BADNBLK's 91 Z28 LS1 swap... Engine + much more :) - Third Generation F-Body Message Boards


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BADNBLK's 91 Z28 LS1 swap... Engine + much more :)

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Old 07-29-2015, 06:28 PM   #1
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BADNBLK's 91 Z28 LS1 swap... Engine + much more :)

Hey guys. Finally had sometime and thought that I would try and share what I have been up too. Some of you may know or have seen the car... or not, but anyway

Its a 1991 Z28 305 TPI, T56 swapped. I have had the car since I was just out of High School and I just keep trying to make it better. I have been lusting after a LS power plant for years and years, but just couldn't seem to make the cards fall where they needed for it to happen, so I continued to mod other areas of the vehicle. I continually used the idea of if its broke it needs to be upgraded, or if it is coming apart I need to do it once, and do it right.

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In Feb of 2014 I found a deal on a running complete 1998 Z28 LS1 A4, that had been wrecked. So I scurried off to Wyoming to pick it up as it was a bargain, and began buying parts
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We yanked the motor and transmission out and I began to part the car asap to offset the cost. Not a week after getting the Z28 apart I found another local deal on a 2001 Trans Am LS1 T56 that solved the problem of converting my current T56 to LS, so again scurried off and grabbed the Trans AM.

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I was able to sell the 98 Z28 perimeter bolt headed LS1 for enough to cover the cost of the purchase of the Trans Am. I was able to part out both vehicles enough to cover the initial purchase price of the cars, and put a little aside the up coming parts hoard. I even was able "give" some parts to my best friend who recently 5.3 swapped his IROC, in trade for building my harness, and helping with things along the way.

She was a dirty dog when we got her out, but it ran and seemed to run well even though I was un-able to drive it due to a damaged rear differential in the donor TA.
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The engine when torn down was suprisingly clean for 176k miles (didn't take pics). I cruise craigslist daily or even more and found a deal on a set of 243 heads... so I grabbed them up, and that is when the wheels started turning
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Wheels turned and I was able to scrape together some cash to order a CNC head job on the 243's, and a cam package from Advance Inductions.
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I went with the 226cc head job, and 229/233 626 113lsa cam with BTR 660 lift springs, and TI retainers.

I also at this point made the choice that I needed to send the short block out to be freshened up.

Last edited by BADNBLK; 04-08-2016 at 12:30 PM.
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Old 07-29-2015, 06:39 PM   #2
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Re: BADNBLK's 91 Z28 LS1 swap... Long time coming

So got the short block back and re-assembled. Installed Melling 10295 oil pump, and a LS2 timing chain set. ARP rod bolts to cap off the bottom end. AI speced 4130 .080 hardened pushrods. Installed a trunion upgrade on the stock rocker arms to cap off the top end.

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From here I turned into make it pretty mode... I kinda do that, so I spent a bunch of time dressing things up

LS6 intake shave and paint job:
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I primer...
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In color...
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Old 07-29-2015, 06:46 PM   #3
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Re: BADNBLK's 91 Z28 LS1 swap... Long time coming

I ordered up some fancy valve covers to complete the look. These are the Pro-form smooth VC with coil relocation kit.

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I then shot them gloss black to match the intake
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I started dressing the intake with an 85mm black anodized TB, Billet rails to hold my 42lb injectors, Lokar midnight throttle cable pedestal, and topped the vc's off with a Billet Specialties oil fill cap which I also painted black.

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For giggled I set the stuff on the long block to get an idea on how it would all look

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Old 07-29-2015, 06:50 PM   #4
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Re: BADNBLK's 91 Z28 LS1 swap... Long time coming

Tossed and turned for a couple night as to paint the engine block teal... and ended up trying something different.

In primer...
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I spent WAY too much time taking the time to grind down and polish each of the bolts on the front of the motor that would be seen when assembled to give all this black some contrast

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Old 07-29-2015, 06:53 PM   #5
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Re: BADNBLK's 91 Z28 LS1 swap... Long time coming

I couldn't stand to look at all these nice parts sitting in various areas of my shop, so I put it all together to get a look at it.

