2020-B1-8

Author Topic: 1981 TA SE LS-swap  (Read 3024 times)

TATurbo

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Re: 1981 TA SE LS-swap
« Reply #80 on: February 22, 2020, 09:38:31 PM »
Before you purchase a Trans line kit, let me know...
I paid a couple hundred bucks for a kit I probably could've purchased separately for less than half that amount.  I was happy to pay for someone else figuring out all the fitting sizes and what not, but I now have all that information.   I can share it with you and you can probably save a bundle by purchasing the fittings from Jegs or someplace like that.
I made notes of all the parts specifically in the hopes it might save someone some cash later on.   
Your trans is a 4L60E...right?
Tom
King of Prussia, PA

1981 Turbo Trans-Am
Build thread - http://transamcountry.com/community/index.php?topic=69897.0

sensei451

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Re: 1981 TA SE LS-swap
« Reply #81 on: February 23, 2020, 04:18:04 PM »
Before you purchase a Trans line kit, let me know...
Your trans is a 4L60E...right?

Yes sir, thats the one. I am not sure what rad i am going to use, i think I'll give my original one a try first (with electric fans). Info on fittings you successfully used will be helpful!

I spent some time today with wiring.. I don't know why I am having issues with this, wiring should be the one thing I am good at. But still struggling to understand what is what despite the help I've got from TATurbo..

I'll post some pics and maybe we can figure t his out together.

TATurbo

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Re: 1981 TA SE LS-swap
« Reply #82 on: February 23, 2020, 10:50:04 PM »
Did you receive the engine wire harness yet?
It definitely helped me envision things when I had all the pieces together.  Initially, I sort of laid stuff out and thought each wire through one at a time. Trying to plan it out without all the pieces to look at confused me terribly. Whatever questions you have, I'm sure the guys here will be able to work through them with you.

I went back through my notes and pics from my radiator line installation.  There are some pics on page 7 of my build thread which show the method I used to measure and fit the lines.
 
Below is a dump of what I learned and what I'd use if I had to go through this again.
I used a Cold Case LS Swap radiator/fan kit. I believe any/all 'LS Swap' radiators would have the same fittings as the Cold Case setup.
I'm not sure how the stock '81 Radiator trans cooler line provisions compare to the LS trans cooler lines.  You might need a different set of fittings to convert the radiator provisions to an AN type.  If you're using the '81 radiator you'll just need to figure out the size of those lines at the radiator.  The rest of this stuff would be the same.

I used BRP Hot Rods "Transmission Cooler Line kit - 4L60E" PN: 000-6630-60.  It was $265.00. Pricey!

The Trans line material in the BRP kit is 'Coated, Teflon PTFE hose'. This stuff is pretty much bullet proof.  As such, it is probably not the least expensive hose one could use, and might be overkill for this application. You could probably save some $$$ by using another type of 'hose'.  If you do go with a less expensive hose material you'd need to research the fittings a little bit.  The sizes listed below would be the same, but I think the part numbers below are specific to "PTFE hose" fittings. 

Below is a link to the Fragola fittings catalog. Obviously they have a website too. But the catalog might be useful if you need to find comparable fittings for different hose material.  Fragola Performance Systems Catalog:
http://fragolaperformancesystems.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/06/fragola-performance-catalog.pdf

And for reference, here's link in case you are wondering WTF is PTFE?!:
  https://www.racetronix.biz/product.asp?ic=tft1170-06b&gclid=Cj0KCQiA4sjyBRC5ARIsAEHsELHTnBiOQInesQP5yL8UpvSfhBkXK6TjJ8G5BVI1GEJ1P0irF5cndkYaApy6EALw_wcB

Whatever hose you use, you'll probably need around 10ft of it.

Here's the fittings you'll need:
 @ Transmission:  Replace 'Quick Connect' fittings in trans with NPS->AN Adapter - #6 AN x 1/4 NPS (Fragola PN: 481670 2@$10.00 ea.)
                           Use #6 AN x 45deg PTFE fitting (Fragola PN: 684506 2@ $15.00 ea.) to connect PTFE Hose to new -6AN fitting on Transmission
                             
 @ Radiator:   Use NPS Inverted Flare->AN Adapter - #6 x 1/2-20 x 5/16 Male (Fragola PN: 491955 2@$10.00 ea.)*
                     Upper: Use #6 x 90deg P.T.F.E fitting (Fragola PN: 689006 1@$20.00 ea.) to connect PTFE Hose to new NPS->AN Adapter in Radiator
                     Lower: Use #6 x straight PTFE Hose fitting (Fragola PN: 680106 1@$15.00 ea.) ** to connect the PTFE Host to the new NPS->AN
                                adapter in the radiator.

                  * These two fittings which convert the Radiator's NPS Flare fitting to AN are the two that might be different if you are using the '81 radiator.
                 ** Straight PTFE fitting used in lower Trans position due to interference with subframe (90deg wouldn't fit).
                             You can use any angle #6AN PTFE host fitting that'll fit your combo.

All together, that adds up to around $170.00.
In addition to using something other than PTFE hose to cut cost, you should be able to find comparable fittings from another manufacturer for less than Fragola's price.   I did a quick search for the "-6 AN x 1/4 NPS'" Trans line adapter fitting just now.   Summit's in-house brand sells 'em for $4.99! 50% less than Fragola!

