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V.P. MARKETING/CUSTOMER RELATIONS..........TRISH BIRO trish@rpm-mag.com E-MAGAZINE ASSOCIATE EDITOR................................IAN RAE ian@rpm-mag.com EVENT MEDIA DIRECTOR...........................RAYMOND KNIGHT events@rpm-mag.com EVENT SUBSCRIPTIONS COORDINATOR.....SHERRIE WEBER sherrie@rpm-mag.com Photographic Contributions: TONY WEBER, TIM LEWIS, BRIAN HANSEN, PETE “BOOMER” ORES, PAUL SCHMITZ, LOGAN WEBER, MARK goDragRacing.org, TOMMY LEE BYRD, STEVEN BUNKER, GEORGE PICH, TOBY BROOKS Editorial Contributions: IAN RAE, TONY WEBER, TIM LEWIS, CHUCK SCOTT, TOMMY LEE BYRD, BRIAN HANSEN, BEN STRADER, MARK goDragRacing.org, RAYMOND KNIGHT, CHUCK GREEN, STEVEN BUNKER, GEORGE KLASS, GEORGE PICH, TOBY BROOKS, BRIAN WOOD, PAT McGOWAN Technical Writing Contribution: CHUCK SCOTT, BEN STRADER, SHANE TECKLENBURG, TOMMY LEE BYRD

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EDITOR IN CHIEF.........................................................CHRIS BIRO editor@rpm-mag.com

RPM Magazine is a REGISTERED TRADEMARK of Revolution Publishing & Media Inc. RPM Magazine is a worldwide motorsports publication distributed in 34 countries and can be found on popular newsstands in the USA, Canada and select newsstands in the UK. If you cannot find a copy near you please call 519-752-3705 or email circulation@rpm-mag.com To subscribe to RPM go to www.rpm-mag.com or email Trish Biro at trish@rpmmag.com, or call 519-752-3705. The focus of RPM is to bring a diverse mix of high performance street and race automobiles to life within its pages including; Race cars, Musclecars, Hot Rods and Street Legal machines with an emphasis on the “EXTREME,” including Fast Doorslammer and Outlaw forms of Drag Racing. Not familiar with these types of cars? They are considered to be the top-shelf of the industry and are on-the-edge with regards to design and power! RPM Magazine does not sell its mailing list or share any of the confidential information regarding its subscribers.

WANT YOUR CAR IN RPM?

RPM Magazine has been a world leader in motorsports publishing for 15 years and has support locations in Ontario, Canada, Alabama, Wisconsin, Texas & Virginia, along with contributing writers and photojournalists worldwide. If you have a story that may fit within the focus and scope of RPM Magazine’s coverage, please email our Editor In Chief at: editor@ rpm-mag.com. Submission of an article does not guarantee that it will be published. Revolution Publishing & Media Inc. (RPM) / RPM Magazine IS NOT Responsible for errors or omissions in ANY advertisement or article. Advertisements may be rearranged or altered at the sole discretion of RPM to allow the ad to fit in the space purchased by the advertiser. WE RESERVE THE RIGHT TO REFUSE ANY ADVERTISING WHICH WE CONSIDER TO CONTAIN MISLEADING, OFFENSIVE OR FALSE INFORMATION. REPRODUCTION OF ANY INFORMATION HEREIN IS STRICTLY PROHIBITED WITHOUT PRIOR WRITTEN CONSENT.

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Art & Graphics Director: Toby Brooks

USA RPM MAGAZINE (USPS Periodical #023474) is published monthly 11 Times/year, except for a combined issue in January/February by USA Publisher’s Agent, 10387 Main Street, Suite 300, Fairfax, VA 22030. Periodicals Postage Rate is Paid at Fairfax, VA and additional mailing offices.

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EDITOR’S RANT

by

Chris Biro

RPM ANNOUNCES and NEW SISTER PUBLICATION Partnership with newly-formed NPSA

A

ll of us here at RPM couldn’t be more excited about being aligned with the newly formed NPSA (National Pro Street Association), let alone having our new sister publication, TUBBED, available to hardcore fat tire street machine fans. Even better is the fact that RPM’s own Toby Brooks will be at the helm! While RPM is known worldwide for featuring race and street machines, most of which share some blood with Pro Mod, Pro Stock and Pro Street styles, TUBBED, available in an electronic format, will celebrate Pro Street from a very ‘street’ perspective, but don’t be mistaken, it’s still all about wild cars and big-time horsepower. Even the small tire movement was spawned from the early fast street car drag events, which led to classes like Super Street, Outlaw 10.5, Limited Street/True 10.5 and now the many variations of radial tire drag racing, so TUBBED is just a natural companion to RPM. Whether it’s revived ’80s and ’90s cars, newer muscle car based big-tire builds, or completely new cutting edge designs like our RPM Project aPocalypSe Horse, the fact is that we’ve been seeing more and more Pro Streeters popping up everywhere we go (fast ones too), and the way we look at it, the more horsepower in ANY form, the better! So to have a separate magazine helping us celebrate this style and power, well that is simply incredible! Also, for the NPSA membership program, a full subscription to RPM MAGAZINE will be offered as an instant member perk, so check out how you can become a member today!

Riding a recent swell of enthusiasm and interest, the National Pro Street Association (NPSA) has

4

been established to help unite and connect those who love the style of high performance street machine first popularized in the late ’70s. Equipped with the requisite wide rear tires and other styling cues reminiscent of a pro stock drag race car, Pro Street cars represent the pinnacle of the street/strip dual-purpose auto. The brainchild of author, enthusiast, and builder Toby Brooks, the NPSA will include two categories of membership and provide members with exclusive access to TUBBED, a quarterly electronic publication devoted entirely to pro street cars, plus a full subscription to the world’s #1 printed street/strip car mag, RPM MAGAZINE. “I spent my entire childhood reading car magazines, attending shows, and watching and helping my dad wrench on cars,” Brooks said. After spending the better part of three years researching and writing a book about the heyday of the pro street movement in the 80s, Brooks soon realized that while other genres of custom and high performance autos had national organizations, shows, and other events, pro street did not. “When I realized that enthusiasts of street rods, pro touring and autocrossers, and several other types of cars all had an organization but pro street didn’t, I knew it was time for one. Building off the success of my book and coupled with my plans to launch TUBBED, it seemed like a good idea. However, partnering with RPM MAGAZINE was the critical key that really helped us kick off, “ Brooks added. Membership is open to anyone regardless of whether they are a builder, owner, or simply a fan of the style. In addition to member-exclusive items like t-shirts and decals, the NPSA will host an Inaugural National show event in 2015. For membership registration and other information, be sure to visit the NPSA’s page on the TUBBED website at

http://www.tubbedmagazine.com/npsa/

JULY 2014 | RPM Magazine

ADVERTISER INDEX Accufab Inc............................ 56 AFCO..................................... 59 Alan Johnson Performance (AJPE)................................. 29 Alston Race Cars.................... 16 Alston Race Cars Fast Glass.... 91 Applied Racing Components (ARC).................................. 23 ATI Performance Products..... 19 Autoglym.........................22, 86 AVAK/Ridgegate Tools........... 36 Bad Attitude Engines............ 75 Baer Brakes......................10, 80 BES Racing Engines............... 76 Bill Mitchell Products............ 18 Billet Specialties.................... 13 Blower Shop............................ 5 Borla..................................... 68 Browell Bellhousing.............. 58 BTE Racing............................ 49 C&C Motorsports................... 77 Calvert Racing Suspensions... 34 CFE Racing Products.............. 30 Chassis Engineering.............. 52 CN Blocks.............................. 22 Coan Engineering.................. 23 Competition Products........... 33 COMP Cams........................... 93 Crower.................................. 41 CVR Products......................... 57 DART..................................... 35 Design Engineering............... 26 Diamond Pistons................... 72 DIY Auto Tune/MegaSquirt EFI..................................... 90 Dynotech Engineering........... 70 Ed Quay Race Cars................. 53 Edelbrock.............................. 17 Engine Research & Development (ERD)........... 24 Fuel Air Spark Technology (FAST)............................... 27 FastMotorsports.................... 11 Fast Times Motorworks......... 21 FORD Racing.......................... 55 Frankenstein Racing Heads .. 44 Gold Living............................ 37 G Force Racing Transmissions.53 Greg Smith Equipment.......... 92 GZ Motorsports..................... 73 Harland Sharp......................... 8 Holcomb Motorsports........... 39 HoleShot Wheels................... 20 Holley.................................... 82 Holley Ultra Dominator......... 33 Holley Ultra Double Pumper.. 71 Holley Ultra Street Avenger... 73 Howards Cams...................... 83 Induction Solutions............... 47 Innovate Motorsports............ 95 JE Pistons.............................. 46

JET Performance................... 90 J&K Converters...................... 30 K&N Filters............................ 71 Lokar Performance Products. 89 LUCAS Oil Products.............2, 90 Lunati.................................... 45 Mahle Clevite Inc................... 74 Manton Pushrods.................. 73 Meziere Precision Mfg........... 88 Mickey Thompson Tires........... 7 Midwest Racing Converters... 70 Mile High Crankshafts............. 8 MSD Ignition......................... 81 Neal Chance Converters........... 9 New Century Performance.... 75 Nitrous Pro Flow.................... 73 Nitrous Supply...................... 45 Nucor Building Systems........ 97 Outlaw 10.5 Racing Assoc..... 87 Parts Pro Perf Centers.......... 100 Performance Improvements.. 11 Perf. Plus Connection.......52, 87 Powermaster Performance.... 76 Power Tank............................ 75 Precision Turbo/ProInjectors.. 15 Proformance Racing Trans..... 24 Pro Systems Carburetors...28, 85 Philadelphia Racing Products (PRP).................................. 20 ProCharger............................ 12 PRW...................................... 79 PTC........................................ 44 Quik-Latch Products.............. 88 Racepak................................ 18 Racequip............................... 80 Racing Radios.......................... 7 RAM Clutches........................ 26 Rev-X Oil Products............32, 96 Ross Racing Pistons................. 5 Rossler Transmissions............ 79 S&W Race Cars...................... 78 Scorpion Racing Prods......21, 80 Scotty’s Racing Engines......... 14 Shafiroff Racing Engines....... 54 SM Race Cars......................... 23 Smith Racecraft..................... 25 Steve Morris Engines............. 48 Summit Racing Equipment... 99 Taylor Cable Products............ 40 TCI Automotive...................... 85 Ti64....................................... 10 Tom’s Upholstery................... 14 Toronto Motorsports Park...... 31 Trick Flow.............................. 42 TRZ Motorsports.................... 44 Two Guys Garage................... 94 Valvoline............................... 38 VP Racing Fuels................43, 84 WC Enterprises...................... 75 Weinle Motorsports.............. 77 Weldon High Performance.... 69


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JULY 2014

Be sure to check out our Performance Directory on page 60!

