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2012 Chevy Cruze 1.8 (soon to be 1.8t) LS... white
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Discussion Starter #181
This is coming along nicely. Not that you need to tell, but are you keeping track of the costs? Someone in the future may want to know.

I may be wrong, but my whole life, it was deck the block and shave the head.

I can't wait for the finish!
Thank you. Down to the penny, and I wish I wasn't, lol. By the time it's all said and done, it'll be around $3,500 which in my opinion isn't a whole lot. I've spent $7-8k on past projects (V8's) that were 425 hp motors at the flywheel. Below is what I'm gunning for...

It just really depends on what the parts need. I messed up and tried "machining" the head by using the backwoods method of a thick piece of glass and 200 grit sand paper to clean it up. Well... I took enough material off of the head to realize I should let the pros look at it. So they had to machine .006 just to clean up my mess up. Was trying to keep things budget friendly for the DIYer. Long story short, let a machine shop tell you what it needs. The deck of the block is flat and just needs a little cleaning. Something to note as well is there is a oil pressure regulator just below the deck that's not replaceable and if it get messed up, you have to replace the block.

You and me both! So much so, I thought about skimping on a couple things, but that just won't do for the goals I have in mind.

Definently agree! Exciting stuff!
Thanks! I'm trying to be patient, lol, but the next things I'm getting done will be well worth it for the peace of mind.

Where did you source these

Sent from my SM-G960U using Tapatalk
I got the flywheel from ZZP. Mainly just to talk to them on the phone and let them know I'm coming for them. lol


Project Update:

It may be apparent at this point, I'm going all out (SEND IT!!!), but I want to fill you guys in on where my head is at with the car at this point. As I mentioned above, I purchased an aluminum flywheel (huge difference in weight by the way) and I'm getting a clutch from KY to hold my power goals. I'm trying to swing as much business to the smaller shops as possible.

ZZP recently posted a video of a world record run of their 12.9 1/4 mile run in a Sonic 1.4t that has every bolt on they carry as well as a Stage 1 cam which they're making available in the near future. All fine and dandy but this is a 1.8 build. That video definitely inspired me to... well beat their record. When I placed my order for the flywheel, I needed to call to make sure I was getting the proper size flywheel. They also had some notes mentioning that the single mass flywheel will create some gear noise as well as chatter so I wanted to know whether it'll be something I can live with.

Tyler answered the phone. I congratulated them on their world record run, and asked what they all had done. I asked what the Cruze 1/4 record is. He told me he doesn't know and that they lump the Sonic and Cruze in the same category...??? So I told him I'm gunning to beat their record with my 1.8 build lol. Little friendly competition from an unknown... he didn't find it very funny.

What I do know is their Sonic is making 290whp and they were trying to get their Sonic in the 12s with their V3 turbo. All part of marketing efforts obviously. Now that they accomplished that goal, they stepping it up to an aftermarket manifold and a larger turbo from my understanding.

My goal is to beat their record and get the car closer to the 400whp mark. I ideally 450whp, butttt.... well see. I would be happy with 350whp, but in order to beat their record and hold it for a while, I'll have to take advantage of having the extra .4 liters towards where they'll have to either ditch their efforts at making their 1.4s any faster and start developing things for the 1.8. All good news for you 1.8 guys/gals.

Am I being too ambitious? LOL


How Will I Accomplish This?

As you very well may know, at this point the head is port and polished, found valve springs and retainers to keep valve float at bay, the T04E turbo can support up to a claim 420hp (more than likely flywheel hp figures?), full 2.5 DIY down pipe and exhaust with a high flow cat, straight through muffler, etc. I'm going to have to rethink a few things to obtain my goal.

Manifold. I'm ditching my beloved log style manifold for a couple reasons. I don't believe it will support my hp goals, and there was a stress crack by the turbo because it's supporting the weight of the turbo, and the front of the exhaust system. So I'm going to fabricate a long tube equal length design that not only will help with scavenging but will also allow me to bolt the manifold to the stock catalytic support on the block. That'll help support the system and should flow well enough for my goals.

Ignition. I already have all the parts I need for a LS2/LS7 upgrade. I went with the D585 coils (because the data is easily accessible to plug into HP Tuners), purchased a harness / connector and I'm designing a bracket to mount the coils. Since the 1.8 valve cover is so different than the 1.4, I having to design it from scratch... I'm thinking the best solution will be to mount them where the stock plastic cover will be in order to leave room to top off the oil, and not get everything too close to the exhaust side of the cylinder head. Here is what I have so far. I still need to mock everything up before I send the design out to be laser cut. It still needs more tweaking but it's getting there.

