Earlier this year I got a bug to change up some things on the Z. What started as an idea to change up the intake manifold turned into a major project that involved changing a lot of things up.
First thing I ordered was the Merlin Machining Holley Hi-Ram intake kit and Billet Valve covers
The intake kit allows you to remove the OEM plenum and change it up for a Holley Hi-Ram Single throttle body intake. The Hi-Ram is intended to be used for the GM LS engines and do to its popularity opens up a lot of opens in terms of further modification.
Changing from the OEM plenum to the Hi-Ram really opens up access to the top of the VG30DETT. Because of this I decided that I would upgrade to the Merlin Machining Valve Covers. The valve covers are BEAUTIFUL but also extremely functional. The exhaust valve covers in the kit offer an o-ring seal doing away with the need for RTV sealing. The valve covers also have 10AN ports on each cover that can be used to route to catch cans. For my catch can routing I bought 10AN swivel fittings from Radium Engineering and their Dual Catch can mount. All 4 valve covers run to the catch cans that are getting vacuum pulled from custom welded 10AN fittings on the turbo intake pipes. While the engine was out I decided to clean a few things up. I installed a set of BDE engine mounts and Saltek Motorsports VTC caps and a billet fuel rail from CZP.
I also installed Polar engineering R35 coil pack kit. Polar makes a bracket especially for the Merlin Machining intake in which both brackets are symmetrical with the coil packs facing rearward.
Once the intake was installed and everything else was buttoned up I had to make piping that connected my old intercooler piping to the new Y-coupler at the front of the intake manifold. I used universal 2.5" piping that came with a 90* bend. I then cut it to the perfect length and had them bead rolled and powdercoated.
With the manifold and piping pushed farther forward I was no longer able to use the factory clutch fan. Merlin Machining was able to make me a custom fan shroud that mounts a 16' SPAL PWM fan. This fan and shroud are insane. At full power this fan can pull a paper towel through the front bumper!
I made a custom mounting tab for the Radium Catch cans and mounted it in the battery tray. To make room and save weight I opted for a Odyssey PC680 AGM battery. I used a vertical mounting bracket that I found on ebay and bolted down to my CZP battery tray.
Once I got everything mounted up I took the car for a few cruises. The car sounds and feels great but I am not finished. I am now in the process of installing a Haltech 2500 and some accessories. I will be running drive by wire through the use of a LOJ pedal adaptor, a C6 Corvette DBW gas pedal, Holley EFI wiring harness and a GM LS3 92mm DBW throttle body. All of this plugs directly into the Haltech eliminating the need to figure out a IACV and allowing for other features like cruise control and DBW traction control. I am really excited to get all of that setup. For now I am getting everything setup the way I want it. The goal is to get it dyno tuned and get a custom cowl setup for the hood. Stay Tuned!
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