The no budget build - manual, LSA, SS

Tell us about your new PPV, show us some pictures, let us know how you did what you did!
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fuzzkill
Posts: 144
Joined: Sat Feb 04, 2017 10:19 pm

Re: The no budget build - manual, LSA, SS

Post by fuzzkill » Sat Jun 26, 2021 3:11 am

Trucking along ...

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My intercooler fill/reservoir came in today, will try and fit it over the weekend. Looks decent, and I like that I'll be able to see the fluid level without opening it.

Today's project was the exhaust, and everything went pretty smoothly.

The kit is from a G8, so it needs some modification to fit the PPV. It is also for factory manifolds/cats, so that end needs some attention as well.

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First thing I did was to fit everything onto the hangers to locate the system. Since the PPV is longer than the G8, you don't have to weld on any extra pipe under the body, but you have to only partially seat the slip fittings to make the system longer. So instead of clamping the system together, I will need to weld the exhaust together as a unit. This is fine, as the factory system is like this, and our exhaust doesn't go over anything, so it can always be dropped back out in one piece.

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Once it was hanging from the car, I cut the front flanges off the system, since we won't be using those. The longtubes come out the bottom a little wider than the factory exhaust as well, so my solution to that was pretty simple. There is a small jog in the pipe before the flange, I simply cut it, and then clocked it so the jog went in the opposite direction, widening the spacing to meet with my headers. I installed the v band adapters that come with the headers, and then loosely fitted it to the Magnaflow pipes. I then tacked it together after checking clearances. I continued my way back, tacking the system in place when I had the mufflers level and situated where I wanted them.

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After everything was tacked in place, the system looks something like this. All the hangers in the right place, everything bolted up, but the tips are way too short.

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I cut them off, and then extended them out to the bumper. Throw some paint over the welds, and the exhaust is done!

Happy to get it knocked out in a day. I also have some good news on my remaining items - I have coilovers on order finally and I dropped the driveshaft off this morning. Coilovers are coming directly from Australia, so will probably be 1-2 weeks depending on how quick they get out and how long they sit at customs. But I'm happy that I won't have to wait the 1-2 months I was expecting, and I'll be able to install them the first go round instead of throwing stock suspension back on temporarily.

fuzzkill
Posts: 144
Joined: Sat Feb 04, 2017 10:19 pm

Re: The no budget build - manual, LSA, SS

Post by fuzzkill » Sun Jun 27, 2021 1:30 am

Got some little things done today.

Got the washer tank mounted, onto the driver side frame rail right below the core support and where the intake tube goes. I was able to keep the factory fill cap, but had to shorten the bracket for it. So it appears to be stock, but has quite a bit lower capacity. I hooked up the factory vent tube as well so filling should be easy.

I installed the intercooler reservoir, and ran some jumper wires for now for the IC pump. I filled and bled the system, but I am not happy with the reservoir. I can't see fluid movement in it, only level. I thought I'd be able to see some sloshing but no. So I'm going to order a different unit with a top return and a bottom feed, so that seeing that the pump is working is much easier. Probably be a little easier to mount as well.

I let the car run up to temp, and had to raise the idle a little to make it happy for now. Everything seems to be good to go, with the exception of a small coolant seep from the lower radiator pipe. I already tried finding a new o-ring once for it. I think I'll just pick up a new one from the dealer so that I don't have to worry about that in the back of my head.

I went to reinstall the windshield cowl, but the metal part of it actually touches the lid of the blower. I'm not sure why that would be, I was under the impression that the CTS-V lid is quite a bit shorter than the ZL1 lid. I can lower my motor mounts 1/2", but I was under the impression that with them installed as is keeps everything at the stock height. I'd rather not give up ground clearance if I don't have to. I don't see anything else obstructing anything.

fuzzkill
Posts: 144
Joined: Sat Feb 04, 2017 10:19 pm

Re: The no budget build - manual, LSA, SS

Post by fuzzkill » Mon Jun 28, 2021 11:21 pm

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I modified the washer tank to accept the factory Holden pump instead of switching to a universal pump. This will make it easier in the future if it ever needs to be replaced (or harder, lol). The zip tie is extra insurance against gravity, as it fits very snug in the bottom with the grommet but I'd rather not have it fall out.

