|Carl Casanova's 1968 Camaro Home Page|
|This is my third car and luckily I have had it since 1982. The first was a 1961 Ranchero, the second a 1971 El Camino. The Camaro took me everywhere in high school and college only to suffer being parked for years after graduating. The subframe-off restoration started on Easter weekend of 1996 and it hit the road again for the first time in August 1999. Like all car projects they are never done and drives my wife nuts.|
|LEFT: The drivetrain has evolved to this Magnuson MP112HH supercharged LS1/T56. The engine is surprisingly stock with only ARP rod and head bolts, LIngenfelter GT2-3 cam, PAC valve springs, and Ferra exhaust valves being the big chages. The wiring harness is fron an '04 GTO and uses on '02 Z28 ECM. ATS mounting plates, crossmember, and oil pan were used. An LS7 clutch mates to a stock T56. A 3" chrome moly driveshaft and 12-bolt 3.73:1 Eaton posi finish the drivetrain. The Stainless Works headers dump into stainless 3" pipes connected to a Dr. Gas X-over, Magnaflow mufflers, and 2 1/2" tailpipes. 250#/in Flex - A - Form fiberglass leaf springs, Landrum front springs and ride height adjusters, Bilstein shocks, Hotchkis front sway bar, subframe connectors, and solid body mounts helps to keep the Nitto NT555RII tires on the road. The wheels are Vintage Wheel Works "Vintage 45's". They are 17"x9.5"x5.5" back space. The tires are 275/40/17 Nitto NT555RII front rear. The A/C has also been removed and replaced with an American Graffiti A/C delete box. DSE supplied the windshield wiper motor and the RS headlight motor conversion.|
|LEFT: Yup, this car has a lot of red. It's not very popular so finding some items is hit-and-miss but after so many years it's bubble-gum character has grown on me. It is an original deluxe interior car but the gauges and tic-toc-tach were added in 1990. The wood wheel was also added but will be changed back to the original red wheel when restoration is finished. The seats are Sparco's. They fit the car, and me, very well. There's just no comparing these to the stock seats. The only thing the stock seats have over these is the originality factor. Other than that, they are light years better than the originals.
If anyone has a good set of windlaces (the soft trim along the vertical rear side of the door frame) and would like to sell them please let me know!!!
Any questions? Please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org
|Left: Here I am getting my road coarse fix at Buttonwillow Raceway in May 2003. That's Craig Boone is his super cool 1969 Camaro on the left side of the picture. We had a ton of fun on this run. We ended up being very evenly matched on this track which made us push ourselves and the cars. It was by far the most 20 minutes of fun I've ever had driving a car. The car drove from L.A. to Buttonwillow and back (260 miles) + 1 hour track time, all in one day, without a hitch..|
|Here she is on the cover of the January 2002 Super Chevy. Definately one of the highpoints of the Camaro's build.|
|Homemade Subframe Connectors|
|LEFT: Here's a shot of the connector tube. That's a 21 deg and a 4 deg angle, both rotated counter-clockwise from vertical. It's 31 7/16" from end-to-end. You are looking at the 2" side of the 2" x 3" x 0.120" tube. These measurements are approximate. You will need to cut your tube long and fit the length and angles to suit your car. The tubing cost $17 for a 10' remnant piece at the local metal supply house. You can use 0.090" wall tubing but it is not easy to find on the remnant rack. A Makita 10" chop saw and an abrasive blade was used to make the cuts. All of the plastic pieces melted on the saw so be sure to remove anything that will melt before cutting.|
|ABOVE: This piece will slip over the back of the subframe. The 4 deg. cut will weld to the back of it. There will still be access to the subframe bolt. This U shape was cut from a structural square shape with an ID the same as the subframe width. Use a C-clamp to hold it to the subframe for fitting and tack welding it to the tube. You will be able to weld the top, front vertical, bottom sides, and inside edges to the subframe.|
|ABOVE: Here's the top drivers side view of the hole in the floorpan and the access hole to the torque box. BE ABSOLUTELY SURE TO REMOVE THE BRAKE AND FUEL LINES BEFORE YOU DO ANY CUTTING OR WELDING. The forward hole starts approx 8" from the back of the subframe and is approx 8" long but will require trimming to fit. The seat panel section is cut wider for welding access. A sheet metal cover will be cut to cover the seat pan and torque box after the floorpan is welded to the connector.|
