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Unread 07-03-2015, 09:33 AM
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Fair! Fair! is offline
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Join Date: Jul 2004
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Default Re: Vorshlag Scion FR-S LSx Alpha Project

Project Updates for July 3rd, 2015: Once again a lot has happened with this V8 swap project - and here at Vorshlag - since my last post in this build thread (Dec 2014). Some of you that follow Vorshlag on Facebook or our Blog know that we've purchased CNC machines and are now making all of our machined suspension products in-house, which was a big investment and a steep learning curve.

A new CNC machining operation, new fabrication tools, and new projects have kept us hopping at Vorshlag

We've finished a number of big customer car projects and taken on a couple more. The two current "Alpha" V8 swap projects (Miata and FR-S) both have had a lot of work done, especially the FR-S. Just this week I took the little Scion on the first test drive with V8 power, so I figured this project was long overdue for a forum update. The customer (Rick) has been incredibly patient, and over the winter we changed the shop-to-shop arrangement (with TTW's blessing) to speed up communications, by working directly with him.

It runs! It drives! It shreds tires! And yes, its almost ready for kit production!

It has been a busy six months, but after the test drive - which was a major milestone - it was an obvious time it was long past time to talk about the progress publicly. No, its not 100% ready, and the kit production has not started, but it is close and drives, and the car will be at Cars & Coffee Dallas this weekend (July 4th, 2015) if you want to stop by for a look. Let's get caught up!

Massive Delay Waiting For Production Headers

We finished the prototype headers in August of 2014, but we do not have a $250,000 CNC tubing bender in-house, which is needed to make production quality header primary tubes, to keep the cost of the headers down. So we have always relied on an outside vendor here in the USA to make our production LS swap headers from our prototypes. We have worked with 3 different header companies over the years and each one has been a struggle to go from Prototype headers we make in-house (below left) to Production headers we can order in batches, that fit as well as our prototypes (below right).

In the past it has been a 3-4 month/1-2 iteration process where we send them our prototypes, they make a fixture, cut apart the headers and measure each tube, turn each primary into a CNC bent tube, then assemble the CNC bent primaries into a header assembly and send it to us to test. And back for re-fitting, and back for testing again. It doesn't sound difficult, but this time it was a NINE MONTH delay. I cannot explain that, and this ran the development way past my predictions, but we finally got a production header that matched our prototypes in April (3 months ago). A lot has happened since then to make this a running and driving car, but I am never waiting that long for a production header again.

Cooling System Mods

While we waited on the seemingly endless production header delay we worked on other systems, like the cooling hoses, tank and lines. We left off before with a Mishimoto FR-S radiator, dual fans and a shroud installed, with radiator hoses being built. In hind sight it might have been easier to modify the inlet and outlets on the Mishimoto radiator, to better match the layout of a typical LS series engine, but we left it all stock and just made the hoses longer to match up to the radiator.

We tried several sources to have custom hoses made but we have to order about 500 sets to get the prices to work, which is nuts. For the first set of radiator hoses (and likely production sets) we used some silicone hose bends, aluminum tubing, and some fabrication to make hoses that fit this swap.

There is also a specific "straight" thermostat housing we used, to facilitate this hose layout. Yes, they are long-ish hoses but it doesn't hurt the performance of the cooling system and still left plenty of room for the Cold Air tubing to feed the throttle body (see below). Next up, we worked on the heater hoses and coolant reservoir...

We started with a pre-made coolant tank but modified it heavily. This FR-S already had the battery moved to the trunk so the OEM battery location ended up being the perfect spot for the new coolant reservoir and GM engine control module (ECM), or computer.

For a variety of reasons we picked up a 2005 Corvette LS2 computer. Its the only year that works with a 24 tooth LS1 crank trigger yet can control an LS2 style throttle body, drive-by-wire pedal, and LS2 intake manifold. We needed the LS2 bits to clear the hood, and the LS2 intake manifold also matches the cathedral port shape of the LS1 cylinder head. The engine the customer chose is a mild 5.7L aluminum LS1 engine from a 2002 Camaro SS (rated at 320 hp in stock form), unlike the "LS3" we had original envisioned.

I bring up all of that engine/computer stuff because "everything depends on everything else". Picking the specific Corvette computer was necessary at this step because we wanted to mount the coolant reservoir and ECM on the same bracket, which Ryan made and added to the car.

The dual mount arrangement can be seen above and makes for a good location for the ECM (which is usually inside the engine bay) and the reservoir (as high up as possible, which helps self-bleed air from the cooling system).

Once the threaded aluminum bungs were welded to the tank, fittings were added and rubber heater hoses were routed from the water pump to the heater core, with one leg passing through the coolant reservoir. That is complete and leak free.

Fuel System and Lines

So this car had already been modified before it got to us. It had several turbo motors built by one shop, and they really butchered the fuel system in the car, so we had to rebuild new hard lines to make a fuel system work.

The factory body clamps were still in place so we built stainless hard lines for the supply and return lines that clipped in like stock. The ends had welded AN fittings added so that -6 AN lines could attach directly (typical 37-degree flared ends).

We picked a Holley return-style regulator and Ryan built a bracket to mount it to the driver's side strut tower, then ran braided -6 lines from the two hard lines up to the regulator (feed and return). The return line and vacuum lines for the regulator are not shown in the images above. From the regulator a -6 pressure line was plumbed to the Holley EFI fuel rail kit. We could have re-used an LS2 OEM fuel rail, but that requires some ugly adapters and this billet fuel rail kit was a great price, was set-up for -6 AN fittings and came with fittings, and the final setup looked really good. With the black fittings and black braided lines it made for a tidy package that will flow more than enough fuel for this powerplant.

The in-tank fuel pump setup on this car was already modified, but for E85 fuel, so the tank was removed and pressure washed to get all of the old funky alcohol out of it. The pumps were flushed and one of the two was re-used to feed this motor with 93 octane Gasoline.

continued below

Last edited by Fair!; 05-12-2017 at 09:18 AM.
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