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GM E-Rod Motor by thesameguy
Started on: 06-21-2016 03:25 PM
Replies: 15 (633 views)
Last post by: bmwguru on 07-05-2016 04:59 AM
thesameguy
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Report this Post06-21-2016 03:25 PM Click Here to See the Profile for thesameguyClick Here to Email thesameguySend a Private Message to thesameguyEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
A while back a bunch of folks gave me a heap of good pointers about various LS-series motors in effort to a) convince myself I need a V8 instead of a high-value V6, and b) figure out a legitimate way to get through California smog - because I don't need a hassle!

For those who know more than I do, are there any major roadblocks in using an erod LS3? They have a CARB EO (D-126-30) for "1995 and older passenger cars and light duty truck vehicles" which means they are CARB-legal for a Fiero. They have two part numbers, one for automatics and one for manuals. You can buy the computer to make it run direct from GM with no hacks or reflashes, it comes with the magic electro-pedal to work the DBW.

Although this setup costs a LOT more than a donor motor from some LS2/4/6 car - like 4-5x - it also means 430hp out the door, an ECM designed for user access, and no issues with the smog guys - just a shiny sticker that tells them to leave me alone.

Am I missing something? (I probably am )
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dobey
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Report this Post06-21-2016 03:41 PM Click Here to See the Profile for dobeySend a Private Message to dobeyEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
Sounds about right.
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KissMySSFiero
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Report this Post06-21-2016 11:47 PM Click Here to See the Profile for KissMySSFieroClick Here to Email KissMySSFieroSend a Private Message to KissMySSFieroEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
I remember someone saying the exhaust that comes with the erod cannot be modified and as is, it will not work in a fiero.
You might look at that.
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thesameguy
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Report this Post06-22-2016 01:39 AM Click Here to See the Profile for thesameguyClick Here to Email thesameguySend a Private Message to thesameguyEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
Great call, and probably important. if the LS4 manifolds fit that is probably easy enough to smog - they will look factory and with an EO# I don't have to see a ref and submit to the fine tooth comb treatment.
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Report this Post06-22-2016 07:47 AM Click Here to See the Profile for dobeySend a Private Message to dobeyEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
The LS4 exhaust won't work.

I see now that the CARB certified E-Rod engines come with the truck style manifolds, and cats.

You could theoretically replace those manifolds with the stock Vette manifolds (which have the exit in the center, rather than the rear, which can be used in a FIero, or you should be able to use an aftermarket header that are direct bolt-ins on the Vette.

You'll need to cut the pipe off the cats which come with the kit, and weld up a system using them, which fits in the Fiero, and keeps the cats as close to the manifold as possible. If the distance is moved off too much, a good inspector would catch on.

Or you could of course always figure out some way to go longitudinal with it.
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thesameguy
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Report this Post06-22-2016 01:20 PM Click Here to See the Profile for thesameguyClick Here to Email thesameguySend a Private Message to thesameguyEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
Yeah, I hadn't originally anticipated those truck manifolds, but it makes sense considering the kit is aimed at '70s and '80s RWD cars, not anything modern. Corvette manifolds are a good plan, and looking like GM parts with GM parts numbers should be plenty to not raise eyebrows. I wouldn't do headers, as that's a whole sticky wicket - headers are always a red flag, and even if they carried an EO# it wouldn't be for the Fiero. Corvette manifold should be *plenty*. The cats are a concern, but since EO#s don't really carry any useful information - like the size/location/quantity of the EO'd equipment - replacing the cats with something more Fiero friendly also shouldn't be an issue. Hopefully, placing them doesn't require removing my trunk - I'd really prefer to chop up the car. But, there's nothing up front anymore, so if my Fiero gets converted to a frunk, that's hardly the end of the world.

I was hoping to be working on this engine swap six months ago, but I opted for some home improvements instead. Maybe next year. Hell, maybe next year Ford will have the 2.3l Ecoboost EO'd like they keep promising. Ford powered Fiero? Surewhynot.
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dobey
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Report this Post06-22-2016 01:32 PM Click Here to See the Profile for dobeySend a Private Message to dobeyEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
 
quote
Originally posted by thesameguy:

Yeah, I hadn't originally anticipated those truck manifolds, but it makes sense considering the kit is aimed at '70s and '80s RWD cars, not anything modern. Corvette manifolds are a good plan, and looking like GM parts with GM parts numbers should be plenty to not raise eyebrows. I wouldn't do headers, as that's a whole sticky wicket - headers are always a red flag, and even if they carried an EO# it wouldn't be for the Fiero. Corvette manifold should be *plenty*. The cats are a concern, but since EO#s don't really carry any useful information - like the size/location/quantity of the EO'd equipment - replacing the cats with something more Fiero friendly also shouldn't be an issue. Hopefully, placing them doesn't require removing my trunk - I'd really prefer to chop up the car. But, there's nothing up front anymore, so if my Fiero gets converted to a frunk, that's hardly the end of the world.

