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jimgood
jimgood New Reader
3/6/22 9:31 a.m.

Yesterday, I was lucky enough to be able to purchase a GTA Camaro. I was inspired to do this by Jack (jh36) and his ASA Camaro build. I'm also lucky enough to be able to call Jack a friend and I enjoy racing with him immensely so I'm abandoning ST6 to join him in ST1.

I did not want to go the same route as Jack and build a car for two reasons; I want to be racing, not building and I can't build a car while maintaining another one. I just don't have the space for it; physically, intellectually and time wise. It took me 2 or 3 years to build my current E36 car.

As excited as I am about the GTA car, I plan to do one more race in the E36. I had a string of bad luck last year that limited my seat time and I think I finally have it where it will handle like it should. So I have two weeks to put it back together and get it to VIR for March Madness. Then she's going up for sale.

So, out with the old:

And in with the new:

AngryCorvair (Forum Supporter)
AngryCorvair (Forum Supporter) MegaDork
3/6/22 11:23 a.m.

Subscribed

DrMikeCSI
DrMikeCSI New Reader
3/6/22 12:08 p.m.

We need more stock cars!

jimgood
jimgood New Reader
3/6/22 12:10 p.m.

I don't know everything about the car. Almost everything about it is new to me. The previous owner gave me a really good deal. He had a minor shunt last year at VIR that caused him to have to rebody it. The new body is a 5 Star late model Camaro. The motor, transmission and rear were all refreshed. Even the brakes are new. The fuel cell is two years old.

The engine is a 383 Chevrolet. Next week, I'll call the engine builder to find out whatever I can about it.
It has a dry sump oil system, meticulously plumbed. The tank has a heater so the oil can be warmed at the start of a day. The seller admonished me not to run the heater for too long as it will cook the oil. It also has a belt driven oil pump. One one can spin it using a drill with a socket on it to circulate oil prior to a cold start. Might be old hat to some but was an eye opener for me.

The transmission is a T101A, whatever that is. I wanted to know if this is a dog box but mistakenly asked the seller if it was a sequential transmission, to which the answer was no. So it's probably a dog box but I'm not sure.

EDIT: The hubs are Wide 5.

It's got a Quarter Master clutch but I have no idea what size. And it might be burned up based on how much the seller slipped it trying to get the car on the trailer.

Speaking of trailer, this car barely fits in my trailer. When loading, there is less than 1" of clearance on each side between the wheel housings. There is no way in hell I would be comfortable driving this thing onto the trailer without a spotter. With my BMW, I just drive it on there.

Looking down the side of the car from above the exhaust port:

jimgood
jimgood New Reader
3/6/22 2:02 p.m.

This post will be to list spares; those that came with the car and those that would be good to have. I'll edit it as I think of other stuff:

Came with

  • One set of wheels with slicks that look well used
  • One set of wheels with brand new Hoosier rains
  • One spare rim with no center
  • 4 sets of quick change gears for the diff

Should get

  • Drive belts. There are 4 small ones that would be good to have on hand. (yeah, should have done this before the first eventcrying)
  • Pads and rotors
  • Oil and air filter
  • Alternator, water pump
  • Some more NASCAR scrubs
jimgood
jimgood Reader
3/6/22 2:50 p.m.

Things that need research:

Engine:

  • Call the engine builder and find out whatever I can:
    • Does he have a dyno sheet
      • Restrictors
      • RPM limiters for MSD - Ordered two sets so that I have RPM modules in 100 RPM increments from 6000-7000.
    • Compression ratio: 10.5:1
    • Recommended oil (I'm about to do it's first oil change after break-in): Mobil 1 - 0w-50
    • Recommended fuel: 100 oct. minimum
    • Recommended max RPM - ANSWER: The MSD 6ALN ignition module has plug-in RPM modules that limit the RPM. Currently it has a 7000 RPM module in it. Power band is 3k to 6k.
    • Water pump part #
    • Is there a thermostat? Part #?
    • Spark plugs part# and gap
    • Ignition timing: 33-36 deg. It is fixed for advance all the time.

Transmission:

  • It's a T101A
  • is it a dog box? ANSWER: YES
  • gear ratios

Rear diff:

  • Tiger Quick Change
  • What ratio is in it now?
    • Rep. at Tiger told me that the ratio is dependent on which pinion gears I have. This is usually stamped by the factory on the case just above the yoke. It will be either 4.86 or 4.12.
    • The quick change gears have a set number stamped into them. This number can then be looked up on a chart on a card included with the gear sets
  • What ratios do I have in the spare sets?

 

Gambit0117
Gambit0117 New Reader
3/6/22 6:04 p.m.

And the PO didn't have any of that? Sounds kinda suspicious.. should have had build sheets for everything 

03Panther
03Panther UberDork
3/7/22 3:36 p.m.

