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ADVERTISING SALES For advertising information contact

TRISH BIRO .............519.752.3705.......trish@rpm-mag.com Art & Graphics Director: Toby Brooks Special Events Managers: Chris Biro, Raymond Knight events@rpm-mag.com Special Events Sales: Trish Biro: 519-752-3705 trish@rpm-mag.com Subscriptions/Address Changes: Circulation circulation@rpm-mag.com General Inquiries: 519.752.3705 info@rpm-mag.com


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.


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.

Publication Return/Address Change Information 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. Postmaster: Send address changes to: RPM Magazine P.O. Box 24020 Brantford, Ontario CAN N3R 7X3 CANADA PUBLICATIONS MAIL INFO AGREEMENT NO. 40045044 RETURN UNDELIVERABLE CDN ADDRESSES TO RPM MAGAZINE P.O. BOX 24020 BRANTFORD, ONTARIO N3R 7X3 OVERSEAS RPM MAGAZINE P.O. BOX 24020 BRANTFORD, ONTARIO, CAN. N3R 7X3



n the summer of 1986, Paramount pictures released the now cult-classic film Top Gun. Just in case you are one of the remaining seven people on planet Earth that hasn’t seen the film, it tells the tale of brash Naval Aviator Lieutenant Pete “Maverick” Mitchell and his exploits in training at the Fighter Weapons School in Miramar, California—otherwise known as TOPGUN. Now almost 30 years old, the movie is still a great watch and an afterburner-fired, high-speed trip down memory lane for most any fan of the ’80s. Around the same time Top Gun was hitting box offices for the first time, the pro street and street car wars of the 1980s were also heating up, both on and off the drag strip. Builders were cranking out one incredible ride after another in an era of one-upmanship we will likely never see again. Back then there was also an annual award, announced in a major car magazine each December issue, that served to define the true impact of a given car. The Top Ten Awards. Each year from 1985 through 1996, the ten most influential feature cars that had been included within the pages of that particular publication during the calendar year were rolled back out in a special feature. In a pre-internet era, there was no reader participation—it was based entirely on the opinions of the magazine’s staff. For the builders of the era, getting a Top Ten Award was like winning an Academy Award. It was an incredible honor and a tangible affirmation that the car they had worked so hard to create was not only cool, but it was also viewed by others as the best of the best. Inexplicably, the Top Ten Awards


eventually disappeared around the same time most would say pro street died out in the mid to late ’90s. However, the combination of nostalgia and technology got us thinking that it was time for RPM to launch some awards of our own—with a twist. This time, thanks to the power of the internet, we’re going to let YOU decide which rides we’ve featured in the past year that were the best. Here’s how it works. Beginning with the release of this issue, we will post a series of matchups on www.rpm-mag.com between 32 of the baddest rides to appear in the pages of RPM in the past year. You’ll get one week to vote for the Qualifer Round. Following that week, we’ll tally your votes and publish those who advance to a drag racestyle “next round” of 16 qualifiers. Using a single elimination format, we’ll set up the voting again, with the eight winners of round one being named to the inaugural class of the 2014 RPM Magazine Top Guns. Just for kicks (and because it’s the off-season), we’ll continue eliminations in our “Top Gun Shootout” all the way through to determine who’s number one—but all eight will still be Top Guns, and you’ll get to read all about them in our December issue. So tell your friends, join us on Facebook, download the RPM app—and most importantly PARTICIPATE! This is your chance to help us make history and honor some of the coolest cars you’ve seen anywhere. But don’t wait, because our December issue is right around the corner, and once voting is over, it is over forever. So is it something you’ll want to miss?

That’s a negative, Ghostrider...

As we go to press, it is with heavy hearts that we have to say goodbye to a dear long time friend, racer and RPM subscriber Monty Berney. Monty passed away on October 3, 2014 at the age of 63. Monty was a genuine and kind person who brought a wealth of knowledge, strength and sportsmanship to the racing industry and will be greatly missed. RIP Monty.

COMING NEXT MONTH: Project aPocalypSe Horse....................................

After over a year in chassis, will the Horse finally get her hooves back on the ground??



NOVEMBER 2014 | RPM Magazine

ADVERTISER INDEX ACC Performance................... 86 Accufab Inc.......................... 106 AFCO..................................... 42 Alan Johnson Performance (AJPE)................................. 60 Alston Race Cars.................... 36 Alston Race Cars Fast Glass.... 93 Applied Racing Components (ARC).................................. 33 Automotive Racing Products (ARP).................................. 40 ATI Performance Products..... 17 Autoglym.............................. 15 AVAK/Ridgegate Tools........... 39 Baer Brakes....................10, 110 BES Racing Engines............... 89 Bill Mitchell Products............ 34 Blower Shop............................ 5 Borla..................................... 76 Browell Bellhousing............ 100 BTE Racing............................ 53 C&C MotorSports................. 105 Calvert Racing Suspensions... 35 CFE Racing Products.............. 30 Chassis Engineering.........18, 83 CN Blocks.............................. 11 Coan Engineering........... 14,114 Competition Products........... 31 COMP Cams......................... 102 Crower.................................. 51 CTEK.................................... 111 CVR Products......................... 64 DART..................................... 41 Design Engineering............... 28 Diamond Pistons................... 48 DIY Auto Tune/MegaSquirt EFI..................................... 62 Drive Train Specialists (DTS)... 85 Dynotech Engineering........... 96 Ed Quay Race Cars................. 52 Edelbrock.............................. 19 Engine Research & Development (ERD)........... 22 Fuel Air Spark Technology (FAST)............................... 46 FastMotorsports.................... 11 Fast Times Motorworks......... 33 FORD Racing.......................... 24 Frankenstein Racing Heads .. 31 G Force Racing Transmissions.34 GZ Motorsports..................... 52 Harland Sharp......................... 8 Holcomb Motorsports........... 55 HoleShot Wheels................... 12 Holley.................................... 90 Howard’s Cams...................... 86 Induction Solutions............... 87 Innovate Motorsports............ 88 JE Pistons.............................. 97 JET Performance................. 108 J&K Converters...................... 23

Lokar Performance Products. 94 LUCAS Oil Products.................. 2 Lunati.................................... 16 Magnuson Superchargers...... 95 MAHLE Clevite Inc............... 101 Manton Pushrods.................. 23 Meziere Precision Mfg........... 91 Mickey Thompson Tires........... 7 MIDCO Blue Maxx Rac. ATF.... 37 Midwest Converters.............. 82 Mile High Crankshafts........... 12 MSD Ignition....................... 109 Neal Chance Converters......... 20 New Century Performance.... 82 Nitrous Pro Flow.................. 107 Nitrous Supply...................... 47 Outlaw 10.5 Racing Assoc..... 18 Parts Pro Perf Centers.......... 116 Performance Improvements.. 10 Perf. Plus Connection.....11, 110 Powermaster Performance.. 108 Power Tank............................ 79 Precision Turbo/ProInjectors.. 63 ProCharger............................ 32 Proformance Racing Trans..... 30 Pro Systems Carburetors...27, 43 Philadelphia Racing Products (PRP).................................... 8 PTC........................................ 79 Quik-Latch Products............ 105 Racecraft............................... 92 Racepak................................ 22 Racequip............................... 45 Racing Radios.......................... 7 RAM Clutches........................ 25 Rev-X Oil Products............29, 65 Ross Racing Pistons................. 5 Rossler Transmissions............ 98 RPM Magazine Subscribe!.114 S&W Race Cars...................... 67 Scorpion Racing Prods....21, 107 Scotty’s Racing Engines......... 38 Shafiroff Racing Engines....... 85 SM Race Cars......................... 21 Smith Racecraft..................... 23 Steve Morris Engines............. 66 Summit Racing Equipment. 115 Superchargers Online............ 14 Taylor Cable........................... 26 TCI Automotive...................... 13 Ti64..................................... 112 Tom’s Upholstery................... 13 Trick Flow.............................. 77 TRZ Motorsports.................... 96 Two Guys Garage................. 106 Valvoline............................... 54 VP Racing Fuels..............87, 103 WC Enterprises...................... 83 Weinle Motorsports.............. 89 Weldon High Performance.... 69



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Be sure to check out our Performance Directory on page 68!

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!