|LEFT: Here's a close-up of the rear leaf spring torque box access hole. Note the four circles that indicate the spot welds for the rear frame rail attachment. The connector will be centered on these welds. The horizontal surfaces are sandwiched so care must be used to only cut the floorpan and not the torque box. The vertical section has a 1/2" hollow which makes starting the cut easier. Note the lower intersection of the floorpan and torque box. This section must be welded back together. The brake and fuel lines run directly under this section so BE CAREFUL! The cut is 5" wide centered on the rear seat mounting bracket. This allows welding access. There are several spot welds to break (a cold chisel works well.)|
|ABOVE: Side view of the subframe and connector. The U-channel needs to be welded to the tube before welding any part of the connector to the car. Use C-clamps to hold the welded components to the subframe before welding the connector to the car.|
|LEFT: This is a view from the front looking back. The jackstand will be moved to the rear axle before final fitting and welding. Note that a block of wood is used to keep the brake line away from the working area. Also note that the subframe, hole, and rear frame rail are in line.|
|RIGHT: It's welded in. The connector is welded to the torque box (vertically and horizontally on 3 sides.) The connector is also fully welded to the floorpan. Good grounds and clean, tight-fitting components make the welding job go a lot easier. There is a lot of welding to do by the time you get to this point, much more than the usual under-car weld in type connectors. However, this is the strongest subframe connection and body stiffener that can be made short of a roll cage.|
|Right:: Here it is completed except for final corrosion protection. Note the simple seat pan and rear seat hook sheet metal plates that cover the access holes. My original idea was to cut a section of the carpet out to fit over the connector, trim the opening with the same trim edging used on the rear of the front carpet, and cover the connector with a piece of carpet I got from ACC ($20 for the carpet and edging). Turns out that after I laid the carpet and the rubber floormat down you could not tell the connector was there unless you really looked hard.|
|Landrum Spring Adjusters|
|Here's a photo of the spring and adjuster that the car now has. The spring is a Landrum part number B700. It's 5" in diameter, 9.5" long, and has a 700#/in rate. One end of the spring is open (lower A-arm) and the other is closed (flat for the adjuster). The adjuster part number is LSS320. Please check with Landrum to verify that these are the correct parts for your car.
Note the helix cut on the top of the adjuster.This is so the adjuster will seat flat in the upper spring pocket. The helix is 1/4" deep. Using tape as a guide and a 4" slitting blade/grinder the job will go quickly. You can also weld a threaded stud to the top of the helix and fasten the adjuster to the frame. There is already a hole in the frame where the spring pigtail would normally seat..
The nice thing about this setup is that the ride height can be adjusted in about an hour. After you do it several times you will become very proficient at taking the spring out!
After dealing with cutting springs and fighting to get the correct ride height, there is no way I will ever use anything else besides an adjustable system. It's so easy to use and is goof-proof, which is good for me since I seem to do every job twice!
Note: 8/12/2006: Word has it that Landrum no longer manufactures these parts. Try Speedway Motors, or better yet, American Touring Specialties (ATS) @ http://www.t56kit.com The ATS part is very nice since it already has the helix cut and the mounting stud welded in place.
David Pozzi has some good photos of 1st gen springs and suspension tuning tips on his website. He has a lot of information on suspension, brakes, steering, and general Camaro technical issues.
Also try http://www.pro-touring.com There are many very skilled people there who are willing to help.
|Left: This is a picture of the 1968 Tic-Tock-Tach that has been repaired by North Hollywood Speedometer and Clock. The tach now has a modern VDO movement and is very fast and accurate. The clock is also new, with a quartz movement that keeps excellent time. No changes to the wiring harness are required, just plug it in.If I had to choose between this perfect repair or a reproduction the repair would win. If the reproduction companies can't even make a decent door windlace, how are they going to make a good tachometer?|
|Left: Here's the real deal, John Schneider's General Lee from The Dukes of Hazzard. John was having Hotchkis make some suspension improvements so they set up a slalom course in the Califonia Speedway parking lot for testing. This car is sooooooo cool. It has an aluminum head race hemi that is music to my ears. The General's distinctive horns are functional. Plus, one of the greatest features is that the underside of the hood was signed by the cast members and film crew. Yes, that's my ugly mug, and no I did not drive it, but sitting in it was very cool.