One other note...
 Initially, I intended to use a trans cooler line kit from Bow Tie Overdrives (BTO) (PN: TLMEZ4L60E-LST - $170.00).  The BTO kit shows what appear to be stock hard-lines from the Trans to the front of the block. Then, a set of compression fittings and a braided steel line from there to the radiator trans cooler provisions.  The hard lines I received did not fit along the oil pan like the stock '99 F-Body lines would've.  In fact, they didn't fit at all.  I sent them back and BTO responded saying the '99 Trans lines were no longer available 'off the shelf'.  They suggested they'd custom bend a set, but after a couple weeks of waiting I just asked for a refund. That is how I ended up with the more expensive BRP kit.  Anyway, based on that experience and another interaction with BTO, I personally can't recommend them for anything.
Tom
King of Prussia, PA

1981 Turbo Trans-Am
Build thread - http://transamcountry.com/community/index.php?topic=69897.0

FormTA

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Re: 1981 TA SE LS-swap
« Reply #83 on: February 24, 2020, 05:27:44 AM »
Let me know what question you have on the wiring.  I'll have to dig up my notes but I'm sure I can answer them.
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???

Names, Luke. If I hear anyone telling me they're my father....

sensei451

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Re: 1981 TA SE LS-swap
« Reply #84 on: February 25, 2020, 06:22:22 PM »
@Tom: Engine harness recieved and "almost" mounted, the fusebox and relays are left to do. Thanks for that epic review on trans cooler lines, I have made the appropriate part orders. I considered using parts of the 2001 hard lines, cut them and using those friction fittings but eventually chose the "full an + hose" route.

@Form: Thanks - I will post a "mystery wire" picture soon and we'll figure it out.

I spent a night researching what pipe is vent and what pipe is return on the GM201FI tank. They really don't make it easy for a newbie.

However, this link shows the pump used in said tank: https://www.amazon.com/Spectra-Premium-SP191A1H-Sender-Assembly/dp/B06XXDLC6V

Comparing with other in-tank pumps that are actually marked, it is now clear that the short pipe is in fact the vent and all is good.

Finally, I have made an order for a new driver side inner fender and the filler plate. This fixes the only rust damage that I know I have on my car, the same general area that probably was damaged by a leaking battery.



TATurbo

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Re: 1981 TA SE LS-swap
« Reply #85 on: February 25, 2020, 10:04:01 PM »
You're welcome Sensei.  I hope that set up works good for you.  Let me know if anything comes up.
Your note about figuring out the lines on the fuel pump reminded me of one other thing regarding the trans...

I had to spend some time figuring out which line on the trans went to which port on the radiator.   IE. Fluid 'out' on the Trans to fluid 'in' on the radiator...Fluid 'out' of the radiator to fluid 'in' on the Trans.  I had researched which line went where, and in my notes I noted:
 "The top Trans line goes to the top provision on the radiator, bottom line on trans goes to bottom provision on the radiator.". 
Seems logical, but it wasn't obvious to me at the time. So, remember that when running the new lines.

Let me know if you have any questions about the working with the PTFE line.   There are a couple videos online which show how to do the fittings. It's not rocket science, but obviously you need to do it 'correctly'.  By the end of the the fuel line and Trans line projects I ended up loving the stuff.  Mostly because in all those fittings I had 0 leaks. And it looks great.

Good luck!
Tom
King of Prussia, PA

1981 Turbo Trans-Am
Build thread - http://transamcountry.com/community/index.php?topic=69897.0

sensei451

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Re: 1981 TA SE LS-swap
« Reply #86 on: March 15, 2020, 06:09:48 PM »
Time for an update!

I have been working on the smaller items such as additional cable routing and trans cooler lines. Thanks Tom for advice on cooler lines!

For now, I'll be using the stock radiator with 2002 camaro fan shroud:



The 4th gen fans fit pretty well. The pipe insulation is my attempt to seal fans and also prevent the shroud from damaging the radiator. Down the line I'm sure I will get a proper LS radiator with fans, but I'm hoping this will work for now. I like re-using stuff when possible.

Btw, anybody know which fan should be #1 and #2?

I have been fighting with my driver side door alignment after replacing the upper hinge. I cant get the gap correct at the top part of the door:



The picture is a bit forgiving, there is definitely too small of a gap going upwards. Height is dead on, but the upper hinge cannot be further to the left so to speak. I need advice, how can this be solved? I need to get this right before fenders and stuff comes back on.

Thanks!

roadking77

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Re: 1981 TA SE LS-swap
« Reply #87 on: March 16, 2020, 07:28:03 AM »
Honestly that gap looks great to me, I would have to see what it looks like around the rest of the door though. I will sound like a broken record but the original gaps on these cars is horrendous.
Finished!
77 T/A - I will Call this one DONE!
79 TATA 4sp-Next Project?
79 TATA - Lost to Fire!
86 Grand Prix - Sold
85 T/A - Sold
85 Fiero - Sold
82 Firebird - Sold
'38-CZ 250
'39-BSA Gold Star
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'52-Ariel Red Hunter
'66-BSA Lightning
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sensei451

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Re: 1981 TA SE LS-swap
« Reply #88 on: March 16, 2020, 07:08:50 PM »
Honestly that gap looks great to me, I would have to see what it looks like around the rest of the door though. I will sound like a broken record but the original gaps on these cars is horrendous.

Thanks roadking! I will try to get a better picture taken for you to look at.

Today i was working on grounding the whole car, a productive evening.

I re-used the 81 ground cable from battery terminal to driver side head. I hope it is large enough, is that right?

Then I used the existing 81 bell housing to body wire, and a ground strap that was already dangling around from the LS to sub frame.

Lastly I connected all grounds from the painless harness.

I am getting ready to connect the positive cables now but I am not sure exactly how this should work, any pointers appreciated.

* Do I need a "main fuse" from battery to everything else? The 81 does not have this, but I read somewhere that fourth gens have it. Something like this? https://www.amazon.com/dp/B015ABMN6C/ref=psdc_15729671_t3_B00PHAQE6W

* I am not entirely sure I understand how the "car" gets positive power. I think I know which cable I should connect but I want to confirm if possible.