New Kids in Town.............................................. 28

Professional Drag Racers Association offers solid change for serious drag racers & fans

My Truck..........................................................80

“...Best friends, dogs, and ex-girlfriends come and go... but I ain’t getting rid of my truck!”

Shakedown at the Summit.................. 38 The classic hero versus the villain tale

‘62 Millimeters...................................................... 58 This sinister Chevy C10 hauls thanks to a 1,000+ horsepower small block

King of the Road....................................................... 8

Donnie Green’s 1968 Mustang Cobra Shelby GT500KR is the Real Deal




FAST is EZ...EZ is FAST...............................................................................44

Transforming a tear-jerking street car into a high tech, neck-snapping, drive-anywhere monster

Trick Out Your Truck: Towing Part 1...........................................................50 Getting your diesel tow rig ready for duty

Piston Innovation for GM LS.....................................................................94

Asymmetrical designs reduce weight and friction while improving power and longevity. Here’s how modern race technology emerged on the street!

RPM Hardcore Horsepower Garage: Part 6.................................99

Join in as we begin to furnish our garage space and install some bulletproof storage and organization products from Pit Pal Products

Blue Oval Passion.............................................. 20 What could be better than a fast Ford? Two!

Project aPocalypSe Horse Update: Part 10..... 105

Anodize, Inc. treats some parts to a cool custom finish

Project Back on Track.................................... 108

Our third-gen Camaro gets some one-off chassis work for lighter weight and better rigidity



NOVEMBER 2014 | RPM Magazine

www.rpm-mag.com | NOVEMBER 2014



t’s not often you get to see the real deal up close and personal—something really special in the world of automobile performance or race-inspired musclecars. So few are these instances that we actually become somewhat numb to the possibility of seeing one, and when we do we can easily overlook it or immediately pass it off as a “tribute,” “clone,” or “retake” on a classic, rare piece. For example, Donnie Green’s 1968 Ford Shelby GT500KR was sitting less


NOVEMBER 2014 | RPM Magazine

than 25 feet away from us for over six hours before we actually realized what it was. Yeah, we’re a bit embarrassed—but to make ourselves feel a little better, we keep telling ourselves that the place we were in was full of incredible cars, and maybe we just hadn’t gotten to Donnie’s yet. When we did see it, in order to authenticate the find we proceeded to get a closer look when we were assured by the owner that, “this one is the real deal”, and yes it is!

>>Donnie Green’s 1968 Mustang Cobra Shelby GT500KR is the real deal story by Now is where the story gets really interesting. Imagine buying your 1968 Shelby GT500KR brand new off the dealer’s lot, then selling it, only to buy it back over 30 years later. “My Shelby was bought on October 28, 1968 from Kimnack Ford in Norfolk, Virginia when I was only 19 years old. The sticker price was $4,950.00

and I kept the car for nine years before selling her,” Green explained. He admits that he drove the Shelby “...the way it was meant to be driven.” After all, he was in his twenties the entire time he owned it and was behind the wheel of one of the most popular and powerful cars of the time.

George Pich

“After getting married, we needed an air conditioner and TV, so I sold my Shelby to a friend,” continued Donnie. “He only lived about four miles away, here in Gloucester, and actually only drove the car a few months before he decided to restore it. He started taking her apart and began by removing the engine and most

photos by

Tia Elizabeth

of the interior before he lost interest. After this, he put the car on jack stands in a garage where it remained for 33 years, untouched.” The Shelby was not in the best of condition after its lengthy hiatus and Donnie jokes about the car’s state of disassembly when he went to pick it up.

www.rpm-mag.com | NOVEMBER 2014



LEGIT HISTORY This car is all Shelby, from the Shelby GT500 front nose, ram air hood, and fog lamps up front to the rear spoiler, fuel door, and taillights out back.


NOVEMBER 2014 | RPM Magazine

FEAR THE SNAKE The side scoops and stripe package are signature Shelby equipment. For 1968, since Ford added their Cobra influence to the Shelby package, special fender badges were added.

www.rpm-mag.com | NOVEMBER 2014


KING OF THE ROAD “I swear if he could have taken the paint off it he would have.” In 1968, the Shelby GT500KR (KR standing for “King of the Road”) was the big boy of the Shelbys produced that year. It was equipped with the 428 cubic inch Ford Cobra Jet V8 that was underrated at 335 horsepower (probably for insurance purposes) at 5,600 RPM, but came in at a real-world 400hp and 440 foot-pounds of torque. The KR could do 0-60mph in 6.5 seconds and a standing quarter-mile right around 14.00 seconds at over 102mph (although some say they’d do 13s right out of the box), with a top speed of 130 mph at 6,100rpm. Along with Ford’s new 428CJ engine, the KR also came equipped with a ram-air twin scoop hood with rear louvers and a traction-lock 3.50 rear end as standard equipment. The ’68 GT500KR also had a newly restyled front nose,


NOVEMBER 2014 | RPM Magazine

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fog lights and took on Fords “Cobra” name, receiving special emblems to reflect that. Of the total 4,450 1968 Shelbys produced, 1053 were GT500KR Fastbacks. The GT500KR name was discontinued for 1969—which is why


the 1968 GT500KR is one of the most collectible Mustangs of all time. 1968 Models can sell for anywhere from $80,000 to $300,000 in today’s market, depending on their original options and level of original condition or quality of restoration.

NOVEMBER 2014 | RPM Magazine


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AWESOME ALL AROUND The Shelby interior included a host of special touches, including a Cobra steering wheel and a special striped gear shift knob. The “wood grain” accented door panels add to the luxury look inside and Donnie’s are in impeccable condition, as is the entire car. The center console held Stewart Warner oil pressure and ampere gauges and a Cobra-embossed leather console lid kept things in place while rumbling around town.






Lunati has the perfect camshaft for your drag race application. New state-of-the-art computer lobe profiles provide higher lift under the curve, resulting in increased power and throttle response. Tailored power bands also create more usable horsepower and torque for when it matters. Each camshaft utilizes a premium core made in the USA – and all adhere to strict quality-control standards.







NOVEMBER 2014 | RPM Magazine

SIGNATURE SERIES ROTATING ASSEMBLIES Our Signature Series Rotating Assemblies represent the strongest package of rotating components you will find for your engine. The kit begins with a pulsed-plasma nitride heat-treated crankshaft that is formed on a specialized, non-twist 4340 steel forging and features gun-drilled mains, lightened rod journals, micropolished journals and windage reducing, contoured wing counterweights. Additionally, each kit comes with premium I-beam or H-beam rods, your choice of Diamond or Mahle brand forged pistons and premium King or Clevite engine bearings.

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Lunati® has a legacy of helping racers find the victory lane. Utilizing race-winning technology, quality and craftsmanship, each component is tailor-made with the racer in mind to produce maximum horsepower, torque and reliability.

COOLNESS TO SPARE The trunk is as clean as every other area on this incredible restoration and even includes the standard Goodyear bias ply spare, just in case.

NO ROLLIN’ Get in, sit down and hold on! The Shelby roll bar with factory shoulder harnesses attached were a must for such a capable machine.













www.rpm-mag.com | NOVEMBER 2014


DISTANT MEMORIES These low resolution images are all that Donnie has to remember how his long lost Cobra Shelby GT500KR returned home April 10, 2010. For not being driven much after he sold it, the car looks pretty tough. The second owner tore it apart and let it sit for over 30 years and, although all the parts were there, the King needed a full restoration to bring it back to its royal roots. Even the underbody of Donnie’s Shelby GT500KR has been painstakingly restored.

Forty years later, in 2008, the Shelby GT500KR name would return on a new generation of performance Mustangs. “I bought my Shelby back in April of 2010,” added Donnie, “and the same tires and inspection sticker that were on it when I sold it were still on her when I brought her back home. The car has now been completely restored and—after all these years—has only 34,178 original miles on it.”

