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So Part 2 of the Project LS-Z left us with lots of shinny, cool parts from Sikky, an empty engine bay and lots of ambition to get this thing installed!


To start I prepared the motor for its new home.  This included removing the stock oil pan, a new oil pick up, custom Sikky oil pan, and custom Sikky motor mounts to start.


The oil pan should function as nice as it looks with the internal baffle system.



Megan has got her hands dirty a few times in this project.  So we know if things break what we all can say… #damnitMegan!



Removed the emissions/EGR system which requires the use of a block off plate.  This one was sourced from Amazon.  More billet!



Motor prep complete! (For now)  A few things not pictured that were replaced on the motor as well were the water pump and a new thermostat.



At this point, everything has gone smoothly so far on this 108k mile motor/trans purchase.  That is until I inspected the transmission/clutch assembly.  First thing I notice when I separated the transmission from the motor was the incredible amount of black, gooey, gunk everywhere inside the bell housing.  I know a lot of you are saying, “Eric, the clutch dust and dirt is normal.  You don’t have to shine up the inside of the bell housing!”  We you’re right, but this was like a black mud in every crevice in there.  Wish I had taken a picture but I didn’t, sorry.  My first thought was leaking slave cylinder.  Those of you friends with me on Facebook may remember my Z06 clutch/trans escapades.  One of the issues on there was a leaking slave cylinder.  Anyone that knows T56 knows that this slave cylinder is the worst design ever.  So word of advice to anyone with a T56 transmission:  If you have the transmission out of the car replace your slave cylinder whether you think you need to or not.  These fail constantly.  For $75 or whatever they are, just do it.  You’ll thank me later.  The one in the car was in rough shape for sure.  I unbolted it from the transmission and out pours a few ounces of red transmission fluid…umm…what?  Well we found where this black muck was coming from.  Transmission fluid mixed with clutch dust.  Yum.

Now I need to figure out why this is happening.  Was it just the input shaft seal?  What else could be the problem?  First sign of something bad happening was this.  This is the part of the input shaft that slides into the bearing in the crank.  Not good.


The input shaft also had more than a fair amount of play to it side to side.  Some is normal, but this was beyond that.  So at this point, we know the pilot bearing in the crank shaft is shot.  Lets take it out and see how bad it is.  Please, please, please be something left so it didnt wreck the crank.


Old, removed pilot bearing on the left, new pilot bearing on the right.  Whew!  Crank is saved hallelujah! Hey look at that, I found the rest of the old bearing!


So without the support of the pilot bearing, the input shaft was allowed to wobble around.  This in turn, probably wore out the input shaft seal causing the leak.  Problem solved, kinda.  The input shaft end was now ruined and no longer usable unfortunately and required replacement.  I was scared at first, fearful I had to tear the entire transmission apart to get at this.  Luckily, Gm designed the transmission end plate to be removable from the input shaft end.  So I ordered a new input shaft and bearing from The GearBox, extremely nice people out of Michigan.  They even pressed the new bearing onto the input shaft for me for free before shipping it out.  It’s a shame cool parts like gears and moving parts are hidden away in cars.  They really do look cool.


Old input shaft next to new input shaft.  You can see the removable transmission end plate on the ground to the left.  See all that black gunk.  That is AFTER I spent an hour or so trying to clean it all up.



The input shaft is pretty simple to replace.  This whole switch out didn’t take more than 30 minutes.  The hardest part was trying to keep the bearing race from falling out of the cover while I lowered it down onto the transmission again.  Tolerances are very very tight so it had to be just right.



And there we have it.  A wobble free, leak free, input shaft assembly with a new pilot bearing.  Hopefully good for another 100k miles.  For now at stock power levels and while the swap is sorted out, the car got a new OEM/stock replacement flywheel and clutch.  Once the car gets more power, I have dreams of running a nice and small 7″ twin disc Quartermaster clutch.  But for now, OEM will do. (Clutch not pictured, forgot to take a snap shot of it)


Final few touches to the transmission now.  The Sikky kit was developed using the longer LS2 GTO offset shift lever inside the transmission.  If you use the F-body shift lever, the car will have a tendency to pop out of gear because the offset is slightly different.  So I had to source one of these little buggers.  Guess the price.  $100.  Ouch!  Changing that out was easy.  Got to use my favorite tool to knock the roll pin out, slide on new shift lever, hammer roll pin back in.  Done.



Last few items to bolt onto the transmission.  New slave cylinder, with the Sikky supplied master cylinder line, and a remote slave bleeder line.




To top it all off like the angel or star on top of the Christmas tree, the Sikky shifter.  The LS/T56 shifter combo sits about 6 inches further forward, so Sikky had to come up with this awesome looking shifter relocation set up.

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And there we have it.  An LS1 motor and T56 transmission ready for its new home!


To be continued….








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