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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hello everyone,


So I have finally decided to go the V8 route. Seems like many are doing the same. My personal reason is because I would like to simply future proof the vehicle with the benefits of solid V8 performance. I'm currently getting ready to pull my 2.0L engine that I had fully built along with Trans and Diff(selling that off to a Dune buggy). I've been reading up as much as I can on such a project and have come across spending many hours reading lots of threads. Ive been made aware of the cooling hiccup's and how important it is for a proper ducting system similar to the stock should be considered. Cruise control talk about how some work and others doesn't seems to not concern me much. I have upgraded suspension on my car(coilovers). What do I need to know? What should I come to expect with the weight of the car? Have any of you done any bolt on's after doing the conversion(Intake manifolds, heads, headers etc). How have you been able to register the vehicle with your insurance company? Do any of you with conversion have to abide to emissions? What has been you experience with that? I would like to learn as much as I can to make this as smooth of a process as possible. This is great that on the Solstice forum you actually have a place to discuss transplants. Thanks again and looking forward to hearing inputs.


PS: Plan on getting this started sometime around the December timeframe. :)
 

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The cooling issue on Punisher is a result of it being the first one done by DDM. And it's not a huge problem. With the stock LS accessories, there is adequate room to install good high performance fans and ductwork that cools the cars very well. Since rerouting the steam vent line on the first two converted cars, heating has not been an issue on the second car which has full ducting. On my car it has been greatly reduced and will be totally gone once I get the ductwork installed this fall.

The biggest hurdle in my conversion was the tune and making everything function properly. Mine was a 2.0 car and has a different ECM. That has been addressed and you can now buy the ECM software from Dave at DDM or direct from Ken Kelly who wrote the code.

If you want to know the whole history, send me your email

Emissions is a local issue. In Colorado they don't care what motor you have, the car has to meet the same emission standards it met when new. Mine passes with no issues.

My car drives just like it did before the conversion with respect to handling. The clutch is significantly stiffer but after a short while you don't notice. I do notice when I get out of my car and into a stock 2.0.

Insurance can be an issue. Normal insurance will treat the car as a well used car in value. You will need to look at a special insurance option. Haggerty or one like it. When you have twice or three times the value of the car invested, it creates a certain amount of angst.

Good luck. It's really a blast, pun intended
 

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Here's the best advice you're ever gonna get concerning a V8 swap...

Find another source of information other than these Kappa forums. Have you ever heard the saying "They know just enough to be dangerous"? There is a whole world of knowledgeable people doing things like doing V8 swaps. They don't hang out here. If you're going to attempt a V8 swap, I'm telling you, DO NOT GET ADVICE HERE. V8 Kappas are NOT supposed to overheat, have excessive heat radiating into the passenger compartment (actually there should be NO heat put into the passenger compartment), have loud exhausts, go through clutches and have overly stiff super high clutch pedals, run like [email protected] below 1800rpm, etc, etc, etc. Those results are NOT normal or should be considered acceptable.

So rte, what's going to be your reason for deleting this post of mine? Members aren't supposed to try to keep other fellow members from going down a path of frustration, delays, huge money wasting and general disappointment? What you V8 swap guys have and still are going through is an absolute joke. You're ok with helping another member here down that same path? If so, that's pretty sad.

Fortunato, you want my real advice? Order a C7 Z06. For $86k you'll get everything you'll ever want as far as a performance car, it will have a FULL warranty, be totally smog legal and get good gas mileage to boot. Spending $40k with the vendors available to the Kappa market to get an overheating, loud, poorly running, unreliable and smog illegal car isn't too smart if you ask me. You won't have to spend all your time talking about how to put a tow hook on your new C7. Tow hook? Really? How often do you guys have to have your cars towed? lol.

Read this quick guys, I'm sure my mod friends will delete it soon.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
All input is welcome John. I haven't kept what I read to just kappa forums. General LS forums or popular platforms for LS swaps have also been researched. Thanks though for the warning. Solutions are at least underway so we'll see how it pans out. C7 is something I looked at but just as you have a love for this car, so do I. This is a car I plan to keep for a very long time. :)
 

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GM Technhasnit right. If I had been looking at the posts of the currently active V8-swapped members, I would have never sent my car to Mallett, and just sold the Solstice for a Z06 or GT-R.

The idea that these guys have spent so much money, on top of their initial conversion costs, and so much time fixing really basic issues is insane. Some of the cooling problems that get reported are the result of the vendors clearly not understanding general cooling system principles, or the particulars of the LS-series of engines.

Overheating, poor drivability and bad integration with OEM electronics (some vendors will replace your dash with Autometer gauges) aren't worth the price paid. That's aside from other issues like sub-optimal engine placement, and appalling reliability. I've been lucky, my car works, and the only changes I've made are for making the car suitable for racing, but Mallett is out of business and these remaining shops are using their customers as development mules and not addressing the faulty swaps.

You've got the LNF. It's a great engine. You can make as much power for less money AND be more reliable versus the existing conversion options unless you can convince (and afford) to have GM Tech contours or to get Mallett reopened. Don't be a sucker and pay for a sub-par v8 conversion. These guys are chasing sunk costs and trying to create some self-justification.
 

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GM Technhasnit right. If I had been looking at the posts of the currently active V8-swapped members, I would have never sent my car to Mallett, and just sold the Solstice for a Z06 or GT-R.

The idea that these guys have spent so much money, on top of their initial conversion costs, and so much time fixing really basic issues is insane. Some of the cooling problems that get reported are the result of the vendors clearly not understanding general cooling system principles, or the particulars of the LS-series of engines.