I was hoping to be working on this engine swap six months ago, but I opted for some home improvements instead. Maybe next year. Hell, maybe next year Ford will have the 2.3l Ecoboost EO'd like they keep promising. Ford powered Fiero? Surewhynot.


Because the Ecotec is a better engine, and I guess you can already legally do a swap with one in a Fiero. The newer 2.0 Ecotec turbo engines are quite a good fit for a Fiero really. The exhaust is on the front side, which gives you a lot more room for exhaust routing, and there is only the single cat, while all the ~07+ V8 cars/trucks have dual cats, which means dual cats and 4 O2 sensors are required for the ECM and to pass CARB. The LS4 is special since it's a single cat and only two O2 sensors, but only came with an automatic too, so you end up with that mess in CA if you want a stick.

Good luck either way, but I'd definitely recommend the Ecotec over Ford's Ecoboost 2.3.
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thesameguy
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Report this Post06-22-2016 03:32 PM Click Here to See the Profile for thesameguyClick Here to Email thesameguySend a Private Message to thesameguyEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
Not so sure the Ecotec is better than the Ecoboost, but that's as much a matter of preference as anything.

However, the advantage of an EO'd engine over a swapped engine is that an EO'd engine does not require a trip to the referee like a swap does. That EO number is gold!

Per our previous conversation, the advantage of an LS-not-4 with the work done necessary to mount it transversely has the advantage of not raising eyebrows over a manual transmission but would over exhaust routing *for sure*, which would come up in a swap inspection. The advantage of the LS4 is it's supposed to be mounted transversely, but does create the problem with a manual transmission. That conundrum - the luck of the draw as to how anal your referee is - is what resigned me to a high-value swap from a G6 - just plop in everything from a GXP. You do have computer issues (BCM, etc.) but that's probably workable. I'm absolutely not opposed to a 3x00 swap, I think even a 220hp Fiero would be *plenty*. But, sure can't argue with a LSx.

So, for just double or triple the money an erod engine gets the EO sticker and you avoid the referee entirely. I am not sure whether my risk aversion exceeds my financial concerns here. Not yet.

I am completely railroading myself - my 3.4 swap is cursed and I've been ignoring it. The guy who originally did it used a "bad motor" which necessitated the next owner having the engine "rebuilt" just six months after the swap. (Quotes because that's what I was told, I have no direct knowledge.) As I've owned it, it's clear it has an oil consumption problem that is probably valve seals but could be bottom end. This poor motor can't get a break! I am doing nothing about it and it still runs fantastically, I'm just waiting for it to fail in whatever way it sees fit so I'm forced to do something.

Your counsel is, as always, appreciated.


Edit: Worth mentioning I have not ruled out a Saab V6t swap, either. I have lots of connections in the Saab world and lots of love for Saabs, so if a later 9-3 Aero dropped in my lap, I wouldn't say no.

[This message has been edited by thesameguy (edited 06-22-2016).]

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Report this Post06-22-2016 04:10 PM Click Here to See the Profile for dobeySend a Private Message to dobeyEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
Right, the EO would certainly be the best option, but for the LS3 EO, the E-Rod kit is going to be about $8K shipped, plus you'll need to find an F40 to use, plus about another $7500 for Archie's kits. Even assuming you have all the tools/skills needed and are doing it yourself, you're already going to be $15-16K in, plus however long it would take you to do all the work yourself.

It's certainly a viable option for the CARB requirements, if you really want a manual LSx. It shouldn't be too hard to make the exhaust work, but you may or may not end up getting sent off to the long track of dealing with the ref in that case.

Another option might be having WCF do a 3800 swap. I think they might have an EO# for a 3800 manual swap, but that obviously isn't 480 HP.

If for the Saab V6t you mean the 2.8t like bmwguru has been doing in his car, I think those cars are unicorns. I tried looking for a 2.8t manual 9-3 a few times, but they are impossible to find (at least over here anyway). All the manuals I could find were Ecotec 2.0t cars.
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thesameguy
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Report this Post06-22-2016 05:37 PM Click Here to See the Profile for thesameguyClick Here to Email thesameguySend a Private Message to thesameguyEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
Haha, believe me, the numbers are adding up in my head.

I am for whatever reason absolutely not interested in a 3800 swap. So many reasons why, but it's not a power issue at all. I am confident I'd be satisfied with even a 3500 swap. The 3800 just don't float my boat.

The 2.8t manual is fairly unusual, but not difficult to find around here. In fact, here's one in a wagon:

http://losangeles.craigslis.../ctd/5638934277.html

*That's* rare!

