Dan's Build

Dan Carter

Bronze Supporter
#1
Well gents, its official...the car arrived...let the games begin

Basics at birth:


  • White...will be custom painted (I moonlight at a body shop)
  • LS3 480, GM harness
  • Graz transaxle
  • New interior tub
  • Full interior surfaces
  • Street tail with wing option
  • Gentleman seats (Yes I need them...ha)
  • New rear window vents
  • One piece window
  • Sway bars
My plan is a street machine, basic build, creature comforts. I see a lot of nice improvements you have all done, and I want to incorporate a few early....I think your willingness to post is essential for us.....thanks. So we trust no one becomes offended when we copy a great idea.

This is a family build (I am the program manager...LOL) and we are all first timers building a car this way (we usually just repair OEM stuff). We have the will, and all of you have the knowledge.

My thanks in advance for all the support you are about to provide.......:thumbsup:
 

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Dan Carter

Bronze Supporter
#4
I had RCR and crew do a body fit for me. will start my tear down this week. Even with the build manual, Wiki, and forum, the details on how to build a car from nearly scratch is hurting my head..........questions, questions and more questions. You really learn what you do not know. I need some aspirin
 
#6
I had RCR and crew do a body fit for me. will start my tear down this week. Even with the build manual, Wiki, and forum, the details on how to build a car from nearly scratch is hurting my head..........questions, questions and more questions. You really learn what you do not know. I need some aspirin
Deep breaths. Haha. I personally work on many things at once. If you get frustrated on one thing, you can jump right on to another.
 

Dan Carter

Bronze Supporter
#8
Well the project is well underway. Spent the day organizing the garage and building a build plan. Being anal as I am, I actually built it in MS Project. That way when the car is taking longer than I want (HA HA) I will know where I was supposed to be :laugh:

I built the rack system below and placed it on casters. My garage space is limited so I have to wheel things around when I work. So all parts are mobile.

The engine is coming along, wire loom is opened up and starting to dissemble the body from the frame so I can get to everything. found out the exhaust manifold GM gave me was the wrong ones I think, so having that verified.

Getting the order list together for bolts and things (McMaster Carr). I remain curious about the AWD shaft in the Graz unit (I hate to grind the oil pan on the LS3), so I will attack the windmill (Don Quixote) until I fully agree with "leave the shaft alone" and grind the oil pan solution. I know others have done it, I'm just not there yet mentally.
 

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#9
Dan,

Are you convinced you will be happy with the stock Graz gearing? If you are anal enough to build a Gantt chart and worry about an extra shaft, I'm curious about your logic on ratios. I have been watching to see who will install and document the drop gear setup for the Graz.
 

Will Campbell

Bronze Supporter
#10
I remain curious about the AWD shaft in the Graz unit (I hate to grind the oil pan on the LS3), so I will attack the windmill (Don Quixote) until I fully agree with "leave the shaft alone" and grind the oil pan solution. I know others have done it, I'm just not there yet mentally.
The rationale for not cutting the trans shaft is to have a hope of a warranty later. A modified transaxle probably would be cause for Graziano to reject any warranty claims.

That's why modifying the pan is a better solution for most people- it's cheaper to throw away if something is wrong with it.
 

Dan Carter

Bronze Supporter
#11
Will

Makes sense of course. While I have not yet pulled the trans out of the car (first thing after T-giving; off to see the grandkids tomorrow), does the shaft hit the block, or the oil pan. If its the pan, then yes, its a whole lot cheaper than the tranny. I had heard (perhaps mistakenly), that we grind the block. The block would concern me quite a bit of course.

As for warranty, I wonder who would we contact to negotiate a fix (lets trust we never need too) should the situation ever arise.

Don't eat too much........
 

Dan Carter

Bronze Supporter
#15
That looks like a big cut. Guess I will se soon enough.

Question for you.....how did you align the clutch? I think Aaron built one. Can not seem to find a 25 spline alignment tool. Is the dual clutch plates pre-aligned (Its got Audi stamped on it). I'm use to Chevy, Ford alignment tools etc, but this is another animal altogether
 
#16
Dan - I and others have bought new LS7 stock manifolds off ebay and elsewhere. They hug the block, look hydro-formed.. nice pieces and they polish up well if that's your deal. Mine were brand new take-offs for $200.00 the set (2) - that's dirt cheap considering they likely spent hundred thousand in designing them. You'll have to special order the manifold to exhaust pipe gasket, it's a special piece to fit the manifold outlet. I don't have the part number here at work.

found out the exhaust manifold GM gave me was the wrong ones I think, so having that verified.
 
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Dan Carter

Bronze Supporter
#18
Scott I was thinking Cuisinart appliances for that shaft....might as well have food service while we drive.

Mike. I new about the LS7 manifolds, but just stayed with the stock LS3 manifolds since they came with the crate motor and was advised by RCR that they would fit. The LS3 manifolds have the O2 sensor built in which helped the design problem and I wasn't after more power (forgive me). We have already designed and built the exhaust pipes with Magnaflow mufflers (this system is short, and it will be very loud I'm guessing). I will take them to a local (1.5 hours away if that's local) powder coat shop and have the system ceramic coated. I had this process done on my Corvette headers 7 years ago and they look as new today as the first day they went on. Another benefit I expected and proved true was how much cooler they stay. Thanks for the heads up. :thumbsup:
 

Dan Carter

Bronze Supporter
#19
Chris, sorry I missed you post...good question

As for the gear ratios, I have estimated top speed in each, and if I were tracking the car, 1st and 2nd are like tractor gears, and based on my Vette experience, I use 3, 4 and 5 the most anyway. I'm not going to say the gear ratios are the best (I compare them to my LS2 C6 Corvette), as modeling shows very high RPMs for the initial gears versus speed (so I will sift faster and more often I guess). Bottom line is I will live with it, but choose the Graz because it was a factory fresh unit. While other systems may suit the torque for American muscle better, I did not want to track down a Porsche unit and then rebuild it to fresher condition and other options get into a lot of personnel preference (none of them necessarily right or wrong). For the price, I felt the Graz was a pretty good deal and a proven rear engine unit.
 
#20
Thanks Dan, and Happy Thanksgiving.

I agree with all of your positive statements about the Graz. If you changed the drop gear ratio, however, they'd be able to remove the extra shaft while they had the transaxle open... just saying. :thumbsup:

Here is the best info I have on the ratios. Probably the same basic data you already looked at.
http://www.gt40s.com/forum/rcr-forum-rcr40-slc-p4-mkiv/40461-new-transaxles-slc-4.html

Not sure if you are using the V8 or V10 Graz version, but, as you recognize, either will have a throwaway first gear ratio when compared to the Tremec unit spec'd for the LS engine.

1st, 2nd, 3rd gear top MPH @ 6600 RPM---
V8 Graz: 34.6, 55.9, 80.6
V10 Graz: 38.9, 62.8, 88.1
GM Tremec: 57.6, 86.0, 117.8

Also, the 6th gear in the Graz units is only slightly taller than the Tremec's 4th.

It seems odd to me to drop big coin for essentially a 4-speed box, and that's why I am watching to see if I am missing something. Is the hesitancy to do the drop gear cost ($3K installed?) or warranty concerns?
 
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