Project Orange Krate’s Engine, Transmission, and Clutch Install - Harnessing The Power

Chuck Vranas Feb 1, 2012 0 Comment(s)
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When working on a complete build, there’s nothing more gratifying than bolting major components together for the first time and installing them onto the chassis. It’s definitely a major turning point after working on many other facets, including initial teardown, panel replacement, body modifications, and suspension installations to name but a few. After all the hard work, it’s the first time your project starts to look like a car again, which is enough to pump up anyone’s adrenaline. With a pile of parts and a freshly dynoed 416 stroker from Turn Key Powertrain waiting for action, Peter Newell of Competition Specialties in Walpole, Massachusetts, was looking forward to getting started on giving Orange Krate, our ’71 project Camaro, a pulse. First, the Detroit Speed hydroformed subframe was anchored on a set of padded jack stands as Newell addressed the installation of the three-part Detroit Speed engine mounting kit, which comes complete with all mounting hardware. To begin, the frame-side engine mount stands were bolted in place to the subframe. Next, the LS mill was hoisted from the crate to make room so the CNC aluminum adapter plates could be bolted to the side of the engine block. The plates were then capped with polyurethane engine mounts. With the mounts secured in place, the engine was lowered into the subframe and secured in place with 4-inch-long Grade 8 bolts.

To transfer power from the stroked LS3, a close-ratio overdrive Tremec TKO-600 five-speed transmission from Hurst Driveline Conversions (HDLC) was called to duty featuring bulletproof reliability and 700 lb-ft torque capacity. One of the most important components for linking the power to the pavement is the clutch system. Since Orange Krate will see a multitude of driving situations, from road courses, autocrosses, dragstrips, and everyday driving, a call was placed to Centerforce for their new cutting-edge DYAD DS twin-disc clutch assembly. The DYAD system offers a multi-floating disc and drive disc design able to handle extreme power levels while also offering a light pedal effort and superior high-end holding capacity.

HDLC provided a complete hydraulic clutch kit, which was a snap to install to the Tremec TKO-600 five-speed transmission with the provided instructions and hardware. Once installed, the transmission was bolted to a Quick Time bellhousing, and then to the engine. The crowning touch was a pair of Lemons headers, which made the presentation of components in the subframe look ready for action. With the drivetrain secured to the body once again, project Orange Krate is now ready for a number of upcoming installations, including Vintage Air A/C, driver related components, and fuel system.

Stay tuned as we hit the nitrous in future issues!

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Peter Newell of Competition Specialties got started by bolting the Detroit Speed frame-side engine mount stands to the Detroit Speed hydroformed subframe using the provided hardware.

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The Detroit Speed CNC aluminum adapter plates were then bolted to the side of the LS block.

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To complete the three-part engine mount system, the Detroit Speed polyurethane engine mounts were secured to the aluminum adapter plates.

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With the new stroker secured to the engine hoist, it was lowered into place and secured to the subframe engine mount stands using 4-inch-long 7⁄16-inch Grade 8 bolts.

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With the engine mounted in the subframe, you can see the rear of the LS block. To prepare for clutch installation, the Quick Time rear engine plate was set in place using two dowel pins on the rear of the block.

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With the engine mounted in the subframe, you can see the rear of the LS block. To prepare for clutch installation, the Quick Time rear engine plate was set in place using two dowel pins on the rear of the block.

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The new Centerforce DYAD DS twin-disc clutch system was shipped as a complete balanced unit. Disassembled for installation, the flywheel was first bolted to the rear of the crank using the provided 11mm 12-point bolts and set to spec using a torque wrench.

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There are six aluminum pressure plate spacers that need to be reinstalled in their exact location on the flywheel pressure plate studs prior to proceeding.

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To install the drive disc, Newell used the included disc alignment tool to keep all components centered until the installation is completed.

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Centerforce makes it easy by labeling the drive disc with a decal noting “floater side” on the disc to confirm its placement.