Watching Mark and John Hotchkis put this car through it's paces on the slalom course was an interesting experience. Race hemi + 30 year old suspension + slalom course = UGLY.
|Being that I can be pretty cheap sometimes I decided to dive into a homemade hydraboost system. The system below was bought from a bodyshop that totaled-out a 1999 Cobra Mustang. The unit was complete including the master cylinder (1" bore) and the attachment lines. $100 and the deal was done.|
|This is the basic 1999 Cobra Mustang hydraboost unit. The upper line is the pressure line from the power steering pump. The blue fitting is an Aeroquip metric to -6 adapter. The double-ended -6 hard line to -4 stainless braided line is the return line that is shown in the power steering cooler picture above. The pressure line to the power steering box is behind the other two and appears horizontal. Aeroquip also makes the adapter fitting for the pressure fitting to the box connection as well.
For the return line my first idea was to run a "T" on the top of the PS box and tie both the return line from the hydraboost and PS box together, therefore only requiring one master return line to the cooler. However, it was found that the return from the box was back-pressurizing the return line from the hydraboost. This caused the brakes to be lightly applied as engine speeds incresed (engine speed increases, pump volume increases.) Running a longer line from the hydraboost to the cooler exit cured the problem. For the return line you will need to use the stock Cobra attachment and weld on an AN fitting. I used a -6 since this is what size the tubing is on the stock line. However, a -4 return line is more than adequate. A braided steel oil pressure line will work nicely. If I can find a -4 to -6 adapter then all is good. If not then I'll have to fab up something else. In the meantime this works.
The front reservoir is for the rear brakes.
Note that the MC attachment bolts are vertical, not horizontal like GM applications. Hence a GM reservoir will not work. Even if the HB was rotated 90* the bolt hole spacing is not the same as GM.
The master cylinder + reservior is super lightweight. It's a feather!
|Here's the RH view of the MC and HB unit assembly. The Cobra firewall mounting bracket is held to the HB with a nut. The bracket has a bulge in it to clear the nut and has an angle to it so that the MC is angled upward in relation to the firewall. This bulge is a bit too big to fit correctly on the upper set of firewall mounting studs. By notching the bulge the bracket was made to fit but grinding a washer to insure maximum bracket retention is needed. The lower holes were no problem. A piece of 1/2" closed cell foam worked as a firewall gasket.
The local auto parts store had bubble to inverted flare adapter fittings for the brake line outputs on the MC. Aeroquip inverted flare to -3 adpaters were then used and stainless tubing run. With the Willwood pressure gauge mounted in it's current position the stock rear brake line will just reach.
The horizontal bleeds on the body of the MC must be used to bleed the MC after installation. Any air in the lines will come to rest in the MC bleed area and cause a soft pedal condition.I found that bleeding these was best done after bleeding the calipers.
The pressure line from the HB to PS box can also be seen.
The HB unit with the Lees pump can easily generate 1500 psi at the gauge with the Cobra 1" MC. The best the stock vacuum booster with 1" MC could do was 900 psi. With 13"/12" PBR brakes and Hawk pads this system stops in a hurry. However, it is very manageable. It also stood up to 20+ minutes at Buttonwillow without a wimper.
The other bonus is that working around the engine is much easier.
|Lincoln MarkVIII Cooling Fan and a C&R Racing Radiator on a Short Waterpump Small Block Camaro
Here's the latest project, a Mark VIII cooling fan coupled with a C&R Racing radiator. The radiator is a furnaced brazed part with integral oil cooler. It is a double-pass design so the inlet and outlet are on the same side.
|Left: This left hand view shows the oil lines and the very top of the remote mounted oil filter setup. The headers did not allow for a sandwich style adapter to be used so the car ended up with a CV Products remote filter adapter. The fan mounts to radiator using 3 of 4 factory mounting locations. There is about an inch of space between the fan motor and waterpump shaft. It would be tight with a long pump unless the shroud was trimmed. There's plenty of room to trim the shroud.
