Author Topic: 1977 TA LS1 / T56 Build  (Read 717 times)

jdseibe

  • Active Forum Member
  • *
  • Posts: 15
1977 TA LS1 / T56 Build
« on: July 24, 2017, 01:45:12 PM »
Hey All,

This thread will be used for keeping track of my build, a place for me to ask questions and to show off my build. please any and all input would be appreciated.

About a year ago I picked up a 1977 Trans Am 400 / TH350 car, the car is mostly solid, but is in rough condition, the plan is to do a ground up resto-mod on the car. the car itself hasn't been driven in over 20 years, it was parked in a barn and is in rough shape, the only bad parts i have noticed on the car are the rear quarter panel on the passenger side around the wheel area and the trunk floor, there is surface rust on other components, but they look to be able to clean up easy enough or be replaced. The interior is dirty, but looks to be there. It came with a bunch of extra parts also, so all in all for the price i snagged the car for, this was a good deal. (engine turns over by hand, oil is clean, and antifreeze is still bright green).

The plan was always to convert the car to a manual transmission and build up the 400, but after doing some research on how much its going to cost to swap in a manual transmission (super t-10, m22, etc) I decided to look into a t-56 swap, turns out the best solution on doing those is an LS1 t-56, turns out that I found an entire running/driving parts car that I can get for a good price, so after struggling with building up the 400 or doing the LS1 I decided the LS1 is the way I want to go. So the plan is going to go something like this.

- Tear down the 77
- Sell off parts that won't be used (400,TH350,etc)
- Fix and prep body for paint
- Use as many parts from the donor car as possible (engine/trans/wiring/radiator/etc)
- Part out the rest of the donor car
- Do a mild build on the LS1 (head work, cam, tune, exhaust)
- Do a rebuild on the T56 (brother is a master mechanic)
- Upgrade / Fix / Replace suspension
- Upgrade Fuel System

So there are a few questions I have about the swap though, I've been trying to search, but maybe I'm just not looking in the right spots.

- motor mounts, everyone suggest dirty dingo ones, but I wasn't sure which ones since they don't say anything about pontiacs.
- headers, are there any budget long tube headers that work for the car and LS engine.
- the center console in my car is one for an auto, ive read that it might be better for the t56, true?
- the LS1 is aluminum, any suggestions on front springs (one of my stock ones is broke, so I have to replace regardless)
- is adapting the ls1 A/C stuff to the 77 stuff doable?
- can i use the ls1 disc brakes? if so can I also use the ls1 brake booster and master cylinder?





scarebird

  • Oracle Forum Member
  • *
  • Posts: 1185
  • Parts vender
      • Scarebird Classic Brakes
Re: 1977 TA LS1 / T56 Build
« Reply #1 on: July 24, 2017, 06:02:16 PM »
Hey All,

So there are a few questions I have about the swap though, I've been trying to search, but maybe I'm just not looking in the right spots.

- motor mounts, everyone suggest dirty dingo ones, but I wasn't sure which ones since they don't say anything about pontiacs.
- headers, are there any budget long tube headers that work for the car and LS engine.
- the center console in my car is one for an auto, ive read that it might be better for the t56, true?
- the LS1 is aluminum, any suggestions on front springs (one of my stock ones is broke, so I have to replace regardless)
- is adapting the ls1 A/C stuff to the 77 stuff doable?
- can i use the ls1 disc brakes? if so can I also use the ls1 brake booster and master cylinder?

If you are good at fabbing you can make a set of mounts to use the clamshell Pontiac lowers in your TA - the Chevys are indeed different.  Would be easier to swap in Chevy clamshell lowers.

I would use manifolds - easy, flow well.

I used Moroso 225# drag springs - work very well

yes, you can get AC compressors that will work with your factory setup

jdseibe

  • Active Forum Member
  • *
  • Posts: 15
Re: 1977 TA LS1 / T56 Build
« Reply #2 on: September 10, 2018, 09:44:40 AM »
so Its been over a year since my initial post. I just wanted to give a bit of an update on everything.

Back in March I decided it was time to start ripping into the 98, I pulled the engine and transmission out and dropped the engine off at the machine shop, they have finished all the machine work and it is currently just waiting to be assembled (I told them to not prioritize mine since the car isn't ready yet, so its just been sitting all these months), I'll give details shortly on what all is being done to the engine.

