The Engine Bay Last Update: May 4, 2009 11:01 PM

Racing Concepts made a Version 2 of the kit that I installed after I already had the car running on Version 1. I will include pictures of both as I documented the install of Version 1 much better than Version 2.

Engine Bay Prep:

Here is the engine bay freshly back from paint with the stock k-member still in place. Things like the carcoal canister, power steering system and other items are pictured but are removed later.

This is a good picture showing the two areas that have been cut out where the "frame rails" meet the firewall.

I had to bend the brake lines so they are closer to the firewall for engine clearance.


Removing Factory K-member:

I only have one jack so I used a tire to keep one side of the suspension up.

Here is the suspension all disconnected and ready to drop.

Wahla, it all comes out in one peice. Ready to bolt up to the new k-member.

I had to remove one wheel/tire to get it out from underneath the car.

Removing the old k-member.

View of old k-member.


Installing the new K-member:

Racing Concepts has redesigned their kit (as of May 2008) and I went down to his shop to have the new kit installed. The modifed peices include a completely new k-member, new frame rails and trans brace and a much beefier rear diff mount. Below are a few quick pictures of the new k-member. The new k-member is much improved and returns about a inch of ground clearance, ties into the frame rail braces for added stiffness, raises the rack back closer to stock height and has "race" camber boxes for more adjustability in alignment.

Below are the details of the OLD KIT k-member install. The new one installs the same way.

Version 1 Kit vs. stock k-member.

The quality of the kit is very good. All the joints are fully welded and tolerences are tight.

The new k-member bolted right up with little trouble.

If you compare this angle of the new vs. old k-members, you can see how much lower the new one is.

Time to bolt the suspension back up.

Everything bolted in great. The kit does lower the steering rack so a new longer steering column is included. This might make bump steer worse and if I see it as a problem, I will upgrade to the r-package tie rod ends.

NOTE: Version 2 of the kit does not lower the steering rack as much and actually relocates the lower control arm to elimate bump steer. Bump steer is now nearly gone.

Ground clearance is negatively affected but my car was lowered before and now I am going to raise it close to the stock height probably. Note this is without the engine in.


The LS1 Drivetrain:

This is the crate the LS1 came in from Cleveland Pick-a-Part. It was very well packaged and arrived unharmed.

They steam clean the engines before shipping so it was pretty clean when it arrived.

Here is the engine and bell housing and without the stock headers.

On the right front of the engine you can see the power steering pump, this is getting removed.

I was able to remove the power steering pump without pulling the pulley by removing the two bolts holding the pump to the bracket that is still seen on the engine above. This bracket is then removed. You can also see that the tensioner that was on the alternator bracker has been removed. This tensioner is in the way of the belt after removing the power steering pully from the routing.

My dad was kind enough to buy me this engine hoist MINUTES before I was putting the engine in. A neighbor conveniently had this for sale the day I was putting the engine in. This was a lot easier than using an overhead come-a-long that i was going to use.


Installing the LS1:

The patient is prepped for the heart transplant.

I sure hope this thing fits...

Its going to be close.

With the bell housing on, it nearly touches the firewall and radiator support. It was too close for my nerves since I just got the car painted so I opted to take off the bellhousing.

Here it is without the bellhousing. It gives me a couple inches of play.

Some of the bellhousing bolts are BARELY accessible but I did manage to get all of them with some swivel rachet attachments and good ole determination.

Now its ready to accept the transmission.

This is how much room I have for a radiator. I am not sure if I can fit my stock fans as pullers, I will find out this weekend. I will also add the radiator and AC install info once those happen.


The Compete Drivetrain Installed:

Below is the new "Version 2" kit. I put in the new version kit after I already had my car up and running and can say that it is a big improvement. It returns a lot of ground clearance, rids of bumpsteer and increases rigidity.

racing concepts subframe 1

racing concepts subframe 2

racing concepts subframe 3

The new k-member interfered with the exhaust so we had to hack it up a little to get it to fit. I had been planning on getting the exhaust redone after the new kit was in so it was not a big deal.

Version 2 of the kit has extra tubes that go along the frame rails and have three large bolts that sandwich both tubes and the frame rail. There are then four more bolts along with flat plates (neither installed or pictured above) that go vertically through the floor board.


The rest is the OLD KIT:

Here you can see the ground clearance is about 3 inches right now. Thats with the car lowered. I will get the wheel center to fender measurements and post them for comparision.

Air Intake:

Here are the first set of parts I got from The pictured items include a 4in to 3.5in 90 degree elbow, a 4in clamp, five 3.5in clamps, a 3.5in elbow, a 3.5 "stubby" and two 12in pieces of straight 3.5in aluminum tubing. I ended up ordering another 90 degree elbow and not using one of the AL tubes and not using one of the tubes or the stubby. I cut one 4in and one 6 inch piece of tubing to make the intake. I will add pictures of the completed intake system once its finished. The following pictures are of my second test fit. I bought a K&N E-0773 filter to go in the driver bumper area as seen.

Here is the first cut. This is a 12inch tube and the cut makes a 8 and an 4 inch peice. I then cut the 8 inch peice down to 6 inches. The 6 inch peice is used to go down along the radiator and the 4 inch peice is for attaching the air filter.

I used a hack saw to break through the tube and then a jigsaw to make quick work of the cut.

This is what the intake setup looks like. I am able to take it out in one peice (minus the filter).

For the Intake Air Temp (IAT) sensor, I got a generic grommet at my local auto parts store and it requires a 3/4 hole so I drilled one in the 6 inch pipe. I placed it here as the stock sensor wiring still reaches but it may be better to locate it all the way next to the filter for a colder reading. Some say the sensor gets heat soaked.

It has to have that downward angle for the hood to clear without modification. One of the "V" hood support interferes with it otherwise.

The wire is temporary. I will make a aluminum bracket for permanent support. I will also make some plastic splash/debris gaurds to protect the filter from water and rocks.

Since the filter collected pebbles and debris from the tire slinging them, I decided to fab up a simple shield to protect the filter. I stopped by Home Depot in search of supplies. I bought more than needed to be safe. I ended up not using any of the rubber stair step coverings or any of the smaller pieces of aluminum. I only used one peice of 12x18 zinc coated steel (wanted Al but didn't have it) and about 6 inches of 1x1/4 inch Al bar stock. I may make an air diverter in front of the filter to prevent direct flow in the future.

Here you can see the lower brace for the air filter and the one for the shield.