Two Project Updates – AKA: New Reading Material!

As a large chunk of the planet is stuck in isolation, we decided to publish two forum build thread updates on two of our in-house projects – our #TeamVorshlag BMW E46 LS V8 swap project we are building for Endurance racing events -and- our GMT800 shop truck development thread.

These two projects couldn’t seem more different. One is a dedicated wheel to wheel race car build that will be run in 8-12-24 hour races. The other is our work horse truck that we use to haul parts around town. Complete opposites!

They do have a lot of things in common, however. They both: are around 20 years old, utilize custom 4 wheel disc brake brake setups, both have upgraded rear axles with limited slip differentials, are equipped with remote reservoir monotube dampers, and both have long tube headers making beautiful noises from their LS V8 engines!

Both forum posts have a lot of step-by-step pictures on dozens of projects within each build. Many challenges and solutions, like we always share.

So check these two build thread updates out, especially if you need something to keep your mind off other matters. We are writing more updates for a number of other project build threads – stay tuned, and stay safe!

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Coyote Swap into 2010 Mustang GT

Vorshlag has been working on another V8 swap in our shop – a Gen II Coyote V8 going into a 2010 Mustang. This car previously competed in NASA Spec Iron class, but the owner wanted more power to be able to run American Iron class, which has a higher horsepower limit. The 4.6 3V engine that came in the 2005-10 model Mustang GT isn’t exactly known for making easy power, so a Gen II Coyote crate motor was purchased along with a Tremec T56 Magnum XL.

Our annual “Wear your helmet to work day” picture was with this 2010 GT!

In this Forum Build Thread update we show the many steps needed to swap to this 2015-17 version of the 5.0L Coyote V8. In typical Vorshlag fashion we show weights of everything related to the powertrain, detailed pictures of the engine+trans install, the Ford Controls Pack wiring harness installation, brackets we needed to buy or build, accessory drives, motor mounts, clutch and hydraulic TOB installation, firewall clearance for the intake manifold, fire system repairs, and more.

In an effort to improve cooling and aero efficiency we “rolled the radiator”, taking the OEM-sized aluminum unit from straight up to a 19 degree roll. We show the steps from mockup, finding more clearance, custom mounting brackets, adding the fan, making radiator hoses, and more.

The last thing we talk about in this forum update are the CAI and exhaust header selection and installation. Together with a custom dyno tune we should be able to reach 450 whp, then with a restricted tune dial it back to the ~370 whp that this car will need for AI class racing. With a wheel/tire change and a new tune uploaded the car should be able to run in NASA ST2 competitively as well. Two classes are better than one!

In the next round of forum updates we will show other work that has been completed, such as an oil cooler, remote oil filter housing, ducted front grill, the 2011-14 “3 bolt” EPAS steering rack install into the 2 bolt crossmember, and much more. Stay tuned!

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Final 2019 #LS550 Forum Build Thread Update

We have one last round of updates to show on our newest shop project, the LS V8 swapped 2015 Mustang GT that has aptly been named #Trigger – for the instantaneous reaction some “brand purists” get when they see it. In this round we try to better explain why we wanted to tackle this swap, and how this totally fits in with the last 2 decades of Vorshlag history (we’ve been upsetting brand purists in our pursuit of economical race car builds and track records for a long, long time!) We also briefly recap our other 3 shop owned projects that are continuing into 2020.

The meat of this massive 4 part Forum Build Thread update goes over many aspects of the updates, upgrades, and weights of parts we have removed or installed in the last 4 weeks. It doesn’t seem like a lot of time, but we completed a large number of sub-tasks, like: the 2018+ front bumper cover end mock-up, front frame stub repair, and a surprise gift of parts that led to a front subframe and bumper beam replacement.

Another big round of work was completed out back after finding that the rear subframe that came with our car was both incorrectly installed and had all of the wrong brakes and axles. We upgraded every aspect of the rear subframe after adding our 4.09 geared / Auburn Pro equipped aluminum super 8.8″ diff housing, GT350 axles, vented GT rear brakes, and new #Whiteline poly diff and subframe mount bushings. The removal of the stock bushings was a *massive pain* but the new Whiteline bits went in beautifully.