I looked into the cowl a bit more, and all the pictures I see with someone running the CTS-V lid, they don't have the cowl installed. The only one I found with the cowl installed, the cowl was uneven in the middle because it is unable to sit flat from the blower lid. That was the same issue I had. So I took out the 1/2" spacers from my motor mounts to correct the issue. Even with the engine sitting lower, the front plastic lip of the cowl still touches the lid. The metal brace has a decent clearance now though, so I will just trim the lip a little and everything should be good.

Car will be lowered but not slammed so it shouldn't be a big deal losing the 1/2". Oil pan is flush with the crossmember now, and the little bulge of the drain plug sits out just a bit below. The V-band connector from the headers is probably an inch below that.



I also figured out my dome/reading light issue, this has been bugging me for the past few days. Ended up being related to the driver rear signal not working and if I was still automatic the shift interlock wouldn't have worked either (but obviously I didn't notice that one). One of the power feeds into the BCM wasn't seated in the body connector, so it was causing a voltage drop.

Probably swap over my brake lines and bleed out the system tomorrow, hopefully I will get my driveshaft back before the holiday so that I can have everything knocked out before the coilovers arrive.

fuzzkill
Posts: 144
Joined: Sat Feb 04, 2017 10:19 pm

Re: The no budget build - manual, LSA, SS

Post by fuzzkill » Wed Jun 30, 2021 4:41 am

Didn't touch the brakes but I did get some done.

I got my new fob blanks cut at the dealer, while I went to pick up the correct shifter trim bezel. But the catalog number was wrong, so I'm still waiting for that. Trying to keep the factory shift boot (with an extra hole for the reverse lockout).

Came home, tested all the keys, and then programmed them to the car. Everything works as designed. I also did my last bit of interior wiring, for the spotlight. With that in place I cleaned up a bit inside (read: remove tools) and was able to put on the last bit of door/dash trimmings.

Got a call my driveshaft was done, so I headed down to pick it up.

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This forced my hand with what to do, as I need to remove the exhaust to install the driveshaft, but I also have to swap out the V6 fuel pump that I've been putting off. So I pulled off the exhaust, dropped down the subframe (easy since I have no struts yet and the brakes lines aren't done yet!), and then removed the tank. I'm very glad that I made the discovery that the pump was not the same, because on inspection you can see that the pump in the basket is actually physically smaller by quite a bit from the ZL1 pump. No idea on what it flows but I'm sure it wouldn't have been enough.

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V6 pump part number

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Comparison (V6 left, ZL1 right)

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ZL1 pump

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V6 pump

Swapped the pump, and then reinstall the fuel tank, cradle, driveshaft, and exhaust. As I had mentioned, I had the shaft shortened 2.5". This was perfect, it seems you have about 1/2" range, after that it is either too long to install or too short to extend and bolt up. I have about 1/4" more I can compress it or extend it from the fully installed position.

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All the factory heat shields/braces went back in place just fine, with plenty of clearance to the new exhaust and driveshaft.

My to-do list is getting pretty short.
New IC reservoir coming tomorrow (I don't like this one)
Finish IC pump wiring
Figure out low beam headlight circuit and wig wag circuit to switch (already ran from interior out to lights)
Swap brake lines and bleed brakes
Install suspension once it arrives
Clean/reinstall headlights and bumper

fuzzkill
Posts: 144
Joined: Sat Feb 04, 2017 10:19 pm

Re: The no budget build - manual, LSA, SS

Post by fuzzkill » Thu Jul 01, 2021 4:40 am

Definitely going to be sitting on my hands waiting for the suspension, but I know it will be worth the wait.

