Well, it’s been about 18 months since I started this project and for us in the Northwest the car season is about done for 2017. So for this winter’s project we’re cutting out the wheel-wheels and adding in Detroit Speed’s mini-tubs. This is a lot of work and takes persistence, a lot of cutting and grinding tools, and a good welder (Lincoln 140amp MIG). For the rear I decided to go with the RideTech bolt on 4 link system because I’ve always been impressed with it’s simplicity and ease of installation. After these modifications I’ll be installing 305/30/19 rear tires and 265/35/18 front tires.
Here’s a surprise from last weekend’s cruise-in, a new L86 Truck engine installed in a ’56 Belair, 430hp and 470 ft/pds of torque. They machined up some spacers and managed to fit a Vintage Air serpentine belt system. Turns out the guy’s son lives a few doors down from me.
The truck engine L86 (6.2L) and the L83 (5.3L) have this funny upward tilt to the intake manifold, which is exactly opposite to the LT1 and the LT4, and presents a challenge trying to plumb in an intake system.
If you want to understand what the Supercharged LT4 engine is all about watch the latest episode of Motor Trend’s “Ignition Series”. This really explains it much better than anything I can describe what my car is like to drive. I thought it was interesting that the manual 6-speed was just a touch faster than the new 10-speed paddle-shifting automatic. Randy Pobst really has a great overview of all the current supercars because he gets to road test them all.
After about a year of effort the new Z06 Camaro hits the road for a high-speed shakedown cruise. Power is off the charts, acceleration is instant (faster than 0-60 in 3.5 secs) and the ride quality from the Morrison clip is miles ahead of the original chassis. Even with solid body mounts the ride quality is excellent and it never comes across as harsh, the first few inches of travel are extremely compliant. With the increased camber and C7 cast aluminum A-arms the front end will handle anything, exhibits no body lean or roll and the high speed stability is rock solid. The performance mirrors sex, drugs and rockin’ roll, is highly intoxicating and you can never get enough.
The only way you can experience even a small amount of the available performance is on track only, this car is faster and has a higher performance level than 99.9% of the cars on the planet. If you want to build a Supercar, this combination is hard to beat. Since this car has no modern computer driven driving aids such as stability control, ABS, launch control or various track modes, you can exceed your human given abilities quickly, so you have to give this car a short lease to keep things under control. Do the math, right now this car has a performance level exceeding some of the fastest cars made – 4.3 lbs/hp. Even the new Dodge Demon 840hp drag special is only 4.7 lbs/hp, it’s always about the power to weight ratio. If you haven’t watched it yet, check out the ZL1 at Nurburgring.
The current rear-end gears (4.11) will be changed out for 3.73, only because I have them available. Phase III – 4 bar link, mini-tubs and wider wheels will happen later after I put some miles down. Even with the 4.11 gears I’m still only pulling 2,100 rpm at 70 mph. This engine is much different than the LS, it spins freely at 3,000 rpm and never feels stressed like a typical SBC. It has tremendous torque, but likes to rev quicker due to the direct injection which is a completely different feel than the LS3. There is a fuel-cut off switch that is part of the wiring harness and once I connect it to the clutch pedal will allow much faster shifts because the supercharger has a tendency to extend the engine’s deceleration curve. “Speed is relative, floor it.”
Drivejunky has just come out with their new system that features the supercharger belt that only runs one thing, the supercharger. The belt length is short, and runs a gates heavy duty automatic tensioner, similar to their limited production Magnuson and Whipple blower builds. The tensioner can be seen under the custom machined cover on the front of the engine. This drive system simplifies and shortens the belt run that the factory engines run in Corvette and Cadillac CTSV configurations. The blower drive, and accessory drive belts feature Gates’ new RPM Racing belt made from a High-modulus, low-stretch polyester tensile cord with the strength to transmit load more accurately with less vibration. All accessories run on a separate belt behind the blower drive. This is the first system that solves the potential bearing failure problem by running the GM type II pump with a 6 rib belt (normal) rather than the 8 rib blower belt.