Camaro Trunk Pass-through

I know, I know- I said I wasn’t going to post here for awhile. But the other night I had to go pick up some area rugs. They are five feet long when rolled and there were quite a few of them. This is where the subwoofer design I picked really paid off.

I brought the rugs to the car, flipped the back seat down and popped all the rugs into the trunk utilizing the pass-through. I really don’t understand why the OEM subwoofer would remove this critical functionality. Anyway- glad I still have it (the functionality). I bought the Camaro thinking it would be a more practical car and it really is!

Posted by Cam, June 30, 2012

June 19th – June 24th 2012

I haven’t quite figured out how comprehensive to be on this blog. This post has some silly things like an outing to Dollar Tree and Walmart (but to be fair the kids are so cute when they push a shopping cart). After some experimenting I’ve decided to do most of the text as captions. I’ve also opted to write everything from a third person point of view (to keep things consistent when other start adding posts).

Gabe celebrated his 5th birthday! In the morning he opened his presents. He got a bunch of cool stuff from his parents, siblings, grandparents and greatgrandma! In the afternoon he had a party with his friends. Gabe really likes being five.

On Friday Cam went to Premier Performance to dyno test his car in preparation for his upcoming Corvette adventures. 635rwhp- less than expected. But there’s nowhere to go but up!

Cam went to Bubs’ LAN party on Friday evening (Bubs works with Cam at Blade HQ). Now that a lot of the guys have wives there was a wonderful assortment of food! Cam was sad he had to leave early, but he had a Father and son activity that night.

Instead of going on a Father & Son camping trip Michael & Cam decided to go see Avengers at 9:45!  (Gabe got to go too, but didn’t make it through the movie).

Meanwhile the girls were at home having a teas party with real tea & desserts.

A couple times a month the Hughes Family goes to the Asian Buffet in American Fork. Who gets fries at a Chinese restaurant? Our kids!

Cam got out his special markers and spent some time drawing with Claire. What a nice flamingo! Maybe Claire will grow up and become an artist.

Later Cam set up a Mini LAN game of Quake 3 and taught Michael how to play. A creative  way to combat the withdrawal from earlier in the week, but Mike will need some extra practice to beat Dad.

Shopping with kids is always some weird kind of adorable nightmare. How can so much junk be so important? To be fair, some of the junk in the second picture is Mom’s.

The end of the week also brought some sickness- everyone came down with a cold. But there were still things to do! Ian Watson got back from his mission and had his homecoming today. We went to his church to hear him speak & then went to his family’s house afterwards to catch up. Welcome back Ian!

Ever the fighters Dad and the kids used what remained of their energy to play a few rounds of Bomberman (on a TurboGrafx 16 Emulator- Nerdy!)

Hopefully next week will be a little slower- we could all use some rest!


Baseline Dyno w/ Premier Performance

So the first step in this project was to get a baseline dyno from the shop where the car will be tuned. On Friday I took the car up to Premier. I had the opportunity to meet Brock and Heath and see the shop- great guys with a great setup.

We put the car on the Dyno and did a couple of pulls and the numbers came back around 600rwhp which seemed too low (it appeared that the boost controller & meth might not have been coming on initially). Heath let the car cool down and bit and then we did a run where we verified the car was using the meth tune.

On the best run the Vette put down 635rwhp. Better than before, but still way less than I was expecting (or had gotten using other Dynos). There are lots of factors to consider (heat, air quality, bigger alternator, car’s mood, etc), but truthfully 635 feels more correct to me. On the quarter I trap at 121mph and run a low 12’s. And in, ah… other venues similar horsepower cars and I are about the same speed (similar hp assuming my car is actually closer to 635rwhp).

Anyway- lower numbers are always disappointing, but it would explain a lot of things. And hey, the lower I start the higher I have to to go, right? Next step… sit here on my butt and wait for things to start showing up.

The 1000RWHP Quest, The Build & The Players

The time has come for a serious project. I’m on a quest for 1000 rear wheel horsepower! That’s right, ladies & gentlemen, 700 horses to the rear wheels just isn’t enough anymore. I’ve got the items ordered and hope to do the install & tuning in late July. Here’s what I’m doing:

Engine: I’m having a new engine built by LME. They speced out a 427 LSX based engine specifically designed for forced induction and capable of rock solid performance at 1200rwhp. You can check out some of the engine specs below. While the engine is out I’m going to get the headers ceramic coated and stream clean the engine bay. That will feel soooo good.