Often Imitated, Never Duplicated—For 15 STRAIGHT YEARS RPM Magazine has been the ORIGINAL Voice Of Wild Street Machines and Extreme Drag Racing WORLDWIDE! Don’t Settle For Less! We DELIVER Insane Fast Cars and Bring You NO POLITICS... JUST ACTION! Your ONLY “Real Time” “Real World” Car Mag...PERIOD!

THE

SO Much Horsepower Packed Into One Place... That Place IS RPM Magazine!

CARS

COVER CAR

DRAG RACING

ACTION

Extreme Doorslammers.................................. 70

The Dark Side................................................. 8

RPM kicks off first event for the summer of 2014 at Grand Bend

Ron Bookman’s sinister DART VADER is as wicked as they come!

Second Chance...................................................... 20

After walking away from a horrendous crash, Edward Wilson and his wild Pro Mod Willys are back to fly again!

Still the One............................................................... 50 After nearly 40 years, John Caruso is still wheeling his wild ’61 Corvette

Hard Charging....................................................... 34

PROJECTS TECH Racer’s Edge........................................................................................................ 32

THE

AND

This injected big block Dodge is almost two tons of fun!

Don’t blame your ego: It’s not responsible for your racing performance

Project Update....................................................................................... 77 Metal keeps taking shape as our “Second Coming of Pro Street” build heats up

Losing Weight: Part 4........................................................................................ 80 We continue the rapid weight loss plan on our project third-gen Camaro

Part4: Lifted Expectations................................................................................... 88 Wiring, lighting, and installing a new 4-post lift makes our workspace bright, functional and fantastic

READ COMPLETE ISSUES OF RPM MAG ONLINE AT WWW.RPM-MAG.COM

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JULY 2014 | RPM Magazine


www.rpm-mag.com | JULY 2014

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I

t is low, loud, and downright mean. One glimpse and an unsuspecting onlooker is irresistibly drawn as if by some shift in the planet’s gravitational field. And sporting unmistak-

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JULY 2014 | RPM Magazine

able classic pro street styling cues with science fiction-era high technology, it has enough “nasty” to entrance generations both young and old. But like every good villain, Ron Book-

man’s 1969 Dodge Dart wasn’t always this evil. And just like the heavy-breathing shiny-domed former Jedi, “Dart Vader’s” story is filled with twists and turns and triumphs and heartbreaks.


>>Ron Bookman’s sinister DART VADER is as wicked as they come story by

Toby Brooks

photos by

Louis Fronkier

www.rpm-mag.com | JULY 2014

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THE DARK SIDE MO-POWER The ProChargerequipped 528 Wedge features an Indy Maxx aluminum block stuffed full of potent parts including a Callies crank, Oliver rods, and JE pistons. Larry’s Engine and Marine in Tucson, AZ was tasked with the build.

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JULY 2014 | RPM Magazine


“I got the car in 1981,” said Bookman. “I went to a drag race and fell in love with the boxy Mopar A-bodies,” he recalled. After a quick local search, the then-high-schooler from Hampton, VA found a solid foundation for a street/strip bruiser. The car was modified steadily over time, eventually being relegated to strip-only duty in the ’90s. By that point, Bookman’s

ride had been treated to a Viper Blue pearl paintjob and an S & W Race Cars backhalf in typical ’90s pro street style. Bookman eventually tweaked and tuned the all-steel car to a respectable 9.50 through the mufflers. However, the itch to put the car back on the street with tons of modern technology finally led Bookman to the capable hands of Donald Williams at Vir-

VILLAINOUS STANCE The Dart rides on a set of black anodized and machined aluminum Billet Specialties Comp 5 aluminum wheels. The Virginia Rod Companyfabricated chrome moly chassis ensures laser-straight launches every time.

www.rpm-mag.com | JULY 2014

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THE DARK SIDE

SILKY SMOOTH ABOVE: The timeless satin-black paintjob was completed by Tim’s Custom Painting in Newport News, VA. The gloss black Dart tail stripe is a perfect finishing touch and complements the black powder coated trim, bumpers, and chassis nicely. RIGHT: Check out the super-cool merged 5-inch oval SpinTech exhaust dump positioned just in front of the fabricated rear housing.

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JULY 2014 | RPM Magazine


ginia Rod Company (VRC). A simple cage modification to get the safety certification updated somehow morphed into a four-year transformation from Jedi-nice to Dark Side-nasty. “The quality of the work at VRC was so good, I decided to have them upgrade the backhalf on the car, too,” Bookman said. “So we made some changes—and all hell broke loose from there!” he added with a chuckle. Broke loose, indeed. First off, Larry’s Engine and Marine in Tucson, AZ was tapped to put together a bulletproof 528ci Mopar Wedge engine. An Indy Maxx alu-

minum block was fitted with a Callies Magnum Crank, Oliver billet rods, and JE pistons. A COMP Cams solid roller cam was selected to command the valvetrain, while a pair of Indy 440-1 aluminum heads fitted with T&D shaft rockers were torqued into place, as well. An Indy 400-2 aluminum intake topped with a C&S Specialties aerosol billet booster blow-thru carburetor was selected to complement the big F2 ProCharger. A Moroso vacuum pump and Powermaster alternator were added before the gang at VRC fabbed up the custom piping to the custom

COMMAND CENTER The Racepak dash has been painstakingly recessed into the sinister black sheetmetal dash. Adding to the theme is a blacked out Hurst Quarterstick shifter, Keith Olseninstalled headliner and carpeting, and gorgeous VRC carbon fiber tubs and door panels.

www.rpm-mag.com | JULY 2014

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THE DARK SIDE TIDY TRUNK The clean blacked-out theme is everywhere, including under the Dzus-fastened deck lid where a neatly plumbed fuel cell and Magnaflow electric pump live happily among the pristine VRC fabbed chassis bars and carbon fiber wheel tubs.

CLASSY CHASSIS VRC installed the Riley Motorsports Alter-Kation tubular front member, while Donald Williams and Ryan Laroux fabbed up the beautiful stainless headers.

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JULY 2014 | RPM Magazine

air-to-air intercooler and supercharger head. Bookman, an avowed Mopar purist, was quick to point out that his venerable Torqueflite trans could have been beefed up to be more than adequate to handle the stout new power plant; however, gearing issues and the need for an SFIspec case sent him in the direction of an ATI Supercase TH400 with a 2.10 first gear. VRC added a Griner trans brake and a Pro Torque converter before covering the entire package with a custom sheetmetal fabricated trans tunnel. Moving rearward, the mighty Mopar’s considerable “Force” is transferred to the pavement through a Moser 4130 fabricated 9-inch housing stuffed with Moser 40-spline axles fitted with 5/8-inch studs. An “Ultra” case, spool,

and Richmond 3.55 gears rounds out the deadly Dodge’s drivetrain. Chassis work consisted of a Riley Motorsports Alter-Kation tubular front member, a Bickel Outlaw 4-link, and a custom wishbone fabbed up by VRC. Copious amounts of 4130 chrome moly tubing was employed in welding up a new cage and custom wheelie bars, while a Bears pro-mod anti-roll bar and Santhuff rear shocks round out the freshly certified 7.50 chassis. Donald Williams from VRC and friend Ryan Laroux also custom fabricated the one-off headers and SpinTech 5-inch oval exhaust, critical for maintaining good flow without compromising ground clearance on the low-slung Mopar. A trick merged outlet rests just ahead of the differential.


www.rpm-mag.com | JULY 2014

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THE DARK SIDE

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JULY 2014 | RPM Magazine


Rolling stock consists of 25x4.5-15 Mickey Thompson ET tires up front mounted on Billet Specialties Death Stars… er…Comp 5 wheels. Out back, a pair of double beadlocked 15x15s clamp down tightly on 33x18.5-15 ET Street tires. Stopping duties are handled by 4-wheel discs plumbed with copper nickel lines and Fragola steel AN fittings. As the build continued to progress, it came time to prep for paint. Bookman liked Williams’ idea to paint the car black, but wanted a more muted satin black finish as opposed to a high-gloss sheen. Body mods were kept to a minimum, but fiberglass artist Garry Harris modified the front bumper for the trick intercooler inlet and also tweaked the rear bumper, as well. Bobby Starcher from

VRC finished up the sheet metal and carbon fiber work before VRC then mounted up a pair of lightweight Glasstech fenders. Tim’s Custom Painting in Newport News, VA laid down the laser-straight black suede topcoat. Vader-helmet black powder coat was added to all trim and a subtle gloss black tail stripe was added as a wicked-cool finishing touch. Dart Vader’s evil goes all the way to the core, and the wicked powertrain and chassis needed an equally nasty interior. VRC’s custom carbon fiber tubs and tinwork is most obvious, but other sinister touches like a recessed dash fitted with a state-of-the art Racepak display and a cool Smartwire system and headliner and carpet by Keith Olsen of Kirks Upholstery in Hampton, VA were added for

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JULY 2014 | RPM Magazine

show and go. The entire car was wired without a single relay and features every data acquisition sensor available. Bookman says the high-tech wiring is one of his favorite features of the build. Despite its clear theme as a dark and sinister villain, the car was recently debuted to a hero’s welcome at several area shows. Bookman has plans to hit the drag strip soon, as well. He fully expects the car’s light weight and copious power on tap to post mid to high seven-second time slips. But before going to the drag strip, Bookman has another stop to make. “My loving wife of 17 years, Sherri Lynn Bookman, was instrumental in building the car,” he said somberly. “She loved all things drag racing and it was her dream to see the Dart finished,” he added. Unfortunately, Sherri passed on Valentine’s Day in 2013 after a valiant five-year battle with cancer. “She went to all my races and all the big events we had scheduled and she never let

her illness get her down,” he said. “She was a loving person to all with the heart of a lion. She was always my biggest fan.” Not many grief counselors would have prescribed a wild car build like Dart Vader to help Bookman cope with his loss. However, in a way, the build has been therapeutic for the likeable Virginian. Knowing full well that his beloved bride would have wanted him to do so, Bookman poured himself into the project and completed it just over a year after her passing. In doing so, he paid fitting tribute to the woman he considers his best friend. So where exactly does Bookman plan to take the car prior to shaking it down at the local strip? The answer might surprise you. “I plan to go to the cemetery where Sherri was laid to rest so that I can talk to her and show her what we built,” Bookman said. “I’m going to do a burnout for her right there in the graveyard. She’ll love it.”.


