As time allows, I've been adding pieces parts to the engine and researching what parts I am missing. With the Impala still running and not being torn apart yet, some items that are needed remain on the vehicle. Right now though, I started with the MSD OptiSpark. I'm told this isn't worth the coin, but we have it so I'm going to be using it. The OptiSpark in general is well known as being unreliable and troublesome. MSD came out with a solid billet piece that aims to improve on the factory issues. On our Impala though, we literally had no issues with the factory Opti, and then on a replacement which ran another 80k miles. So one would look at this move to the MSD unit as a bit of a gamble.... Time will tell.
The funny thing with the LT1 is, there is a following, but parts seem to be difficult to find. Now I won't say impossible or out of production, I've been able to find what has been needed so far, but you can tell some things won't be lasting forever. Totally different experience when you look for LS1 parts. I needed/wanted a factory OptiSpark vent tube assembly, just in case the original has some wear or age to it. This was an eBay purchase, new OEM, which arrived and looks great. I also needed the Oil Pump Drive. This is basically a cam driven metal piece that bolts to the block and connects with the oil pump driveshaft. Finding one of these new and unused was difficult as well, but eBay was my source again. I believe this is still available at the dealership once I started looking up the part number. This is a part I did not want to reuse from the factory engine due to wear and also the well known broken plastic mount. Finally one little piece I needed asap was the oil pan level sensor. A quick look on Amazon found a new Delco piece that fit perfectly and wasn't too expensive. Now the oil pan is totally sealed up. After this, I added a little oil so when I'm turning the crankshaft and messing with the engine it won't be "dry" inside. Golen calls for Joe Gibbs Racing Break in Oil 15w50. Three quarts for now, which was dumped onto the lifters and down into the pan.
So the next step is getting the number one cylinder to top dead center and working through the Trick Flow Cylinder Head install. This should be interesting and I think I'm going to film this, as it is quite the process. I also got a new extended spoiler for the back of the Impala from Super Sport Studios. Planning on doing a full story on this with before/after pictures and also my opinions on the looks, which I already am a huge fan of... This one might get the Impala to the body shop for installation though, more on that soon.