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Some of you may notice I installed the Hawks power steering pulley and p/s cap for aesthetics once again.
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Old 07-29-2015, 06:55 PM   #6
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Re: BADNBLK's 91 Z28 LS1 swap... Long time coming

Still making things pretty....

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Old 07-29-2015, 08:17 PM   #7
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Re: BADNBLK's 91 Z28 LS1 swap... Long time coming

Sweet! Yer making me want to go yank part on my project.
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Old 07-29-2015, 10:26 PM   #8
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Re: BADNBLK's 91 Z28 LS1 swap... Long time coming

That's nice work,awesome job.
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Old 07-30-2015, 08:16 AM   #9
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Re: BADNBLK's 91 Z28 LS1 swap... Long time coming

Looking good man, you do some really awesome work. Cant wait to see it finished.
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Old 07-30-2015, 11:11 AM   #10
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Re: BADNBLK's 91 Z28 LS1 swap... Long time coming

I think the valve covers would look better in chrome, but it looks good so far.
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Old 07-30-2015, 11:36 AM   #11
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Re: BADNBLK's 91 Z28 LS1 swap... Long time coming

Coming along great! I love the colors but I would have added just a little more chrome to offset the black. Wish I could find your kind of deals. Everyone seems to have better Craigslist than Houston. I gotta get my lt1 t56 converted but lucky for me texas drivetrain performance is just a couple hour drive to do it. Ill keep watching your thread.
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Old 07-30-2015, 12:35 PM   #12
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Re: BADNBLK's 91 Z28 LS1 swap... Long time coming

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Sweet! Yer making me want to go yank part on my project.
No way keep bolting it back together!!!

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That's nice work,awesome job.
Thank you!

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Looking good man, you do some really awesome work. Cant wait to see it finished.
Thank bro. I'm a details nut and I have had enough time to really dig into the details with it. I can't wait either, but more importantly feel the power!

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I think the valve covers would look better in chrome, but it looks good so far.
Ehhhh... to each their own, but I wanted something to stand out with out standing out if you feel me. Bolts are all chrome with billet washers.

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Coming along great! I love the colors but I would have added just a little more chrome to offset the black. Wish I could find your kind of deals. Everyone seems to have better Craigslist than Houston. I gotta get my lt1 t56 converted but lucky for me texas drivetrain performance is just a couple hour drive to do it. Ill keep watching your thread.
I have found that the deals are only there if your looking and ready to jump. I am fortunate that I have the great state of Wyoming so close, it seems that they don't have a clue on pricing. I bought that SFI underdrive balancer for $50 brand new in the box lol.

There is plenty of polished billet other stuff under the hood that will compliment my theme... I think
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Old 07-30-2015, 12:50 PM   #13
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Re: BADNBLK's 91 Z28 LS1 swap... Long time coming

Looks great! Now I wish I was at the point of doing the LSX swap in mine.
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Old 07-30-2015, 02:08 PM   #14
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Re: BADNBLK's 91 Z28 LS1 swap... Long time coming

So after getting everything bolted together I had a come to Jesus moment about the swap and put the brakes on yanking the motor and installing the LS until after the rest of my summer race schedule.

I'm competing in the Optima Ultimate Street Car race series when it comes to CO in a couple of weeks. So instead of trying to slam it in and tune it, and get used to driving it with a couple hundred extra HP... It will wait until September to bolt it in, and have it ready for next year fresh and clean clean.

I planned on upgrading the suspension with the new weight of the all aluminum motor, and we went a head and got that rolling, and made a change to the brakes while it was apart.

Installed Ground Control weight jacks at all four corners...
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Slammered on down... at least in the front
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Upgraded the front Baer set up from the 2 piston PBR caliper and 13" rotors, to the Baer 6S 6 piston caliper with 14" dinner plate rotors. I spent a whole bunch of extra time and polished the holy hell out of the calipers, and inlayed the "Baer logo" with teal paint.

