79 street/strip/corner carver

Discussion in 'Project Progress' started by SR79, Feb 21, 2008.

  1. SR79

    SR79 Veteran Member

    404
    1
    Sep 14, 2005
    Carrollton/Sherman, TX
    It absolutely is - I highly recommend it!

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    Minor update - I was hoping to run the car one last time this weekend, but I ended up with a decent sized cut in the passenger rear tire sidewall on a run and I'm not comfortable street driving with it.

    Enter the Z! ..and its 3 year old RS-3s. High for the day was 50, strong north breeze, it was amusing all the way around. Good way to end the year, and remind me what it's like to feel totally confident and comfortable in a car.

    First run of the PM session - cold tires was hilarious. HILARIOUS.

    [YOUTUBE]PdWm_HqPAyY[/YOUTUBE]​

    Best raw time of the day (had a cone somewhere)

    [YOUTUBE]SO5u-UE6sNM[/YOUTUBE]​

    In hindsight, I do a lot of tiptoeing in the Camaro, where in the Z I'm more gun it and figure it out later. What gives the confidence to do this even on worn out tires?

    • 4+ years of seat time in the Z
    • Neutral handling:
    • Will push a bit if you overcook it driving into corners, but easily correctable with a quick brake tap
    • Rotates predictably through corners with controlled throttle
    • Hard initial brake bite (thanks Carbotech!) and solid, predictable ABS performance allow for stupid heavy braking

    Compared to the Camaro -

    • One season and some change dodging cones in it
    • Handling is a mixed bag:
    • Turn in is quick, but it gets into an unrecoverable push if you get in too hot
    • Rotates freely (like, really freely) with the throttle, making corner exit a delicate process and delaying getting back to the power
    • Hard braking (I supposed it's trail braking) into corners brings the rear around, often rather abruptly
    • Manual brakes and sub-optimal master cylinder sizes are difficult to modulate (new masters that are still sitting on the bench..), initial bite is fairly soft and walking the line between no brakes and lockup is tricky

    Soooooo, now we just have to figure out how to make the bottom more like the top? Season starts March 6th..
     
  2. SR79

    SR79 Veteran Member

    404
    1
    Sep 14, 2005
    Carrollton/Sherman, TX
    How about a little update time?

    Some exciting developments for the new year..

    Last year, I was able to check one item off the bucket list: driving at Texas World Speedway. This year, we get to do another massive one!

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    We'll be heading to COTA in August (cool suit, anyone?) and seeing what she'll do against the best of the best in the Optima series. There is a LOT of work to do between now and then to get it ready for the biggest of Big Boy tracks.

    [​IMG]

    The new shop is also up and running and a pile of parts has grown and started to shrink. After some fits and starts, we've been plugging away and making steady progress on making this into a car worthy of running on a man-sized race track.

    Fuel Cell

    Up first was fire safety. Our $129 Summit special cell has had a rough life, and was never meant for road course duty in the first place, so we called in the help of Fuel Safe. This is an FIA-cert'd Enduro cell that should be much happier should things get hairy.

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    the new and improved 'natural state of the racecar' picture

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    somehow haven't grabbed a pic of it since the install, but here's the top of it

    Side note, does anyone know if it's normal for the bladder to bang around inside the can on these? Ours has the hard plastic one, and even with 6-7 gallons of fuel in it you can rattle it back and forth. Their tech line was not the most helpful when we called to ask..

    Big Boy Brakes

    We knew going into the Texas Optima event last year that we were pushing the limits of the braking setup we had. We discussed our setup and options at length with Mike from Wilwood during that event, and a few emails picked up the conversation where it had left off and got us on the right track.

    The rears were up first, with their 12" rotor and integrated parking brake setup making use of our existing 4-piston Dynalites that were originally up front (my how things change!)

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    buttoned up and ready to go

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    a Lokar parking brake lever finished off the install - it's since been liberated through the carpet

    Up front, we needed two things - diameter, and better cooling capacity. We landed on the 14" kit with radial mount Superlite calipers, upgrading to the GT curved vane slotted rotors.

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    these things make me giggle like a fat kid with 14 inches of cake

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    mocked up to make sure all is well

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    one side ready to go, one side to go

    A Real Race Seat

    Along the same lines of our Summit special fuel cell, our APC (remember that company?!) 'race' seats brought about visions of those YouTube videos of people flopping around their cars after their seats broke apart in a minor wreck.

    After a few fit tests (sitting in other people's seats at their open house), Jon and Terry at Vorshlag hooked us up with real deal FIA-certified Cobra Suzukas. Then came the matter of, you know, actually fitting them in the car.

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    remember that time something just bolted right into the racecar?

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    the Cobra mounts presented a bit of a height issue..

