Tuesday, October 30, 2012

All I want for my birthday is...

I don't know.  Well, I didn't know, as my birthday passed over a week ago.  My wife asked me ahead of time what I wanted.  While a mini-fridge crossed my mind, it really wasn't something I had to have, and told her don't worry about a gift.  When my parents asked, I told them the same thing.  You can't beat cash, as I can always come up with something later.

After my birthday, I gave it some thought.  I started thinking Camaro parts, I just wasn't sure what.  I had some other parts I was looking to sell for a friend, which is always hard.  I'm not one to part with things.  I'm not a full blown hoarder, but I would say I'm an automotive hoarder.  I don't throw anything away, and never sell anything.  Reality sorta sunk in, and I knew I would likely never use the Demon 750 carb or Victor Jr intake I had sitting around collecting dust.  So, I sold it to my friend, and added the money to my parts fund.

I thought about it long and hard, and many parts came to mind.  I concluded that forging ahead with rear end parts would be the only way I will likely be able to get a Ford 9 inch under the car by next season.  This rear needs to be bulletproof.  I want something that will hold up under the most harsh conditions.  I researched my options, and came up with a Detroit Locker with 35 splines.  So, within the next week or two, I will be ordering the Detroit Locker, perhaps with a ring and pinion gear set as well.

Come Christmas, I will be a bit more prepared for my "wish list."  I have plenty of parts I need, in addition to the rear end parts, and you can't go wrong asking for car parts.  Unlike Christmas pasts, I won't hand pick what I want, but instead supply a full blown list of parts with the requests to "pick something."  In a way, I still feel like the kid at Christmas, but instead of toys, it's car parts.

100,000 Visits

As this blog closes in on 7 years, it recently surpassed 100,000 hits.  I have increased my writings each year, and have to say, it becomes more enjoyable with each passing year.  Gone are the early years when my Camaro still sat parked, in pieces, seemingly a long way away from being road worthy.  Now, when I report on car shows and cruises, my Camaro is often part of the show.  The future looks promising too, as once my Camaro is finished (or close to it), I will start working on my '89 Formula.

In the mean time, life has allowed me to start concentrating a bit on my dad's Challenger.  This weekend I will once again pay them a visit to continue restoration.  Once the underbody is stripped, welding repairs are made, and por-15'd, we will be ordering up a Reilly Motorsports full bolt in front suspension/braking/steering setup.  The modification will greatly improve handling while dropping a significant amount of weight from the front end.

I look to gradually continue this sites growth, contributing more often, and increasing readership.  Here's too a few 100,000 more hits in the future!

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

2014 Chevrolet Corvette's V8 to make at least 450 hp: The NEW LT1

Here is a common engine, the LT1.  For the third time in history, GM will bring the LT1 to the forefront of performance.  This time, the engine will displace 6.2 liters and feature direct injection, continuously variable valve timing, and cylinder deactivation.  All off GM's V8's will follow suite, being based upon this new LT1 architecture.  For more information, check out the links below.

2014 Chevrolet Corvette's V8 to make at least 450 hp

GM unveils smallblock, LT1 6.2 liter V8 engine for '14 Chevrolet Corvette

GM: Redesigned Corvette engine "big step forward"

Next-gen LT1 6.2 liter V8 for 2014 Corvette revealed with 450 hp, New Tech

Dad's 1970 Dodge Challenger - Progress


We hadn't worked on Dad's Challenger in quite some time, though he has quite the stockpile of parts collected since the first of the year.  I wanted to tackle the underbody, more specifically, strip the underside down to bare metal in preparation of applying por-15.  I had already completed the rear up from the tail to the rear seat, as well as the interior floor pan and panels.  I had previously welded up any pinholes and applied a quarter size patch or two.


While stripping the underside, I came across a few other areas that need minor attention.  I also discovered the kmember seems to have seen better days.  It looks as though it has been damaged in the past, and welded back together.  The radiator support had also been used to tow the vehicle at some point, which will require some massaging to get her back into shape and welded into place.


After discovering the worked over kmember, I decided to look into aftermarket options. Dad has pushed more than a few times for the Reilly Motorsports whole front suspension kit.  I was hesitant after reading on a forum that they knew first hand of somebody who had ran into troubles while autocrossing their car.  That said, the other 99% of what I came across online had absolutely nothing but praise for the kit.  So, we've kinda gone back to where we started, scrapping our current plans, and going back to a full Reilly setup, complete with power rack and pinion and tubular everything.  I figure we will drop 100-120 lbs off the front.  Combine that with the other 100 or so we'll drop with aluminum heads, intake, radiator, and pump, and this 3,600 lb porker starts to get in the ballpark I'd like to see it in.







