1 ... 32 33 34 35 36 37
Gimp SuperDork
7/26/19 2:51 p.m.


Trying to court some some of that sweet sweet Stuck On You attention. 

Patrick MegaDork
7/26/19 3:16 p.m.

Nah this car should be a feature article 

Gimp SuperDork
8/1/19 7:38 a.m.

Working up on wrapping up odds and ends to get this car race ready.  First I worked on getting the new filler neck hooked up to the fuel cell.


Then I moved on to the front and rear windshields.  They are Harwood's Margard windows, in the "flush cut" since I'm not using any trim.  I was originally thinking these would be pretty easy to install, but man was I wrong.  They required a good bit of trimming, which I somewhat expected.  The killer was I tried to use rivnuts everywhere, so lots of drilling.  Once I got the rivnuts installed and my hand recovered, I attempted to install the rear window.  Well, the holes I drilled in the "glass" didn't line up very well, and my stainless button head bolts kept having issues with their threads, which caused rivnuts to fall out, spin, or the bolt to just not go in.  


I learned my lesson up front, and that only has 8 rivnuts for now.  The top is attached with nylocks on the backside where I could reach, and screws along the bottom (for now).


What I didn't notice is that the front windshield got damaged in shipping, with a big gouge in the glass.  Because there is no "inside" or "outside" on these, I was able to place the damaged bit to the passenger side.  Then, by some sort of miracle, the inner brace I fabricated for the windshield landed exactly on the damaged bit, so you can't see it at all.  I'll call that a win.

The view from the office.


Overall, I'm really stoked with how "race car" the Lexan made things.


After that, I had to put the whole thing together to take it all in.


I've already done plugs.  Still need to do oil and adjust the clutch, then do a full nut and bolt.  Once that is done, it goes on the scales for ballast.  There is already 100lbs in the car, and I have another ~125 waiting to go in.  I wonder how much more I'll need to make 3000lbs.

Dusterbd13-michael MegaDork
8/1/19 8:20 a.m.

Goodgod almighty this is hot. 

OjaiM5 New Reader
8/1/19 8:25 a.m.

Nice! Basically street legal nowsmiley

Apexcarver UltimaDork
8/1/19 8:27 a.m.

In reply to OjaiM5 :

he could street rod tag it if he wanted to (not that it would be legal). it has a title and was his DD in college

Gimp SuperDork
8/19/19 11:33 a.m.

Still in the garage. Getting closer, but still a lot to go to be ready. 

jstein77 UberDork
8/19/19 11:49 a.m.

You're just going to leave the panel gap like that?  I guess it is a race car, so it doesn't count for much.

Gimp SuperDork
8/19/19 11:52 a.m.
jstein77 said:

You're just going to leave the panel gap like that?  I guess it is a race car, so it doesn't count for much.

That's what it's going to be, at least for now.  I bought the front cilp used, and I think they previous owner opened up the gaps that large by removing fiberglass, probably for door clearance on a non-conventional hinge.

Maybe one day I'll close it up, but it's the lowest thing possible on the list.

Gimp SuperDork
8/26/19 1:42 p.m.

So, with one week to go before we load up and head to the SCCA Solo Nationals in Lincoln, NE, I figured I should do some testing on the car.  I have been thrashing over the past few weeks to get everything sorted, car ballasted and corner weighted, nut and bolted, etc.  It was a long list, but I managed to get there and was ready to run with Capital Driving Club, an autocross club I help out with.  The race was in Waldorf, MD on a smaller, sealed lot, but it's better than nothing.

First, the hard parked look:

Arnold Schwarzenegger and Danny Devito

The car certainly got some looks, and it was exciting to have it out and in front of people who have been hearing about the car for years, but then it came time to run it.

(photo by https://www.instagram.com/noballsmedia/)

I am excited to say that out of the box, with no tuning, the car worked really, really well.  When the day was over I had managed to end up 8th out of 91 entrants, 1.68 seconds back from a very well setup DP Miata driven by my buddy, and National Champion, Mike Moran (who also took the video below).

Sadly, it wasn't a perfect event.  I had a persistent oil leak from the front and rear of the intake, that while not as bad as when I had the car out last year, is still an issue.  I think I have too much crankcase pressure and it's pushing oil out of any weak point it can find.  I'm hoping that the excess pressure is due to not enough breather, as the two breather lines on the motor tee together and go into one vent/catch can.  I have ordered a second and I'm crossing fingers that separating the lines will help.  I'm really hoping it's not rings, so I'm not even doing a compression test until after Nationals.  You can see the oil smoke out of the exhaust in the video, which isn't helping my nerves, but we are going to send it.  The motor didn't smoke when Randy had it, and it really hasn't been run much sine then, so I'm not sure what's up.  I did notice that the intake manifold gaskets had oil halfway up them when I pulled the intake out.  Not sure what that means.

