A lot of work was completed on our after-hours, employee built, LS swapped endurance road racing E46 coupe. In this massive 4-part forum build thread update we cover 8 months of work that was done about 3 hours per week, so it gets drawn out a bit.
But being such a drawn out build lets us take the time to document every step of the process, even the experimental items and build procedures we are trying out on this car. We are pushing the limits on some aspects that we might not otherwise attempt on a customer’s car – we show both the successful and the abandoned processes and parts used in the latest forum build thread post.
Lots of systems are wrapping up: the roll cage (above) is about 95% complete, all of the suspension is done, the 5.3L LS V8 and Tremec TKX transmission are in, and the third and hopefully final seat is in place.
We also received the correctly built set 18×11″ wheels, then mounted some 315mm tires, and the fenders have been cut and clearanced for these and flares. There is still a good bit of plumbing and wiring to complete, but we’re going to push to get the car moving in April so we can try to make some races in 2021. Read the latest forum build thread update starting here.
The forum update cover a ton of work done at Vorshlag in that time: The strut towers were modified and reinforced, initial camber plates built, S197 spindles and brakes installed, steering completed, and the front suspension wrapped up. A power steering pump was modified and installed, a bit of cage work completed, the 18×11″ wheels and 315mm tires were fitted, a fuel cell was ordered and mounted, the entire fuel system was plumbed, and the Holley EFI system was wired.
Long tube headers were fitted to the 427″ LS7 engine, cooling system started, and hood hinges modified. Tremec has since released their TKX, so I can show that now. At the body shop a new hood was installed, the front doors and fenders were fitted, the rear wheels flared, a carbon lower air dam went on, and the whole body was blocked, sanded, adjusted, sanded some more, and primed.
Follow along starting here to watch the transformation to a gutted, caged, and wing race car as it developed from HPDE entry to NASA ST2 and ST3 wheel to wheel race car. Lots of weights are shown, as well as construction pics, the T56 Magnum XL and transmission cooler upgrade, aero changes, classing changes, and rules discussions.
Recently we began repairs to fix issues in a 2018 track incident, and we loved seeing this super clean race car in our shop once again. Now that the car is repaired and all of the expired items (nets, seats, belts) are updated, it will be running in ST3 for part of the NASA Texas 2021 season. Again, you can follow along on the entire 8 year build and update journey recently chronicled here in our S197 development thread. This is also chronicled on the S197forum and Track Mustangs Online.
As part of the front sheet metal repairs on our GMT800 generation shop truck (tree fell on it) we have updated to the 2003-05 front and and Silverado SS trim level, on the exterior. We show all of this and more in this 2-part forum post.
Of course it was not as simple as we had hoped, and we ran into some snags with model year changes, parts supplier issues, and even model year changes.
Lots of cutting, grinding, bracket fabrication, some welding, tweaking, and a little hammering got all of this to fit
Once the work was done it was time to load up the truck to take to the painter. They will replace the roof panel do the paint work, then we will dive into the rest of the work we have left. Thanks for tuning in, and you can read the latest forum post update starting here.
At long last we have some customer and shop car build progress to show. This time we catch up on the Cadillac CTS-V endurance car “update”, which has snowballed a bit after it arrived at Vorshlag.
In the latest Forum Build Thread2-part update we cover the rebuild and upgrade to the 5.3L aluminum LS engine – where it turned into a 6.3L race motor built by HorsePower Research. We also show the clutch, pressure plate and flywheel refresh – then show how to measure hydraulic TOB shimming.
One of the big upgrades we are tackling is removing the junk GM ABS unit and installing a complete Mk60 Anti-Lock Braking System. This entails sourcing a custom wiring harness and all of the BMW components, wiring, and lots of plumbing. This car had pretty janky brake lines so most of the hard lines have been replaced.
Lots of other updates are covered – the weight difference between the chopped up OEM front crash beam vs the tubular unit we built, the locked up Delrin bushings being replaced with grease-sable poly versions, and then the three Lexan window installations we completed. All of this and more is shown in great detail in the Forum Build Thread starting here.
We started another form of this blog, mostly by taking daily posts from Terry’s FB page and Instagram and copying them onto a new forum thread. Why? Some people hate social media, and this gives them a chance to catch up with what we’re doing in the Vorshlag shop. You can read the “daily-ish” entries in this thread.
We show a variety of things there – cars we are working on, CNC parts being machined, new parts being developed, even tools we are trying out.