THE DARK SIDE

Check out video of the car at Bookman’s first show following the build!

LONG TIME MOVING TO THE DARK SIDE... Although he has owned the Dart for 33 years, Bookman debuted the car in its current form just last month at a local car show. He has plans to hit a number of larger shows and make some passes at the drag strip soon.

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RPM FEATURE CAR

BEFORE AND AFTER Sitting in the lanes waiting for the first round, the car draws attention from spectators and racers alike. (Inset) This photo was taken just weeks before a violent crash at Piedmont.

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JULY 2014 | RPM Magazine


Second

CHANCE

>>After walking away from a horrendous crash, Edward Wilson and his wild Pro Mod Willys are back to fly again story and photos by

A

ny type of racing can be dangerous, as even in a controlled environment something can go wrong that results in damage, injury, and sometimes loss of life. Motorsports as a whole will use an accident as a learning experience. Safety equipment manufacturers and governing bodies will look at improvements in driver safety both in-car and with regards to on-track safety, and parts manufacturers will research

new ways and components that make the cars themselves safer. All this work is done for one reason: giving racers like Edward Wilson a second chance. When it comes to door-cars, one of the wildest classes in drag racing has to be Pro Modified. In this class, when speeds often exceed 200mph, safety is paramount. Ever since Pro Mod was born as its own class in 1990, the safety in these cars has followed along with their outstanding performance

Tim Lewis

leaps over the past 24 years. Keeping the driver safe in the event of an accident is also job number one for any chassis builder, and for Edward Wilson, his Willys was put to that test on June 7, 2012. Wilson, a one-man auto body shop and tow business owner from Benson, NC is no stranger to drag racing. He started out behind the wheel of a 1955 Chevy powered by a stout 350 small block backed by a 4-speed transmission.

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www.rpm-mag.com | JULY 2014

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COLOR ME FAST Under the sun you can really see how the paint pops. Photographs do not even come close to showing the true color.

“I would drive that car to the track and race at Dunn Benson Drag Strip every chance I got,” explained Wilson. “We would go off of a flagman for the start back then.” When it came time to get into his first real dedicated race car in 1978, he chose a ’67 Camaro. With a 427 and, of course, another 4-speed transmission along with a narrowed rear clip to facilitate the 14x32 slicks, Wilson earned a reputation for being a great bracket

racer in the area as he ran consistent 6.40s in the eighthmile and won many races along the way. Wilson moved on to a 1981 Camaro that he raced in Top Sportsman and Quick 8 and in which he also became the first door-car in the 4-second zone at Coastal Plains in Jackson, NC. Racing alongside the likes of Scotty Cannon, Ed Hoover, Micheal Martin, Tommy Mauney, and Bob Harris to just name a few, Wilson was racing

HEAVILY JUICED Believe it or not, this motor is considered a bit of a dinosaur with today’s 5.3 bore space 900-plus cube engines that are gaining strength. Four stages of nitrous help get the Willys up to almost 192mph in the 1/8th mile.

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JULY 2014 | RPM Magazine


SECOND CHANCE

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EASY TO LOOK AT, HARD TO SEE This is what you see behind the wheel. The Willys’ are known for having a lack of visibility due to the shape of the body.

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on a nickel and a dollar. No big rig pulling his car up and down the road but rather a Chevy truck and open trailer. Wilson continued, “I’ve always had a passion for hot rodding and fast cars. The look, sound and bond between you and your car, it’s like the car is a part of you. There is always a challenge, you’re always trying to make it better in looks or performance. There is a lot of trying this and that and it’s hard work, but it is all very rewarding when you reach your goals.”

JULY 2014 | RPM Magazine

A few years back, after over 20 years of being away from his passion for power, Wilson found himself ready to give it another go and set out to save up the funds needed to jump back into the driver’s seat. A 1941 Willys caught his eye and he struck a deal to become the new owner of a TM Race Cars Pro Mod Willys. An 887ci nitrous monster was placed between the frame rails. This mill is one of the original 5.2-inch bore space motors that has been highly modified. A Bryant crank-

shaft, GRP rods, and pistons from Diamond spin inside a DART block. CFE heads with Jesel valve train are topped with a custom sheet metal intake, four tricked out Braswell carbs, and a four-stage nitrous system. And, just like his past race cars, this one would have a clutch pedal to get things going, only this time it would be through a Lenco trans with a Leanders clutch. Wilson and his car were an instant hit on the Pro Mod scene as well as racing the Big Dog events at Piedmont Dragway, but on June 7th,


SECOND CHANCE LIGHTWEIGHT PASSENGERS There’s not much room for anything other than the carbon fiber nitrous cylinders in the right side of the Willys.

2012 at Piedmont all that came to a halt when, during the first round of eliminations, he lost control and went from the left lane hard into the right lane wall. The car then came back across and went into the left wall. Wilson made it out of the car and was then transported to the ER with a broken back. Many racers would hang up the fire suit after a severe crash like this, but not Wilson. Soon after there were talks of a rebuild, but rebuilding a car at this level is no small feat. The car was stripped down and

what parts could be used again were kept and those that couldn’t be salvaged were tossed in the trash. Using the same engine and transmission combination was a sure thing, as when you race on a budget, a new engine just for the heck of it isn’t in the cards. Plus, it’s worth noting that this combo had made the Willys the quickest nitrous powered Willys in the world. Alan Pittman was in charge of putting the new front clip on the car while fellow Pro Mod racer Charles Terrell gave Wilson a hand back at

his shop going over everything and helping get the chassis back together. “You can’t count the hours spent in just getting the body and paint back in shape, I am talking hundreds,” exclaimed Wilson. The new longer front nose has over 60 hours of work in it alone. It was definitely worth it though, as the new look is one of the smoothest and slickest paint jobs you’ll ever lay eyes on. Once the body had been put back together and prepped, a coat House of Kolor Cinder Red was used for the base with a layer of Kandy

LIGHT ‘EM UP Wilson heats the tires coming out of the water box at the EOPM’s first race of 2014.

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SECOND CHANCE

JUST A LITTLE REBUILD... Alan Pittman rebuilt the front clip after the accident. With such a hard impact, Wilson was lucky he came out of it alive.

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JULY 2014 | RPM Magazine

Tangerine shot on top. Carbon fiber-style stripes and the side trim along with the headlights and grille were airbrushed on before the glass-like clear was laid down over the swooping bodylines of the Willys. And for the record, the slick smooth shine you see here was not achieved through hours and hours of wet sanding and buffing. Nope, this job is straight out of the gun, and there are more than a handful of witnesses to back that up! Rockingham Dragway and the first race of the new PDRA (Professional Drag Racing Association) was stop number one for the new Willys. After some challenges, Wilson was

able to get the car down the track on its first full pass (after sitting out almost two years since the accident) and ran a 3.923 in the eighth-mile at 188mph, qualifying at #16. Unfortunately he was knocked back to #17 before eliminations and didn’t make the show. The very next week, at the season-opening race of the EOPM (Extreme Outlaw Pro Mod) series in Virginia, Wilson got his game back and drove straight down the groove to a 3.89 at 190mph. That run, during only the second time out, was just off the 3.87 at 191.89mph best from before the accident, which Wilson attributes to being “just a little off on


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SECOND CHANCE

WILLYS...EXHAUSTED The bull horn exhaust looks right at home with the swooping curves of the Willys body.

the clutch set-up.� Things are definitely looking up for him to best his old ET and set the mark even lower for the quickest and fastest nitrous powered Willys. Edward Wilson is proof positive that when the chips are down you don’t have to give up. Keep fighting for the

dreams you have and with a little bit of luck and a whole lot of sweat and tears those dreams can come true. This is as hard a working man as they come and if there was ever someone who deserved support with their race operation it would be Wilson.

SLICK(S) WILLYS The Mark Williams rear mounted up to the Tommy Mauney chassis.

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SECOND CHANCE

COMEBACKER

CREW’D BEHAVIOR

(Top): Wilson in his “other office” outside of his auto body and towing business which he operates himself.

Bruce Harrelson and Donny Thompson give Edward help on the starting line.

(Bottom): With the clutch out and tires digging in the front end carries well down the track.

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JULY 2014 | RPM Magazine

“I would like to first give thanks to God for all his blessings and making a way for me to be able to race and run my business,” he said. “There have been fellow racers and friends that have helped far above and beyond

in my recovery from the accident and the rebuilding of the car, and I want to thank them all. Special thanks to everyone who contributed their parts, time, money and support. And a special thanks also to DRAW (the Drag Racing Association

of Women) for their help after the accident. They were a tremendous help. Thanks to my family and my crew: Butch Harrelson, Donny Thompson, Marvin Wright and TJ and Logan Paul.”


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RACER’S EDGE >> Don’t Blame Your Ego: It’s Not Responsible for Your Racing Performance by John O’Connor, PhD and Kirsten Schuder, MS

I

have heard many athletes blame their ego for a bad performance. As a psychologist, it always makes me smile. Most people don’t really know what an ego is, and they certainly don’t realize that an ego is not responsible for their performance that day. Commonly, an ego is thought to be someone’s idea of himself. “He has a really big ego” is often used to describe someone who is overly confident, has a big head, or is cocky. When athletes say, “My ego got in the way of my performance today,” it usually means that the athlete felt overconfident, too self-assured, or too cocky. Because of my years of experience in psychoanalysis, ego has a completely different meaning for me. Step into my office for a bit, and I’ll tell you what ego really means, why it’s not responsible for your performance, and what is truly responsible for a less than stellar race performance.

WHAT IS AN EGO?