Though it cannot be seen in this view, there is a 1/4" mesh screen mounted on the front face of the radiator support. Most aluminum radiator fins are fragile, and cleaning them without damaging the fins is almost impossible. The mesh keeps the bugs and rocks from making their way in.
|Left: This RH view shows the radiator, PS tank location, and the arrangement of the bracketry. The upper and lower hoses are off the shelf NAPA hoses trimmed to fit. I used a small rubber seal, the same type as on the air cleaner, to seal between the radiator and shroud on this side only.
Upper Hose NAPA P/N 7454
Lower Hose NAPA P/N 8796
A thermostat housing that points straight forward or a universal swivel type is required. The part shown here is a CSI part.
The heater hoses use Aeroquip push-lock connectors and along with a shrink-fit clamp (Gates Powergrip.) This makes hose removal super easy. The waterpump nipple is a CV products -12 dry sump adapter.
|Left: Here's the RH side bracketry. The upper bracket is welded to the main radiator bracket that mounts to the core support and to the tank face. The only function this bracket has is to hold the top of the fan against the radiator. A simple J-nut makes removing the fan super easy.
The lower bracket is more involved. The Ford fan lower mounts are heavily gusseted and are meant to take the weight of the fan. The brackets are welded to the lower coverplate and to the main radiator bracket. The bulk of the downward load is supported by the lower radiator coverplate. The tabs that hold the fan mount both hold the weight of the radiator and center it side-to-side.
The cooling fan speed is handled by a DC Controls variable speed controller. This controller uses a simple push-in thermistor to sense temperature so no threaded connectons are necessary. With this conroller the fan speed is progressive, speeding up as temperature increases. Due to the high-speed sesning capability of the thermistor, and the ability to set the actuating temperature, coolant temperatures are very consistant. Engine temperature varies by only several degrees, and the fan rarely ever goes to full speed. It is small, lightweight, and easy to install. A very nice part overall.
|Left: The upper LH shroud mount would not clear the oil lines. Also, for some reason Ford designed the mount so it was 3 inches higher than any of the others. A hacksaw took care of that problem. The lower mount is similar to the RH side so all of the weight of the fan assembly is on the lower bracket. In order to ease assembly I opted to weld a mounting tab to the radiator. This tab continues to wrap around the radiator tank and acts as the main core support mount. On the inside of of the shroud an aluminum radiused 90* bend was formed to fit the side and face of the shroud. Two bolts, as can be seen between the three structural ribs on the face of the shrould, hold the bracket to the inside of the shrould. A J-nut is used on the side of the inside bracket so that a single bolt can be used to hold the shroud to the welded tab on the radiator.
Things get tight around the filter adapter. There's less than 1/4" clearance around the adapter and lower fan brackets.
A 1/4" NPT drain bung was also added to this radiator. It's just in front of the oil filter. The fan speed controller is mounted in the LH lower fan shroud.
The oil lines are routed so that the oil is first filtered, then goes through the cooler.
The oil pump is a Mellings 10555 high volume, high pressure pump. It's not the standard HVHP pump. It has many features that make it very desireable for this type of application, such as extending the gear shafts into the cover, allowing much better gear guidance.
|How To Swallow a 275/40/17 Tire On All Four Corners|
|With a stock subframe? Yes. With stock A-arms? Perhaps. In the following section the installation of Speedtech A-arms is covered The arms allow for more clearance of the rim and have a built-in steering limiter that makes adjustments easy. Some steering needs to be dialed out and the suspension rebound travel must also be limited to around 2.5" from ride height. The car needs to be on a track to determine the best track-only camber setting, but for the street a -1/2 to -1* setting should work fine. Steering is fine around town with the limited turning radius if care is taken to allow for a bit more turning room than normal. The rears require rolling the fenderlip from the 10-2 o'clock position if you have the stock full-width fenderlip. The fenderlip on this car is very wide and can be rolled fairly easily. The difference in cornering power is like night and day. Braking is much improved as well. The ride with the RII autocross tire is harsher than the more ballon-like BFG Comp T/A ZR 245/50/16's that were on the car, but it's well worth the tradeoff. The 275/40/17 size is the same as the C4 'Vette so availabity and compound choices are good. Due to the increased backspace of this rim it was necessary to slightly re-clock the flexible brake lines at the caliper for rim clearance. Short steering arms are needed for this swap. David Pozzi has information on the various steering arms offered on first gen Camaros.The overall width difference of a 255/50/16 on an 8" rim vs. a 275/40/17 on a 9.5" rim is only 1/4" (275 is wider). However, the 275/40 lays down nearly 1.5" of additional tread width to the road. That's huge.|