Lots of interior bits were removed and weighed while the LS / T56 swap crossmember and LS swap long tube headers for this S550 Mustang chassis were designed, installed, and completed. We *almost* have the LS swap motor mounts done as well, just need another few days. All of the brake parts that were missing on this S550 chassis – including several upgrades – were installed in this round, like: the PP1 master cylinder, brake booster, pedal assembly, ABS block, rear GT rotors/calipers, Ford Racing hubs at all 4 corners, and more. Big progress!

In the last segment we talk about “total rewire” jobs on race cars and explain what we have planned for this car – and show potential weight differences just in wiring. You can read all of this starting here.

Thanks for coming along on this “build thread” journey in 2019 – see you in 2020! #ThanksForTheMemes

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Updates on our 86 / BRZ / FRS Development!

We have an update to our long running (since 2012!) 86 chassis development Forum Build Thread with this massive three part post. This time we show some new products for this chassis (like a new seat bracket kit, new seat options, oil pan options) as well as updates to some of our existing products (production LS swap long tube headers! updated LS / T56 crossmember design, new trans mount bushing, new tubular bumper beam, and more).

There are a lot of pictures showing the work to our shop LS swapped 86 – like the tubular front bumper beam we have added. We did this to allow for a bigger radiator which is mounted at a steeply rolled angle, which gives us a lot of extra room in front of the engine and allows for a cooling via hood venting. We show the steps to mounting a custom radiator, including the upper and lower mounting brackets and isolators.

After seeing some new “Tuner” series of seats from Sparco we bought a few, weighed them, and tested them in a number of cars – including our 86. We picked a pair that we will use for street and track use in our shop 86. Tilt back seats are much more practical that fixed back seats for the street, but still allow for 6-point belts to be used. This seat test led us to develop our production seat brackets for this 86 chassis, using a mount style we have developed on chassis like the R8, S197 and S550 Mustangs. So we have a pair of seats mounted in our shop 86 now.

Picking an oil pan for our shop car took some research, which we share in this post. We also show the new transmission crossmember and our LS/T56 Magnum XL drivetrain going into our shop car, as well as the front accessory drives we recommend for this swap. Then we show in detail the steps we went through to build new prototype long tube headers, then how the pre-production CNC bent units were installed, then finally the production batch after they arrived.

We show where the “Alpha” 86 LS build is today (above), and even supplied the new owner of this car with the 18×11″ wheels shown. That car has gone through a lot of updates and is racing in both NASA and Gridlife events. Lastly we show the next steps for our shop 86 build, including CAN integrated wiring harness, the Tilton clutch, oil cooler, and more. You can read the latest forum build thread entries starting here.

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LS V8 Swaps at Vorshlag

Many of you know of us from our very first LS V8 powered race car build – the BMW E36 “Alpha” car, shown below. We started this swap in Terry’s garage back in 2001 – years before Vorshlag even became a business – and raced it until we sold it in 2009. We have tackled V8 swaps on a total of eleven different chassis since that first one. This blog post will cover some of the chassis we have swapped and the products we offer for each.

Many people who have not driven an LS powered car always ask: Why do you do these swaps? Maybe you have to drive one to understand, but we feel that most cars could be improved with more horsepower – and the easiest power there is at the moment is from an LS series V8. Light, compact, inexpensive, abundant, with incredible potential, and aftermarket support like no other engine family on the planet.

The image above says a lot. On the left is a DOHC V8 from Ford called the Coyote, sitting in an S197 Mustang. On the right is an LS V8 in an S550 Mustang, which has roughly the same engine bay size. Due to it’s size the LS V8 is just easier to swap into more cars than any Overhead Cam V8, costs less to make the same power as virtually any other modern engine, and has the potential for 8.0L of displacement inside the confines of the OEM block. What’s not to love?

BRZ/FRS/86 LS Swap – Production Headers!

Lots of you have watched our LS swap development with the 86 chassis ever since we built our first back in 2015. We have been supplying LS engine mounts, LS / T56 transmission cross-members, and more since then. Finally, in November 2019, we have production LS swap stainless steel, 1-7/8″ long tube headers. These are in stock and ready to ship! Check them out on this page. These headers fit around the steering rack and swaybar without any shenanigans.

We are very excited about this swap and are currently building a Vorshlag shop 86 LS build – which we used throughout 2019 to develop our new production headers. Our red FR-S is getting a Horsepower-Research 7.7L stroker LS7 engine, T56 Magnum XL, Tilton clutch, carbon nose over a tube front bumper beam, Wiring Specialties CAN integrated plug-n-play engine harness, and has flares for 335mm tires. Look for this car on track in 2020!

