The dreaded cooling issues

So we left off on a very bad note. But things were not as bad as expected. 

After doing some research I found that the oil cap is also a breather and that based on the weather changes during the past few months it's possible that condensation was on the cap. So I decided to figure out the cooling issue, then hope the engine was still in good shape. 

I changed the coolant system up a little and re-bled the system. There was no white smoke coming out of the exhaust and no oil in the coolant system (Woooo!!!!!). Took the car for a short drive. . . and then it hit fuel cut and definitely went into a limp mode. Which left me stranded on the side of the road. 

I start doing more research and come to the conclusion that the LS1 water temp sensor is at fault. I pick up a new one and . . . no more fuel cut. The car can be driven!!!!!

new sensor vs. old sensor

Since I'm paranoid, I'm not driving the car long distances until I get the water temp gauge working. The Porsche water temp sensor will fit in the LS1, then I have to wire the sensor to the car's electrical harness since I no longer have the Porsche engine harness. Hopefully I can get this done quickly. 

In other news, the Tachometer works now and I wired the electric water pump to a switch so that I can have full control over the flow. I will be wiring up the radiator fans to a switch as well. This will allow for better control of coolant temperature. 

Anyways, nobody really cares about text. . . onto the pictures!

Alright, time for an update.

So I decided to go with an LS3 water pump over the remote electric pump because I was getting fed up with the difficulties of the electric pump.

The LS3 pump pulley is much more narrow than the LS1 pump pulley. But the pulley is so narrow that the belt from the LS1 F-body crank pulley won’t touch it. Luckily the water pump on an LSx can be spaced out from the block. This is a great thing for me because my engine is mounted by the heads, so a flush water pump wouldn’t work.

I bought a .25” water pump spacer and found out this was the wrong length. So I started to do some research and it looked like a .75” spacer is what I needed. But there wasn’t much info out I started to ask vendors what they had and what they thought would work for me and I didn’t get much of a response. I went to eBay and started messaging vendors and finally was given some insight from someone (Steve) who produces spacers (yay!!!).

Steve, confirmed that I needed .75” spacers to make the LS3 pump fit on an LS1 F-Body and then he sent me dimensions of the spacers to ensure that they would clear my engine mount. This made life much easier than ordering, hoping it would fit, etc. I have to give some credit to Steve, it’s rare that a vendor will spend time helping a prospective customer. Not to mention he seemed generally interested in the 996 LS1 build. :D

If anyone needs some spacers for an LSx build, definitely check these out.

You can also email Steve HERE and he will knock $10 off the spacers price.

If this works (which it should), this is a much more economical way to run a water pump on a Renegade swap (F-body LS1 crank pulley, Renegade alternator bracket, LS3 water pump & tensioner, Steve’s spacers @ $65, and 56” belt) vs. $1200 for the electric pump/mounts/f-logs/etc.

It’s a very tight fit getting the water pump on the back of the car and required more sheet metal cutting, but I feel it’s totally worth it. I cut the fittings on the LS3 pump to offer more clearance for the hoses. I also rotated the thermostat housing 180 degrees to clear the rear bumper bracket.

Steve’s spacer kit:


 More cutting!

Steve’s mounts and gaskets placed the pump just far enough away from the engine mount and lined up the LS3 pulley with the LS1 F-Body crank pulley. I rotated the thermostat 180 degrees to clear the rear bumper.

I had to re-route the hoses to the water pump, now there is a 1.5” hose and 1.25” hose vs. two 1.25” hoses. Somehow the heater hoses are the same dimensions for the 996 and LS3 (5/8 & 3/4).

I mounted the upper tensioner pulley and realized there is a very tight clearance between the belt and 1.5” hose coming off the thermostat. After installing the belt, I found that the belt slightly rubs on the hose. I am going to leave this as-is for now and let the belt notch out a groove in the hose. My schedule clears up in August, so then I will work on a spacer for the thermostat housing to clear the belt, but not run into the bumper beam.

I read many different suggestions on belt length without power steering (usually 52.5”) and found the belt to be too short. It looks like the Renegade alternator mount moves the alternator to a different location than stock, even though to the eyes it looks the same. I ended up having to use a 56” belt.

Now the car runs and has heat!!!!!! Woo!!!

The electric water pump dilemma added months to the build. If I was ever to do this again, I would cut more out of the back of the car from the get-go and run a mechanical pump.

1 comment:

  1. ecided to figure out the cooling issue, then hope the engine was still in good ...