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TrailblazerSS
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140 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
Starting out - I bought the truck completely stock in 2010 and quickly jumped into bolt-ons:

2008 AWD, stock motor, stock trans w/ transgo HD2 kit, 4" FWI, ported stock TB, LT1 efans, kooks LTs, catted Y, corsa sport, PCM of NC mailbox tune

4995lb race weight including me, Ran consistent 13.7's @ 100mph


I started a refresher/ Heads cam build about a year ago that snow balled a bit and kept a build log on a local car forum. I hit a bunch of setbacks along the way that hopefully some members can benefit or at least get a laugh at my expense. So here we go;

Engine:
Stock internal LS2
Custom Cam 231/234 .617/.614 113 LSA
TEA stg 2 LS6 heads, 62cc, .051" MLS gaskets, 11.5:1
Morel 5206 linkbar lifters, 7.325" pushrods
PRC .650 springs, 1.7 yella terras
Manton 11/32 pushrods
High volume oil pump
ARP all the things
FAST LSXRT, NW 102
EWP, 160 tstat
PCM of NC oil pickup

4L70E Build:
Transgo HD2 shift kit
Check/Replace the separator plate
Yank Pro Truck 10.5" 3200 stall
Fenderwell trans cooler

Engine Bay:
Relocate washer tank, coolant overflow, A/C accumulator and lines, silicone coolant tubing throughout, wrap headers
Extend wiring harnesses

Week 1; with the help of beer and friends the tear down and motor removal happened

PCM oil pickup relocation was more involved than expected...had to cutout stock baffles, drill and tap holes in the pan, and cut the windage to fit the pickup, then bend the crap out of it to get proper pan clearance per the instructions.



With everything out I noticed my carrier had seen better days. I guess I got lucky with the tear down timing and wild I never noticed any bad noise coming from the front drivetrain



Intermediate shaft had a hairline of splines left



Cleaned up the cylinders and got all the heads on to measure PR length



 

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TrailblazerSS
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140 Posts
Discussion Starter #3
Some progress on the motor, painted accessory brackets, and modded the factory battery stand for a billet optima mount. The engine bay Por15 primer is showing a lot of brush strokes, so will need to see how smooth it cures with the por15 black and possibly do a top coat and level.

 

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TrailblazerSS
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140 Posts
Discussion Starter #4
Bit of progress...Got the damn steering rack out after a trip to harbor freight. Pushrods came and got them installed along with the rockers and ran taps through the block, heads, and accessory brackets to clean threads



Gave in and ordered a FAST brain bug intake and TB, fittings to clean up the steam port lines, fittings to reroute the steering rack, and 0/1 cables to redo all wiring later on. Also broke down and ordered new upper a arms.

Por15 top coat did not go well. Apparently Por15 does not like the primer MADE BY Por15 and runs away from it leaving drips, eyes, and drying discolored. I am disappoint. Paint prep round 2, pulled fenders, stock a arms, and masked the things.



The cowl hood and splitter arrived from CA, looks very nice but havent fitted it yet. Waiting on responses for LC32 and Simple-Engineering cradle parts to replace the stamped stock crap, but probably going in that direction.

Next up is to try painting the engine bay again and then backstroke through trans fluid.
 

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TrailblazerSS
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140 Posts
Discussion Starter #5 (Edited)
Body prep is still being a pain in the ass. Looks like the Por15 primer is the issue, so even when spray primer or paint is applied over it the cracking and running happens. I think the solvents in top coat paint or primer are attacking the original primer.

Got the brain bug intake, and per the usual FAST install, nothing fits and holes need drilled in it. Most of the steam port fittings do not clear the intake and the aftermarket fuel rails are too thick and contact molding on the intake. Aside from nothing working, it looks nice...

 

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06 Trailblazer SS
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161 Posts
you really should just pull the trans man, much easier to do everything and they go with the motor with plenty of room. and no doing converter bolts on your head!
 

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TrailblazerSS
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140 Posts
Discussion Starter #7
I got lucky enough to snag a pair of fancy motor mounts from the trailer park guy. Tie rod ends were back ordered from summit (figures), so had to cancel that and re-order elsewhere.

Fast finally came through and sent me everything needed to adapt the fuel rails to the LSXRT. Waiting on fittings for the steam ports that will fit under the corners of the intake since the original kit I ordered contacts them. The stock TBSS steam ports were routed into the heater lines rather than the radiator like every other LSX car in existence. Im not a fan and trying to decide if I should drill and tap the radiator for a fitting, or drill and tap into the mezeire outlet water neck. After all that, final fitment of intake, routing coolant and pcv lines, then remove and the lift plate goes back on.

Painted most of the front grille trims and engine pieces in a satin black with plastic automotive paint. They look great now, but who knows how it will hold up to rock hits.

Managed to wrap one header and Im dreading doing the second. This took about 2 hours, 50ft of wrap, and still came up about 3ft short of finishing the collector. Will be top coating with high heat silicone wrap sealer

 

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Discussion Starter #8
After silicone paint -



Started tearing into the valve body. After pulling it out, I guess I did get smart the first time around and installed the thicker HD separator plate. Ive never seen a plate come out after 5years of shift kit, so this was interesting. Some of the check balls were definitely flaring out some of the holes, and seems like the gasket was torn in some areas from poor alignment with the plate and high pressure flow passing through...I have a new HD plate to go in, and plan to bump pressure a little more. Same 2 shims in the 2nd Accum, but drilled larger plate holes for flow







 

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Discussion Starter #9
Trans is finally done and ready to be filled. Tie rod ends and steam port fittings arrived, so tomorrow the rack will go in and final fitment on the intake.