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www.rpm-mag.com | NOVEMBER 2014




n o i s s Pa story by

>>What could be better than one fast Ford? Two!


ost car guys are usually satisfied having either a gorgeous hot rod that is fast and fun to drive on the street or a race car that kicks butt at the track. Grant Klohn has both. Grant is a guy whose dedication to the sport of street machines and drag racing goes above and beyond. Not only does he race and enjoy both of his cars as often as possible, he is also the go-


to-guy for other racers and car guys. If you need something for your car, chances are Grant can either find it for you or he has it in his spare parts bin. His 1967 Fairlane is truly his pride and joy and he has owned it since his high school days in 1989. The car has taken on many transformations throughout the years but early on he changed it from a 289 automatic to a stick. Since then it has gone through many dif-

NOVEMBER 2014 | RPM Magazine

Dan Maddaloni

photos by

Robert Fedyk

ferent engine and transmission combinations as well as chassis mods in order to get to its current level. It even had an engine from a Comp Eliminator car at one point. Although it was very fast, it proved to be a little too much as far as maintenance was concerned—after all it is a street car. Always being a small block Ford guy, it’s not surprising that Grant has gone back and forth with engines based on

the 351 Windsor motor. He also obviously has a love for rowing through the gears which has given him the opportunity to enjoy several different transmissions over the years. The famous OEM Ford Toploader 4-speed started off in the Fairlane, but soon a Liberty 4-speed sat in its place followed by a Jerico 4-speed, then a Doug Nash 5-speed, a Liberty 5-speed and eventually a Lenco ST-1200 5-speed trans



Grant Klohn doing what he loves, and what his Fairlane is famous for—carrying the front wheels high and far almost every pass. that is considered to be Lenco’s “street” transmission. In its current configuration, the car has a stroked Windsor-based engine that has a displacement of 442ci. It produces a solid 847HP on the engine dyno and when Grant arms the nitrous, it produces just under 1,000HP—not too shabby for a

street car! The combination is surprisingly tame on the street and has given Grant several miles of enjoyable cruising around his home of Victoria, BC on Vancouver Island. In order to handle the added ponies, the chassis has also seen its share of changes. From its early days with factory leaf

Grant’s “other car” is a Comp Eliminator Ford Probe, and the car is steadily becoming more and more competitive. He is seen here heating up the hides up for a qualifying run at an NHRA Division 6 race. springs and slapper bars with stock front suspension, Grant’s ride has evolved to its current configuration as more of a “Pro Street” tube-style chassis street/ strip car. There was even a time when it had a straight axle front end like gassers of years past. Several ill-handling mods, like that straight axle, have made

way for the current state-ofthe-art masterpiece it is today, thanks to Keith Armstrong at A&A Performance Chassis. The car now weighs in at a hefty 3,475lbs with driver and has gone 9.18 @ 145mph without nitrous and 8.62 @ 158mph on the squeeze. Backing up the small block/


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www.rpm-mag.com | NOVEMBER 2014



WITH THIS Lenco combination is a 9-inch Ford differential with Mark Williams components and 5.43 gears. When raced at Mission Raceway Park on the mainland, the car often competes with the BC Supershift-

ers as well as the Nostalgia Super Stock class whenever possible. The super clean Fairlane always attracts attention on the streets and in the pits as well as on the strip. The car

HI-PO FOMOCO The engine in the Fairlane is this 442 c.i. small block Ford producing just under 1000 HP on the squeeze. Surprisingly tame enough to make sunny day cruises in his home town of Victoria, BC a common occurrence.

Smartwire solves the complexities of wiring today’s race cars. The power control module serves as a central point for all of the vehicle’s electrical components. Circuit breakers, fuses and relays are eliminated and replaced by the Smartwire’s programmable solid state circuitry to reduce wire clutter and weight.

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NOVEMBER 2014 | RPM Magazine


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www.rpm-mag.com | NOVEMBER 2014




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Get True Blue Ford Racing Performance Parts, the only performance parts good enough to wear the Ford oval! Don Sanderson Ford Glendale, AZ www.sandersonford.com (800) 729-2593 Autocars/Speedshop Direct Atascadero, CA www.fordracingpartsdirect.com 877 SPEED BY (773-3329) Hawaii Racing Simi Valley, CA www.hawaiiracing.com (805) 583-8800 Mustangs Unlimited Manchester, CT www.mustangsunlimited.com (800) 243-7278

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Hilbish Motor Company Kannapolis, NC www.hilbishfordperformanceparts.com (800) 849-0233 Roush Yates Mooresville, NC www.roushyates.com (877) 798-RYPP Downs Ford Motorsport Toms River, NJ www.downsford.com (800) 378-3673 Team Ford Las Vegas, NV www.teamfordparts.com (800) 791-6436

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ARE THOSE SHIFTERS FACTORY? Much of the classic black-and-bodycolor interior of the Fairlane is almost as it was when it rolled of assembly line, including factory seats and steering wheel. It is still a real street car and the only obvious race influences inside are the certified roll cage, a trio of dash mounted aftermarket gauges, and the Lenco ST1200 trans.

SHOWIN’ OFF THE HARDWARE Here Grant displays one of the car’s many awards, garnering “Peoples’ Choice” and also “Best Engineered Car” at a recent all Ford race.

has become very well known at the track for its wheels-up launches, often carrying the front end four feet in the air for 100 feet or more. Grant loves the Fairlane, but still had the itch to go quicker and faster which left him with no other choice than to find a second car. However, this time it would be a purpose-built race car.

www.rpm-mag.com | NOVEMBER 2014


HOOKED ON FORDS The hard-launching Probe is always a threat regardless of the class it is being raced.

POWERFUL YET UNDERSTATED A combination of his own design has netted horsepower on the dyno of 1040—an increase over his last 980hp combination and extremely good for a naturally aspirated small block Ford with 400 cubic inches! Darlene Richards photo


NOVEMBER 2014 | RPM Magazine


AT THE STRIPE Finally realizing his goal of racing in NHRA’s Comp Eliminator, Grant is seen here overtaking another Canadian racer, Bruce Perkin, at the finish line during last summer’s Division 6 race at Mission Raceway in British Columbia, Canada.

ROW, ROW, ROW YOUR FORD The cockpit of the Probe is all business— clean and functional. Attention to detail is impeccable. Grant likes to “row the boat,” as both the Fairlane and Probes are stick cars!

About seven years ago, Grant caught wind that a local Comp Eliminator racer had decided to sell his C/A Ford Probe. He took immediate steps to acquire the much lighter Gary Hansen Race Cars-built machine that would certainly look good with one of his small blocks between the framerails.

After racing the car as bought for one season, Grant proceeded to make it “his new car” rather than “somebody else’s old car” and so started the transformation of the Probe. Again, Terry Shuflita at BowTie Refinishing got the nod to paint the car and transform it into a masterpiece. Like the Fairlane, since purchasing it, Grant has raced the Probe with several different combos in BC Supershifters as well as Canada West Doorslammers, Top Sportsman, and is currently ready to tackle the B/A class in NHRA’s Comp Eliminator. As raced last year, the car ran as fast as 7.20 @ 189.5mph. Engines over the years have varied from 343ci to as big as 413ci, all producing quarter-mile times of 7.50 or better. The new combination is his own design that is just under 400ci and, at an astounding 1,040HP, produces 60 more horsepower than any of his previous combos—not bad for a

small block Ford! With reaching the 2,160lbs needed to meet the B/A minimum weight, his hopes of running in the six second zone may just be realized. The Probe also sports all Mark Williams driveline internals with 5.29 gears and a Liberty clutchless transmission and Lamb suspension components. To look at Grant’s cars, you would guess that he cornered the market on Caribean Turquoise paint and got a discount price for buying it in bulk, as even his pit golf cart is that color. The truth is he just really likes the color and most think he has chosen a winner. Whether he’s driving the Fairlane on the street or strip or piloting the Probe in the big event, Grant’s right at home yanking the gears on his big powered small block Fords and is the first to admit he really does have the best of both worlds.

www.rpm-mag.com | NOVEMBER 2014




Mark at goDragRacing.org photos by

Tara Bowker


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NOVEMBER 2014 | RPM Magazine

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NEW KIDS IN TOWN >> Professional Drag Racers Association offers solid change for serious drag racers & fans


SMOKIN’ ’STANG, SMOKIN’ STANDS Capturing the essence of Pro Mod style is the Pro Nitrous Purvis Ford “Super Snake” of Robert Patrick. Filled with mega cubes of fuel-injected real FORD power, this car is amazing! It almost makes you want to go out and buy the real thing as it looks so close, but we’re guessing it wouldn’t run 3.81 @ 196mph in 660ft. Virginia Motorsports Park provided a fantastic venue for the event, and while fans felt the heat of the action and the blistering sun, most were locked on the incredible racing at hand.

he overwhelming amount of Leagues, Associations, and such that have come and gone in drag racing over the past five years could literally leave your head spinning. Controversy and money not making it to the racers’ pockets left teams struggling to rely on the series to stay solvent—the thought was that there was an end coming fast for their “class specific” purpose-built race machines. The now defunct ADRL and XDRL left many racers in complete limbo until the emergence of the PDRA “Professional Drag Racers Association” this year. Regardless of this new organization though, many were asking, “why should this be any different?” Personally, I was privy to some information as the PDRA was beginning to take shape through a confidential source, so I was confident that this would indeed be different and that the new PDRA was going to be the one organization we’d all been waiting for.