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Today, my correct shifter trim arrived. This is for a 15-17 SS as opposed to the 14 piece I have from my donor. I would assume the 15-17 automatic shifter assembly is different as well, because this number is listed without any notes about auto or manual, but the (auto) shifter lists the same 14-17 so I'm not sure. What I am sure of, is that this is what I need, the manual shifter boot with trim snaps right into this. I made a small cutout in the boot for the reverse lockout, I need to stitch it up tomorrow and then I can install it permanently. I may end up having a custom boot made using this trim ring, as there is a lot of excess leather left over from the lower height and less movement needed.

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My new reservoir also arrived today, made quick work installing it. Have a small bracket that attaches under the SC tensioner and supports it from the bottom. It's high enough that I can leave the cap off and it won't overflow, even when all the air is bled out of the system. I can also easily see flow in the reservoir with the cap off. This was an issue with the other reservoir (as well as mounting).

After the plumbing was all done, I went ahead and permanently wired up the IC pump. Checked the diagrams for the wig wag flasher, and wired that into the fuse box as well. For the lights I tapped into the factory 'emergency lights' circuit in the box that is unused on the SS. Pretty sure that is where power comes from in the PPV.

Next on the list is the low beam headlight circuit. The PPV (somewhat odd to me) gets power feed from the BCM. The SS uses the underhood fuse box directly to the HID ballasts. I am using the stock PPV forward lamp harness, so the associated fuse block connection has no pins. I took the pins out from the SS side of the fuse box connector, and then took the other mating side pins for the front lamp harness from my old PPV front body harness.
SS went fuse box -> headlights
PPV went BCM -> forward body harness -> forward lamp harness -> headlights
Now it goes fuse box -> forward lamp harness -> headlights
This way, everything goes through factory connectors, fused, and nothing needs to be added aside from some loom.

That's where the good news ends.

I also went to swap the brake lines today, and it turns out I had been putting it off for good reason. The first caliper I did, I cracked open both bleeders. One felt a little crappy, but I only backed it out maybe a half turn. Enough for fluid to come out. I tightened them both back up, but the one that gave me trouble was still pouring out fluid. I went to snug it a little more and it snapped off flush in the caliper.

Spent a few hours messing with it, and managed to get the old bleeder out, chased the threads because they were looking pretty crappy. Couldn't find a proper tap but the chaser worked as well as it could - it's just aluminum anyway. Unfortunately, even with a fresh bleeder it still leaks out pretty terribly, not sure if it's coming from the threads or if the internal seat is messed up. I was pretty frustrated with it at that point and already had a replacement ordered for tomorrow. The other 3 calipers all cooperated and I gravity bled them. Once I get the other caliper on and closed up I can properly bleed the system.

So tomorrow I should get the brakes done, and see if I can't make the shifter boot look decent. Picked up some supplies to polish my headlights, once that is done I can put the bumper back on and then I'll just be sitting in the car making engine noises for the next week or so.

fuzzkill
Posts: 144
Joined: Sat Feb 04, 2017 10:19 pm

Re: The no budget build - manual, LSA, SS

Post by fuzzkill » Fri Jul 02, 2021 10:20 pm

Finished the shifter boot, got it sewed around the perimeter for the reverse lever. Gives it a more OEM look (even though you can't really see it) and will keep the material from tearing with use.

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Brakes are all wrapped up and bled out.

I wanted to clean up my headlights before reinstalling them, this turned out to be an ordeal. It seems the little things are biting me as I approach the finish line. I bought the exact same kit I used on my last Caprice headlights. It starts with a 500 grit disc with a drill attachment. It. Did. Nothing. Literally nothing. So I went and grabbed some 400 grit sheets, and got to work sanding by hand. I spent about an hour sanding and only managed to get about 60% of one headlight smoothed. I have no idea what coating was on these or if it was factory, but it is incredibly hard or incredibly thick. I said screw it and jumped to 220 grit. This made quick work of the coating, and was able to get down to fresh plastic. It took a little bit longer at 400, to get rid of the scratches from the 220, but after that it went pretty smoothly. Did 220, 400, 800, 1500, 2500 by hand, and then a 3000 grit pad in the drill. Then a polishing compound. I went to shoot it with some clear and about lost my mind. The clear I shot it with made all these spiderweb lines all over the headlight about 30 seconds after I shot it. Not sure why, I was hoping it would level itself out but it didn't. I tried to remove it with 800 but had to start over again with the 220 to remove this clear, and do the process all over again. This time I used a different clear - this one has some orange peel in it but going to see if I can't polish it out in a couple days once it's fully cured. Even if not, they look much better than they did before.

