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12/27/2018 at #9417
1979 Pontiac Trans Am LS3 Floor Repair Ridetech Street Grip Suspension Upgrades
This 1979 Pontiac Trans Am was originally equipped with a 403 cubic inch Oldsmobile V8, and although it was pretty hot for the time, it just isn’t enough for the owner today. The car came to the V8 Speed & Resto Shop for some high-performance upgrades including a GM LS3 485 HP V8 engine fed by a Holley EFI system, and it will handle better thanks to a Ridetech Street Grip suspension system. Wilwood brakes will haul it down in short order. Before all the fun, we had to fix some rusty floors, which was a good time to fabricate a custom firewall for the car as well. Follow along with all the progress here!12/27/2018 at #9418
After a complete inspection, the car was measured for panel fitment before any work began, to have a good reference point on how the hood fit for reassembly later on. Then the hood was pulled and the Olds 403 removed.
The original Oldsmobile 403… a wheezing 185 HP V8 choked with low-compression, high restriction heads and exhaust and a camshaft designed for minimal performance.
Fitment notes and measurements taken before hood is removed.12/27/2018 at #9419
Meanwhile, the Chevrolet Performance LS3 was brought in. These have impressive specs:
LS3 Tech Specs
Part Number: 19369326
Engine Type: LS-Series Gen-IV Small-Block V-8
Displacement (cu. in.): 376 (6.2L)
Bore x Stroke (in.): 4.065 x 3.622 (103.25 x 92 mm)
Block (P/N 12623967): Cast-aluminum with six-bolt, cross-bolted main caps
Crankshaft (P/N 12597569): Nodular iron
Connecting Rods (P/N 12607475): Powdered metal
Pistons (P/N 19207287): Hypereutectic aluminum
Camshaft Type (P/N 12603844): Hydraulic roller
Valve Lift (in.): .551 intake / .522 exhaust
Camshaft Duration (@.050 in.): 204° intake / 211° exhaust
Cylinder Heads (P/N 12629063): Aluminum L92-style port; “as cast” with 68-cc chambers
Valve Size (in.): 2.165 intake / 1.590 exhaust
Compression Ratio: 10.7:1
Rocker Arms (P/N 12569167 int): Investment-cast, roller trunnion
Rocker Arms (P/N 10214664 exh): Investment-cast, roller trunnion
Rocker Arm Ratio: 1.7:1
Recommended Fuel: Premium pump
Maximum Recommended rpm: 6600
Reluctor Wheel: 58X
We elected to change the oil pan and pickup for a better fit in our Trans Am’s subframe.
The pan chosen is the Holley 302-2 retro fit oil pan. This is designed to have increased ground clearance while maintaining capacity.
The install includes running the f-body windage tray and the supplied oil pump pickup tube.
The low-profile of the 302-2 pan is visible here:12/27/2018 at #9420
The LS3 was cleaned and masked for paint.
The Holley front drive system was cleaned and sprayed with an epoxy followed by a satin black Imron urethane paint.
The engine will be sprayed an original Pontiac blue in a high-temp Ceramic engine paint from Eastwood.
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