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Hacksters daily driver 242.....lq4 and t56


Active member
Jun 17, 2011
Portland Or.
I had a pretty fun little 242 that I was using for my daily driver but I really wanted to paint it....and paint it proper. It was a great car. Suspension was dialed in and it had a bondo header and a 16g. Pulled really good, but I had something else in mind and this was not the car to do it to.

So, Pat and I went to look at a car for his cousin a month or so ago and it was really, really clean. All stock, the exterior was in reasonable shape but the interior was in really sad shape.

A carpet cleaning new seats and a dash swap and the interior was in much better shape. Good enough to drive to work and back at least.

b21f kjet na was an absolute joke. Not to mention it did not run very well it wsa so slow that my wife would not even drive it.

My plan was not to keep the little 4 banger in this car but i had not planned on yarding it out this quick. but this had to go....


So last weekend I decided that this ill running little motor needed to go.


Had this out by lunch last saturday.



Spent the week rounding up some parts but mostly cleaning up the 30 some years of crap in the engine compartment. Pressure washed, cleaned and took out some more parts and pieces for refinishing. Also buffed and waxed the entire engine bay so that I had something descent to work with.

Forgot to snap a pic of the cleaned up bay though....sorry.

Well here is where it got a bit fun. A few weeks earlier the parts started coming together.

2001 5.3 LQ4 motor drive by cable throttle body.
2002 t56 from a camaro.....still waiting on the flywheel from the yard
ls6 intake manifold with ls1 steam ports bottom of intake clearanced to clear the steam lines
Mast Motorsports oil pan (should arrive on Monday)
Hooker Cast exhaust manifolds (ordered yesterday)


So this weekend I thought the oil pan was going to show up yesterday but no go.....I got the cut sheet from Mast and got to work. I pulled the oil pan and pickup toob this morning and swung this big old setup into place.


Its quite a long unit for the 240 chassis but I was pretty suprised just how well it fit in there.

It went in three or four times just today. I had a hand from a buddy while trimming the tranny tunnel for the reverse lockout solenoid to clear. I had to take a bit of sheetmetal out of the side of the tunnel, but it will be patched up and easily fit under the stock carpet.



At this point it is just setting in there on blocks at the right height....it came out lots more after this pic was taken but I just had to see what it was going to look like.

So we got it to sit where I wanted it to after some trimming Very little trimming though as I am trying to keep this as stock and uncut as I can.

WIth things sitting well I moved onto the motor mounts. Started with some plate and toob and built these.



Bolted them onto the motor and started to make some uprights. These are 1 3/4" .120 wall toobing as well as the mounts with the poly bushings. This is a common method of mounting stuff in my normal world of offroading. It is clean easy and cheap.
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I am trying to keep the mounts tucked in as sometime down the road this may get a little bit of boost. Not right away, but maybe next winter.

Computer was unhappy so I posted that up to not loose the whole post.

So hopefully tomorrow can be as productive as today. Patch up the hole in the floor, build the tranny crossmember and start getting the hydraulic clutch setup.

Fuel management will be all GM. Harness is in capable hands getting dwindled down to the bare necessities and should be ready to go in on monday or tuesday.

Back out in the garage early this morning to start on it again. I have realized that I am not the best at taking photos of every step of the process.

I started off with mounting the transmission and adapting the t56 tranny to mount up on the stock volvo crossmember. This proved to be pretty easy to be honest. I mounted the x member in the rearmost holes and made a plate to bolt the stock volvo mount up to the t56. I forgot to snap a photo of it though:oops:

Ill get some this week when I pull the motor out.

That finished up I decided to move onto something that I was dreading....building a cover fot the reverse lockout solenoid in the passenger compartment.

I absolutly am not a sheetmetal guy. I know just enough about shaping sheetmetal to get in trouble. This is the result of not having real tools.

Did this with a ball peen hammer and my home made anvil. My buddy does a lot more sheetmetal work and he is going to come over and polish this turd a little for me before we burn it in.


