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Old 06-30-2012, 03:00 PM   #1
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ZL1 #140 starting mods

Updated Oct 17, 2012
---------------------
Here it is folks. The chart!...

Blue is stock, Red is modified. This is an amazing combo!

Read the whole thread to see what I did to it.
------------------------
End Oct 17, 2012 Update
------------------------
Over the last couple months, I've been compiling a plan to modify my ZL1 bumping the power by a healthy amount while still maintaining daily drive ability on pump gas. Initially I was going to do pulleys, CAI, and a better heat exchanger getting it done in time to drive the car from AZ to Camaro5 Fest in Aug. At this point, the project has grown substantially. I have my blower in transit to KD Innovations for porting and my new headers in transit to Swain Tech for their White Lightning exhaust coating while my ZL1 sits in my garage torn down. I probably won't make Camaro5 Fest but in this thread, I'll document my project for others that may be interested.

So here's what I've done this week:

First I took the ZL1 to Loud Pedal Motorsports in Tempe, AZ for a baseline run. Our weather here is very poor for making power. It was 97*F, 28.9 in-Hg, and 16% humidity. The density altitude was 5073 feet. Here is a pic of my ZL1 on the dyno and the uncorrected results for the baseline.



After the baseline dyno run, in my own garage at home, I started the teardown. With the way the engine sits under the cowl and the fact that I don't have the means to lower the engine out the bottom of the car, I ended up removing the wipers, plastic coverings from the cowl, and drilling holes in the metal bottom of the cowl to access the 6 rear bolts of the inter-cooler.




Next steps will be to install KD Innovations heat exchanger up front.

Last edited by 1st Gen Forever; 10-17-2012 at 09:45 PM.
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Old 06-30-2012, 03:08 PM   #2
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Ouch! I just can't see myself drilling into my new ZL1 (if I owned one), but hey, it's your car...do want you want!
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Old 06-30-2012, 03:28 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by typhoidfvr View Post
Ouch! I just can't see myself drilling into my new ZL1 (if I owned one), but hey, it's your car...do want you want!
It's all good. They won't be visible when it's back together and I'll plug them with removable plugs for future disassembly. Greatest risk is capturing the metal filings so they don't get where they shouldn't.
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Old 06-30-2012, 03:30 PM   #4
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Great first mod (cooling)!! Heat definitely takes a toll on a PD car.
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Old 06-30-2012, 04:49 PM   #5
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Old 06-30-2012, 05:15 PM   #6
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I wasn't aware all the bolts weren't accessible without dropping the engine. Thanks for taking the time to document your build. I'm sure I'll learn a lot more from your upcoming posts. Are you considering using a higher capacity IC pump? Any idea how much power porting the blower is worth?
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Old 06-30-2012, 05:23 PM   #7
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I wasn't aware all the bolts weren't accessible without dropping the engine. Thanks for taking the time to document your build. I'm sure I'll learn a lot more from your upcoming posts. Are you considering using a higher capacity IC pump? Any idea how much power porting the blower is worth?
Not sure on the power gains from the ported blower alone. There's a thread started by KD Innovations on results of their car and they're the ones doing my porting...
http://www.camaro5.com/forums/showthread.php?t=230648

I am considering a higher capacity IC pump. I actually have a whole list of parts that I originally broke into two phases only because of cost but now I'm considering doing it all at once to avoid having the car down twice. It's too much fun to drive to have it up on ramps in the garage!
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Old 06-30-2012, 09:02 PM   #8
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I think you're taking the best approach and doing most of your mods at one time. I say most because something else will hit the market as soon as youre almost finished. A lot of the parts I like are sold by different vendors and some have just come out. The pump will be a big bang for the buck especially where you live.
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Old 06-30-2012, 09:03 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by typhoidfvr View Post
Ouch! I just can't see myself drilling into my new ZL1 (if I owned one), but hey, it's your car...do want you want!
Its all good if the owner of the car does it this way,But steer clear from shops that cant figure it out edgewise.

BTW-You can get them out without dropping the cradle like GM suggest.
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Old 06-30-2012, 09:06 PM   #10
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Is there another way besides drilling holes or dropping the cradle?
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Old 06-30-2012, 09:36 PM   #11
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Quote:
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Is there another way besides drilling holes or dropping the cradle?
+1

I'd be curious to not only know what the 3rd way is to get them out but how are you going to properly torque the bolts with a torque wrench when going back together without the holes or dropping the cradle?

BTW- This is the type of plug I'm going to close the holes with:
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Old 07-01-2012, 07:52 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 1st Gen Forever View Post
+1

I'd be curious to not only know what the 3rd way is to get them out but how are you going to properly torque the bolts with a torque wrench when going back together without the holes or dropping the cradle?

