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WS6 Formula V8 Z34 Lumina Re-body

This is a discussion on WS6 Formula V8 Z34 Lumina Re-body within the Domestics and Foreigns forums, part of the Vehicle Specific category; Greetings All, my first Post here was not an Introduction. I Apologize for the bad Forum Form. My name is ...

  1. #1
    Mad Fabricator Z34LS1's Avatar
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    92 LS1 Lumina A4
    00 Formula WS9

    WS6 Formula V8 Z34 Lumina Re-body

    Greetings All, my first Post here was not an Introduction. I Apologize for the bad Forum Form. My name is Joe, I'm 42 have 4 wonderful kids 2 of which are grown and gone. The other two are in High School. I'm Divorced, have a Wonderful GF, and overall pretty good Life. I'm a member of MetalMeet.com but I'm not here to plug them. I sell my own line of Metal Shaping Tooling; english wheels, Planishing Hammers, Hand Tools, Dies and you name it, But I'm not here to try to Sell Anything. Cars I currently own are:
    2 Beretta Z26's both '95's
    1992 Dale Earnhardt Limited Edition 5 Speed Z34
    1995 Z28 Modified with a Warbird Hood, 2002 Doghouse, and Custom Paint
    1966 Chevy II 383 stroker, 4 Speed Muncie, overall decent ride
    2004 Avalanche (5.3 V8(327) that looks an Awful lot like an LS1)

    and My Donor Car:
    1998 WS6 Formula GTA (Salvage Title Car)

    I'm here because of the Car I'm Building and because of the Wealth of Information on LS1 Engines, and Cars.
    This is a Long Thread that I started on MetalMeet, but I want to here from Guys who Actually own LS1's and be able to Learn as well.

    11-24-2007, 08:57 PM
    Z34 WS6 Build ~~BODY REMOVAL~~
    Yesterday my son and I started the Body Removal on the 1992 Chevy Lumina Z34, today we completed the front half. The reason for the Build? Who knows, but it's what tripped my trigger. I've owned the Z34 since it was 1 year old, and I've always thought it was underpowered. After doing lots of research on V8 conversions to the Lumina I felt there was nothing to be offered. A Cadilac small V8 is the only thing that would bolt to the Factory Bolt pattern on the Bell Housing, but that still would leave you with a FWD vehicle. A few months ago a Buddy of mine bought a Salvage title WS6 Trans Am. The Quarters were Flat, the front fenders were shattered, but the nose and Rear were very nice. My Buddy bought the car for parts, mainly to repair his 1999 WS6 T/A from Deer Damage. After he took all the parts he needed we worked a good deal on what was left. That's where this build became a thought.

    Problems.....
    1) I'm not Qualified but I'm willing to learn what's needed to complete the Job.
    2) Space is limited to my two car Garage.
    3) Wheel Bases don't match
    4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, and probably a bunch more will come up along the way....

    First I stripped the Lumina of all Interior, Dog House, Doors, Deck Lid, Front and side Glass, Fuel Tank and Lines, wiring, and all Foam and Insulation packed in where cuts were to be made, next pushed it into the Garage.

    So Here is the Car I started with:



    Here is the Trans Am after I removed a bunch of stuff:


    Here is the Trans Am Chassis:




    On to the Body Removal.....

    Here we started by Cutting the Front Cage loose from the Strut Towers:



    Next we Cut the Inner Fenders loose from the Firewall:
    (Saws-Alls' are Great for har to reach spots, and straight sheetmetal cuts)


    Next we cut the Top of the Firewall just below the Lower windshield Seat:
    (Picture was taken after we started lifting the Body)


    Next we cut the Inside of the car just below the windshield:


    Next we cut the Front Passenger Frame Rail:
    (we took more than we needed for trimming later)


    Next we cut the Front Drivers Frame Rail:
    (we took more than we needed for trimming later)


    Next we cut the Strut Tower Loose on the Passenger side:


    Oops forgot to mention the Interior Bracing. This Shot Shows the Braces offset because we were lifting the Body. The Two Upper Braces were sitting in the Rear Windows. I Machined three Spacers all 6.400 long from big chunks of Aluminum. I Clamped the Spacers Between the 1 Inch Angle Iron, next my son welded them to the Body. We removed the Clamps and the Spacers, my hope is that theses flat surfaces will Aid me when Reassembling the Body.

    This Picture shows the Cuts through the Roof and Quarters, what I don't show is the cuts down through the Foorboards next to the Doors:



    Like the Curtains hanging from my Garage Doors? My Doors are my weak point, but I can live with them after rebuilding and Insulating the rest of the Gargage.
    Here is my High Tech Rigging System:


    We did a pretty good job keeping in mind the Body was going straight Up in the Air but there's always that one spot that jumps up and bites you. Here's my son firing up the Henrob to take a small area out that was keeping us from removing the Body:



    And here it is up in the Rafters:


    Tomorrow we cut the Back of the car off, then Monday the Junkyard can come take the Chassis from the Lumina.