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    we got to work with the tubing bender, band saw, welder, etc.

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    and a few weekends later had ourselves a seat, along with new up-to-date belts

    We bought a matching one for the passenger side, but it's going to either wait until we can stomach another 10+ hour build to put it in or end up in the Z. This car most likely won't see a whole lot of track time with an instructor, but if it does the Cobra will go in.

    Gears that don't scream

    One ancillary issue that was left over from last season was the rear end gears. The new 3.70s we set up early in the year had chewed themselves into oblivion in short order, which was a good excuse to break out the aluminum housing we had sitting on the shelf from the drag racing setup.

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    A new set of 3.70s went in, hopefully for good this time, and aluminum center offsets a bit of the weight gained in the new fuel cell.

    Aero

    The final piece of the puzzle involves aero and cooling. We had massive cooling issues on the tiny road course at TMS in early spring last year, making the prospect of running a 3 mile course in Austin in August an uphill proposition (turn 1 puns).

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    step 1: direct the air to the radiator..with aluminum instead of posterboard

    Since we gutted the front bumper and grill area and never put anything to direct the air in there, we're operating on the assumption that turbulence is robbing us of a lot of cooling efficiency. Block off plates on each side, along with a pan top and bottom will help control the flow at speed.

    The second half of this equation is converting our single pass Northern aluminum radiator into a triple with a little creativity, some scrap aluminum, and a TIG. There's also room for another inch or so of width and a bit more height should we need to add more capacity to get the results we're looking for.

    [​IMG]

    The final piece of the puzzle is a little front aero to work with the rear spoiler. To put it plainly, there's just not a good way to do a splitter/air dam/etc. on these cars in my mind. The smart thing to do would be to find a stock Z28 setup, mount it up and run, but I've never cared for them.

    I think this setup will be both within our metal fab skillset and fit the look of the car, along with helping the nasty front aero profile a bit.

    We're hoping to get the brakes finished up and get to a track in the not too distant future. Motorsport Ranch in Cresson offers a good stepping stone, and I have a little familiarity with it in the Z, so it seems like the ideal place to start. Onward and upward.
     
  3. Zspoiler

    Zspoiler Veteran Member

    You have a very nice build going on there.And you seem to be enjoying it I have a suggestion for your front spoiler .Go online and look at the SCCA/IMSA Camel GT AAGT Race cars of the 1974-81 era,There are some pretty wild cars back then. I`m attaching a picture of Shafer Farms Racing 1977 IMSA Camel GT #21 Camaro race car ,And a picture of my 1979 Z-28 RS Pro-Touring car as well.[​IMG]
     
    Last edited: May 19, 2016
  4. woody80z28

    woody80z28 Veteran Member Lifetime Gold Member

    5,432
    12
    Sep 8, 2004
    walton, ny usa
    Interested to see how the spoiler air dam comes out. I have been toying with the idea of a small flat splitter attached to the bottom of the front air dam and the rockers to the rear wheel flares. Kinda like the z06 style.
     
  5. SR79

    SR79 Veteran Member

    404
    1
    Sep 14, 2005
    Carrollton/Sherman, TX
    Back to it.

    So, it's been an interesting month or so. The car has taken every opportunity to remind us who is boss (hint: it's not us), but last weekend we got back to it on the autocross course.

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    We had registered for an event with the car on the 7th, and thought everything was in place. New brakes were all in, alignment checked out, and corner weights set.

    A trip down the road to bed the brakes quickly revealed that all was not well, and we soon discovered that our new front master cylinder (purchased last summer, based on our old calipers) wasn't jiving with our new setup, which has 1" less piston area in the caliper. This translated to a frightening lack of braking power.

    So we went from "Let's get it loaded tonight" to..this.

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    Well, the event registration was done, and after a strange series of events I still can't fathom, we ended up with the chance to run my mom's 2016 SS that Saturday.

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    When you borrow mom's car, you run lots of tape and a WIDE line

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    [YOUTUBE]k1PUJFlBPNw[/YOUTUBE]​

    Absolutely blown away by this car. Even on stock Goodyear F1s, it was a blast to drive. We weren't able to fully defeat the traction and stability controls which led to some frustration, but overall it is one mean machine. Those CAM-C guys are definitely smarter than us..

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    PROTIP: Running a horizontal strip of tape at the top lets you pull it off in one piece

    Converting from Digital back to Analog

    Back to the red Spawn.. The new 7/8" master cylinder came in, and we were able to get the brakes bled and bedded in time to hit last weekend's Texas SCCA event.

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    I guess you could say the..pressure..was on

    With the new master, my scrawny self can hit 1000+ psi consistently, with peaks over 1300 - much happier.

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    All that was left was to hit the track and see how it worked. After 3 runs to convert myself back over after multiple events in the newly tuned Z and the 2016, I finally settled back in.