So here we are.  I'm resealing and re-gasketing the intake and crossing some fingers.  We leave in 5 days.

81cpcamaro Dork
8/26/19 1:51 p.m.

Do you have a PCV valve in the system? If not then it will find spots for oil to leak. I did have a PCV, it was on the oil filler tube on the crossram. Either that or a vacuum pump of some sort. The 94-97 LT1s ran an electric one, might be an option.

Another thing is, as we found out putting the intake on at my house, that the intake needs surfacing to better match the block/heads. That would get the intake closer to the china walls of the block, should help with the leaks too.

Gimp SuperDork
8/26/19 1:53 p.m.

.reply to 81cpcamaro :

I do not have a PCV valve. I wonder how quickly I could set up a vacuum pump system or PCV. Do you have any links? Good point on the intake as well.

81cpcamaro Dork
8/26/19 2:02 p.m.

A vacuum pump setup probably is going to take some time, that you may not have. There are tech articles out there on doing it, nothing I have a link to right now. The electric pumps may not pull enough vacuum, but better than nothing.

A PCV valve in one valve cover would work, run the hose from it to a catch can, then a hose from the can to a port on the intake or carb. Usually a 3/8" line size. The catch can will help keep oil out of the intake since the valve covers don't have baffles anymore, they interfered with the rocker arms.

Gimp SuperDork
8/26/19 2:51 p.m.

PCV stuff ordered.  Thanks again, Randy!

Gimp SuperDork
8/29/19 8:52 a.m.

So, hopefully the last major mechanical issue is out of the way before Nationals.

Intake is back on, and I now have a PCV system to help with my crankcase pressure issue.

PCV valve replaced the breather line on the passenger side.


That runs into the cheapest catch can Amazon had.  I used thread sealant on everything because cheapest catch can Amazon had.


In the event you weren't sure what it was:


I was not brave enough to drill and tap the intake this close to nationals, so I went with a 1" carb spacer that had a 3/8" vacuum fitting.


The overall setup is now very tall.  It does fit under the hood, but just barely.  Good thing I have solid motor mounts.



Tonight we reset the timing, check fluids, nut and bolt, and get ready to load it up and drive to Lincoln on Saturday.  Fingers crossed!

AngryCorvair MegaDork
8/29/19 9:12 a.m.

i regret that i have but one upvote to give!

Dusterbd13-michael MegaDork
8/29/19 9:18 a.m.

Hell yes!!!

Patrick MegaDork
8/29/19 10:41 a.m.

Solid motor mounts are way better than that time we couldn’t get the right v8 mounts and i did that thing then the engine torqued over and smashed your air filter into the hood

java230 UltraDork
8/29/19 11:01 a.m.

Wow I havn't checked on this in awhile and holy cow its come so far!! Amazing

Gimp SuperDork
8/29/19 11:30 a.m.
Patrick said:

Solid motor mounts are way better than that time we couldn’t get the right v8 mounts and i did that thing then the engine torqued over and smashed your air filter into the hood

Oh the memories.

infinitenexus Reader
8/29/19 11:50 a.m.

I've always been a big fan of that old 70s/early 80s camaro/firebird bodystyle.  So much potential in there, and glad to see such a beautiful car built here.  Also considering it's when I was born, 1981 is clearly the best year.

Gimp SuperDork
9/10/19 9:40 a.m.

2019 SCCA Solo Nationals Recap

You don't know how excited I am to make this post.  This one has been a long time in the making.

After busting our butts not only for months leading up to this event, but in the week before, we loaded up the Camaro and made our drive out to Lincoln, Nebraska.  We stopped in Chicago to visit family, which included drinking way too much with my cousins (who gave me a bunch of Malört because they know me), then hit up Antique Archeology, and finally rolled into Lincoln on Sunday.  We unloaded the car and got our dust masks.  After that we met up with our friends, grabbed some dinner and margaritas, and then hit the sack.  It was going to be a long week.


Larry Casey, who was instructing the Evo School, volunteered to take the car out for a few runs since we didn't really have time to shake things down yet.

(Video by Michael Moran)


Larry drove the car hard into the long, left hand sweeper, which loaded up the valve cover with oil.  Randy had removed the baffles from the Corvette valve covers so they'd clear the rockers, so when Larry got off throttle, the vacuum sucked oil through the PCV, instantly filling the catch can and then pulling the rest into the intake.  My heart sank for a moment, but as soon as the smoke cleared out of the exhaust I knew we'd be okay.

We also learned that the car was way oversprung up front.  Even with the compression all the way down, the front end was skipping in slower sections.  I made the call to not do anything about that issue yet, as we had enough to worry about.

We had two test sessions scheduled for Tuesday, so we needed to get things fixed before then.  Speedway Motors was closed on the holiday, and no one else in Lincoln had a tall valve covers in stock, so we had to wait and just get up early, and hope we had enough time to get things patched up and make the 9am test session.