|Speedtech Performance Camaro A-arms|
|The next upgrade to the car was to install new upper and lower front suspension A-arm components from Speedtech Performance. I was leery about aftermarket suspension components, especially A-arms, since a failure can be very dangerous. However, I�m even less confident about the long-term condition of the original arms, the unknown quality of a used arm, and the new aftermarket stock stamped steel arms. I�ve seen two lower GM arms fail (one el Camino, one Camaro) at the ball joint, so I�ve always had this nagging thought in my head; �what about those 400,000 mile arms in the Camaro using a spring with more than 2X the factory rate?� It was time to give the Speedtech parts a try.|
|Here�s a top view of the Speedtech (ST) lower arm next to a fully loaded stock GM arm. The ST arm is as received with new hardware, greaseable delrin bushings, bumpstop, steering limit adjuster, spring seat pad, and new ball joint. The steering limit adjuster is going to come in handy when I try to fit bigger rims and tires in the future. The ST arm is also heavily gusseted around the bushing area for additional strength. The spring pad is removable and short shims can be added/subtracted to fine-tune the ride height if you do not have an adjustable setup. The pad can also be rotated so that the upper section of the spring can be properly seated into the upper frame pocket. The lower plate is also very thick and much better suited for coil over setups. The overall build quality is very nice, and I like the stealthy black powdercoating.|
|The upper ST arms have several features that I really liked. The first is that it is very easy to get 6* caster from this arm. Another is how much additional room there is to work around the cross-shaft mounting points. Putting in alignment shims is super easy, and the cross-shaft frame bolts are easy to get to (see photo below.) The cross-shaft is stainless steel with the Speedtech logo machined on the engine-side face, has greaseable bushings (with excellent zerk placement), bumpstop, new balljoint, and a trick aluminum balljoint cover. Like the lower arms these arms have the bushing sections reinforced.These parts practically fell into the car, no modifications necessary except to re-drill the cross shaft holes to fit the larger than stock �� diameter bolts that the car now has.|
|Here�s the modifications made to the lower A-arm to fit the oversized Bilstein shocks. The Bilsteins that the car has have a larger than stock 2� diameter shock body so enlarging the lower hole on the arm was needed. At the same time two nuts were welded on to make shock installation easier. Using J-nuts could also be done and might have been a better idea but I could not find a J-nut that had a thick enough body to fit the A-arm plate (I had limited time to do the swap.) The stock lower arms required the same modifications (see picture above.) Most shocks will not require this modification.|
|This is the LH side front pivot point for the lower arm. Note the delrin pucks that are used on each side of the bushing housing. To get both pucks on each bushing aligned, kept from falling off, and installed in the frame is a feat of gymnastics. I found it easiest to loosely install the balljoint into the spindle and use a floor jack to raise the arm into position. This way the pucks can be held with both hands and the floor jack raised with my foot. There is probably an easier way, but this worked for me. The straight zerk fitting will work with a flexible hose grease gun.|
|This is the LH side upper mount. Note how the towers were trimmed to clear the stock A-arms when using the Guldstrand modification. There�s no need to trim using these arms. The other nice feature is that standard grade 8 bolts can be used to mount the cross shaft. There was no way to remove the header, or even loosen it for working on items that require header movement, without removing the upper arm to gain access to the cross shaft bolts. The cross shaft bolts do not allow for header removal, and it�s impossible to remove the arm without removing the bolts. This setup works great for me. Eventually I will re-weld the towers back into place for extra strength, but they have held up well for more than 5 years of abuse. The cross shaft bolts seen here are ��, so the holes in the cross shaft needed to be drilled to size. The stock bolts are 7/16�.