One of the first people to peg down a working definition of what an ego is was Sigmund Freud, who was responsible for bringing psychoanalysis to the world. In order to understand the role the ego plays in our system of mental existence, we have to look at the role it plays in relation to the other parts of our consciousness and our subconscious. Our ids are our primal urges, and it has only a rudimentary system of logic. It contains our drive for survival and wishes, and it will do anything it can to

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ensure that our needs and wishes are fulfilled. Our ego develops out of our ids. As we grow, we are molded by the social forces around us. We learn that we must negotiate with the world around us in order to get our needs and desires fulfilled. The ego has a higher reasoning than the id, and is charge of negotiating this process. The ego is seen as a partially conscious entity and partially preconscious process, the area in between consciousness and subconscious. The superego grows from the ego and contains our ethics. In the superego, we have an ideal of ourselves that we think we should live up to. It is our sense of what we think is right and wrong. When the inner voice of the superego dictates that what is going on or what one is doing is wrong, it creates inner conflict. The superego’s ideals may not match the reality of what is going on in our subconscious. It is the ego’s job to act as a peacemaker of sorts. The ego has the ability to assess the situation within the realms of reality. Sometimes, the ego decides that the information from the subconscious is too damaging to the conscious psyche, so it will employ certain protective tools to help protect us from the information that would completely destroy our emotional and mental state. Therefore, the ego is a protector and a negotiator. It has a firm grasp on reality and keeps the inner peace. It’s what helps you survive on a day-to-day basis. It does not somehow get overin-

flated, it is not responsible for how cocky a person is, it does not get in the way, and it’s not responsible for making you red light at the tree.

the car would not get very far off the starting line. Even though he wanted to win his races, his unconscious was reliving the crash as soon as he got to the starting line. After our discussion, he went on to win the next season. This is a good illustration on how our actions are not fully dictated by our conscious mind. Our If ego is not responsible for subconscious has a say in what we athletic performance, what is, my do, and if it has a fear based upon clients often ask me. Since I am a a bad experience, it often steps up Freudian, my answer is always the and impedes what we conscioussubconscious, of course! ly desire in order to protect our The subconscious is the part of physical, emotional, and mental us that knows exactly what is gowell-being. ing on at all times. Even when our This is the crux of what I do consciousness does not remember, with clients. I help them negoour subconscious keeps a running tiate between the conscious and tally of what has happened to us subconscious and resolve the war over our lifetime. Not only that, it that goes on inside of most of us. has its own way of processing and A mind in conflict is what causes organizing information. poor athletic performance, not The subconscious, remember, the ego. The ego is only trying to has only rudimentary processing do its best to keep the head above capabilities. Also, just because the water so that you can function ego filters out some painful infor- daily. mation, it doesn’t mean that the id isn’t expressing itself. Sometimes, you hear thoughts from your id as it tries to make its needs known, and sometimes it comes out in other, not as obvious ways. Often, the ego gets used as For example, one of my racing a scapegoat. Instead of blaming clients got into a pretty horrific your ego, let’s discuss what the crash. The recovery was fairly real issue could be if you are painful and long. Not surprising- not satisfied with your racing ly, his following season’s racing performance. There are many performance was not stellar. issues that could be going on with Mysteriously, his car did not seem a driver that could detract from to work right all season. racing performance, and these We found out that he was may range from personal life to overstepping or over-clutching physical health. the car on the burnout, which Lack of focus is behind many in turn blew some cylinders and problems drivers experience, and

WHAT IS RESPONSIBLE FOR RACING PERFORMANCE?

THE REAL REASONS BEHIND POOR RACING PERFORMANCE


Physical status can interfere with a racer’s focus, as well. Exhaustion, Tim Lewis photo lack of fluids, health, poor diet, often the cause of a lack of focus is and electrolyte imbalances a racing mind. Lack of focus can can create unfavorable physical create inconsistency at the light conditions that will affect the and bad decisions during the race. individual throughout their entire Lack of focus can occur right berace day. fore staging, during the burnout, All these little pieces are and at the light. If your mind is chipping away at your perforracing with other thoughts, you mance. These distractions are are not focusing when you need part of being human. Racers have to during those crucial moments. daily stresses just like the rest of When I work with clients, this is us. However, the best performers the most common cause, and not are able to manage their stress one’s ego. at least to the point that when Wearing multiple hats, such they perform their burnout and as being the tuner and the driver approach the light, they are able creates more distractions at stagto focus during that one moment ing and the light. With the added that counts the most. stress of having multiple responsiThe best performers don’t bilities, it’s difficult for my clients blame their egos. They are able to who run the entire show to focus look at all these little pieces and because of the added stress. actively work on them to improve Family issues and relationship their performance so that they issues can also distract drivers can be their best on race day. So at the wrong time. For instance, let’s give the ego bashing a break, some racers are on the road when and take a look at the real issues their wife is having a baby. Not interfering with your race perforonly do they have the normal mance. pressures of racing and every day life, but also the added guilt that John O’Connor, Sr., PhD is they cannot be there for the birth. a Sports Psychologist and PresiEmotional status is another dent of the American Emotional reason why racers don’t perform Wellness Organization. He may to their fullest potential. Poor anger management or just being in a be reached at drjohnoconnorphd@ gmail.com. Kirsten Schuder, MS is bad mood will interfere with pera mental health counselor and VP formance the whole day because of the American Emotional Welltoo many people don’t know how ness Organization. to let go of anger.

www.rpm-mag.com | JULY 2014

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RPM FEATURE CAR

CHARGING

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JULY 2014 | RPM Magazine


by

Kristal Cowle

photos by

John Ulman & Mike Costic

>>This injected big block Dodge is almost two tons of fun!

“E

very cloud has a silver lining,” a very common saying and one that rang true for a young sailor back in 1983. Eric Tuuri was only 21 years old when he set off from the Naval Air Station Patuxent River in Maryland for a visit back home to Ohio. Unfortunately, just outside of Washington, DC, Eric was involved in a 10-car pile-up which totaled his “well used” old pick-up. To his surprise, when the insurance settled, they paid him twice what he had in it. “I was flat broke but came home with a wad of cash and

hell yeah, I bought a ’66 Charger!” Eric exclaimed. Interestingly, Eric had known all five of the previous owners of the monster Mopar. “I paid $800 for the car in 1983 and the cool thing is that so did everyone else who owned it prior to me.” Six owners all paying $800 for their shot at owning the car—not a bad investment for Eric who still has the car all these years later, only it is a bit different these days. The car, bought originally as Eric’s daily driver street machine, is now driven on the drag strip only, competing in the Renegade Racing Associ-

BOAT LAUNCH Despite its enormity, the bigbodied Dodge has no problem yanking the wheels on any given holeshot.

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HARD CHARGING

NO-CARB DIET The Enderle mechanical fuel injection system is just too cool.

ation 8.90 index class. In its street form though, way back in 1983, Eric drove his wife Lynda to the hospital in the Charger to give birth to their oldest son Neil, who now spends many a weekend turning wrenches with his dad preparing the car for race day. When Eric is at the track, nine times out of ten you will find Neil right there with him. In 1984 the Tuuri family even used the Charger to move everything they owned. Eric laughs as he recalls the adventure. “Yep, cue the Clampett theme song, I’m pretty

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JULY 2014 | RPM Magazine

sure I heard it playing as we drove down Route 11. Our dog wasn’t thrilled about the whole idea and jumped out the window along the way, but no worries, he was ok. We got him back in the car and we were on our way.” Eric and his ’66 Charger even had their 15 minutes of fame back in 1991. A very popular television show of the day, Unsolved Mysteries, came to Rock Creek, Ohio to film an episode about the death of Police Chief Robert Hamrick back in the late 1960s. The small town


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JULY 2014 | RPM Magazine

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HARD CHARGING had been overrun by gangs and the Chief took a stand against them. He was found dead in his cruiser and the crime remains unsolved to this day. Eric was filmed racing his Charger down Main Street against Larry Dougherty in his ’69 Road Runner during the episode. The mid-nineties came along and the time had finally come to see what this car could do on the drag strip, but it almost didn’t happen. The racing budget was tight to say the least, so the Charger was loaded on to an open trailer and pulled with a 1970 Chrysler Newport. “I still have no idea what happened but the trailer just tried to come right around me,” continued Eric. “It was all we could do not to lose control and total it before we ever made it to the track that

very first time.” Fortunately, he did make it to the track and the car ran mid 15-second quarter-mile passes in pretty much stock form. They spent the next few years competing in the Animal Class at Thompson Raceway Park where the Charger steadily made improvements each time out. Eric is a family man and sometimes, whether we want them to or not, cars have to take a back burner to the demands of life. However, for those who have been bitten by the horsepower bug, the desire never leaves. It was only a matter of time before Eric and his Charger would be back at it. Eric and the late Tommy Cowle (the original director of

the Renegade Racing Association) were great friends, and, with the Charger out of retirement, what better way to honor his friend than to compete in the series he poured

SMOKE ‘EM IF YA GOT ‘EM The Charger effortlessly heats the hides for the next pass. The monster 33x14.5-wide Goodyears will grab any race surface.

www.rpm-mag.com | JULY 2014

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HARD CHARGING

1966 DODGE CHARGER

Owner: Eric Tuuri Chassis Type & Mods: Factory unibody with frame ties, factory firewall, and floors, moly cage fabricated and welded by Steve Lindsay at HPI Racing, wheel tubs and all back half sheet metal work by Steve as well as Ford 9-inch rear housing. Suspension (Front and Rear): Front: Tubular AJE Racing K-member, rack and pinion steering, coilover strut bodies with double adjustable shock cartridge inserts. Rear: Afco double adjustable coil over shocks, 4-link, wishbone, and anti-roll bar. Body & Paint: Black cherry PPG enamel, all-steel body with glass hood, original bumpers & glass. Bodywork by Brian Paakala, paint by Brian Paakala and Jimmy Loveland. Engine: 515ci Mopar mega block, ported B1 cylinder heads, Cam Motion roller cam, COMP Cams roller lifters, Smith Bros. 7/16” pushrods, Milodon gear drive, T&D roller rockers, Kromer Kraft fabricated headers. Rotating Assembly: BRC crank, Bill Miller aluminum rods, Ross pistons, Childs and Albert rod bearings, Clevite main bearings. Induction: Enderle mechanical injection bird catcher, 80a pump, B1 weld-together tunnel ram kit. Power Adder: Nitrous Charger system Electronics: MSD digital 7 ignition box, MSD HVC 2 coil, Autometer 17 channel data logger, Turbo Start 16 volt battery, MSD crank trigger, Mallory Unilite distributor. Transmission & Converter: 727 Torqueflite, A&A trans brake, Marco Abruzzi 5500 stall converter. Rear Differential: Ford 9-inch housing with Strange center section and spool, Richmond 4.56 Pro gears and Moser 35-spline axles with 5/8” wheel studs, Wilwood Dynalite brake calipers and rotors front and rear. Best ET & MPH: 9.00 at 150mph (2013)

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POTENT PENTASTAR The 515-cube Mopar B1 big block, while quite large, still has lots of room to spare between the rails the Charger. Meticulously maintained, it is an impressive sight.

his heart and soul into. Eric set his sights on the RRA’s 8.90 index class. “The car weighs in at a hefty 3650 lbs with the driver and we tried to run the first six races of 2013 on motor, but we struggled,” added Eric. “A 9.35 was all we could muster. We put a nitrous kit on for the last two races of the season and ran our best time to date 9.00 at 150 mph. Unfortunately though, the added power found a weak link in the transmission and when we got into it, we also discovered the torque converter was broken. The long, cold winter gave us time to patch things up and we are looking

forward to being competitive in the class this year.” Tuuri’s ’66 Charger has undergone many updates and improvements in its transition from daily driver to drag car but has always stayed true to its street car origins. The car still has the factory firewall, floorboards, original glass, and bumpers. The body is all steel with a fiberglass hood only, thus the 3,600-plus pounds. Brian Paakala did the arrow-straight body work, and the flat black hood was just updated this April by Jim Loveland to match the wicked black cherry PPG enamel on the body.


www.rpm-mag.com | JULY 2014

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GenX Top-End Kit for GM LS3

Test Engine: GM 6.2L LS3 short block with 10.43:1 compression, Trick Flow GenX® 255 square port cylinder heads (TFS-3261T002-C01), Trick Flow Track Max® hydraulic roller cam (TFS-32603001), stock L92 intake with 90mm throttle body, Kooks headers with 17⁄ 8" primaries, and dual exhaust with 3" Flowmaster mufflers.

