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the Gran Damn

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  • the Gran Damn

    a few months ago, I picked up a 2003 Grand Am, that I affectionately call "Gran Damn"





    I got new wheels after hitting a pothole, I would like to widen the track width a little though, because they seem to be tucked under the car a bit much for my liking.




    if you were a betting man, you would say it has a 3400 and an automatic, when I bought it, it did, however, at this very moment, it has a vacant engine bay. the car blew a brake line under the battery tray, so I pulled the powertrain to facilitate fixing the brake lines, and install a 5 speed manual in place of the stock autotragic. shifter and clutch pedal were a bolt in affair fromva 4 cylinder 5 speed car





    since I had the engine out, I decided it would be smart to do LIM gaskets, and front/rear main seals. in doing so, I found 3 broken or stripped exhaust manifold studs, and a timing chain with a ton of slop... since I have no sense, I decided I should go ahead and put one of my 3500 top ends on the car, and put a basic exhaust on the car, consisting of later model manifolds, and larger pipe diameters. the manifold I wanted to use for the front is off of a 3900, and doesn't really fit the LX9 heads though... thankfully, I have a welder and not much sense... the rear manifold will be an LX9 part.
















    that loosely brings this thread up to speed on the car. I may be forgetting a few details, but hopefully we'll be hearing it roar to life here in the next 2-3 weeks.
    "I am not what you so glibly call to be a civilized man. I have broken with society for reasons which I alone am able to appreciate. I am therefore not subject to it's stupid laws, and I ask you to never allude to them in my presence again."

  • #2
    That car looks clean. Nice find! Also, interesting idea with the 3900 front manifold. I would have never thought of trying that + manual trans swaps are fun to read about. Are you going to keep the A/C? Please keep the updates coming!

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    • #3
      Originally posted by dbral View Post
      That car looks clean. Nice find! Also, interesting idea with the 3900 front manifold. I would have never thought of trying that + manual trans swaps are fun to read about. Are you going to keep the A/C? Please keep the updates coming!

      I'll keep the updates coming as they happen. I was actually planning on ordering a new AC compressor before installing the engine back into the car, being a black car, and living in the south, AC is pretty important to me.
      "I am not what you so glibly call to be a civilized man. I have broken with society for reasons which I alone am able to appreciate. I am therefore not subject to it's stupid laws, and I ask you to never allude to them in my presence again."

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      • #4
        I was actually planning on ordering a new AC compressor before installing the engine back into the car, being a black car, and living in the south, AC is pretty important to me.
        Agreed....from SC myself. A/C is a necessity.

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        • #5
          I've been working on getting this heap back together, and made some good progress. The engine is mostly reassembled, but I need to pull the oil pan to install a new pan gasket. the lifters seemed really gummy, I took them apart and cleaned them.



          I got the plasma back up and running, I cut the parts of the transmission mounts out of some thin sheetmetal I had in the shop. The CNC didn't seem to like the thin stuff, the arc would blow through and the machine would cut off after piercing. I found setting the pierce delay lover helped some, but I think I needed to reset the plasma cutter to think it's cutting perforated material.



          I bolted the trans to the engine, and saw that the exhaust manifold definitely wasn't going to work with that mount. since I have more invested in the manifold than I do the mount, I'll rework the mount.



          The middle and rear lower studs are way back behind the manifold, and really hard to get to. I hope I never need to take this apart in the car...



          I also found that either the steel moved, or I measured the rear mount wrong. I'll need to investigate this further.



          I might see if I can find a new heat shield for the manifold, this one is a little dinged up, but it's a nice touch that will keep the heat more well contained. I need to find one for the rear manifold still.



          I pulled the front subframe out of the car, I found that the steering rack was in kinda poor shape, and the hoses have seen better days. it's all accessible now, so I'm going to put it back together with new parts. since I'll need an alignment either way, I'll throw new outer tierods in too.
          "I am not what you so glibly call to be a civilized man. I have broken with society for reasons which I alone am able to appreciate. I am therefore not subject to it's stupid laws, and I ask you to never allude to them in my presence again."