  2. #2
    Mad Fabricator Z34LS1's Avatar
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    92 LS1 Lumina A4
    00 Formula WS9

    Part 2

    11-25-2007, 04:14 PM
    Rear Clip Removal
    Day two of body removal takes us to the rear clip.
    First cuts were made inside the drivers side rear floorboard, then through the frame rail, next up and around the outer wheel well, then cut the spare tire out:



    Then up and over the passenger side wheel well, then frame rail, then the rear passenger floor board:


    Next was easy, we lifted it off what was left of the Lumina Body:


    Sad left overs:




    Ready for the Scrap yard.
    Sometime this week I hope to start Prepping the Lumina Body to fit the WS6 Chassis.

  3. #3
    Mad Fabricator Z34LS1's Avatar
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    92 LS1 Lumina A4
    00 Formula WS9

    12-02-2007, 06:54 PM
    Weekend Update
    I can't wait to take it for a spin, the old rear hatch with glass weighs more than the back half of the Lumina. I was wondering were do you draw the line at weight? Over the weekend I moved the chassis from one side of the garage to the other. As I moved the chassis outside into the " of Ice we had the traction control system kept clicking on and off. This can be disabled by a switch if you want to get crazy . Since the Back won't have much weight maybe some should be added? Traction seems like it will be a problem as well, I'm not saying this will be a super hot rod but maybe something should be added there as well?

    Here is the Lumina Front half hanging above the Trans Am Chassis:
    We've already cut a lot of the Chassis away, the Camera somehow ruined a disk so I lost all the shots removing the Drivers Side "not needed" parts. I really wanted this documented so when I do the passenger side I'll make sure to use two cameras:


    Here is the Front Inner wheel well after we removed the outer panels:


    In this picture you can see some Blue material left from the rocker panels(not yet removed). The top of the floor pans from one car to the other are within an 1/8th of an Inch. I want the Lumina to sit slightly lower than it did before so we will be using both top edges as alignment points. The 1/16th gap per side will be taken up with Clamps rather than filler material. On the Bottom side of the rocker panel there will be 1" gap per side, the gap is consistant from front to rear. A simple hammerform panel over a Modern Day 2x4 will be how I make the piece.
    The Opening I had to cut into the side of the car will be filled be a piece of 12 gage. After that panel is on and welded to the Chassis I will have two basically Flat Surfaces on both the Trans Am Chassis and the Lumina Body. Next weekend we'll be removing the passenger side Extra Panels, and welding on the 12 gage panels. Hopefully we can do a test fit with the two:

  4. #4
    Mad Fabricator Z34LS1's Avatar
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    92 LS1 Lumina A4
    00 Formula WS9

    Part3

    12-11-2007, 08:44 AM
    Test Fitting the Body to the Chassis Formula Z34
    Playtimes over, Back to work!
    Last Saturday we started by Measuring points that are determined by the Lumina Body. After Measuring we had many more areas to cut and Grind on so we got busy, The bottom of the Windshield needed lots of trimming and Grinding:


    After a Couple Failed Attempt at sitting the Body down we tried for the third time:


    After moving the Body forward and Back a few times to center it over the Front Wheels we turned the tires side to side checking Clearance:
    (that's ice on the Fender, we had a nice little Ice Storm Saturday)


    Man what an accomplishment, 4 weekends into the Build and the Body is tacked to the Chassis at the front:



    I did run into another Snag, I have No windshield wipers, or motor.
    The Lumina Motor and Assembly would not fit thanks to the LS1 taking most of the Engine Bay. The Trans Am wipers, and motor won't work because the Arm Mounts come through the Lumina Body where the Windshield sits.
    Universal Aftermarket Motor and Wipers will be used.
    __________________

    So this is where I'm at as of 12-11-07
    Next Post will be welding the Rear Clip back on after removing 6.4 Inches from the Wheelbase. After the Body is welded back together then we will start welding the Body to the WS6 Chassis.


    Thoughts? Criticism? All are welcome I can take it.
    Thanks for spending the time checking out my Build.

    Joe Andrews

  5. #5
    Paid 2 Post Daycrew SexOnWheels's Avatar
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    Blood Red
    Z28

    Wow Joe that is the first time I have seen a project quite like that.

    One thing is for sure that the Z34 will not be underpowered anymore!

    Welcome to LS1.com!


