12.20.17

As I was getting the Impala in position for the winter slumber, I realized all my updates have been on YouTube, and none on the site itself here.  So I wanted to recap a few things and also give some future news on the project.
Back in early Spring, the Impala interior went through an upgrade.  TheDetailSS.com sent over their double DIN kit, which allowed me to run a brand new Pioneer head unit with Apple CarPlay. This took the Impala driving experience even more into the current decade with Bluetooth, apps and tons of other additional features.  Below you will see the first video in a longer series I did on how to install this setup.  If you are on the fence, follow along and let me know if you have any questions.

Next thing that happened was some more testing and tuning.  I am still chasing a mild ghost on the new 383, which I feel is the tune.  The throttle body was drilled out for better IAC counts, the fuel injectors were checked, there are no vacuum leaks and I have searched numerous online threads.  Overall, I think I am going to be doing a few things this winter that should help everything out. 

The first upgrade and probably the biggest, the TorqHead Coil Pack setup is coming.  As of right now, it is being tested and boxed for the journey to my garage.  This will eliminate the opti-spark, add a newer LS style computer and finally add super reliable coil packs to the LT1.  I am super excited to get this installed and then do a big final dyno tune.  Fingers crossed this goes well...

Another upgrade, which I've had for a little while in the garage is a set of rear air bags.  This will fit the Eibach springs I have installed and give a little more support if I decide to load up the trunk with family gear. A minor upgrade, but a needed one for sure.  On those same lines, I plan to upgrade the interior a bit to better hold my daughter's car seat.

Keep in mind, these are just a couple of the plans I have and more will be posted as the upgrades come.  I really want to daily this thing from early spring to late fall in 2018, so stick with me as I finalize some of this build.  I can't wait!

9.4.16

As I write this, I realize the site has been lacking recently.  All of my updates have been going right to YouTube and I've been pushing everything there.  Either way though, I'll keep them coming here, probably just not as frequently.  The Impala has been a work in progress all summer.  From the engine pull, to finalizing the last items on the engine build to many other things.  If you follow the Hoagies Garage YouTube Channel, you will very easily stay caught up or get back to speed with me. 

I still have major plans to drive the Impala before the winter.  I don't care if it is just for a week, I want to have it off the lift and running.  Going into the winter, I have some small and minor things to work on, but overall nothing as huge as the engine swap.  Like I've stated many times before, the reason this car is needed is also why my progress is so slow.  Having a family, daughter and everything else going on takes priority.  But since my last past in June, there have been some major strides in the project.  Enjoy the different updates below!

6.1.16

I've been putting in some wrench time, figuring out the next moves and also finding some issues with my plan.  Long story short, my biggest hurdle this week was the LT1 crank hub.  This included removal, fitting, and also reusing.

The 383 I'm building was done by Golen and built with a 1995 timing cover.  This was done because Golen didn't have any '96 covers.  What that means though, is my factory 1996 crank hub would be too short.  It was a short length due to the sensor ring that was installed in 1996.  So I stopped with the removal and ordered a 1994-1995 Impala crank hub.  Hopefully this will work out correctly and give me no issues with accessories lining up to the crank.

I did make some progress though installing the water pump, MSD coil setup and also some plug wires.  The plug wires and headers usually don't mix from what I'm reading.  I went ahead and got a kit from Made4You, which is their Smoothie vertical plug wire holders.  Basically, it is going to route the wires up and over the valve covers, instead of around the sides of the block.  This should prevent any burns and heat issues, fingers crossed. 

Once the new crank hub arrives, I can get that installed and then start adjusting the rockers.  With all that going on, the LT1 will be coming out finally.  Just need to break loose a couple things and go from there.  Thanks for following along, enjoy!

5.11.16

Well it's been a minute since my last update on the site.  YouTube keeps getting videos though, so if you aren't following hit that up. 

I'm slowly doing the engine disassembly before the removal.  Items like the wiring harness, coolant hoses, water pump, coil assembly and many others have been removed.  I also found out that my stock radiator was plugged up with dex-cool, so the place that tested it sold us a new replacement.  Not the end of the world, considering the stocker has 180k on it.  Video below though shows my latest progress and lots of random updates I've filmed over a few weeks. 