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Old 07-30-2015, 03:15 PM   #15
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Re: BADNBLK's 91 Z28 LS1 swap... Long time coming

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Old 07-30-2015, 03:50 PM   #16
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Re: BADNBLK's 91 Z28 LS1 swap... Long time coming

Damn, lookin good dude. That will match your car real well.
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Old 07-30-2015, 04:46 PM   #17
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Damn, lookin good dude. That will match your car real well.
Thanks brotha!
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Old 07-30-2015, 06:06 PM   #18
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Re: BADNBLK's 91 Z28 LS1 swap... Long time coming

I have so many mixed emotions on this build... Anger that your car is just too sweet, and that I can't seem to get going on my own project. Happiness that there are still guys out there that take the time to do things right. Finally I am jealous of the awesome deals you keep finding. Thinking I need to start looking west to CO and WY for a LS1/T56 donor car. Hell it's only 10-12 hours from Eastern NE!
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Old 07-30-2015, 07:39 PM   #19
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Re: BADNBLK's 91 Z28 LS1 swap... Long time coming

Lookin good !!!
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Old 07-30-2015, 09:21 PM   #20
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Re: BADNBLK's 91 Z28 LS1 swap... Long time coming

Subscribing for a cool build... You have a seriously sweet looking car!
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Old 07-30-2015, 09:28 PM   #21
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Re: BADNBLK's 91 Z28 LS1 swap... Long time coming

Just looked through your pics a 2nd time and noticed you got the exact same tool box as me. I'm out of room now so I think I'm gonna trade up for a classic 96. But I love the subtle paint you have on the car. The stripes aren't bold and the gfx blend so well! Already got more ideas for my paint. Keep it up!
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Old 07-30-2015, 11:47 PM   #22
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Re: BADNBLK's 91 Z28 LS1 swap... Long time coming

Gorgeous build, I hope mine looks half as good as yours.
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Old 08-01-2015, 06:47 PM   #23
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Re: BADNBLK's 91 Z28 LS1 swap... Long time coming

Gorgeous man. One of My Fav. 3rdGens around.
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Old 08-01-2015, 07:36 PM   #24
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Re: BADNBLK's 91 Z28 LS1 swap... Long time coming

Still an absolutely amazing car. When I first joined TGO a few years back, yours was one of the first cars I remember seeing. I didnt think that your car could get any nicer. Well, a huge boost in HP, makes it much nicer. What numbers do you plan on it producing??
I can't believe you are going to race it!! I would be WAY too nervous.
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Old 08-03-2015, 09:55 AM   #25
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Re: BADNBLK's 91 Z28 LS1 swap... Long time coming

nice build , glad to see your joining the ls bandwagon .
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Old 08-03-2015, 11:22 AM   #26
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Re: BADNBLK's 91 Z28 LS1 swap... Long time coming

Meh....

Can't believe you are destroying that car with an LS swap.
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Old 08-03-2015, 01:45 PM   #27
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Re: BADNBLK's 91 Z28 LS1 swap... Long time coming

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I have so many mixed emotions on this build... Anger that your car is just too sweet, and that I can't seem to get going on my own project. Happiness that there are still guys out there that take the time to do things right. Finally I am jealous of the awesome deals you keep finding. Thinking I need to start looking west to CO and WY for a LS1/T56 donor car. Hell it's only 10-12 hours from Eastern NE!
I try my best to do things right, but I can tell you there is so many things that I have had to re-do cause I didn't do them right, or know the "right" way of doing it. Yeah buddy keep your eyes peeled. I watch the western NEB CL for deals too.

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Lookin good !!!
Thanks!
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Subscribing for a cool build... You have a seriously sweet looking car!
Thank you very much. Now to get the performance to match the visual performance.