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JULY 2014 | RPM Magazine


HARD CHARGING

ON THE INSIDE The interior of the Charger maintains much of its factory components, and that’s the way Eric wants it. Things like the racing bucket seats, aftermarket tachometer inset in the factory cluster, and blue bottle of nitrous oxide tucked behind the passenger seat are necessities for race duty.

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www.rpm-mag.com | JULY 2014

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HARD CHARGING Steve Lindsay of HPI Racing also put a lot of time into the Charger. He fabricated, welded and installed the moly cage, did all the work on the back-half sheet metal and wheel tubs as well as narrowing and fabricating the heavily beefedup Ford 9-inch

44

rear differential. The big Charger’s rear suspension is made up of Afco double adjustable coil over shocks, a 4-link, wishbone and anti-roll bar. Up front, a cool tube style front K-member by Anthony Jones keeps everything in place and the steering has been converted from

JULY 2014 | RPM Magazine

LOOOOONG WAY TO GO Eric’s Charger is so long you need an extra long trailer to transport it! Seriously though, you can imagine the monumental task of the bodywork on such a lengthy machine, and knowing it would be painted black cherry would only add to the stress. Body man Brian Paakala really came through on this one!


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www.rpm-mag.com | JULY 2014

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BBC 632 Nitrous Series

BBC Open Chamber Blown Alcohol Dome

Designed for Nitrous-fed 632 engines using aluminum rods.

Designed for high horsepower, blown alcohol BBC engines. Ideal for use in Top Dragster and Top Sportsman engines

• Vertical gas ports • Designed with large pin boss span and extra clearance to accept aluminum rods • Designed with 3/16″ oil rings for improved oil control (critical in nitrous engines) • Intake valve relief edge has been machined to remove thin outside area, reducing hot spots and likelihood of preignition • Utilizes JE Pro Seal Hardened Nitrous Series .043″, .43″, 3/16″ ring package

5.OOO'' / 5.3OO''

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JULY 2014 | RPM Magazine

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HARD CHARGING

PSSSSSSSSST.... Purging the nitrous oxide at the line, the Charger takes on a whole new personality, especially to those in the other lane.

RACE READY! Both 10 & 15 lb. bottles available! Bottles include: • 1.5” liquid filled gauge • Racer safety • Bottle nut

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the good ol’ Dodge drives-like-an-oiltanker steering box to a rack and pinion set-up. Front suspension consists of coilover strut bodies with double adjustable shock cartridge inserts. The car is powered by a pretty nasty Mopar B1 big block that comes in at 515 cubic inches. Eric started off with a Mopar Mega block with cross bolted mains and block filler. Original B1 cylinder heads were CNC ported and prepared by Tom Hemphill.

Qwik Trik Racer Safety Coupler

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When purchasing a nitrous bottle, the racer safety may be upgraded to the Qwik Trik Racer Safety Stem for no additional cost!!

E-85 SYSTEMS AVAILABLE EDELBROCK, NOS, HOLLEY EFI

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www.rpm-mag.com | JULY 2014

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HARD CHARGING

HE’S GOT THE HOOK UP... Tuuri’s Charger consistently launches hard and true thanks to help from Afco double adjustable rear coilover shocks and some trick chassis work by Steve Lindsay of HPI Racing.

A BRC 4.25 stroke crank spins Bill Miller aluminum rods pinned to Ross flat top pistons that were notched and gas ported by Tom Hemphill. This is where it gets really cool; an Enderle mechanical bird catcher fuel injection unit sits atop an insane sky-high B1 weld-together tunnel ram kit. To reach the magic 8-second quarter mile elapsed times needed for his class, Eric has enlisted the help of nitrous oxide courtesy a unique Nitrous Charger kit from Koehler Injection (Dave Koehler).

A fresh, extremely tricked-out 727 transmission with Abruzzi converter backs up the behemoth’s B1 ponies and will certainly help Eric reach his goals this year. Front to back this car screams “don’t mess with me”, and when it’s on the track you know it with that distinct tone of big block Dodge power that has a sound of its very own. To get a real grasp on a hard charging Mopar like Eric’s, though, you really have to see it in person. It’s big, it’s bad, and it hauls butt!

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$359599 Bracket Powerglide FEATURES: 1.76 Gear set with 4340 forged output shaft and housing, Steel Clutch Hub w/ 5 clutch pack, Rebuilt Pump, Two ring servo, BTE Bracket Transbrake Valve body, Kevlar lined Band, Dyno-tested.

$84995 www.rpm-mag.com | JULY 2014

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Toby Brooks

by photos by

goDragRacingMark & Tara Bowker

>>After nearly 40 years, John Caruso is still wheeling his wild ’61 Corvette www.rpm-mag.com | JULY 2014

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STILL THE ONE

I

slip, New York resident John Caruso isn’t the kind of guy to make a hasty decision. After all, the owner of New Apple Automotive Warehouse first purchased this lightning-quick 1961 Corvette as a gutted-out roller for the paltry sum of $2,000 all the way back in 1976. While nearly every aspect of the car, including the powertrain, paint, body, tires, and wheels have changed over the years, one thing has remained the same: his name on the title. “I had a friend in high school who got a ’62 Corvette and I happened to fall in love with it,” Caruso recalled. “Six months later we found one that was just basically a shell—no motor, no interior, brown primer—so I ended up buying it,” he added. It has been a work in progress ever since. Caruso began the process of piecing the car together out of his parents’ modest two-car garage beginning the first of a series of iterations with a mildly warmed small block Chevy and a candy apple red paintjob. “I street raced for money back in the day and did pretty well,” he said. Additionally, Caruso was a regular with the Vette at

several area drag strips. However, an exploded flywheel in 1984 changed the car’s fate forever. “When it blew up, I was at the track. It actually cut the frame in half. Since I hadn’t really done much to the chassis, we decided to build it according to the rules of the Fastest Street Car competition,” Caruso said. At the time, those rules stipulated that although chassis modifications were acceptable, original framerails were required. As a result, the car was backhalfed and fitted with a full cage by Tommy Vinceguerra at Super Pro Performance. Fabrication work on the custom front suspension was handled by the crew at Paul’s Rods and Restos who also built the custom stainless steel headers. “I never made it to the Fastest Street Car competition because by the time we got the chassis work finished up, all the big names with huge horsepower were running and I had no chance,” he said with a laugh. That included cars like the legendary rides of Caruso’s longtime pal Rod Saboury. Without a doubt, the gorgeous custom mixed House of Kolors Kandy Purple paintjob with pearl white, fuchsia, and

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PURPLE PEOPLE EATER Incredible as it may seem, the beautiful multi-hued paint is nearly 20 years old. Custom touches like carrying the graphics\through the door jambs and the custom “CORVETTE” lettering on the nose further set it off.

www.rpm-mag.com | JULY 2014

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STILL THE ONE grey graphics is one of the first things most folks notice about the car. Before being prepped and sprayed by Bobby and John Canti at Combine Auto, it was fitted with a fiberglass aero scoop but otherwise left relatively stock. Funky Frank added custom pinstriping and “Corvette” logo and lettering. “The paintjob leading up to the point when I dropped it off with Bobby and John was a horror story,” Caruso recalled. A tale in persistence, the Vette had been taken to two different shops that both went out of business with his car in the works, leaving Caruso with a still-unpainted and partially prepped shell—despite thousands of dollars spent and nearly three years in the process. Once the original paint and body man took the project back over and sprayed it candy blue with graphics, something went wrong in the process. The

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“subtle graphics” ended up dark black and orange, not at all what Caruso had asked for. He then took the car to another shop where it was taken back down to primer. Three days after putting another $1000 down on the work, the new shop went out of business, too. “I picked the car up and was totally disgusted,” he said. The Vette sat for over a year and Caruso began to have doubts if it would ever see the street again. However, at a friend’s urging, the car finally made its way to Combine Auto where it was stripped to bare fiberglass before being prepped and painted in 1996. It has remained relatively unchanged since then. By comparison, most every other modification on the car was like a walk in the park. Caruso found an incredible bargain on a fresh 900 HP 555ci Scott Shafiroff big block Chevy in 2008, fulfilling his longtime


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www.rpm-mag.com | JULY 2014

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STILL THE ONE 1961 CHEVY CORVETTE

Owner: John Caruso

Chassis Type & Mods: Backhalf rear suspension and full roll cage by Super Pro Performance Suspension (Front and Rear): Custom rear 4-link by Tommy Vinceguerra at Super Pro Performance. Custom chrome moly tube fabricated front suspension by Paul’s Rods and Restos Body & Paint: House of Kolors Kandy Purple with pearl white, fuchsia, and grey graphics by Bobby and John Canti at Combine Auto Engine: Scott Shafiroff 565 Big Block Chevy, 14.7:1 forged pistons, Callies crankshaft, Dart aluminum heads Fluid Transfer and Cooling: Earl’s Performance braided hoses and anodized fittings, CVR electric water pump Induction: Holley dominator carb on aluminum high rise intake Ignition: MSD pro billet low profile distributor, plug wires, and coil Transmission: G-Force 5-speed transmission with 3.05 first gear Rear Differential: Custom fabricated 9-inch Ford, Mark Williams center section with 4.10 gears Tires & Wheels: Mickey Thompson Sportsman SR on Weld Drag Star wheels Best ET & MPH: 8.32 at 165mph

vision of a Chevy rat under the ’glass. The engine was freshened last season when Caruso pushed it out to 565ci. The new combo was good for 996 HP and 835 ft/lbs of torque. Among other go-fast goodies, the engine has been fitted with 14.7:1 forged pistons, a Callies crank, and DART heads. Induction is a tried-and-true Holley Dominator

OUT TO LAUNCH This is no trailer queen! Caruso races the car regularly, posting a best of 8.32 at 165mph. He has been on the television show PINKS: All Out as well.

mounted atop an aluminum high-rise intake. Ignition chores are handled by an MSD distributor, coil, and plug wires while all plumbing is routed through Earl’s Performance lines and fittings. A CVR electric water pump helps keep the high performance Rat cool. Backing the engine is a stout G-Force

five-speed transmission with a 3.05 first gear that adeptly passes all those ponies to a custom-fabricated Ford 9-inch housing. The rear has been loaded with a Mark Williams center section, 4.10 gears, and a nearly indestructible pair of 40-spline axles.

