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In the 11 years since the LS-series of small-block Chevys was introduced, they have been factory-installed in everything from Corvettes to passenger cars, trucks and SUVs. Take a walk through any salvage yard and you're bound to come across plenty that have met an untimely end. Since the engine came out of a salvaged Suburban, we had no idea when the last oil change was. Westech manager Steve Brule is setting up the Painless harness system we employed (more on that in a moment) and plug wires.
Westech Tuner extraordinaire Ernie Mena is re-flashing the OE computer, with a tuning system from HP Tuners (more on that as well). Plymouth cranbrook wikipedia free encyclopedia, The plymouth cranbrook is an automobile which was built by plymouth from 1951 to 1953. Plymouth moore ' auto salvage, In our earlier years of collecting our primary interest was in mopar products. By the pin !: A trip to the 24h of Le Mans with GOLD VIP entrance, hotel, visit the Pit Lane, helicopter and more? Splash NewsMeanwhile, Kanye was all smiles for the camera as they made their way from the car. If you're after a 50's or 60's series classic Chevy project car, The Little Valley Auto Ranch in Belton Texas, 30 miles north of Austin, probably has what you're after. Finding them was a bit of an adventure, but that can be blamed on the typically poor highway signs in Texas. The Little Valley Auto Ranch has been in business for 20+ years and have moved at least once already.
Someone living in this area for generations might have a classic car in their yard but the new regulations say they need to insure and garage it, or get rid of it. Danny, her husband, isn't going to take that kind of forced regulation sitting down though. The Little Valley Auto Ranch holds swap meets a few times a year, the first is in March, the July 4th weekend, and the big one is in early December. This raises memories of discussions I've had with other classic car guys who feel that America is being stripped of it's national treasures when foreigners come over and pay outrageous prices to ship them back home. After making my way thru the parts yard I found Magic Mike working on a hood hinge for a 56 chevy they were preparing to ship. Of course the reason they got into this business is for the classic cars, and trucks in this case. There's an infusion of emotional excitement about restoring that classic car making it difficult to just leave it parked there.
It's the latter that we want to focus our attention on in this article.Among the advantages of these engines are factory aluminum heads, lightweight composite intakes and in some cases aluminum blocks.
We recently did just that, visiting Dave's Golden West Auto Wrecking in Westminster, California, where we found tons of wrecked late-model Chevrolets with 5.3-liter engines. The 5.3 came with the entire factory accessory drive system, OE harness and electronic control module (computer).
Before the engine even started, the OE computer has to be re-flashed to remove the vehicle anti-theft codes and other codes that will hinder the tuning. The cylinder walls were smooth, clean, and unscarred, and the pistons had very little carbon build up on them.The deck surface of the block was scraped clean, wiped down and was ready for the new Edelbrock cylinder heads.
The RPM Xtreme cylinder heads (PN 61949) are cast aluminum and CNC-machined in all the critical areas-combustion chambers, intake and exhaust runners, and intake and exhaust bowls. Wheat Rd in Belton, Texas about 35 miles north of Austin Texas, just a couple miles west of highway I-35.
For some reason you won't find too many advance warnings of an exit coming up while driving on Texas highways.
Urban sprawl and ongoing land development seems to have both helped and hurt their classic car salvage business. If they can't afford to do either, the municipality will grudgingly tow it away for them, and take it straight to The Little Valley Auto Ranch.
He bought some land further down the road and moved all the old cars and parts, selling the old lot to the developers who were more than willing to pay a premium for the land. These classic car events bring in a lot of business with collectors, resellers, and classic car restoration specialists from all over the world. Like most special interest salvage yards, they kind of just happen so you won't find these old classic cars organized by year or make.
By today's standards, with reproduction floor pans, quarter panels and other mechanical parts, this 63 Impala is a good candidate. There's plenty of classic cars you could pull the factory air conditioning parts from in this yard.