I intend to use the "harness" from the LS1 which seem to have both alternator AND starter power in the same bundle. It also had a third cable but that was cut off and I dont know where it went.

Thanks

« Last Edit: March 16, 2020, 07:14:55 PM by sensei451 »

TATurbo

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Re: 1981 TA SE LS-swap
« Reply #89 on: March 16, 2020, 11:21:40 PM »
Happy to see you're making progress.
 Regarding your door gaps...
  I don't have any specific advice except to echo the line that it's really. really difficult to get them really close to perfect.  In my
 humble opinion the best one can do is get it to where there's no interference and not super out of whack.  A happy medium is the best I
 think we can hope for in these cars.  I will also mention that my body and paint shop (Classic Auto Paint, Mt. Juliet TN) was being (what I
 would consider to be) overly anal about the gaps.  Ultimately, in order to get the gaps where they wanted them to be, there was welding
 and body work done at the rear of the door (or front of the rear quarter, or both...I don't recall).   I'm pretty sure there have been people
 involuntarily committed trying to get the gaps perfect on these things.  So be careful!

 Regarding your grounds...
They sound OK to me.   I think that 'basically' it's: Battery grounded to engine. Engine grounded body. Body grounded to sub-frame. Here are the ground connections I made based on my research and input from others here:
Battery gets a big ground wire to the engine block (The '81 negative cable is sufficient).  Engine gets grounded to body (firewall) and front sub-frame (I used two of those bare metal 'ground straps' for these two connections). The '81 TA had one large ground cable from the body (lower left firewall) to front sub-frame. I reused this cable in its original location.  There should also be a ground strap from Radiator Support to front sub-frame.  And (with my battery mounted in the trunk) I included a small (8g) ground from the battery terminal to the rear Chassis (trunk support).
 Basically the ground's need to 'jump' any of the places where the body and engine were 'isolated' by the stock rubber body/engine mounts. With solid body mounts I suspect some of these are no longer necessary. For example, with solid metal mounts the radiator support is no longer electrically isolated from the front sub-frame.  But, my understanding is that it is not possible to have too many grounds connecting the various 'sections' of the car.   

Regarding a 'Main' fuse on the positive battery cable...
  I don't know if the later F-Body's had a large 'main' fuse like the one you show.   My understanding is that it is a 'good idea' to include one as close to the battery as possible.  This is especially true if you have a long run on the positive battery cable (more than a couple feet).  A large main fuse close to the battery is more than just a 'good idea' in a case like mine, where I mounted the battery in the trunk and have a long positive cable run from the trunk to the engine compartment.  Basically, the large fuse protects the system if the positive battery cable(or one of the other 'main' positive connections from battery) shorts out somewhere along its path.  I used this 250Amp 0/1 fuse holder from "Install Gear" installed about 6 inches from the positive battery terminal:
https://smile.amazon.com/InstallGear-Gauge-Line-Fuse-Holder/dp/B00P0ZLZUE/ref=sr_1_6?dchild=1&keywords=installgear+fuse+holder+with+250+amp+fuse&qid=1584421353&sr=8-6

Regarding that 'third' wire on the main LS1 positive battery cable harness...
 I believe that wire would've gone to the under-hood fuse block on the original F-Body car.   I think I have a Service manual for the '99 F-Bodies...I'll look to see if I can verify this info.
 
Regarding how the 'car' gets its power...
 I think back in December I sent my hand drawn wire diagram as "81 TA LS Swap to Stock Chassis.JPG" via Email.  Based on input from someone else I shared that with, I wrote up an English description to accompany that diagram.  Below is a copy of that write up.  Hopefully this helps explain what is shown in that .JPG from 12/28/19: 

"...This is pretty much exactly how we wired it up...The only difference is the charge wire from the post on the back of the alternator. In this diagram I show a wire running all the way back to the battery (which I have mounted in the trunk).   Instead of running a wire all the way from the alternator post back to the battery, I ran an 8g. wire from the post of the alternator to the 'junction block' shown in the diagram.
I figured I'd write out some of the information shown in the diagram...Seeing it written out might help explain/understand it more clearly...
As far as hooking the car's original 'chassis' wiring (Power to the fuse block back into the car)...
 The '81 Alternator had two wires supplying power to the car/chassis. They were both originally connected to the post on the back of the alternator.  One RED/BLK wire and one (larger gauge) RED wire.  These two wires get connected to the post on the back of the LS1's alternator to supply power into the car.  Then, you need one more wire from that post back to the battery for charging. In my car...because the battery was in the trunk, this third wire runs from the post of the alternator to the main power junction block. where I split off power coming from the 0/1 g. positive battery cable.  If your battery is still up front you could just run this third wire back to the positive battery terminal. So, these three wires from the back post of the Alternator provide power to the car and charge the battery.
  Regarding the ignition system itself...
The computer's fuse/relay box requires a wire that is 'hot' when the ignition is 'On' -AND- while the starter is cranking. I'm not sure how [your LS Harness source] will label it, but in my aftermarket set-up it was marked as 'ignition (hot while cranking)" or something to that effect. For that 'hot while cranking' power use the PINK wire that was used as the power wire to the Distributor on the old motor.   The only other 'ignition' wire is the PURPLE wire that is hot when the key is in 'Start' position only.  This is a heavier gauge PURPLE wire that ran from the steering column out to through the fuse block on the fire wall and out to the smaller post on the starter.  Then (of course) the larger post on the starter requires a power wire directly from the positive battery terminal.
 A couple of suggestions:
 I'd recommend using this 'Distribution Block':
"Kicker DB4 Distribution Block with 0/1/8 Gauge Inputs and 4-8 Gauge Outputs"
 https://www.amazon.com/Kicker-DB4-Distribution-Inputs-Outputs/dp/B00IXQGKDE/ref=sr_1_2?keywords=Kicker+DB4+Distribution+Block+with+1%2F0-8+Gauge+Inputs+and+4-8+Gauge+Outputs&qid=1581303815&sr=8-2

  Take the positive battery cable and run it to this block.  Then, you can run wires for anything that requires direct battery power (Large starter post, PCM, and charge power back to the battery) from this block out to where ever it needs to go.

