CamT's build thread

It's a good idea Jack but I was pretty bent on going with powdercoating. I wanted to get the kit so I could use it on other parts of the car. The stenciling is the way to go but in order for me to remove them while the second coat was hot meant a good chance of me screwing it up while the powder was still "wet". I figured I would only get one shot at getting each caliper done so wanted to decrease my opportunities for screwing up ;). The process to remove powdercoat once it's cured is a bit nasty so I was trying to avoid at all costs.
I'm surprised the brakleen had such an effect on the finish, I used to go through bottles of this stuff cleaning my cars - but that was before I got keen on detailing and my OCD levels were much more in check.

Seems all of those brake cleaners have changed over the last several years. So don't assume because it was OK 5 years ago it is OK now.
With suspension installed and wheels hung I proceeded to do a rough alignment of my wheels and body. I wanted to see how the wheels would line up with the wheel wells and wanted to get the suspension close to final before getting too deep into the build. How the wheels position might impact my decision on whether any body modifications might be needed, especially at the wheel arches.

No real surprises here though I did come across a few handy tips I wanted to share:

- best to start with the front LCAs positioned with the inner rod ends spun almost all the way in. I originally positioned them further out; after rough alignment the wheels poke out too far from the body. With my rod ends all the way in the wheels are just about right.
- cutting and positioning the front UCA inner tie rod bolts so the heads are facing away from the shock facilitates easy camber/toe adjustments without needing to remove the shock.
- I used wood blocks cut a my desired rife height and taped them to the underside of my chassis to support it while making initial settings. Having no load in the springs makes it easy to disconnect the UCAs, move the wheel around, then bolt it back together again.

More details in the link below.

A shout out to the Tenhulzen folks, I've been using their alignment tool and find it's really easy to use. It's well built and versatile. I believe a forum member's son designed the tool.

I'm not sure how many times I've installed and removed the suspension arms now but it's been a good number of times. It's been really fun getting to know how to adjust things and working with the hardware.

Unfortunately the next phase of my home reno has started and I've got to put her back into hibernation mode for a bit.



Some body alignment pics:




I had a discrepancy between my rear wheel positions, could never figure it out. Should have enough adjustment in the suspension to make this look fine with the right alignment settings.



Tenhulzen tool:


Tucked away:


14. It’s all about the stance – Cam's Superlite SLC
Phase 2 of construction has come and gone, and we're getting deep into phase 3. In the meantime I've been making tortoise like progress on the car.

I spent a LOT of time working on suspension alignment and getting everything setup so it was square and equally set left to right/front to back. Ultimately I've settled on 4.5"F/5"R for ride heights. I was a bit cornered on this - I didn't want the front to be too low due to this car being primarily street but I did want to maintain at least 0.5" of rake front to back. With the rear at 5" the wheel well clearance is starting to get a bit exaggerated at the top. Once I get the car rolling under its own power I may revisit either dropping the front 0.5" or raising the rear another 0.5".

Basic stuff like routing the brake lines and installing the brake calipers are complete! I still need to tap holes in the rear uprights for the e-brake. If I'd been more with it I'd have done this prior to having the parts anodized, when the upright was easier to maneuver. Now that I've got it all back together I'm going to drill and tap in-situ using some type of drill jig. Hindsight's 20/20 they say ...

The really big update is the fuel system's complete and the motor has been installed!




I followed Fran's recommendation and sourced the Walbro and Bosch pumps. I also went with the Starlite lines from Aeroquip. These are a real pleasure to work with over the stainless stuff I've used in the past. Getting the fittings onto the hoses wasn't all that difficult and the lines are pliable enough that getting relatively tight bends is achievable. Highly recommended!

Obligatory shot of the front accessories:

While I was swapping the oil pan over from the Camaro style pan I also installed an Improved Racing scraper and baffle kit. It's a real high quality looking piece; their website also shows data comparing this against the factory oil pan configuration and there's a startling improvement. I don't plan to drive the car real hard on a track but having the added insurance is good for peace of mind.


