Saturday, August 30, 2008

Turning a new leaf

There comes a time in every motorheads life that a decision needs to be made between a street car, and a race car. That time has come to me this week. It's always been a struggle with the freshly done up 86 Z28 how far to go with motorsports. Now the struggle is over, as a new addition to the stable arrived yesterday. Coming to a race track near you in 2009, a 1994 Pontiac Trans Am GT.

Click on image for bigger view.

Current specs on the car as follows:
  • Stock V8 5.7L LT1 (1995 engine) - 275HP @ 5000, 325 ft-lbs @ 2000 RPM
  • Auto 4-spd Transmission
  • 3.23 Rear axle ratio with Posi
  • Double diamond subframe connectors
  • LS1 front brake conversion
  • Magnaflow Cat-back exhaust
  • T/A Diff Alum. Girdle
  • Walbro 255 LPH Fuel Pump
  • SLP Fan Switch
Yeah, it may look tame right now, but come spring 2009, she'll be a full fledged dedicated road race car. Of course due to budgetary constraints, not everything will be completed this winter. For my 2009 "rookie" season, I will leave the engine at stock power as it's already fast enough to get me in trouble. Other than the usual mechanical updates like wheel hubs, tie rod ends, etc, here is some of the planned "upgrades" for this winter:
  • Complete gut the interior parts - Carpet, rear seats & belts, plastics, stereo, etc.
  • Remove all HVAC components - Air conditioning parts, heater parts, etc.
  • Shock tower brace (thanks to Jeff for the used component)
  • Replace all fluids with synthetics
  • Replace spark plugs
  • Get an optimized ECM tune
  • Cold Air Intake
  • Stranos upper A-Arm camber bushings
  • 160* Hi-Flow Thermostat
  • Relocate battery to RR of the car
  • Upgraded brake pads, probably Carbotech XP10 on the front, and XP8 for the rear
  • ...and of course 4 Hoosier R6 R-Comp tires - 275/45/16 mounted on lightweight 16x10 wheels
If the budget allows it, I'll be installing the Stranos Handling Package 3 which includes springs, front & rear sway bars, 4 Koni adjustable sports shocks, and an adjustable panhard bar. Although a hefty $1700 with shipping, this package has been used on alot of championship winning Firebirds & Camaros....It's a proven setup.

For photos and updates coming soon.

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Wednesday, August 13, 2008

July/Aug Update

Here's what been happening since my last update:

In my last post, I had mentioned St. Thomas Dragway & the Rod& Piston show for July 12th & 13th, but that never happen because of the crappy weather...AGAIN!

On July 26th, I installed my new Earl's Stainless Braided brake lines, and a 19mm rear sway bar instead of the 24mm that was on there. This was in hopes to "calm" the rear of the car during autocross runs & track days.

July 27th was the 2nd TFBM autocross event at the Powerade centre in Brampton. We had a nice turnout of 40 cars which included some Mustangs as part of the Mustang/FBody Challenge, and the weather once again cooperated. For that event, the car felt WAY better with the new brake lines & smaller sway bar. I finished a meer 0.7 seconds behind first for the street tire cars. I was very happy how the car ran & handled. I guess I impressed someone as I was awarded a Track School by Ian Law Racing. I will attend either the Sept 7th or Oct 5th date.

On August 3rd, I entered the Canal Days Car Show just down the street from my house. It was held at the HH Knoll Park on Lake Erie. Very nice setting, great turnout with close to 550 cars, and beautiful weather. But, when I registered, there were no classes that my car really fit in so I entered it in "Special Interest" which was kind of dumb on my part. I got bored quick and left with the car around 1 PM, but returned around 4:30 for the awards and 50/50 draw. Here are some of the PICTURES of the show.

On Friday August 8th, my dad & I entered the GM Powertrain Show & Shine in St. Catharines. In the morning, the weather sucked big time. We left around 9:15 AM and it was still spitting rain. But once we got there, it had stopped and cleared up within an hour. Even with the bad weather it still ended up with a good car turnout. Took a couple pictures of the new 2009 Corvette ZR1 and went on the plant tour around noon. Here are the rest of the show pictures.

