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1988 Conquest: 5.3-T56

LS LS1 T56 V8 Chevy

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#1 R-R-Quest

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Posted 15 September 2013 - 05:32 PM

Been around here for nearly two years now, but been working on a couple other projects.  Now it’s time to start my build.  I recently read on here that there is going to be a National meet next fall, so here I am inspired, motivated and launching my build now in hopes to have it completed before the fall meet.
I bought my 1988 Conquest, Fiji Blue, Black Leather Interior, 5spd almost two years ago for $550 and haven’t touched it since.  Oh, I should mention that it is rust free.  Wasn’t sure what I wanted to do with the car.  It did not have an engine, and sold the transmission to another member here about a year ago.
I’m going with the K.I.S.S (Keep It Simple, Stupid) approach.  I’ve had a ton of concepts of what could be achieved and some cool upgrades that I would like to do.  However, in order to get this project finished in time and within budget I will need to remain focused and not adapt the “I might as well do this if I’m gonna’ do that” thought process.  The overall strategy is to get a base engine and transmission in, get the car road-worthy, work out any kinks and issues and head out to the National event.  Then later go to work on upgrading and modifying the different systems (brakes, suspension, paint & body, etc) as time and budget allows.
Engine:
It will get an LS-based engine; just not sure which one yet as budget will ultimately determine what I can afford.  All aluminum would be great in terms of weight, but that would raise the budget.  Besides, if I later have the desire to install a power adder (supercharger, turbo, twin-turbo) the cast block, from what I understand, will be stronger.
Transmission:
T56.  Is there really any other choice?  I could go with a 4l60/80, but what’s the fun in that?  I’ve always appreciated the sense of control a manual transmission delivers.
I would like to take this opportunity to thank those that have inspired and motivated me to this point; Everyone here at SQC, my sons Clay and DJ;  Both of which are car-nuts too.  Clay has a build thread of his ’73 El Camino with a 5.3 over at LS1tech and DJ has a build thread of his ’78 Celica GT over at Classic-Celica.com.  Outside the family, motivation has come from a few other Conquest/LS builders such as Convette (has a build thread on here), Boosted88tsi (has a build thread on here), and Matt, whom I believe built the first LS1 Conquest that I know of.  Matt is a mechanic that works at a well-known performance shop here in Charlotte, NC.  I believe there was another Conquest/LS swap about the same time, but if I recall correctly, it was set up strictly for drag racing.  Thanks, all!
Clay’s
http://ls1tech.com/f...no-ls-swap.html
DJ’s
http://www.classic-c...iewtopic&t=2001
Anyhow… enough rambling, let’s get this build started.
-Dan

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#2 R-R-Quest

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Posted 15 September 2013 - 05:38 PM

Okay, so we'll all seen pics of Conquests and Starions before, but here are mine:
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#3 D3UC3S

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Posted 15 September 2013 - 08:04 PM

Nice ride! I plan on a built LS2 in the future. I will be following this as you re planning the exact same setup as I want. Best of luck and can't wait to see it finished.
Banana-rama 88 'quest

#4 R-R-Quest

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Posted 16 September 2013 - 07:13 AM

View PostD3UC3S, on 15 September 2013 - 08:04 PM, said:

Nice ride! I plan on a built LS2 in the future. I will be following this as you re planning the exact same setup as I want. Best of luck and can't wait to see it finished.

I can't wait until it's finished either!  In the third picture above, you can see my Sons 73 El Camino with a 5.3, TH350 and what a blast that car is, I can only imagine what a Conquest would be like with an LS.   But, at the same time, I get a lot of enjoyment out of building, modifying and fabricating stuff.
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#5 Crazy Quest

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Posted 16 September 2013 - 07:36 AM

Your sons Celica build looks great man.

Good luck on the LS swap.
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#6 R-R-Quest

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Posted 16 September 2013 - 10:30 AM

View PostCrazy Quest, on 16 September 2013 - 07:36 AM, said:

Your sons Celica build looks great man.

Good luck on the LS swap.

The Celica build, which will probalby get a LS4.8, is on hold until he finishes school at NASCAR Tech sometime in February.
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#7 BOOSTED88tsi

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Posted 16 September 2013 - 11:16 AM

thanks for the shout out man, Matt's turbo ls1 car is nuts. Edit and holy crap that celica will be sweet when its done!

Edited by BOOSTED88tsi, 16 September 2013 - 11:23 AM.

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2003 600rr ,1987 conquest, and a soon to be 03 cobra powered 1968 mustang coupe.

#8 Convette

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Posted 16 September 2013 - 12:03 PM

Right on man.  Looks like a lot fun projects you guys have.  If I can help in anyway feel free to ask.