Overheating, poor drivability and bad integration with OEM electronics (some vendors will replace your dash with Autometer gauges) aren't worth the price paid. That's aside from other issues like sub-optimal engine placement, and appalling reliability. I've been lucky, my car works, and the only changes I've made are for making the car suitable for racing, but Mallett is out of business and these remaining shops are using their customers as development mules and not addressing the faulty swaps.

You've got the LNF. It's a great engine. You can make as much power for less money AND be more reliable versus the existing conversion options unless you can convince (and afford) to have GM Tech contours or to get Mallett reopened. Don't be a sucker and pay for a sub-par v8 conversion. These guys are chasing sunk costs and trying to create some self-justification.


Yaaaay! With another voice of reason chiming in maybe my thoughts won't be deleted!

Were you there at that C&C when I dyno'd my car for that first time? One of the things these V8 swap guys are fighting is loud exhaust. My first dyno numbers with a primitive tune were 614whp/604wtq. I believe you heard my exhaust, many said it was "eerily quiet". It was quieter than our CTS-V wagon by far, and also quieter than my buddies C6 Z06. My point is these vendors CAN make a V8 swap that puts out massive power AND has a super quiet exhaust. They just don't know how or don't care to spend the time to do it right. That doesn't mean it can't be done. To pay a vendor $40k to throw a basic LS in and have to redo half the swap changes is ridiculous.
 

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I am very happy with my car. In fact I'm pretty happy all the time, unlike some.

At least we share information openly and honestly without criticism.
 

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My car has been performing great. Only thing I had to do was reroute the steam lines. My car runs great, has a normal clutch and everything works the same as it did when it was stock. I have had zero problems and can drive my car every day Don't know why others are having so many problems with their converted cars. I did NOT pay anywhere close to 40k to get the conversion done.
 

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GM Technhasnit right.

You've got the LNF. It's a great engine. You can make as much power for less money AND be more reliable versus the existing conversion options unless you can convince (and afford) to have GM Tech contours or to get Mallett reopened. Don't be a sucker and pay for a sub-par v8 conversion. These guys are chasing sunk costs and trying to create some self-justification.
:agree::I have been following these swap posts for some time now and have done a lot of research on my own toying with the idea of doing one of these myself and I have to be honest to drop 40 grand plus into one of these swaps and to have all the issues that some members are having does not make a bit of sense to me.I have been around cars for longer then I care to remember and know people who have had conversions done to their cars, not Kappas, and other then a minor tweak or two have not experienced the rash of problems that now seem common place with these swaps.Is it the people doing them ,are the expectations too high, are Kappas just not engineered for this type of conversion? I have every piece of information written on the Hot Rod LS7 conversion and the recurring theme is money is no object and we have the GM Performance and Engineering Departments at our disposal is this the direction one needs to take in order to successfully accomplish this goal?I have seen more then one modified Kappa whether it was an NA or GXP that impressed me with the performance that is available with this platform .Tony a contributing vendor of ours, ASAP Graphics ,and his BullRun Solstice pushing somewhere in the neighbor hood of 450 usable horsepower just blew me away last year at the Dream Cruise and I know he is in the process of ditching this set up for a V8 swap.I wish all the members who are experiencing problems with these swaps all the best and I hope that they can get all the "bugs"worked out but in the end are they just throwing good money after bad?
 

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I do not know anyone who paid 40K for a conversion.

Mine was less than 20

(Just because I agreed to be a mod does not mean I can't have personal opinions. :) My opinion remains unchanged however in the interest of forum decorum I am shifting this one to inside my own mind.)

I enjoyed working on three club cars and a neighbors car today. On my lift LOL
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Yea, the research I've done for a LS376/525hp crate engine and all other parts(trans tr6060, cts diff 3.43) has the cost at most 26k. That's with ac included. I think John was using older numbers from when Mallet first started doing the conversions(which were 40kish). Are there shops that have kits in the 40k+ range? Sure, if you want get crazy/suicidal and do an LS9 swap. I would just like a N/A setup with top end power. Btw, Hagerty is more of a classic car insurance.
 

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One of our currently posting forum members paid $37k for his swap, and then paid more after he got the car home. At this point, he hasn't even received some parts of his swap that he already paid for months ago. Facts.

Remember guys, I don't make this stuff up.

RTE, you're a moderator for [email protected]'s sake. Stop it with the personal attacks!
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Well, then I'm glad I'm not him. As for the personal attack, it's more like playing around with each other. I once had a wise man tell me "I take nothing on the forum seriously, no one should". Calm your titties John lol.

I do have another question. What's the amount of time it takes to get a conversion like this done? I've been told 2 months. I've seen 20 months(read) and also around 6months.
 

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Talk with DDM. They are doing them on a pretty continuous basis, one at a time generally. They can give you the best idea.

Mine took a long time for a lot of reasons other than the build itself. I am guessing a few weeks, but as I say, ask Dave.
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
Roger that. Thanks Mr. Punisher
 

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[QUOTE=40rty;148182 Btw, Hagerty is more of a classic car insurance.

I have a few cars and trucks insured with them and I have friends who have hot rods ,customs,sports cars etc. insured with them .They have pretty good rates ,agreed to value of your car,their service is outstanding,and they will insure stuff that your normal insurance company won't touch .
 

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Well, Ill chime in here and say that my conversion to the LS3 525 with T56 has been great. I personally made sure that the proper ducting was done so that the car runs at a nice 198 most of the time and never sees above 210 on the highway. I wanted my car to sound like it eats small kids so I am ok with the noise. I made the choice to go without CATs since there are no emissions here in Michigan. I have received tons of compliments on how well the conversion was done and the car drives amazingly. My clutch is fully adjustable and I can change the pedal engagement to my liking. I was only without my car for about a month and a half. I won't even tell you how long my last build took. 40rty, are you going to do it yourself?
 

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