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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
I thought I’d put up a snapshot of where I am with my car before too much time passes and I forget. I wasn’t sure what forum to include this in, but since the last few months have been a tuning fiesta for me, this seems like as good a place as any. This will be long so get a cup of coffee :) .

Last year I took my car with a stock bottom end, MP112 blower, S3 heads, cam, as far as [email protected] At the time of that run I was also thrown out of my favorite track, Cecil County Dragway, for not having a cage. The season ended and I had to decide where to go from there. Obviously whatever I did would have to include a cage so I did that first. As far as the powerplant, I was thinking about switching over to a huge turbo with a big stall, etc., but I decided that I wanted a setup that was unique and that I could truly call my own. I decided to keep the blower and the rest of the top half of the motor and ditch the stock bottom end in favor of a new zero mileage L32 block that I built up to INTENSE racing block specs. Then to make things interesting, I would throw in a Cadillac of a nitrous system. I decided to go with direct port using NX’s NXL nozzles that mount under the fuel injectors, a progressive controller, dual fuel and nitrous solenoids, and any other bell and whistle I could think of. With that, I also removed my old trusty Stage 3 cam and replaced it with INTENSE’s nitrous/blower cam, specifically designed to run a 100+ shot on a blown motor. Since my old fuel system was barely up to the task of keeping the old motor fed I also redid that from scratch. I got rid of the fuel tank and installed a cell and a huge Weldon fuel pump and ss braided hoses that would have no problem keeping up with the new motor’s fuel demands.

By the time I had the combination reasonably tuned it made 411 on the dyno off the juice. Not bad, but it was also getting late so my focus changed to getting this thing to the track and running it. I went to Cecil on 9/25 to baseline the new setup without nitrous. I was so rusty from not racing practically a whole year that I missed the 2-3 shift badly and let off. The car went [email protected], UGH :( . I gathered myself and tried again and got an [email protected] Considering that the temperature was about 40 degrees warmer than the time I had run my PB of 11.17, I figured that was probably ok. I later backed it up with an [email protected] With that I decided that the motor was ok and that next time I would try the nitrous. I went back to Cecil on 10/8 ready to try my smallest jetting, a 60 shot. Unfortunately, I had made a few changes to my PCM and had managed to mess up my shift points. When the time came for the 1-2, the car just slammed into the rev limiter and wouldn’t shift. I eventually woke up and lifted off the throttle to coax it to shift. When the time came for the 2-3, same thing. Damn, I let up again and got back on the throttle and stayed in it till the end, as I wanted to see what else would happen. All I can say is that the pull was amazing, like nothing I ever felt before. The run was only an [email protected], but that was with a terrible first half since I had lifted off the throttle twice. The awesome thing about that run though was that the car picked up 28.48 MPH between the 1/8 and the 1/4. Right there I knew that this thing was making huge power. So I went back to the pits and loaded my old PCM file that shifted better and headed back out for another attempt. Unfortunately, at the 40-foot mark, something let go in the transmission.

I had visions of possibly having broken an INTENSE input shaft, or maybe the stock sprag. I took the car to Dynotech to repair it and Eric Schertz discovered that the IS had tore the splines out of the TC. The IS and everything else was fine. We quickly remembered that my TC did not have hardened splines as the INTENSE units all have now so we just swapped a new one in. While it was open I also put in a Gen 2 LSD, a ratcheting race sprag, and some new prototype Z-pak clutches from Raybestos.

So with that rebuild behind me, I headed out to Norwalk for a day of racing on 10/23. I had hopes of finally getting into the 10’s, but that was still not to be. It turns out that the barometer was horrible that day, lower than I had ever raced in. I believe it was 29.2. Many of the cars that had hit PBs a couple of days prior were now running 3-4 tenths off and about 4 MPH off their marks. I was getting 11.3’s and 11.2’s for a while until I figured out that the nitrous would cause a lean spike when it first hit, that would cause some missing and a spike of KR. When I corrected that, I was finally able to run an [email protected] Slightly better than my old PB, but not by much. I took some consolation in knowing that under better conditions I should have been in the 10’s, but still no cigar. BTW, I also weighed the car while at Norwalk since my local tracks don’t have scales. With me in it, it weighed in at 3585 lbs. :eek: Fat pig…. :eek:

OK, now fast forward to 11/5. I headed back out to Cecil with one minor change. I changed the nitrous/fuel jetting to a 90 shot. I got up for my first run hoping that everything would hold together. When I launched, the car pulled insanely and kept pulling like a rocket. Unfortunately, right around 5500 in 2nd gear the car started misfiring badly and I had to let off before I even got to the 1/8 marker. The good news was that even with coasting for the second half of the track, I still managed an [email protected] Sigh…. :( When I got back to the pits I checked the plugs and they all looked fine. So I put new ones in, only I lowered the gap from 040 to 035. I also found that I had blown a vacuum hose off, the one that comes from the manifold. The great news was that I now had a new 60’ PB. With the nitrous coming on gradually at 5000 in first gear, the car managed a 1.565 60’ time. With new plugs, I went back out for another pass. Unfortunately, being new to nitrous I didn’t realize just how quickly the bottle could cool off in 45 degree weather. The pressure was low and when it got into 3rd gear it bogged real bad from running pig rich. I let off and coasted to an [email protected] I took one more pass but I blew another vacuum line so I just called it a day.