In the next few weeks, here is the anticipated schedule:

Sunday August 17th - Classic Car Show & BBQ presented by Cruise Niagara & Paul Kent Estates
Sunday August 24th - TFBM Drag Racing Event #2 - Toronto Motorsports Park

That's all for now. Drive safe.

Thursday, July 10, 2008

14th Annual Canal Fest Car Show

Originally scheduled for June 29th but postponed to July 6th due to rain & soggy field conditions. The show is held at Lock 8 Park in Port Colborne, which is a nice venue, right by the Welland Canal. You enjoy the weather, cars, and the odd freighter ship going by. Due to the 1 week push, attendance was down, but there was still over 200 cars.

I signed up for the show under the "1986 to 2004 Modified" class. When everything was said and done, there were 5 cars in the class; 2 late-80s Pontiac Fieros, a 2003 Ford Focus, a 95 Chevy Camaro, and myself. This was the first show that I setup the notebook with the show video. Alot of people watched it so I'll probably keep modifying it as I get more footage.

The weather was hot, and somewhat sticky, but enjoyable in the shade.

Come award time around 4:30 PM, the 2 runner up trophies for my class went to both Fieros. At that point, I thought I was done. But low & behold, "Class Champion, Ray Vachon with his 86 Camaro Z28." OMFG!! I couldn't believe it. My first 1st Place finish! Made my day.
To top it all off, this also gives me a $50 store credit with Wildgoose Performance as part of the contingency program they have this year, which I signed up for. That $50 will go towards my purchase of stainless steel braided brake lines for the ride. For all the show pictures click HERE.

This Saturday, July 12th, it's off to St. Thomas Dragway at the dragstrip with the gang of TFBM. This is a club event, and I haven't been to a dragstrip in over 2 years.

Then on Sunday, I'll be headed for the US border to the 6th Annual Rods & Piston Super Cruise in North Tonawanda NY at Fisherman's Park.

Later gaters!

Friday, June 27, 2008

Update...and how about this crappy weather!

OK, it's been another stretch since my last update. I hope my memory can fill some voids here.

March & April

After the Performance World show, nothing much happen for the couple following months. Not to mention, spring was slow to get here. The car pretty much sat in the garage all that time, and I licked my budget wounds (and still licking today) from the expedited schedule.

May 23-24th

The first couple weeks of May weren't too exciting as in April. May 23rd was the first official day of the Seaway Mall cruise, which almost did not happen this year because they couldn't find anyone to carry liability insurance. But, the Welland SPCA finally stepped up and now they will benefit from great donations from 50/50 draws. Pictures of that first Welland Cruise can be found HERE.

The following day, I headed up to the Kitchener/Waterloo area for the 3rd Annual Cruisin' Home show in St. Jacobs. It was a beautiful day weather wise, and a decent turnout. CCFBG once again had one of the biggest club turnouts. It was also nice catching up with everyone after the long winter & spring. Pictures of the show are HERE.

May 29-30th

Thursday May 29th was the first Pen Centre cruise of the year, with a modest turnout of about 70 cars. Shawn of Wildgoose Performance showed up late to announce that they were supporting the cruise as a corporate sponsor. Some pics of the cruise HERE.

May 30th I attended once again the Welland cruise at Seaway Mall. Weather was threatening so attendance was moderate. There was a visit from a Ferrari 360 Modena that parked behind me. Nice car to say the least. Met up with Dave & Dan for some chatting. Pics of of the cruise HERE .

June 7 - 8th

For the first weekend of June, the 7th was the 6th Annual CCFBG Show & Shine in Etobicoke. Attendance at this years show was around 70. The show consist of Camaros & Firebirds of all generations, stock, customs, race cars, etc. There was even a visit from some members of the GTA Knights club. These are Knight Rider enthusiasts, but more importantly the star of the show, KITT. It was a great show once again, and weather was very hot and humid....good enough for a decent tan. :-) The rest of the pictures can be found HERE.