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Pistons. I was going to run the stock pistons with the rings gapped for boost. That, IMO, would work just fine and dandy granted I don't run into any knock. There's plenty of guys out there run Big BANG LS engines on the stock bottom end with just ring gap. What kills pistons is lack of ring gap and detonation. I would be comfortable with that around 250hp, BUT I'm aiming for the moon here. Yesterday I sent off one of the stock pistons to JE Pistons for a full custom set of forged pistons. Here goes the patience part... It'll take up to a month for them to make a set and they'll run $150 piston. I definitely wanted peace of mind pushing this motor to the limit.

The stock 1.4 CR is 9.5:1 and the 1.8 is 10.5:1... How do you get more power? More compression!!! I'm going to keep the motor at the 10.5:1 ratio, or try to. I need to go back and check to make sure the MaXpeedingRods connecting rods I have are indeed the same length. When I measured them, they did seem to be a few thousands shorter which would put the piston down in the hole more, therefor lowering compression. The head was also decked .006, so I have some homework to do in the sense that I need to cc the combustion chamber, see how far down in the hole the piston will be with the new rods, what the compressed thickness of the gasket is, as well as the bore size of the piston to know where I'm at.

Unless I change my mind, looks like the car will stay running on e85 to keep detonation at bay which is no big deal because there are plenty of stations around with e85 here in Houston.

Camshafts. I sent my cams to Delta Cams, with bad news... they told me they couldn't weld on the cams because they're hollow cams, which I knew (it's also a benefit to an extent, less rotating weight) and they couldn't grind anything into them because and I quote "there's not enough shim in the world to keep the lifters from rattling"... lol (I disagree). I'm sure Ken and John over there are just slammed and they're just not willing to take on something new. They didn't seem interested in taking on these cams and were kinda grumpy, but I'm not taking NO for an answer... ;)

Before I sent the cams to Delta, I called CompCams (they didn't want to fool with it either) and Crower. I really wanted to send my business to a smaller shop, but... I'm really impressed with the guys over at Crower. They have been super friendly and helpful. IMO, part of the reason why is the size of their operation. They have enough machines, and staff towards where they're not overwhelmed. I brought up all of the concerns the guys at Delta had. The crew at Crower told me if anything, because they are hollow, they'll at least be able to grind their Stage 1 grind into them. At this moment, I'm waiting on my cams to come back from Delta, and I have to send them to Crower. It took Delta, after at least 4 phones to even open my package and tell me no. Let's just say 2-3 weeks time invested in shipping them back and forth, and giving them a little push to give me answer. I may just have to go to the scrap yard and pull a couple cams to send off because Crowers turnaround time is 1 month.

Fasteners. I had ARP send over a couple studs. The one I'm going with is 11mm vs the stock 10mm, and the block will require machining but we felt it'll give the build the best chance at surviving the power goals and up to 25lbs of BOOST! I also cross referenced the stock main cap bolts, and ordered some from ARP which are on their way. IMO, the weakest part of the 1.8 will be the 2 bolt main caps and I'll be pushing the limit of what they can hold. Any more power than my goals will more than likely need some custom splayed 4 bolt main caps.

That's all I got for now, but I would love to hear your feedback and get your help if there's anything else you can think of to achieve these goals.
 

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Discussion Starter #183
Boy, when you get an idea, you seem to run full speed ahead with it. I wish I was of the age and means to do that now. I have way too many projects competing for my time.
You can say that again. There's something really fulfilling about these kind of projects. The challenge, the research, learning, the failures, and to the best of my abilities, pulling off an end goal. It's fun learning from everyone as well. For example, I would have never thought about the LS upgrade. So many little projects and not so little...the manifold, springs, cam, pistons, rods, tuning, etc.

I know exactly what you mean. I'm trying not to stretch myself too thin, which is why I don't mind the pistons, and cams taking some time because it'll give me time to kinda "find time" for each project at a time.

I own a small screen printing business, in which I have vlog and do tutorials... similar to the videos I have been creating about this build. Heck, even that takes up some time, but it's a fun creative process.

Mikey Designs & Silk Screen - YouTubewww.youtube.com › channel

Part of me would really love to make a living doing projects like these for a living. Just doing what I enjoy. Whether it be about art, cars, music (I've been playing music semi professionally since '06). Having multiple interested keeps me from getting burned out from doing the same old same old...
 

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Discussion Starter #184
The LS coil upgrade underway!

 

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you are doing great! i really like the attention to detail that you are giving this.
have you thought about raising the coils up via some sort of bracket to reduce the angle of the plug wires? i moved my coils toward the firewall to reduce the angle on the wires on the 1.4.
 

