Reliability Is Priceless: ARP and Ottoco

Update by Steve Chryssos to the Chevrolet Camaro project car
Jan 18, 2012

Matt adjusts the Crower rocker arms and Crane hydraulic roller lifters to zero lash.
Ottoco aramid fiber gaskets will not squeeze out under torque. The oil pan is a Canton Road Race piece.
ARP 8740 Chrome Moly hardware is 15% stronger than grade 8. Secondary hardware is all stainless steel.
As our Dart cylinder heads have oversized intake ports, bolt threads sometimes require Teflon paste. Forget this step and you will experience massive vacuum leaks.
Tried and true, these ARP Perma-Loc adjusters and HP Series rocker studs resolve a common failure point in the small block Chevy platform.
Mac's Custom Tie Downs makes an incredibly strong and convenient engine install plate / tilter called the pivot plate.
Our engine went right back in place with very little drama. Custom motor mounts help clear the rack and pinion steering.
We apply light coats of our favorite sealant, The Right Stuff, to all four mating surfaces.
Tom Heath loves working on the Camaro. It's clean and dripping with hardcore parts like this Howard Stewart aluminum water pump. It's been run on this car for 8 years and is still going strong.
With the engine in place, we buttoned it up and launched the Holley HP EFI mockup process.
Okay, we're sneaking in one last picture of the Subaru GTk. Imagine using a one-off concept car as an ordinary parts hauler. It's gone back to Subaru.

It is our calling to exorcise the bean-counter demons from our Camaro’s engine.

Performance parts like cylinder heads, camshafts and EFI get all the attention, but reliability is the cornerstone of a successful track day car. The easiest way to defeat yourself is by skimping on gaskets and hardware. A black flag or systems failure can ruin your session or your weekend. A common misconception is that OE-grade parts are always suitable for track day use. We hear it all the time: “These parts good enough for the street, so they must work on track.” Or, “They were designed by Germans and the Germans have the Autobahn.” In reality, OE manufacturers usually design parts for limited high rpm use—not multiple 20-minute sessions of peak rpm and high loads. Enthusiastic engineers are almost always tempered by overly cautious accountants. Thank goodness for the automotive aftermarket.

It is our calling to exorcise the bean-counter demons from our Camaro’s engine with the help of competition-grade hardware and gaskets. For head bolts, we tried a new ARP part number that combines black oxide-coated inner hardware with polished stainless steel outer bolts. Part of their High Performance series, the ARP head bolts are rated to 180,000 psi which is 15% stronger than grade 8. For peace of mind, we also installed ARP 8740 chrome moly steel rocker arm studs and Perma-Loc rocker arm adjusters. At high rpm, these parts experience extreme stress. As for installation, rocker arm studs may encroach our Dart head’s oversized intake passages, Telfon paste is applied to all threads to prevent leaks. The same can be said for valve cover hardware. Miss this step and your engine will experience severe vacuum leaks. If you get off on high-performance hardware with regards to metallurgy, parts failure and torque specs, some of our favorite internet reference guides can be found right in the ARP Technical Pages

With regards to gaskets, Ottoco supplied their outstanding MLS cylinder head gaskets, then followed up with aramid fiber gaskets for all secondary sealing surfaces such as the oil pan, intake manifold, and water pump. Aramid Fiber gaskets are known for being extremely stiff. You can really crank down on these gaskets without fear of crushing or squeezing them out. In certain instances, like with oil pan and water pump gaskets, we prefer to apply skim coats of our favorite sealant, The Right Stuff, to both sides of the gaskets as well as both mating surfaces. Think of it as safety wire for your gaskets. You might think that our approach is complete overkill, but we have a zero leak policy on this car. We cut plenty of corners on the crapcan Lincoln, but the Camaro is engineered to be bulletproof.

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View comments on the GRM forums
Tooocool49723 New Reader
1/20/12 1:47 p.m.

Poor GTk, I miss you already.

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