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Just looked through your pics a 2nd time and noticed you got the exact same tool box as me. I'm out of room now so I think I'm gonna trade up for a classic 96. But I love the subtle paint you have on the car. The stripes aren't bold and the gfx blend so well! Already got more ideas for my paint. Keep it up!
Not my box... I have a cheap *** knock off of something else crazy cheap. I run a shop and that is one of my shop foremans boxes. I kinda have a whole shop worth of tools when I need them. I have thought time and time again about ditching the teal, and doing something more sinister, but it always draws me back. Last year hurt though... Super Chevy Magazine shot my car during a show, and was supposed to get a feature, but the editor changed his mind as he didn't care for the teal (as I was told), and I could reach out if I repainted.... So I have added more teal LOL

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Gorgeous build, I hope mine looks half as good as yours.
Thank you! I hope so too!

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Gorgeous man. One of My Fav. 3rdGens around.
Thanks brother! Those billet emblems you made help.

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Still an absolutely amazing car. When I first joined TGO a few years back, yours was one of the first cars I remember seeing. I didnt think that your car could get any nicer. Well, a huge boost in HP, makes it much nicer. What numbers do you plan on it producing??
I can't believe you are going to race it!! I would be WAY too nervous.
Thank you! The boost in HP will be a long overdue change. I'm gonna have to learn to drive it again. I'm not really sure where it will be. Advance Inductions claims with my package could be anywhere from 440 - 470hp to the tire on a stock LS1. I don't know how the mods and tune will effect it. I'm hoping to put 450 to the tire, but anything over 420 to the tire and I'm gonna be ok. Not really concerned with making but dyno numbers or I would have gotten wild with the cam.
I have always raced it. Mainly drag strip bursts for fun, and then autocross. The OUSCA event will be the first time on a roadcourse, so I could be bitten by the bug, and stop trying to make things look good in addition to fast haha!

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nice build , glad to see your joining the ls bandwagon .
I have been watching everyone else on the wagon, and just couldn't let it roll by again... haha

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Meh....

Can't believe you are destroying that car with an LS swap.
You would say that. The collector car value just plummeted haha.
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Old 08-03-2015, 01:58 PM   #28
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Re: BADNBLK's 91 Z28 LS1 swap... Long time coming

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Not my box... I have a cheap *** knock off of something else crazy cheap. I run a shop and that is one of my shop foremans boxes. I kinda have a whole shop worth of tools when I need them. I have thought time and time again about ditching the teal, and doing something more sinister, but it always draws me back. Last year hurt though... Super Chevy Magazine shot my car during a show, and was supposed to get a feature, but the editor changed his mind as he didn't care for the teal (as I was told), and I could reach out if I repainted.... So I have added more teal LOL
Sounds like the Super Chevy Magazine editor doesn't know what he's talking about. I like the subtlety of the teal accent, it really sets the car off, it's what caught my attention to the car, keep it like that.
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Old 08-03-2015, 04:36 PM   #29
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Re: BADNBLK's 91 Z28 LS1 swap... Long time coming

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Sounds like the Super Chevy Magazine editor doesn't know what he's talking about. I like the subtlety of the teal accent, it really sets the car off, it's what caught my attention to the car, keep it like that.
It was just a let down and motivation to make it better at the same time. The part that was the kicker was that months SC had a teal 56 chevy on the front.... TEAL!!!! lol. I'm all good now
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Old 08-03-2015, 08:53 PM   #30
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Re: BADNBLK's 91 Z28 LS1 swap... Long time coming

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Sounds like the Super Chevy Magazine editor doesn't know what he's talking about. I like the subtlety of the teal accent, it really sets the car off, it's what caught my attention to the car, keep it like that.


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Old 08-04-2015, 04:37 PM   #31
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Re: BADNBLK's 91 Z28 LS1 swap... Long time coming

Well since I don't have really anything cool to show you... (pics of spark plug wires isn't that cool) I thought I would show off a different lil project I have been working on...