Less money, with a trunk:

http://inlandempire.craigsl.../cto/5643320610.html

But, I am good friends with the local Volvo/Saab dismantler, finding the parts or a car wouldn't ultimately be an issue. Or, I'll just wait for my friend's wife to wreck theirs. It'll happen. Just need to be patient.

The computer could be a problem here, but I think bmwguru got that worked out - somewhere he commented he addressed it but then went to standalone for more potential. I'm not looking for that type of power. I've had plenty of very fast cars - I've learned I am much happier driving a slow car fast than a fast car slow. It's just... even with a 3.4pr the Fiero isn't quite quick enough to offer a reliable advantage over your average family sedan.

[This message has been edited by thesameguy (edited 06-22-2016).]

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bmwguru
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Report this Post06-28-2016 05:07 AM Click Here to See the Profile for bmwguruClick Here to visit bmwguru's HomePageClick Here to Email bmwguruSend a Private Message to bmwguruEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
I wound up going with the standalone because you can do more with the aftermarket ecu over the stock Bosch ecu. I plan on getting my car on the dyno soon, but I expect to see around 400-450whp.
Dave

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thesameguy
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Report this Post06-29-2016 01:43 PM Click Here to See the Profile for thesameguyClick Here to Email thesameguySend a Private Message to thesameguyEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
Yeah, I remember you mentioning that. As crazy as it sounds, I really don't want a 400+ hp Fiero. That's more than I want to deal with in a 30 year old Pontiac. I'm pretty happy right now having brakes and suspension and grip that grossly overcompensate for the power available. As much as possible I'd like to keep that balance and keep this car fun rather than turn it into a handful. 160hp is definitely not enough. I think 250-300hp in a 2700lb car makes for a quick but easily manageable ride, so that's what I'm aiming for. Unfortunately, I'm a little tied up by California's CARB rules, hence the thread about the e-rod motor.

Did you have any major headaches getting the Bosch ECM to divorce from all the chassis electronics? Were there any major issues getting it the sensor data it needed to run? I am going to run by the Saab dismantlers today for a unicorn fuel pump, I'll inquire about 2.8t & F40 pricing while I'm there.
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thesameguy
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Report this Post06-29-2016 06:06 PM Click Here to See the Profile for thesameguyClick Here to Email thesameguySend a Private Message to thesameguyEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
A complete subframe drop from a 9-3 2.8t is two grand or less.

Guess I need to watch used car prices for a bit and determine whether my money is best spent on the parts or a whole car.

Maybe it'd be cool to have a Saab-powered Pontiac sitting next to a Saab powered Saab. You know, for about $500 I can put a Saab 2.0t in my XR4Ti. SAAB POWERED EVERYTHING!
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bmwguru
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Report this Post06-30-2016 05:04 AM Click Here to See the Profile for bmwguruClick Here to visit bmwguru's HomePageClick Here to Email bmwguruSend a Private Message to bmwguruEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
The Bosch ecu kept messing up without the signals on the CAN BUS line, so the AEM Infinity-6 fixed that up. I'm still not sure if I will keep this engine in the back of the car. I am on the fence about dropping it out and switching to a 24v VR6 turbo. Joey's 12v VR6 is amazing and I absolutely love driving that car. The prices came down on those setups recently and I could probably swap it in and have it running within a month, but I will put some miles on the Saab setup first.
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Report this Post06-30-2016 05:58 AM Click Here to See the Profile for thesameguyClick Here to Email thesameguySend a Private Message to thesameguyEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
I have a friend with a 12vT VR6 in a GTI and it's definitely a fun motor to drive. Not so sold on maintenance & working on it though. No fun at all.

I shot an email over to a guy I know who has a lot of experience tuning Saabs - I'm interested to hear what he says about setup & tuning.

Sounds like there were no major issues divorcing the T8 ECM from the car, just getting CAN to behave, Were you using T8 Suite, or some fancier tuner?
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Report this Post07-05-2016 04:59 AM Click Here to See the Profile for bmwguruClick Here to visit bmwguru's HomePageClick Here to Email bmwguruSend a Private Message to bmwguruEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
 
quote
Originally posted by thesameguy:

I have a friend with a 12vT VR6 in a GTI and it's definitely a fun motor to drive. Not so sold on maintenance & working on it though. No fun at all.

I shot an email over to a guy I know who has a lot of experience tuning Saabs - I'm interested to hear what he says about setup & tuning.

Sounds like there were no major issues divorcing the T8 ECM from the car, just getting CAN to behave, Were you using T8 Suite, or some fancier tuner?


I believe the T8 was used only in the 4 cylinder. The ME9.6 was used in the 6 cylinder. I wound up switching to the AEM Infinity-6 and that allowed me more room to play and it can do much more than the stock ecu.
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