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www.rpm-mag.com | JULY 2014


STILL THE ONE

GROUND POUNDER The recently refreshed 565 Shafiroff big block (left) pushes out more than 950 horespower through a G-Force trans and back to the fabricated 9-inch rearend (above). Pulling the car to a stop after yet another low 8-second pass (8.32 @ 165 MPH best) is a full set of custom disc brakes plumbed to a Wilwood master cylinder. Stopping duties are further assisted by a ’chute with custom fabricated mount by T.J. from AKA Auto Truck and Bus. The car is fitted with a set of 15-inch diameter polished Weld

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continued on page 68

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Page 60

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RPM Connections Performance Directory... Connecting YOU With The Industry

Chassis Body Suspension

Fabrication, Parts, Service

Engines & Cylinder Heads Parts, Service, Machine Work


RPM Connections Performance Directory... Connecting YOU With The Industry

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SB-FORD Call Call for for details details

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Race Orgs, Tracks & Events

Power Adders Incl. Nitrous Oxide Blowers/Superchargers Turbochargers, Systems/Parts/Service


Page 66

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RPM Connections Performance Directory... Connecting YOU With The Industry

Tires & Wheels

Safety Apparel & Communication

Transmission Converter Clutch & Driveline


RPM Connections Performance Directory... Connecting YOU With The Industry

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Page 67

MISC.

Incl. Buildings, Flooring, Insurance, Tools, Canopies, Tents, Graphics

Tuning & Electronics

Incl. Ignitions, Control Systems, Parts & Service


STILL THE ONE

FIBERGLASS FRATERNITY Caruso has been friends with pro street legend Rod Soboury, famous for a series of wild street/strip Corvettes, for decades. The pair recently met in Ocean City, Maryland for the annual cruise to swap stories and catch up.

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Drag Stars with 3.5-inch wide fronts and 14-inch wide rears. For street duty, a pair of massive 33x22.5 Mickey Thompson Sportsman SR rears fill the tubs. Moving inside, it is clear that Caruso doesn’t just drag-n-thrash on the classic Bowtie. The interior sports a pair of custom built heated leather seats and a custom leather dash by Corvette Central. Additional creature comforts include an Alpine in-dash DVD with navigation, a pair of Alpine audio amplifiers, and a custom Flaming River steering column and Grant wheel. Auto Meter gauges help keep tabs on all the critical readings. Shifting duties are handled by a Hurst Quarter Stick with line lock. So after almost four decades, multiple engines, a frame-shredding flywheel explosion, countless dollars, and thousands of hours behind the wheel, what would it take to separate the New Yorker from his beloved 2600-pound ’glass classic? “I wouldn’t sell it for any amount of money,” he said assuredly. Caruso says his wishes are for the car to stay in the family well after he’s gone. “It is being handed down to my children.”


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DRAG RACE ACTION

E xtreme

DOORSLAMMERS

>> RPM kicks off first event for the summer of 2014 at Grand Bend Motorplex

T

he first RPM Mag/Lucas Oil Products Extreme Event Presented by Mickey Thompson for 2014 proved to be a battle of the cars over the usual battle of the unpredictable spring weather! Over 240 entries filled Grand Bend Motorplex to brave the downright cold temperatures and be part of the MAYhem at the Bend over the May 16th holiday weekend in Canada. While the cool temps made for big horsepower, few teams had a chance for any testing leading into the first big drag race event of the year, so the challenge was to take all that power and force it to match the early season track conditions.

by

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George Pich

JULY 2014 | RPM Magazine

photos by

As always, Grand Bend Motorplex did a stellar job of track prep and the only rain of the weekend came during Saturday’s double qualifier for the PMRA Pro Mods which resulted in the cancellation the second qualifying run of the evening. That meant that the field was set early, without the final hit, and all classes had to be ready to do battle on Sunday, Sunday, SUNDAY! It was the first time having the PMRA Pro Modified cars at the Extreme Event Canadian stop and it was fittingly named MAYhem At The Bend! These cars are top-level Pro Mods, most capable of running into the 5-second quarter-mile zone and the field was made up

Raymond Knight, Tia Biro, and Brad Turk


HOT BIRD Multi-time PMRA Champion Bruce Boland has been at every single PMRA event since the series started 10 years ago, and added another win to his long list of accomplishments!

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DRAG RACE ACTION

Quebec’s Denis Lachance wheeled his clean blown 1963 Corvette to #4 qualifier but lost to Boland in the semi-finals.

The Can/Am Stock Super Stock season opener is always a special treat for the first race of the year and this outstanding group (together since 1996) once again delivered wheels-up action with a mix of new and old stock-bodied doorslammers. For this event, Drumbo Ontario’s Jr. Taylor took the win in his 2002 35th Anniversary Camaro running a 9.461 at 142mph.

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of teams from both the United States and Canada, many of whom hold multiple wins and championships. Most notably absent from the mix though, was longtime RPM friend Rocky DiLecce. With DiLecce (last year’s PMRA series and NEOPMA hosted International Pro Mod Challenge champion) not in the game, a major contender was eliminated from the field before the fun even started. After the double Friday night qualifier (also a first at this event), PMRA newcomer Al Martorino held top spot with a conservative 6.643 at over 208mph. Martorino’s ’06 Shelby Mustang is one insane blown Hemi-powered ride and what a great way to ease into playing with the PMRA. Next in line was fellow Canuck Denis Lachance. Lachance, also newer to the PMRA, complimented the line-up with his outstanding blown 521-inch powered ’63 split window Vette. Worthy of note is the fact that Lachance’s qualifying run was only 6.910, and everyone below him on the ladder was 7-seconds or slower…remember, all these cars are capable of low 6’s and many can go 5’s! The first American in qualifying was sitting at #5 and was none other than PMRA original, Bason New York’s Jack Grainy in his killer 1967 Camaro. Now here’s where things got interesting. On Saturday, everyone expected two more qualifiers but they only got one. This meant that those

with problem passes were forced to the bottom of qualifying, but not before multi-time PMRA champ and all-around good guy Bruce Boland flexed his muscles and vaulted to #1 spot with a solid drive-it-like-youstole-it run of 6.131 at over 233mph in his ’68 Firebird! And, when the chips were down, another newcomer to the PMRA, American Jason White out of Syracuse NY, made his presence known by hitting number two spot with a 6.552 in his wicked-clean 1951 Chevy. This action knocked Martorino to 3rd and Lachance to 4th followed by Jeff Roth, Jack Grainy, Derek Hawker and Michigan’s Jason Kalso in his blown Hemi Cuda. So far Grainy, Hawker and Kalso could not even get down the track. The top eight were set to battle in three rounds of eliminations on Sunday which brought upset after upset. In a stunning first round match-up Boland was pitted against Kalso… and what a shock both Bruce and Jason got for their money! Kalso finally seemed to get a handle on the powerto-track mix and spanked Boland off the line with a .004-second start to Bruce’s very uncharacteristic .402 light and continued the lead more than half the way down the track, that is until Bruce realized he might lose. In true form, Boland mashed the pedal through the floor of the Firebird about three times during the run to keep the car straight, then, it seemed that Kalso might have pulled


A bike racing a sled? Yes they drag race snowmobiles on asphalt in Canada! In the Pro Bike & Sled Series presented by Wiseco Performance Products, Dan Cryderman of Thamesville, Ontario (number two qualifier) rode his 2004 Suzuki Pro Bike through the field to the win with a 8.18, 161.17mph.

In PMRA Quick 32 Action, which is run with separate Top Sportsman door car and Top Dragster fields but sees the winner of each side meet in the final, Burlington Ontario’s Glen Vardy (shown above running his unique 3,000hp ProCharged single carb big block Chevy Dragster) claimed his first victory in the Series. Vardy ran a 6.177 at 228.25 for the win over Bill Wilson’s 6.940 at 198.98.

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DRAG RACE ACTION On the Top Sportsman side of the Quick 32 action with the 2014 addition of Mike Mitchell as Crew Chief and Jancen Racing Engines horsepower, NOCO Motorsports (Dan Flanigan) flexed some muscle to dip into the 6-second zone while flirting with 200mph!

Grainy Bros. Racing are well seasoned top Pro Mod runners but this was just not their weekend, or was it? After all they did make it to the finals!

Everybody loved the Chicago Rush jet dragster piloted by “Turbo� Danny Sullivan. Sullivan made mid 5-second quarter-mile passes at over 277mph look easy!

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Number one Top Sportsman qualifier Wes Goddard of Guelph, Ontario with his “Hell Billy” flat black crazy-bad turbocharged 1958 Nash looked to be the man to beat on the doorcar side of the field but he was overcome by Bill Wilson (pictured below,left) who met Vardy and his dragster in Quick 32 the final.

the chutes just a bit early (maybe to straighten out) but nonetheless, Boland saw the shot and took it and actually drove around Kalso the last half of the quarter-mile! Also in round one upset highlights, number 5 qualifier, New Hamburg Ontario’s Jeff Roth could not make the call due to the center ripping out of a rear wheel in his last qualifier Saturday night, which gave Denis Lachance the go-ahead. Grainy, who hadn’t made a

good pass so far, was given a gift from Martorino who fouled off the line with a red light start, and Jason White ran another 6.50 easily ousting Hawker as he continued to have problems. In the semi-finals things continued to be, well, weird! Quebec’s Denis Lachance left the starting line before the tree came down and then Boland went red with a -.012 light, nonetheless, Bruce got the advance to the final. On the

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DRAG RACE ACTION Easing into it, new PMRA player Al Martorino lead qualifying after the first hit with a mid-6 run in his ‘06 Shelby. By mid season expect low 6’s once he works in the new blown Hemi.

It was great to see the crew from Lowdown Hot Rods in the Top Dragster mix with Brody wheeling their rail. To the left of the photo is well-known former Pro Mod and Nitro Coupe pilot Gary Irving.