Some of them, to an easterner like me, look to be in better shape than others I've seen selling upwards of $3000 in the Baltimore area. The duties and customs fees for foreign cars entering European countries is often 100% of the purchase price. You could stand there looking at it or gaze at the dash while sitting in the drivers seat, forever. The use of this Web site constitutes acceptance of the Terms of Service and Privacy Policy. Many, such as the 5.3L (RPO LM7) have a cast-iron block with aluminum heads and composite intake.
At Super Chevy Shows around the country, I've seen many Nitro Coupe cars using Royal Purple motor oil. At $2,073, this combination makes them more affordable than a set of fully re-worked stock heads. You'll find what you expect at most salvage yards, the front office in a trailer at the end of a long fence. For someone who defers to her husband or son's knowledge of classic cars, she certainly knows the salvage business well and is a pleasure to talk to. Danny, the father, is the 55, 56, 57 Chevy specialist and Danny the Son is the Camaro specialist with a taste for 67-69 Camaros. When a municipality grows and swallows up surrounding countryside they impose their laws and regulations on their new constituents.
On the flipside, the same municipality wants the The Little Valley Auto Ranch to keep their array of classic cars in order and out of sight too.
You start working on a classic car restoration project, it takes a lot more time and money than anticipated. Some of them were in scattered groups, like the 55, 56, and 57 Chevy's, or the 60's Chevy's. You don't see the typical rust on a classic car in the southwest that you see on the eastern seaboard.
Interest in American classic cars and American muscle cars is not for the young or anyone that doesn't have a lot of money to throw around.
Since their priority is to spend their time on selling cars or piecing them together to order, you can't expect a fast turnaround on parts orders.
It's a bit dusty in this picture cause it's been sitting for a while, but I checked it out, he popped the hood to reveal the original 283 Small block with the oil bath air cleaner on top. The goal here is to take a salvaged engine that is in good shape and add a few items to open up its nostrils so it can breath a bit easier.
The engine was originally a fly-by-wire setup and the ECM that came from the Suburban was programmed as such. These cylinder heads feature 65cc combustion chambers, 214cc intake runners and 80cc exhaust runners. Splash NewsAccording to those close to the family, Kim may even debut little Saint in order to salvage Kanye's career.Splash News"Kim knows that she has to do something drastic and it's time for the world to meet Saint West," an insider dished.
If you're in the wrong lane when you see it, you'll fly right past it and have to circle back around. The old automotive signs on the fence do a lot to make you feel like you've stepped back in time. I learned more from her in 10 minutes about where these classic cars come from than I could have learned in a long time on my own. Maybe you have to let it sit for a while so you can save a few bucks, and eventually nothing gets done.
When you think about it, the cars and parts they are buying are from salvaged classic cars. However, out here in Austin Texas where it doesn't rain very often, this 63 Impala might last a while. It takes more time to remove some parts than it's worth so there are some parts they don't want to be bothered with. Literally millions of these cast-iron 5.3s have seen service in vehicles like Suburbans and Silverados.
If the engine can't be custom tuned, squeezing out some extra power is impossible, making the ability to tune and re-flash the computer essential. They still get surface rust, but most of it looks like it could be sanded or soda blasted off. They bring their families over for vacation, tour the car shows for a while and fill shipping containers with American classic cars and parts to send back home. If someone spends $5000 each on a project car to restore, and they ship 3 of them plus hundreds of parts, and then pay that price again in duties when they get home you can imagine how much they get for the container load.


This particular engine will end up between the rails of a '58 Chevrolet Apache Fleetside truck.
After several hours of tuning and re-tuning, we went out and got another ECM that was set up for a vehicle with a cable-actuated throttle. My opinion is that if you want to do a classic car restoration, it would pay you in saved time and expense to buy one from the southwest and ship it back home. They can fit 3 cars, and all the classic car parts they can cram into a shipping container. Mike said that these guys tell him it can take the best part of a year to sell off the cars and parts.
Fortunately, a friend nearby had a cable throttle body 5.3 with the ECM sitting in the back of a parts truck.
Yes, the truck manifold is not as attractive as the lower profile LS1 intakes and does not work as well at the upper rpm range as the LS1 intake. We used the professional model since it offers the most, and the technicians at Westech already have it on their computers. Some of the foreigners are doing the American cars justice because they have classic car laws in their country that says it has to be restored to original.
HP Tuners does do not provide a specific tune, rather the ability to tune is what the system is about. Replacing it would have added cost to the project.While the engine was still on the dyno at Westech, we swapped cylinder heads and performed a cam swap.
But this wouldn't be Super Chevy magazine if we left well enough alone, so we're going to perform a few more installs and bump up the power.While Steve cleaned the deck surface, Ernie installed the Comp Cams Xtreme RPM roller cam (PN 54-416-11). The HP Tuners Web site also has several demo tutorials and even a forum filled with information on how to tune various GM vehicles.
Each tool comes in a specified rod length range and each complete turn is equal to .050 of an inch. It is imperative to measure for the correct pushrod length with a cylinder head swap.Here's the proof. The power and torque curve is not only a beautiful thing to see, but the peak horsepower numbers are beyond impressive when compared to the stock numbers. The horsepower peaked at 441 at 6,200 rpm, while the torque peaked at 410 lb-ft at 4,800 rpm. That's a 97hp gain over the initial stock numbers and a 40 lb-ft improvement over the initial pull.
The '58 Chevy truck where this engine will end up will cruise down the highway with decent power and get decent mileage all at once. That's having your cake and eating it too.If the OE computer is the brain of the engine, then the wiring harness is the spinal cord.
The spinal cord that was used in this engine build was the Painless Performance fuel-injection harness (PN 60218).
This particular factory-style harness is designed to work with the stock ECM and plug into all the sensors and controllers that are vital for the engine's function. Not just any stock ECM will work; check the serial number on the back of the Delphi ECM to find out if it is compatible with this harness.
For more specifics, call Painless Performance's tech line, or check its Web site for compatibility. The ECM that came with this engine would not take a tune and function properly.Originally the ECM and engine was set up from the factory to work with a fly-by-wire throttle body.
Either the fly by wire ECM would not co-operate with a harness designed for a cable set up or the ECM was just plain bad. Once we switched out, the fly-by-wire ECM and used a cable ECM it took a tune and worked beautifully.
As an added bonus, if you do purchase the Painless harness for the LS-based engine, Painless will re-flash the factory ECM for you, removing things like the vehicle anti-theft and other problems, and it will be guaranteed to work with their harness. That free service alone is worth hundreds of dollars or hours of trying to figure it out on your own like we did.The attractive truck intake is bolted back on and the rest of the engine is wired up again and ready to test.
Side note: The stock pushrods were about to be re-used, however Steve was wary about the excessive amount of pre-load that was put onto the lifters. After a few pulls and re-maps of the tune, they found the sweet spot and made a final pull.




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