Before pulling the Graz to make room for the engine I chopped the tip off the prop shaft. At some point in the future this gearbox will get updated with the drop gears from JBurer and at that time the shaft will be removed altogether. I didn't want to grind the oil pan since it's a load bearing member on the LS3, even if the grinding is minor.


The motor is in!


More details on my blog:

15. Just keep kicking the ball! – Cam's Superlite SLC
Sorry if this is already noted as I didn't have time to read all the posts; Cam I found that finding the centerline from under the chassis was the only way to find the true center of the car and mark it. Then bring the centerline using the laser over the top from the ends and again using the laser mark it over the top. This is the only way to know what, is what....and why IMO.
I had a very nice visit with Ken last month while I was home visiting my family. It turns out he's only a few minutes away from my sister. Such an odd coincidence to find an SLC in a place like Winnipeg - it's basically in the middle of nowhere and Ken lives OUTSIDE of the middle of nowhere. How do you do it Ken?! Incidentally the first snowfall happened on the day we left, I was relieved our flights did not get canceled! Anyway - Ken's got some really trick stuff on his car, it really redefines "OEM". It'll be quite the machine when Ken finishes (assuming he doesn't buy his next car before this is complete)!

A fair amount of work these past few weeks getting the rest of the powertrain installed. I purchased the optional Graziano completion kit. Install of the clutch was fairly straightforward. My father-in-law had a clutch alignment tool that happened to have the right pin diameter so no need to make or buy a new tool. The transaxle install went fairly smoothly as well. I was super nervous once we got the transaxle mated due to the very unbalanced state of the car. With nothing in the front of the car and everything in the rear (and overhanging my rear lift pads) I figured the front was sure to come up off the lift. I was relieved to see the car was still balanced enough that the car remained stable on my quickjack lift. I have to really lean onto the transaxle to get the front end to come up off the pads. Full disclosure, I've got a large wooden block under the transaxle until I can add more components to the front as a precaution. I think this is the most unbalanced the car will be so I was happy to see that I didn't have to lower the car and reposition the lift.

Next up came the axles; there's a short and long one, it's pretty obvious if you've got them flipped ;). The Graz is offset to the right where the half shafts are located. I was able to source some OEM axle heat shields from eBay; these are used on a ton of different Audi/VW applications so they're relatively inexpensive. PN 8E0501721/8E051713; the shields are symmetric so you need 2, 1 for each side. A little sand blasting and my used set looked good as new. Thanks to JBurer for the PN hookup!

I had gone around in circles for quite some time trying to make a decision on where to mount the battery. I eventually decided it would go in the back, behind the passenger and opposite the fuel system. I had a really tough time packaging the battery because I wanted to use that same space for a 3qt Accusump. Word to the wise, stick with a 2qt, this 3qt was a real PITA to position! I've seen a lot of installations where the accusump body is horizontal to the car but the manufacturer recommends it be tilted to avoid trapping an air bubble. Plumbing and getting the Accusump and associated lines/hardware installed also took a fair amount of planning to look right. I wanted to avoid running my lines haphazardly and as I've been going along I've been trying to keep things looking neat. Since the rear glass looks right down on the engine compartment I've been trying to keep it looking "good".

I've also finally started to close out the fuel tank compartment. I've been holding off on applying my Damplifier because I wanted to get ALL holes located and drilled before applying the stuff. I had to drill through the stuff because I had missed locating a hole and it really gums up the drill bit and makes it a bit of a mess. I opted to use the Second Skin "system" and am also using their Luxury Liner Pro for sound absorption and Thermal Block for heat deflection/insulation. The products are really high quality, hopefully they are effective! It's one of those things you never really know because you can't do a real A/B comparison. In my blog I have a short discussion on why I chose Thermal Block over the Lava Mat product.