In the early stages, the disenfranchised racers themselves decided it was time to put forth a serious effort from within, the type of effort needed to keep everyone on the track and fill stands with fans for each show, but to do so with longevity in mind.

Empowered by the failure of previous organizations that did not put their customer first, new owners Jason and Mitchell Scruggs, Gene Hector, Roger Henson, and Tommy Franklin set out to create the Professional Drag Racers Association. For me, all it took was to hear the familiar names involved to understand that this definitely had the makings of a winning combination, right from its very roots. Add to this an expert series promoter in the form of Bob Harris and now we have the ultimate eighth-mile doorslammer racing organization. The year began with the release of the PDRA eight race schedule, a new website, and high expectations from the fans for this exciting form of outlaw drag racing. The PDRA brings nine classes, all of which are just a bit more over-the-top than others you might compare them to. To top it off, spectator tickets can be printed for FREE for every event (just visit www.PDRA660. com and explore all the great features and imagery).


As expected, the season began strong and only gained momentum with each event. We received a special invite to the fifth race of the season but the cat was already out of the bag on the momentum

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DRAG RACE ACTION and allure of series for both racers and fans and we were already hoping to make the show as RPM Magazine representatives. My partner Tara Bowker of Black Rock Photography and I set out for our first visit to the expansive Virginia Motorsports Park venue. Arriving Thursday afternoon, a tornado touched down nearby and cut the early test session short. Within an hour seven inches of rain dropped on the facility.

Classes were called to the lanes after the “Traction Twins” worked their magic and the stands were beginning to fill under brilliant sun and sweltering heat. The amount of media on hand as we lined the walls was, well, intimidating at times, but we got into the rhythm of firing shot after shot of the most exciting qualifying sessions we’ve witnessed in a long time. The massive horsepower was endless in all classes,

LAUNCHIN’ WITH LIZZY Lizzy Musi stayed on her game all weekend with a best ever 3.74 @ 199mph in the Pro Nitrous class with the Musi-powered/Frank Brandao-owned 2009 Stratus. She outlasted the record number of 32 cars entered, including points leader Jason Harris making huge power with a 903 cubic inch mill.


NOVEMBER 2014 | RPM Magazine

HEAVY-FOOTED TAR HEEL The “Carolina Kid” Travis Harvey was putting on a show, day and night, with plumes of flames exiting the huge exhaust on each pass in Pro Nitrous. This was right before it coughed out a giant nitrous backfire but continued on with no significant damage.

DON’T ANGER FRANKIE PDRA standout Frankie “Madman” Taylor. As of this writing, Taylor now holds the record along with PDRA racer Al Zafiri with the world’s quickest side by side ¼-mile Outlaw Pro Mod race in St. Louis MO. with Al Zafiri’s 5.461 @ 272 to Taylor’s career best 5.476 @ 263.

www.rpm-mag.com | NOVEMBER 2014



HOLY BLOWER! Brandon Snider out of Alabama ran down many a well-funded race teams to meet Tommy D’April piloting Mel Busch’s Corvette in the final of Pro Extreme. A tight win had this BAE 521 Hemi twisting the screw blower to a searing 3.56 @ 209mph! This was his second visit to the finals this year and this one netted him a win.


NOVEMBER 2014 | RPM Magazine

BOOSTED EXPECTATIONS PDRA Kevin Rivenbark takes the title after a stellar set of runs against a Pro Boost field of 23 cars. A 3.86 @ 191mph would be the winning pass in the Gallot Motorsports roots supercharged Mustang.

especially Pro Nitrous where the PDRA had a phenomenal 32 cars entered, a record for them. Acton was heart pounding and non-stop well into the night. As a photojournalist, the combinations of the classes and the pace of qualifying was relentless, but for spectators in the stands, it was pure jaw dropping fun. The temperature remained quite warm into the evening and this is where these cars shine! Pro Extreme is more like a blur of light and sound shattering all your senses with the searing whir of screw blowers and glowing red turbos of boosted combos. Pro Nitrous is a winner under the lights with a bigger than normal tune on most cars and the pipes lit from the hit! Bring on the massive screaming burnouts of Pro Boost and the menacing sound of roots blowers and turbos whining, it’s all there. The

THE LIGHT WEIGHT Also running in the Pro Boost class is Russell Miller and his son and driver Taylor Miller who wowed the fans with the well-known and stunning “clear carbon” (fiber) 69 Chevelle out of Andy McCoy Race cars. This car is a solid 3.88 machine but was having problems on the weekend.

www.rpm-mag.com | NOVEMBER 2014



THAT’LL BUFF OUT... Taking his first real ride on Nitrous, racing promoter and driver himself David Hance immediately jumped into PDRA sporting their logo on the side of this new Camaro featuring 820+ cubes and brand new fuel injection by Scotty’s Racing Engines. A hiccup at the stripe burst the hoodscoop as Dave pulled it down from high MPH.

WICKED PLYMOUTH Right out of the movie, well not quite, is Chris Cline in Dave Deitz’s “Christine” ’58 Plymouth. The team holds licensing for the movie car and has just come back out after a short hiatus. Chris Cline Race Cars reworked much of the new car for the Pro Boost class. Christine made its debut in Virginia and fans just couldn’t get enough of this cool machine.

mind-blowing Extreme Pro Stock will literally have you feeling like you need to swap pedals in the stands watching them and their all-motor big-cube power. Fans of Top Sportsman, Top Dragster, Pro Extreme Motorcycle, Pro Jr. Dragster and Top Jr. Dragster also had their plates full as the weekend started with an in-

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credible action-packed Friday. In Saturday racing, numbers dropped exponentially bumping drivers in and out of all classes. Looking over my shoulder all day I saw the stands fill to capacity, confirming that my “inside source” was right about this new organization. I kept thinking about the movie

Field of Dreams and the line we all know well, “...if you build it, they will come.” And come, they did. The track underwent a short prep for eliminations which gave everyone time to visit the midway which was packed with food, drinks, and vendors. I walked away with cool PDRA goods and tons of

FIXER-UPPER You won’t find a harder working team than “Higg Racing” with Larry Higginbotham— all of 68 years old at the controls of the blown Hemi under the hood of his cool Pro Boost class 1957 Chevy. Larry’s operation doesn’t enjoy the massive funding as many in this game, but they still made it into the semifinals! By the way Larry, the “broken headlight” and “rust” are very cool!

FRANKLIN FOR PRESIDENT PDRA co-owner Tommy Franklin in this absolutely gorgeous Pro Nitrous Camaro jumped out in front with the number one qualifier but fell back with a loss in round one. The Franklins are a real family team dedicated to the fans and this sport. Tommy’s wife Judy does much of the work and also their daughter Amber runs in the Top Jr. Dragster class in the PDRA.

THE HALF-BREED HERETIC A small block 400ci Chevy in Pro Extreme? Yep. Coowner Gene Hector runs a mouse motor in the “Small Block Mafia” ’67 Shelby Mustang.

www.rpm-mag.com | NOVEMBER 2014



NO SERIOUSLY, YOU GO FIRST... As the opening rounds began in Extreme Pro Stock, an epic burndown ensued between John Pluchino and Carey Goforth. Both cars sat after their burnouts for close to three full minutes as Brian Olsen urged on the crowd with each passing minute. Two megainch motors in searing heat had the fans on their feet as finally both cars staged. Pluchino lost the round by mere fractions of a second and Team Goforth would go on to win with their other Camaro in this class with Dean Goforth at the wheel.


SCRUGG LIFE Jason Scruggs, another series co-owner, faced his business partner Bubba Stanton in the semi-finals and they almost went across the stripe together with a 3.61 ET to Stanton’s 3.60.

