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LS2 85 Vette - Just checking in

69MyWay

Well-known member
Joined
Jul 3, 2001
Messages
4,364
Location
Auburndale, Florida
Corvette
1969 Killer Shark
Hey guys...been a while since I was in this neighborhood. Thought I'd take a second to see what is going on and give you the 411 on my activity.

If you get Corvette Enthusiast magazine, check out the December and January (current issue) for the full scoop on our LS2 powered 85 Vette.

Here is the cool stuff you won't read there (at least yet).

Some of you might remember this car. It was my first C4. In fact, I traded my 69 Camaro and 74 Stingray in 1989 for this 85 Vette to have something more reliable to drive to college - and to establish credit...etc. Yep - $209 a month and it was still under warranty.

I tinkered with it WAY too much over the years and by 1996 had swapped engines several times, repainted it and upgraded the body panels to the 91 style. Then a friend of a friend wanted to buy it - and I was ready to move on.

In 2003 that same friend offered to sell it back to me with a blown motor (383) so he could get some cash together for his wedding. I bought it sight unseen and hauled it home in crates. I made several posts about it here at that time. Over a couple of months we got it running again and started using it. Kind of cool, because I proposed to my wife outside of a TCBY (yogart store) the last time I had owned it.

About the same time, I lost my dad to a massive heart attack. That rocked my world and turned me upside down for a long time. He always talked about the 69 Camaro he and I had built and TRADED for the Vette in 1989. I went on a quest and FOUND the camaro about 200 miles away. The owner wouldn't part with it for cash. After several months I TRADED the same 85 Vette to him (the camaro was on its 3rd owner since we traded it) plus some cash and dragged the camaro home (Feb 04). Over the next year we rebuilt the Camaro to look like it did when I was a kid - but went with a modified LS1, etc.

Okay...it gets better (are you still with me?). The folks I traded the Vette to had a bad accident with it in 2005. It was T-boned by a fox body mustang. He was able to get an insurance payment WITHOUT a salvage title and it sat in pieces outside of his house under a tarp.

In 2006 he decided to move to TN and didn't want to take the Vette. Long story short there - we ended up buying it back - in boxes and crates with NO motor.

So...there it sits in late 06 with a bent frame, destroyed front nose - no motor - and crappy rims. My wife and I didn't know what/how we were going to proceed to save it.

Vette Brakes to the rescue - I work close with them on C3 products (you guys know my 69 Vette from their Catalog and recent DVD). They put me in touch with Corvette Enthusiast and the sparks started to fly.

We proposed the LS2 swap - etc. and things started rolling. By December 06, it was off to the frame shop and I was working the phone for used body parts and exploring the possibilities of the LS conversion.
******************************************
If you are still with me....the car is done, running, and my wife Nikki is using it as her daily driver. We have nearly 5,000 miles since the rebuild and swap that we kicked off by driving it to Carlisle, PA from FL in August with only 200 miles on the clicker when we left the house. She has put nearly 2,000 daily driver miles on it since.

In a word...WOW. From inside it looks and feels like a 85 - functional digital dash and all. From outside - there are no signs of what lurks below. Under the hood, we worked very hard to make the LS2 look like a factory piece with no bling or aftermarket clutter - except the wicked cool SLP claw air filter system. When you step on the pedal - the 400 hp and 400 ft lbs of torque light that puppy up!

Anyway - Now you know...the rest of the story.

Happy Thanks Giving Everybody!

Oh...pics, etc. here: www.mcspeed.com
 

GS Diva

Moderator,
Joined
Nov 1, 2000
Messages
2,319
Location
Conway, SC
Corvette
2016 Daytona Sunrise Orange Metallic Z06
Great story!!! :upthumbs Thanks for the update.

Elaine
 

John Robinson

Gone but not forgotten
Joined
May 3, 2005
Messages
1,555
Location
Muncie, Indiana
Corvette
1993 Polo Green Coupe
Great Story. When the new LS2 came out I began to wonder if it could be put in my 93 coupe. It was the opion of those I talked to that it could not be done. If you get the time could you tell us a little bit more about the fixtures you had to make to set the engine in the frame and what kind of problems did you have with the ecm etc.:beer
 

69MyWay

Well-known member
Joined
Jul 3, 2001
Messages
4,364
Location
Auburndale, Florida
Corvette
1969 Killer Shark
Great Story. When the new LS2 came out I began to wonder if it could be put in my 93 coupe. It was the opion of those I talked to that it could not be done. If you get the time could you tell us a little bit more about the fixtures you had to make to set the engine in the frame and what kind of problems did you have with the ecm etc.:beer

Thanks John,

If you get a chance, you can go to www.corvetteenthusiast.com and click on the newsstand link to the left and see where it is in your area. You might find the December issue still on the shelf. I have six pages of detail covering the install. The January issue out now covers the electronic aspects of the conversion with all the part numbers needed to cover the whole swap. It is an exhaustive collection of information - too much to post.

I will tell you the 93 and 85 would be a slightly different install as the LT1 cars have a different motor mount system that is closer to the LS set up. However, virtually everything else with the exception of interfacing with the gauges is the same.
 
Joined
May 29, 2002
Messages
8,679
Location
Missoura Ozarks
Corvette
2012 💯 4LT GS Roadster
YEP - L@@king Good...

2002699235151323164_rs.jpg

http://www.mcspeed.homestead.com/Frankenvette.html

 

Baldie88

Well-known member
Joined
Mar 14, 2002
Messages
551
Location
Waterloo, IL USA
Corvette
2016 triple black vert.
Nice to see you back again Chris. I still have "Killer" as the background on my home computer.

Ron
"Baldie88"
 

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