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1981 LT1 swap: Project "Blue Bomber"

Old 11-28-2014, 01:09 PM
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1981 LT1 swap: Project "Blue Bomber"

HI! Its been quite some time since I have been active on here. Life you know..

I sold my 99 z28 earlier this summer and I picked up my cousin's old 81! It was his first car in high school and its got plenty of good ol memories.

So now in the hands of the more mechanically-inclined family member, its time to rip out the 3.8L and upgrade to an LT1 with a 4l60.

Pics to come through the whole build!

PS, the old v6 and trans are running and for sale, 150.00
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Old 11-28-2014, 01:55 PM
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Re: 1981 LT1 swap: Project "Blue Bomber"

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Fresh on the trailor
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First parked
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One-man hood removal
I used ratchet straps to hang it from my garage door opener and track. It held my weight and that hood is much less. Pulled up tension, removed all the bolts, and it hung there perfectly! Then, I was able to take off one corner at a time to raise it. Easy, only 30 min.
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Old 11-28-2014, 11:46 PM
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Re: 1981 LT1 swap: Project "Blue Bomber"

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Bumper cover off.

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Bumper and reinforcement out.

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Taped off all the A/C lines to prevent getting dirty! I like electrical tape.

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I like to save my O-rings for making sure I replace with the correct diameter.

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Removing the front panel is a pain, but all the bolts are very easy to get to.

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That tubular brace comes off then, on the frame rails, you can see one of the main bolts behind the turn signal wire.

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Slides right off!

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Done for the night, tomorrow, engine.

Last edited by GhostZ28; 11-28-2014 at 11:50 PM.
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Old 11-29-2014, 11:11 AM
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Re: 1981 LT1 swap: Project "Blue Bomber"

Good luck with your project. I love engine swaps.
Are you going crazy with the drivetrain or is it just going to be a healthy DD?
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Old 11-29-2014, 01:38 PM
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Re: 1981 LT1 swap: Project "Blue Bomber"

Just a DD. I found a good donor stock lt1 and I'm not going to break into the inside. The z28's of these years were turds anyway, I figure an lt1 should lug the giant body around nicely. I think I'm going to aim for a pull-out LSD from a 4th gen.

More pics tonight. I just spent 4 hours removing the motor mounts and the y-pipe.. nothing more fun than a few bolts that take hours to remove.
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Old 11-29-2014, 09:07 PM
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Re: 1981 LT1 swap: Project "Blue Bomber"

Good luck with the swap. The lt1 should bolt right in nice. Always likes that year 2nd gen.
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Old 11-30-2014, 09:31 AM
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Re: 1981 LT1 swap: Project "Blue Bomber"

Originally Posted by GhostZ28 View Post
..... I think I'm going to aim for a pull-out LSD from a 4th gen.

.....
Great start to an interesting project. Good to have some 2nd Gen activity on the site, even in the form of a 2nd Gen/LT1 hybrid.

You don't want the rear end components from a 4th Gen in a heavy car. The 7.5" 10-bolt is extremely weak, having been pirated from the S10 parts bin. The 2nd Gens use 10-bolts, but they are larger diameter ring gears, and the parts are not interchangeable.
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Old 12-06-2014, 04:24 AM
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Re: 1981 LT1 swap: Project "Blue Bomber"

Lookie what I just pulled in to home with..
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Old 12-06-2014, 04:29 AM
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Re: 1981 LT1 swap: Project "Blue Bomber"

I just got a budget increase. I think a 4-link and maybe just put a 12-bolt. The 4-link is a must, but I did see someone makes a complete independent rear setup that bolts-in. ($8k ouch)
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Old 12-07-2014, 04:01 PM
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Re: 1981 LT1 swap: Project "Blue Bomber"

What are you going to use it for - drag racing or auto-x/road racing? The stock style torque arm suspension, with upgraded parts can take a 3rd or 4th Gen into the low 8's.
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Old 12-07-2014, 11:49 PM
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Re: 1981 LT1 swap: Project "Blue Bomber"

Definitely not going to be racing, this is just going to be a nice custom "z28". I am only putting in a stock LT1 and a 4l60. I figured the rear that came with the same kind of car the engine is out of would be safe. It may be driven a little hard occasionally but I want an 81 z28 disguising an updated 4th gen powertrain.

engine in the neighbor's till install time.
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Old 12-07-2014, 11:51 PM
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Re: 1981 LT1 swap: Project "Blue Bomber"

more tear-down ****

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Old 12-07-2014, 11:53 PM
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Re: 1981 LT1 swap: Project "Blue Bomber"

I think I want to paint it the original color, but Z28 scheme:

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My cousin wanted a blue camaro back in HS, so he -no kidding- took it to maaco..
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