NOVEMBER 2014 | RPM Magazine

driver’s custom t-shirts. The heat again was oppressive. Fans grabbed shade where they could and began seating when classes were called. Just one round down in all classes and instead of drivers and teams pulling out and heading home, they gathered in crowds near the starting line—crowds that actually grew with each elimination round! These days it is rare to see full crowds all the way to the final run, but that’s the way it

was in Virginia! All in all, we were impressed with the PDRA experience. This was one of the finest shows I’ve personally been to in quite some time—fast, insane cool cars, plus a real easygoing feel where you could walk up to a driver to talk or get up close and personal with 3,000hp machines. Am I going back? Absolutely! Thanks to all at Virginia Motorsports Park and the PDRA for an incredible weekend!




e at th

>>The classic hero versus villain tale by

Kristal Cowle


hen Dave Hance officially closed the book on the Shakedown at E-Town in 2012, many thought the last chapter in this heads-up drag racing fairytale had been written. We know every story has a hero and a villain, and Hance chose to entrust his legacy to two men (the heroes) Bill Bader, Jr. and Kurt Johnson of Summit Motorsports Park. They would lead the fight to provide a new home and a promise of a continued future for the Shakedown. As racers, we can prepare for just about anything that we may encounter at the track, but there is one thing that is com-

photos by

John Ulman Johnboy Photography

pletely out of our control—the wrath of Mother Nature! She tends to play dual roles and can bless you with beautiful blue skies and perfect temps or can curse you with wicked rain and bone-chilling cold. No villain plagues a racer more than she. That curse is exactly what happened in 2013, and the next chapter in the story of the Shakedown would have to wait for another day. That first-ever Shakedown at the Summit would never see eliminations and the purses were split. The forecast for the 2014 Shakedown at the Summit was dreary to say the least. After being teased with perfect weather for Thursday’s test-ntune, Kurt Johnson and the staff of Summit Motorsports Park went head-to-head with Mother Nature.

She would claim the first round of this fight and we were beaten and battered by the end of day one. But this time an all-out war was waged as the crew pushed forward and battled through wind, rain, and bitterly cold temps the entire weekend. In the end, the heroes would be victorious claiming the kingdom for their subjects—the racers of the Shakedown at the Summit! It is the dawn of a new era for the Shakedown. A new chapter has officially begun at the Summit, and no doubt the future holds great things.


The man on top of the field was Randy Primozic of Willoughby Hills, Ohio. He ran a 4.151 in this 2001 Chevy Cavalier, and again put up a 4.15 during round one, but

In Outlaw Limited Street, Frank Soldridge (far lane) took his 2004 Cobra to a 4.14 win in the finals over Mark Woodruff’s 4.22-second run in his 2010 Corvette. These guys are fast approaching 200 mph in the 1/8thmile!


NOVEMBER 2014 | RPM Magazine

MONTE CAR-HIGH In X275, Audri McGrane’s wild wheels-up launch was a crowd favorite and is part of what keeps people coming back to the Shakedown…the action! Unfortunately, it cost the ’70 Monte Carlo a first round loss, as McGrane couldn’t recover from the hard descent.

UP, UP, AND AWAAAAAY Shakedown at the SUMMIT = ACTION... and lots of it!.

THERE’S SOMETHIN’ FAMILIAR ABOUT THAT HORSE... Out with the old in with the new...Dave Hance’s Pro Mod which he towed in on an open trailer is seen here pitted next to his old Mustang which is now Mark Wells’ Outlaw 10.5 ride.

HIS BISCUITS ARE BURNIN’ This Gremlin had gremlins! Ypsilanti, Michigan’s Kevin Fontenot observed this massive fireball from the driver’s seat of his 1972 Gremlin. This was no small feat, as Gremlins are better known for typically bursting into flames in the rear.

www.rpm-mag.com | NOVEMBER 2014


DRAG RACE ACTION CAMARO2 John Fisher (above) had his hands full with the momentum of Tom Tarsia (below) after Tarsia stormed into qualifying and made it through a pass that had fans going wild!


sible when he cut a .000 reaction time and dead-on-with-a-zero pass, earning him the first-ever “Perfect Package” in the Renegade Racing Association’s five year history. He accomplished this at the RPM/Lucas Oil Extreme Event in the 10.50 Index Class. No doubt it is the driver that is lethal, proving no matter what car you put him in, he is a force to be reckoned with!

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when he was dead late on the tree he gave up the round win. Randy’s pass would remain the fastest throughout eliminations within Top Sportsman. Mark Mulcuit (29th qualifier) fought his way to the finals where he would meet Gary Wojnowski, Jr. of Brunswick, Ohio (#12 qualifier). The event win went to Wojnowski who recently accomplished the nearly impos-

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Shawn Pevlor in his ’93 Mustang was the Ultra Street number one qualifier (5.02 @ 141 mph) and the only racer to break the 5-second barrier during eliminations with 4.99 in the semis and 4.97 in the finals for the win. How about Mike Roemer though—caffeine high or adrenaline rush? We’re not sure, but the sky was the limit for him and his S10 pick-up. Maybe he was trying to stay warm in the lanes sipping on a hot drink, but while literally laying it on the bumper in a huge wheelstand, a foam coffee cup casually rolled off the car and down the track, making the pass twice as pleasing for the crowd.


Frank Soldridge in his 2004 Cobra was simply unstoppable, taking the number one qualifying position (4.17 @ 191 mph) all the way down the ladder to the finals where he would take the win against number two qualifier Mark Woodruff, who

himself would have the best ET of the night in the semi-finals with a 4.12.


Official number one qualifier domination is what X275 was all about! Rich Bruder from Edison, NJ was not only the number one qualifier taking his 1988 Mustang to a 4.58 at 159 mph in the eighth-mile; he logged the quickest ET of the event (4.569 in the semi-finals) and the second fastest top speed. On the opposite side of the ladder, Darrin Hilterbran from Tipp City, Ohio was putting on quite a show with his 1990 Mustang, going 160 mph in round one of eliminations and putting up ETs just shy of Bruder. In an outstanding final, Bruder narrowly took the win with a 4.615 at 159 mph over Justin Johnson’s 4.69 at 156 in his ’79 Capri. Now that’s narrow!


The heavy hitters came out to SMP to get it done on a 10.5-inch tire. These machines are wild and unpredictable. Number one qualifier was Michael Decker out

PSSSTT... Justin Johnson purging the nitrous in his 1979 Capri. This is a very cool car to see in person.

NOVA/STANG TO EASE THE PAIN... In Outlaw 10.5, Canada reigned supreme as Frank Pompilio and his wicked-cool ’67 Mustang worked over fellow Ontarian Tony “Presto” Basso in his equally wild blown ’67 Chevy II. of Woodstock, MD who took his 2002 Camaro down track in four seconds flat at 192 mph! Mark Wells was flying during eliminations, being clocked twice at over 200 mph before a slow reaction time knocked him out of the fight. Jimmy Pelcarsky from Sagamore Hills, Ohio got everyone’s attention when his 2001 Trans Am left the line heading straight for the left lane. Up on two wheels, he kept it within a foot of the center line before the car cut a hard right. There was no doubt that the beautiful ride was gonna kiss the wall, but amazingly the Pontiac came to rest within inches of the barrier. It was an incredible job by Pelcarsky to get the beast under control. In the final dance, it was an all-Canadian battle with number five qualifier Frank Pompilio in his gorgeous 1967 turbocharged Mustang taking on none other than Tony “Presto” Basso in his equally wild ’67 roots-blown Chevy II. Basso had qualified in the sixth spot. In the end, Pompilio outgunned Basso (wait

they’re from Canada...no guns) with his 4.16 at 188 mph for the win over Tony’s 4.30 at 179 mph.


We heard the announcers say that if any racer and crew could pull it together under pressure, it was Tom Tarsia and his bunch. They struggled in the early rounds of qualifying but were out on the track at 7:00 am Sunday morning when Kurt was prepping, walking, mentally prepping and planning their battle strategy. It paid off, as they came out in the third qualifying position and took it all the way to the finals. Before he got there, Tom took his 1970 Camaro on a wicked hop, skip, and jump pass all the way down track. At one point, all four wheels were off the ground but Tarsia still managed to get the round win! In the end, though, it was John Fisher who took the Pro Street class win in his incredible 1969 Camaro.