Next on the list is removing the AC compressor, power steering pump and harmonic balance.  This LT1 does have the March Underdrive Pulleys installed, so those have to be transferred over.  Thanks for watching and following along.  Making progress every free minute I get....

4.11.16

Well as projects go, this one is time consuming!  I've started to focus my efforts in reporting what is happening to my YouTube Channel.  With that being said, I'm going to continue to add items here, just be aware more detail will show up in my weekly updates.

Since I last posted, I have started the removal of items from the engine bay.  The radiator, AC condenser, K&N Cold Air Intake, PCM, anti-freeze, engine oil, transmission fluid and a few other odds and ends have come out.

The PCM was tuned, but I was having some trouble locking down what my actual compression ratio will end up being.  Dealing with Golen on that end of things, but I think I have a pretty good handle on it.  The amount of connections, plugs and wires is pretty intense.  Everything from four AIR Pump connections, ABS module hookup, everything running to the air intake end of things and also the massive amount of connections on the fuel injectors.  I've been labeling and documenting as I go; I may end up referring back to my own YouTube videos just in case...

For different items being used in the build, or that are already on the engine, the links are below.  Hope you have been enjoying this thus far.  Next move is to get the factory radiator checked out, just to make sure it is still OK to use after 180k miles.  I'm also on the hunt for a 58mm throttle body, which nobody seems to know about.  There are some nice examples that fit the Corvette and Camaro LT1, I'm just not sure about the interchangeability.  If you have any information on that, please let me know.  Thanks so much for watching!

3.12.16

First off, thanks to everyone who submitted questions for the Q&A video.  That is the first one linked below.  I also included some links to the different components discussed in the video, let me know if you have any follow up questions.

The second thing to share involved me draining the engine and transferring over the factory oil filter adapter.  This piece, from what I can gather, is Impala LT1 specific.  It is the part where your oil filter screws on, but above the filter, you will find a set of lines which run to the radiator.  This is all OEM stuff, which is Impala SS & certain police versions had a similar setup.  Either way, it was removed with the allen head bolts and a new seal kit was used for the installation.  I share with you the installation and seal kit, along with the factory service manual exploded view in the video.  The LT1 coming out of the Impala is still running great, so if you'd be interested in purchasing, please let me know.  Thanks and enjoy!

3.5.16

The update this week has me removing the Inland Empire driveshaft, draining the transmission and installing the DEPO smoked side markers.  Transmission needed drained because its going to either be dropped or pulled with the engine.  My plans are to also has the universal joints in the driveshaft changed along with a full balancing.  One issue arose when I examined the driveshaft...you'll see that in the video.  Anyways, keep checking back for more updates.  Next video is going to feature a few updates and also answer your questions, so if you have any, let me know!  Thanks for watching and following along.

2.29.16

Happy Leap Year!  I wanted to give a little update and have sort of a show and tell day with the Impala.  The flu killed me last week, but I'll be back under the Impala this week or weekend.  As explained in the video below, I'm trying to organize a FocuzTech Headlight Lens buy... I got in touch with the original owner of the company, which is now defunct.  He told me we need at least 20 sets to make it worthwhile.  If you have FocuzTech headlights and would like a spare set of lenses, let me know.

Second thing, I share with you the original bill of sale on the Impala from September 1996.  The entire file of stuff was given to me by my Dad, which is crazy huge.  Lots to look through here...  Finally, I wanted to show the Depo smoked corner lenses I got for my birthday and also some new stuff Meguiar's sent over for the leather in the Impala.  I'll be demoing that out soon.  Thanks for following along, next update will be some progress on the project.  Have a great day!

2.14.16

After the holidays, birthdays, mini trips, and a review of the new CTS-V, I'm ready to get back into the Impala some more.  My goal is to be driving the Impala by summer, so that means I need to get cracking.

Gary at Innovativewiring.com sent over some HD battery cables.  These things are massive upgrades over the tiny stock battery cables.  Most people would probably wait to install these, after the engine was removed.  I have faith in the cables, but just wanted to make sure the car still cranked over with the new cables in place.  I'm happy to report the installation went great and the Impala fired right up on the first crank.  I have the Innovative Wiring electric waterpump relay kit in the garage as well, so that will be installed with the new engine.