Looking fwd to where this thread will go!

jimgood
jimgood New Reader
3/10/22 5:00 a.m.

In reply to Gambit0117 :

He did not have much. It's hard to imagine this car isn't what the seller advertised. Everything is top notch as far as I can tell.

jimgood
jimgood New Reader
3/10/22 5:55 a.m.

I haven't called the engine shop yet. Maybe today.

My original plan was to take my E36 to VIR for the March event but I stalled out on working on it. I can't get the starter to mate up to the transmission so the trans has to come back out so I can figure out the issue. It's hard to work up the mojo for this.

The GTA Camaro will be going to VIR on 3/18-3/20. I signed up for Open Track on Friday and HPDE3 on Sat/Sun. This will be a low pressure way to learn to drive this car.

Also, I know I won't be able to race the car in NASA as it sits. It has an SCCA log book so that should transfer, which is good. The main issue is the lack of a head restraint. NASA rules specify that you must have a right side head restraint, which can either be a seat bolster or a net. Currently, it has neither. The seller gave me two bolsters for a halo that can be attached to the seat but it's missing some parts.

The rules state only that a right-side bolster is necessary, which is good because there is no room on the left side between the seat and cage. Also, the bolster extends so far forward that it would make exiting the car with a helmet and HANS very difficult under duress. I can barely get out of the car without that stuff in the way.

I hope to be able to get some more pics of the car up this weekend.

StripesSA1
StripesSA1 Reader
3/10/22 11:45 a.m.

In to follow..... 

trigun7469
trigun7469 UltraDork
3/10/22 11:52 a.m.

Cool!

tuna55
tuna55 MegaDork
3/10/22 11:59 a.m.

whoa

mslevin
mslevin New Reader
3/10/22 12:15 p.m.

Sick! Following 

jimgood
jimgood New Reader
3/10/22 1:43 p.m.

Got a callback from the engine builder. Here's what I could find out in the 5 minutes we spoke:

  • It's older than I thought. He recalls it being built about 4 years ago. I thought it was 2 years ago but the seller might have said "2 years before Covid" and I misunderstood. I still don't think it was run that much after it was built.
  • It's a 383 with 10.5:1 compression
  • Timing is 33-36 degrees and he "welded the distributor" so it's at maximum advance all the time. I didn't even know that was a thing. That will be interesting if the distributor goes bad and I need a new one.
  • His recommendation for oil is Mobil 1 0w-50, two cases of which was supplied to me by the seller.
  • Make sure to warm the oil using the tank heater before starting the engine. Never run it on cold oil. Ideal temp is around 230 degrees. If it gets up to 250, let it cool down.
  • I was hoping to run it on non-ethanol pump gas with octane boost additive. He says all that stuff is snake oil and doesn't contain lead <shrug>. Said I might be able to get away with a 50/50 mix of 93 octane pump gas and race gas. But race gas is preferable. Can't wait to buy race gas! Let's go, Brandon!!!
  • Running a restrictor is no problem. He recommended a brand name that I promptly forgot but it's a 1" thick plate with interchangeable venturis. I was thinking of using a Willy's Adjustable but got the impression that the one he was suggesting is less expensive. He said at most I might want to adjust the fuel so it doesn't run too rich but I didn't get a chance to ask how to do that. Carb jets? Adjustment screws?
  • I asked if he has a build sheet and/or dyno sheet for it. He said he would see if he could find it.
  • It makes between 520 and 525 HP at the flywheel but I didn't ask at what RPM
  • It's got a 7000 RPM limiter module in the MSD 6ALN now
  • The power band is between 4000 and 7000. Don't lug the engine, i.e. don't try to come out of a turn in 3rd gear at 2500 RPM. Just not good for it.

According to the SCCA log book, the car with driver weighed 2850. In order to make the 6:1 weight to power ratio required for NASA ST1, I will need to restrict it down to no more than 425 WHP. I should be able to do that with a combination of a lower RPM limit and/or a restrictor. Dropping the RPM limit also reduces top speed so there's that trade-off to consider.

Other engine tidbits just from my observations with a flashlight and my reading glasses on:

  • Intake: Edelbrock Victor Jr.
  • Headers: Pro Fab
  • Starter: Quarter Master - Ultra Duty - Reverse Rotation
  • Accessories, brackets, pullies and belts: Jones Racing Products
  • I saw a mechanical fuel pump, or what looks like one. But I thought I remember turning on an electric pump when we were going through the start procedure. Can it have both?
  • Saw 4 engine engine mounts, another thing I've never seen.

THE ENGINE:

PunchyWrench - Ed Higginbotham
PunchyWrench - Ed Higginbotham UberDork
3/10/22 2:31 p.m.

Yeeeeeees. Can't wait to see this in person next weekend!

tuna55
tuna55 MegaDork
3/10/22 2:47 p.m.