 I would also recommend using these Rockford Fosgate battery terminals:
"Rockford 4 AWG or 1/0 AWG Postitive-Neg"
https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B006PK9MIA/ref=ppx_yo_dt_b_asin_title_o09_s00?ie=UTF8&psc=1
  They make hooking up the large 0/1 gauge battery wires easy.  And, you can hook up additional smaller wires you might need for direct battery power or ground.  In my case, because the battery was in the trunk I used the smaller ports on these for a secondary ground to the rear chassis, for power and ground for stereo amp(s) in the trunk and the Vintage Air box.  Working with the 0/1 gauge wire can be a pain...These make that AND hooking up additional smaller power sources easy.

  If your battery is in the trunk (or somewhere else where you're going to have a real long positive battery cable run) you'll want to install one of these big fuses in that positive battery cable as close to the battery as possible:
"InstallGear 0/2/4 Gauge AWG In-Line ANL Fuse Holder w/250 Amp fuse"
 https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00P0ZLZUE/ref=ppx_yo_dt_b_asin_title_o09_s00?ie=UTF8&psc=1"

<END COPY>

Sorry that got way long!  I am aware that I tend to over-write things.  It's something I'm working on for myself. 

I should add this Disclaimer:  I'm no expert. The above info came from a lot of research and consultation with others here. It has successfully worked for me for approximately 1200 miles, and I'm confident in this setup.
BUT:  PLEASE if anyone else has any input on these questions or my info...PLEASE do include your input!  I am not easily offended
if something's not right. And obviously, there's more than one way to skin a cat. 

Hope this helps!

P.S. I Emailed you a .PDF showing the positive battery cable connections from the '99 F-Body service manual. My statement above regarding "...that 'third' wire.." is correct.  It went to the under-hood fuse block on the donor car.

P.S.S. No cats were harmed in my build.  I DO NOT condone skinning cats.  It's just a funny saying(I think).

 

 
« Last Edit: March 16, 2020, 11:49:52 PM by TATurbo »
Tom
King of Prussia, PA

1981 Turbo Trans-Am
Build thread - http://transamcountry.com/community/index.php?topic=69897.0

Re: 1981 TA SE LS-swap
« Reply #89 on: March 16, 2020, 11:21:40 PM »

FormTA

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Re: 1981 TA SE LS-swap
« Reply #90 on: March 17, 2020, 03:47:41 AM »
I don't know, they make nice gloves.
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???

Names, Luke. If I hear anyone telling me they're my father....

roadking77

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Re: 1981 TA SE LS-swap
« Reply #91 on: March 17, 2020, 07:25:47 AM »
How about Cat juggeling?
Finished!
77 T/A - I will Call this one DONE!
79 TATA 4sp-Next Project?
79 TATA - Lost to Fire!
86 Grand Prix - Sold
85 T/A - Sold
85 Fiero - Sold
82 Firebird - Sold
'38-CZ 250
'39-BSA Gold Star
'49-Triumph 350
'52-Ariel Red Hunter
'66-BSA Lightning
'01-HD RoadKing

sensei451

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Re: 1981 TA SE LS-swap
« Reply #92 on: March 17, 2020, 07:22:50 PM »
@Tom, thanks for your incredible patience and taking time to explain what I should be able to figure out on my own..

In my defense, the reason I didn't get it can now be revealed -- the concept of linked fuse confused me as nothing was lining up color-wise..



When digging deeper in the harness, I found the wires that was supposed to be there:



So I do in fact have thick red, medium red, red/black and a brown wire.

With this I'll revisit all the drawings and explanations and I'm sure I have the info i need  8)

By the way, please feel free to expand on the subject of linked fuse, why it's there and if it something I should try to keep.

Today I wired up the alternator and starter. I had to be a bit creative and look forward to post my solution in a few days, I need a few bits and pieces delivered.

Regarding the door issue.. tried to get a better picture:



The way I see it the gap is way to small at the top of the door and it's driving me nuts. However I think I've used all the "wiggle room" in the hinge, so the solution I am thinking of is to take the hinge off and make the holes a bit larger to allow some more adjustment. Would this make sense?

Thanks!

TATurbo

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Re: 1981 TA SE LS-swap
« Reply #93 on: March 17, 2020, 09:37:01 PM »
You guys are terrible, but while we are on the subject...My favorite off-color cat saying is the one for when there's too many of something (usually a bad thing) around... "You can't swing a dead cat without hitting one.".  BTW I'm a big cat fan...I've had bunch, currently have two, loved most of 'em, and treated them all good.  Even the ones that met with untimely deaths. That's getting way off subject... 

Back to Sensei's build questions...
 Ahh...The fusible links!  They had me going for awhile too.  I researched them...  They are essentially a smaller gauge wire which will burn up and break if too much current is pulled through them.  Just like a fuse.   Why not just use an inline fuse there?  I don't know.  Anyway the correct answer to the question "Should I retain a fused link (or similar protection) in these main power wires?"  is almost certainly "Yes".   Is that what I did?  No.
 I purchased a couple pieces of fuseable link, but I did not use them.  I got impatient trying to figure out what size fusable link was 'right' (It's something like two wire sizes smaller than the wire it's servicing? I think.) IIRC I think my intention was to determine an appropriate size fuse to install in-line of each of those two main power wires 'later-on'.  I never got back to that.  So, my current set up is lacking some overload protection which was intended to be there in 1981.  Worst case scenario is a fire. I carry a fire extinguisher.
That's everything I know about fuseable links at this point in time.

