1981 Caprice Race Build (9/8/12 Count-down) - Chevy Impala SS Forum
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  #1  
Old 07-18-2012, 11:52 AM
bfurches bfurches is offline
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Default 1981 Caprice Race Build (9/8/12 Count-down)

I have been away for a while now. Some of you guys might still recognize my Caprice. Back in 2008-2010 I ran my 1981 4-door with an iron-headed mild 350 on a small shot of spray. Car ran 12.3x @ 112 all day (4040 race weight). It was nothing special, bone stock suspension, and a th350 with a 2.93 rear gear towards the end LOL.

It was originally a Chevy 229 v6 powered whale that had been in my family since almost new. My grandfather bought it in Florida and brought it back up to New England in the early 90's. I bought it with only 4x,000 miles.

Early 2010 I sold the car as a rolling chassis and kicked myself for it every day...






Fast forward a few years, and here we are....right back where I started. Thanks to my good friend, I was able to buy back my chassis at a very fair price. I will outline my build through this thread as I try my best to get the car running this season for the 9/8/2012 ECIRS event at Lebanon. I have a lot of work ahead of me!



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  #2  
Old 07-18-2012, 12:04 PM
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Default The Madness Begins

With just shy of 2 months to get ready....I have some REALLY high ambitions, and basically no time. I am essentially looking to start right back where I left off...but on motor. (In other words, I would like to be right back in the bottom of the 12s high 11s on motor)

BUT...what I am really looking to pull off is a 10.9x pass at the ECIRS Drag Day in September.
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I decided for the new build that I really wanted to run the 315/60 Mickey Thompson ET Streets. At 30" tall, it will help offset some of the steep gear with the 3spd on the street, and it will offer more then enough contact patch. Best of all, with a rolled lip, it fits in my stock tub.




I knew they would be close, because I used to run the 295/65 (same height, a little more narrow).



I am looking into a way I can get an aluminum 15x10 and still run the hub caps (tracks require they are removed unless they are bolt-on's). I have yet to come up with an attractive solution (i.e. not sheet metal screws), but it's just cosmetic regardless, so I am not to worried.
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Old 07-18-2012, 12:20 PM
bfurches bfurches is offline
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Default Body Mounts

Since the cage will be going in over the winter, I wanted to do something in the mean time to tie the body into the chassis. I will be mounting my motor with plates this time around (front and mid), and the mid will be tied into the firewall and frame. Obviously having the motor tied in this way, I don't want the frame and body fighting each other with the mushy oem body mounts...

I started off with a set of the harder Energy Suspension pieces...



but man was It disappointing. Here is what I ran into:

Everything started off smooth. My chassis is EXTREMELY clean and straight for a 1981, and every body bolt came out no problem.





Next I sorted out the new Energy Suspension pieces and realized that they don't have an integral inner sleeve. Instead they want you to reuse the sleeves from your oem bushings. This is what most of mine looked like!





....obviously I was not going to reuse those. That might be acceptable for some people, but considering once the cage is in this body can't come back off (without cutting the cage back out).....I don't plan on doing this job twice.

I tried to track down just the sleeves, but they were never offered as a service item through GM to begin with, and nobody offers them through the aftermarket. After talking to Energy's tech line, I just got frustrated and decided to go another route.

I lowered the body down on the frame as far as I could and measured any points of interference. I got it down to the point where the rocker box now tucks the frame, and the rear wheel tub lip sits almost on the rear rails.





After I measured, I determined that if I machined a set of aluminum body mounts, I would get the structural tie I am looking for, AND lower the ride height almost a full inch without affecting the suspension. (keep in mind this would not be ideal for everyone as it also lowers your hood to intake clearance and transmission to tunnel clearance, but I have plenty of both to spare)

I dropped a few of the poly mounts with my machinist so he could use them for height reference and I provided him with some sketches for some "half height" bushings. I should have them back in a few days and be able to get the body mounted back down.
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Old 07-18-2012, 12:30 PM
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Default Heart of the Beast

For power I am running a 2006 L33. (for those not familliar this is the all aluminum 5.3 H.O truck motor).

I plan on running the long block as stock as a rock for this event with a decent shot of nitrous (I am running a standalone with methanol to control detonation). No LS1tech tricks here....(that means stock rod bolts, cam, valve springs, rockers and etc). The only major change I am making is the inductions system to a carbureted setup.

Here are a few shots of the motor as it sits right now:





I fabricated an aluminum valley cover from some 1/8" sheet` to delete the knock sensors. I have swapped an f-body pan and pick-up for the chassis/ ground clearance. Everything has been cleaned, painted and all stainless socket head hardware was installed.





At least it looks fast! LOL
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Old 07-19-2012, 09:52 PM
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Wow I was just thinking bout you and your car the other day I was wondering if u ever got the turbo set up going. Glad to see u got it back. Hopefully you can obtain your goal I see your goin to make it nice and safe. I'll be watching your progress.
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Old 07-19-2012, 10:14 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bigdawg70 View Post
Wow I was just thinking bout you and your car the other day I was wondering if u ever got the turbo set up going. Glad to see u got it back. Hopefully you can obtain your goal I see your goin to make it nice and safe. I'll be watching your progress.
haha, thats too funny, thanks man.
I was in Chicago (well...Elk Grove) two months ago at the GFI Plant (farebox company for transit operations), for training. Small world!
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On a side note, I think I have a good lead on the front/ mid motor plates. I will post up some details and hopefully photos tomorrow.
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Old 07-20-2012, 06:53 PM
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I found a great source for LS Motor Plates at a VERY reasonable price.

I ordered this lsx blank today. It is 10x36 (perfect for profiling to our chassis). CNC machined 6061 1/4" Aluminum.



It is shipping Monday...gives me some time to get the body mounts back from the machinist and secure the shell to the frame. Still have to get a template so I can cut the mid plate out.
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Old 08-05-2012, 05:06 PM
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I have made quite a bit of progress since my last post.

Front and mid plate showed up. Both have been roughly test fit on the motor, but I haven't done any trimming or actual vehicle fitting until the body is completely bolted back down and I find the center-line.





I also got my custom 1/2 height body mounts back. They came out beautiful and so far they fit like a glove. The machine work on them is outstanding. I am still waiting on a few more flange head bolts to show up so I can finish bolting the body down, but as of now it is about 75%






I also ditched the rear inner bumper support (leaving just the chromed shell), and the impact absorbers. The battery disconnect is now mounted in the bumper, and the bumper has been sunk in and dropped (to compensate for the body drop).






And, the trunk is just about complete. All of the mounts have been finished. Battery box and nitrous bottle bracket are installed. Carpet from a brougham has been all cleaned up and dropped in. Making some headway.





Also, my new LS Vic Jr showed up along with my B&M blacked out Stealth Pro ratchet.


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Old 08-08-2012, 05:40 PM
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Body is 100% back on the frame, squared and tightened. I am converting the two "cushin" mounts on top of the rear spring perches to true mounts that bolt through the body in an attempt to tie that area in a little better.

Big news is, test fit the motor/ trans today....everything looks really good.

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Old 08-08-2012, 06:00 PM
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Great Work! Best of luck with exceeding your goal!
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1996 DCM Impala SS
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