BMW E36 – World’s First!

After hand building the first BMW LS swap on the planet, we released our production E36 LS V8 kit in 2007, and have sold hundreds of kits since. Many of these parts also fit the BMW Z3, and we make specific driveshaft and steering shafts for that chassis. Our core product for the E36 LS swap is the “Stage 0” kit, which includes all of the parts needed to fit the LS and T56 drivetrain into the Left Hand Drive BMW E36 chassis: engine mounts, transmission crossmember, long tube stainless headers, steering shaft, and driveshaft. Of course we have many more parts than that – check them out here.

We have seen competing shops offer similar V8 swap kits for this chassis over the years but they never seem to stick around. Short cuts with mount designs, cheap import headers, crude craftsmanship – there’s a reason we have been in the BMW LS swap game for over 18 years: we will not compromise engineering, fabrication, quality, or performance for V8 our swaps.

New! BMW E36 Right Hand Drive Kit

After a decade of requests, we finally rounded up a customer with a Right Hand Drive E36 BMW chassis and started LS swap development. After a year of design, testing, and fabrication we came up with a solid list of parts to make this swap happen in 2019. We have sets of our RHD E36 LS long tube headers in stock and can make engine mounts and transmission crossmembers quickly. Worried about shipping overseas? Give us a shout for special shipping prices!

BMW E46 Swap – Our Most Popular Kit!

Vorshlag has produced our E46 LS swap kit for a half dozen years and we have sold more of these lately than any other V8 swap kit! Why? The E46 chassis was made in huge numbers (4 million) and now can be picked up for great prices. The E46 has more engine bay and tire room than any E36, while the M3 variant has a stronger rear axle and flared fenders that hold even more tire. You can use an E46 325 all the way to an M3. We are currently building several of these E46 LS swaps in our shop, including a Team Vorshlag build for WRL endurance racing. Interested in an E46 LS build? We have four more Texas chassis standing by – give us a call! Also, check out the E46 swap kit page for the parts we make.

New! BMW Z4 LS Swap Kit

In 2018 we developed LS swap parts for the E85/86 BMW Z4 chassis. These cars have an enormous engine bay that just swallows these V8s, and it uses our existing E46 LS swap headers and mounts. This kit just needed a unique transmission crossmember and the longer T56 Magnum XL 6-speed. We have everything we developed for this swap right here.

What Chassis is Next?

If you have been following Vorshlag for the past 2 decades you might have seen some “one off” LS swaps, like a BMW E30, NB Miata, ’69 Camaro, among others. But what other swap kits are planned or in the works? There are several chassis undergoing swaps in our shop at the moment, and we will share one – the #LS550 swap! We call it #Trigger

We started with a salvage 2015 Mustang GT “S550” chassis. We are building a shop race car and we have already developed a production LS / T56 transmission crossmember and long tube headers (see above). The LS engine mounts and driveshaft should be listed soon on our LS550 swap page.

Our 2015 GT is currently on a serious diet, but already has the MCS / SPL Parts / Whiteline Suspension, Sparco racing seats, Forgestar wheels, Powerbrake 380mm 6 piston brakes, Anderson carbon hood, and Auburn Pro equipped 4.09 aluminum rear housing from our 2018 GT – which we competed with for the last two seasons. You can follow the progress of that build here.

We Do More Than LS Swaps…

Of course most of you know Vorshlag is primarily a suspension company. Vorshlag designs and builds the world’s best spherical top mounts and camber plates for dozens of cars, plus we sell MCS & Ohlins dampers, wheels, brakes, and safety gear. We also build cars for customers. Give us a call or email if you need any help with any of these parts or an LS swap. Thanks for reading!

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BMW E46 Build Thread Update – Blog Post #250!

We have dozens of active Forum Build Threads and this one covering various BMW E46 projects has just been updated. In this round we cover three cars: our Team Vorshlag endurance race car, a 325Ci we finished restoring and sold, and a new 20040 330i ZHP we just picked up.

We have finally announced what engine we will be using in our E46 for WRL endurance race car – an LS V8, of course! We show several aspects of the aluminum stroker LS engine build in this post.