  6. #6
    2 SS's are better than 1 Jays00ss's Avatar
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    NBM / Silver
    00 SS / 71 SS Elcamino

    Wow quite the project. Good luck and great pics. Keep us informed!! Like the Z also.
    2000 SS Camaro Heads, Large cam, Fast 90, 9"w/430's and locker, yada yada yada... you get the picture

    1971 SS ElCamino 402 Big Block 550HP

    2006 Silverado 2500HD 496 cubic inches of pure muscle

  7. #7
    Member
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    red
    02 trans am ws6

    nice. I'm thinking of putting my 95 camaro body on a 4 wheel drive chassis.

  8. #8
    King 0f n00bz shady milkman's Avatar
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    blacker than wesleysnipes
    98' trans am

    welcome...cant wait for you to share this knowledge with the board.

  9. #9
    Mad Fabricator Z34LS1's Avatar
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    92 LS1 Lumina A4
    00 Formula WS9

    Thanks for the nice comments Replies, and the Welcome.
    Kinda Surprised me no one said what a waste of a LS1!

    I was wondering if there is a Forum here that I may continue this thread in? I searched the Forums for a "Build" one but had no luck. I'm pretty sure there are plenty of guys that would like to have something like that? Kinda like the Car Specific Forums? Maybe have a "Non Original LS1 Vehicles" Forum?
    Just a thought.

    Joe

  10. #10
    Junior Member
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    Black Cherry/Gold
    1998 Z28

    theres really no such waste of an LS1....i think that you're bring it new life, because now it will be used instead of just sent to the crusher....that would be a waste

  11. #11
    Mad Fabricator Z34LS1's Avatar
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    92 LS1 Lumina A4
    00 Formula WS9

    Thanks FlyinZ28.
    12-13-2007, 07:49 PM
    Update
    Thanks for the Replies!

    Well it's the middle of the week, and I had a few hours on my hands(free of gf and kids) so I went out to my garages to try a Spot Weld Cutter that I just got. Now I got a 3/8's which is probably a bit larger than what I needed but the Trans Am Chassis's Body had some HUGE welds.

    This is a Great Tool! This is a n ABSOLUTE MUST HAVE.
    I needed this before I started, I Bet I spent $75.00 on Metal Blades for a SawsAll. This Tool was $10.00 with Shipping! It Cut about 50 Holes(no Kidding) and Still looks like Brand New other than the Black Coating in the Cabide Bit that's shiny now, and it's double Ended.
    Item # 180193919455 on E-Bay (NO AFFILIATION)



    The Pictures Below are of the Drivers Inner Wheel Hub, The Tool above was to remove the Outter Half of the Wheel Well. When I Split the Same pieces on the back of the Lumina Body I have a Difference of 15/16's with the Lumina Being more narrow. The Wheel Hubs have Similar Shapes, and naturally are located in the Same Place. Another Problem that has Crept up is the Fill Tube for the Trans Am Gas Tank is also about an Inch to Long. I am very open to Ideas Guys! I realize more Pictures of the Lumina Flanges would help But I've not Separated them yet. One things for Sure that Spot Weld Cutter is going to get a work out.






    I was Planniing on Folding the Trans Am Flanges in to the correct Dimension after removing the Extra Material.
    Saturday I'll be fitting the rear to the Front, and Hopefully Sunday start Welding the Body back together.

  12. #12
    Member Benner's Avatar
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    Pewter
    2001 GrandPrix GTP

    First off, Welcome to LS1.com. Looks like you've done some really nice work so far. One question though. Are you going to have to extend or widen the new body, and if so how far.

    Keep up the good work and keep us posted.
    98 FORMULA 6Spd, Zr1 Wheels,
    224/228 .591/.591 113LSA Cam, LS6 Oil Pump,
    918 Valve Springs, Heads Milled .010",
    Ported TB, SD Tune, PaceSetter LT's/ORY,
    MagnaFlow Catback, Ls7 Clutch/Flywheel,
    Hurst Billet/Plus Sifter, BMR Rear Suspension,
    Eibach Pro-Kit
    365 RWHP 373 RWTQ

  13. #13
    Senior Member predator's Avatar
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    1966 Corvette Coupe

    subscibed... dude this is awesome...

    i have actually wanted to do a RWD conversion on my monte carlo since the day i got it, but never actually thought i would see something liek this...