I managed to get the valve covers, back to site, and got the passenger side on with enough time to make the practice slot... almost.  The grommet for the PCV from the old valve covers didn't fit, so we had to run back to Speedway and unfortunately missed out first session.  We got the car together and Kate and I shared her 11am session.

I took the first run to give Kate, who had never driven this car other than up and down the street once,  an idea of what she was in for.  Kate took the second run, and on her first launch did the smokiest John Force style burnout.  The tires were scrubbed in.  She took the third run, and I took the fourth, and like that, we had to be ready to compete.

(Photo by Perry Bennett)

After the test runs I had a small leak from the front of the intake, so on our off day I RTV'd the E36 M3 out of the front of the motor and crossed my fingers.  We were sending it, no matter what.


(Photo by Perry Bennett)

Well, this was it.  Day one of competition.  Kate was running second heat and I was running fourth.  I went to check in for my first heat work assignment and learned I was moved to second heat.  Michael Moran stepped up big time and covered my work assignment for me, as there was no way Kate should have to run an untested car with no support.

(Photo by Perry Bennett)

Kate went out on her first run and attacked the course.  She absolutely killed it and did an amazing job.  Leading up to Nationals, she had been very apprehensive about the car.

(Photo by Perry Bennett)

"My biggest fear going into Solo Nationals was that I wouldn’t like driving the Camaro. That after 15 years of time and labor, I would hate the car. The first few days of the event that anxiety hung over my head and made it difficult to relax and enjoy myself. But as soon as I had my first run Thursday morning, that all changed and I had a blast. I still have A LOT to learn about the car and I have a long way to go before I’m threatening any trophy spots, but I accomplished exactly what I was hoping to do at Nationals. I drove the damn car, and I had fun doing it. I think I’m going to like it in C Prepared."

(Photo by Perry Bennett)

So after Kate's very successful maiden voyage, it was my turn.

(Photos by Michael Moran)

All gridded up and ready to go.  I was nervous, but excited, as I headed out for my first run.

(Video by Michael Moran)

Holy E36 M3 this thing is fun!  I was really happy with my opening times, but I did notice the push from the practice course.  Not much I could do about that now.

My second run wound up being my only clean run, so it was my fastest.  Here is my in-car.


And here it was from the outside.

(Video by Michael Moran)

After the second run, Mikey said he noticed oil smoke out of the hood.  He asked if I wanted to pop the hood, and I told him that I just didn't want to know and we'd send it.  I went for broke on my third run, and while the time was there, I coned it at the very end and dropped back to 22nd place (out of 46).

(Video by Michael Moran)

Second day of racing was here.  We got up early and I drove the car over to do our course walks and get the car in grid for Kate.  As I pulled up to the course, there was a bunch of oil smoke out of the hood.  E36 M3.

I popped the hood and found the source.  The new valve cover was leaking and oil was getting on the heat protective boots around the spark plugs, which was then getting heated by the header.  Kate went and did her course walk, and I busted out my friend RTV again and did my best to get things sealed up.  Another fingers crossed moment.

Kate went out and did her three runs, getting better each time (including her second run where she bang-shifted into 4th instead of 2nd).  At the end of their runs, Tracey Lewis sat at the top.  She did an amazing job and it was a very well earned jacket.

Well, now it was my turn.

We were on the East course today, and holy crap that course was fast.  The car was great, but I was again dirty on my first and third runs.  When the dust had settled, I had moved up from 22nd to 15th, just two spots outside the trophies. 


Congratulations go to Tommy Pulliam for his win in CP.  It was amazing competing alongside him and all the other racers.  This is honestly the best class in solo - change my mind.


There the car sat.  Six hard runs on the practice course, and 12 on the competition courses.  It still ran, didn't leak too badly, and made it back to the trailer under its own power, and threatened the trophies in basically the first real race.  I could not be happier.

We then headed out in the CP parade to crown our champion.  You're damn right I was going to be up front for this one.


This trip was a huge success.  I have a bit of a list of things to tackle this winter, but for now I might pay a little attention to things around the house.

John Welsh
John Welsh Mod Squad
9/10/19 10:12 a.m.


Just for humor and nostalgia, I went back to posting number one of this now 34 page build thread to pull a picture.  You've come a long way, baby since 2013.  



Patrick MegaDork
9/10/19 10:41 a.m.

OMG the sex i would do to your camaro if one could sex a car, and if i were not married.

sorry we couldn’t hook up on your way back.  You’re always welcome to fly down to Gainesville and drive all my autocross runs in October.

Dusterbd13-michael MegaDork
9/10/19 10:43 a.m.

This may have been the most successful build thread I have seen it in a long time. I'm putting it right up there with Loose Cannon anf nohome as far as journey and payoff goes

1 ... 32 33 34 35 36 37
Our Preferred Partners