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1970 Chevy Chevelle SS - A Perfect Match, Part 3
Our LSA Connect-and-Cruise swap has hit a few little roadblocks, but we are still making headway.
Apr 5, 2013
G Force Crossmembers
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1970 Chevy Chevelle SS - A Perfect Match, Part 3
1. Last month we reported that the 4L85E transmission necessitated either some fabrication on the stock crossmember, of the purchase of one ready to go. We opted to pick up this ready-to-go crossmember from G Force. As you can see, this is one hefty piece of steel. it is designed to fit the '70 Chevelle, but with the new longer transmission. The exhaust clearance bumps are a welcomed upgrade over the original piece.
2. With the extra length of the trans, simply slipping in the crossmember was not an option. Craig Peterson had to pull the motor partially out to give him the clearance needed to get the new unit between the frame rails.
3. Once positioned properly Craig held the G Force crossmember in place with a set of locking pliers.
4. Per the instructions, the rear holes in the frame were opened up to 1/2-inch, and the new provided hardware installed.
5. G Force provides Nylok nuts, so there should be no worry of them coming loose on you.
6. We installed a urethane mount that D&P had in stock and a couple of shims that were provided in the G Force hardware kit to get the tailshaft up. These shims will also help us dial in the pinion angle later on.
7. The shims raised the tailshaft up so we had ample clearance for the yoke. The e-brake cable will need to be rerouted, but we'll cross that bridge once we have a driveshaft and exhaust system in place.
8. Now with the trans properly positioned, we could focus on curing the clearance problems we have with the steering contacting the GM muscle car oil pan we got from Guaranty Chevrolet. The grease fittings on our original tie rods pop out from the side and contact the pan before we can get the steering to full lock.
9. We picked up new inner and outer tie rods that have the grease fitting popping out the back.
10. That fixed us up on the driver's side, leaving us with about 1/8-inch of clearance.
11. The passenger's side was a different story. The pan has this boss on the side that features a tapped blind hole. The center link contacted the boss well before we got to full lock.
12. After confirming the boss can be trimmed without creating a leak, Craig marked a straight line for trimming.
13. Then with a cut off wheel he carefully sliced off the boss.
14. Then he cleaned up the area a bit with a hand file. We are going to get the car drivable and then tear it down for a complete refinishing; this will be cleaned up even more once the engine is back out.
15. The trimming of the pan gave us the clearance on the center link, but even with our new tie rods we still hit on the passenger's side before full lock.
16. Having built many '70 Chevelles, Craig and your author agree this won't be a huge issue, because we are going to run wide tires up front that will most certainly hit the sway bar before going full lock. We are going to add some material to the control arm, about the thickness of a 3/8 nut (example shown) to limit the steering and prevent tire-to-swaybar and steering-to-oil pan contact. We will wait until we have the new wheels to determine the perfect amount.
17. Correcting an earlier installment, the front drive system needs to be ordered separately and ours came from Guaranty Chevrolet. This is PN 19243525, which is the Cadillac CTSV system minus the A/C compressor and bracket those are sold separately.
18. The power steering pump bracket goes on first.
19. Followed by the pump itself.
20. Things were moving right along until this point. The alternator bracket is not going to work. It positions the alternator up against the steering box so tight we couldn't even get all the hardware in.
21. Even if we could, the pulley would be rubbing the steering box. We called Guaranty and told them our dilemma, and the parts guy is shipping us a few brackets to cure this issue. We had him ship those out, so we will complete the front drive stuff in Part 4.
22. Since we came to a screeching halt on the pulley system, we moved to installing the gas pedal assembly. The LSA uses a drive-by-wire throttle, and thanks to the Connect-and-Cruise package, we don't have to scour the junkyards to find one. The pedal assembly is not a simple bolt to the firewall installation, however.
23. The assembly needs to be spaced away from the firewall and put on a small angle to clear the floor and still provide full range of motion. Craig gets right to work creating a spacer/adapter plate. First he cuts a flat sheet and some square tube spacers.
24. The spacers that the gas pedal will mount to receive washers welded into the spacers opening. The one on top is 1 1/2-inch, while the lower one is 3/4- inch thick. The top one on the left will not need a spacer thanks to the bracket installed on the gas pedal. Having the lower spacer a little thicker will angle the bottom of the pedal away from the floor just a bit.
25. Those two spacers are welded to the face, while three, 1/2-inch thick spacers are welded to the back. Here is a look at the completed spacer/adapter plate.
26. Now it's just a matter of marking the firewall, drilling new holes and mounting the new pedal assembly.
27. That's all we could do this month since we are still waiting for parts. We did measure for the driveshaft, which came out to 51 1/2 inches. Oh, and we need to clarify something before we go. If you want an LSA for your ride, contact Chevrolet Performance. If you need supporting parts, you can call Guaranty Chevrolet, Holley, or G Force. If you need an installer for all this, contact D&P.
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