With that, fuel system is finally complete apart from that last line connecting my regulator to the fuel rail. Boy, it sure took a long time to get to this stage!

More details in my latest blog post: 16. Time to give the beast legs (and other stuff) – Cam's Superlite SLC







Happy Thanksgiving!

A short progress update for today. I've just about got my brakes fully installed. I need to make a small plate to stabilize the rear flex line then position and bolt my pedals in. I'm saving the pedal work until I get deeper into the build when I'll be able to better evaluate for ergonomics.

I'd say the two most challenging aspects of installing the braking system were figuring out how to tap my uprights for the rear e-brake calipers and getting the flex line routing sorted.

For the e-brake calipers, recall I had my uprights anodized. I disassembled my suspension down to their individual components and should have tapped my uprights at that time. Unfortunately I didn't and it's all back together again. This meant I'd have to drill and tap for the e-brake calipers while the suspension was fully assembled on the car. Getting the holes properly positioned and oriented relative to the angled upright face made me pretty nervous. In the end I was able to complete this by making a small and simple drill guide. I was also able to successfully NOT break through the front or rear milled pockets - yay!



For the flex lines, I tried just about every conceivable combination and I could never get the supplied lines to work for me. I had concerns about twisting the line and having it floating out in space or getting tangled with a wheel or the coil spring. Ultimately my solution had me procuring longer flex lines and a new banjo fitting to get everything situated to my satisfaction.


More details and additional photos on my blog: 17. Braking news – Cam's Superlite SLC
you don't need to secure the flex line like that - it's meant to wiggle around

Thanks Alex, I appreciate your insight. The great thing about this car is it gives the builder the opportunity to build it to whatever level of sophistication and safety they feel is appropriate for them.

The configuration I've built mine to has more than enough wiggle to accommodate the extremes of suspension articulation and ensures the banjo will never loosen and the line will never contact either the wheel or shock.

I've seen some questionable brake line installs and figured my example would be something others might consider if they're struggling to find a solution that meets their needs.

Howard Jones

IMHO running brake lines that exposed to being hit by road debris isn't the best choice. I did sorta the same way but routed up from the chassis, across, and then back down to the caliper, with enough slack to allow full lock to lock but not enough to allow the hose to get between the spring windings. It will take a bit of trial and error but I think you know what I mean.


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Thanks for the input Howard, I agree with your points completely. However, I'm not sure how it would be possible for any kind of road debris to make contact with my flex lines. Short of having something wrap its way around my control arm my flex line routing protects it about as best as (I think) is possible.

Based on the line routing you've shown my concerns would be every time you turn the wheel you are transferring loads directly into the point where your line transitions from flex to hard (the hose fitting). Concentrating the loads at the sharp joint could lead to eventual cracking or failure of the outer jacket. I also don't see any kind of guide bracketing. I'm relatively new to building cars but I've had the opportunity to be under a decent number. I don't know of any oem application that doesn't incorporate these features into their lines.

I'm not sure how you would be confident your line doesn't get whipped into either the suspension or the wheel - looks kind of like you are depending on the predominant bend in the line to keep it more or less in that orientation while in motion. Vibration can do a lot of weird things to cantilevered bodies and I wouldn't be comfortable with an unsecured line floating in space. It may seem like you're all good with the car up on jackstands but as I said, weird things can happen when you throw high frequency vibration into the mix.

That said, I haven't seen a build that uses the factory supplied lines and has them routed in a way I think is safe - bear in mind I have some OCD issues and I know I may be a bit extreme in some regards. I spent many hours playing with the lines and just couldn't do it - the lines are just too short. If someone has been able to figure this puzzle out please post up so others can get the benefit, too late for me as I've already moved on.

Here's a few more shots of my setup, if you think I'm wrong let me know. I just don't see how any kind of road debris would damage my line - short of running over a ladder.



