It's a four drink story on how I got to this point, but will save that for another time. I keep telling my wife these aren't modifications, these are personalizations. If they were modifications: we would be eating mac and cheese by the case. This is my daily driver - so will be easing into the bigger upgrades.
All of the DIYs came from this site and the details were a huge help in making things come come together - many thanks to those who led the way, saving me countless hours of reading schematics, providing what worked and most of all taking time to document it and share with the rest of us.
Will be adding pics and commentary shortly
Front license plate relocation
Window tint - legal on all windows
Injen Long Tube CAI (Morano Racing)
LED strip lighting in the trunk (Oznium)
LED strip lighting in the front footwells (Oznium)
LED SMD lighting in the glove box (Oznium)
LED cup holder lighting with aluminum trim plate
Gauge cluster installed (GMPartsHouse.com)
LED interior and trunk light (AAC/Oracle)
Engine cover / fuse box cover - Elite Hydrographics
Interior door handle lighting
Interior door pocket lighting
Painted Brake Calipers
Hushmat Sound Insulation
DRL Harness (Fieldgoal)
Deluxe black leather seats with Yellow stitching (Leatherseats.com)
GTO Reservoir conversion
MTI Stainless Steel Brake Lines with Motul Dot4 fluid
P13w Plasma DRLs (AAC)
RX Catch Can w/ breather (RX Performance)
GPS Dash mount
RX Ported TB - (RX Performance)
Black Ice-olator 3/8" - (RX Performance)
ARK DT-S Exhaust (ARK)
ARH Headers (American Racing Headers)
Trifecta Tune (BNR Racing)
Adams Porter Cable Polisher Kit, Glaze, Wax and a butt load of Microfiber towels.
Clutch Master Cylinder (Ideal Garage)
AEM Wideband gauge / AEM Boost Gauge
AEM Dual gauge pillar pod
MACE Engineering Cams
RX Performance Heads
RX Ported Intake Manifold
BMR Cradle Bushings, Toe / Tie Rod bushings, Control Arms Bushings / Sways Bars
Heritage Grille and Texas Bowties by Lupe at River City Creations
GM GFX with custom exhaust plates
Chakita has moved on to a new owner and her saga of Cams and Heads for the LLT is complete.
Chakita - June 2011 to Feb 2014.
Front license plate bracket relocated to lower grille. Used 3" toggle bolts and heat shrink tubing to cover the shank of the bolt. Used 3/16" clear aquarium tubing in 1" lengths and cut the tubing to fit over the edge of the plastic bracket to keep the bracket from scuffing the paint.
Window tint: Done by "The Tint Dude" - really, that's what his card says - This guy does quality work, uses top of the line materials and very reasonable. My son arranged the meet and work was performed at Lugnuts Automotive in Austin.
Injen Install: Chakita is the first car I've owned which I intended from day 1 to do some tweaking. Longest part of the install was getting the MAF connection loose: LOL, after 30 minutes of reading the instructions and trying to get it loose I figured out the instructions were missing a critical phrase of "pull the tab away from the connector to unlock, then depress to remove... " Oh well, had a nice chat with the local constabulary about midnight as he was making his rounds. In this photo you can see the engine cover I attempted to paint for the first time. Turned out ok, but it "just wasn't right".
MRT 2.0 install: This is the pic of the axle back kit I pilfered from the Jannetty site. My son, Patrick took the car to work and had his lead wrench Chris put the kit on. Total time on the rack was about 40 minutes and I missed it - something about work getting in the way. Next time the car is at the shop will get a couple of pics.
LED Lighting: Did a lot of reading and ended up on the Oznium site and ordered 10" Piranha light bars, wiring, LEDs and SMD LEDs. Spent a day looking for the simplest items like T-Taps in the correct gauge, a door jamb switch and the worst item to find was 3M Adhesion Promoter. Ended ordering enough of all the parts to start a small automotive wiring shop - think I have enough extra consumables to go into business. The Piranha bars have a plastic "C" clip to hold the bar and mount to a flat spot. You can barely see the clips in the pics of the bars. 3M double sided tape with 3M adhesion promoter and your in business.
I fused connections from a constant 12v source over the glove box ) 12 ga red wire in the bundle of 20 ga wires) and the interior light connection (Gray wire in the first plug of three I think over the accelerator) Ran each of the power lines to a SPDT switch (on/off/on) to control the lighting. Mounted the switch under the dash beneath the fuse panel in a flat area. Tip: Unibit in a 18v DeWalt is EXTREMELY handy for this. I used these power sources for the footwell LED bars.
Cup holders and glove box we done using the flat Surface Mount LEDs from Oznium. Hardest part was finding the brushed aluminum plate for the cupholders - finally found it on eBay. Used a door jamb switch for a 94 Chevy PU for the glove box switch. Again, I gained the knowledge and part numbers from Members previous work on the site.
