Turbo V6 Camaro

dezldave961

2004 Turbo Regal
Nice. Wrapping can be a fun time, as long as the ends behave. Always reminds me of taping up my hockey sticks.

Edit: What's the plan for the block work? Forged slugs for piece of mind?
 

Jon Early

Active Member
Nice. Wrapping can be a fun time, as long as the ends behave. Always reminds me of taping up my hockey sticks.

Edit: What's the plan for the block work? Forged slugs for piece of mind?
I don't find it to be too hard, but it's easy to get impatient when your hands are getting cold, black, and full of fibers. I also went with a cheap roll from Summit so that I wouldn't feel bad for cutting off a piece bigger than I needed. It seems like everybody swears by DEI, but I had a hell of a time keeping it in one piece. Their ties are outrageously priced too. I got a pack of 100 knock off ties from Amazon for $10 and they were a lot easier to use. Let's hope this cheap wrap holds up.

I got an L32 for free. My buddy is a shop teacher and apparently has no use for it since most of his teaching is online. Score! It had a gnarly ridge and no cross hatch, so he reamed, honed and hot tanked it. I'm not sure what the plan is yet. Do you think the pistons are the weak link? I was thinking about initially doing ARP main studs, ZZP H-beams, full balance, line hone, new rings, new bearings, and done with stock pistons. Then if I started pushing 600whp I'd go get forged pistons, new rings, rebalance, and reassemble. You think I should just do it all now?
 

dezldave961

2004 Turbo Regal
Since you are in there, I would do pistons before all of that other window dressing. The first thing to happen when you lean out, even at 300hp, is piston edge's chip above the top ring. Ask me how I know, as do many many others from years passed..

If you are going to build a nice short block, then I would certainly check off everything from that list you mentioned, though.
 

Jon Early

Active Member
Since you are in there, I would do pistons before all of that other window dressing. The first thing to happen when you lean out, even at 300hp, is piston edge's chip above the top ring. Ask me how I know, as do many many others from years passed..

If you are going to build a nice short block, then I would certainly check off everything from that list you mentioned, though.
Gotcha. I thought that was just an issue with the L36 stuff. I guess I'll pony up the extra grand. Any need for the expensive coatings? I never quite understood that.
 

dezldave961

2004 Turbo Regal
Not sure on the coatings. That's probably something more universal you can shop around for. I'd read up on what people benefit from them, weigh costs between the couple brands available/options, and pull the trigger when you're ready.
 

Jon Early

Active Member
Not sure on the coatings. That's probably something more universal you can shop around for. I'd read up on what people benefit from them, weigh costs between the couple brands available/options, and pull the trigger when you're ready.
The only forged pistons I know about are the JEs at ZZP which sell for $1000, the Diamonds on Intense which also run $1000, or the same Diamonds uncoated for $780. Then there are three different compression ratios to choose from.
 

Jon Early

Active Member
I'm not really sure which way to go with any of that. lol I don't wanna sacrifice too much power before boost, so I don't think I'm interested in the 8.0:1 option.
 

dezldave961

2004 Turbo Regal
Ya, I think there's also a Wiseco or Mahle option, but might've faded out. Australian shops like Mace may have something else, too.

You'll want to stick with something in the 8-9:1 realm for turbo. The 9.5-10;1 are meant for s/c builds to not spin the blower as hard for similar cylinder pressure. Boost from the turbo is much more efficient and controlable/coolable than the others, which is why lower compression is favored.

I have a stock 8.5 L32 bottom in my turbo engine, and a stock 9.4 L26 in my s/c engine. Also have a friend's 8.0 Diamonds buried in storage somewhere, that may get reassembled for the turbo someday. Zoom is building a stroker high compression setup for M90, using the COME stuff from AUS. Tons of options.
 

