It’s Official: 1000rwhp Corvette

It’s taken about 18 months, but we’ve finally arrived! I took my car up to Premier for a few small tweaks and one last dyno run:


The car put down 1024 rwhp (over 1200 crank) and 944 ft lbs torque on pump gas & methanol at 15 psi. There was nothing weird about this pull such as ice on the intercoolers, fuel filters pulled off or the car sitting for a few hours. There’s more power there but I’ll wait until next year (if ever) to coax it out. Overall, I’m very pleased with the final product. It took way longer than I anticipated but I think the results speak for themselves.

My advice to anyone who wants to do a similar build: Know what you’re getting into. Nothing is going to go as smoothly as you want and everything will take longer than you think. Expect compromise. As you build a high horsepower car you need to recognize that some driveability elements will be diminished and not everything is going to work like a stock car- but that’s okay. And ultimately you can’t do anything with a 1000 rwhp car except drag race and feel like a badass. That much power has no practical use on the street – it’s for the dyno.

I want to give a shout out to Vince (& the Lung crew), Heath (& Premier Performance) and Cole (& RaceCo) for their help with this project. There were a lot of other people who contributed their mental energy, time and encouragement and I’m grateful to them as well. It’s been fun! Where do I go from here? Hmm… that new Corvette might be calling my name.


Hughes Family: October 1, 2013 – October 15, 2013


Every morning Fran makes a veggie juice concoction and each morning I drink it. I think it actually might help! I just want to publicly thank her for taking good care of me. Biggest Looser is starting back up today and I’m pretty sure that will help jump start my health efforts.


Chloe turned two this past week! We don’t have giant parties for the little ones (we wait until they ask), but she still got a cake and some fun presents. Below is a video of her blowing out her birthday candles. Do you think she knows what’s going on?

Mike is about done with football for the year. He’s spent most of his time as a lineman (usually offensive tackle). His coach says he’s come a long way and he’s doing a great job. Here’s a video from one of his last games (he’s number 50):


For FHE we went and picked out some pumpkins (I think Macey’s is a good place to get them). This year they had some decorative pumpkins which piqued the interest of the kids. Part of me likes carving pumpkins (possibly next week) but another part of me wants to scream and throw them at people I hate.


Last weekend we took a quick trip to Moab for some biking and sightseeing.  We started our trip by discovering we had the wrong size hitch for our bike trailer which put us an hour behind schedule (and the bad weather didn’t either).  This was our first trip in the Yukon and the kids were pretty much glued to the TVs. Fran navigated us up I-15 to extend the road trip since the ride was so wonderful (this is sarcasm).


We opted not to rough it this time around and stayed at the Aarchway Inn. The room was spacious and well maintained (three queen beds!). The hotel property was also very nice and included a giant playground, a parkour course, picnic areas and lots of open space (some mud too… the kids loved it).


Hotel highlights: Mercilessly raiding the vending machines, hotel breakfasts and a splendid dip the pool.


Biking didn’t go quite as we’d hoped. Getting the bikes & helmets adjusted took more time than we expected. And then only about 1/4 mile into our trip disaster struck. We hit a cluster of thorns that ended up popping seven of our tires. We were able to temprarily fix most of the tires and managed to make it another few miles down the path (which was beautiful) but ultimatley we had to cut our biking excursion short. I guess we’ll have to go back to bike another time.


On the way up to Moab I requested that we try to find good (tried and true) food to eat. Fran assured me that we would be relying on Trip Adviser and that I was in good hands. Our first day in Moab Fran said we were going to eat at the Mandarin Szechuan buffet. Once we had tried the food it was clear something was very wrong- it ranks among the worst buffets I have ever tried. Fran confessed that she hadn’t checked Trip Adviser. She had seen the Asian buffet, got excited and made an “emotional decision”.  It was bad food, but I have to say I think my wife is pretty cute!
Our next meal was at Zax (4/5 starts on Trip Adviser). It was better than Szechuan, but over all the mean was only so-so (really dry pizza). I guess you can’t necessarily trust reviews either. 
What say ye Moab travelers- where should be eat next time?


