BENN0

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Posted 25 January 2021 - 10:03 AM

Tailshaft went in over the weekend (3" Hardy Spicer)
I also re-covered the rear seats and a front seat (Front seat still needs the hinges and seat backing done), and installed the underlay, carpet, scuff plates, kick panels and door gaskets.

The carpet fit wasnt too bad (I was concerned with the wider tunnel that it wouldnt fit well). The front peice needed a bit of heat gun action to get it to sit without too many wrinkles, near the firewall but it ended up ok. The rear probbaly didnt fit as well as the front. The tunnel section for the rear seems too big (the carpet is a little loose over the tunnel)

The fitment around the B pillar is weird. I dont have any pics to reference, but it seems to sit away from the B-pillar a little (the seat belt bracket holds it out). Also the sciff plate (around the B-pillar) interaction isnt great. I might need to cut more carpet off, but didnt want to cut too much straight away. 

 

The rear seat install is a pain. The seat base doesnt want to sit "down" like I think it should. I remeber the seat base needed to be compressed down and under the squab where it is then held nice and tight (with the two screws in the front just there for insurance) But I cant get it to stay. Any tips/tricks you guys can share? The front screws line up and are installed, but the rear of the seat base easily lifts up past the squab. 


The plan is to re-trim a pair of recaro front seats (trimmed like Torana seats), but I have a pair of decent front seats plus a re-cover kit (bought years ago) so will refurb those (to sell a little later on)

Im still waiting on the console and few other bits to measure up (I need to cut the console so it sits nicely on the bigger tunnel). Hopefully the door cards rock up this week also.

Also packed front wheel bearings with grease, did the final torque activity on the front end (re-checks) and mounted the oil pressure sender in the remote filter mount and ran the wiring for the gauge.
Boring update pics below.


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#24 308mate

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Posted 31 January 2021 - 06:58 PM

Sweet ride, really like what you have done with this car.

 

Cheers, Scott



#25 BENN0

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Posted 04 February 2021 - 09:22 AM

The console and gear knob finally went in last night. Started with a new console and then got to chopping! With the bigger tunnel, this wasnt fun. It ended up fitting pretty well and I managed to maintain the mounting points in the console itself. The front mount on the tunnel took a bit of modding to get it right. I think it ended up pretty well. With the seats in, it still looks untouched. 

 

IMG-2476.jpg

 

It was nice to see the gearknob go on (and stay on!)

 

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