Joel’s SL-C Build Thread

Joel K

Supporter
I have not seen this documented anywhere so figure this may help others. After installing the control arms and uprights I noticed a small pattern engraved into one fork on each of the front lower control arms. It’s a capital F-> pattern. I did not notice it before and realized those patterns were pointing backward on my build so I contacted Bill from RCR.

He recommended to reverse them so the F-> points forward. So I reversed them and saw by doing this the lower ball joints were now slightly more forward.

Bill has been great in getting back to me on a number of questions and issues and I really appreciate the great customer service I have received.

Here is a pic of the driver side lower front fork.....
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Here is a pic of the passenger side lower front fork....
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Joel K

Supporter
Moving on to replacing the wheel studs in the stock wheel bearings. I have followed many of the threads regarding upgrading the wheel studs as well as upgrading the bearings.

At this point I decided to just upgrade the wheel studs to the 2.5” ARP Heavy Duty wheel studs. Considering the horsepower and torque output of the Gen V LT4 this mod insures full engagement of the lug nuts as well as providing stronger studs which are heat treated chromoly steel.

Here is a video of the process....

Although this upgrade has been written up before, some things were not clear to me so here are a few things to keep in mind.

1)The ARP wheel studs are 1” longer than the stocks studs
2)The stock lugs will not work with the ARP studs and are too short so you will need to find taller lug nuts.
3)I am going to go with Gorilla forged steel Open End Race Lug Nuts 45038BC-20. They also have a closed end version as well, Gorilla Automotive 45138BC-20.
4)I estimate the new lugs will have at least 1.25” of thread engagement which is more than enough.
5)Since these wheel studs are 1” longer than stock they have to be installed perfectly perpendicular to the hub, otherwise the ARP studs won’t pass through the holes in the disc rotor.
6)The splines/knurls on the ARP studs are .502” in diameter and a few thousands of an inch larger than the stock studs and require great force to install them. Thus I purchased a press for the job.

These are the same studs Johan used on his build...
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Here is a pic of the difference between the ARP and stock studs...
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I originally was planning to use an inexpensive ball joint remover from harbor freight to remove the old studs and install the ARP studs...
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Here is a close up of how the fork of the tool lays on the hub as the stud is removed...
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The tool did a great job removing the studs....
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Installing the studs with the ball joint tool was another story. It might have been able to replace the stock studs, but did not fit well enough on top of the stud head and could not apply enough pressure to press in the ARP studs. Basically the tool cannot push the stud in totally perpendicular....
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So took a ride to Harbor Freight and for $80 I picked up this 6 ton press. Turned out it is too small to easily do this job, but I was able to maneuver the front and lower bearing to be able to install the studs.

Picture of how I as able to position the front wheel hubs in the channel of the press. I then used a stack of washers and socket and positioned them under the press. By pressing on the washer stack it pushed the stud up through the hub. I applied light oil to the knurls before I pressed them in...
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The rear wheel bearing was positioned differently, I pressed the studs in from the back of the bearing hub. You can see I drilled two holes in the 1/2” steel press support plate to provide support to the hub so it would not bend as I pressed the stud into the hub. Also, the two holes in the press support plate helps guide the studs into the hub perfectly straight....
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Also used a C clamp on the press plate to insure the hub was well supported while pressing in the new studs....
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Mission accomplished. Glad this is over. Much more challenging than I anticipated.
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Next step planning on installing the bellcranks and do a first pass at setting the suspension to zero toe and camber.
 
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Neil

Supporter
Joel,

It may be too late now but I'd suggest using wheel studs with rounded unthreaded ends. ARP makes them. This makes starting the nut easier and prevents cross- threading. SCTA requires 1" across hex nuts so that they provide a wider contact area on the wheel. This reduces the chance that the nut could pull through the wheel.
 

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Joel K

Supporter
Joel,

It may be too late now but I'd suggest using wheel studs with rounded unthreaded ends. ARP makes them. This makes starting the nut easier and prevents cross- threading. SCTA requires 1" across hex nuts so that they provide a wider contact area on the wheel. This reduces the chance that the nut could pull through the wheel.
Hi Neil, thanks for the info. I did see those for sale originally. When I planned the upgrade for some reason I thought these studs were 1/2” longer than stock. The reason being I did not actually measure everything. Too many things to keep track of I guess. LOL. So thought having more threads is better but now realize they are a full 1 inch taller so having the non threaded area on the top would have been ok.

I now realize I need to be careful not to destroy the threads on top. I actually did ruin one inserting it into the hub. My washer stack was too short and the hex nut got pressed onto the top threads so wound up buying another set. Live and learn.

