Chris_WNC's Track Frame #338 '09 LT Auto Donor - LDK/6758 swap.

Chris_WNC

Member
I'm going to go ahead and start my build thread. I have been looking for a fun car to drive around town here in rural NC. It's a small town. Lots of back country roads to enjoy. Searching for kit type cars led me to this forum and I got hooked. I am all in and can't wait to get out on the road!

I paid my deposit for a full kit last week. Email confirmation said that I am either chassis #331 or #338 (it mentioned both). I'm having it set up for a base/auto donor. Full frame. Easy entry double bars. Plus some extras. My order sheet.


My goal is to use the base/auto chassis config and swap in a turbo engine. I ordered the LDK / ZFR 6750 crate engine. Freight truck should deliver it next week some time. I know I need some different parts from Lonnie and I'll make sure to ask for them later on when I lock in the build. I'm also scouring the other build threads and making a list of parts I need to buy.

I knew I wanted a square wheel setup. Larger diameter with wide tread. Instead of dealing with spacers, I found these 0 offset 18x9.5 Riddler wheels. They have a resto mod muscle car type look with the chrome outer ring and grey coated center. I found some good priced 275/35-18 Potenzas to start out with. I order 4 of each and received them last week. Already had a local shop mount them up for me. :)



I've also been thinking heavily on how I wanted the nose and side panels finished. Flashy, basic, bright, raw, camoed? I talked myself out of learning how to paint and think I will go with wrap. I found a color that I liked and ordered a sample swatch. Here it is near the rim.


I know. Weird rim choice. Weird color choice. I have inspiration though.

The 1959 Thunderbird that my wife's grandfather bought new. We inherited it about a decade ago and are working on getting it back on the road. We'll be making grocery runs in it this fall I think.

I also ordered a set of custom seats from PRP. They have a two month lead time so I wanted to get it in early. A mix of grey and black vinyls with some tweed. Weird again! lol.

Today I finalized my choice for a donor. I found it on FB Marketplace last week and the price dropped a couple times over 7 days. I made the two hour round trip this evening to pick it up. It is a $900 2009 LT, auto, 4 door. It has bumper light front damage and a trashed out interior but runs and shifts well. The transmission was rebuilt about 20k ago so I will clean it up and reuse it. I'm not sure how much of the other stuff I'll be able to sell after I strip what I need out of it. Here is the beauty before I got all the straps off and got it off the trailer.


I didn't tell my son about it. When he went to take out the trash this evening he came back in real fast and said that he though some crack-heads parked their car in our yard. lol. I brought it home so that I can play with the HP Tuner thing that I bought. I have no idea how to use it but wanted to do a scan and start tinkering with it. I'll haul the donor to the laser shop that I work at in a few weeks to get started tearing it down.

My build and log will be scattered about and random. That is my warning to you all. Ha! I know the outcome that I want but am not sure all of the dots I have to connect from this point and the end. This will be my diary of all the mistakes I make. :cool: I hope you all enjoy the ride!

CHRIS
 
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Chris_WNC

Member
The engine from ZZP was delivered yesterday. I got the LDK long block with ZFR 6758 turbo. Looking at all the empty plugs, ports, and threaded holes is pretty intimidating. I need to get my donor's engine pulled so I can see what a dressed Ecotec looks like. :D

Here's some boring photos for you.







I had some Amazon/China motorcycle lighting show up today. It'll get tossed in my Goblin pile. I need to read more and start working on a list of parts to order for the LDK.

CHRIS
 

Gtstorey

Well-Known Member
"Looking at all the empty plugs, ports, and threaded holes is pretty intimidating"

There will still be empty holes when you are done, just not as many.
 

Rauq

Well-Known Member
I'm curious how you're going to drive the direct injection system if you have the ECM and harness from a base model (port fuel injection motor). Or are you going to swap the LAP head from your donor onto the LDK block?
 

Rauq

Well-Known Member
Would still need a new ECM to drive the direct injectors, and that's about the extent of the setup that I'm familiar with. For some useless speculation, I believe the ECM would have to agree with the BCM which might require a TechII? I know there's something with a TCM as well for the auto trans but can't remember if it went away or was introduced with the later years' ECM. I seem to recall also it was easier to start with an HHR SS to end up with a turbo DI automatic than to try to piece it together with Cobalt parts, but it's been a while since I've gone through this build thread.

Long story short, knowing the effort I'd be willing to put into the swap, if it were me, I'd just swap the port fuel injection head onto the LDK block. I don't think the injector style alone is going to make a significant difference in power.
 

Chris_WNC

Member
I'm checking around for solutions.

1. HHR Turbo/Auto harness and ECU seems like a decent option. It's been done in one of the builds here.
2. Custom harness and ECU/TCU work is another way. I sent an email out about this.
3. ZZP sells a turbo ECU that looks like it can be set up for auto or manual. If they are programming the turbo/auto combo then it's possible to make happen. That opens the doors to getting a Cobalt turbo ECU/harness and modding it for the auto.
4. Any advice?

I'm going to keep adding the ancillary parts to the LDK while working on a solution for marrying it up with the 4T45E. I'm a few months out from getting my chassis so there isn't a huge rush. Worst case scenario is that I build the goblin using all parts from the donor while I (ahem...you guys :D ) get the turbo engine swap figured out.

CHRIS
 

Chris_WNC

Member
Would still need a new ECM to drive the direct injectors, and that's about the extent of the setup that I'm familiar with. For some useless speculation, I believe the ECM would have to agree with the BCM which might require a TechII? I know there's something with a TCM as well for the auto trans but can't remember if it went away or was introduced with the later years' ECM. I seem to recall also it was easier to start with an HHR SS to end up with a turbo DI automatic than to try to piece it together with Cobalt parts, but it's been a while since I've gone through this build thread.

Long story short, knowing the effort I'd be willing to put into the swap, if it were me, I'd just swap the port fuel injection head onto the LDK block. I don't think the injector style alone is going to make a significant difference in power.
I'll look at that option as well. Seems easy enough and I won't have to pay someone to come up with a crazy solution. Thanks.

CHRIS
 

Chris_WNC

Member
Big update! Nah, just kidding. My local HF finally got some engine stands in stock so I went and picked one up. It took a few trips to Lowes to get the bolts to attach the engine but I have it up on wheels now. :cool: I've got a roller!


I emailed several companies about handling the computer/wiring side of this jumble of parts that I've acquired so far. Nobody wanted to touch it. lol. Or they didn't understand what I was asking. Either way. No luck with someone else engineering the solution for me. @Rauq had a solid idea and I'm going to try to go that way. I ordered a worked over LAP head with some porting and stage 2 cams, larger valves, springs and such. It'll be fully assembled so I hope it won't be too much of an ordeal to swap over.

I'm building a Rock Auto shopping cart with stuff that I *think* I may need to purchase for the head swap. I'm going to wait until it shows up to see what is actually coming with it. A board member is hooking me up with a flex plate and new bolts. That's one more thing off the list!

I'm dragging my feet on tearing down the donor. I'm living in a rental now while our new house and my shop is being built. The rental has a single car garage that is pretty much a big closet now. Not much room in there for this project. My steel building is taking way longer than we had planned. I'm two months in and finally got engineering drawings that I can can pass along to the concrete guys. Customer service is horrendous across the board these days. Everything seems to have a week or two or three wait time for a reply or response. I'm not sure the building will be done by the time the chassis is finished.:D We'll see.

CHRIS
 
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