FNG with some questions - 63 SS - Impala Tech
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post #1 of 9 (permalink) Old 11-05-2009, 01:46 PM Thread Starter
Join Date: Nov 2009
Location: Southern IL
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FNG with some questions - 63 SS

Hey guys!

I've been lurking here for a few weeks now, thought I would finally say hey! I actually stumbled upon this site after finding a post about Skim's 61 vert thread (OMG amazing work bro!)

Anyway, I have a '63 SS 327/300 4-speed. Got it in Florida back in '95-96ish.. While I was in the Navy.. It was my daily driver and made many many trips from Norfolk, to Central FL. Unfortunately a few months after getting out, the motor went (I think the crank broke) despite having had it rebuilt (4x) by an obviously less than reputable shop. But that's an entirely different rant. I was young (and broke!) so the car has sat in my parent's garage / barn since 1999.. close to 10 years now. Now I'm finally in a position where I can get it back on the road.. My dad is trailering it up right now as I type this so I should be able to post some pics later this week.

I have a few goals in mind, but I'm looking for some advice
It's going to be a cruiser / local car show.. I wish I could do a frame-off but that's probably not in the cards for me at this point.. but it's not in bad shape or anything.. I'd just like to do it
I definitely want to update it to the 21st century, I just don't know what people have used and what works / doesn't. So that's what I'm looking for help with. I updated the front brakes to disc years ago with a bracket kit from Late Great Chevy that used mid-70'ish rotors and calipers (Monte Carlo, Chevelle.. etc) but I will probably replace them as now there are bigger, better kits out there.

My goals:

LSx / 6 speed transplant

I don't know very much about this, with the exception of what basic cars to get them out of.. But is there something more specific I should be looking for ? What years / models work best? Or what should I be staying away from? How hard is it to do? (I'm pretty mechanically inclined, but this is gonna be a solo project) I'm going to start scouting for one in the local junkyards but they seem to be waay overpriced in my area (6k+ for the motor and 4-6k for tranny) Or is that normal? I really don't want to go with a carb setup but I also don't have 12k in the budget for just the motor

Also, how does the clutch work in this type of setup? I've familiar with the stock setup, but I wouldn't imagine it would also work with this.. or does it?

Rear End
I know I want rear disc brakes (the bigger the better) and a functional e-brake.. I know there are plenty of Fords that have rear-ends that will work with a little modification.. I just have no idea what I'm looking for.

Suspension and Wheels
I know almost nothing about this, except that I want my car to handle as well as it can.. Obviously I won't be taking it to the autocross or anything, but I want to make it as good as it can be. I know there are newer A-Arms, bushings, etc etc.. I've seen kits on the web, but I don't really know what I need. I want it to sit lower, but still be drivable. I know there are 2" drop spindles, but are those used just in airbag systems? I don't really want to go that route, I know absolutely nothing about them and don't think it's something I really want.. Again.. that could change perhaps if I knew more about them (please fill me in if you have some experience with them.. good, bad or ugly)

This is pretty much exactly the look, stance and ride height that I am trying for. Ideally I would like to fill the wheel wells, but I don't know if that means 18's or 20's and if it's even possible without airbags ?
Thoughts or suggestions are always welcome! I will be posting pics as soon as it gets here!

Last edited by Lumberjack; 11-05-2009 at 01:48 PM. Reason: formatting was terrrrrible
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post #2 of 9 (permalink) Old 11-11-2009, 09:25 PM
Join Date: Jan 2006
Posts: 12,460
LS-x makes gobs of power and runs on pump gas, or swill, or whatever they put in the tank, because you have an onboard computer to make changes to the valve timing, the ignition timing, the fuel/air mix and when and if the tranny will shift. So the motor keeps tabs on combustion and RPM. Down side is expense (initial purchase) and learning curve for those who grew up with a screw driver in their hand, and worked in refrigerated rooms with blinking lights that contained main frame computers. Another factor is getting things like the pan and accessories to fit (there are three variants Pick-up truck with high mount accessories and a tall manifold, The Y-body variant out of the Corvette or Caddy XLR has low mounted accessories (but a big oil pan that will hit everything and a low manifold, and the F-body version which is the "Goldilocks" version that is most likely to fit). GM never put the LS-x motors in a B-body, but that has not stopped hundreds of others from doing it. there are lots written on the subject and the Oracle of Goggle can lead you down that path if you but ask. As to tranny an Overdrive is the only way to go. I recommend a 4L65e or 4L80e depending upon your power level.