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Discussion Starter #186
you are doing great! i really like the attention to detail that you are giving this.
have you thought about raising the coils up via some sort of bracket to reduce the angle of the plug wires? i moved my coils toward the firewall to reduce the angle on the wires on the 1.4.
Thanks! I appreciate it. I’ve thought about it and I’m going to play around with the positioning some more. I plan to get some spacers to get the coils up off the cover I’ll make and see if shifting them will help. I may even have the wiring tuck under the cover I make if I can get away with finding a solution to keep the wires from melting.
 

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Thanks! I appreciate it. I’ve thought about it and I’m going to play around with the positioning some more. I plan to get some spacers to get the coils up off the cover I’ll make and see if shifting them will help. I may even have the wiring tuck under the cover I make if I can get away with finding a solution to keep the wires from melting.
What about a little bit longer coil wires?

I also just ran across a very old post speaking to 1.6 rods and pistons, not much there but a spec for stock.

 

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Both Spec and ClutchMasters sell aluminum flywheels. Just beware light weight flywheels and 6 puck clutches are lots of fun in traffic... :p
 

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Discussion Starter #189
 

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Discussion Starter #190
What about a little bit longer coil wires?

I also just ran across a very old post speaking to 1.6 rods and pistons, not much there but a spec for stock.

I think I'll try lifting them up some and see how that works. I've seen how BNR does theirs and I'm not a fan of how the oil filler cap is somewhat covered on their 1.8 LS conversion.

Nice! I have one of my stock pistons at JE Pistons and they're going to make a set based off of the piston and my CR requirements. I should hear back from them any day now to go over the design.
 

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Discussion Starter #191
Both Spec and ClutchMasters sell aluminum flywheels. Just beware light weight flywheels and 6 puck clutches are lots of fun in traffic... :p
:ROFLMAO: You're right about that. I don't find myself sitting in traffic too much these days. Maybe 2-3 a month if I hit rush hour in Houston, but for the most part, because I work for myself, I've set my schedule to avoid it. lol
 

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Discussion Starter #192
 

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Discussion Starter #193
Some exciting stuff coming soon! The manifold flange I designed and the coil mount for the LS upgrade are being water jetted out by a fellow 1.8 enthusiastalmost, pistons are being CNC'd by JE Pistons, in which I'm getting their piston rings that are good for boost to go along with them... still waiting to hear what can be done with the cams, but they're at Crower and I expect to hear something Monday.

I'm debating about going a different direction with the turbo size. I may upgrade to a GT3076r with an external waste gate in which exhaust will need to be sized up to 3". Apparently 350whp has been done, so I'm shooting for 400+. To support the upgrades I'll need to get some 160# injectors and an upgraded fuel pump.

More coming soon.

288637
 

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Discussion Starter #195
160#'s!!!
:) Having this down time while waiting on the cams and pistons... I found some injectors that will be more suitable for the build. 1400cc 133lb fit Siemens Deka. These will drop right in place of the current 60lbers I have and will give me a better chance at dialing in a nice idle without a boost reference pressure regulator. The plus side as well is they start at $200 a set vs $350.


288690
 

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Did the 1.8 come with the 60#ers? I know ZZP was selling them, but I don't recall you mentioning them before. This is going to get interesting here.
 

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Discussion Starter #197
Did the 1.8 come with the 60#ers? I know ZZP was selling them, but I don't recall you mentioning them before. This is going to get interesting here.
The 1.8 comes with around 33-35# injectors. During the course of the build, I upgraded to the 60# injectors, which worked great for the previous setup. The 60#'s are rated up to 250whp with E85 and 300whp on pump gas. Since I'm chasing 400+whp (dare I say 500whp?) on E85 I will need to dump a lot more fuel into the engine.

Definitely going to get interesting! The down time for JE Pistons to do their job, and Crower has left a lot of time on the table to think. Probably too much lol...
 

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The 1.8 comes with around 33-35# injectors. During the course of the build, I upgraded to the 60# injectors, which worked great for the previous setup. The 60#'s are rated up to 250whp with E85 and 300whp on pump gas. Since I'm chasing 400+whp (dare I say 500whp?) on E85 I will need to dump a lot more fuel into the engine.

Definitely going to get interesting! The down time for JE Pistons to do their job, and Crower has left a lot of time on the table to think. Probably too much lol...
I knew I should have waited to buy my 60#ers. I could've bought yours. I get ahead of my self when it comes to parts. I bought a catback exhaust two years ago or so and am just now getting ready to put it on.
 

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Discussion Starter #199
 

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I knew I should have waited to buy my 60#ers. I could've bought yours. I get ahead of my self when it comes to parts. I bought a catback exhaust two years ago or so and am just now getting ready to put it on.
:) The bright side is they'll be affordable for another person that might be tight on cash, or you could return yours ;)
 
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