Finally, I want to get the kit from Innovative that allows me to remotely run the electric radiator fans at my own discretion.  Most times, a good tune and pcm programming handles this fine, but I like being able to click on the fans in traffic or wherever.  Thanks for watching and check back for more frequent updates.  Hit up Gary at Innovative for all your B-Body and other custom wiring needs.  Everything is made to order, custom and amazing quality.  These battery cables are professional quality and the OEM stuff is a joke in comparison...

12.14.2015

After a brief pause, we're back!  Sorry about the delay and lack of information with the project.  There was tons of speculation; Was the car sold? Did you wreck it? Where is the 383? 

I am happy to report the project is still a go and the point of owning this car is the very reason for the delay.  Having a daughter, work and everything else that takes up time has been a priority over the Impala Project.  With that being said, the car is up on the lift and ready to get cracking again.  My first order of business is to install the Innovative Wiring Battery Cables.  These heavy duty units from Gary are legit, and I will show you how they work along with the installation in my next video.  In the meantime, please watch the following update.  Thanks for hanging around!

7.25.2015

Had a little bit of a vacation this past week, so I'm finally back in town and back to work.  The Impala received the new spoiler right before we left, and you can read the full review here.  It turned out great and I'm super excited that we decided to go with this on the Impala.

The next thing I wanted to show everyone was another product Meguiar's sent me for the Impala Project.  I explained to them the size of this car and of course my reasons for needing speedy detailing that won't take much time.  They recommended their Quik Wax, which is a nice and fast way to wax your vehicle and not take time away from the family.  With this car, I'm guessing I might have time to do the full exterior detailing once a year at best.  This is the next best thing for people with limited time.  Full review video is below. 

Finally, coming up is the start to the engine swap.  I need to move the family KwikLift over to my house, which will help with the engine removal angle and also the ability to climb underneath for exhaust modifications, etc.  Once that is in place, the fun begins.  In the meantime, continue to check out my other stories on the site, I have quite a few in the pipeline.  Thanks for reading!

7.12.2015

Few things to report on after the weekend here.  The PML Rear Differential Cover story is online and ready for our readers.  I felt this deserved a place on the Product Review section of our site, so check it out by clicking this link:  PML Diff Cover Story

I spent some time installing the headers that arrived on Friday.  The driver side installed super easy, the passenger side had a small issue with one of the bolt holes that needed to be straightened a little.  Basically is was sending the bolt into the head crooked, then throwing off the other bolts.  Just a little bit of filing straightened it out and now both sides are torqued and ready to go.  Here are a couple pictures to show you what they look like installed on the engine.  Thanks for reading, have a great evening!

Passenger Side

Driver Side

7.10.2015

Quick little update for today.  The headers arrived from Clear Image Automotive.  Video below shows the unboxing and what we received.  These things are seriously cool and should help us out on the power end of things.  Totally custom built, Tri-Y Gen II Headers, AIR/EGR/After Cat o2 Sensors all eliminated and they were then given the stain black coating for heat protection and of course looks too.

I opted to get their cats too, since my stockers are probably pretty well used with 180k and aren't high flow.  These are high flow cats that should do the job nicely.  I'm going to install these on the engine in the next couple days.  After this, I'm pretty much ready to install the new engine into the car.  The Impala will be getting the spoiler installed beginning of next week, we got on the schedule at the body shop so we'll see how it turns out.  Check out Clear Image if you are looking for a super nice product and great company to work with.

7.5.2015

Just a quick little video update.  I ordered a coolant crossover tube from eBay the other day and it came.  Some of these parts blow my mind how they have just been sitting on the shelf for 15 years.  The Impala is unique in that you never know what you'll need, and it also seems like finding some of these parts is an interesting adventure...  Thanks for watching, have a great day!

7.3.2015

Little status update for today.  I wrapped up the rear diff cover install from PML, that video will be edited and online in the coming days.  Had some timing/scheduling issues recently getting work done in the garage, but the spoiler is going to be installed in the coming week... Feels like I've been saying that for quite awhile now.  I promise it will be soon.  Still waiting on my headers from Clear Image, super excited to see these things. 