BTW- This is the type of plug I'm going to close the holes with:

Secret set of tools

Only use on the back ones.

1/4 snap on swivel,1/4 deep craftsman socket,6" extension


Once again I said it was OK if an owner does this to his car.
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Old 07-01-2012, 08:40 AM   #13
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It is my understanding that on the Cadillac CTS-V, same blower different top, there is room in back to remove the rear bolts without droping sub frame or any other mods. Lucky Caddie owners.
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Old 07-01-2012, 03:39 PM   #14
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More work this weekend. I pulled the front fascia off to see how the new KD Innovations heat exchanger fits in there. It's not permanent yet as I'm pretty sure I'm going to do the cam and heads now rather than waiting so I'm going to have to pull the radiator and A/C to install the cam.

Stock HX before removal:


Difference between stock and KDi HX. 3/4" vs 4" thick:


KDi HX installed:




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Old 07-06-2012, 12:05 PM   #15
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Update:

Blower has arrived at KDi for porting. Headers on their way to Swain Tech. Currently KDi is working on custom cam grind for Mast medium bore LS3 heads.

Hoping to bring it all together over the next few weeks...
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Old 07-06-2012, 12:25 PM   #16
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HOLY HELL THAT THING IS BIG!!!

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Old 07-06-2012, 02:58 PM   #17
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are there any worries of overheating with the big heat exchanger in front of the radiator? My Buick GN runs considerably warmer on summer days with my FMIC intercooler in front despite the upgraded 4500 cfm electric fans and better radiator. Good luck with the build and I look forward to the results.
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Old 07-06-2012, 05:11 PM   #18
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Overheating is one of the first things I'm going to watch out for. Being in Arizona and doing this project in the summer should make for a good test environment. Luckily getting the nose off of the Camaro isn't too much of an ordeal so I can get back in there and change the HX or add fans, etc if need be. I'll post the results!

Installed Aeroforce gauges prior to the teardown and logged ambient, IAT, and IAT2 temps before. Will compare those to after...

Last edited by 1st Gen Forever; 07-07-2012 at 12:01 PM.
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Old 07-13-2012, 01:42 PM   #19
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Figured an update was in order in case anyone is actually following this.

This build has grown quite larger than I initially planned. Once I realized I wouldn't make Camaro5 Fest, I decided to go all the way with this thing. Exhaust has delayed me farther since Swaintech has a large number of exhaust jobs right now so I'm not looking at getting everything ready for the tune until Aug 25th. I am looking forward to seeing how the Swaintech coating affects temps though!

Mast should be shipping my heads today I hope. I'm going with their medium bore LS3 heads. Many folks have asked me why I didn't go with porting the stock heads. I went back and forth on that and finally decided to spend the little extra on the Mast so I have the stock to go back to if I want at some later date. The LSA heads are a little unique and porting usually removes the internal swirl wing.

The blower porting should be finished soon. KDi is porting it for a 102mm throttle body and they're also having a cam custom ground to the flow of the Mast heads. hoping to be going back together with everything but the exhaust by late July, early August.

And for those freaking out over me drilling holes in my cowl, the pic below shows my solution after the blower is re-installed. All of it will be hidden from view as well below the plastic cowl coverings at the base of the windshield under the rear of the hood.
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Old 07-13-2012, 02:00 PM   #20
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SWEET!!!

On those Masts (BTW - for which I'm STUPID-JEALOUS ), are you going with the standard valve layout (12-degree) or splayed valve? I've been wondering about the splayed valve, myself, and was just curious?
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Old 07-13-2012, 02:09 PM   #21
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12-degree. I don't think the splayed valve is available in a medium bore. I am however going with the standard 4-bolt. Not the 6-bolt. They just shipped their last 6-bolt until they get a new batch and I doubt I'll be building an RHS or LSX block for this car and pushing crazy boost so the 4-bolt should be fine.
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Old 07-13-2012, 02:51 PM   #22
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Oh... I've be trying to follow those splayed but just can't seem to find a resource. I'm thinking that I won't need the 6-bolt either, and a lot of that is because I know I won't need them power-wise and because of the stealth factor. I have emissions testing I have to worry about, so I need to look legal and pass the sniffer when my time comes.

I'm looking forward to your progress Thanks for sharing. Know that at least I'll be following
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Old 07-14-2012, 05:25 PM   #23
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....the mod's are like eating potato chips...you just can't have one..., I dig your project OP...can't wait to see the end result. It's gonna haul...!
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Old 07-14-2012, 05:31 PM   #24
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Keep those pics coming!
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Old 07-17-2012, 02:07 PM   #25
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Guess what showed up from Fed Ex today...

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