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This overall image lets you see how the drive disc should look once installed in place atop the flywheel. Note the six drive pins facing towards the transmission side.

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The floater plate was then set in place using the three floater drive spools located on the flywheel.

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Of great importance is the fact that you’ll need to use the red balance index alignment mark on the floater to match up with the red mark on the face of the flywheel since this is a precision-balanced unit.

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Next, the floater disc was installed with the “floater side” decal facing the flywheel. It should be engaged over the six drive pins located on the face of the drive disc.

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With the red balance index mark on the pressure plate matched to those on the floater disc and flywheel, the pressure plate was set in place. Mounting nuts (6) received a light coat of medium blue thread locking compound and were torqued to 35-38 ft-lb in a crisscross pattern.

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Hurst Driveline Conversions supplied us with a hydraulic clutch kit, which included a self-adjusting hydraulic throwout bearing, fittings, lines, and shims. Not pictured are the shorty-style master cylinder, firewall mounting bracket, reservoirs, and clamps.

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With the Quick Time SFI-approved bellhousing mocked in place, Newell used a straight edge combined with a dial caliper and a vernier caliper gauge to measure the distance from the bellhousing face to the clutch fingers, which equaled 3.310 inches.

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After compressing the hydraulic throwout bearing to its shortest height, its inner O-ring was lubricated with DOT 3 brake fluid. It was then slid onto the input shaft collar.

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With the bearing mounted flush against the face of the transmission case, another measurement was taken for the distance from the bearing face to the front of the transmission case, equaling 2.70 inches.

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For this application, the bearing-to-pressure plate finger gap required the use of six conical shims provided in the kit.

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Here you see the hydraulic release bearing and shims slid back into place.

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The final measurement from the front of the transmission case to the front of the bearing face is now 3.130 inches, allowing for a 0.180-inch bearing face-to-pressure plate finger clearance, which is within the advised 0.125-inch to 0.225-inch parameters.

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Using the provided fittings, Newell installed the braided stainless bleeder line (left) and hydraulic line (right) using thread sealant to prevent any potential fluid leaks.

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He then removed the lower left input shaft retainer collar bolt and replaced it with the provided anti-rotation stud. Be sure to use thread sealant to ward off any potential fluid leaks.

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The bearing was then installed onto the input shaft, making sure the O-ring was adequately lubricated with DOT 3 brake fluid. Note the placement of the bearing over the anti-rotation stud.

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This image lets you see the proper placement of the bearing on the front of the transmission with all hydraulic lines in place.

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The bellhousing was then removed from the back of the engine and installed to the front of the transmission case with the provided hardware. It’s important to remove the clutch ball stud (if present) from the bellhousing as it would interfere with routing the hydraulic lines.

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Here you can see the completed bearing installation along with the routing of the hydraulic lines through the clutch fork opening in the bellhousing.

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The Hurst Driveline Conversions transmission crossmember was laid in place atop the Detroit Speed hydroformed subframe to check its placement. With a few minor tweaks, the unit was ready for action.

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With the transmission crossmember anchored in place, the transmission and bellhousing were secured to the engine using the provided 10mm 12-point bolts.

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The completed package blends amazing performance with a wicked LS3, close-ratio Tremec TKO-600 transmission, six-piston Baer brakes, and exhaust roaring through a set of Lemons headers. Talk about a wolf in wolf’s clothing!

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This is one killer combination that will mean business both on and off the track!

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Talk about a clean installation, everything lined up perfectly and should work flawlessly once installed to the body.

Sources

Centerforce
Prescott, 86301
928-771-8422
http://www.centerforce.com
Turn Key Powertrain
Oceanside, CA 92056
760-941-2741
www.turnkeypowertrain.com
Competition Specialties
508-510-7043
www.competition-specialties.com
Tremec Transmissions
Plymouth, MI 48170
800-401-9866
www.tremec.com
Lemons Headers
805-239-8998
www.lemonsheaders.com
Quick Time / Lakewood Industries
216-688-8300
www.lakewoodindustries.com

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