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Danspeed1 Lsx Swap Thread 408 to ZF6
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Hey guys,

Happy Holidays! About a month ago, after I bought my Polo 95 Convertible with a ZF6 I hinted that I had a LQ9 from another project I was tossing over the idea of installing. Well, the idea became a project about two days ago. I got a great black friday deal on a summit pro ls forged 408 rotating assembly. I brought the engine back over to my machine shop to have the bottom end rebuilt and he asked me for the clutch and pressure plate. I plan to spin this thing to 7500, and he would like to balance it all together to make sure there are no balance issues. The problem is I have only been able to do a few hours of research on the trans side of the project and I need to come up with a clutch assembly ASAP. I see some guys on CF using the quicktime bellhousing, and other guys using a ZR1 input shaft and mounting plate with a stock bellhousing. I do not want to pull the car apart just yet as I do drive it with the LT1 and I am going to be borrowing space to do the swap. I need some tech support on what direction to head in and what clutch parts to order. After a few hours of reading, I still haven't been able to find a definitive reason why I can't just bolt the ZF6 to the LQ9 block and use a Flywheel spacer to put everything back into alignment? I would appreciate it if you guys could open a discussion about things that work, possibilities, or potential people I can contact that have a good understanding of the ZF6. I see now more than ever these transmissions are fading away and there is very limited info on them.

Merry Christmas!

DG
Posted on: 12/24 15:27
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Matatk Re: Lsx Swap Thread 408 to ZF6
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Out of my league, Dan. Have you reached out to ZF Doc, I believe he has experience in that area.

http://www.zfdoc.com/projects.htm
Posted on: 12/25 5:43
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Matatk Re: Lsx Swap Thread 408 to ZF6
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Posted on: 12/25 5:46
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Matatk Re: Lsx Swap Thread 408 to ZF6
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Posted on: 12/25 5:47
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Matatk Re: Lsx Swap Thread 408 to ZF6
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Posted on: 12/25 5:50
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Danspeed1 Re: Lsx Swap Thread 408 to ZF6
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Hey Matt,

Merry Christmas. I read through all of those threads already except the one from this site (which I will do now), although I appreciate you posting them. I posted on facebook and was sent this link:

https://ls1tech.com/forums/conversions ... vVNNkkca069JnKB3rEC8IaLx4

Great thread. I didn't get a ton out of it because it specifically talks about early 4 speeds and I am not sure how they differ from the ZF6, but what I did come to the conclusion on was that any bellhousing from a Early SBC can bolt to an LS with 5 bolts. And if I am understanding correctly the Flywheel is tucked towards the block .4"; so you can use a spacer to put the flywheel back into alignment or buy a custom flywheel (haven't been able to find one yet) that is .4 thicker or spaced correctly. The other potential issue is that the ZF6 uses a smaller 153 tooth flywheel that is dual mass while the LS uses a regular 168 tooth flywheel. I didn't reach out to ZF Doc because I really want to try and avoid the $2100 expense of the shaft and separator plate . But of course I do recognize that there have been much smarter guys than myself working on this swap and all of them pretty much seemed to go with the Quicktime bellhousing, and Spec Clutch Setup.

DG
Posted on: 12/25 16:26
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Matatk Re: Lsx Swap Thread 408 to ZF6
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Having no experience with this I can only regurgitate info from other threads. Seems the zf6 is not a popular trans to use with the LS swap. If you find any good info please post it up!
Posted on: 12/26 0:54
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Danspeed1 Re: Lsx Swap Thread 408 to ZF6
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I will post up the solution once I find it and specifics of my build once it gets going. Right now the 6.0 block is at my machine shop and will return March 3rd assuming I can figure this clutch issue out in a reasonable amount of time.
Posted on: 12/26 16:24
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bogus Re: Lsx Swap Thread 408 to ZF6
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IIRC, ZFDoc makes an LS adaptor plate. He is THE man when it comes to the ZF6.

Also, I talked to Chris Petris about this... and the CCM is not friendly with the LSx engine controller, you can kiss ABS and ASR goodbye. I did some digging on this when I had my 1992 coupe and came to the conclusion that you really want to start with a 1989, no chassis controller.

With that said, gauge display becomes an issue, so you will need a gauge package. Which, in theory, will be better anyway!

There are other hot rod shops that make adaptors and such to fit and LSx into just about any car.

Since you are in NC, smog will NOT be an issue, period.

Finally, a 408 in a C4 vert... you will need to reinforce that chassis. There is a reason that GM didn't offer the ZR1 as a vert...

The next big trick is the wiring. A good source is eficonnection.com. They have wiring, PCMs, and other things that go bump in the night.