Big Dave

Last edited by Big Dave; 11-12-2009 at 09:03 PM. Reason: Spleling
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post #3 of 9 (permalink) Old 11-12-2009, 01:18 PM
Join Date: Aug 2008
Location: Miamisburg, Oh.
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Hey Joe, welcome to the site.
Glad to see that you are going to update the classic and get it on the road again.

There's just soo much to cover that I can't do it all at one sitting so I'll start with what I know best - the LSx stuff.
There is a new issue of Chevy High Performance on the market, see if you can pick it up. It breaks down ALL the LSx motors and their derivitives nicely. I think it's also at the main page of their website http://www.chevyhighperformance.com
For learning purposes, I wanted to make sure you are familiar with these sites too:
www.ls1tech.com (serious LS motor stuff there...and a small forum for transplants),... www.pro-touring.com (my home away from home).
For parts - there's a ton of stuff at S&P Performance, they cater to the LS transplants. www.hotrodlane.cc

The good news is that A) You can't go wrong with any of the LS-based motors and B) no matter which motor you pick, you still need pretty much the exact supporting parts. eg. motor mounts, ECU, radiator, tranny's and hydraulic clutch setup's for the 6 speed, LS headers, etc.

Like Dave mentioned above,.....there three main sticking points to consider in making the motor fit under the hood.
1. Oil pan. Most people buy an aftermarket pan, some modify (cut/re-weld) a stock pan, and I think I've heard of a person or two using the F-body oil pan. (not sure what car they had, perhaps a camaro)
2. Accessories. Truck accessories sit high,...too high. those brackets are no good. F-body brackets work for most people. Corvette brackets might work, but may interfere with the sub-frame cross-member depending on the car.
If you will have A/C,...some folks use a special bracket that allows you to mount the A/C high on the passenger side. Iinstead of low...where it may hit the frame)
Also, some folks just notch the frame and are done with it. That's ok too.

3. Intake manifold. Truck motor intakes are tall and ugly. If you find a standard car intake for your motor you'll be fine.

So, you're right, the prices in your area are WAY out of control. You can pick up a used LS2 or L92 motor, complete for around 3500-5000. LS3's maybe a little more.
New motors with no accessories or ECU/wiring harness go for 4000-6000.
T56 transmissions can be had for around 2000. $3000 new.

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post #4 of 9 (permalink) Old 12-02-2009, 01:47 AM Thread Starter
Join Date: Nov 2009
Location: Southern IL
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As promised... here are a few :-)

Lumberjack is offline  
post #5 of 9 (permalink) Old 12-02-2009, 08:11 AM
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Yeah, check craigslist or e-bay. There are done cars with the engine and trans already swapped in going for 12-15K That's way high for just the engine and trans. If it were me, I'd keep the small block. MUCH cheaper.

Realistically, what are you going to use the LSx for anyway? You're going to street drive it to and from local shows and cruise around. Do you need the extra 200 h.p. to do that? If you really want one and are going for the "wow factor" when you pop the hood, fine. It's your car. Have fun with it. To me, the end doesn't justify the means. That's a whole lot of work for not much benefit in my opinion. If you were building a car for the Power Tour, or take cross country, or drive darn near every day for a long commute, Then I would do it.

One thing I've noticed, people that perform this conversion are usually so burned out on the car when they're done. It ends up for sale. .....Just an observation. Good luck with the car either way. It looks like a great place to start no matter what you do.

Don't listen to me, what do I know? I've only been doing this for 30 years.
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post #6 of 9 (permalink) Old 12-02-2009, 07:09 PM
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Is that an Edelbrock Scorpion intake manifold? Aweful mismatch with those rams horns.
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post #7 of 9 (permalink) Old 12-03-2009, 02:01 AM
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Looked like a torker to me, but then again it's not a great picture.

Don't listen to me, what do I know? I've only been doing this for 30 years.
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post #8 of 9 (permalink) Old 12-03-2009, 10:33 AM
Join Date: Apr 2009
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Welcome, sounds like you want to do alot

I would start off doing the things that must get done right away and then moving on to what you want done
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post #9 of 9 (permalink) Old 12-03-2009, 01:29 PM
Join Date: Aug 2008
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car looks to be in pretty decent shapre really.... should be fun getting it back on the road again.

gotta say this too,...I agree with Matt above, that single-plane intake should GO....away.......far away.

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