Functional brake cooling ducts.
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I cut apart a set of damaged factory light housings and molded and filled them to smoothly flow into 2" tubing, which then connector to 2" brake cooling hose, and is ran to a modified GT500 bracket at the rotor/hub area. I haven't really taken any pics of the rest of the system as I wasn't sure how it would all come together. I will take better pics of this stuff when I have the motor out, or going back in...
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Old 08-04-2015, 05:08 PM   #32
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Re: BADNBLK's 91 Z28 LS1 swap... Long time coming

That's an interesting place to put them. It looks well conceived & executed.
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Old 08-05-2015, 01:37 PM   #33
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Re: BADNBLK's 91 Z28 LS1 swap... Long time coming

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Originally Posted by NOSHOWALLGO View Post
That's an interesting place to put them. It looks well conceived & executed.
My turnsignals have been adapted into my skinnyboy lighting headlights so this was pretty logical. Its not an eyesore like some of the other body panel vents put in the same area have been. Thanks!
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Old 08-05-2015, 01:44 PM   #34
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Re: BADNBLK's 91 Z28 LS1 swap... Long time coming

I was wondering what you were doing for the front turn signals.
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Old 08-05-2015, 01:46 PM   #35
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Re: BADNBLK's 91 Z28 LS1 swap... Long time coming

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I was wondering what you were doing for the front turn signals.
Yeah this project has been in the works for a while lol. I knew I was gonna do it before I did it. I have had my lights for almost two years now
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Old 08-05-2015, 01:47 PM   #36
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Re: BADNBLK's 91 Z28 LS1 swap... Long time coming

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My turnsignals have been adapted into my skinnyboy lighting headlights so this was pretty logical. Its not an eyesore like some of the other body panel vents put in the same area have been. Thanks!
Figured you were going that route. When i read your thread for the Skinny Boy, you mentioned a new project. It seemed the only logical thing. Other then machine guns.
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Old 08-05-2015, 02:10 PM   #37
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Re: BADNBLK's 91 Z28 LS1 swap... Long time coming

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Figured you were going that route. When i read your thread for the Skinny Boy, you mentioned a new project. It seemed the only logical thing. Other then machine guns.
Yeah he is just finishing my newest light project up now, and the skinnyboy set up I have will get sold or something. Should be even cooler than these
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Old 08-05-2015, 02:56 PM   #38
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Re: BADNBLK's 91 Z28 LS1 swap... Long time coming

How far from the rotor and brake assembly do you run/route the cooling hose? Will/can water, debris, be an issue?

When i first saw the pic of the disassembled light housing that you are using to blend with the bumper, I thought they were shop vac attachments that you customized.

Very nice build. Keep up the nice work. You sure know how to raise the bar!
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Old 08-05-2015, 03:05 PM   #39
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Re: BADNBLK's 91 Z28 LS1 swap... Long time coming

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Yeah he is just finishing my newest light project up now, and the skinnyboy set up I have will get sold or something. Should be even cooler than these
Put me on the list if you are going to sell them.
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Old 08-05-2015, 05:30 PM   #40
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Re: BADNBLK's 91 Z28 LS1 swap... Long time coming

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How far from the rotor and brake assembly do you run/route the cooling hose? Will/can water, debris, be an issue?

When i first saw the pic of the disassembled light housing that you are using to blend with the bumper, I thought they were shop vac attachments that you customized.

Very nice build. Keep up the nice work. You sure know how to raise the bar!
Right now the distance from the rotor is about 2.5 - 3" . I had to move it with the addition of the 6S calipers. I will need to fine tune it at some point. So far water hasn't been an issue, but I don't daily the car. I have a drain hole in the lowest spot on the ducting now. Never paid enough attention to see if it fills up.

They do kinda look like vacuum attachments haha! Nope, factory lights though. Thank you. Not sure that I raising the bar, I have seen many others on here with stuff nicer than mine, but I'm trying to make mine as nice as I can.