GARY’S GOT SKILLS In Top Sportsman, Gary Wojnowski, Jr. and his ’96 Monte Carlo won it all. No matter what the car, this guy can drive as just a few weeks back he had a perfect run with the Renegade Racing Association.

www.rpm-mag.com | NOVEMBER 2014


DRAG RACE ACTION PEVLOR’S PONY Number one qualifier in Ultra Street Shawn Pevlor took his ’93 Mustang to the win over number two qualifier Jeff Kinsler and his cool nostalgic ’68 Firebird.

PROLINE RACING OUTLAW PRO MOD PRESENTED BY RESOLUTION RACING SERVICES & G-FORCE RACE CARS What can be said about this class but WOW! Just when you would have thought qualifying was set with Canadian Mike Yedgarian’s 3.969, the last four pairs to qualify would outdo each other. David Roemer would come in with a 3.964, then Michael Bichle would take over with a 3.92. Troy


Coughlin would show them both up with a 3.87, but when it was all said and done with the last pair down the track, John Decerbo would take the qualifying prize with a 3.85 @ 189 mph! The ladder was riddled with bye runs, with Decerbo receiving the first (and luckily so) as a midtrack explosion sent his hood scoop 100 feet in the air. At the same time, on the other side of the ladder, Troy Coughlin and Jeff Lutz were fighting it out for the bye straight into the finals. Jeff completely covered Troy from end to end to secure himself that

NOVEMBER 2014 | RPM Magazine

position. In the finals, however, it was another Canadian, Jim Bell of Edmonton, Alberta in his 1969 Camaro who MORE-STANG VICTORIES took home Rich Bruder dominated the goods X275 in his ‘88 Mustang, with his 3.87 taking the win over Justin at 194 mph over Lutz’ Johnson’s ’79 Capri. troubled 5.12 run. So ended the 2014 Shakedown at the Summit and another hard fought battle by not only the racers but by the track crew, as well—only this time ANOTHER PAIR-O CAMAROS the heroes of our story took the win. Well It was a battle of the ’69 Camaros in Pro Mod, as done Summit Mowestern Canadian Jim Bell drove his version of the torsports Park. Well classic bodied bowtie through one tough field to done! finally take out Jeff Lutz in the final.

RPM TECH WHAT’S IN THE BOX? Everything you need, that’s what! Let’s face it, there are very few modifications you can make to your ride at this level where you don’t have to run out to the local speed shop or hardware store to get through it…but this is one of them.

1: Before our EZ-EFI install, under the hood our test car looked like a runof-the-mill street machine. Our ’87 Mustang ex-race car was packin’ a pretty solid carbureted 408-inch Ford Windsor-based mill with big, bad Cleveland cylinder heads.



story and photos by

George Pich

I 44

f you’re even remotely interested in cars at any level and you haven’t heard of the new FAST™ EZ-EFI 2.0® Self Tuning Fuel Injection System (or by its street names, “the FAST 2.0” or “EZ EFI”), then you’ve probably been living on a deserted island with no magazines, no phone, and no internet, because this system is the big thing on the streets, and strip!


>>Transforming a tear-jerking street car into a high tech, neck-snapping, drive-anywhere monster

What can we say other than that the EZ-EFI 2.0 is a feature-rich complete system to transform your street or strip machine into an easily-tuned, well-rounded fighter at any level. The design is incredible, installation a breeze, and results, well, unbelievable! Our donor car for this project is one that most horsepower junkies can probably identify with on some level. Let’s start

NOVEMBER 2014 | RPM Magazine

with what it is not. It’s not a big-dollar street machine, trailer queen, show pony, or mega-buck out-of-this-world-fast race car. It IS a 1987 Mustang ex-drag car/weekend street machine that was never really finished before it got to current owner, Steven Condran. Like many, Steve didn’t want any of the above and was simply after a cool street car with some decent power that was dependable enough to

fire up and head out for a cruise with the boys on Saturday night or a Sunday afternoon ice cream with the family. “I just want to hop in and pretty much go,” explained Steven. “The carburetor is great, but it was an older one and it seems I could never get it just right for all the different types of driving I do from spring through summer and especially into the cooler temps of fall.”



First, read the instructions. We did! Just a heads-up on the instructions, they’re good—really good—and just in case you run into any challenges and want to ask the pros at FAST, they have printed their contact info on each and every page of the instruction booklet: 1.877.334.8355 www.fuelairspark.com At first glance, the instruction booklet might seem overwhelming, but it’s not. Rather, it is complete with helpful clear photos and diagrams and is a fantastic tool to have in setting your new fuel injection system up just right. The system is also backed by a “Limited Lifetime Warranty & Limited Warranty” to the original purchaser which is also detailed in the back of this booklet.


The complete FAST™ EZ-EFI 2.0® system really consists of two separate kits in one. First, there is the stand alone “Base Kit” Part# 30400-KIT which includes the throttle body, computer, interface/ touch screen and complementing install parts. Then, you choose to add the type of fuel pump you want with the Base Kit. If you want an in-tank pump, you use the single Part# 30401-KIT that includes the Base Kit and in-tank pump kit. If an inline fuel pump is your fancy, use Part# 30402-KIT for the complete system.

2: The aftermarket subframe connectors provided a great place to route pretty much everything, including our fuel line, return line and wiring harness. 3: We continued toward the back of the car with our fuel pressure sensor and fuel filter install.

FAST™ also offers a “Master High Horsepower” kit under Part# 30403-KIT that will support up to 1,200hp. Yep, we said 1,200! Call us old school, but we chose the inline fuel pump EZ-EFI system for this install, so we simply ordered Part# 30402-KIT and got the whole ball of wax!


1. Weld the O2 bung into exhaust system. This is the only step that you might need to involve a third party if you don’t have the specialized tools or skills to work on the exhaust. 2. Remove existing fuel delivery system. In our case the carburetor, fuel regulator, fuel line, and fuel tank. 3. Install new fuel pick-up lines and return line in new fuel tank, and install the fuel tank. 4. Install fuel pump as close as possible in front of fuel tank. 5. Mock up the fuel lines from the tank to the front of the car. 6. Mock up regulator location and mount. 7. Lay out the electrical system from front to back. 8. Install FAST™ EZ-EFI computer in vehicle. 9. Install fuel injection system on the engine (simple bolt-on install). 10. Hook-up all throttle linkage, return springs, etc. onto the new system (we didn’t have to change a thing over the old set-up). 11. Check/double check every connection, nut, and bolt on the entire system. 12. Prime fuel system and set regulator. 13. Check for leaks. 14. Turn on ignition and run set-up program according to instructions. The FAST™ EZ-EFI 2.0® system incorporates a thorough Setup Wizard and before we put any fuel pressure to the fuel system on setup we had to tell the Wizard that we were using an inline pump. From there you tell the Wizard everything it needs to know about your combination—and we mean everything! 15. Fire it up, watch it learn, and have some fun! You can adjust pretty much everything through the touch screen interface with Live Data, Diagnostics or Advanced Settings options. There is even Tech support built-in to the programming to help with basic needs if you get stuck. Seriously, playing with this system is like a never-ending real-life video game!

www.rpm-mag.com | NOVEMBER 2014



NOVEMBER 2014 | RPM Magazine



4: We chose to mount the system’s inline fuel pump directly behind the rear diff of the Stang, nice and close to the tank. A quick mounting bracket fabrication would bring the pump low enough that it will still get a proper prime, plus help with accessibility.


5: Once we had our lines in place we had to decide on fuel pressure regulator mounting and chose the right side firewall. In the background you can see our main harness running through the firewall.


