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Old 10-20-2012, 07:35 PM   #1
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Started my L99 to LS3 conversion and new cam install today!...Photos and Videos


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So after nearly 3 years of owning my Camaro, I decided to start my valve train conversion and cam install in my garage. I am installing a new 3-bolt Comp cam 235/247 .617 .624 and a 3600 stall converter along with a trans cooler, trailing arms, oil catch can and possibly sway bars. This was suppose to be a winter project but I couldn't wait to start on it once I had all the parts on hand.

As others recommended, I decided to pull the heads out while the engine was still in the car. This not only made it easy to access the trans bolts but also helped me to see what was connected on the back side of the heads. I plan to install the heads back on the block while the engine is out on the stand, then drop that baby back in one piece.

I am thankful for my wife's full support and help. In the photo of her, she was removing the valley cover bolts for me while I was taking a break I will be updating this thread with new photos and info as i go along.

thanks for looking
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432 RWHP 391 RWTQ 12.37 1/4 mile on stock tires

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Old 10-20-2012, 08:22 PM   #2
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OHHHHHH nice bud! I hate the stuff in that last pic lol.

Good work, now you see all the room you gotta play with? Lol now you can get at the Trans bolts.
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Old 10-20-2012, 08:24 PM   #3
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Still coming off the top? If so that hood is gonna have to come off bud.
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Old 10-20-2012, 08:29 PM   #4
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Nice , I'll be watching for the updated photos
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Old 10-20-2012, 08:38 PM   #5
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OHHHHHH nice bud! I hate the stuff in that last pic lol.

Good work, now you see all the room you gotta play with? Lol now you can get at the Trans bolts.
Yes, I see what you meant about the room for the trans bolts. This will make it a ton easier to disconnect the trans. Would have been nice to take the heads off while the engine was out but it wasn't too bad.

Yes, still going to pull the block out from the top. The hood was suppose to come off first thing but it really wasn't in my way yet. I will take it off tomorrow.

The AFM lifters are pretty nasty! LOL. The ARP bolts would be really nice too but I will be using new stock bolts. This build is getting expensive if you know what I mean.
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Old 10-20-2012, 08:43 PM   #6
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Nice , I'll be watching for the updated photos
thanks man! I will def be adding new photos daily until done!
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Old 10-20-2012, 10:17 PM   #7
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Please please please make sure all of the bolt holes are DRY!!! If there is water in them then your block will CRACK, cause you can't compress water lol. Use lots of compressed air and brake cleaner to clean them up.

I know what you mean about expensive. The only reason I got them is because if I ever need to take the heads off whether its for bad luck or good reason lol I can take them off again and reuse the bolts.
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Old 10-20-2012, 10:26 PM   #8
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I agree 1000 percent with you on cleaning the holes out. I also plan to use a thread chaser to clean the threads and ensure my torque settings are accurate.
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Old 10-20-2012, 11:32 PM   #9
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Awesome, didn't know if you knew.
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Old 10-20-2012, 11:33 PM   #10
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Oh keep forgetting to ask. Who's tuning it?
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Old 10-21-2012, 08:31 AM   #11
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I also have the same problem, thank you guys.

What problem do you have sir?
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Awesome, didn't know if you knew.
I am no mechanic but believe me, I've been researching this for months now. I read tons of material including books on building and modifying LS engines. With that said I'm still learning and open to good suggestions.
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Old 10-21-2012, 08:33 AM   #12
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The tuning will be done by Fast Motorsports in Woodstock. They're 20 minutes from me.
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Old 10-21-2012, 08:11 PM   #13
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Ok I added 3 new photos from today. I finished disconnecting all the cables and accessories from the other head and block and upgraded several rockers with the trunion bearings. Tomorrow the engine gets pulled out and the fun begins.
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Old 10-21-2012, 08:18 PM   #14
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Ahh very nice! But you finished the hard part lol!

The fun stuff is adding all the cool parts to it!!