I removed the front sway bar, which also had it's brackets worked over more than it's fair shair.  That's fine, as it will be replaced as well.  All said, I made some decent progress on stripping the car and evaluated enough to change direction in what lies ahead.  Truth be told, this car just went up a few notches in terms of badness!

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Dad's 1970 Challenger R/T: Update

It's been a long while since we've did anything to my dad's Challenger, and I hope that changes this weekend.  Unless any unforeseen plans pop up, I should be able to go visit for the day this Saturday, and hopefully get the undercarriage stripped further and perhaps accomplish a little more tear down.  Years ago I had stripped and Por-15'd the underside from the rear seat to the tail.  I've welded up a few pin holes here and there, and patched a spot or two about the size of a quarter.  Inside the car has already been all Por-15'd after fixing all the spots.  What's left is the underside from the rear seat forward.

I also hope to possibly tear down the suspension and brakes, as we will be replacing essentially everything stock with aftermarket parts.  The suspension will consist of mostly Hotchkis parts, and the brakes will be a Wilwood system.  With a TON of luck, I would like to have a running/driving car by next summer, and finish the body work/paint the following winter.  After going back and forth a few times, I think we wanna get the mechanics out of the way before concentrating on the body.

I will be sure to take pictures as always, and will post our progress some time next week.

Tuesday, October 09, 2012

Bonneville Salt Flats - The Experience

What an excellent description of Bonneville! While I can't attest to the full experience of blasting down the flats, I can say that the surroundings and the feeling of standing on the hot rod holy ground is exactly as described. Though our trip to Bonneville while passing through was a short 3+ hours, the time there left me dreaming of a return. While building a race car seems further out of reach than prior to my visit, this video sure does serve as an inspiration.

 On August 29, 2012, James Hoegh successfully piloted the first Confederate X132 Hellcat Combat prototype to a top speed of 172.211 mph, making it the world's fastest big block American V-twin motorcycle ever...


Ford Mustang Diesel with 3 Turbos

This thing is a damn rocket ship! Holy Shit!

Saturday, October 06, 2012

2012 Winter Plans

Cruise season ended a bit early, as my friend needed his mechanic fan back, so I was left fanless.  That said, I'm not sure I would have done more than a blast around the block any way.  It just feels like time to park it, especially with recent daytime highs now in the 50's, with temps dropping quickly after the sun starts to drop.  Also, without a heater, I'd be cuddling up to that transmission tunnel to keep warm.

First on my list of upgrades is to order up a nice flex flan capable of cooling my engine in extreme conditions.  In addition, I will probably order up a fan shroud as well, though I haven't decided whether to go with an adjustable aftermarket style, or a factory stock shroud.  After that, I'm ordering up enough dynamat to cover most every square inch of the interior, in hopes of quieting things down, as well as to reflect some of that heat back away.

After that, I have a long list of mostly minor upgrades, though the biggest being a Ford 9 inch rear, which I'm still not sure I can make happen this winter or not.  I may back away from my original plan, perhaps get a used 9 inch, have the brackets installed for a direct bolt in, and try to build a more budget minded rear end so I can make it happen.  I'll be sure to document my wrenching when I head out to the garage.  Until then, take care.

2015 SRT Barracuda - Car and Driver

2015 SRT Barracuda - Rendering by John Sibal (Car and Driver)

I recently ran across an issue of Car and Driver containing information on the successor to the Dodge Challenger, the SRT Barracuda. It's suppose to be more on par with the Mustang size-wise, and 250-300 lbs lighter, which would still put it around 3,900 lbs, and still too heavy in my book.

As for the styling, well, when a car was as short lived as the original Cuda's (2 gens), you can only capture so much heritage in the styling.  If you don't wish to have a retro feel, then you're starting with a clean slate.  If the rendering is at least close, or in the ballpark, SRT is going for more of a sports car look as opposed to a muscle car.  I guess it's not as bad as my original reaction, but still, I'm not sure what type of buyer the car would appeal to.  It looks sleek, mean, and fast...but nothing says Barracuda.  So the question is, why resurrect the name? I look forward to seeing an actual concept version at an upcoming North American International Auto Show, so until then, I'll refrain from a final verdict on the direction SRT is heading.

Car and Driver 2015 SRT Barracuda - Future Cars