At RPM, we had been itching to try one of the FAST™ systems since they landed on earth, but we wanted to do a real-world “average street car” install that appealed to a whole bunch of people rather than a select few, and Steven’s Mustang fit the bill to a T! For power, Steven kept things “old school,” as he put it, and slipped a Ford 351 Windsor-based stroker under the hood. Anyone with a keen eye will immediately notice the rather portly cylinder heads affixed to the small block. That’s because they are trickedout 351 Cleveland heads. When all is said and done, the engine measured out to 408 cubic inches

and is pushing in the area of 550-575 horses. So yeah, it is a nice street machine that has some pretty solid get-up-and-go when needed. Originally, when the car was first completed last year, Steven installed the usual carburetor that everyone’s buddy has sitting on a shelf in the man cave. The car worked well but always running fat (read “rich”) and by the time Steven reached the grocery store with the family they were all in tears. Being very mechanically capable, he tried his hand at tuning and got it running pretty good, but when fall came and temps dropped, he’d try to start the ’Stang and it wasn’t very friend-

6: The EZ-EFI computer module has a series of eight lights indicating various functions. We mounted ours just above the carpet line on the passenger side. In retrospect, seeing as this thing looks so cool and is a great conversation piece, we wish we had installed it in plain view.

www.rpm-mag.com | NOVEMBER 2014



7: Mounting the actual throttle body (which by the way is one unbelievably trick piece) is a cinch! It literally dropped right on our Edelbrock Boss 351 intake in place of the carburetor, and we even used all of the existing cables, brackets and return springs. 8: This is the diagram for the inline fuel pump kit layout. The installation instruction manual is a total of 70 pages of motorhead awesomeness!



NOVEMBER 2014 | RPM Magazine

ly to his needs. So, as soon as Steven found out about the FAST™ EZ-EFI system, he knew he had to have one. When we first ordered our FAST™ system we had to wait in line. These things have been the hot ticket since they came out and that shows no signs of slowing as they were back ordered when we ordered ours, and as FAST™ was fulfilling all of those orders, a fresh lineup of


motorheads was already waiting for the next run. When it comes to design, ease of install and especially ease of use, whoever thought this system up should have their picture in the dictionary under “genius!” Honestly, it was just that easy, or should we say “EZ.” While we’d

9: The finished product. You do need to have some solid skills before attempting any install at this level. If you’ve got what it takes and you’re up to the job, inside of a day (two at the most) you will have your FAST™ EZ-EFI 2.0® installed and up and running…just follow the instructions and you’ll be fine. It’s now time to fire up the Mustang and have some fun with our new toy! 10: The Home screen gives you four options; Setup Wizard, Live Data, Diagnostics, and Advanced.


11: Once we went through our Setup Wizard to set every parameter possible, we entered into the Live Data screens and started the car. Here you can see our pre-start Data Screen 1 and the same Screen 1 following start-up as the system was learning (indicated by the top left green light). This screen displays a number of functions from air/ fuel ratio and fuel pressure to things like battery charge and air temp.


love to fill a dozen pages with this install we simply can’t! Probably the most enjoyable part of the project was right after we first fired up the car with the FAST™ EZ-EFI 2.0® system installed. We had the user interface touch screen suction cupped to the roof and all looked at each other and just smiled as we went through the various Live Data

12: On Screen 3 in Live Data you can see things change as we bring the car off idle. The sliding bars on the right show our Target Air/Fuel Ratio and Actual. We’re a bit off, but not much, and as we get more road miles on the car, it just gets better and better. There is also Dash 2 (not shown) and even a Master Dash (not shown) that provides easy viewing of all 20 sensors with the touch of the “Master” button on the bottom right of the touch screen.

display screens and watched as the FAST™ computer was learning our combination and adjusting things to make it more efficient. Now came the test drive and, well, we will let Steven explain it in his own words. “Holy $^%@^, it feels like I just installed a whole new motor in the car. The response from dead stop to highway



Fuel Air Spark Technology (FAST) www.FuelAirSpark.com 877.334.8355

speeds is unbelievable! Once the FAST computer learns your set-up it cleans the mixture up, and it tells you every step of the way what it is doing as it’s doing it. And my eyes don’t burn at idle anymore!” Initially, the car ran on the rich side, similar to before the install, but within a short time it cleaned up and before we knew it we had our big-headed

408 running clean— really clean! So what’s our overall take on the FAST™ EZ-EFI 2.0®? We give it the RPM MAG “BADASS PART” score of 10 out of 10 for being way too cool, straight forward to install, and doing what it says it will, and more!

www.rpm-mag.com | NOVEMBER 2014


RPM TECH >>Getting your diesel tow rig ready for duty



story and photos by


Chuck Scott

ecently, we were involved in a conversation with a couple racers about what they tow with and what they had done to their rigs to make them more tow-friendly. It only makes sense that guys that haul big trailers want to get the most out of their diesel trucks, not to mention the inborn need to get more power out of everything they own. With this in mind, we decided to take one of our plain mostly stock trucks and see what we could do to make it perform better, tow more reliably and look worthy to pull around project cars. The old faithful 2000 Ford F-250 with the diehard 7.3 Powerstroke gets to be our first victim. To start off, we will dive right into some easy power. Turbo diesel engines are the most responsive to tuning over any other stock vehicles. The conservative factory tunes leave lots of room for improvement well within the range of safety. There are lots of handheld and dash mounted programmers out there, but The Edge CTS stood out in our search for a replacement for the nine year old handheld programmer now installed. Not only is it pre-programmed with three power


levels over stock, it is a full house of onboard gauges. You can choose to see a reading from almost every factory sensor on the truck (and a few built in to the CTS), not to mention the option to add sensors that Ford didn’t include. Add-on sensors are done by Edge’s EAS accessory system. You can daisy chain additional sensors like EGT and transmission temperature or even add a turbo timer or switches that can be controlled by the CTS touch screen. You could add switches for lights, an air spring compressor or anything you want. We added the EAS starter kit with the EGT probe for our install. The feature that sold us is the optional backup camera. The CTS will switch to camera view whenever you shift into reverse on automatic transmission vehicles. We have grown to love the backup camera in a few of our personal vehicles and like the idea of integrating one into an older truck without adding a dedicated screen. The CTS even allows you to switch the camera on from the menu when the truck is in park or driving down the road. This would be great for checking the trailer or getting the license plate of that

NOVEMBER 2014 | RPM Magazine

1: We got the whole shabang from Edge Products including the CTS programmer/ monitor, the dash pod for an F-250, the EAS starter kit with EGT probe, and two license plate frame backup cameras. 2. The Snow Performance Tow-Max water methanol injection is a complete controllable system. It is easy to install and even comes with Goop sealant and zip ties. The new larger seven gallon tank allows you to make several diesel fill-ups before you have to refill the water/meth tank.



RPM TECH moron tailgating you before you brake check him. Just the help with lining up your hitch when hooking up a trailer is worth the purchase alone. No more jumping out to look a half-dozen times when hooking up without a spotter. Then we had the idea, why not put a camera on the trailer too? Everyone who has ever backed a trailer in a tight place knows the jump-outand-check routine all too well. With a camera on the trailer, you will know what is behind you all the time. The Edge backup camera comes with everything you need to connect to the CTS display for OEM-type convenience. The one exception in our situation is that we had to splice in additional length on the cable that goes from the back camera to the underdash wiring harness due to use on a 32-foot enclosed trailer instead of a typical vehicle installation. Adding the tongue length, the trailer is about 37-38 feet long. Anyone that knows me, knows I like some meth. No, not the kind made by toothless chemists in a non-running 1973 motorhome. The kind race cars run off of. Water methanol injection is the hot ticket lately even with nitrous


racers using it to open up their tuning windows. It just so happens diesels love the washer fluid too. Not only does it cool the intake charge, the methanol adds additional fuel creating more power…up to 100 extra ponies. Some claim spraying water meth actually nets them a few more miles per gallon but the main reason to use it is to lower your exhaust gas temperatures. Under prolonged boost when pulling a heavy load, EGTs can get dangerously high and can cost you a motor. Using water meth can lower EGTs anywhere from 150-300°F. When it comes to water methanol injection, Snow Performance is the first name that comes to mind. Snow makes vehicle-specific kits for about everything on the road. For our 7.3 Powerstroke, Snow offers two complete kits, the MPG-Max and the Tow-Max. We chose the Tow-Max for our application. It comes with a big seven gallon tank, two injector nozzle holders, filtered nozzles, the ultra high output pump, a digital controller, a solenoid to prevent siphoning while not in use, an EGT probe, and all the tubing and hardware needed for a complete install. The

NOVEMBER 2014 | RPM Magazine

3: The Edge dash pod comes in a tan-ish gray mushroom color. We were lucky to find a good paint match to the lighter of the two grays on our F-250 dash. 4. It’s recommended to update the software on your CTS unit before installation. Sometimes there are new updates to the software since the manufacture date of your unit. To update just go to edgeproducts.com/ updates/ and download the Fusion software to your computer. Once Fusion is installed to your computer, just follow the direction to update the CTS. 5: While you are on the Edge website, go ahead and download the MYSTYLE software too. You can then choose from several cool backgrounds or upload your own. We uploaded the RPM logo for a custom touch.