On the way back from Moab we decided to trick the kids and made a detour to Dead Horse Point. Man, what a view! I found a good place to hang off a “cliff” for the obligatory “I’m about to die!” picture. If this had been real I’m pretty sure my kids would have stepped on my hands.


A lovely family picture.


And a lovey panoramic view from the edge of Dead Horse Point. If you haven’t been here before it’s worth the quick detour.

Arches opened back up while we were in Moab. It would have been fun to do take a quick drive though the park, but the kids weren’t up for it. All in all I think we came away with a lot of good memories of trip that didn’t go quite right. Next time will be better.

Vette Regret? Nah.

Finally a Corvette update (I know, I know-  you’ve all been waiting for this…not)!

In another post I mentioned that I had gotten my car back from Premier, but there were still a few issues. Since I’d had a good experience with RaceCo (Porsche) I decided to let them take a crack at my Vette.

They pressure tested everything and discovered that the blow off valves were popping open around 12 PSI. I was disappointed that this issues hadn’t been identified before, but it was a good find. RaceCo rebuilt the BOVs so there wouldn’t be any more boost related issues. Vince and I had always thought the car should boost to more than 12-13 PSI so we were curious what this fix would yield.

After making sure every leak was plugged RaceCo told me the car seemed to run better- it started fine, the surging was reduced and they didn’t experience any stalls. They also replaced a melted 02 sensor and added more heat shielding.

Next was the boost controller. For whatever reason there were intermittent sensor errors and the boost pressures weren’t accurate.  RaceCo got in touch with the manufacturer and they helped them trouble shoot and sort through the issues (one wiring, and one plumbing).


With the boost controller working properly it was time to do some testing. On high boost the car made it to 16PSI without breaking a sweat (that’s where the boost controller is currently set- when things warm up again I’ll be curious to see how much higher it goes… I’ll probably have to upgrade the fuel system for that). With 940rwhp on tap at 13 PSI I’m positive I’ve broken the 1000rwhp goal at 16PSI. The car is nasty fast on high boost. It just pulls and pulls. It’s hard to describe…

The drivability of the car is finally to a point where I’m comfortable with it (although there are obviously traction issues on high boost). I’m still not sure if I’m a fan of the aluminum flywheel- my only gripe is that the car is tricky to get moving from a stop. I think I’d like to get the car converted over to a speed density tune, but for the now the MAF tune is working fairly well (and it has the advantage of being OBDII complaint). Yes, the project took way longer than I thought it would, but ultimately I’m pleased with the results. No regrets.

Now I’m in the process of taking care of a few other little things. For example, the car needs a massive cleaning inside and out. Polishing out the hard water deposits (rain then sun) will be a good winter project.

While I was in Provo the other day I drove through a construction zone. There was a massive bump in the road and I got one of my air hoses under the car ripped off again! I fabricated some shields for them this time. Hopefully they take the brunt of the next impact instead of my poor hoses.


One of my RCA cables has been giving me grief. The end developed an issue and ultimately I had my friend Jim put on a new jack. That temporarily solved the problem but in the end I got hungry for more.

Initially I bought new Monster Audio RCA cables. Then I also decided to upgrade the head unit with a Pioneer AVIC-Z150BH and add a back up camera. And I was getting pretty sick of my Beltronics radar detector suction cups giving out so I figured it was time for an integrated STIR-Plus system too.

This time around I didn’t feel like doing the install so I had Travis CSDAudio take care of it. He did a great job and I’d recommend him if you’re looking to have any car audio done. In the end I pulled out the center console to adjust some wires, but that was a piece of cake.


