Sluggonaut's Extended Track #364 - 2007 SS/SC (Turbo) Donor

Sluggonaut

Well-Known Member
The build log for chassis #364 finally starts with the acquisition of the 2007 SS/SC turbo-swapped donor.

My wife and I paid a visit to the DF gang last week and decided on our kit options even though I was still on the hunt for the perfect donor. The quest continued this past week and after meeting some pretty cool guys along the way, found a 2007 SS/SC with 140k miles and a ZZP K04 turbo kit installed.

I wanted to get the build log started, but won't be able to start the project until I get some family commitments out of the way and get the build location prepped and ready for work. I promised myself to not drive the donor around too much in the meantime.

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Sluggonaut

Well-Known Member
I've been watching the wiring harness instructional videos list in the Build Video section, but I keep seeing references to the "new" wiring videos in several threads.

Which ones should I be watching exactly? The ones in the Build Video section or DoyleFab on YouTube or other?

Thanks in advance!
 

Sluggonaut

Well-Known Member
I found these new ones tonight - under DF Kit Car on YouTube. I thought the originals were pretty good but these are amazing.

The other YouTube ones I saw were under DoyleFab - when you guys mentioned 2-year-old YouTube videos I thought you meant these and I assumed you were just high. lol

I feel much better about the wiring harness when I have to cross that bridge.
 

Sluggonaut

Well-Known Member
Day 1
Work Time: 30 minutes
Completed: Part of Video 1


My build officially started today even though I didn't get very far. The donor was moved to my workspace and my workspace now contains my tools and everything I need to get started.

A special thanks to Jareth for providing his video transcripts. I have my notes from the first 4 tear-down videos, but I printed Jareth's transcripts in case I needed them for reference. Needless to say. I already referred to them today in support of my notes. lol

Most of my time today was spent getting my workspace and donor situated. I did manage to get started on Video 1 but it was short-lived. I remembered to bring my fuel container but forgot the 3/4" heater hose. The hose may not have helped because my car wouldn't start with the fuel pump relay removed. I threw my fuel pressure tester in my bag along with the heater hose so I can safely depressurize the rail tomorrow and hopefully get through the rest of Video 1 and 2 before trick-or-treat duty begins.

I believe it was Lao-tzu who said. "The journey of a thousand miles begins with one step". Well, I started my thousand-mile journey by tripping on my first step, so here's to hoping it's smoother sailing here on out.

BTW. is it normal to already miss driving the donor?
 

Scott #321

Well-Known Member
BTW. is it normal to already miss driving the Donar?
I wouldn't know as I barely put one mile on my donor due to it needing new wheels to be safe. I would have probably spent more on a new Trans if I had had more drive time.
 

Rttoys

Goblin Guru
Nope. Mine would not shift when I bought it. Fixed that and ran it around the block a few times. That was about it. Time to tear down and get on to the good stuff.
 

Sluggonaut

Well-Known Member
Day 2
Work Time: 2.5 hours
Completed: Rest of Video 1 and all of Video 2


Progress has been steady when I've had the time to get to the shed and work on the donor. I expected some hurdles along the way but I've been surprised that they've been minor things:
  • Wiper arms not coming off - after dinking around with them for 20 minutes, the tin snips worked just fine cutting out sections of the cowl to get it removed around the wipers.
  • Bottom 2 fender bolts - after using a ratcheting box wrench that is not selectable and wedging it up under the side of the car with no way to reverse it, I got out the oversized pliers and bent the rail straight. Did that from the start on the other side and no issues.
  • The passenger seat slider handle had the pin fall out on the inside - I had to get an extra light and my cheaters to see how it actuated before finding the spot to apply some pry bar action and slide the seat far enough forward to access the bolts.
I'm hoping to have a big chunk of Saturday to power through the next couple of videos. My youngest son is coming home and wants to work on it. It's always nice to have help, especially if it is a mechanic with his own tools in tow. I'm starting to run out of space and may need to spend some work time organizing a little better to increase my space efficiency.

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Pretty clean interior. The only goodies I found under the seats were an empty Mountain Dew can, some paper containing information on Adult Constipation, a spool of wire, and a miscellaneous connector I haven't identified. I'm keeping the wire and hanging onto the connector until I know what it is or if it is needed.
 

Sluggonaut

Well-Known Member
Day 3
Work Time: 2 hours
Completed: Video 3 up to subframe drop


Made good progress today completing Video 3 right up to the subframe drop. The steering knuckle was extremely crusty so I sprayed the heck out of it with PB Blaster and called it a night so it could think about what I'm going to do to it tomorrow morning. Having a helper makes the work go so much faster, especially when your helper takes the lead and you become the helper.

I'm starting to realize how dangerous it was driving the donor around. The passenger side lower coil-over bolts were loose and there was 3/16"-1/4" of play in the knuckle - the nuts were hand tight at best and I'm being generous. The CV joints were toast too. I think all the grease the outside joint was throwing on the lower bolts was keeping them from backing all the way off. Needless to say, I found the source of the "shakes at higher speeds" listed in the donor's ad. I am hoping the ZZP Stage 1 axles are sufficient for the power we're making. My research suggests they are simply the NAPA offering, but if that's the case I'll go with them as they are cheaper.

I think the donor suffered a hit on the driver's side at some point, as the sway bar link, brake line, and caliper were newer and not factory. One positive is that everything came off a lot easier on the driver's side.

The only other concern is the coolant that came out of the HE system. The coolant looked clear and new in the cooling system but was murky/cloudy and just nasty looking when I drained the HE system (2nd pic, drain pan on the right). I'm assuming it is oil but where would oil be introduced in the HE system? I'm used to air-to-air intercoolers with my ProCharger and V8 experience.