But to answer the question, this can be done! I know it can be done. I just haven't done it.
Posted on: 12/29 4:54
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Danspeed1 Re: Lsx Swap Thread 408 to ZF6
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Quote:

bogus wrote:
IIRC, ZFDoc makes an LS adaptor plate. He is THE man when it comes to the ZF6.

Also, I talked to Chris Petris about this... and the CCM is not friendly with the LSx engine controller, you can kiss ABS and ASR goodbye. I did some digging on this when I had my 1992 coupe and came to the conclusion that you really want to start with a 1989, no chassis controller.

With that said, gauge display becomes an issue, so you will need a gauge package. Which, in theory, will be better anyway!

There are other hot rod shops that make adaptors and such to fit and LSx into just about any car.

Since you are in NC, smog will NOT be an issue, period.

Finally, a 408 in a C4 vert... you will need to reinforce that chassis. There is a reason that GM didn't offer the ZR1 as a vert...

The next big trick is the wiring. A good source is eficonnection.com. They have wiring, PCMs, and other things that go bump in the night.

But to answer the question, this can be done! I know it can be done. I just haven't done it.


I looked into the Gauge Cluster issue, and it unfortunately looks like the best way to retain all the factory function is to run the old ECU with the new one.

Tomorrow I am going to reach out to a couple clutch companies to see what it would cost to have a custom flywheel made. It appears you can run the stock bellhousing and most of the bolts will both up to it. Since my block is currently disassembled I am going to see if my machinist can drill tap the remaining holes so the SBC bellhousing bolts directly to the 6.0 block.

Ill post back my findings.

Dan
Posted on: 1/2 20:39
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bogus Re: Lsx Swap Thread 408 to ZF6
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I think you can use the LSx flywheel from a 1998-2002 FBody. I suspect ZF Doc has an answer for that one, too.

I thought GM used the same bellhousing bolt pattern since they standardized in like c1962? This was done so GM didn't have several different automatic transmissions (Caddy had theirs, Buick had the DynaFlow, etc.).

The plate that ZF Doc made was designed to add space to compensate for the distance between the block/flywheel in relationship to the input shaft of the ZF6. The LSx block is much more compact. Cast more like a motorcycle than an old school SBC. I will never forget seeing a diagram that compared the size of an LS2 vs the a BMW 4.0 litre V8... the LS1 was internally larger (6 vs 4 litre), yet took up 20% less space. And, well, is a shit load more reliable and durable.
Posted on: 1/3 4:17
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Danspeed1 Re: Lsx Swap Thread 408 to ZF6
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Quote:

bogus wrote:
I think you can use the LSx flywheel from a 1998-2002 FBody. I suspect ZF Doc has an answer for that one, too.

I thought GM used the same bellhousing bolt pattern since they standardized in like c1962? This was done so GM didn't have several different automatic transmissions (Caddy had theirs, Buick had the DynaFlow, etc.).

The plate that ZF Doc made was designed to add space to compensate for the distance between the block/flywheel in relationship to the input shaft of the ZF6. The LSx block is much more compact. Cast more like a motorcycle than an old school SBC. I will never forget seeing a diagram that compared the size of an LS2 vs the a BMW 4.0 litre V8... the LS1 was internally larger (6 vs 4 litre), yet took up 20% less space. And, well, is a shit load more reliable and durable.


You can use the T56 LS1 Bellhousing which will allow for use of the F-body Clutch and Flywheel (168 tooth). According to ZFDoc Site, in order to do this you need his machined spacer plate and the ZR1 input shaft. This ZR1 input shaft is what I am really trying to avoid. I don't want to have to take this transmission apart, and the input shaft is super expensive.

Option 2 is to use an aftermarket bellhousing from quicktime (RM-6039). This allows you to use a 168 tooth truck flywheel with a camaro/corvette clutch. This in my opinion is a better option because you are not messing with the ZF6, just how it mounts to the engine. The issue is getting the fork and throwout bearing to work correctly as it seems those who have already attempted this swap have had nothing but problems with it. They have eventually managed to get it to work but not without a little of assembly and disassembly.

The third option is the one I am trying to figure out right now:

There are a couple of issues with mating a SBC style transmission to a Gen III Lsx. The bolt pattern is close but isn't the same. The lsx engine has the top bolt hole swapped for one at the 2 o'clock position. I found out today that. You cannot drill an LSx block for that bolt hole because it goes through a water jacket. This leaves you with 5 bolts holding the transmission in. Personally... I am not concerned. So this to me is a non issue. The remaining issues are as follows: The LSx crankshaft is .400 shorter than a SBC crankshaft, the bolt pattern on a SBC flywheel is different than an LSx flywheel, and finally the bellhousing on the ZF6 is too small to fit a 168 tooth flywheel, its barely large enough for a 153 tooth.