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          • #6
            Any issues with the thermostat housing setup and these manifolds? Good thing you can cut out material and test fit easy enough
            Ben
            60DegreeV6.com
            WOT-Tech.com

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            • #7
              Originally posted by SappySE107 View Post
              Any issues with the thermostat housing setup and these manifolds? Good thing you can cut out material and test fit easy enough
              it doesn't look like I'll have any issues yet, I do want to put the other heat shield on before I say it's not a problem though. the crossover pipe is pretty close to the transmission fill though.





              earlier today I picked up a heat shield for the rear manifold, and a flange for the rear collector. I also dropped an order for a LX5 TB adapter, and modified a throttle bracket. I have a few little things I need to get from the junkyard, and I need to work on some kind of exhaust before I try and put it back in the car.

              "I am not what you so glibly call to be a civilized man. I have broken with society for reasons which I alone am able to appreciate. I am therefore not subject to it's stupid laws, and I ask you to never allude to them in my presence again."

              Comment


              • #8
                Looks good! Very interested to see how the exhaust works out for you.
                1999 Olds Alero 2.4 to 3500 swap (running). totaled by a honda
                1992 lumina 4 door 3500 3spd auto 15.020 @93.5 mph
                1984 Cavalier type 10 hatch 3100 5spd!!!
                14.96@91.47 in the 1/4
                9.63@74.36 in the 1/8th
                14.30 on slicks! scrapped due to rust!

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by 1QUICKHATCH View Post
                  Looks good! Very interested to see how the exhaust works out for you.
                  we'll see soon enough... I ordered a bunch of mandrel bends earlier.
                  "I am not what you so glibly call to be a civilized man. I have broken with society for reasons which I alone am able to appreciate. I am therefore not subject to it's stupid laws, and I ask you to never allude to them in my presence again."

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    I decided the swap mounts were getting a bit complicated the way I was trying to make them, so I started over, this will make them lighter, but they will use non-OEM bushings, which I'm not wild about.



                    I remeasured everything and my boltholes match now





                    I also got a new, not beat up heat shield for the front manifold, and crossover. The valve covers were temp removed for paint.



                    seeing the intake and valve covers painted and pretty makes me almost want to take the LIM off and paint it... I might just fog the ends that are partially visible. I'll paint the transmission when I pull it off to install the clutch and flywheel.

                    My engine mount was in pretty sad shape, part of it was broken in half, so I decided to draw up a replacement. there will be DOM sleeves welded into the holes, and then a saddle over the top that bolt to the engine. I'm not going to draw it out any further until I have the poly inserts for the sleeves though, I'd hate to put more work in and find out the sleeves don't match my measurements.

                    "I am not what you so glibly call to be a civilized man. I have broken with society for reasons which I alone am able to appreciate. I am therefore not subject to it's stupid laws, and I ask you to never allude to them in my presence again."

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      not mush to update, I've been working my tail off filling in the pool, and fixing a blown headgasket on a 2.2 S10 for my brother. I did mock up the powertrain on the cradle, I need to make one more mount to go under the tail end of the transmission, but the other two mounts appear to be spot on. I did have to make custom sleeves for the poly bushings, as they were designed for a 9/16" bolt, and the transmission mounts use 12 mm bolts. if I get to the point of production, I'll need to find a better solution.



                      Hopefully the S10 head will be back from the machine shop tomorrow or Tuesday, once I have the head back, I should be able to button up the S10 with a quickness. and then I can spend more time on this garbage.
                      "I am not what you so glibly call to be a civilized man. I have broken with society for reasons which I alone am able to appreciate. I am therefore not subject to it's stupid laws, and I ask you to never allude to them in my presence again."

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        That mount looks almost like the one I was selling for a bit for the grand am
                        Ben
                        60DegreeV6.com
                        WOT-Tech.com

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                        • #13
                          Definitely a cool build that I will keep an eye on!
                          -Brad-
                          89 Mustang : Future 60V6 Power
                          sigpic
                          Follow the build -> http://www.3x00swap.com/index.php?page=mustang-blog

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