Ready to drop the subframe:
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Ruh-Roh Reorge! The cooling system seems to be drinking the GM Kool Aid just fine (left pan) but the HE side (right pan) seems to be the orangey chocolate milk all the crazy kids are drinking these days. Please help an air-to-air guy understand where oil would be introduced in the water-to-air intercooler setup.
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Rttoys

Goblin Guru
There’s no oil passages anywhere near the stock ic system. It’s a stand alone cooling system that goes to the intake and ic rad. It cools the air being compressed, not the supercharger itself.

If the turbo swap tied into this system, that could change things, but I doubt that, because most tie into the engine oil system to keep cool and lubed (and variable vein action). this still wouldn’t explain the oil and water mix. If/When the seals in the turbo fail, it will normally push oil though the engine and produce smoke out of the tailpipe.

it’s hard to tell from your last pic, but I see extra hoses there. Where do they all go?
edit: looks like dual pass end plate and secondary reservoir.

maybe just gunky water/coolant?
 
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Desert Sasqwatch

Goblin Guru
Is the swapped in turbo a GM K04? It will have two connections, one is a pressurized oil line to the bearing for lubrication - and some cooling - as RT mentioned. The other is a coolant line to the center bearing housing for primary cooling of the bearings. These are physically separated in the center bearing housing and shouldn't be a source of coolant and oil mixing. This is a head scratcher how you have chocolate milk in the IC coolant. Does the engine oil look okay or is it milky too?
 

Ross

Goblin Guru
I think a bad head gasket can mix engine oil and radiator water. Oh wait, you are getting engine oil into the water-to-air intercooler system? No idea how that would happen.
 

Sluggonaut

Well-Known Member
The engine oil and radiator coolant are both clean and appear as they should, it is only the intercooler system coolant that is cloudy. I just assumed it was oil as it definitely looked like two different fluids comingling. I cannot say for sure that it was oil, as it wasn't chocolate milk like it would be with a head gasket scenario - just cloudy/dirty.

I think a lot of the heat exchanger fluid ended up in the left pan with the radiator coolant, which was crystal clear - it was the right pan that collected everything from the smaller hoses from the intercooler system that was nasty. Discussing it with my son, we are not sure if there was any brake fluid in that pan prior to draining into it but he was pretty certain it looked strange coming out of the hose heading to the pan. I guess I'm not going to worry about it for now.

The hoses in the picture are:

2 larger diameter hose ends that went to the radiator
2 smaller diameter hose ends that went to the HE/intercooler mounted in front of the radiator
The rest of the hose nest in the middle is all part of the intercooler system coming off the dual-pass endplate
 

Rttoys

Goblin Guru
Meh. Pull the end plate, remove the laminova cores, clean everything and roll with it. That’ll get you back to 0 no matter what. Everything else is replaced in the kit.
 
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Sluggonaut

Well-Known Member
Day 4
Work Time: 4 hours
Completed: Dropped subframe / finished Video 4


I'm glad I didn't drive the donor any more than I did, as it is obvious this car wasn't all that safe. First on the list was dropping the subframe. After heavily soaking the steering knuckle in penetrant last night, I started today with my 13mm socket and a pry bar. I had my son turn the wheel to locate the bolt and all I found was a hole where the bolt should be. I'm not sure how I missed that when spraying it last night, but there was no bolt to remove. I figured no big deal, there was plenty of rust holding it all together.

Next up were the subframe bolts. After a few free spins on the passenger rear bolt, my son checked the socket because he thought he was using one that was too big. He placed the socket on the bolt by hand and confirmed it was the right size, but the bolt was not even hand tight on the subframe. The front subframe bolt was a little tighter but required no effort to remove. The driver-side rear was at least snugged but removed easily with a simple turn of the socket wrench. We weren't even using the cordless impact at this point. The driver-side front was a bit tighter and actually required a little effort to break loose, but was clearly the anchor on this self-adjust subframe that matched the self-adjust coil-over/knuckle connection mentioned in my previous post. Definitely should not have been running 3rd gear pulls in this before tear down.

Same as before, none of the issues we encountered were the normal ones I was expecting, just another adventure through mismatched bolt head sizes on the same part (i.e. sway bar was 18mm on one side and 19mm on the other). This mismatched phenomenon was a theme on the entire front end.

We remembered to disconnect the downpipe after we disconnected the motor mounts and started lowering the engine/trans. Exhaust is a ZZP variety and fairly new so the bolts weren't rusted but 1 of the 3 snapped while trying to remove them. Other than that, the only other issues were having to use a strap since there were no hoist connections to be found, and realizing the number of wires/hoses to disconnect on a forced induction model is far greater than what was demonstrated on the NA model in Video 4. I have quite a few labels with question marks on them, but they are labeled and photographed for reference later.

Getting the subframe out seemed like an accomplishment - not in mechanical aptitude but surviving the test drives before teardown:
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Happy to have the motor out while my son was home to help:
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Fozda was in town and even gave my son a ride during a short break prior to dropping the motor:
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Sluggonaut

Well-Known Member
Day 5
Work Time: 2 hours
Completed: Most of Video 5


I was able to get over to the workspace and put 2 solid hours into the teardown tonight. I completed most of Video 5, with just the last few steps remaining (separating the firewall and removing the MC). I have brakes to do on the wife's car Saturday and then hopefully can get the dash pulled if I can find an extra set of hands. I've read the dash is heavier than the doors and those were enough to do solo, so I am not going to try the dash by myself.

The interior of the donor was pretty clean. I found a total of $.02 and was expecting much more, to be honest. The seat belt bolts were the only real pain up until those bolts in the corner of the dash, but even they weren't hard, just slow.

Hopefully, I will have the dash pulled and the wire harness out by the end of the weekend so I can start the wiring harness sometime next week.

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