Cam, I have seen OEMs suspend the brake lines in a similar manner as the RCR design however I do think you've come up with a better solution that eliminates the possibility of the flex line getting caught up in something. I don't think there is any more risk of debris hitting the line in your configuration vs having it suspended. Only downside I can see here is all the flex is being concentrated in a small area vs spread out over a longer run, I don't know if that's even a real issue but just a thought.

Not to feed your OCD but 2 improvement ideas:

1. Mount the line on top of the lower A-arm with P-clamps slightly inboard allowing the leading edge of the a-arm to take the hit against any possible debris

2. Use coiled rubber protectors around the line for extra protection
Thanks Mark, appreciate the feedback. It's one of those things - the line is pretty stiff and if I laid it across the top then it tends to want to bunch pretty bad at the flex points. Maybe with a more compliant line doing so would have been ok but I had initially tried that and I was concerned t would focus too much bending in a small area - as you indicated. With it along the back the span beteeen fixed points was greater. With a custom length line perhaps I could fine tune it more but I'm pretty happy with what I've got now. Lord knows I've spent enough money replacing perfectly good parts in the search for "a bit better".

I had thought about going the p-clamp route as I think zip ties are a bit noobish but I also refused to drill and tap the a-arm.

Coiled rubber wraps would be interesting to consider.

Had a pretty cool afternoon today - achieved first start! I think I was pretty shocked it started right up I didn't know what to do with myself.

SLC first start - YouTube
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Taking a bit of a step back to update my blog; obviously I've started getting into wiring of the car. It's fairly basic right now - in fact I've really only got the GMPP controller kit and my AIM dash installed.

I had intended to get the Infinity system installed before going for first start but as I got into it it didn't seem like I really needed - or wanted - the Infinity system at all.

Let me explain - there are a few things about the system that don't rub me quite right;

- there are multiple areas where the supplied wiring is (IMHO) inadequate and too small a gage.
- it adds another layer of complexity when it comes to engine operation that really isn't necessary. I don't think I really want it running either my radiator fans or fuel pumps so no reason to have it involved.
- there's an immobilizer feature but I won't be using it as I'm planning to incorporate a separate system.

I won't be running the KOSO dash so all the integrated signals feeding the dash won't be much use to me.

So after thinking it through I've decided all I'm really going to use it for is to control my lighting system - headlights, taillights, turn signals. That's about it.

Anyone else who's running a different dash system come to the same conclusion? Am I totally out in left field?

18. To Infinity and beyo… hmm… maybe not? – Cam's Superlite SLC
2 posts in one day, a new record for me!

In this update I discuss the LS coolant system, how I've plumbed my car, and modification and installation of the Vintage Air evap/blower unit.

It turns out the LS motors have a bit of an oddity with how the thermostats work in these engines. It took me quite a while to understand why people are installing the Chevs of the 40s heater bypass valves; I couldn't find any explicit examples of someone overheating, then installing this valve and having their issue fixed. After combing through the wiki and the often-linked Pirates 4x4 website I think I finally got it figured out.

I took a bit of a different tack and decided I would use the heater control valve supplied in the kit and rig up a different solution than to install the Chevs of the 40s valve. Instead, I fabbed up an orificed bypass installed between the water pump in/out fittings feeding the heater core. Setting up a small bypass circuit like this allows the thermostat to operate correctly - this is the same thing the Chevs of the 40s valve does.

As for the VA system; I haven't seen any build threads that really shows how to modify the box so it can fit under the dash in the intended location. The latest boxes really mucks things up by putting all the ports on the outboard side, making it even more difficult to get everything to fit. I've got several detailed photos showing the process at my link below - sorry, getting late and uploading to imgur then linking is a bit beyond me right now.

Mods needed to make the box fit:
  • Relocation of the AC temperature knob
  • Re-orientation of the #6 expansion valve
  • Bending of the 5/8" heater core tubes

19. ‘Cause you’re hot then you’re cold – Cam's Superlite SLC
Catching this thread back up to about where I am in the build ...