    Adjustments to the new double adjustable QA1s along with brake bias changes were made every run, and by the 4th things were starting to feel like home again. True to form from last year, we still proved to have an appetite for cones...

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    Jon's 'F-150' is actually the same LS-swapped Nova as Feras'

    Including one each on two runs that would have taken the class for the day. Almost worth it for that close of a margin, but I could have stood for it to be reversed :confused:

    All in all, a very good day, and we are super pumped for this weekend's adventure..

    2016 Texas CAM Challenge

    Been looking forward to this since it was announced, and relieved and excited that we're going to make it. Can't wait to battle it out for two days with a great group of people and cars!

    [​IMG]
     
  6. SR79

    SR79 Veteran Member

    404
    1
    Sep 14, 2005
    Carrollton/Sherman, TX
    Hoping we can get back to this soon now that the car is..well, functional, again.
     
  7. J. Chris Davis

    J. Chris Davis Veteran Member

    735
    24
    Jul 13, 2004
    Dixon, IL USA
    Not sure how I missed this thread. Very cool build! Looks great!
     
  8. woody80z28

    woody80z28 Veteran Member Lifetime Gold Member

    5,432
    12
    Sep 8, 2004
    walton, ny usa
    Just saw this beast on TV, great job at NOLA! Congrats on winning the whole class, that's badass. I love how it's with self-engineered stuff too, not bolt ons. Noticed the air dam was finished, looks good. I see you're running Azenis. I just got a set for my wrong wheel drive and love em so far.

    Stolen from facebook:
    [​IMG]
     
  9. SR79

    SR79 Veteran Member

    404
    1
    Sep 14, 2005
    Carrollton/Sherman, TX
    Thanks Woody! Been a minute since I've stopped in here, there's a lot to update..

    First off, that was an amazing weekend, NOLA is a super fun track and we hit it on a high. Doing the final prep for SEMA now, including a last minute transmission pull and replacement to fix a broken shift fork. As a guy at work put it, you never talk to someone that's going to SEMA that says 'oh yeah, everything's wrapped up and we're just hanging out'.

    We ran the Falkens the first year we had the car out, but switched to Rivals at the beginning of last year after getting throttled at CAM Challenge. I see good things about the revised 615s, but we've done a good amount of tuning around the BFG at this point so we've stuck with them.

    Some gratuitous shots from the last year and a half or so..

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    When you're 'that guy' at the track day

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    A month and a half out from COTA we blew up the trusty 377. Broke a rod bolt on the main straight at Eagles Canyon, and fortunately didn't fully puke it out everywhere

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    Fortunately, we already had the pieces coming together for a 421. Transferred the heads over and built this one with mid-range grunt in mind vs. the all-out RPM of the 377

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    Got it back together in time to run COTA in August. Mind-bogglingly cool, will definitely have to get back there again.

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    Like, seriously, mind-boggling.

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    Worked the SEMA show then flew back early to drive straight through down to Texas World Speedway to run with SCCA

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    Ran hard and had fun until a missed downshift kicked the car sideways and broke the panhard bar mount

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    Went way beefier (gusset tubes were also added to this) and added adjustability on the install of the new..

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    ..Speedway Engineering full floater, which we got to cure massive pad knockback and bearing destruction issues we were having with the conventional 9"

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    Surpassed the limits of the TKO600 Extreme and got a T56 Magnum, which completely transformed the car on track

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    Got a lot of track time..

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    ..and learned to not let it win at the track

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    Surpassed the limits of the front spindles and Wilwood hubs (it was spitting the inner bearing seal out during events) and switched to CPP C5 spindles with DSE hubs

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    Version 1 and 2 of the air dam - fell victim to a poorly placed bump 2 weeks out from NOLA

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    Cleaned up and ready for Louisiana

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    Nice lineup to be a part of. Optima format this year runs the full group in autocross at once, making for fun head-to-head battles

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    Overnight maintenance, pulling fresh fluid and checking everything over

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    Winnah winnah

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    Who needs ABS?

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    Broken panhard bar mount that we discovered after getting back from NOLA. Again went back beefier with heavier wall tubing and some sizable gussets

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    Got SLAUGHTERED in design and engineering in NOLA so decided we'd suck it up and put the rest of the interior in it finally. Made it way more pleasant to run down the road in

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    Did a little dress up under the hood too, with a fresh coat of paint and brushed valve covers

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    Cody Puckett and I just out here upping the value of 79 Camaros for everyone, lol

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    The green shirt is worth 10-12 hp easy

    Been an absolute blast of a year and half with this thing. It's tested us over and over, and taught us a lot about it and ourselves. Can't wait to get to Vegas with it and see how we can do against the best of the best.
     

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