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PMRA newcomer Jason White in his very cool 51 Chevy had everybody taking notice as he ran pass after pass in the mid-six second range to qualify #2 and make the semi-finals where a glitch caused the car not to start for his race with Jack Grainy.

When Jason Kalso’s luck turned for the better he almost had #1 qualifier Bruce Boland beat...almost. You can bet that Jason and his incredible blown ’71 Cuda will be back with a vengeance on their home turf stateside for the next PMRA outing. Corbyville Ontario’s Derek Hawker is also usually in the thick of things and gunning for the win but was having problems with the new blown 526 Hemi powered 1968 Firebird all weekend.

other side of the semis, Jason White in his bright red ’51 Chevy had fellow New Yorker Jack Grainy well in hand as we all knew Grainy hadn’t put down the thunder yet this weekend. In a huge upset the newcomer White was sidelined when his car simply wouldn’t start. Grainy went for a solo pass trying to run a number as he knew he was in the final, but only added to White’s disappointment when again,

Grainy’s Camaro hooked to the right shortly after the starting line. This all set up a Can/Am final of two original PMRA players in which the Canadian, Bruce Boland, took an easy win over Jack Grainy, the man who made the finals without making a full pass, but not without Boland putting on a show running a 6.181 at 239.74mph, and driving it every step of the way!


RPM PROJECT CAR

PROJECT UPDATE PART 7:

>>Metal keeps taking shape as our “Second Coming of Pro Street” build heats up

P

rogress has continued this month with RPM’s Project aPocalypSe Horse and we are on the verge of some major milestones in the build, so we thought we’d give you a quick peek this month as we head toward next month. Gebhardt’s Pro Cars has continued the chassis fabrication while Budnik Wheels completed construction on our one-off billet 1: Our aluminum C&C Motorsports block received a full polish from Tal & the gang at Best Metal in Lilburn, GA. We’ll further scuff this down for a stealth satin look later. The heads and supercharger system will get a similar treatment.

wheels. Meanwhile, Weinle Motorsports finished up the heavy lifting on our custom sheetmetal intake, while Best Metal took a crack at polishing and finishing the C&C Motorsports aluminum Ford big block. Take a look at these pics and don’t forget to follow our facebook page for regular updates at www.facebook.com/ rpmmag!

2

1

2: Weinle Motorsports completed fabrication on our custom sheetmetal intake manifold. The heavy lifting done, we are working on finishing details. We still have to install the TRE injectors and mount the FAST fuel rails, complete the NOS nitrous system install, and finish mounting the twin Accufab 90mm throttle bodies. We are also working on some cool ideas for finishing the piece, but was awesome right out of the box.

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RPM PROJECT CAR

Parts and pieces for the build from S&W Race Cars have arrived, including this bulletproof fabricated rear housing, 4-link, and wishbone housing locator kit. Gebhardt’s will complete all measurements before ordering up a set of 40-spline Moser gun-drilled axles and a Moser through-bolt center section. The setup should be more than adequate for handling all the punishment our twin ProCharged and NOS nitrous-assisted 529 Kaase Boss Nine engine can muster.

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Fabrication work on the chassis floor has continued steadily at Gebhardt’s Pro Cars. With the floor complete, Gebhardt and crew can move on to the install of the rest of the roll cage including a funny car-style design on the driver’s side. We have our complete RideTech air suspension system in hand and have already installed the super cool Bluetooth controller app on our iPhone. Once it is done, chassis ride height and individual airspring pressures will be controllable wirelessly through our phone!


We are thrilled with the way our one-off billet wheels from Budnik came out. The design was intended to meld together a modern five hole drag race design of today with a classic sculpted billet design (with concealed lugs) of the ’80s. The 15x15-inch rears have been sent to MacFab for install of their trick dual beadlocks.

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RPM PROJECT CAR

LOSING WEIGHTPART 3 >>We continue the rapid weight loss plan on our third-gen Camaro by

Blake Robinson

A

lhough we originally opted to go faster by making more horsepower over trying to drop excessive poundage off of our Project Back on Track Camaro, we could not pass up the killer deal we found on the fiberglass front end that we started installing in our Losing Weight (Part 2) article a couple of months back. To bring RPM readers up to speed on our past progress in the weight loss category, we started by dropping an outrageous 165 lbs. off the front of the car with a new K-member, tubular A-arms, coil over struts, and brake system that we installed in our August 2012 issue. We then installed a new rack & pinion to replace the

bulky factory steering components in our October 2012 issue. Losing Weight (Part 1) in our October 2013 issue found us installing our new 4-inch cowl induction hood that knocked off another 30 lbs. In addition, we gutted the factory doors and once we install the lexan windows and aluminum door panels, we will gladly share the total weight loss achieved in a future article. We started installing the one piece front end in our Losing Weight (Part 2) article that can be seen in our March 2014 issue. The front end was trimmed, treed, and installed less the heel kit that needed to be welded. The factory nose, bumper supports, and core support were all discarded. After bobbing the frame and

installing the receiver tubes for the tree, the total weight loss was close to 70 lbs. Kevin started the installation of our heel kit by trimming down the length of the tubes with a cut off wheel. The body was than cleaned up using a wire wheel to ensure a clean surface for the weld. After double checking the measurements, both tubes were tack welded to the car and checked with a straight edge. The tubes were welded in place and the front end was installed. The body line was then checked and the lower portion of the fender was marked from the inside for our Dzus fastener locations. We drilled a pilot hole through the inner fender marks and then enlarged them to the proper size using a Unibit/Step Drill Bit from the outer side.

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The front end is installed with our new 6-inch cowl hood, saving an additional 24 lbs. off the front of the car and providing much-needed clearance.

1

2

1: After getting the measurements, the heel plate tubes were cut down to the proper length. The heel plate placement was double checked before it was tack welded on after Kevin cleaned up the body surface to ensure a good weld.

2: The final check with a straight edge before the heel plate was tack welded on. After the front end was installed and both the door gap and body line were checked, the heel plate was then completely welded in place.

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RPM PROJECT CAR 3

4

Our test fit showed us that the upper portion of the fender would not hold a proper body line on its own, so we made a standoff using a small tube and some scrap 16-gauge flat metal. While Kevin prepped the area and welded on the tube, I used a bench vise to bend the flat metal to the desired shape. The length of the tube was ground down and the plate was tack welded into place. After a test fit, we were a little high and had to remove the plate to allow the tube to be ground down a little more. The plate was reinstalled, body line checked, and then welded on at the proper height. This was all repeated on the other side. With the front end now installed, we moved to the rear deck lid and bumper. Kevin removed the deck lid and placed it on the

3: A scrap piece of tube and some plate steel were used to make a stand-off for the top of the fender on both sides and they were welded into place. This would allow the upper fender to maintain a correct bodyline.

4: Both Bubba and Kevin were using several pry bars with the heat gun to separate the rear glass from the deck lid.

floor. Our goal was to remove the factory glass and replace it with lexan after the body work is completed on the car. The lexan window upgrades will drop around 75% of the weight of the factory glass off the car. In this case, our rear window weighed in at 54 lbs. and the replacement is a scant 13 ½ lbs. (Note that this will vary from material manufacturers and thicknesses). After removing all of the hardware, Bubba and Kevin used pry bars and a heat gun to separate the glass from the deck lid. Heat was needed to soften up the adhesive material between the deck lid and the glass. The deck lid was then placed on a work bench and using a cut off wheel we removed the outer skin from the inner structure. Just a heads-up guys, if you ever do this, be ready to deal with the

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RPM PROJECT CAR 5: Here is the underside of the deck lid. We left a small amount of the inner structure for support to allow the piece to keep its natural shape. A cut off wheel was used to separate the outer deck skin from its inner structure. Kevin used a hand held grinder to smooth off any sharp edges before proceeding to install it.

5

6

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JULY 2014 | RPM Magazine

6: The Pro Stock style Dzus fastener, retaining spring, and weld-on plate.

glue tabs. They are a pain to work loose. We used a long piece of 16 gauge flat metal and a rubber mallet to cut through the tabs, allowing us to prevent damaging the outer skin by trying to pry the pieces apart. The rear hatch including the rear glass, deck lid, struts, third brake light, and trim altogether weighed in at a hefty 86 lbs. After removing the outer skin and adding the weight of our lexan window, our new rear hatch will weigh in at a puny 28 lbs. excluding the fasteners. That’s 58 lbs. of factory fat we did not need. We wanted to come up with a way to mount the rear

window and deck lid separately. This would allow us to gain access to the batteries by just removing the lid. Kevin measured for the placement of the Dzus fasteners and marked them for drilling the pilot holes. The finished hole was a bit larger than the ones needed on the front end due to the fact that we purchased the larger Pro Stock style buttons. These heads are a lot easier to work with and will hopefully prevent any future scratching of the car. With the holes drilled, we attached the springs to the Dzus plates using aluminum rivets. This allows for easy removal in case we need


7

to change our spring height. The Dzus fasteners were then installed on the deck lid to allow us to hold it in place while tack welding the plates to the car. Once all four plates were tack welded into place, Kevin removed the deck lid and completed the welding. We will be adding more fasteners and support to our deck lid in the future, but that will take place when we install the rear lexan window and frame.

7: We used the Dzus plate as a template for our pilot holes.

The last item that we will tackle for some FREE weight loss is the rear bumper. We started removing the rear bumper cover by cutting the plastic rivets off. Although we will need these in the future, they only cost a couple dollars to replace. Bubba then removed the three retaining nuts holding the ends of the cover to the quarter panels. We will be reinstalling the rear bumper cover with a few supports after

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RPM PROJECT CAR 8

8: We tack welded the Dzus plates to the body and the welds were cleaned up so there would be no clearance issues.

9 9: Kevin double checks the fit of the lid. The Dzus fasteners will not be installed permanently to the body panels until after all the bodywork is completed.