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Put me on the list if you are going to sell them.
I'll let you know. I have a sport coupe I'm gonna drop my TPI motor into, so I might just toss those in there. We'll see... I might need money!
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Old 08-10-2015, 05:50 PM   #41
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Re: BADNBLK's 91 Z28 LS1 swap... Long time coming

Well it made it to the Optima Batteries Ultimate Street Car event at Pikes Peak International Raceway in CO. Springs CO over the weekend. I have a ton of pics, but most are on my phone and it flaked out after being used as a dash cam for the weekend....

Here are two pics that Optima posted of my car on track...

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Burned up my front tires so will have to hurry up and find replacements quick for the up coming events!
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Old 08-10-2015, 07:57 PM   #42
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Re: BADNBLK's 91 Z28 LS1 swap... Long time coming

love the black hate the teal
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Old 08-10-2015, 08:06 PM   #43
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Re: BADNBLK's 91 Z28 LS1 swap... Long time coming

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Burned up my front tires so will have to hurry up and find replacements quick for the up coming events!
Do you want some 295/18s? I'd take the wheels they're mounted on. We'd just have to talk him into splitting the set! ... I have no want nor need for the 17s.
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Old 08-11-2015, 10:04 AM   #44
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Re: BADNBLK's 91 Z28 LS1 swap... Long time coming

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love the black hate the teal
I've heard it before... Welcome to teal haters club.

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Do you want some 295/18s? I'd take the wheels they're mounted on. We'd just have to talk him into splitting the set! ... I have no want nor need for the 17s.
I don't need any 295's and they are a little too wide with this offset to even try and bump up on the front. I found some 275/35 BFG's locally I'm hoping to pick up tonight.
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Old 08-11-2015, 12:06 PM   #45
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Re: BADNBLK's 91 Z28 LS1 swap... Long time coming

Love those track photos, the z28 looks even better in motion.
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Old 08-11-2015, 02:00 PM   #46
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Re: BADNBLK's 91 Z28 LS1 swap... Long time coming

You have a great looking car. Those teal accents you have really set it off. All that attention to detail is nice to see. I bet you have to peel your eyes off the windshield with those massive front calipers!
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Old 08-11-2015, 04:04 PM   #47
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Re: BADNBLK's 91 Z28 LS1 swap... Long time coming

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Love those track photos, the z28 looks even better in motion.
Thanks man. Such a fun event!

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You have a great looking car. Those teal accents you have really set it off. All that attention to detail is nice to see. I bet you have to peel your eyes off the windshield with those massive front calipers!
Thank you! The brake work really well... not quite eyeballs on the glass good, but it might if I wasn't belted in lol. They actually overpower the tires with ease and I have to be careful to not lock them up and induce a skid under extreme braking.
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Old 08-11-2015, 04:08 PM   #48
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Re: BADNBLK's 91 Z28 LS1 swap... Long time coming

Don't know if this has ever been covered, even in your other posts. But, how many miles do you have on your 305 and the body. It has obviously been welled cared for. Just REALLY curious.
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Old 08-11-2015, 04:14 PM   #49
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Re: BADNBLK's 91 Z28 LS1 swap... Long time coming

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Don't know if this has ever been covered, even in your other posts. But, how many miles do you have on your 305 and the body. It has obviously been welled cared for. Just REALLY curious.
I'm not sure anyone has asked either? Anyway I got it with 91k on it in 2000, and it now has 129k. It lives a semi sheltered life, but when its out of the garage I'm usually whipping on it. The heads have never been off, and 80% of the paint it wears is the paint I bought it with.
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Old 08-11-2015, 08:02 PM   #50
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Re: BADNBLK's 91 Z28 LS1 swap... Long time coming

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I'm not sure anyone has asked either? Anyway I got it with 91k on it in 2000, and it now has 129k. It lives a semi sheltered life, but when its out of the garage I'm usually whipping on it. The heads have never been off, and 80% of the paint it wears is the paint I bought it with.
Eventhough you are swapping for an LS, how is the 305 holding up? Any issues? I am just looking for insight on my 305. As I was looking for an LS3 swap. But I cant really justify it with low miles on the original engine.
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