The next day, on Sunday June 8th, it was off to the Brampton Powerade Centre for some autocrossing fun with the TFBM club. The weather was suppose to be nasty with chances of T-storms, but in the end, it turned out the be another nice day. There was a decent turnout with about 25 cars including a 2005 Dodge Viper, which I had a chance to go for a round on the course a passenger. WOW, what a trip! That was worth the price of admission by itself. Overall, the car worked great, except it's still too tail happy. I finished 6th (PAXed) overall, and 2nd from the people running street tires. Pictures of the event are HERE. Here's also a VIDEO of one of my slower runs.

June 14-15th

Once again, I registered for the Camaro Nationals hosted by the Ontario Camaro Club. It was their 20th Anniversary show, and it was a great success. There were close to 220 cars in attendance over the weekend, and over 50 in my 3rd gen class. For the anniversary show, they did not do the typical judging, but instead was based on participant voting. Top 10 trophies for each generation would be given out. Saturday morning, the weather didn't look like it would cooperate, but eventually, the whole weekend turned out nice and hot....further increasin my tan. In the end, I got one of the Top 10 trophies in my 3rd generation class, which was great. I'm very happy with that. HERE are all the pics for the weekend.

Not much has happen since then. Mostly local rides, etc. I'm slowly returning the car to emissions compliance because of all the hassle from the local dumass government and their cop clonies. So far I have the charcoal canister installed. I aquired a used 3" catalytic convertor, an EGR valve, and now an EGR intake. More money is required to do the installation. I've also upgraded the stereo with a new Pioneer DEH-P5000UB head unit which has a built-in USB, and rear AUX in for the satelite radio. Installed that last night, and everything is looking goo. Install pictures to come.

This Sunday is the 14th Annual Canal Fest Car Show held at Lock 8 Park in Port Colborne...a mere 2 kms from my home. But once again, weather is NOT looking good at this point. Time will tell.

Till next time, help control the pet population and have your pet spayed or neutered. ;-)

Friday, March 21, 2008

It's Done!

After a long hard winter, the car is DONE! Well, sorta. I still have a few minor bugs to iron out and it's ready to roll. That doesn't mean it's done done. It's just done...ready to drive. This is an ongoing project. I will slowly start to tackle other little things like the stereo head unit, interior, finish the air conditioning, etc.

Performance World Car Show - March 14 to 16, 2008

As I had previously mentioned, I was in the Performance World car show in Toronto last weekend with some of the TFBM Club cars. It was a great time, and great turnout, but Krazee1 didn't win anything...mostly because I was up against TRAILER QUEENS and some politics. Hence the new logo I'll be putting on my show board.
Up next, there is a Dunnville lapping day on April 27th, but I'm not sure if I will make that one yet. I don't know if I have totally resolved my fuel starvation issue yet. I might visit the one of the Tune & Test days at the drag strip before that day and see if things are working right.

I can't wait for this LONG winter to be over. I'm ready to do some cruising.

That's all for now.

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Small update...

Another small update; First on the car of course: The paint is done in the engine bay, door jams, door frames, and in the hatch. The engine and most of the crap is reinstalled in the engine bay, doors are back on the car and so is the hatch. More pictures added in the GALLERY.

This weekend, the plan is to finish the paint on the outside of the car. Can't wait to get that done. I've also finish ordering all my parts to finish up the car for the Performance World show.

As far as the Speedorama show, our CCFBG club won the club award for a 2nd straight year, and several of the clubs cars that were in the show won Best in Class, and there was also a couple of runner ups. I will be adding the pictures I took very shortly. They should show up HERE.

Friday, February 01, 2008

Paint update

Just a small update on the car; Today, the engine bay, door jams, door frames, under hood, etc were primed and sanded. Tomorrow morning, the paint will be sprayed in those some areas.

Tomorrow I'm also picking up my fuel system lines from J&J Performance in Hamilton.

On Sunday, I'll be finishing up the motor to get it ready for re-installation, and I'll also get started on the new fuel system installation.

That's all for now.

Wednesday, January 30, 2008

It's GO TIME!!!

I just found out yesterday that the car will be in the Performance World show on March 14-16 with 3 other cars from Toronto FBody Motorsports club. This is a big show in Toronto that's been happening for 44 years. Now with that said, the makeover needs to be expedited significantly.