Interesting about using a washer on the wheels. I only plan to do street driving so just having the chromoloy wheel studs with the additional thread length is a decent upgrade. If I plan on track usage I would upgrade the hubs as discussed in Howard’s thread.
 
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Howard Jones

Supporter
Be sure you check with your wheel manufacture. I found that there are several different manufactures lug nuts that won't fit correctly with the GM ZO6 wheels I use. In the end I bought some GM replacement USA lugs for the ZO6 wheels I use. All good. Beware cheap Chinese lug nut knockoffs.

By the way I have that same press that I bought for the same purpose. I have used it quite a bit since. Kind of small working area but after all its pretty cheap.
 

Joel K

Supporter
Be sure you check with your wheel manufacture. I found that there are several different manufactures lug nuts that won't fit correctly with the GM ZO6 wheels I use. In the end I bought some GM replacement USA lugs for the ZO6 wheels I use. All good. Beware cheap Chinese lug nut knockoffs.

By the way I have that same press that I bought for the same purpose. I have used it quite a bit since. Kind of small working area but after all its pretty cheap.
Thanks Howard, that press works good and as you say the working area is a bit too small. I was thinking of modifying it to make the working area 2-3” taller.

With regard to lug nuts I plan on using Gorilla Forged Steel lug nuts from Summit racing, not risking buying Potential knock-off’s from eBay.
 
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Joel K

Supporter
Decided go ahead and do an initial suspension setup for body fitting. The main reason for fitting the body now is to see how much room I have and where to place the two rear intercoolers, dry sump tank, and some other items. Also, the front radiator and fan shroud will be placed a bit more forward than stock in order to clear the power brake booster so seeing exactly how much room there is under the front clam will help.

My build process is to find a mounting location for all the major components before I start to run coolant and AC lines etc.

Most builders recommend to do zero toe and camber for the initial body fitment so that is the approach.

Here is a link to the video which shows the process....

Did some quick math to figure out where the uprights needed to be placed in order to set ride height at 4.25”.
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Front uprights are set at 19.5” off the ground at the current height the chassis is at on the lift(11”). Used a digital level placed up against the side of the upright to set zero camber...
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Used a long level and aligned it against the side frame member with a micrometer to set zero toe in...
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Fabricated some anti-droop rods to install on the suspension to hold the wheels up at the proper ride height. Got some 1/2” grade 8 threaded rod and rod ends from McMaster-Carr for these. I used the threaded rod so I can fine tune the ride height if my initial measurements are off...
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Anti-droop rod installed on front suspension set at zero toe, zero camber and 19.5” off the floor....
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Did some more quick math to figure out that the rear uprights needed to be 18.8” off the ground in order to set ride height at 5”. I wound up using 19” which set the rear ride height to 4.8”...
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Same approach to set zero toe on the rears....
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Installed the bell-cranks....
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Installed the anti-droop rods on the rear as well...
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Next up is installing the wheel bearings, wheels, and getting the spyder on the chassis.
 
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Joel K

Supporter
Installed the front and rear wheel bearings and mounted the wheels on the car.
Torqued the front four wheel bearing bolts to 47 lb-ft and the rear three bolts to 66 lb-ft. Also used blue thread-lock on the rears.

Here is a video of the process...

On the first pass with the anti-droop rods installed, the rear ride height was perfect at 4.8” and the front was .25” too tall at 4.5” so need to adjust the ant-droop rods, reset zero camber and zero toe at 4.25” front ride height. After that will test fit the body....
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Joel K

Supporter
Decided to fit the center console at this point. Main reason being is I want to locate the seats and pedal assembly which will dictate where on the extended footbox the power brake booster will go. Considering I want to mount the seats as close to the console it made sense to not guess and just trim it up and fit it onto the tub.

Here is a video of the process...

Used some masking tape to protect the piece from the Dremel cutting wheel running away. I first cut the lower ridge off and was not sure if that was where I should cut. I’ve seen a couple pictures of other console installs, but couldn’t really tell where exactly to trim, so just started cutting...
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Then cut the top out...
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Then the tail....
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After trying to fit it I decided to cut the lower section off since the back of the tail would be too high to line up with the tub...
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Then realized the front of the passenger side console needed to be trimmend around the evaporator. Just used a sharpie and cut away 1/4” at a time...
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Finally trimmed enough to clear the evaporator. Came out pretty good although ideally I could have angled the cutting of the lower portion to a 1/4” tall in the rear. The way I cut it, there is a 1/“4 gap between the tub and the tail of the console. I’ll either leave it as is, fill in the gap, or mount the tail lower and build up the tail to match the contour of the tub. Either-way, not a big deal and now I can proceed to locate the seats, pedals, and brake booster....
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I really like the look of the interior tub and dash...
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