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Performance Journal


The weather has been garbage here. I have also been broke. I've put only a few hundred miles on the car since October. I only drive it to work on Sunday. On Sunday the parking lot is empty and I can safely park away from other vehicles. I picked up a brand new TCI 3800 torque converter. Some guy got it as a gift from his wife and then he realized that a high stall was not what he needed. Instead of paying $750 for a new, I gave him $400. I had been waiting to see a 3800 pop up on the web for several months. Having money in hand and being able to wait is a good advantage to getting cheap parts.

I ordered a deep transmission pan today (99+ Silverado style) for $50 from SMC Performance. That's a good deal compared to the deep aftermarket pans that go for one hundred or more. I hope it doesn't bottom out on a speed bump. Still need a trans cooler and rebuild parts. Now that I have the tax return I should be able to get it all.

Picked up a set of used tires and rims. $300 for the lot. Fairly new Kumho Ecsta Supra 245/50/ZR16's. Made my day. I don't know what I'll do with the rims. Considering it is still snowing here - four inches in the last hour - I feel the car will never leave it's parking space again. I now know why the Yankees won the war. The confederates had no desire to invade Maryland.

New Year, New Rear. I spent this morning putting on a few coats of Rustoleum. Just have to get straps for the yoke and I'll have all the parts I need to complete the Strange 12 bolt. Pictures here.

December is upon us. It's cold. It's snowing. I miss Florida. So, to cheer myself up I purchased a Strange 12 bolt rear. Slightly used. I'll have to do a gear swap and some minor changes to the car. More info on this winter project to come. I have put the transmission on hold. I wanted a torque converter, but I could not pass on the price of the Strange rear. These two are my dedicated winter projects.
I had to get a new Y-pipe made for the exhaust to install the Spohn torque arm. I cannot help myself for publicly praising the quality and effectiveness of Spohn products. They are worth every penny.

Spohn torque arm and lower control arms arrived today. These are absolutely beautiful. The welds and the shiny black finish are show car quality. The bolts used are grade 8 and they are huge. Very nice large rod ends. The LCA's are lightweight but the torque arm and driveshaft loop cross brace are very heavy compared to the flexible stock stamped pieces.

Ordered Spohn torque arm and LCA's today. Powdercoated black! $525 down the drain. This should be setting me up for the torque converter. I'm looking into an HD rebuild kit for the transmission now.

LS1 Edit!
The software arrived from Carputing this week. At first it looked quite intimidating, but after performing a few functions you can easily see the logic of the PCM equations. Lots of tables and true/false switches. It is interesting to see how deep the rabbit hole goes when it comes to the modern car computer. My SES light is gone, but in it's place comes the Service Vehicle light. sigh.
I also got the pleasure of replacing the battery post. I am still having some wire corrosion from the original leaking battery. I might just have to replace the four main wires to keep a clean power connection. Having to pop the hood and joggle wires to start the car is very, very embarrasing.
To the right is one of the 3d graph features of LS1 Edit. Oooh, pretty.
Pretty expensive.

Finally had some good weather tonight at the track. Crappy track, makes me miss Gainesville Dragway. The prep was good, I had a hard launch on the third run.

12.82 ET

109.9 MPH

1.994 60'

RAINED OUT last night at the track. I was teched in and sitting in the staging lane when it opened up...sigh.

4 Months since I last made an entry. I have moved to Maryland. I am going to try out some of the new tracks these next few weeks. Then I'll probably wait for the cool weather to return in Fall.

I ordered LS1 Edit software from Carputing the other day. Should be about two weeks before I get the software shipped to my house. In the meantime, I plan to make some runs this weekend to see where the car stands with and without the Predator tune. This way I can try to create the same performance level or more with the basics of Edit.

I will never buy another Diablosport product, nor recommend one.

Before I left FL, Ferrel helped me install a power radio antenna. Very sleek. Goes well with the T-shifter.

I've been to the track twice now on the new gears. Traction is now a big issue. My 60 foot has definite room for improvement. I was unable to flash stall the stock converter at all. I dropped the tire pressure down more and more as I made trips down the strip. No change. My best runs still hang in the 12.8's. Rarely do I get 13's now. I am interested in trying a new torque arm and trailing arms. Better track tires may be neccessary!

New Heavy Duty U-joints. New pinion seal and Richmond 3.73 gears installed. Some pics here. A big pain in the ass to get those gears done. Thanks to the members of River City F-Bodies for all their help with tools, a place to keep the car, and the elbow grease.