The Pioneer AVIC-Z150BH seems to be an excellent receiver. It’s a little glitchy since it doesn’t really support iOS7 at the moment but I think that will get resolved. The audio it pumps out seems like a huge improvement from my AVICZ1 which kind of surprised me. Travis assisted me with some tweeter tweaking to eliminate the sibilance as well. Overall I’m very happy with this stereo upgrade- I would rank my system among the best I’ve heard. And no ground loop!

The Beltronic STIR-Plus system also seems to be excellent. I’ve got the display screen and a warning light mounted on top of my steering column (I may need to black out the backside of the LED bulb as it reflects of my gauge cluster) and operation is simple and discreet. The sensitivity seems to be as good as, if not better than, my old unit.


Finally I had our graphic artist here at work make me a customized sticker for the car since I’m trying to stick with the red and black theme (our blue and white logo just wasn’t working). This is the first prototype; It was a monster to get on but I think it turned out pretty good.

What do you know? Sometimes cars are fun!

Hughes Family: September 11, 2013 – September 30, 2013

Ah… the gaps in my blogging are getting bigger and bigger. Each time I commit to writing bits of the blog posts as I go. But I never seem to have the time (or maybe it’s just a memory issue… I forget). I may slow things down even more with the holidays approaching. I know I say it every year, but this time I might mean it.


We went and got family pictures taken a couple of weeks ago. We’re still trying to figure out where this blond kid came from…


Here’s a shot of my offspring. There’s no prouder dad anywhere than me.


Claire had her 8th birthday this month! She invited some friends over and the they went to In ‘n Out (assisted by my lovely wife and I) and then…


… back to the house for cake and a party. I don’t have pictures but after the party Fran took them down to the Provo Beach Resort for a ropes course adventure.


After driving around our work truck for awhile it became apparent that I would need something a little larger. I decided to get another Tacoma (there will be a separate post about this… someday). I think I’ll name him Truxton.


Recently the kids had their annual school fair. Because the weather looked bad they had it inside the school. Apparently it was crowded, claustrophobic and loud. One of the moms said “I hope my kids love it as much as I hate it.” The kids did have a good time romping around, getting their faces painted and winning prizes. Chloe got a cute face flower too.


Usually for our dates we go to eat and see a movie. The past few weeks there hasn’t been anything we wanted to see so we’ve been organizing our warehouse, our garage and trying to get “important” stuff accomplished. On one of our dates we decided to try the Blue Lemon (Fran had eaten there once before). We both got fettuccine alfredo and honestly is was maybe a 4/10- just super bland. The soups we got were actually really good but I don’t know if we’ll give it another try.

Some good news:


I recently mentioned my ticket I got for having no insurance. Our insurance company wrote a letter explaining what had happened. Although overly beaurocratic, in my opinion,  Lehi city was nice enough to dismiss the charges against me.

And some very sad news:


1981 ~ 2013
Our loving son, brother, uncle and friend, Thomas Lee Allen, passed away in his sleep on September 19, 2013. Tom was born to Silja and Lee Allen in Little Rock, Arkansas on July 5, 1981. He moved to Provo ten days later with the family. Tom was active in scouting and achieved the rank of Eagle Scout. After finishing high school he attended UVSC until going on an LDS mission to Birmingham, Alabama. He then entered the aviation program at UVSC. Professionally, Tom was an expert watch repairman and received top awards in sales. He was also a VP of Operations for a successful internet start-up. Tom enjoyed being an uncle, flying, hunting, fishing, camping, and BYU sports. He traveled widely with his family and friends and got along well with people wherever he was in the world. He loved his family and friends who were a very important part of his life.

I want to add a bit more here too. The picture on the right is from when Tom helped me go pick up a Corvette in Miami Florida. We flew in, picked up the car and drove the 2700 miles back in two days. There was no better road trip companion than Tom. The hours flew by and we had a blast cruising through the county. Yeah, Tom got a ticket and ran over a rabbit but that was just how he did things. I have so many good memories with Tom and even though we had a falling out in later years I will miss him more than words can say. R.I.P. buddy.

And that wraps things up for this stretch.