Well, that’s where it stands so far. I guess I did this to myself :) . I wanted a unique setup and I have that. The downside though is that I’ve been in relatively uncharted territory for the past few months and progress can be slow. I am often frustrated by all the little gremlins that I run into, but also take some comfort in seeing some of the signs that let me know that this car is making huge power. I just have to get everything lined up I guess. :eek:

I hope I didn't bore you. :)

John

Update: I went to Atco raceway on 11/21 to see how I would fare. The car was basically set up the same way except for some minor "clean-ups" in the PCM. I was careful to make sure the bottle heater was ready and the pressure on the nitrous was 1000 psi. I got a real nice burnout and when I got the light I floored it at the line. It hooked nicely and pulled, but unfortunately the trans let go on the 1-2 shift. It was a short day. When we checked inside the trans we saw that the splines on the new TC were torn out again, even though this set was hardened. The IS also had a slight twist to it at the splines just ahead of the O-ring groove. It looked like it twisted roughly 1/2 a spline. I guess the IS started to twist, but ended up overpowering the splines in the TC and tore those out. Ok, so here's what we're doing now. I'll be getting a new lighter TC that should help take some of the strain off the IS. The new TC will also have stronger splines. The current TC stalled at 3000. We're changing that to a 3500. By stalling a little higher, I think I can leave the line with a little more power, but the important thing is that the higher stall will cushion the shift a little more and help keep things together. Eric will also soften up my shift kit's 1-2 shift. And last, I'll be trying a new prototype IS that should be stronger. Until next time....
 

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It's not easy being a pioneer John. All your trials and tribulations will eventually put you at or near the very top of the rankings charts. And with the heaviest car in the top 25, and the cleanest custom installation I've seen, it will all be worthwhile.

Thanks for sharing!
 

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Your setup is sweet John and you only give inspiration to us others who like unique things. I am still hoping to get somewhere next year with my car, I have way too many hours into my one off block design and am no where near finished with my car and I can only imagine what you have gone through. It gets hard with all of the problems that come in your way, just keep going, looks like those 10's are only a small leap away for you.
 

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Nice write up John!!! :) The dedication, sweat, blood, enthusiasm and all that good stuff that you've invested into this car has already yielded some awesome results :cool:

I'm sure everyone agrees that your GTP will always be an inspiration and benchmark for the new and aspiring L67 owners!! :)

Keep up the great work man! :D
 

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Keep it up Jon you will get you 10 while I try to get 12 lol. Definitely am impressed that such a heavy car and pulling those times. [;)] Now that weight was w/o you in it or with you in it? Either way that is still hefty compared to everyone in the top 10. :D
 

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Thanks for the short story, I really did like reading that. Got any more stories to share?

You do have one kick ass install in your car. I have your picture of your engine bay saved in one of my many desk top folders. I look up to you for doing a clean productive install and nothing looks "rigged". It looks like it was made for our cars, even though almost everything was custom made.

I migh suggest one thing about your vaccum line on the manifold that keeps blowing off, I have heard of this happening, and a lot of people "super glue it on". I would use model glue...not as powerful as super glue and it might help keep the rubber "T" rubber after many years.

Keep up the good work, and look forward to reading your next essay.


~Farnsworth~
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Thanks Jason! :)

I redid the vacuum lines this weekend and zip tied every connection. They may blow up like ballons from too much boost, but they won't slip off again! :) This way if I need to pull one off for whatever reason I can just cut the tie off. I have also now added a box of zip ties to my track equipment list.

Thanks again and hopefully with a little luck my next essay won't be so long... ;)
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Hey Mike, how's it going? Sorry I missed your question with all the holiday festivities. Well.... the last time I went to Atco (11/21) I ended up taking out my transmission. She let go on the 1-2 shift again. Last time I trashed the TC. I hope to know later today what exactly happened this time. Eric Schertz has the car right now. I'll post an update to my saga when I know a little more. The only difference from the last time I raced was that I had reduced the torque reduction on the 1-2 shift from 8% to 4%. Sheesh, talk about walking a fine line. It's back to 8 now....

So, needless to say I don't know just yet when I'll be racing again. :)

John
 

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Sorry to hear about all your troubles. When you see Eric, tell him my trans is still doing well. :D
 

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I'm obviously not making the same power as you, but it looks as if I should turn Tq management back on huh?
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
jdredd said:
that sucks... so it wasnt an IS failure, just the TC commiting suicide and taking the IS with it then?
Sort of, I think. Obviously the TC getting stripped was the final failure that stopped the car dead in its tracks, but it looks like the TC held on long enough to twist the IS before it failed completely. It's a little weird, because I never saw an IS get twisted before and not break. I've seen stock ones snap at the O-ring groove but that clearly wasn't the case here.

Ron Vogel said:
I'm obviously not making the same power as you, but it looks as if I should turn Tq management back on huh?
Could be... :) I can't say that it was the final straw, but I'm sure it helped. I'm sure the new clutches I'm running didn't help either, but those stay in. :)

John
 
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