It may seem that there are a lot of shims. However, this is the track setting, so camber is �2*, caster is +6.5*, 3/16� toe out. That�s a lot of camber. I believe that Speedtech may be working on an offset shaft setup. Performing an alignment (at home using an Intercomp digital gauge) is easier since shim pack access is easier, and there�s not a big stack of shims needed to get to +6* caster on the rear cross shaft bolt. The RH side has several less shims, but uses the stock type serrated bolts. There are no header fitment issues on the RH side.
|Here�s the final assembly. There�s lots of clearance for everything and overall fitment is great. One issue that came up here was that the sway bar end links needed to be lengthened by about �� (bolt length 5 ��, spacer length 1 5/16�) so that at ride height the links would be at a 90* angle to the sway bar. This shot also shows the Landrum spring, but the adjuster is hidden inside the frame. The steering limit adjusters are nice since I was able to slightly reduce the steering radius and eliminate a light tire rub on the aft section of the subframe. In the near future I�ll be trying to fit a larger rim so having the extra room and adjustments offered by the arms will make fitment easier. After assembly the ride height increased by 2� using the same spring and adjuster setting. For some reason mine did this, others have not had this issue. It was no big deal, the adjuster body and threaded section just needed to be cut shorter.
|Flex A Form Fiberglass Rear Leaf Springs|
|Below are the new Flex A Form 250#/in fiberglass rear leaf springs. All of the spring eyes were modified to allow the use of a teflon-lined spherical plain bearing instead of the traditional FAF supplied polyurethane bushings. This system effectively releases the spring ends from supporting any laterally moment loading, hence reducing roll bind and torsional spring loads. I made these myself, but the parts are available through Global West since the design is similar to their CAT5 setup.
The spring rate may seem high but this spring system rides significantly smoother than the previously installed Guldstrand springs. Less noise, vibration, and harshness are present, and the additional spring rate is a bonus for me. The comparison was done with the same Bilstein shock.
On the track the work well. There is more lateral deflection than with the Guldstrand steel springs with del-a-lum bushings. There's some light rubbing on the inner fenderwells when the car is at max turning on a sticky corner and hits a rut or bump that shock the car. A small wheel spacer will likely fix the problem. On the street and twisty canyon roads this is not an issue since not enough cornering power can be generated
|Above: Here it is installed. There's about 3/4" clearance to the exhaust pipe. No heat problems so far, and it has idled for 10 minutes in 90* heat. A 50# weight reduction vs. aftermarket steel multi-leafis a super double bonus. The spring eyes can also be flipped over to allow an additional 1" lower ride height.|
|Above: The bushing is installed and deflected to show a partial range of movement. The bushing is a QA1 part that was the best deal comparted to others on the market. The spring eyes need to be bored to fit (1.600") the GW parts and for my own since the extrusion is not perfectly round. The eyes are attached both with through bolts and with an adhesive to the spring..|
|Left: The bushings have a sleeve that inserts from each side that fit with a light press. None of the parts are heat treated and can be made from simple carbon steel. Aluminum components might be OK, but some experimentation is needed.|
|How to Modify Stainless Works LS-series F-body Headers to Fit Using ATS Mounting Plates.|
|With the Magnuson supercharged engine build there is limited hood clearance at the top of the throttle body. Since the ATS mounting plates position the engine as far aft and down as practical, they were chosen. However, being on the dad budget, I could not afford the super nice ATS headers. So, with just a few modifications, the SW headers were made to fit quite well.|
|Above: The 1" section on the downtube is needed to move the horizontal tube up to clear the steering box. There is a square boss on the engine block, seen just inboard from the 1" section, that will need to be ground down to clear the tube. If you are using the more modern 600-Series Saginaw steering box you may not need to perform any of these modifications, but trial fitment is needed. With these modifications the stock straight plug wires cannot be used. A tight 45* boot will be needed. The GM 90* boots as used on the LS2/Corvette engines are tool long to work. Inexpensive spark plug wire components can be found at http:shop.kingsborne.com|
|Above: The #3 tube needs to be rerouted upward to clear the stock 800-series PS box. First, cut the tube 1" from the header flange. Second, cut the tube about 1" past the last bend as the tube heads downward (see the top weld on the 1" spacer in the next picture.) Buy a Hooker stainless tight-radius 180*stainless bend. Cut the bend so that it fits to the 1" piece off the flange and tucks in tight to the #5 tube. Take the removed header piece and trim it to fit, along with a 1" section and a small curved section from the Hooker bend, and fit them together. You will need to mock this up in the car but a MIG welder with stainless wire can be used to tack-weld the parts together. The RH header requires no modifications.|