I moved onto trying to get a handle on the power steering setup. I realy wanted to keep the volvo pump as it would be one less thing fr me to buy. I pulled off the stock volvo pulley and then removed the hub. I took all my crap down to car quest and amazingly we found a new pulley for that pump that was a serpentine setup, 6 rib and GM to boot. Came home and Ill be damned.....it fit. Pressed it on and it is nice and straight, a tiny bt larger than the stock one but only by 1/4".

I knew it needed to go in this general location...


So like normal I built a paper template and got to work with some 1/4" plate and the plasma cutter, drill press and grinder.

Here is the result.


The pump actually worked out really well and sits nice and low, out of harms way and keeps the upper end of the engine bay clean and uncluttered.


I am a little curious if the belt will smack together near the water pump but as the tensioner comes in it raises up and ends up with about another 3/8". Its a tight fit but the belt needs to clear the water pump and the throttle body as well as the higher the pump sits, the farter out from the engine it needs to be mounted.

Pan should be here tomorrow so its about time to yard it all out again and see if my measuring is close to what the actual pan dimensions are.

I was a little more than excited when the fed ex guy delivered this box to my desk at work today.....it was from Mast Motorsports.




Although it added to the overall cost of the project by a few hundred dollars the quality fit and finish are awesome. I cannot believe how tight to the motor the front sump is.

I took a handful of measurements when I got home and I need to trim a fair bit off the back of the crossmember but the oil pan will clear the height of the crossmember as well as the power steering rack so it looks like all of my measuring paid off and the motor mounts worked out well.

So I yarded the motor back out again and set to measuring out the cut lines on the crossmember. Tomorrow night should be some fun with the sawzall and plasma :cool:

Anyone out there ever run a na 940 radiator with a v8? I am wondering how well they cool the v8's.

Gotta figure out hydraulic clutch setup too.

Well not a ton of progress on the car this last week.....

I did however do a pretty good job on the parts collecting.

Oil Pan from Mast Motorsports.
Hooker's new block hugger cast manifolds.
Luk clutch, pressure plate, flywheel, pilot bearing
New Hydraulic slave cylinder.
New GM oil pan gasket.
GM oil dipstick tube and new dipstick.


As of Today I have had the motor/tranny combo in and out 15 times. The tranny tunnel has been quite a pain in the butt to get the tranny to fit up there where it needs to go. Each time you make a change, the unit needs to come out work on the tunnel and crossmember and back in again.

Pat stoped by to lend a much appreciated hand yesterday afternoon and he was shocked to see how much work has gone into the tunnel to make the t56 fit nicely.

Got it all final fitted last night and had eerything ready to weld out this morning. I got up early and decided to tackle this broken exhaust manifold bolt while the neighbors slept in. Removing this was a major pain and burned up at least an houe of my morning.


With that out of the way, it was late enough then to open up the garage and fire up the welder.

Final welded all of the crossmember and motor mounts.



So with that all buttoned I moved on to getting the tranny pulled off the motor and ready to go in its new home for good.

New flywheel torqued to 74 ft lbs.


Pilot bearing installed, clutch aligned and pressure plate installed and torqued to 30 ft lbs. This clutch and pp assembly is huge compared to the little guy that came out of this car.


Had Geno come over to help me get this assembly onto the motor as it had gained some heft and extra resistance with the throwout bearing and clutch disc.

Went together without much issue once we had two guys on the job.

New hydraulic slave and throwout bearing too.


That was buttoned up so I put the new pump pickup on the engine. It is really tight to the bottom of the engine/ windage tray.


I also shot the motor with some high temp black paint, cleaned and installed the pan. I painted the motor mounts as well and got them bolted on for the final install.


TIme to marry the two of these girls together with nuts and bolts.



Once I got it set it was time to deal with the water pump to throttle body clearance issue from the truck water pump to the ls6 intake. Luckily Geno is an ace when it comes to aluminum....