This forum post also covers more on our Team car, including: roll cage selection, a Brembo based big brake kit, two sets of flares, mock-up suspension, and more.

Finally, we talk briefly about a 325Ci we fixed up and sold as well as a new E46 “victim” that we dragged to the shop, which red 2004 ZHP above. Lots to cover – start reading the latest update here.

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Big, Fat, Hairy S550 Mustang Forum Update!

There is a new, huge, 4-part post in our S550 Project Build Thread which covers some of the last events we competed in with our 2018 GT plus the “deconstruction” of some of the raciest bits of that car while we turned it back into a more street friendly – yet track capable – car for sale.

This forum update covers the Optima @ NCM event we competed in back in June, with some decent results in the timed competitions but poor results overall due to “car show stuff”. That’s their game, their rules, just part of the fun. We did get some TV time, however.

A few “difficulties” at a TT event shortened that weekend for us, but one of our Tester’s cars got a “little crunchy”. We detail the repairs to this S550 chassis Mustang after that event, with a rapid turn around by the Vorshlag crew and the paint and body masters at Heritage Collision. We learned a good bit about S550 chassis and body repairs in this work, which we share in a 15 minute how-tow video, linked inside the forum build thread.

Last but not least we cover extensive parts installs, repair work, searching junk yards, and even the early part of the LS swap on our next shop Race Car build – our 2015 Mustang GT chassis called #Trigger. This car is a “bit polarizing” in the fact that we aren’t using a Ford engine, but remember: this was a nearly worthless wrecked chassis that had its Coyote V8 removed. We aren’t “ruining” anything, just saving a salvaged chassis from the scrap heap!

Rad about all of this and more in the latest round of forum build thread updates. Enjoy!

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1967 Mustang Pro Touring/Track Car Build

We took on another project this month – tackling some safety, drivetrain, brake and suspension upgrades on a domestic classic that already sees track use.

This isn’t a “scratch build” and we will re-use a number of existing items, but it was deemed a big enough of a project to warrant its own Forum Build Thread, located here.

We want to take an already quick car and make it safer, more powerful, easier to drive, and faster on track. Read along here for a preview and investigation done right before this project kicked off.

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GMT800 / Shop Truck Development

If you have followed the development with our “shop truck” over the past 6 years you know that we have done a number of mods on two of these “GMT800” short bed GM trucks, found some tricks using OEM pieces, and even developed a few new things. In this round of forum updates (Post #29 and #30) we dig in further on our 2000 Silverado 1500.

A number of “little things” were fixed, then we dug into some “big stuff” like a brake upgrade, new shocks and bushings, and new tires.

In this round we also removed the last of the “good parts” from our original GMT800, the ’99 GMC we called #TruckNorris (shown below). That was a sad day, but at least many of the parts from our previous shop truck will live on in the new one!

Last but not least we discuss a new wheel and tire package we are trying to develop for this popular truck model using the 315mm tire below. Our goal is to fit that under all four corners, without modifications to the stock fenders. A custom test wheel is being made to work with our test tire… hopefully we can make this work and then we will build a run of custom wheels to fit this 6-lug pattern without breaking the bank.

Thanks for reading and click here to see the 2-part forum post!

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S550 Mustang Development + new Shop Race Car?

To share what we have learned and track proven with tens of thousands of others, we chronicle our chassis and part development work in great detail on the Vorshlag forums. Today we have another 4-part post showing several Time Trial competition events we have run in our 2018 Mustang GT – our first in-house “S550 Test Mule”. These events don’t always go as planned, but we share both the good and the bad experiences. Hopefully if we make mistakes, others can learn form them.

We test new products, design new parts, and sometimes find entirely new ways of doing things. With some guidance from a fellow engineer we tested a new way of cooling brakes without ducted hoses – and it worked better than we could have imagined. That’s covered with its own test event in this 4-part forum update.

In this round we show some basics, like when it might be time to check your alignment, closely inspect an oil cooler part, or knowing the importance of track temperature. We share some insight in fluid temperatures, additional gauges, and even test some new video cameras.

Last but not least, we introduce an all new S550 Mustang build which we just picked up, and start chronicling the weight savings we have planned. We also explain some of the insanity of racing in a car that the bank owns, and hint at a possible #TriggerWarning that might be under the hood of the new Mule. All of that and more is covered on the forums, starting here. Thanks for following along!

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