Trunk lighting uses 3 Piranha bars - one left, center and right to provide a lot of light. The three bars produce about twice the amount of light of the stock trunk LED - but the light is where you need it. Removed the stock trunk, ran the LED bars and used T-Taps to tie into the power and ground for the stock trunk light.
I did all of the wiring and ran the wires inside 1/4" flexible conduit, soldered the connections and used bullet connectors to make disconnects in case I need to remove them later.
Gauge Cluster: Ordered the kit from GMPartshouse - took about 30 minutes to install.
If interested, below are the links I used fir reference:
Cup holder lighting:
Glove Box lighting
Great start neighbor,
I would love to see this car in person some day... Maybe hook up at Cabelas one Saturday night...
Cant wait to see more as it progresses...
Thanks. If I can get the pic to cooperate and upload...
Maybe so, Just found out about the CenTex c5 Coalition meet in Harker Heights on Friday night. WIll be at the gathering at the Dell Diamond on the 20th.
So far, everything is looking really nice! btw she is a cutie pie ^
My granddaughter - 16 months old and already decided what she wants to drive...
How can I say no... :)
After the 3rd attempt at painting the engine cover and I still didn't line the results. I was checking out the site and ran across the thread from Tiny Adams and his engine cover: thought I would be better off to have it done by someone and quit wasting my time. PM'd Spencer at Elite Hydro. I don't know how many emails, text messages and phone calls between 8am and 2am this was the end result. Damn nice work - thanks Spencer, drinks are on me.
Originally this started out as an attempt to get them done before the Texas Wide Meet. I shipped the covers 1st or 2nd of August and between USPS taking 5 days to Elite, the 6 coats of adhesion promoter, 9 coats of yellow, 6 coats of black and multiple coats of clear I had tried to apply, needless to say it "took a little longer" than we expected.
In the first pic you can see the engine and fuse box covers I tried to do. The remaining pics are of Spencer's work. Still trying to get some better pics but lighting wasn't cooperating.
This is from the Texas C5 meet a couple of weeks ago. The photographer does a lot of work for the City of San Antonio in providing scenes of the city for promotional ads. If you're in the SA area, get in touch with BlackenedSS from the SA C5 Chapter and make some arrangements.
I'm clearing some wall space for some of these. The last pic is the group shot, Chakita is in the lower left.
Holy Crap!!! the covers are in!!! Took these with the iPhone, will get some better shots with the "real" camera in the next day or so.
The pics do not do justice to the work - Thanks Spencer!!
Completed the door handle, door pocket and door pull lighting this weekend. Thanks to 2SSRS for some last minute power source information.
Below are a couple of pics of the back side of the door panel showing the location and wiring of the three areas and the custom harness I made.
5mm LED with prewired resistor (Oznium)
LED Holder from Radio Shack (PN 276-080)
18ga hook up wire
Heat shrink tubing 1/8" dia. - cut into strips about 1" long
soldering paste, 3/32" solder, soldering iron, 1/8" and 7/16" drill bit, files, razor blade, drill
This basically the same as any door LED thread on the forum, there are several which are well written. I think Overhaulingengines did a write up on how to install the LED for the door handle. The attached pics compliment these DIYs by showing how easy it is to create your own custom harnesses.
The disclaimer - I'm not an EE or a Electronics tech, I watched my dad years ago who was involved in amateur radio. For the price of a Craftsman ratchet you can get the tools needed to do your own. Practice a few times on making these types of connections and in no time you'll look like you have been doing this for years for
Keepings things simple, once I had the passenger door panel removed I used a small piece of plywood on saw horses as a work surface. I covered the plywood with a couple of towels as to not scratch the door panel.
To lay out the new harness, looking at the back of the passenger door panel I drilled pilot holes for one light in the door pull, two holes for the door pocket and one on the top of the door handle.
I inserted the LED holders into each one of the corresponding holes. I put a little Elmers Glue around the base of each LED and inserted into the holder.
Starting with the door pull LED since it was furthest from the power source - the power window switch. I soldered a yellow wire to the red wire on the LED and soldered a black wire to the to the black wire on the LED. I used shrink wrap on each connection. I cut the newly attached yellow and black wires to about 8" in length. I did the same for the two LEDs in the door pocket.
At this point you have three yellow and three black wires: twist the three yellow wires together. Think of you left hand: the index, birdie and ring finger and with you right hand twist the three in a clockwise direction. Repeat for the black wires. Take a new piece of yellow wire: strip the end and twist the smaller wires together clockwise to "make" a larger wire.