We drilled this new passage in the front of the pump and hacked up a thermostat housing to make the stub out.




It fit perfect and was a less expensive alternative to buying a new pump. This idea is not mine though. I stole it from a couple other builds and saw how nicely it worked for them and used it on this one.

Manifolds are coated with Stove Bright and they fit like a glove on the car. I had to move the steering column over a little bit but the fit is great!!!



Here is how she sits as of tonight. Awesome day for me and I cannot thank Pat and Geno enough for their help on this the last couple of days.


Tomorrow looks like it will be alternator, starter, wiring, fuel system and cooling.

Hope to have it done in time to drive to the portland swap meet on april 13th.

I've been watching and learning from Sean on this one. We are seriously considering making bolt in mounts for a ls/t56 combo to offer to the community.

yes, please. no one has stepped up to the plate yet, so it might as well be you guys. and i would be in for it, guaranteed.
Today was not hugely successful like yesterday but I did manage to get a few things crossed off the list.

First up was to clean up the craphole of a garage that we created in our tornado like work pattern the last two days.

Then I headed out to round up some parts.

New alternator, corvette filter and some misc stuff.

Started by locating the alternator about where it needed to go and came up with a game plan. I wanted to use the ac location for the alternator and really wanted to use a tensioner for future service.

Built a template out of paper and got to work on the plasma and drill press.

Here is the mockup



Mockup looked good so I had the boss come out and hold the alternator so I could tack it in place. (She just loves it when I drag her out and dress her up in safety glasses and gloves....)

We tacked it in place, checked the alignment and I finished welding it out.



Its pretty beefy at 1/4" plate but I just did not want to have belt issues down the road.



I also had to get water pump gaskets and make two trips to get the belts. I had no luck of getting the water pump like new clean so it got a little coat of aluminum paint to get it back to descent looking as well as got bolted on the motor for the last time. Exhaust manifold gaskets are in and the manifolds on there for good.


Apparently I forgot to snap any photos after this but I did get both belts finally and got them installed. Everything lined up nicely and both tensioners work well.

I swapped out the parts on the throttle body and got it on there. Then started to look at the wiring to see what kind of fun I am in for there. I am very clear on the chevy side, just not too clear on the volvo side....does however look like the dash will be coming out again.

Oh and MH....you will not regret it. Coming from a mustang guy, these motors are simply amazing. If you have any questions, just ask.

Need to order a few parts so I can make a good run at it this coming week and weekend. If I were to play my cards right I would think this thing might be ready to try and start in the next week and a half or so.

Looks great! Lq4 is a 6.0 though. I vote you turbo it now, my LQ is already boring. Quick tip, grab a brake booster check valve out of chevy truck. Goes right in the stock booster but has a 1/2 bard that matches the intake manifold nipple. I even got fancy with mine and bent up a hard line because I didnt have enough hose laying around lol
For future reference, it appears with that header choice one option might be to move the engine about .5"-.75" towards the passenger's side to help clear the steering shaft. Hard to tell with 2D pics thought - Hackster - what say you? I know in the Vorschlag 3 series LS kits they initially used a hydro-booster to loose the brake booster which wouldn't clear the valve cover. In later kits, they simply moved the motor a bit to towards the passenger side and installed it at a bit of an angle (front of motor angled towards passenger front tire/rear of tranny angled towards driver's rear tire). The shift and angle are minimal but can be seen if you're paying attention. That shift allowed the stock brake booster to stay in place.
Sounds like i need to change my thread title then. Your car is pretty quick from the videos. I have been watching your build and stealing some ideas as i go. Keep in mind this is a daily driver. I need it to be reliable without question. Start up run and drive anytime is my goal.

There is room to move the engine to the pass side. It would make header clearance much better on drivers side. I have two issues there though. The motor needs to be in the middle for me. It's just me and i know it would be fine offset but i would look in that engine bay everytime and notice that.

Second reason is the transmission. This thing is large and hard enough to fit at all. Moving the engine over would only complicate this matter.