The transmission is sitting in the garage waiting for my stage 2 rebuild kit to be thrown at it, The transmission had some minor synchro issues, but I figured while its apart I might as well upgrade, so I went with a stage 2 rebuild kit that should support 600+ hp. I also purchased a short throw shifter, a replacement slave cylinder with remote speed bleeder and a McLeod 1434005QD hydraulic conversion kit so that I can keep stock pedals and geometry while upgrading to hydraulic setup with proper brackets, etc.

The 77 has its stock engine and transmission pulled and sold, I know a bunch of people will be upset about that, but I don't plan to re-sell, so to me its not worth taking up room keeping them. the subframe on the 77 was soft on the bottom (was literally sitting on them in the dirt), so I bought another subframe to clean up and modify to accept the LS1.

Basically I've just been stockpiling parts, but here is the basic parts list and whats being done.

Engine:
1998 F-Body LS1
799 Heads, professionally Ported and Polished
Performance Valve Job
BTR Stage 3 N/A Cam
Adjustable double roller timing set
High Volume Oil Pump
ARP Rod, Head and Main Stud Kits
Ported Dorman LS2 Intake Manifold
Warr 92mm Throttle Body
Bosch White 36lb GTP Fuel Injectors (flow 42lbs @ 58psi)
99+ 0411 ECM
Speed Engineering 1 7/8" Stainless Steel Headers
Stock frame mount SBC motor mounts (will replace the inserts with poly ones at some point)
Speedway Motors Solid SBC Engine site motor mounts
Speed Engineering adjustable setback LS1 motor mount adapter plates.

Transmission:
The Gearbox Stage 2 Rebuild Kit
Diamond Stage 2 Clutch
Aftermarket flywheel (haven't bought yet)
McLeod 1434005QD hydraulic conversion kit
B&M Ripper Shifter
Tick Performance Slave Cylinder W/ Throwout Bearing
Tick Performance Remote Speed Bleeder


Next Steps:
- strip, clean, modify, coat Subframe so that I can start installing new suspension components, engine, etc
- remove interior (need to cut hole in floor for t56
- remove old subframe
- remove old fuel lines and brake lines
- clean and underbody coat underside of car.
- replace fuel tank with FI fuel tank
- replace fuel lines
- replace brake lines
- replace suspension components
- address brakes
- address rear end
- exhaust


This is a large list, but after I get this stuff done I should be getting close to having it move under its own power. the main plan here is to get the car full assembled, get it driveable, and then once I get that all situated I can focus on body work / interior

jdseibe

  • Active Forum Member
  • *
  • Posts: 15
Re: 1977 TA LS1 / T56 Build
« Reply #3 on: September 10, 2018, 09:46:27 AM »
here is a google album with all the pics taken so far regarding the car :)

https://photos.app.goo.gl/uMGCFHQ5rN72JTPv9

ryeguy2006a

  • Oracle Forum Member
  • *
  • Posts: 4389
Re: 1977 TA LS1 / T56 Build
« Reply #4 on: September 11, 2018, 05:52:39 AM »
Wow, that's a great build there! What I would suggest for your fuel tank is rather than buying one of the FI tanks from Spectre, is to either modify your stock tank or buy a new tank and modify that. What I did was used a kit from Vetteworks that allowed me to modify my stock tank to accept the 4th gen fuel pump assembly. It works great and was very quiet.

1976 Trans Am LS1, 6 speed, C5 12.8" Brakes, LS1 rear 12" brakes, 17" Aluminum Rims, and much more...SOLD
My Build: http://transamcountry.com/community/index.php?topic=24465.0

New project: 1968 Camaro with 6?.?0?  5.3 w/ Z06 cam/T56
http://transamcountry.com/community/index.php?topic=74591.0

Re: 1977 TA LS1 / T56 Build
« Reply #4 on: September 11, 2018, 05:52:39 AM »

jdseibe

  • Active Forum Member
  • *
  • Posts: 15
Re: 1977 TA LS1 / T56 Build
« Reply #5 on: September 11, 2018, 06:03:36 PM »
Wow, that's a great build there! What I would suggest for your fuel tank is rather than buying one of the FI tanks from Spectre, is to either modify your stock tank or buy a new tank and modify that. What I did was used a kit from Vetteworks that allowed me to modify my stock tank to accept the 4th gen fuel pump assembly. It works great and was very quiet.