Jon Early

Active Member
I brought some stuff home over the weekend. I scored a Yella Terra 1.9:1 roller tipped rocker set for $100! I look forward to tossing these on the L36 once I get some valve springs and L67 Head gaskets. She should really fly with the added lift and a couple extra psi of boost! I like to think that the lower resistance and oil restricted pushrods will help preserve the bottom end of this engine too.
View attachment
And of course, there's this big dilemma...
View attachment

View attachment
I don't know what to do with it. I've always wanted to build an engine, but I'm not sure why so many people have experienced failure after undoing the main bolts. Spending the coin wouldn't bother me if I could place a safe bet on the thing not spinning a bearing. That in conjunction with the strength and low cost of a stock L67 make me wonder if I'm jumping into a project I can't finish.

@dezldave961 Do you assemble your own engines? Any advice? I know for sure that I'll need an align hone, assembly balance, and decking. Is most of the magic in measuring and checking the machine shop's work? Do I need to provide them with a torque plate or anything like that? I'm a newbie.
 

dezldave961

2004 Turbo Regal
Junkyard stock blocks for life! I just shop for as low miles as I can find (my $500 '06 L26 had 1.6k... the $1,000 '06 L32 had 14k).

Not sure which things to advise on for building them. I've hesitated to go that route since stock blocks have gone single digits, as have built ones, but there's been success and failure on built bottoms depending on who you ask. I'd happily do one if I grenaded 2 in a row with similar failures, but that's a long shot.
 

Jon Early

Active Member
Junkyard stock blocks for life! I just shop for as low miles as I can find (my $500 '06 L26 had 1.6k... the $1,000 '06 L32 had 14k).

Not sure which things to advise on for building them. I've hesitated to go that route since stock blocks have gone single digits, as have built ones, but there's been success and failure on built bottoms depending on who you ask. I'd happily do one if I grenaded 2 in a row with similar failures, but that's a long shot.
I'm being pushed closer and closer toward the junkyard route all the time. Part of my trouble is bad luck. The L36 I opened from Facebook marketplace looked amazing inside and out. There was a nice crosshatch, no ridge, no carbon build-up or sludge, ect. It was an all around clean engine. When it got thrown in a Regal, it had a dead hole. Once it was pulled out again, I inspected it and the rings were so worn out that I could shove the fully dressed piston back in by hand without much hassle. That was strike one.

Strike two was this L32. Of course I would never know if it worked fine or not, but I need to be honest with myself. This is an ugly core. There's still some light pitting after the quick hone job my buddy did. It will need to be bored or honed professionally. The crank also needs a good polish at the minimum. It doesn't have any deep scores, but I would never throw it back in a as-is. What's kind of amazing is that the outside of the block was so covered in oil that it preserved the factory coating. The hot tank revealed what looks like a brand new block. The rust you see in the picture below is the worst of it.

I don't know. Man cave table is looking pretty probable at this point.
View attachment
 

Jon Early

Active Member
I wouldn't even mind going the Intense route, but Jon requires and unopened core and Dan Jost's failure makes me wonder that "race-ready" block is even any good.
 

dezldave961

2004 Turbo Regal
I have an Intense race block in storage, half torn-down (for science) thar my buddy let me keep in 2007 for demodding his MP112 Stg2 build from 2003. While I'm sure it'll work fine if I freshened it up, I'd consider emailing ZZP about having their guy assemble one if I was going from scratch. My old roommate in MN bought one of theirs from the 10sec Paxton s/c 'Digital Ken' build, and it has run great for 15yrs (o-ring'd deck and all).

Still, I'd just preserve that one (oil and bag, or whatever people do), and find a decent one at a junkyard nearby, or car-part.com yard listings.
 

Jon Early

Active Member
I have an Intense race block in storage, half torn-down (for science) thar my buddy let me keep in 2007 for demodding his MP112 Stg2 build from 2003. While I'm sure it'll work fine if I freshened it up, I'd consider emailing ZZP about having their guy assemble one if I was going from scratch. My old roommate in MN bought one of theirs from the 10sec Paxton s/c 'Digital Ken' build, and it has run great for 15yrs (o-ring'd deck and all).

