Tech Projects

Project Firebolt: The LSX Turbo Tacoma (Part 5): Engine Assembly & Test-Fit Time

In past updates we freshened up this LM7 V8 by installing a mix of quality replacement parts and Summit Racing‘s Pro LS Series high performance goodies to complement our turbocharged combo nicely.

There’s still a few important jobs to do before we can button up this engine, like a rocker arm upgrade using Summit Racing’s LS Series Retrofit Trunnion Kit and installing the valve covers and lifter valley cover with new gaskets.

Once these jobs are crossed off the list, it’ll be time to answer that crucial, age-old engine swap question: “Hey, is this thing even gonna fit in here?!”

Need to catch up? See the first four parts of the Project Firebolt series here:

First, we’re going to upgrade our rocker arm setup using Summit Racing’s LS Series Retrofit Trunnion Kit. This kit is designed to convert your stock LS rocker arms into captured roller bearing rocker arms, which are better suited for higher rate valve springs, performance camshafts and high-rpm use. (Image/Tom Tharp)

To make this job go nice and smooth, I chose Summit Racing’s Rocker Arm Trunnion and Bearing Installation and Removal Tool. This tool woks on any LS-based engine, is made in the USA and includes excellent, detailed instructions.

With our upgraded rockers and pushrods installed, I gave everything one last shot of oil before bolting on the valve covers and valley pan. (Image/Tom Tharp)

This is the moment car people live for! Let’s see if it’ll all fit! (Image/Tom Tharp)

Well it’s in there, but not without a few challenges, the biggest being a required switch to a front sump oil pan. Luckily, Summit Racing had my back with their lightning fast shipping. The new parts were at my door before I could say “Ooh, I think I hear the big brown truck coming!” (Image/Tom Tharp)

This is my “how the heck am I supposed to fit an exhaust pipe through there?” face. (Image/Tom Tharp)

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2 Comments

  1. what a hack, cut the core support

    • That was my thought too! I also wouldn’t have cut the motor mounts until I was dead sure that the engine/trans were exactly where they need to be.

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