One of the recent projects we tackled in October 2020 was borrowing this widebody C5 Corvette (below) and doing some maintenance, repairs, and a few upgrades.
This has turned into several new products which we will release for the C5 soon. We also autocrossed this car at a local event in preparation for a shot at the $25K payout autocross at COTA on November 1st! This is part of the Optima Expo, which is being held in Austin since SEMA was cancelled.
We have a build thread on this C5 (here) which we will update soon, catching up on the 4 years since we last touched this car as well as to show our recent updates, events, and product development. For now, you can catch up on the daily posts here. #ThatsWhatsUp
This blog post links to our latest Forum Build Thread update that summarizes the last 6 months of work on our #TeamVorshlag after-hours employee built E46 endurance road race car. This is an LS swapped E46 chassis we are building for our own use – that the employees that volunteer to work on will get to race in W2W action.
Lots of work on the roll cage was completed, along with a lot of modifications and upgrades to the Hanksville cage kit we bought for this E46 coupe chassis. Our team also gutted the dash, modified the OEM dash bar, and began fitting two different electric assist steering columns from two generations of Toyota Prius. Removing hydraulic power assist steering reduces the parasitic drag on the engine as well as lowers the chances for high pressure, flammable fluids leaking onto the hot engine.
Our crew installed a seat, the EPAS steering column, and de-powered the E46 steering rack. New tie rods, lower control arms, LCA bushings, and other front end suspension was wrapped up.
A lot of time was spent reinforcing the rear of the chassis, then our reinforced E46 M3 subframe went in along with the 210mm LSD diff, new poly mount bushings, new spherical RTAB and suspension bushings, then we fought with a number of bent or broken rear trailing arms – which we finally got sorted out. You can read about all of this and more starting here. This post didn’t quite catch us up to real time – but another entry will soon.
The latest forum build thread update covering GMT800 chassis development shows work done in the past 5 months on our shop 2000 Silverado 1/2 ton, including changes to the custom EFI tune, rear “helper” air bags that fixed a ride height issue, new wider wheels and tires were added, we did follow-up 0-60 testing after installing the hot-rodded 5.7L LS engine, and more.
The mother nature user her powers to drop a tree right onto the roof. Welcome to 2020! This little bit of bad luck has led this project down an all new path, which you can read about here. Thanks for reading!
A lot of ground is covered in our latest Forum Build Thread update on the S550 Mustang LS V8 swap / race car project we’re calling #Trigger. The final engine and T56 Magnum XL are installed, the 2018 front conversion is complete, and much more.
We have used this salvage chassis 2015 GT to develop our 10th unique chassis LS swap. The #LS550 kit joins many different BMWs, 86/FRS/BRZ, 1st gen Mustang, 1st gen Camaro, and Miata LS swaps we have performed. We have been in the LS swap game since 2002 and have sold many hundreds of kits – triggering some purists from each model we have “saved”. But that’s ok, sometimes you have to break the rules to fix all the problems on a given chassis.
We weighed so many items in this Forum Build Thread update the International Bureau of Weights and Measures called us and said “slow down, you’re making us all look bad!” But that won’t stop us from sharing the tech and spreading the gospel that LIGHTER IS BETTER!
Long time readers of the Vorshlag forum will remember this FrankenSubie project, which we started documenting in 2009. A friend of the shop Paul bought this 1995 Impreza “L” FWD 2 door automatic back then. It was merged with a wrecked 2007 STI’s full AWD drivetrain swap. Then a built 2004 STi 2.5L turbo motor, custom flares, remote reservoir monotubes, big tires, custom interior mods (2007 dash, 1999 RS doors), and more.
Our last update on this Forum Build Thread was in 2014, when the car left Vorshlag’s North Plano shop (3 shops ago!) after we had fabricated some items and installed the coolers and oil plumbing to this GC. The latest update covers the work after it went to COBB Tuning Plano, then back to Vorshlag, then to Paul’s home garage for the next steps. It was “finished” enough to run at a few autocross / Pro Solo events in 2016-17, then went back under the knife for some updates before it would be finished enough for paint…
Some time passed and “life got in the way”, but in 2020 with the help of some friends, was resumed again, and we have documented the latest updates to the suspension (drop spindles and custom rear subframe), gutted the doors (partially), and more in this forum post. We will continue to push to make sure this lightweight, 2 door GC Subaru gets back on track and to an autocross course soon. Stay tuned for more, but you can read the “6 year catch up post” starting here.