Here are the questions I am trying to work through right now. Why can't I take a factory DM Flywheel from a C4 or a heavier single mass and add a .400 crank spacer to get everything back in alignment? I know the bolt pattern doesn't match but I am sure there is probably enough meat left to drill the crank for the correct bolt pattern. Shouldn't getting the alignment correct in theory put everything back in its place allowing me to use all the factory LT1 stuff from the flywheel back?

This is what gives me hope:
https://www.marks4wd.com/mfk1947.html

I sent them an email earlier today. They are located in Australia but it seems as though they sell a 153 tooth factory sized flywheel which mounts to an LSx and fits the stock bellhousing. This could be an option. Its not an inexpensive option but it would hopefully allow me to retain more stock components.

Posted on: 1/4 1:06
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bogus Re: Lsx Swap Thread 408 to ZF6
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The problem with the quicktime bell housing is the built in problem with the clutch in the first place - screwed up geometry.

There just isn't enough room, and using that layout will cause more math problems than I can think of. The fork angle would be whack as hell, I suspect.

As for the input shaft from the ZR1... you would need to get into the transmission, but I think it can be machined... meaning, you can cut it shorter and machine new splines in. I would look into that.

The Aussie flywheel would be a good fix. Make sure the rotating mass is internally balanced, and the new flywheel, whichever one you use, is neutral balanced. The DMFW is balanced to the LT1... and weighs over 40lbs. From my experience, you don't want to go much less than 20lbs, the aluminum flywheels are just too damned light and store no energy in them... Also can be tricky to get started smoothly.

In the old days, so to speak, to convert the Fbody steel flywheel, it was advised to cut .090 off the flywheel and then get it match balanced to the DMFW. Problems solved.

All I can suggest - don't go cheap on this build. If done wrong, you will spend more money making it right!!
Posted on: 1/5 18:36
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Danspeed1 Re: Lsx Swap Thread 408 to ZF6
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Quote:

bogus wrote:
The problem with the quicktime bell housing is the built in problem with the clutch in the first place - screwed up geometry.

There just isn't enough room, and using that layout will cause more math problems than I can think of. The fork angle would be whack as hell, I suspect.

As for the input shaft from the ZR1... you would need to get into the transmission, but I think it can be machined... meaning, you can cut it shorter and machine new splines in. I would look into that.

The Aussie flywheel would be a good fix. Make sure the rotating mass is internally balanced, and the new flywheel, whichever one you use, is neutral balanced. The DMFW is balanced to the LT1... and weighs over 40lbs. From my experience, you don't want to go much less than 20lbs, the aluminum flywheels are just too damned light and store no energy in them... Also can be tricky to get started smoothly.

In the old days, so to speak, to convert the Fbody steel flywheel, it was advised to cut .090 off the flywheel and then get it match balanced to the DMFW. Problems solved.

All I can suggest - don't go cheap on this build. If done wrong, you will spend more money making it right!!


Well I made a decision and ordered the parts so I am committed at this point. This was a really tough one. I would have much preferred to take the whole car apart, measured everything and then worked from there but having done the C6 and the Chevelle over the past few years, I know the car will be off the road 3x the amount of time; and even with the LT1 we are thoroughly enjoy it so I do not want to do that.

I literally couldn't get in touch with the Aussie company, and considering the politics over there right now I really wasn't comfortable attempting to try and get ahold of them, get it shipped, and so on. The engine is at the machine shop and we are ready to go. I posted EVERYWHERE and nobody has ever seen a 153 tooth SBC to LS flywheel other than that one. Called all the major manufacturers, nobody had any interest in making one.

I decided to go with the quicktime bellhousing and a complete Fbody Clutch Setup from Monster. I wanted to cut down some of the weight but I made sure to go with their Billet Steel Flywheel (heavier) and I only selected their stage 2 setup which has a full kevlar disk but is sprung. I really don't want to listen to that ZF6 rattle if I can help it.

I agree, the pivot fork geometry is already a problem, and I saw a few failed attempts on the other site involving pull type clutches and adjustable pivot pins so after a week or so of reading I think the best course of action is a one piece hydraulic throwout bearing and the Fbody Push type setup. I did not purchase the TOB yet, I will wait till the car does come apart so I can measure the input tube and then I will find one either from McLeoud or another source.

Finally called TSP and they recommended the Torquer V4 Cam for my application which makes me very happy, since I have one sitting on the shelf from another project; so I saved a few $$ there!!!

And... my wheels finally showed up yesterday after 3 months of waiting, so I will get those on in the next week or so and post some pictures. They looks fantastic sitting in the box.
Posted on: 1/6 21:18
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bogus Re: Lsx Swap Thread 408 to ZF6
Grand Imperial Pooh-Bah
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Great news! I can't wait to see pictures!!!

Keep us posted! This will be useful to others, I am sure of that!

Posted on: 1/6 23:58
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