|Easy EFI Fuel Pressure Regulator and Transfer Systems.|
|Above and Right: A C5 Corvette Fuel filter and pressure regulator was used. This allows a single line to be run to the front of the car and keep things neat and tidy. The inlet is the large connector on the right side, the smaller is the tank return, and the connector on the right goes to the fuel rail. The Magnuson fuel line was modified to use a -6 "T" on the aft RH rail. A teflon -6 line connects to the "T" and to the stainless 3/8" hardline on the subframe. There is at least 6" of clearance to the exhaust system so vapor lock should be minimized. All lines even remotely close to the engine or exhaust are covered in heat sleeve and shrink-wrapped ends.|
|Modifying an Autometer Console Gauge Pod to Fit Six Gauges|
|Left: With the addition of the supercharger a boost gauge was needed, and the car did not have a voltmeter so the battey condition was always unknown. With no other options available to cleanly mount two additional gauges and still keep the stock dash gauge pod, the only option left was to modify the console. Two Autometer pods were grafted together to make a six-pod assembly. Extensive console modifications are necessary to make this work. All of the horizontal bracing must be removed and new parts fabricated.The pods not only need to be joined, they must also be shortend in order to get them as far aft as possible, and widened to fit the curvature of the opening. The shifter plate is made from 0.090" alumunum and curved to fit both the console and the pod. The boot ring is from a junkyard 528 BMW and the boot was made by my mother. In all there is close to 40 hours of work in this assembly.|
|Driving Impressions, Road Course and Street|
|The car is a blast to drive on a road coarse. With the ride height set so that the center of the sphere in the lower ball joint is approx. �� below the front A-arm bolt centerline there is no darting under braking or uneasiness in the car. There is still some understeer on road coarses, but that�s a tuning issue that has existed that still needs to be worked out. On the streets and highways the car is a cupcake. It rides smoother than expected considering the spring and shock package.
There is also a lot of peace of mind when driving the car hard on a road coarse. The shim stack to get the necessary caster is less, the fatigue life factor of the original parts is gone, plus I�m no longer concerned about a control arm(s) coming apart at speed.
For me, in order of importance, this is how I see the control arms. This is just my opinion.
1) Peace of mind.
2) Fitment and ease of adjustment.
5) The cool factor. They do look really nice, but I can not justify buying a suspension part solely for this reason.
Is there a major performance gain by using an aftermarket arm vs. a stock control arm? Not in my opinion if apples and apples are compared. The suspension mounting points and spindle design will determine the arc that the wheel will travel. If the car has the same alignment specs and track width before and after the A-arm swap, what was gained? Nothing as far as theoretical geometry is concerned. However, if you want to run a lot of caster, and have stock arms with worn rubber bushings and balljoints, then the comparison becomes both a performance and a cost issue. To bring a set of stock arms up to the same performance level as a Speedtech arm you will need to do the following, assuming you already have a set of arms to work with:
3) Buy and install new balljoints
4) Buy and install new high-quality bushings (not polyurethane or polygraphite, but a delrin sleeve type)
5) Buy and install new heavy duty cross shafts.
6) Run a lot of shims and perhaps longer cross-shaft bolts.
7) Hope they have not been whacked in a car accident and have unseen damage.
Realistically, this cost can easily be more than 1/2 the cost of aftermarket arms not including the time to do the work.
The car has undergone multiple evolutionary stages to this point. Without a doubt this is the easiest to drive, least noisy, cleanest running, and most powerfull setup yet. I was hesitant for many years to go the LS route. My fears were unfounded. I doubt I will never build a non LS series Chevrolet engine again.
Just turn the key and it starts. Lots of stock parts being used. Less weight.
The supercharger has a very linear torque curve and makes blasting around a thrill. It is all to easy to overpower the tires, especially since it is so much quieter and has so much less drama than the pervious drivetrains. Lots of power, great mileage, EFI, GM serviceability. What's not to like? It was also different since the build used so many stock parts I was able to find many used but very low mileage parts that were discards from other builds where the owners were "going big". The supercharger is the great equalizer.
|THE BIG DISCLAIMER:
All of the information contained in this website are my thoughts and opinions and carry no warrantees, expressed or implied. The information, given freely, may be used at your own and/or other parties free will, risk, and liability. I, and/or my family, will not be liable for any damages or injuries.
Car building can be fun, but it can also be dangerous. If you are unsure about the safey of your work then you should not drive the car until it has been checked by a licensed professional mechanic.