Wallowing out the door hing holes sounds like it will work in theory.  But, I can't offer any advice there.  Sorry about that one.

Looking forward to seeing how your wiring worked out...You're getting pretty close to firing it up, huh?



 
   
Tom
King of Prussia, PA

1981 Turbo Trans-Am
Build thread - http://transamcountry.com/community/index.php?topic=69897.0

b_hill_86

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Re: 1981 TA SE LS-swap
« Reply #94 on: March 17, 2020, 10:07:50 PM »
You are correct about the fusible links. They are meant to act as a fuse and generally it seems to be recommended to be 2 sizes (4 numbers) smaller than the rest of the wire. At least one exception to that on these cars I can say for sure is the high speed blower motor feed from the alternator. The service manual shows that as a 12ga wire with an 18ga (3 sizes smaller) fusible link for some reason. There may be more, I dunno, but that one is there.
-Brian-

1977 Trans Am 400 4 speed

Re: 1981 TA SE LS-swap
« Reply #94 on: March 17, 2020, 10:07:50 PM »


2020-B1-8


sensei451

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Re: 1981 TA SE LS-swap
« Reply #95 on: March 20, 2020, 06:59:08 AM »
Meanwhile I've been wiring the electric fans, for now I will be using the on/off method with either 1 or 2 fans running on full blast.

A more fancy method is of course to run the three-relay high/low setup where both fans run either half or full speed.

What are people using?

The methods are outlined here: https://www.lsenginediy.com/upgrading-gen-iii-ls-series-pcm-electric-fan-guide/

Just to make sure, low fan signal is set from ECM when high is set, right?


sensei451

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Re: 1981 TA SE LS-swap
« Reply #96 on: March 21, 2020, 08:14:16 PM »
Ok, great progress, now that the grounding is taken care of, focus shifted to positive wiring today. Meaning alt, starter and the "car". I used a junction block similar to what Tom suggested on the passenger side because the wires I happened to have available from 81 and LS1 had lengths that suited that location.



Fans 100% wired and working great. I enjoy cable management, so put in some effort and I think it looks legit:



I had these test wires to verity fan operation with a ground signal.



The painless documentation better be right with ground activated relays, it was a lot to solder..

Other than that, not much more to report. I confirmed the start-wire by using the test light, but have no oil in motor so no crank at this time.



Early next week I'll get some temporary oil with mixed with engine flush and will try to establish oil pressure with a harbor freight kit. A bit nervous with this step, as I have no clue of the condition of engine internals. Hoping for the best.

Stay safe!




TATurbo

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Re: 1981 TA SE LS-swap
« Reply #97 on: March 21, 2020, 11:36:47 PM »
Congrats on the progress. Wiring looks legit. Nice job.
Good luck with firing the motor.   I did not use any sort of kit to bring up oil pressure...Just cranked the motor with the ignition relays out. It didn't take long for pressure to come up on the stock gauge.
A heads up...
 I don't know how long my motor was sitting compared to yours, but when mine fired up there was a little top end noise (tapping) coming from the passenger side.  That went away pretty quick and has not returned.  There was also a little bottom end noise in mine..What I would describe as a light knock.  That sound comes back when I start it up after it's been sitting a few days.  I looked into that low end light knock noise...The Service Manual says it's 'Normal'. (Given no other symptoms and assuming it ceases within a minute or so of start up.).
Point is...don't panic if it's making a few undesirable sounds when it fires.  Give it a couple minutes to warm up.  I'm mentioning this because the first few minutes of my first start up were super nerve wracking.  I was worried about those sounds and didn't get to enjoy the moment.

Good luck!
Tom
King of Prussia, PA

1981 Turbo Trans-Am
Build thread - http://transamcountry.com/community/index.php?topic=69897.0

Nexus

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Re: 1981 TA SE LS-swap
« Reply #98 on: March 22, 2020, 06:45:49 AM »
It all looks right at home in there...nice work

The gaps: I dread the day I start working on gaps...My OCD issues might have some problems moving past this but we shall see how bad they are when I get to that point.

As you mentioned, the gap looks a bit tight at the top which might cause issue later on down the road if the pins start to wear out. I would try your idea of making the adjustment holes a little longer as you said...seems logical in theory and if it doesn't work, there are plenty of spare hinges laying around to replace it and I'm sure you could get one for next to nothing. Heck I even have some (somewhere) you can have!!
Charlie

79 Esprit but like many, it will be a T/A clone
(19 years and counting but still have her)

sensei451

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Re: 1981 TA SE LS-swap
« Reply #99 on: March 23, 2020, 07:35:33 PM »
As you mentioned, the gap looks a bit tight at the top which might cause issue later on down the road if the pins start to wear out. I would try your idea of making the adjustment holes a little longer as you said...seems logical in theory and if it doesn't work, there are plenty of spare hinges laying around to replace it and I'm sure you could get one for next to nothing. Heck I even have some (somewhere) you can have!!

Agreed, it was just outside "acceptable" even for a 10-20 feet car like mine. But with the new aftermarket upper hinge I was finally able to get it good enough:



I tried various methods of grinding the bolt holes - the rotary tool worked great but the sand paper rubber barrel things are just not made for heavy duty so I mostly drilled the hinges in various angles.

This door situation has been laying over my motor project like a wet blanket. But is now done, happy joy!