And saving the best for last ... I finally got tracking information for my suspension. I managed to secure a set of Shockworks coilovers, with an expected arrival date of next Thursday. Hopefully it breezes through customs quickly and everything arrives safely - last couple packages have been hit or miss on how long they sit in clearance.

Tomorrow I have some bulbs coming in for the headlights, and then I will reinstall them along with the front bumper. Aside from that, I don't think I have anything else to do besides maybe let it run a bit more on the lift a few times.

Going to clean some more in the shop for now while we wait.

fuzzkill
Posts: 144
Joined: Sat Feb 04, 2017 10:19 pm

Re: The no budget build - manual, LSA, SS

Post by fuzzkill » Mon Jul 05, 2021 6:13 pm

I fitted all the bulbs into the lights, all exterior lights are now LED. Went ahead and reinstalled the front bumper with the headlights. There was a lot less room for my IC pump than I thought there was going to be but it fits (barely).


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The slight orange peel in the clearcoat on the headlights was bothering me, and it didn't come out with a polish so I hit it with some 3000 and then polished again. Now they look new, there are a couple minor imperfections but they are on the inside of the lens so I can live with that.

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Buttoned up the trim in the trunk, the plastic battery door support had come unglued from the carpet so I re attached it and now everything is good to go. Even have the cargo net from the SS :lol:

My suspension has been shipped but hasn't made it off the island yet. Probably still another week until it lands in my hands.

smwalker
Posts: 2034
Joined: Mon Jul 29, 2013 6:44 am
Location: Azusa,CA

Re: The no budget build - manual, LSA, SS

Post by smwalker » Mon Jul 05, 2021 7:59 pm

Wait SO that is the SS BCM controlling those rear lights yes? So you wired in a wig wag module to the SS front headlight harness?
Steve Walker
Azusa, CA
'11 PPV 9C3 Huron White

fuzzkill
Posts: 144
Joined: Sat Feb 04, 2017 10:19 pm

Re: The no budget build - manual, LSA, SS

Post by fuzzkill » Mon Jul 05, 2021 8:28 pm

smwalker wrote:
Mon Jul 05, 2021 7:59 pm
Wait SO that is the SS BCM controlling those rear lights yes? So you wired in a wig wag module to the SS front headlight harness?
I didn't attempt to see if the SS BCM would do anything with the emergency light input (if it's not repurposed on the SS for another circuit already). All my flashers/strobes are all completely independent of the main body wiring.

I used the SS front body harness but kept the Caprice forward lamp harness (with wig wag flasher already in line). I just had to supply power to the flasher, and a signal to activate it. The hazard lights are on, which is why the rear is flashing - I just showing off the amber turn signals. I added pins to the fuse block connection where the SS outputs low beam power and tied it into the Caprice forward lamp harness. Park lamps, signals, and high beam circuit worked as-is. You will need to add in the side markers into the harness if you want them, as the SS doesn't have them.

fuzzkill
Posts: 144
Joined: Sat Feb 04, 2017 10:19 pm

Re: The no budget build - manual, LSA, SS

Post by fuzzkill » Tue Jul 06, 2021 11:23 pm

Went and scrapped the SS shell today along with various scrap from both cars. Was tired of looking at it in the yard, and it was on my trailer.

Also ordered some rear door panels from Matty Curtis, coming out of Australia. These will match the front SS door panels as well as having the factory grille for the speaker in the door. The trim is beige instead of black though, so I will have to have the insert recovered but it shouldn't be a big deal.

My coilovers ETA date has slipped back to the 12th, and that is still assuming that it gets through customs quickly. We can only hope that they under promise and over deliver :D

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