Here's a few pics of the AC modification required to get it to fit under the dash. There are more detailed photos on my blog linked above but realize not everyone wants to wade through the textbook I've been writing.

Removing the black goop off the back and loosening the b-nut allows you to re-position the #6 fitting, critical if you want to get the evap box under the dash.


Once you've done that you can rotate it away from the side of the footbox. The 2x 5/8" heater hose fittings will also need to be pushed away from the box. Here's what you get once you've finished all the bending and repositioning:


I used the standard Vintage Air bulkhead fittings to get the heater hose and #10 AC line out of the footbox. Dan found a nice company that sells lower profile bulkhead fittings - Cold Hose; this is the route I'd recommend going. I already had these fittings on hand so decided WTH, it's hidden below the bodywork. I also wanted the fittings slightly pushed away from the footbox so I can get sound deadener/absorber/carpeting installed. The black vertical line is approximately where the bodywork gets too close to the footbox to have the bulkhead fittings exit. Stay inside of that line and you should be good to get the hose out and oriented down toward the pod.


I had a pretty tangled up mess of garbage at the water pump and I wanted to clean that up a bit. Once I got the fuel filler hose installed it was clear there was going to be a lot of bad rubbing which was another motivation to clean things up. There just happened to be a Ford-specific heater hose Y adapter at the local O'Reilly's that did the trick.


So we had a pretty interesting rest of the day after we got first engine start. I found the trifecta of leaks - oil, coolant, and fuel. The leaks were relatively minor except for the fuel. Unfortunately I found a leak coming from the fitting that feeds the low pressure pump. It meant I had to pull the tank back out to get a closer look - super sucky. This location was leak tight during my earlier test so the issue had to lie with the fitting - and it did.

Not sure if the fitting I got was bad, or even the wrong fitting (the box stated it was a -10AN but it turned out to be a -8AN) so that should have been the tip off that maybe things weren't kosher. After pulling the fitting I found a large sliver of aluminum - it had come off the fitting! Luckily I was able to extract it and re-tap the tank to get clean threads. A replacement fitting later and all seems to have been repaired.




Wise or not, I re-installed the fuel compartment closeout and used loctite!


The biggest bummer of the day was it turns out our starter was on its way out. We think there's an issue with the bendix and it wasn't disengaging - looks like the bearings are likely shot. We yanked the starter and I sent an email to the team at RCR looking for some advice.

RCR REALLY stepped forward and did me a solid in a big way - they're sending me a replacement starter while I get mine wrapped up and sent back to them, avoiding any further delays to my progress and troubleshooting. I can't say enough about the support I've gotten - they've been there to bail me out when I did something stupid and now they're stepping forward to cover another manufacturer's defective product.

Here's what I looked like after the initial start but before we found all the issues ...


We wanted to be a little better prepared for the next time we start the engine so while I was putzing around with the fuel system my father-in-law and his buddy helped out by fabricating a proper radiator shroud and some exhaust test pipes. The pipes are meant for engine break-in/troubleshooting/go-karting around the neighborhood. A real exhaust will be made once the engine's in a good place.




I used aluminum tape to seal up between the condenser and radiator and between the radiator and shroud.



Also put together a tow hook, we'll get to test this out when we try for our first go-kart ride (hopefully in a week or so!). It's a 3/4" steel eyebolt and we've got steel reinforcement plates above and below the footbox upper panel.



A fuller account of all the adventures is on my latest blog update:

20. Ignition: a tale of highs and woes – Cam's Superlite SLC
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Ken Roberts

In my honest opinion if the tow strap goes slack and then is jerked forward by the tow vehicle then under those conditions that eye bolt will bend or snap at the threads. I've worked in heavy Industry for over 30 yrs and have lifted everything from complete locomotives and/or their engines and generators. The way you have it set up would only support gentle pulling from an electric winch.

The eye bolt should be mounted at a 45 degree as a minimum.