Below is a little video I did on some leather care Meguiar's sent my way to demo out.  I told them about the project and the idea of this car, being my family hauler.  Time is always an issue in my life and I asked them for ideas and products to use on the Impala that won't take tons of time.  I wanted some products that are effective and quick to use.  So, first up is the interior and how to care for the 1996 leather.  The interior of our Impala is in amazing shape, as my dad was the sole driver for almost all the miles.  The only really somewhat worn spot is the drivers seat, which will be upgraded soon.  Check out below the Meguiar's Leather Care items I demo out in the Impala.

6.22.2015

Hope everyone had a nice Father's Day weekend!  Did a few things on the Impala since I last posted.  The interior is all buttoned up and good to go.  Made sure everything was working correctly a few times.  The only remaining items for the interior are a seat upgrade which will get started during the engine pull and I also have a new seat belt that will be installed on the drivers side.  On the list for later this week is the spoiler install, which will be going into the paint shop.  Lot of pictures of that whole process, before/after images, and my takes on the entire look of the thing. 

Right now though, I wanted to share my video on the 1FactoryRadio Bluetooth unit that was installed.  This thing is so cool and works so good, just doing what it is supposed to; nothing more or less.  Check these guys out if you want the factory look, factory fit, but some modern conveniences in your vehicle.  Very nice company that has lots to offer by way of modified and refurbished factory stereo head units. 

6.14.2015

Still waiting on LEDs... Unbelievable.  I am expecting to not remember how to reassemble the dashboard.  Anyways, back to current news and important stuff.  I edited up and put together my intro video to the project.  Only a month late, but still, the video is shot and done.  Hope you enjoy as I explain all about the Impala and more importantly why this project is happening. 

Another good piece of information, I ordered the new headers from Clear Image.  These are the classic Tri-Y's that everyone has known to love over the years.  Dan, the owner of Clear Image is legit and knows his stuff.  Being constructed are some Gen-II Tri-Y's, coated with a black satin ceramic.  I also specified I needed high flow cats, removal of the rear o2 sensors, AIR/EGR ports, and these will have 1 5/8" primary tubes.  I'm super excited to get these on the engine, as this is coming up on one of the last items to be installed before we remove the stocker form the Impala. 

Before any of that happens though, once the dash is back together, the Impala is hitting the body shop for the spoiler install.  It's amazing all of this is hinging on two little LED light bulbs.  Finally, I have a number of great products to review on the Impala from Meguiar's which will save some time and make the car look great I think.  Thanks for reading and have a great day!

6.10.2015

Last update, I was in the middle of wrapping up the work on the dashboard.  This end of the project has been interesting, mostly due to parts issues.  The list of things to do: 1Factory Radio Bluetooth Head Unit, LED Light Installs, Odometer Fix and new cigarette lighter/power outlet install.  The head unit install went flawlessly and a video demonstrating how it works will be coming once the dash is buttoned up again.  I had no issues putting the new 12v outlet/cigarette lighter in as well, just a little bit of messing/fiddling with the plastic housing. 

The odometer fix went great, but a stupid mistake by me, required the gauges to be fixed.  At least that is now behind me and they are back where they belong with a super bright odometer readout.  I used the kit from NAISSO, which required soldering. 

The LED Lighting: I wanted LEDs for various areas, nothing too crazy.  The door courtesy lights, footwell, shifter indicator, headlight switch (the Honda bulb worked, just felt an LED would last a lot longer), and I also put one in the trunk.  Super Bright LEDs has a nice website and good customer service, but their shifter indicator bulb was wrong on the site and to top all this off, the post office lost the most recent box coming to finish this.  So right now I'm stuck, waiting on 3 small LEDs...  Once all this is wrapped up, the Impala is going to the body shop for spoiler painting and fitment.  A full story is coming on that as well.  Following the spoiler upgrade, the major engine transplant will begin... Figuring out my header problems now, and the SLPs are gone forever, kind of sad considering we've had them since 2002.  So stay tuned for more to come, as I should have some more free time on my hands soon.  Projects around the house, spending time with the family, the Cavs in the finals and work have limited my time in the garage.  Soon enough though, I will have more to report and share.  Just a quick followup, below; I have placed a picture of the factory wiring that runs to the radio harness.  This was needed to guide me through the antenna switch setup, as I found two green wires and was unsure which one to splice into.  I just snapped a pic of the factory service manual, enjoy! Thanks for reading!