10

10: Bubba and Kevin removed the rear inner bumper assembly. Although not a huge weight loss (26 lbs), every bit helps.

the body work is completed. Kevin and Bubba then removed the rear impact bar and absorber pad as an assembly. This is an item that we have seen on numerous forum threads under weight loss, but we were a bit disappointed on its overall weight. While weighing in at only 26

lbs., the rear bumper assembly did increase our total weight loss in the rear for the two modifications to 84 lbs. Join us next time for the installation of our front down bars, fenderwell modifications, and engine mock up.

www.rpm-mag.com | JULY 2014

87


RPM’s continuing do-it-yourself shop series shows how you can put together your own modern workspace, too! by

Toby Brooks

PART 5:

L

ast month we told you about our new Epoxy Master epoxy floor install. We already appreciate the bright, durable, and professional appearance the project has given our new space. This month we finished up our wiring and lighting project and added a 4-post lift. We are already loving just how much more functional our space is with all the new creature comforts. Prior to finishing the floor, we spent the better part of a week getting

(800) 208-1755

JULY 2014 | RPM Magazine

the building wired up and connected to our 200-amp service panel. Since the shop is located outside of any city limits, our structure is not subject to the same electrical codes and inspections required in many locations. That said, we still wanted our installation to be up to code, safe, and efficient. We contracted Lee Pesterfield, a friend and certified electrician, to make the initial tap into the service panel. In order to do so, Lee had to contact our electrical service provid-

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>>Wiring, lighting, and installing a new 4-post lift makes our workspace bright, functional, and fantastic ! er to meet him. Our meter was not equipped with the additional space for the shop feed, so our electrical company had to come out and make the replacement. We dug the trench for the service run and laid the cable. Luckily, our new service panel was a mere 20 feet away from the meter, making this job relatively easy. This also made large, expensive feed wiring unnecessary due to the minimal draw. However, since the run was so short, we opted for 2/0


RPM GARAGE 1

AWG copper just to be safe. With the feed successfully run into the wall, it was time to install our load center. A quick trip to the local home improvement store and $1100 later, we purchased a circuit breaker panel, five 250-foot rolls of 12-2 wiring, two 250foot rolls of 10-2 wiring, and all the outlets and boxes we needed to complete the job. We selected a 200-amp 32-space 40-circuit panel. This would leave plenty of room for standard 110 outlets, light-

2

ing, several 220 circuits for welders, cutters, and other high load equipment, and systems including a water heater and HVAC for our planned finished office space. Due to the steel construction of our Nucor building, the ideal method for wiring would have been to run the wiring in conduit or in armor-shielded cable. However, after consulting with a local electrical inspector, Romex cable may be installed in steel studs provided that plastic insulator bushings are used

3

1: We selected a 200-amp 40-circuit panel from a local home improvement store. It should have plenty of room for everything we plan to install in the shop. 2: We installed our outlet and switch boxes next before running any circuits. Due to the steel studs in our Nucor building, we used new-work boxes with self-tapping screws rather than the traditional nail-in boxes. 3: Certified electrician James Brooks begins running our outlet circuits along an exterior wall with 12-2 cable. It is best to consult with a certified electrician and observe local ordinances when performing any electrical work or selecting electrical components.

www.rpm-mag.com | JULY 2014

89


4

5

4 & 5: Local regulations allow for the use of Romex-type cable without conduit or shielding in steel studded construction like our Nucor Utility Building provided every wire penetration is insulated with a non-conductive bushing. We used around 134,672 of them. Give or take. Seriously though, it took over 20 bags of 25 to do the job.

6

6: We installed a total of six T5 light fixtures. Although they were a bit more expensive than we expected to pay, they put out tons of light and were well worth the added expense.

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JULY 2014 | RPM Magazine


RPM GARAGE anywhere wire passes through metal. We found the bushings at the home improvement store and purchased every bag of 25 they had (22 total bags) at two different locations. We still only had less than a bag left by the time we finished. After two solid days of work, we had installed all circuits and were ready for lighting. Unfortunately, we underestimated the amperage needs for our new Miller MIG welder, TIG welder, and plasma cutter. We installed 30 AMP 220 outlets run on 10-2 wiring. Instead, the Miller equipment all required a 50 AMP outlet. We have already replaced the 10-2 wiring with larger 6-2 wiring in order to accommodate the added voltage. With the high ceiling in our shop, adequate lighting was critical and frankly going to be pricey any way we chose to go. A dim workspace is a miserable place, so we wanted plenty of light output. At the same time, we didn’t want

7

old inefficient fixtures that would cost a fortune to run, either. We opted for six four-bulb T5 light fixtures. At $96 each without bulbs, they weren’t cheap. But the end result was very nice and well worth the added expense. With the electrical install under control, we moved our attention to the assembly and install of our new Greg Smith Equipment Atlas 8000-pound 4-post lift. The entire assembly came shipped by 52-foot truck. We borrowed a Bobcat end-loader to remove it from the trailer and lift it to the install location.

8

7: Our 4-post lift came via truck and was ready for assembly. 8: We fished the long, heavy steel bundle from the trailer with an endloader and delivered it to the shop.

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91


RPM GARAGE 9: This is how the shipping assembly looked when delivered to the shop. We unbolted it so that we could start the install right away.

9

10: With the necessary parts placed on the floor, we slipped one crossbeam into position into each pair of posts.

10

11

11: After installing the crossbeams and setting the posts upright, the passenger side storage ramp is set into position.

After unbolting the shipping structure, we laid out the parts as illustrated in the included instructions. Assembly was relatively straightforward, beginning with slipping the posts and crossbeams together.

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This was followed by the bolt-in of the parking ramps. Be warned: the driver’s side ramp contains the hydraulic actuator ram and the entire cable assembly. Weighing more than 600-pounds, it is no one-

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92

JULY 2014 | RPM Magazine

OREGON


www.rpm-mag.com | JULY 2014

93


12

13

13: Once the pump and

12: Installation of the pump

and fluid reservoir is a twoperson job, as the unit is topheavy and awkward to hold into position and bolt in place.

94

JULY 2014 | RPM Magazine

reservoir were bolted into position and all lines tightened, we filled the tank with three gallons of hydraulic oil. Take our advice and check the lines thoroughly before trying out the unit. We didn’t and we ended up with a big mess on our oneweek old Epoxy Master floor. Thankfully, it wiped right up.

14 14: The pump doesn’t draw a ridiculous amount of

amperage, but we opted to install it on a stand-alone 20-amp circuit when we were running wires just to be safe. Since we hate clutter and aren’t a fan of trip hazards, we found this vinyl cord keeper at a local home improvement store for $5. It not only matches the floor, more importantly, it will help prevent falls. If you are starting from scratch, an even better alternative would undoubtedly be to install an outlet in the slab near the position you intend to position your lift.


RPM GARAGE 15

15: Before assembly could continue,

the next step was to install the four heavy-gauge steel safety catch tracks. The crossbeams come pre-assembled and contain a positive latching mechanism that engages in these large square slots as the unit goes up. These pieces had to be installed first in order to get the crossbeams up off the floor to appropriately route the lift cables.

16

16: Once the catches were

maneuvered into position in the nylon guides of the crossbeams and placed within each post, the 1/2-inch thick solid steel post caps were bolted into place. The catches are adjustable, but be sure to sandwich the post cap with the included bolts and washers. This allows you to move each catch up or down up to four inches to help ensure that all four catches engage at the same time during operation. The large hole is for lift cable routing later in the installation.

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www.rpm-mag.com | JULY 2014

95


RPM GARAGE 17

17: After the crossbeams were lifted to the

first safety catch, the parking ramps were maneuvered into place. At over 600 pounds, the driver’s side panel is quite a chore to move. Two guys and a shop crane were enough to do the job. The EZ-V Jacks you see in the background helped, too (more on them next month).

19

18

20

18: The safety catch mechanism consists of

two long rods plus the necessary heim ends and rods. We positioned the bar seen here first and threaded it together with the other half that was fed through the back of the unit. 19 & 20: Once the main catch bar was

positioned appropriately, a pair of actuator arms consisting of a rod with heim ends was adjusted and bolted into place with the included bolts and lock nuts.

!!! 96

JULY 2014 | RPM Magazine


21

22

23

22: Don’t worry about never being able to

move your lift after install. Although the posts may be bolted to the floor if desired, such is not required. These quick use casters and brackets make moving the lift a breeze. 23: Now that we have wired the shop, 21: With the rest of the

assembly complete, we were ready to attach the four heavy-gauge lift cables. After some minor adjustments, our Greg Smith 4-post Atlas lift was working flawlessly.

man job to move it around. We used our engine hoist and EZ-V Jacks to put it in position. The fluid tank was then bolted up and plumbed to the ram. Be sure to tighten all fittings, as we spaced and forgot, resulting in a considerable puddle of leaked fluid before we could get there with an end wrench and stem the bleeding. The unit was plugged in and readied for duty. Once the main structure, pump, and resevoir were in place, the next step was to route and install the hoist cables. This process takes some patience, but wasn’t overly difficult. Using the supplied bolts and washers, the cables were fed through the crossbeam structures and the swaged ends were then secured to the post caps.

installed the lighting, and assembled our new lift, we’re ready to begin learning some fabrication skills. In addition to this Millermatic 211 MIG welding unit, we also picked up a Miller Diversion 180 TIG and a Miller Plasma cutter. With a full complement of welding supplies and a pair of gas cylinders from Indiana Oxygen Company, we’ll be ready to rock in the coming months.

After some adjustments, we got the entire structure leveled up both front-toback and side-to-side. We also adjusted all four safety catches so that they engaged simultaneously. Lastly, we placed the removable drive-on ramps into position and drove our thirdgen Camaro (and future RPM project car) into position and gave the lift a shot. It operated flawlessly with the simple touch of a button. We’ve already spotted a leaky rear seal on our factory trans that we didn’t know about before. Oh joy. Although the lift is heavy, thanks to the included removable caster kit, it can be easily moved once the unit is assembled. With just four simple pins, the casters are popped in place. Once the lift is then lowered, it becomes

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(940) 891-1230 www.rpm-mag.com | JULY 2014

97


RPM GARAGE SOURCES Greg Smith Equipment

www.gregsmithequipment.com 800.512.7611

Miller Welding Equipment www.millerwelds.com 920.734.9821

Indiana Oxygen Company

The IROC fit on the rack with no problems. We then drove the shop truck, a full-size extended cab GMC pickup, on with no problems. The length was ample and the post width was just enough to clear our rearview mirrors.

98

mobile, which comes in handy when shop space is at a premium. In total, assembly of the lift took about eight hours. Much of that assembly time was solo, however, some aspects of the process certainly require at least one other

JULY 2014 | RPM Magazine

pair of helping hands. Tune in next month as we gear up our fabrication tools and skills when we set up our Miller Welding and cutting equipment, fully outfitted with Indiana Oxygen Company supplies.

www.weldingsuppliesfromioc.com 866.854.7380

Nucor Building Systems Waterloo, IN: 260.837.7891 Swansea, SC: 803.568.2100 Terrell, TX: 972.524.5407 Brigham City, UT: 435.919.3100 nucorbuildingsystems.com/utility


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RPM Magazine July Issue 2014  

THE DARK SIDE - Ron Bookman’s Sinister DART VADER is as wicked as they come! STILL THE ONE - After nearly 40 years, John Caruso is still wh...

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