Thanks!

any particular reason to go that route over the spectra fully assembled route? it seemed like the Spectra unit was a decent buy for $380ish with walbro 255 pre installed. my tank now is rusty.

ryeguy2006a

  • Oracle Forum Member
  • *
  • Posts: 4389
Re: 1977 TA LS1 / T56 Build
« Reply #6 on: September 12, 2018, 05:43:09 AM »
Not sure if they ever fixed it, but the baffling inside the tank was sub-par. Many people had issues with fuel starvation when the tank got below 1/2 tank. Great thing is with the 4th gen fuel pump assembly the regulated fuel that is returned goes directly into the fuel bucket that houses the fuel pump. That way there is always fuel surrounding the pump which keeps it cooler and full fuel pressure at your rails.

1976 Trans Am LS1, 6 speed, C5 12.8" Brakes, LS1 rear 12" brakes, 17" Aluminum Rims, and much more...SOLD
My Build: http://transamcountry.com/community/index.php?topic=24465.0

New project: 1968 Camaro with 6?.?0?  5.3 w/ Z06 cam/T56
http://transamcountry.com/community/index.php?topic=74591.0

ryeguy2006a

  • Oracle Forum Member
  • *
  • Posts: 4389
Re: 1977 TA LS1 / T56 Build
« Reply #7 on: September 12, 2018, 05:47:19 AM »
I did this write-up a while back. The only thing I would do differently is create a recessed panel that would drop the fuel pump assembly down ~1" so that I didn't have to cut the truck.

http://transamcountry.com/community/index.php?topic=56613.msg597564#msg597564

This is a write-up I did recently for my 1968 Camaro. This is how I would do the recessed panel now. In this case I used the 5th gen fuel pump assembly due to the height restrictions of the 1st gen Fbody tanks.

https://ls1tech.com/forums/conversions-hybrids/1847020-diy-5th-gen-fuel-pump-assembly-stock-1968-camaro-tank.html

1976 Trans Am LS1, 6 speed, C5 12.8" Brakes, LS1 rear 12" brakes, 17" Aluminum Rims, and much more...SOLD
My Build: http://transamcountry.com/community/index.php?topic=24465.0

New project: 1968 Camaro with 6?.?0?  5.3 w/ Z06 cam/T56
http://transamcountry.com/community/index.php?topic=74591.0

skisix38off

  • Active Forum Member
  • *
  • Posts: 636
Re: 1977 TA LS1 / T56 Build
« Reply #8 on: September 18, 2018, 07:00:31 AM »
Two issues I am wrestling with in preparation to LS swap my '78:
(please feel free to answer ryeguy)

1) How do you plan to control the engine?  Thru a factory ECU, or some other fashion?

2) How will you control the engine and also get all the information to the gauges?  New gauges?  What speedo will you use with the T56 sending a VSS output?

In my mind, setting the LS in the subframe is easy but is only 10% of the work required for this swap- Am I off base here?

skisix38off

  • Active Forum Member
  • *
  • Posts: 636
Re: 1977 TA LS1 / T56 Build
« Reply #9 on: September 18, 2018, 07:16:50 AM »
I did this write-up a while back. The only thing I would do differently is create a recessed panel that would drop the fuel pump assembly down ~1" so that I didn't have to cut the truck.

http://transamcountry.com/community/index.php?topic=56613.msg597564#msg597564


Great write up Ryan!  I follow along however, what did you do for the interface between the Vettework adapter and the tank to keep that sealed?  The pictures make it look like you only stitch welded the adapter- were those welds all the way around?

FormTA

  • Oracle Forum Member
  • *
  • Posts: 2282
Re: 1977 TA LS1 / T56 Build
« Reply #10 on: September 18, 2018, 12:01:39 PM »
I used converters so I could use my stock gauges. I got everything from Dakota Digital. Most will say to swap to Speedhut gauges and I might but for now I want my stock gauges. I used the stock ecm from the 98 I pulled the engine from and wired in a VATs bypass chip to make it run as I am not good with tuning. I may drive up to see Ryan some day to have him tune my engine....
79 Trans am 301 (work in progress) LS swap n progress
79 Formula 301 (Work in progress)
67 RS Camaro (Work in progress)
See the recurring theme???

Re: 1977 TA LS1 / T56 Build
« Reply #10 on: September 18, 2018, 12:01:39 PM »
You can help support TAC!