Re: 1981 TA SE LS-swap
« Reply #99 on: March 23, 2020, 07:35:33 PM »

TATurbo

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Re: 1981 TA SE LS-swap
« Reply #100 on: March 23, 2020, 08:27:56 PM »
Nice! Looks much better. Now on to the fun stuff!
Tom
King of Prussia, PA

1981 Turbo Trans-Am
Build thread - http://transamcountry.com/community/index.php?topic=69897.0

ryeguy2006a

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Re: 1981 TA SE LS-swap
« Reply #101 on: March 24, 2020, 08:27:23 AM »
Looking good man! Let me know how you make out with the ECU.

When I built my LS1, it was completely apart and I did the same as Tom, but I pulled the fuel pump fuse. After I shimmed the oil pump I put some assembly lube in it, but otherwise was "dry". It took about 1 minute before I saw oil pressure which was longer than I thought. Doesn't sound like a long time, but when you crank it for 15-20 seconds it seems like an eternity...

Everything had assembly lube on it, but once I was making oil pressure, I confirmed the rockers were oil soaked by pulling the valve cover. Once I had oil pressure, I let her rip.

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

New project: 1968 Camaro LS6, T56, Speedtech, Hotchkis, DSE, Z51 13.4" front brakes, LS1 rear disks, etc.
http://transamcountry.com/community/index.php?topic=74591.0

sensei451

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Re: 1981 TA SE LS-swap
« Reply #102 on: March 24, 2020, 07:38:51 PM »
Thanks Ryan for offering to help me out with the ECU and flashing it for me. It's unbelievable how helpful people are in this community. I'll get back to this later, but I have something to let you know and I need feedback..

I realized I was close to cranking the motor tonight and make sure oil pressure is good - whatever that means. When I go to the doctor they tell me that I have low blood pressure and that's a good thing. Not sure how that works with LS engines.

Anyway, I was really nervous about this part so my wife came in to the garage with a glass of bourbon and after downing that and connecting my harbor freight oil pressure gauge I sent it.

Please see this link for a video: https://1drv.ms/v/s!Aier-MoqqwsXs8oYbiyOdLIJ6eztaA

As you can hear, I have the  "thumping" sound that I believe can be similar to what Tom talked about(?), not sure whether that somehting to worry about? Also, It's not cranking even, any thoughts? I am not used to hear LS motors cranking since they always starts up immediately  8)

As for oil pressure, I am just under the 30 psi mark while cranking, it's not that easy to read but somewhere between the larger line and 30 mark:



Tomorrow if nothing comes up I might be able to actually start it. Btw - wow it's strange to hear that "modern" crank in the 81!

« Last Edit: March 24, 2020, 07:40:28 PM by sensei451 »

roadking77

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Re: 1981 TA SE LS-swap
« Reply #103 on: March 25, 2020, 07:05:17 AM »
Good that youre getting close to a start and run in. You are so right about the sound though. I grew up in a Pontiac family. Mom always drove one, either a big wagon or a Grandville. When I started my 77 for the first time it had the ever familiar Pontiac sound that took me back to my childhood!
Finished!
77 T/A - I will Call this one DONE!
79 TATA 4sp-Next Project?
79 TATA - Lost to Fire!
86 Grand Prix - Sold
85 T/A - Sold
85 Fiero - Sold
82 Firebird - Sold
'38-CZ 250
'39-BSA Gold Star
'49-Triumph 350
'52-Ariel Red Hunter
'66-BSA Lightning
'01-HD RoadKing

ryeguy2006a

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Re: 1981 TA SE LS-swap
« Reply #104 on: March 25, 2020, 09:06:51 AM »
30 psi is pretty good considering while cranking it probably only hits 300ish rpms. Send it!

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

New project: 1968 Camaro LS6, T56, Speedtech, Hotchkis, DSE, Z51 13.4" front brakes, LS1 rear disks, etc.
http://transamcountry.com/community/index.php?topic=74591.0

TATurbo

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Re: 1981 TA SE LS-swap
« Reply #105 on: March 25, 2020, 08:09:46 PM »
I say if you got oil pressure showing let 'er rip!  Not sure why the turnover sounds a little uneven, but it doesn't sound 'bad' to me.  I'd bet it's related to how the starter gear pulls in and out like I showed in that slow mo video from my 'thumping' sound. Mine was even, but I have no idea how/why the starter behaves that way.  IE. Who knows what determines that frequency.  I wasted a few days tracking that down.  I think part of the perceived problem is that the BRP motor mounts are pretty solid.  They transfer a lot of vibration into the sub-frame.  Combine that with solid sub-frame bushings and you'll end up feeling and hearing noises the rubber would've isolated.

Sound's OK to me  lets get this thing fired up! Good luck!
Tom
King of Prussia, PA

1981 Turbo Trans-Am
Build thread - http://transamcountry.com/community/index.php?topic=69897.0

ryeguy2006a

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Re: 1981 TA SE LS-swap
« Reply #106 on: March 26, 2020, 09:20:50 AM »
It does sound uneven, but it's likely that you have one or two lifters that didn't pump up so it's not opening a valve. Once you get it running I'll be it clears right up.

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

New project: 1968 Camaro LS6, T56, Speedtech, Hotchkis, DSE, Z51 13.4" front brakes, LS1 rear disks, etc.
http://transamcountry.com/community/index.php?topic=74591.0

sensei451

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Re: 1981 TA SE LS-swap
« Reply #107 on: March 26, 2020, 05:11:12 PM »
It does sound uneven, but it's likely that you have one or two lifters that didn't pump up so it's not opening a valve. Once you get it running I'll be it clears right up.

100% correct, in fact I cranked it a bit more and the noise totally changed shape. Then I connected all the stuff and here's the video of first start-up:

https://1drv.ms/v/s!Aier-MoqqwsXs8s-1oQXhcZLb7sDaw

Oil pressure on idle:



Wife delivers a well needed bourbon after first startup:



Huge mile stone in the project, thanks to all who's been reading and commenting and special thanks to Tom and Ryan, couldn't have done it without you, no way. Ryan did the ECU and, well, it runs perfect.