We're hoping the have the car completely sprayed and the motor back in by Feb 23rd. Then that will give another 2 weeks to finish the reassembly of the interior, and make sure things are working like they should.

Stay tuned for further updates.

Friday, January 25, 2008

Still Alive & Kicking...

Heck, it's only been 7 months since I updated this page, what's your problem? hehe.

It's been a crazy busy time from my last update including cruises, a new move, and the start of a major makeover for "The Sickness". I promise to keep things more updated in the near future, especially now that things are starting to happen on the car. The Photo Gallery has always been updated though, including pictures of what the car looks like now.

As it stands today, the car exterior (and most of the interior) is stripped, and 80% sanded, ready for primer. I've also had to do some "parts collecting" for the makeover and that's also coming along. The following is what I have left to buy to make the makeover complete;
  • Rear Shocks - Koni Yellows (not necessary, but since the rear carpet is pulled, why not)
  • Complete A/C components (yes, I'm reinstalling A/C in the car)
  • Fuel system lines
  • New spark plug wires (too match the new paint)
  • Valve covers (more on this in a later update)
  • T-Top weatherstripping
  • Rear hatch weatherstripping
  • Front Bumper turn signal lenses - Smoke tint
  • Air intake tubing for the new setup
  • Windshield
  • New battery
If there is time (& money of course) left, I'll also upgrade the CD/Radio head unit to include Satellite capabilities, a new digital dash/gauges, and a pager type alarm system.

In case it I forgot to mention it, I am doing a color change on the car. It's now going to be "Lotus Chrome Orange" (exactly how it looks in the picture on the right) which is a 3 stage application of Base coat, Mid coat, and Clear coat. Add to that a mild black accent decal package, the black 18" C6 wheels, and a refreshed engine bay, I think "The Sickness" is going to turn some heads.

Well, I think that's it for now. More to come in the next couple days. You'll also see some posts about political topics related to the auto enthusiasts that I'm more than pissed about.

Later gators.

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Monday, June 18, 2007

Busy Bee Weekend

Another beautiful summer weekend has come and gone, and it was a busy one for me.

Friday evening, June 15 - Seaway Mall Cruise

For the 2nd time this year, I attended the Welland Seaway Mall cruise and it was quite busy this time compared to the first one. Last I heard, the announcer said there was 306 cars. There were also quite a few very nice ones, including a very nice custom Chevy S10. Speaking with the young owner, he said it was painted by himself and his father in their garage. They also installed Caddy rear lights which added a nice touch. The color was a custom mixture but it was very nice in the sun. You can see pics of that truck and some of the other cars HERE.

Saturday, June 16 - Wildgoose Open House

Saturday was Wildgoose Performance's Open House celebrating 30 years in the business. It was a pretty good turnout. They had dyno sessions almost every hour on a small block Chevy 383...until about 2:30 when one of the head gaskets blew. The burnout contest was entertaining, plenty of prizes, and someone even walked away with a $1000 set of Konig wheels. You can see pictures HERE. I also took a video of one of the dyno session which you can view HERE. And finally, you can see the burnout competition video HERE.

After I got home from the Open House, I went and picked up a used adjustable BMR Panhard Bar for my car to replace the cheesy OEM unit. I then proceeded to install the bar, and also changed 2 small rubber gas lines that are just over the rear axle just in case that might be causing my fuel problem...but it didn't help in the end.

Sunday, June 17 - CASC Provincial Event #3

I decided to do some racing today to try out the new front alignment. The event was hosted by the Competition Corvette Club. I always enjoy their events because they have big, open course layouts to accommodate the big HP of the Corvette. Most courses are tight and cater to the smaller cars. But it didn't matter because of the following equation;

375 HP + 3400 lb car + 3 year old street tires = NO TRACTION & SLOW

Translation: I got annihilated...wasn't even close in my class or alot of slower classes simply because I can't put the power down or use the cars suspension to the fullest without sticky race tires. I'm on the outside looking in. Oh the saying goes: A bad day at the races is still better than a good day at work.