#9 R-R-Quest

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Posted 16 September 2013 - 07:27 PM

Thanks for the support and I will definitely be calling on all StarQuesters for help and advice.
So, Yesterday we hooked up a battery, even though there is no engine or transmission, just to see what works and what doesn't work.  To our surprise, I believe everything functions!  Windows, wipers (front & rear), washers, radio, heater fan, lights (headlights, taillights), seatbelts, etc.   The only thing that we could find that didn't work, was the antenna; we could hear the motor, but it would appear the mast is broken off.  Haven't looked yet, but is there a replacement mast out there that will work?
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#10 TexasQuest

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Posted 16 September 2013 - 07:51 PM

Probably easier to get one off another car.
88 Fiji Blue -Tsi
Zoom clutch, Fidanza flywheel, Stedebani shifter, KSport coilovers, ST swaybars, abs delete, a/c delete, cruise delete, JVE, BSEK, TEP steel brake lines, LSP braided cooler lines, CX Racing radiator,  MK1 silicone hoses, MK1 pullies, *DM hard pipes & intercooler,14G turbo, ported exh. manifold, MAF Translator, 3.5" GM maf, Turbo XS RFL bov, *DM 3" exhaust, Cusco front strut bar, TEP rear strut bar, Enkei 92's, HKS turbo timer, AEM wideband, AEM boost gauge, AEM oil pressure gauge, Hallman boost controller
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View PostJohnnyWadd, on 04 March 2010 - 10:01 PM, said:

my shaft was big i dont know what your talking about.

#11 R-R-Quest

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Posted 23 September 2013 - 04:38 PM

I'm at the point where it's time to remove some unnecessary wiring.  Is the engine harness stand-alone or is it fully integrated into the vehicle harness?  I have not looked at it closely, and again, I have zero experience with a running StarQuest.

Also, Saturday I had some time to work on the front suspension.  Will post some pics when I get the chance.
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#12 BOOSTED88tsi

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Posted 23 September 2013 - 04:52 PM

its a completely separate harness, it runs down to the passenger side kick panel. I'd recommended keeping the fuel pump test wire, black with white stripe located in the front passenger side near where the air can goes(pretty sure its not even in the engine harness) as you can hook up your power to fuel pump from the LS ecu to that guy. Everything else can go.
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2003 600rr ,1987 conquest, and a soon to be 03 cobra powered 1968 mustang coupe.

#13 R-R-Quest

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Posted 24 September 2013 - 09:25 AM

Thanks, Boosted.  That is good news.  I was not looking forward to pealing all the conduit and tracing every wire.
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#14 R-R-Quest

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Posted 29 September 2013 - 05:11 PM

We had some awesome weather here in Charlotte this weekend.  Unfortunately, I had to work all day Saturday.  But, I did get to work on the car for a little while today.  

Removed the front cross-member so we could flip it around (Left to right - right to left) so that the tie rod ends of the eventual rack and pinion will be on the front side of the cross-member allowing plenty of room for the LS oil pan and headers.
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#15 R-R-Quest

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Posted 29 September 2013 - 05:15 PM

Here it is; removed.  Next is a good pressure washing.
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After pressure washing.  Drilled out the spot welds.  Cut the engine mount shells off.  Some sanding.  Then started to put some primer on it.
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#16 R-R-Quest

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Posted 29 September 2013 - 05:20 PM

Oh yeah.  Before the previous photo, we welded along the seams between the two sections to add some strength back to it.

Here it is all primer before re-install.
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Edited by R-R-Quest, 29 September 2013 - 05:24 PM.

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#17 R-R-Quest

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Posted 29 September 2013 - 05:23 PM

Cleaned up, sanded, and put some primer on the driver side frame-rail where some brake fluid had ate all the paint off.  I wonder what the inside of the frame-rail looks like?  

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#18 R-R-Quest

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Posted 29 September 2013 - 05:24 PM

... And here it is back under the car.  
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#19 R-R-Quest

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Posted 29 September 2013 - 05:33 PM

We left it primer for now, for protection.  We will be removing the entire front end assembly again for new bushings, balljoints, etc., and full engine bay paint treatment in the Spring.  I'll have a three-day weekend next week, so expect a lot of progress.  (weather pending of course)
Next up will be:
1.  Engine wiring harness removal.
2.  Complete engine bay and front end removal.
3.  Dash, seats, and carpet removal.
4.  Might even break out the cutting tools and attack the firewall and transmission tunnel.

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#20 importwarrior

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Posted 29 September 2013 - 07:55 PM

Your Fiji looks exactly like mine
Paint wise. Mine is peeling real bad.

Nice work so far.

B-71 87 TSI ~ RIP

Black 87 Starion ~ Mess SOLD!!!

Proud New 89 slightly Rusted Fiji Owner !!!








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