 :cool:




Nexus

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Re: 1981 TA SE LS-swap
« Reply #108 on: March 26, 2020, 09:48:05 PM »
That put a smile on my face...great feeling eh!!!

awesomeness!!!

btw...door gaps are looking good!!!

Charlie

79 Esprit but like many, it will be a T/A clone
(19 years and counting but still have her)

sensei451

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Re: 1981 TA SE LS-swap
« Reply #109 on: March 27, 2020, 06:31:09 AM »
That put a smile on my face...great feeling eh!!!

awesomeness!!!

btw...door gaps are looking good!!!

Thanks! Still a smile on my face and wanting to get back to garage asap. That was great for motivation.

Anyone who's considering a swap, just do it.. With the help here its possible. I'm in IT with smooth, soft hands and no real prior experience.

Re: 1981 TA SE LS-swap
« Reply #109 on: March 27, 2020, 06:31:09 AM »

ryeguy2006a

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Re: 1981 TA SE LS-swap
« Reply #110 on: March 27, 2020, 08:12:33 AM »
Huge milestone. Congrats man!!

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

New project: 1968 Camaro LS6, T56, Speedtech, Hotchkis, DSE, Z51 13.4" front brakes, LS1 rear disks, etc.
http://transamcountry.com/community/index.php?topic=74591.0

dmont

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Re: 1981 TA SE LS-swap
« Reply #111 on: March 30, 2020, 10:37:13 AM »
I broke the ears off my Christmas Vacation moose glass as well.  Ended up using epoxy to put it back together.

When I eventually do an LS swap I'll be looking at your posts.  Very nice!

sensei451

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Re: 1981 TA SE LS-swap
« Reply #112 on: March 30, 2020, 06:38:48 PM »
I broke the ears off my Christmas Vacation moose glass as well.  Ended up using epoxy to put it back together.

When I eventually do an LS swap I'll be looking at your posts.  Very nice!

Thanks for checking in! Love those glasses and christmas as a whole, the best time of the year.

Since the start-up I've been enjoying the mile stone and just consolidating things that were rushed.

Fixed final "high current cable" system including power to alt, starter, battery and the "car". The location of the positive distribution block was decided by the pieces of cable that I could harvest from LS1 and OEM harnesses. But I like it!



amazon: https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B079WLX1FM/ref=ppx_yo_dt_b_asin_title_o01_s00?ie=UTF8&psc=1

I got coolant hoses from BRP hotrods, their "long" version that fits very nice with 81 radiator, minor trimming needed. I am using the "Tom-method" for the steam hose. Come to think of it, most things in this project was documented by Tom.



As seen in this picture I've started working on the intake. I am buying separate pieces but it takes forever from amazon since they are throttling items that are not deemed "important" these days. Understandable, so I have to get back to this as parts arrive.

My next mile stone is running the motor for about 10 minutes while obviously monitoring all the numbers and in my case doing a motul engine flush. This will require some form of exhaust to keep the neighborhood happy:



amazon: https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B002KLX126/ref=ppx_yo_dt_b_search_asin_title?ie=UTF8&psc=1

While this y-system fits great on passenger side, the driver side is way wrong, pointing way out under the frame rail and just doesn't fit. I tried heating it up but was unable to bend it even a millimeter. So I'll cut it into pieces and use a clamp or my new HF welder. We'll see.

For some comic relief , let me also show you my hacked fan shroud. It was already broken so without feeling bad about it, I used my dremel to cut out all but what I actually needed for hold-down and tank.. lol! 



I obviously want a new shiny cooler + matching fans later on, but trying to re-use as much as possible at this time.

A new 3-wire temp sensor + pig tail arrived. This allows computer and gauge temp, which 99+ LS1 does not have, only the 2-wire.



amazon: https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B005OVAUN2/ref=ppx_yo_dt_b_asin_title_o02_s00?ie=UTF8&psc=1
amazon: https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0141WZXBI/ref=ppx_yo_dt_b_asin_title_o02_s00?ie=UTF8&psc=1

Lastly, I took the girls out to clean our boat. Got it last summer and we're having a blast with it. Endless summer here in florida  8)








TATurbo

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Re: 1981 TA SE LS-swap
« Reply #113 on: March 30, 2020, 10:56:37 PM »
I was happy to get your message the other day about firing the car up.  Congrats on the progress! 
Everything looks really good!  In my LS1 Swap research over the past couple years I've seen some pretty dodgy swaps.  You'll be able to pop the hood proudly as is...That custom shroud set up isn't bad at all!

Looks like the fam. will be able to some enjoyment out of both the TA and the boat this summer!
Keep at it!  Looking forward to seeing it moving under its own power soon.
Tom
King of Prussia, PA

1981 Turbo Trans-Am
Build thread - http://transamcountry.com/community/index.php?topic=69897.0

sensei451

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Re: 1981 TA SE LS-swap
« Reply #114 on: March 31, 2020, 12:28:19 PM »
Thanks Tom!

Speaking of moving, I'm considering following your steps with drive shaft - i can't remember if you documented what kind of drive shaft you ordered? Alu? Width?

sensei451

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Re: 1981 TA SE LS-swap
« Reply #115 on: March 31, 2020, 07:04:09 PM »
I got some garage time tonight as well  8)

Finished the new 3-wire harness for coolant temp. I am 99% sure that this is the correct wiring:





Moving on to problems, any advice appreciated:

- The driver side exhaust pipe is preventing me from reaching mile stone #2 because it just wont bolt on and sticks way out under the frame rail. Heat combined with my incredible strength was not working. I am considering cutting it into pieces and then try to puzzle it back to fit.. or maybe tie it down somehow in my cherry picker and bend it by force. Any thoughts?