6.1.2015

Decided to kick the project into gear this weekend, plugging along getting more and more ticked off the list.  Friday started with the electric water pump modifications.

For this, you are required to press out the "guts" of an OEM water pump, press a brass plug into the back hole, then bolt on the new electric assembly.  Right now it is sitting at a friends machine shop, where it was pressed out.  He is going to clean it up a little bit then I'll hit it with some paint or clear coat, depending on how it turns out.  If you notice the first image, he had to fab up a little tool to fit in their press so everything could be pressed out.  More on this soon...

Next up, the radio install.  Very simple and self explanatory, but what I did do was modify the antenna wire.  The factory radio always pops up the power antenna, even when listening to a CD and now Bluetooth.  I ran a switch over to the small hole near the headlights so now I can control when the antenna goes up.  Full radio review coming soon, once the dash is all buttoned up. 

Gauges - This is one of the worst things to happen on this project and I'm embarrassingly posting this...  Ok so the Odometer fix worked perfectly, no issues and I even surprised myself with my soldering skills.  You can see below the old resistors that were browned and what they looked like after removal.  When I tested it out, I decided to pop it into the dash real quick, making sure my solders worked right.  I did not put the screws and plastic cover on the back of the cluster, just for the quick test.  Horrible mistake.  When I pulled the gauges out, the circuit board and gauge face/housing separated.  Not a huge issue, but 4 super small wires came loose inside and I have no idea what they go to...  More on this soon, but this literally has bummed me out all weekend, just a silly mistake that happened in about 10 seconds.  I'll post some pics of this next time, just was so sick over it I didn't even think to snap some.

Engine Build - I went ahead and started on the rockers this weekend too.  Cleaned them as Comp Cams said with denatured alcohol, then soaked them in the Joe Gibbs racing break-in oil.  Once the push rods were installed with some assembly lube, the rocker studs were installed with thread sealant and guide plates.  From there, you check to see if your rockers are lined up with the valve springs, which I didn't have any major issues.  The rockers are then lowered onto the studs, along with the Comp Cams rocker nuts that have polylocks backed out.  Next move is to adjust all of these, following the Comp Cams & Trick Flow instructions.  One thing to note on this, the Joe Gibbs Racing break in oil is insanely sticky stuff.  Felt like cooking oil on my hands or something similar.  Lava and regular soap was not taking it off, I've never experienced oil like this.  A full review is coming soon on this, but the Jack Manufacturing Magic Hand Cleaner took it right off.  This hand cleaner is legit and something you should try out.  Links to purchase almost everything I've discussed are below.  Check back for more updates soon!

Magic Hand Cleaner 2.55L
Jack Manufacturing

5.28.2015

Having the '15 Chevrolet Colorado put me a little behind schedule here the past week, which is totally ok.  The latest on the Impala has moved to the interior.  Right now the dash is totally torn apart, looking to have multiple things fixed and upgrades.

-Lighting: I am adding LED bulbs to a few key areas, not everywhere.  Included in this mini project is the floor lamps, door safety/pocket lights, floor shift indicator, trunk, and the famous headlight switch bulb.  This particular bulb always goes out, and I went to the Honda dealership for a new bulb.  This was surprising, but it did work.  After reading online though, I ordered an LED for this spot as well, hoping it won't burn out as quickly.

-Odometer: In the middle of the Odometer fix right now.  Need to solder in the new resistor to cure the fading odometer. 

-Radio: The 1Factory Radio with Bluetooth has been installed.  I also did an antenna cutoff switch, hidden in the hole near the headlight switch.  I'm going to have a full story on the clever radio, so stay tuned for that. 

Finally, my headers issues are still here.  I'm thinking a set of Tri-Y's are going to be the best option.  I have listed the SLPs for sale on eBay, if you are in the market.  They are super rare and have never been used.  Just test fit, which led to disappointment.  Hopefully they are usefl for you.... More to come soon, thanks for reading!