I am not an expert, but welding the distributor is like welding the differential, and by that I mean that very little is actually welded. It should be just the sliding weights under the cap, which should be easily replaceable. Take the distributor cap off and take a picture.

HalfFast
HalfFast New Reader
3/10/22 2:52 p.m.

Locked MSD distributors are available off the shelf, just had to buy one for my LMSC when the rotor screw backed out and destroyed everything at 6K.  You set the timing for the max advance at about 3-4k RPM.  (retarding things is one way to drop some HP BTW..)

Prolly no thermostat, but it's easy to tell, 2 bolts... 

Waterpump with that setup would be the standard Chevy "short" water pump.  Yes, it's that simple, they are all the same.

Look forward to checking it out soon...   

Does this sound familiar "the govenor"? https://pitstopusa.com/i-5084068-allstar-performance-the-governor-adjustable-1-2-aluminum-carburetor-spacer.html 

 

jh36
jh36 Dork
3/10/22 3:13 p.m.

Stoked. 
I'm looking forward to seeing this in a week or so! 
Here's to hoping your adventure is even half as much fun as mine. I can't wait for us (and HalfFast) to almost trade some paint. Next, we have to get Ed Higginbotham punchy_wrench in one. 
We gonna have sum funnnn. Shake and bake!  

jimgood
jimgood New Reader
3/10/22 3:54 p.m.

In reply to HalfFast :

Thanks for the info on the 'scrigitor (ask me some time how that word came to be lodged in my brain. Along with Cadillac converter).

Governor!! That's the word that I couldn't recall! Doesn't matter. I sprung for the Willy's knob-twisty-easy-button deal. I figure it will reduce dyno time and therefore cost less.

jimgood
jimgood New Reader
3/10/22 5:20 p.m.

Updated the engine post above with some more details and a picture. Ooo! Aaah!

With what little spare time I have, I'm working on a winch mount for the winch to be easily removable. I really don't want to be pushing or driving this car onto the trailer.

So far I have a hole in the floor for the receiver tube. laughyes Gotta love a drill that makes square holes. wink

jimgood
jimgood New Reader
3/11/22 11:19 a.m.

I know this is kind of mundane but I thought I would post the details of the winch mount. This is the design:

I'm doing it this way to minimize cost and make the winch removable. The receiver tube is mounted from under the floor and protrudes so that it sits flush with the floor surface. The angle is welded to the tube and drilled for 3/8" carriage bolts. The square tube, which I still have to cut and fit will be welded to the bottom of the receiver and will have a piece of angle welded at the opposite end to mount to the floor and to the floor joist. The car would be pulled in from the left of the above drawing.

I used this receiver tube from HF because it is welded in the bottom already and it's short. It's really an adapter so I had to cut the bottom of it off. Here it is with the angle welded to it. And, yes, my welds are ugly. As they say, I'm a grinder not a welder.

This is the 2" tube that will go inside of the receiver. The winch will mount on top of this. The mounting plate that comes with the winch is on the left:

This piece of 1/2" x 1" bar will be welded in the notches of the tube. It's drilled to match the mounting holes in the winch plate.

It will fit in the notches like this:

Here's the stack of parts without the mounting plate ready to be welded up:

And here it is with the mounting plate. The winch will sit on top of this mounting plate and the 2" tube will be mounted to the bottom of the plate so I just slide it into the receiver and it's ready to go. There shouldn't be any need to run a pin through this. I guess we'll find out when I test it.

Next I'll need to temporarily mount the receiver under the floor so I can figure out the length for the 1" square tube that will brace the bottom of the receiver to keep it from rotating while the winch is pulling. I have to get this finished up today because snow is coming this weekend and I don't really want to crawl around in the mud to get under the trailer.

UPDATE: Looks like I won't beat the weather. I forgot that I need time for the paint to dry. By some miracle, the fitment of the 1" square tube support went really well. I mean it fits like a glove. Can't wait to install this and call it done. I just need to drill holes in the trailer for the angle bracket at the end of the 1" tube. That should be easy. Would have done it earlier but my cordless drill is too bulky to fit in the tight space and drill a 90 degree hole. I have a right angle drill and I'll take care of the install when the ground dries up again.

 

UPDATE 2: The paint dried faster than I thought it would. Got the winch mount installed! In the dark! Under my trailer with the spiders! Okay, no spiders. It's actually amazingly clean under there.

Here's the view from inside the trailer where the receiver is poking into the floor from below:

Here's what it looks like under the trailer:

jimgood
jimgood New Reader
3/11/22 5:07 p.m.

Updated the winch mount project post above.

jimgood
jimgood New Reader
3/11/22 7:27 p.m.

Bump...UPDATED the winch post. Got 'er DONE!

Link to the winch post.

 

 

David S. Wallens
David S. Wallens Editorial Director
3/11/22 11:16 p.m.

Congrats on the new car and, yes, jh36 is a good/bad influence. :)

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