Still, I'd just preserve that one (oil and bag, or whatever people do), and find a decent one at a junkyard nearby, or car-part.com yard listings.
That's awesome. I'd feel good about an Intense block from that era. I believe it was 2010 when Intense was sold to the new owner. That's where things get iffy.

Good to know about ZZP. At least Zoom is still with them so I can bet that something would go right! I've seen fairly recent videos of them assembling a stoker engine for a customer, so that's pretty cool. I'll probably still make this one a semi-permanent coffee table though. I just won't weld anything to it or do anything that can't be easily reversed. That way, if I ever decide to get serious, I'll have the perfect place to start. Besides, if I'm going to store it long term, my already cramped 2-car garage is not the place!
 

dezldave961

2004 Turbo Regal
Ya, that's Zoom's own engine they've been prepping over the past year or more. The builder is the same guy, I believe. Seemed like a good dude, and was practical about how non-special you can treat them regarding oil/break-in/etc. They barely did anything to Matt's junkyard engine beyond pistons for his mid-8sec GP, which has been going for years on what seems to be the same build. They're pretty open about those cars, so I'd believe that.
 

Jon Early

Active Member
I took the car on a trip to trade my stock wheels for a set of ZR! reps! I love the new look! What a steal. I even got to keep my tires which sold for $120 the next day. I don't know what the guy was thinking because the 275s although flat spotted are still in pretty decent shape. They were rounded out by the time I got home.
View attachment

I think 1" lowering springs would make this car look really good.
View attachment
Anyway, my luck is never that good...
I wasn't even beating on the car really hard when I heard a loud pop. The frankentrans died the same death as the original. The pictures you see above are how I'm going to be viewing the car for a while. It needs to sit and think about what it's done while I come up with the funds for something stronger. :(

This will probably sound blasphemous, but I'm considering selling the GN so that I can focus on this car a lot harder. I don't get nearly as much fun for my money out of the real GN as I do in my wannabe GN.
 

dezldave961

2004 Turbo Regal
I can see the logic in having less to lose by beating on the 3800 Fbody vs. maintaining a GN. That will be a junkyard-friendly build for the next decade, while GN's entered the "classic/vintage" realm regarding cost a while ago. That comes with the worry of preserving/restoring/etc., Which is something 3800 S2/3 cars aren't really going to become.
 

Jon Early

Active Member
I can see the logic in having less to lose by beating on the 3800 Fbody vs. maintaining a GN. That will be a junkyard-friendly build for the next decade, while GN's entered the "classic/vintage" realm regarding cost a while ago. That comes with the worry of preserving/restoring/etc., Which is something 3800 S2/3 cars aren't really going to become.
That's exactly my line of thinking. Not everyone understands the preference to have less valuable stuff, but to me it's better in a lot of ways. There will always be a place in my heart for the GNs, but their value and desirability have outgrown my hobby. The smiles per dollar and hour of labor just don't add up anymore. Having a car like that in my possession feels like a liability rather than a play toy.

I have a lot of time for my feelings to get the best of me though. The GN has been one of my dream cars since I was a little kid. It may be hard to let those dreams go. On the other hand, I let go of the GS dreams pretty easily with very little temptation to buy one. Time will tell. I can't justify trying to sell it without removing all the gaudy performance parts and installing stock stuff anyway. That will be a summer time effort.

I currently have an old Volvo in the garage getting some rust issues sorted. Once I finish that in a week or so, the Camaro will get a much needed bath and destruction. I never fully finished rebuilding the frame extensions of this car, and since I'll already have momentum from the Volvo project it might be wise to take care of that. I've only been tripping over my subframe connectors for two years now. :ROFLMAO:
View attachment
For someone who despises body work, I sure put myself in this situation a lot.
 
Top