- Inner fender mounting. I took hundreds of pictures while dismantling but not on this. Is the inner fender bottom hole supposed to overlap the body? It doesn's seem to "want" to do that though it looks like its natural spot?



- Tach wire, is the left wire in this picture for the tach? I would like to confirm so I don't fry the computer or gauge  8-)



If someone recognizes the other wire, it'd be nice to know too.

Thanks guys, stay safe

TATurbo

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Re: 1981 TA SE LS-swap
« Reply #116 on: March 31, 2020, 10:45:14 PM »
Can't speak to the 3-wire temp wire but you'd be able to check it using a simple code scan tool/PID reader...Comparing the the Coolant Temp PID on the scanner with the reading on the gauge?  Wait....I just realized...That wasn't a question.  Nevermind.

Sorry to hear you can't get that left down/mid-pipe installed. As you know, I was able to get that pipe installed on my car temporarily.  It was right up tight,  hitting the frame-rail, but I got it in there.  Sorry no help there...Do you have any pics of how it looks hanging loose from the exhaust manifold? Or you can't even really get it up to the manifold flange? 

Here's something I -can- help with...
The drive shaft...I bought mine from "Denny's", mostly because they had the most comprehensive form with instructions on how to measure for the custom length and identify the type of U-joints.   The drive shaft (Propeller shaft/Prop shaft in GM Service Manual speak) from Denny's seems to be a quality piece, it fit perfectly, and seems to be properly balanced.   It took 23 days to receive, and cost 395.00 (including shipping according to my notes).   The key was finding how to measure it 'right'.
 Here's a link to Denny's  'How to measure' form for GM:
https://www.dennysdriveshaft.com/app/webroot/img/File/how_to_measure_diagrams/b.html

I would recommend Denny's to anyone looking for new driveshaft.  But, between you and me...I'm pretty sure a local shop could take that completed 'how to measure' form + your existing shaft, cut it and balance it for less money and with quicker turn-turnaround.

Also..regarding the tach...
 I don't know which of those wires is what, but I can tell you I ended up running a new wire from the tach signal post on the stock gauge to the tach signal converter box I'm using.  My original wire had some resistance in it which caused me problems, so I ran a new wire.
What type of gauge are you using? And, where are you getting the tach signal from? You're looking for the wire that went from the back of the tach to the distributor on the old motor?...The one that sent the signal to the tach...Right? 

Regarding the inner fender bolt..
That pic looking up from below at the front corner of the inner fender right? 
If so, I think that last hole in the inner fender gets a J-Nut thing.  The bolt for that position then goes through the outer fender into that J-Nut. IE, it's the last one in that row of bolts inside the outer fender lip holding the inner fender to the outer fender.  The hole with the J-Nut already in it in your pic is the 'first' bolt connects the outer fender to the radiator support.  Does that make sense?   I looked for a pic from my disassembly, but I don't have one either.  I will double-check the description above is correct next time I'm out with the car.

Hope this helps! 
Tom
King of Prussia, PA

1981 Turbo Trans-Am
Build thread - http://transamcountry.com/community/index.php?topic=69897.0

ryeguy2006a

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Re: 1981 TA SE LS-swap
« Reply #117 on: April 01, 2020, 06:28:27 AM »
Yeah, on the driveshaft I did what Tom's second suggestion was. I took it to a local shop who shortened my original. Well in my case it was actually an aluminum Coleman driveshaft I picked up at a swap meet for $40, and they shortened/balanced it for $75, plus $20 for new u-joints. All they wanted was me to measure the u-joint center to center length and they did the rest. Just make sure that the transmission yoke has the proper stick out before you measure.

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

New project: 1968 Camaro LS6, T56, Speedtech, Hotchkis, DSE, Z51 13.4" front brakes, LS1 rear disks, etc.
http://transamcountry.com/community/index.php?topic=74591.0

sensei451

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Re: 1981 TA SE LS-swap
« Reply #118 on: April 01, 2020, 07:00:56 AM »
Yeah, on the driveshaft I did what Tom's second suggestion was. I took it to a local shop who shortened my original. Well in my case it was actually an aluminum Coleman driveshaft I picked up at a swap meet for $40, and they shortened/balanced it for $75, plus $20 for new u-joints. All they wanted was me to measure the u-joint center to center length and they did the rest. Just make sure that the transmission yoke has the proper stick out before you measure.

Great advice, just called a local shop and I'll probably be going this route!

Can you explain that last piece, transmission yoke has the proper stick out?

Thanks!

roadking77

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Re: 1981 TA SE LS-swap
« Reply #119 on: April 01, 2020, 07:50:28 AM »
Glad youre closing in on the checkered flag, cant help with your questions though, Im not that mechanical. In regards to the exhaust, I doubt you could bend that successfully without putting a kink into the tube. Check to see if you have a local muffler shop, maybe you could figure the bend and throw them a 20 spot and have it bent for you. Another possibility depending on how its hitting is to maybe flatten out a spot with a bfh. May not be pretty but might work. I have learned that though they look pretty simple, doing an exhaust system is not for the faint of heart!
Finished!
77 T/A - I will Call this one DONE!
79 TATA 4sp-Next Project?
79 TATA - Lost to Fire!
86 Grand Prix - Sold
85 T/A - Sold
85 Fiero - Sold
82 Firebird - Sold
'38-CZ 250
'39-BSA Gold Star
'49-Triumph 350
'52-Ariel Red Hunter
'66-BSA Lightning
'01-HD RoadKing

Re: 1981 TA SE LS-swap
« Reply #119 on: April 01, 2020, 07:50:28 AM »
You can help support TAC!

 



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