    -me

  14. #14
    Mad Fabricator Z34LS1's Avatar
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    92 LS1 Lumina A4
    00 Formula WS9

    Thanks for the Replies,

    Benners there are quite a few Mods to both Car to make this work. Many of which I'm finding along the way. The Biggest difference is the Wheelbase on the Lumina is 6.4 Inches Longer than the WS6. That is why I cut the Car in Half. Before Cutting it I painted Stripes the 6.4 Inches Apart. I cut through the Center and removed the Excess(6.4) after the car was off the Chassis. Floor pans are within 1/16 of each other. The front Fender Wells and the rear Fender Wells are where most changes are being made. The Trans Am is almost 2" wider so the Flanges on the Inner Wheel Wells were cut Off and 1 1/8th on each Side, they will be put back on once the Body is welded back together.
    This car will be a 2 seater when complete, it will have Trans Am Interior, Dash(and all the goodies like A/C, Cruise, Monsoon Stereo), Leather Seat, and Console. The Door Panels will be Z34 Lumina, and the windows will be tinted very dark.
    Benners what is the name of the Blue Color Paint that your car is? I have not pulled the code but the WS6 I have looked Identical to yours. That shade of Blue in the Bright Sun is really very nice. So far that is the Color I think I'm going to go with, plus it keeps me from having to paint a lot more stuff.

  15. #15
    Member Benner's Avatar
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    It's Navy Blue Metallic I believe, and I completely agree. I love the color when the sun hits it just right. That color should look pretty good on the lumina.

  16. #16
    doesn'tplaywellwithothers superchargedblackgto's Avatar
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    Black
    2004 GTO

    Very Impressive, can't wait to see how it comes out, Welcome tothe site, I would probably say it could be posted in Members Rides area, but IDK, I'll ask a few Mods and see what they think.....If there is anything "we" can help you with just ask.
    Good luck
    Brad
    '04 gto M6 slp ceramic coated headers,B&m sport shifter,harrop cover,3.5"aluminum BMR driveshaft, BMR axle stubs, BMR Half shafts, BMR SFC's, loudmouth2 exaust,90mm FAST T/B,Magancharger(high helix upgrade)......other misc. suspension,Cross drilled, slotted rotors. Meth Kit, spraying @ 3psi and up

  17. #17
    Mad Fabricator Z34LS1's Avatar
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    92 LS1 Lumina A4
    00 Formula WS9

    This past Saturday my son and I started in on the Rear of the Car. After removing Frame, wheel hubs, rear floor pan, and a bunch more stuff we laid the Rear clip on the Chassis:


    After trying to Align the Roof and the Quarters I found that the two were not going to go together as planned. I chose to go with the Roof top for Alignment.


    The Quarters were off by almost 7/16'ths on their height.
    Here are the clamps I got from Kerry in place. To get the best possible Gap we got the two side as close as possible with some spots touching. Next I took a 1/32 wide cut off wheel to the Gap, then one by one moved the clamps to the spots I already ran the cut off wheel through. Next cleaned those spots, then notched out a slightly bigger opening for each clamp. Last we Pushed the two panels together with the Clamps in position where the notches were. This worked really great and let us Fuse a lot of metal together without filler.



    My Son did a really nice Job welding the Panels.
    Here is an Example:


    Afterwards we pulled the Clamps and used filler rod in those areas.


    (Sorry Should have rotated that one)


    On to the Drivers side....
    I did not take pictures of the Frame being welded back together, nothing fancy or different to show there. We Mig Welded the Frame.
    In this Shot you can see the Side had to be cut again to align everything, I was not happy at this point. Everything ended up working out pretty good though. The top right section of the cut had to be heated up first. After getting it Hot we were able to align the window frame. After getting the window frame in place I altered the cut out panel to fit back in. I still have some rust areas to patch yet at the Bottom But, here are the Clamps holding it in place.


    And here is the Quarter after Weld:



    This Weekend we do the other Quarter and start putting flanges on the Wheel Hubs.
    Thanks for your time.

  18. #18
    look like a lot of work.........

  19. #19
    Senior Member predator's Avatar
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    1966 Corvette Coupe

    so you basically took 6" out of the rear window?

    and y did you shrink the lumina instead of streatching the t/a?

    -me

  20. #20
    Mad Fabricator Z34LS1's Avatar
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    92 LS1 Lumina A4
    00 Formula WS9

    Exactly. Since the side windows are Tempered Glass they can not be cut. So Lexan sheet will be used to form new ones.
    Shrinking the Lumina was the way to go.
    The WS6 Chassis is 160 mph Chassis right from the factory. GM says this Chassis is not only capable but safe at 160 mph, that's good enough for me.
    Lot's of Guys want to build their own Chassis or alter one by either stretching or shrinking it, then stick a Hot Rod Body on it then they go through the testing phase of trying their Suspension Systems out. Why? GM took it's time designing these F Body Chassis, they not only can handle High Speeds they Handle like a MOFO!

    I've owned F-Bodies since the late 70's, Mustang GT's in the 80's & 90's, and 2 Buick Grand Nationals for the Strip(notice the plural "s's behind these cars"). This Last Gen F-Body Chassis is ready to go, so I take this car into a Corner it's gonna handle, and I know that when I need a suspension component I can walk into most any auto parts store and get it off the shelf.
    Joe

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