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Thread: '89 LS Rebuild

  1. #1
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    '89 LS Rebuild

    Figured I'd make a project log thread as things are starting to come together finally!

    I'll update periodically with pictures in my Google Photos album here: https://photos.app.goo.gl/gGdRGz9kbrTastqr9

    You can also follow along on TD.com where I'll likely add more detail - https://www.turbododge.com/threads/8.../#post-4534734

    The engine was bored .020 and has wiseco pistons, freshened and balanced crank.

    New oil pump.
    New intermediate shaft bearings.
    New turbo (stock specs) from TU, with a brand new CHRA instead of refurbished.
    ARP head studs.

    We have a really good head shop here that went through my head. They helicoiled some buggered threads like the thermostat housing, a couple for the valve cover, etc.

    Head was shaved just a tad for flatness.
    Also had them put together the 3.3l spring and GM retainer mod for me, and did a beautiful job.

    3-angle valve job and new valve guides.

    New rockers from FWDP
    Fidanza cam sprocket from TU
    NOS cam found on eBay

    A555 tranny completely gone through by Ed Papp, along with his signature bronze shift pads and a chrome-moly plate added.

    These are just the big things, and I'm likely forgetting something ha.

    Hoping to have everything together soon!

  2. #2
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    Re: '89 LS Rebuild

    Spent the day cleaning out the engine bay. It's not "perfect", but this isn't going to be sold at Barrett-Jackson 😜

    Took about 4 hours. There was no white, nor was the steering rack silver. It was ALL black sludge built up over the last 32 years.

    Oh, I also found a lovely nest in my cowl. That was an adventure in and of itself.

    Images added to linked album.

  3. #3
    Rhymes with tortoise. Turbo Mopar Staff cordes's Avatar
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    Re: '89 LS Rebuild

    Very cool. I love my lancer Shelby and hope to get it running really well for this upcoming year. I need to change the clutch and do a few small things. Yours looks really nice.

  4. #4
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    Re: '89 LS Rebuild

    Thanks, Cordes!

    I've only had this one TD, I think I could only keep up with one at a time anyway lol. But I do love it, it's honestly a very comfortable car to drive, great for long trips, or just rippin' around the back roads here. She's been down for a few years as I hadn't made the time to fix'er up until recently. But I'm back in it, and can't wait to drive ol' Jango again!

  5. #5
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    Re: '89 LS Rebuild

    Made some more progress! Officially torqued all my pulleys, and installed the flywheel & clutch assembly! Tomorrow I'm hoping to mate the transaxle to the engine, and install everything into the engine bay.

    As always, images added to the Google album.

  6. #6
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    Re: '89 LS Rebuild

    Was able to mate the transaxle to the engine today and get everything properly torqued, but I ran out of time before a family dinner to install it into the car. Hoping that'll be next weekend now.

    Pictures: https://photos.app.goo.gl/gGdRGz9kbrTastqr9

  7. #7
    Rhymes with tortoise. Turbo Mopar Staff cordes's Avatar
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    Re: '89 LS Rebuild

    Looking good Iím enjoying the updates.

  8. #8
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    Re: '89 LS Rebuild

    Haven't been able to work on the project lately due to some life stuff, but made it out to the shop today and installed the engine! Still much to do, but glad that milestone is out of the way.

  9. #9
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    Re: '89 LS Rebuild

    On a side note, engine centering might be interesting. I'll be taking a closer look tomorrow, but it seems like I had to push the engine as far towards the driver side as possible, and also adjust the front mount core support all the way towards the passenger side to make things line up.. My "side" (pulley side) mount and transaxle mount are Anchor aftermarket units from RockAuto, so maybe that's part of it, but we'll see. Anyone who's had similar experience I'm all ears.

  10. #10
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    Re: '89 LS Rebuild

    Spent some more time at the shop today, was able to center the engine..I think. The Duracrap axle on my passenger side seems far stiffer than the other, and while my 120 pound --- can't seem to compress it nearly as much, the engine appears to be centered.

    To be clear, there isn't nearly enough adjustment to be able to make the two axles "even". I'm hoping that it works itself out after driving a bit, but I might have an axle replacement in my future.

    On the bright side, I was able to install the water pump, power steering pump, alternator, and all associated brackets/hardware today. Tomorrow I'm going to start focusing on the cooling system and electrical connectors. We're not that far off from firing this thing up, but there's still a decent amount of work ahead of me first.

    As always, images added to the album https://photos.app.goo.gl/gGdRGz9kbrTastqr9

  11. #11
    Super Moderator Turbo Mopar Staff 135sohc's Avatar
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    Re: '89 LS Rebuild

    Not saying it is not important but don't put too much stock into the mythical centered engine. The front and passenger side mounts are usually ok for allowing adjustment. In all the years of screwing with these cars I have never gotten a replacement transmission mount that actually mimics the OEM mount where it lets there be some free sliding side-side movement. Add in that the aftermarket axles are usually longer and nothing ever goes right. Eyeball it, get it close and ride on.
    1994 Shadow Sedan. 2.2 N/A, A568 389,000 miles. "the science experiment"
    1987 Shelby CSX #418. Long term rebuild and restore ?

  12. #12
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    Re: '89 LS Rebuild

    The tranny mount I got actually does allow it to slide pretty much the whole width of that mount support on the frame, but it's still terrible quality lol. I hate the general aftermarket engine mounts..

    I'm not too worried about the engine centering, it looks pretty good to me. But, I am wondering about the axle on my passenger side. It actually feels far stiffer than the other, but we'll see.

  13. #13
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    Re: '89 LS Rebuild

    Been a minute since updating. We're so close now! The wiring harness is all hooked up again, cooling system is back in, little odds and ends done. Pretty much all that's left now is connecting the distributor and intake system.

    I've installed a custom gauge pod containing water temp, oil pressure, and AF ratio gauges.

    Hoping to be breaking this thing in over the weekend 😁

    You can view the whole album and a video of the gauges working here: https://photos.app.goo.gl/gGdRGz9kbrTastqr9

  14. #14
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    Re: '89 LS Rebuild

    TODAY WAS THE DAY. Started the engine, everything seems fine, it fired right up without hesitation. Only problem is I'm pretty sure my thermostat housing is warped. I'm getting coolant leaking out of the top and bottom of the darn thing, and I put a fresh thermostat and gasket in. Gonna see about getting a replacement housing. So no break-in yet, unfortunately, but we're so close. I added a quick video of the first start-up to the Google album.

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