Pinion seal leaking, U-Joints trashed, maybe even a loose slip joint. Tomorrow begins the 10 bolt tear down. 3.73 gears going in on Monday. This is the only time I will rebuild the rear. Next time, it's a better differential.

Looked into the rear today. Installed a TA Performance cover. After 40K the gears are still looking good. I am getting some low whining from the back and I was concerned about the gears, but I may be chasing the wrong thing.

Just finished logging data with the club Autotap program. I was able to record information about my Camaro as I drove around. My Long Term Fuel Trims average about -2 which is excellent. I have no Knock Retard at WOT but I am still a little rich even with the timing advanced 4 degrees. I think I may leave it that way with the warmer Summer weather coming.
Lower Control Arm brackets came in the mail the other day as well. I need some welding done to get those in place.

Picked up some 16x8.5 '84-87 corvette rims today for $100. I will use two of them for track tires. The other two might make nice lawn ornaments, unless someone wants them. I also modified the coolant lines to bypass the throttle body and added a fuel filter to the PCV return. The PCV has the nerve to pick up oil from the valve covers and dump it into the throttle body. Also had some welding done to reposition my cutout motor away from the floorboard. It's starting to chatter and the butterfly is getting loose.


An excellent day at the track today. My new Nitto NT555 Drag Radials helped out my traction. I also removed the front sway bar and ran the short belt. I scored a couple high 12 second runs. Good for 2.73 gears. Those Richmond 3.73 gears will be in place soon enough.

Car 45

.672  R/T

2.079 60'

8.490  1/8 mile

86.91 mph

12.972 1/4 mile

108.29 mph

I tried out the short serpentine belt trick today. I used a 52.5 inch 6 rib belt. I actually recommend it over the typical 52 inch belt, since this belt allowed the tensioner to sit in stock position and was easy to put on. The track opens this weekend. I ordered some new tires, which may or may not be here in time. I plan to try some weight reduction, front sway bar removal, and the short belt at the track. If I can get my tires in place, I'll hope for 12's. My Predator tuner came back. My codes have not been properly erased. sigh.

Diablosport is being a bit slow. Called today, they'll mail my tuner back to me Monday. Track opens January 18th! I am seeking new tires.

O2 sensor simulators arrived today. I noticed that the car was having trouble acheiving closed loop without them. Install took five minutes, including raising and lowering car. Mailing the Predator back to Diablosport today for a few modifications.

My battery has been replaced with an Energizer bunny. I didn't know they made car batteries. There is a snapshot of the gears below. I have no idea when I'll get started on that project. I finally put those spark plugs on the car. All eight went in from above the engine. If you're crawling underneath, buy a universal for your socket wrenches. I'll throw in a pic of the exhaust cutout with longer bolts to make you all feel jealous of how much fun I'm having with an electric cutout. It rumbles!

Stock battery has decided to leak. Looks like it had been seeping slowly for a while.

I broke down and ordered 3:73 Richmond gears for the 10 bolt today. I also got the install kit and girdle. It was a tough $$$ decision.

Ever wonder what your emissions system looks like?

Air pump, EGR pump, and uneccessary amounts of rubber hose. My EGR system was pretty much pumping exhaust buildup into the throttle body. Without cats, there is no reason why the air pump should be there either. Pretty simple to take these out. My predator tuner is getting mailed back to Diablosport. They will delete the DTC's for EGR, air pump, and rear O2 sensor failure. I'll have to ride with the engine light on for a week.
A short how to.

I have exhaust!!!
Pics soon. The spintech is amazingly quiet. It has a higher pitch than most freeflow mufflers. Some minor problems with the QTEC, the bolts are too short. I decided to go ahead and rip out the EGR and air pump today. I should have the block off plates in place tomorrow. Time for A/F ratio tuning.

I just ordered a Spintech muffler. The headers and various exhaust parts are still sitting on my porch. I tentatively scheduled the exhaust install for Wednesday. QTEC's electric cutout arrived today. It looks like a good quality device. It also weighs a lot for what it looks like. This isn't a cheaply made piece of ricer fart can engineering.

Many people in my club have this on their car. It is almost as popular as the Pontiac T-handle!

Boxes! Boxes! Boxes!
I want to hug the UPS man, just like in the commercial. Headers, FIPK, and Spark Plugs arrived today.
FIPK, comes with breather for Air pump, smooth flexible bellows for filter to MAF and for MAF to TB, and all the band clamps I could ever need. One time at band clamp...

Predator - from Diablosport


Dusty Brown