Ran into some issues with the new steam port fittings again with the Fast intake. Looks like I need to cut a chunk out of the alternator and PS bracket.



I drilled a hole in the upper water neck for the steam port return and that will get plumbed with braided 4an fittings. I think Im going to tap into the top of the intake with a 6an fitting for the clean side run to the catch can.

Got the tie rods swapped out for new on the PS rack and put 2 coats of Por15 on it. New upper arms are installed. Prothane poly bushings came in for the lower a arms, so need to get those off the truck to press out the old rubbers.

Wrapped the other header, which did go quicker/easier after getting the hang of it with the first. Need to spray this one whenever humidity dies down.



 

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Discussion Starter #12
performed haxors on the accessory bracket to route the steam port under and around the Fast intake, and tightened down all fittings. Finally steam ports look good for intake clearance. I drilled and tapped the outlet water neck from the pump to dump the steam ports instead of routing into the heater lines like stock.







I drilled and tapped the top port on the intake for 1/4 NPT to 6AN to run to the catch can, but was thwarted by delivery of 3/8 NPT to 6AN fittings . Otherwise I think I just need low profile bolts for the valley cover.

Steering rack is bolted in. Not sure if the wacky tear through gasket they provide for the return side will seal, but the lines are bolted on. I had a a lot of exhaust ticking noise in the cabin that would drive me crazy after the original header install, and turns out there was a big hole melted into the rubber boot around the steering shaft, which basically played a primary flute at my feet. Got a new boot and wrapped that in heat shielding.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
Got the Simple engineering stiffening plate installed to compliment the LC32 tubular cross member for stiffening the front cradle area. Figured this would be worth doing since going with the poly motor mounts and strange torque loads that will come from AWD launches. Also adds baffles to improve airflow through the engine bay to supposedly help with TBSS heat issues



 

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Discussion Starter #14
Torque converter seated and new pushlock lines installed with 90 degree fittings to fix the hose kinking against the tunnel. Im going to run the lines up against the firewall and around the passenger fender so they dont cut or melt like previous routing under the engine. I plan to add a fitting junction at the high point over the fender for when the trans cooler needs disconnected.



I got poly bushings for the lower a arms but couldnt get the shock stand off the lower mount without a puller. I want to get all the suspension crap replaced now since I will need an alignment from everything else. Ordered a puller so I guess Im about ready to get the engine back on the hoist to re-install the flexplate. Possibly have the engine back in the truck this weekend to start re-wiring and mock up.

 

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Discussion Starter #15
rm puller failed at removing the lower shock mount, so I guess those are not getting poly bushings until the truck can be driven to pal performance for magic.

Dismounted the motor and reinstalled the flexplate, then back home it went. The struggle was real, but I have the motor bolted to the trans, converter bolts tightened, and headers hand tight.







I struggled with the motor mounts for about 2 hours, but can only manage to get a bolt through the first hole on both sides then the alignment is too far off to hammer it through. will try again tomorrow
 

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Discussion Starter #16
Got the motor mounts fully bolted in sometime last week, that took a while to get everything lined up. Headers are fully bolted in, replaced the trans pan with a new one with a drain port, and painted the carrier housing. I got the trans cooler lines wrapped up in heat shielding and replaced the heater hose/hard lines with reinforced silicone, then also wrapped them in heat shielding.



 

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Discussion Starter #17
Ran into issues with the fast intake hitting the cowl, and had to massage everything around it by ~1/4". Ended up putting a bottle jack on the valley cover and crushing the upper cowl for clearance. I relocated the MAP and evap to the back of the intake, so tore apart all the stock loom and soldered wire extensions in for those.



Some of the steam port lines needed shortened to make room too. Im leaving the stock fuel lines to the tank for now, and I have 8AN braided lines and fittings made up to adapt to the stock lines. Later on I want to do 8AN all the way to the tank, but for this build the stock lines and pump are one less thing to change right now. I recieved fittings to finish up the catch can routing from the intake and also routed the power steering lines with heat shielding.



Im up to re-routing all the engine harness disaster. Stock wiring dumps everything on the top of the intake and splits into a spider web around the motor. Ive cut all the stock loom out and now working on figuring this mess out. Looks like I will need to extend the harness on both sides for all injectors and coil pack plug wiring.
 

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Discussion Starter #18
So for startup prep I'm leaning towards a mail order reflash from PCm of NC since it's just 50 bucks. That should get it mobile enough to get an alignment and down to TTP.

Been pretty busy with some home renovations and other projects, but did make some progress on the wiring mess. I must have soldered 100+ connections and re-loomed everything to clean up the engine harness and splice in new stuff.





The body harness did not need as much, just a lot of clean up. I ran all new 0/1 power and ground wires to delete the "big 3" additional mess of wires. I decided to keep the efan and EWP harnesses separate in case I need to troubleshoot them later. efan harness is routed but didnt get to the Ewp yet. The horns were relocated under the front frame to clean up the area behind the driver headlight.

 

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Discussion Starter #20
Moving onto the passenger side of the harness, I needed to start putting the front end together to check wiring lengths and routing. Got the radiator, condenser, fan assembly, and intake put together.



I have a 90 degree elbow coming off the PCMofNC 4" FWI to aim a smaller cone filter up into the bumper. This solves the problem of sucking up water and road debri flying off the wheels





Then started putting some body pieces together - mounted crash support and the front headlight and grille molding. I had to haxor the **** out of the front molding to make room for the trans cooler, and I think I need new 90 degree fittings to fit it better in the air path.



Next up is to attack the passenger side wiring, overflow, and some A/C routing. Then get headlights in to route the Blackbird Lighting Solutions harness. A few more wiring things to check power up and try flashing a tune, then I think Im getting close to start up
 
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