You bow have two wires: one bundle of three yellow wires on your left hand. tane the single yellow wire in your right hand and using the exposed copper wire to form an X, twist the four wires together. If done correctly, it will look like the three wires come together to form one wire. There shouldn't be any loose wires sticking out or a big knot. Solder the connection and put heat shrink over the connection. Repeat for the black wires. Use the same process above to add the door handle light.
Once completed, use a battery charger as a power source to test the LEDs and your connections.
The last suggestion: Make a diagram for future reference. Include things like what gauge wire, LED color, part numbers and where you connected to your power source. This will prove handy six months from now whan you want to add something new in the door panel.
The 6th pic is a wire clip. I picked these up at the local electronics store: bag of 50 is a couple of bucks, but is makes the install very clean and keeps tiy wires from rattling in the door.
Finally got a pic of the finished job - door pull (1 LED), door handle (1 LED) and the door pocket (2 LEDs). Pleased with the amount of light in the three areas: someday might get around to shaping the LEDs to change the shape of the light pattern in the door pull LED. Hmm, another project on the list.
Waiting to see the finished door pictures!
After the short road trip (500 round trip) a couple of weeks ago, the wife was saying (repeatedly and loudly) she didn't like the drone from the exhaust: which meant change the exhaust or try some of the sound deadening materials.
After doing a lot of reading, decided to go with Hushmat. Found a local stereo shop which carried an assortment and went to check it out. About 3 minutes to check out and I was headed home with a box - 39 sqft.
Started in the trunk area are realized 39 sq ft was a bit much for the trunk area - so I set aside 5 sheets (about10 sq ft) for under the rear seat - will tackle this when I do the leather seats on a few weeks.
The sheets were about 1' x 2' and were easy to fit and cut. In the first pic, I started with a full sheet on the driver side in the trunk and cut out for the option tag and rubber plug. The did a full sheet on the right side, then a full sheet between the battery well and rear seat, then started covering the remaining trunk floor and areas until they were almost solid black. Only trouble spot was the wheel wells, but some trimming and fitting to get it close and then put it down. You'll notice I did under the rear speaker deck - not solid, but enough to get probably 50 to 60% coverage.
Did learn a few tricks for those attempting to do this:
- do the large areas first will full sheets, then do the smaller areas with half and quarter sheets
- finish the area by using all of the "scrap" to fill in the voids.
- do one sheet at a time and use a roller to ensure the material is firmly attached. For curved areas use the handle of the roller to get into the small areas. You can press the mat by hand, but this gets old rather quickly. Once you think you have the sheet firmly attached, move on to the next sheet.
- the primary thing to avoid is "bridging" - areas where the mat has an air bubble or isn't firmly pressed down. Patience and persistence is key. If you do get an air bubble or wrinkle, use a razor knife to make a small slit and work out the air or wrinkle.
- Total time was 3 1/2 to 4 hours
Overall, very pleased with the results - the Husmat definitely reduced the drone and in 6th at about 65mph the car has a throaty exhaust note but the hollow sound of the drone is gone . Definitely worth the time and money if you have changed exhaust.
Finally posted pics of the lights - post #17
I Installed the DRL harness from Feildgoal, total time was ~20 minutes: went exactly like the instructions and worked as described. Will be upgrading the DRL lights to Hella Projector lights at some point in the future.
Took a pic of the painted calipers i did a few weeks ago and forgot to take a pic of the finished DRL install - oh well, will get a couple when the Hellas go in.
Bought the leather seat covers from Leatherseat.com on the group buy. I did the rear seat bottom and started the back and ran into the issue of not enough hands and new seat foam that didn't want to compress.
Finally found a shop in Austin that would do the front seats - J&H Auto Trim - they are appointment only. They did both front seats and the rear seat back for well under 3 bills. I was in at 9 and picked up at 4. Weather has been in the 40s and 50s last few weeks, but the wrinkles will come out when the temp rises.
A few pics of the seats.
I did the dye stitching mod this afternoon and used the Elmer's acrylic paint pen. Did the steering wheel, Shift knob and boot. On to the door and dash panels.
There is no WAY!!
Nice build and I simply love the yellow touches to the car. It simply makes it your creation...Keep up the good work and let the pix continue...:chevy:
Great name, look forward to you posting more photos of your ride!~
RX Catch Can
Ordered the polished can and filter. Easy install on the can but going to need to think about the hose routing to get the engine cover to sit properly. here are a couple of pics of the initial install.
Once this is done will get the pics of the BMR Strut Brace going in, Stainless brake lines and the GTO clutch reservoir. GPS mounts should be in next week - so finally getting a few things completed
Baseline Dyno run from today.
Afterwards, installed ARH Headers, ARK Exhaust, VMax TB, RX Black ICE-olator and Trifecta tune.
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