|Disguising your Lambo
replica's Engine bay
with help from Lambostuff
After you have spent hundreds of hours and money on your Lambo replica, it will not be long before someone asks to see the "Engine." In the past, this was one of the most over-looked aspects of builders, simply because you are not going to find a real Lamborghini V12 engine to install in a KitCar and still keep a rational build budget. There have been many attempts to disguise the real "power plant" but none have come close enough to "pass" as the original V12, until now. Lambostuff (http://www.lambostuff.com/) took the "next step" in providing an economical way to finally make that engine look so real that it would fool a real Lamborghini owner.
Until recently the only two materials commonly used to build Lambo replicas was fiberglass or steel, both of which are messy or hard to work with. The end results do not look or feel like aluminum, which is what the Lambo engine is all about, aluminum! Lambostuff's parts are unique, because instead of fiberglass or sheet metal they used high impact plastic composite (The same material used in the stock LS1's Intake), poured into a Dow Corning silicone mold that was made from a real Lamborghini intake. The result is an identical replica of the original that not only looks like aluminum it also feels like it too.
The "main" pieces of the V12 cover are the intake sides and runners. These were the first of many "optional" parts that have been produced. Their parts are not a "one size fit all" so it must be fitted to your engine, which means the first step is to make metal mounting pates and brackets. Before you do anything, you will need to determine the initial placement of the intake's top & sides in relation to the body. Is a good idea to temporarily mount your engine if you have not done so already, so you know how much room you have to work with. Once you have determined placement, you can start making your mounting plates to securely fasten the pieces to the engine. Plastic is a little different than fiberglass and since the plastic is a polyurethane polymer they used flat steel and tapped bolt holes along the runners. The metal plates provide a perfect surface to tack weld brackets that will later bolt to the engine. Although composite plastic will not melt and can withstand temperatures over 475 deg, you still have to be careful only to "spot tack" while the plastic is mounted to the brackets, to prevent damage to the plastic or engine. Once the supports were done they can be removed to be fully welded. You then re-install the pieces using tapped bolts and Polyurethane construction adhesive or epoxy to increase the strength. The main "finished" assembly is very strong and now ready to mount to the engine.
A real Lamborghini does not have valve covers, it uses a two-piece head that is bolted together, so to replicate the look, they made a piece that has the 6 spark plug holes to cover the real engine's valve covers. Making essentially a "Valve-cover-cover." It happens to work perfectly on an LS1 where the first hole is the same location and size as the oil fill plug. You can then remove the oil fill extension and the coil packs to provide a flat mounting surface. To increase the protection from the headers you can make a steel cover or heat shield that not only protects the pieces since they were so close to the headers, but it also provided a good flat mounting surface for the covers.
At this point you have a great illusion and disuse, however a perfectionist can take it to another level. We don't have to tell you, details are what makes or breaks a disguise. Items such as spark plugs, wires, hoses, injectors and plugs, distributor cap, throttle bodies, connecting linkage etc... are part of any automotive engine so lacking them could ruin your illusion. Knowing this, Lambostuff added all of these options to their kits to fully detail your V12 engine compartment. The interesting thing about all of these parts is that they are molded from real parts so everything looks and feels authentic. The injectors come as if they were removed from a real car but are 100% plastic. Since the LS1's intake uses much of the center area of the engine, there is not much room however you can simply cut the injectors in half exposing the top portion, which is what is only part that is seen. Then 12 small brackets are made to mount the "Injectors" these can be topped off with real electrical plugs and wire! If that wasn't enough how about replica spark plug ends? You can get either solid plastic or rubber like the originals. They even made a Oil fill cap with the spark plug end to hid the LS1's oil fill location. Using vacuum tubing to simulate the wires you can connect them to a V12 Distributor cap for the perfect touch. There are no limits on what you can do today. If you didn't notice the engine in the photos has 4 extra (non-functioning) exhaust pipes... V8... what V8?
So what is this cost to do? lambostuff offers the main intake pieces starting at around $595 and the rest is all optional. If you don't need or want all the optional Lambo parts you can always scavenge parts from a salvage yards or leave them off. No matter how you do yours, it is still far less than a real V12 and much easier to install and remove. Since you custom fit the parts to your engine it can literally fit any engine and make it custom to your application.