Transmission: I’m going to do a transmission swap and upgrade the stock T-56 with an RPM level VII TR6060 (should be good for 1000 ft/lbs torque). I want to stick w/ a manual 6 speed and this seems like best option.

Differential: For the rear end I’m going with the C6 Z06  RPM Level III w/ a Quaife differential and the stock gear ratios. I’m also going to upgrade the drive shaft & axles.

Boost Controller: I think I’m going to go with the AMS-1000. Looks like it can do everything I need and then some.

Suspension: In order to get more power to the ground I’m planning to upgrade the suspension as well. I think I’ll go with something from PFADT.

Clutch: Unfortunately my ACT clutch isn’t going to hold the power I intend to make so I’ll have to find an upgrade. No idea what kind I’ll get yet. It needs to hold a lot of power but still be streetable.

Forced Induction & Fuel: I’m going to stick w/ my APS kit for the time being. I’m going to try and max it out and see where we get. If I end up needing to I’ll upgrade the fuel system and put in larger turbos, but that may be a 2013 project.

My goal with this project is to be as personally involved as possible (and do as much work as possible myself). I’m having Vince over at Lung Automotive do the install (he’s going to love having me over at his shop all day “helping”). Vince has been instrumental in assisting me with picking  parts, getting things ordered and destroying my comfort zone. Per several  recommendations I’ll have the testing and tuning done by Premier Performance.

So why the upgrades? Believe it or not out of the people I know (and sometimes drive around with) I’m the slowest guy! Last year Rob raced his 1200rwhp Underground Racing modified Lamborghini at RMR and it was inspiring. And seeing his 10 second pass made me want a 10 second pass too. And I get what I want 😉

Anyway, really excited about this project. Parts are ordered and now I just have to sit back and wait. Once everything is here it will probably take a couple of weeks to get things swapped out, installed and ready to go. I’ll post all of the progress here on the blog as things unfold!

Engine Specs:

427″ LSX/LS7 Twin Turbo Engine Build w/ 9.8-10:0:1 Compression for 1200+ RWHP

+ Balance, blueprint & assemble shortblock: fully deburr block, line hone block w/ ARP main studs deck, deck block to desired deck height w/ BHJ deck true fixture, bore block on 3 axis CNC, hone block w/ torque plates, balance crankshaft to 1/4 oz. in. tolerance, hang pistons on rods, check bearing clearances, file fit rings, assemble shortblock.

+ Assemble longblock & dyno test engine: degree cam, check piston to valve clearance, adjust valve train geometry & lifter pre load, install oil pump & heads.

+ GM Bow Tie LSX race block. Features: priority main oiling, billet main caps, increased cylinder wall & deck thickness, 6 bolts per cylinder (for added improved head gasket sealing). Block comes w/ cam plate, rear cover, all plugs & dowel pins.

+ Callies Dragon Slayer 4340 forged 4.0″ stroke crankshaft 58X-LS7 long post w/ indexed & trued journals.

+ Callies Ultra Billet 6.125″ H beam rods w/ ARP 2000 7/16 bolts (good to 1500 RWHP turbo applications).

+ Wiseco forged turbo duty pistons w/ tool steel wrist pins & anti friction coating on skirts: Includes stainless chrome top ring (for high heat applications), napier 2nd (improved oil control), 3mm oil rings (reduced friction & improved oil control).

+ Upgraded tool steel wrist pins .210″ wall thickness.

+ Clevite MS 2199 H mains, Clevite CB 663 H rods, Dura Bond CH-23 cam bearnnings

+ ARP Pro Series 12pt. main stud kit.

+ GM LS7X LS7 6 bolt CNC ported cylinder heads. Parts: REV titanium 2.200″ intake valves, REV Inconell exhaust valves (for high heat applications), PAC dual hyd. roller valve springs (good to .675″ life), titanium retainers, machined locks, machined locators, Viton valve seals-Heads flow 400+ CFM.