Will you be cleaning up the pistons and make then shiny again lol?
Cover up the bores if you haven't, sorry I know you know your stuff but just assuming you hadn't lol.
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Old 10-21-2012, 08:28 PM   #15
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I actually haven't covered them yet. I will def do it tho. More pics to come tomorrow night.
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Old 10-21-2012, 08:31 PM   #16
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But yeah I'd like to clean those pistons and valves. What do you suggest? Pistons are not coming out tho. Lol, just the surface.
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Old 10-21-2012, 09:18 PM   #17
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Looks like you are knocking it out are you doing the oil pump or timing chain?Just curious.
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Old 10-21-2012, 09:28 PM   #18
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Looks like you are knocking it out are you doing the oil pump or timing chain?Just curious.
Yes, i will be replacing the chain with a C5R just because I'm there although I don't think it's necessary. The pump, i'm still on the fence since the L99 already has a high volume pump, different than the LS3 and these pumps haven't failed but i haven't made a decision yet.

Regardless which pump I use though, I will be taking it apart during the install and measure for proper clearance around the crankshaft.
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Old 10-21-2012, 09:38 PM   #19
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You sir are much braver then I.
I can't even begin to think about tearing mine apart that far.... I thought It was hellish enough that I took the entire transmission out for the torque converter then put it back in.... I can only imagine my dumbass screwing up something simple with the engine.
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Old 10-21-2012, 09:55 PM   #20
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You sir are much braver then I.
I can't even begin to think about tearing mine apart that far.... I thought It was hellish enough that I took the entire transmission out for the torque converter then put it back in.... I can only imagine my dumbass screwing up something simple with the engine.
I'm not a professional mechanic but I have done a tremendous amount of research on this engine. This is my first engine tear down ever. I was inspired by robertway's DIY thread and said to myself that I can do it with patience and help of other when questions come up. You just need to be 100 percent confident of every move you make in the process. Being organized helps and documenting what you do. I've been taking lots of pics for reference if I need to go back and see how stuff was. I just posted very few on here.

At first I was going to do a VVT-3 cam but decided on a 3-bolt cam instead. I've read all about the oil pump installation pains and decided that the proper way to do it is to take the engine out and also replace the oil pan gasket. After all I need a stall converter.

Yep, the trans is another beast and for me that will not need to come out.
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Old 10-22-2012, 11:27 AM   #21
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That's what's up! Nice!

Kudos to you for not being afraid of this. Love seeing ANYBODY turn their own wrenches!

Good luck and can't wait to see how it comes out. Rawr!!
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Old 10-22-2012, 07:04 PM   #22
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That's what's up! Nice!

Kudos to you for not being afraid of this. Love seeing ANYBODY turn their own wrenches!

Good luck and can't wait to see how it comes out. Rawr!!
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Thanks Ivan! It's the only way you're gonna learn. Sure it can be costly if mistakes are made but you take your chances. I've been itching for a new challenge. Something I've never done before. I've been wanting to do something like this for a long time.

I will post few more pics in a bit. Progress has been made today but I need to go back to work tomorrow so the engine will need to wait. Uhgh! I know where my mind will be all day. Lol
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Old 10-22-2012, 07:52 PM   #23
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Built not bought! I have always like that.
This book by Chris Werner has been very insightful to me.
I believe all Camaro5 members should have a copy! Maybe they wouldn't be so intimidated by their car lol.

http://www.amazon.com/gp/aw/d/193249460X
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Old 10-22-2012, 08:05 PM   #24
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Ok folks, i have just added 8 more photos. As you can see the motor is out and ready for further tear down. I need to go back to work tomorrow so all work will resume whenever I get a chance...most likely during next weekend. Pulling the engine out of the car was a lot easier than I though although great care and thought was taken during the process especially separating the motor from the trans. Having the right angles on the engine and trans was very important here.
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Old 10-22-2012, 08:09 PM   #25
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But yeah I'd like to clean those pistons and valves. What do you suggest? Pistons are not coming out tho. Lol, just the surface.
On the pistons I bring them to TDC and use seafoam, mineral spirits and a scotch pad "lightly" making sure to wipe it all down towards the bottom of the piston so it falls out of the block.

For the heads since the valves are closed I've used brake cleaner and spray it so nothing gets to the valve springs or down towards the seals. I hope that makes sense.
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