+ Cam Motion custom LSX turbo camshaft

+ Cloyes LS7 4x single roller w/ extended crank drive for dry sumpt oil pump.

+ Morel tie bar high RPM hyd. roller lifters.

+ Manly one piece chhromoly 3/8″ x 7.8xx x .120″ wall LS7

+ ARP 2000 Pro Series 12 pt. head studs for LSX 6 bolt block (offers 40% more clamping force than the standard ARP 8740 chromoly material).

+ GM LS7 oil pump ported w/ thicker scavenge G rotar for 30% increase in scavenge side flow. Pump also has a billet front cover to accept the thicker gear.

June 10th – June 18th 2012

As I have mentioned we try to go on a date every couple of weeks. Nothing too active this time. We went to Thai House (in Lehi) and then saw Snow White and the Huntsman. The movie was actually pretty good!

This past week Fran took the kids up to Cherry Hill water park & family fun center in Kaysville. Full RV hooksups!

Noting better than eating hotdogs and cucumbers! There were tons of fun activities for the kids. The first day they went swimming, tubing and rock climbing.

Fran and Gabe made a quick detour to Paris (Cherry Hill has a very nice miniature golf course). Camping in an RV with a baby is quite challenging, but Fran is a brave (brave) woman! Good thing Chloe is so adorable. The next day the Browns & Bensons arrived at Cherry Hill.

I came up the evening of the second day and we took the kids to the arcade. It’s a little lackluster, but they had fun (Arcade review: I wish the air hockey tables actually had air). When the kids went to bed the adults all played a few rounds of Five Crowns. A fun trip for all!

On the 18th we celerbated Fran’s 34th birthday! We ate lunch together at Jimmy John’s and then had Cafe Rio for dinner (with coconut flawn!)

Fran wanted to go on a family bike ride for her birthday so we took out the bikes, got them in working order and rode around the neighborhood for a bit. Another successful birthday under the ye old Hughes belt.

New Corvette Floor Mats by Lloyd Mats

I recently got a set of Lloyd Mats for my Camaro– really happy with them! So, I decided to get a set for my Vette too. Tthe driver-side mat was in pretty bad shape and years ago I had quickly cut the old trunk mat to fit around my sub & amps and the sloppy job had bothered me ever since.

I picked black for the new mats. After reading that the Lloyd ebony mats weren’t a good color match I decided black would be a nice accent.  When I pulled the old mats out I was actually surprised to discover that the old driver and passenger mats were black and that they didn’t match the old trunk mat. Huh. Never noticed that. The new front mats look just like the old one and went in without a hitch. But the new trunk mat was going to need some work. And this time I was determined to do it right.

I tried to be extra careful, measuring things so many times that it made me crazy. You need to cut carpet like this just a touch too big do you can tuck it against the other carpet so it appears to be seamless.

This is so much better. Now it looks like someone cared.

Before & After. The colors on the pictures are somewhat messed up. In real life the mat on the left is ebony with a hint of olive green and the mat on the right is a nice solid black. The iPhone camera seems to have some consistency problems when photographing different shades of black.

Anyway- one more cosmetic issue resolved. In fact, cosmetically I’m really happy with the car. I do think I might put on a ZR1 spoiler though.

Posted by Cam, July 15, 2012

Do You See What I See?

You probably don’t see anything in the first picture (which is the point)… But in the second picture (a close-up) you can see the line of my Corvette’s new ClearBra.

In order to preserve my car’s paint (Utah roads are not particularly kind to cars) I had Tint & ClearBra Specialists in Midvale put on their most extensive package (front bumper,headlights, half hood, front fenders, rocker panels, side mirrors and rear fenders). They also did a color wash (the ClearBra was put over it) to make sure everything looked immaculate.

I’ve had it for a few months now. It looks really nice and was very well installed. Except for one small corner that had an issue when I washed the car, it’s stayed in place just fine (I guess you’re not supposed to powerwash them). And the other day I was really happy to have it when I drove over a pile of tar covered gravel that someone was nice enough to leave in the road. Not a cheap accessory, but it’s good peace of mind.

Yep, I feel like I have to document everything. It’s like some kind of disease.

Posted by Cam, Jun 14, 2012