6: Once the CTS has been updated, we plugged in all cables and mounted the CTS in the dash pod. To mount the pod to the dash, Edge includes three small aluminum angle brackets with double sided tape and hook and loop. Each bracket is numbered and goes at the matching inscribed locations inside the pod. With the backing still on the hook and loop fasteners, we test fit it on the dash to ensure a good fit. We then cleaned the dash with the alcohol pad and stuck it down. Once it was pressed down firmly, it was there for good. 7. We popped the side vent plate off of the driver’s side of the dash and fished the cables down through the dash. Even the big OBDII plug easily goes through without trouble.


8: Ford must have expected us to add stuff down the road. There is a nice plastic plate blocking a big hole through the firewall. A couple of squeezes with a pair of pliers to the tabs and it popped right out. With the plate in hand you can easily drill a hole through the middle and then pop it back in.


9: The camera kit comes with a trick fuse with a power lead for the camera. Choose a nonessential fuse and check for one that comes on with the key, not one that stays on all the time.

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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 | NOVEMBER 2014


Introducing Valvoline NextGen. The first recycled oil formulated from a breakthrough process that combines the latest re-refining technology with Valvoline’s special additives to exceed industry standards. It’s the only recycled oil good enough to be called Valvoline, because we hold ourselves to a higher standard. Yours. Go to NextGenMotorOil.ca and find out why it is important to recycle your used oil and use recycled oil.


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NOVEMBER 2014 | RPM Magazine

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RPM TECH 10: Once everything is wired up, we plugged in the OBDII connector. Edge made it low profile with the cable exiting towards the driver’s door so it won’t be in the way since it’s always connected. Turn on your key and follow the onscreen directions to tune your truck and set up your gauge preferences. Our model has three power levels besides stock and for now we went straight to level three (100hp & 200lb-ft) but will need to turn it down to the tow tune when we tow anything. only run the tap in deep enough to start the nozzle treads. Going too deep will cause the nozzles to be loose or need to thread in too deep. If you do it right, the nozzles will only barely peek out inside the pipe when fully tightened. Remember to use the supplied Goop sealant on all threads in the system. Notice the black boost reference hose that goes to the Snow controller just to the right of the blue pipe coupler. This is where the factory put the intake air heater. Since that is rarely used in our climate we pulled it out and replaced it with a M22-1.5 oil pan drain plug (Napa part number NOE 7041048). We cut the extra threads off then drilled and tapped it to accept the Snow Performance nipple. It threw a soft code that we were able to see with Edge CTS diagnostic feature. You can get an eliminator wire that will prevent the DTC but it isn’t necessary. The added benefit is the big heater element is no longer partially blocking the intake flow.


11: We ran the tubing to the back of the truck and up to the pipe that goes from the intercooler to the intake manifold. Unless you want aluminum shavings in your motor, take the pipe off the truck to drill and tap it. On the 7.3 it makes life easier if you remove the MAP sensor bracket and unbolt the coolant overflow tank and slide them out of the way. It is important when tapping the holes for 1/8” NTP to

Snow Performance TowMax system progressively adds pump pressure as boost levels and or exhaust gas temperatures rise. You can adjust the gain to control the amount sprayed up to 100% capacity of the pump and nozzle sizes you choose. It will start spraying around 7 psi of boost and progressively step up the flow from there. At low boost and cooler EGTs the system does not spray at all. First impressions driving with the Edge CTS and Snow Performance Tow-Max installed were smile

www.rpm-mag.com | NOVEMBER 2014



12 12: We decided the dash pocket that most people use for ink pens and beef jerky was a good spot to mount the Snow Performance Water Methanol controller. We drilled a hole in the rear corner and fed the wiring harness through. Some double sided tape to the bottom and it was installed in its new home.

13: The driver’s side exhaust manifold can be drilled and tapped for the EGT probes while on the truck if you are careful. One common method is to coat your drill bit and tap with grease to help retain the metal shavings. We prefer to do it dry so the shavings can fall down and shavings that do end up inside the manifold won’t stick to the inside walls with the grease. We started with a very small drill bit and work our way up to the larger one in four steps with four progressively larger bits. This kept the shavings small. Also, we drilled very slowly with semi-dull bits to minimize large shavings. Once the hole was tapped we used a vacuum to suck out any loose shavings then fired the truck with the holes open. We let it idle high to blow out any that may be remaining. Just like on the intake pipe, we only ran the tap in shallow to ensure the EGT fittings would be tight.


14: We mounted the Snow Performance ultra high output pump to a cab support in the rear left corner and the solenoid between the pump and bed mounted water meth tank. The power wire connections are protected by heat shrink tubing.

De signed t o mee t t he demanding r igor s of r acing.

Engineer ed to WIN.

8 7 7. 9 3 5 . 3 6 6 1



NOVEMBER 2014 | RPM Magazine




15: Before mounting the water methanol tank, we installed the screened fitting and push-lock 90-degree fitting. Once again, we were sure to seal all threads with the supplied Goop E6000 sealant. We mounted the tank in the front left corner so it would be easy to check while filling the diesel tank at the gas station. Here, Adam pours the Snow Performance Boost Juice into the tank. Boost Juice is Snow’s own blend of 49% methanol and 51% purified water. You can use straight purified water if you don’t care about the added fuel from the methanol and live in an area where the water won’t freeze. Using straight water won’t net you nearly as much power gain compared to a water meth mix, and straight water can’t be injected as heavily as the mix without quenching combustion. There is power in the methanol due to a higher temperature before ignition point resulting in ignition delay followed by a faster cylinder pressure rise at the most efficient time in the piston’s cycle, after TDC on the power stroke (we said Powerstroke). This produces a more efficient burning of the diesel fuel along with the added fuel of the methanol and a cooler intake charge—it’s a win win. You can also use windshield washer fluid but be sure to check the actual methanol percentage in the washer fluid. The colder it is rated for, generally the higher methanol percentage. You can also mix your own with methanol race fuel and purified water. It is recommended to stay under 50% methanol to keep the flammability risk low. To take advantage of Snow Performance’s lifetime warranty, you must use Boost Juice only. 16: On our test drive we had to adjust the gain to find where it hit quench level then backed it down. The Snow Performance controller is really easy to use by just scrolling through the screens with the “1” button and making selections or changes with the “2” button.





18: Since the license plate bracket on our 32-foot trailer is mounted all the way to the left on the rear door, we cut the license plate frame off just past the upper mounting holes and mounted it dead center at the bottom of the door. A little black touch up paint on the cuts and it looks like it came that way. We drilled a hole in the lower frame to run the cable underneath the trailer. Edge even included a rubber grommet to protect the cable. 20: The Edge backup camera makes hooking up to the trailer a breeze. You can line it up perfectly on the first try without jumping out to check even once! When working in tight places you can select “view camera” so the camera stays on even when you aren’t in reverse.

17: The Edge backup camera is barely noticeable on the truck. There are two little screws on each side of the camera that you can loosen to adjust the angle, and the tiny hex wrench is included in the kit. 19: Our trailer has nice plastic bushed holes through each cross support beam underneath for easy routing of our camera cable. We had to add some wire to the cable since the kit came with just enough for a normal vehicle length. We cut the connector off the unused under-dash harness from the second camera kit to splice to the front end of the cable so it could be plugged in place of the truck mounted camera’s plug when the trailer is in use. Edge includes some soft tape to seal this connection and keep water out but we can’t use it in this set up. To be able to swap out plugs from truck camera to trailer camera we have to be able to disconnect the plug. We will use dielectric grease to protect the connection from moisture. 20: The CTS looks pretty sharp with the RPM Magazine logo for the background. We think Edge should just ship them all with this background pre-installed. Yeah, this thing is probably going to get somebody a ticket.

inducing. The CTS power curve is much smoother and more controllable compared to the old plug-andplay, not to mention a noticeable power increase. Compared to stock, it feels like a whole different machine. The Tow-Max feels like you bumped the tuner up another couple levels. We adjusted the gain starting at 40% and increased it until we hit quench, then backed it down 10%. Stay tuned, because coming up we are going to install a massive

5-inch turbo-back stainless steel MBRP exhaust system and dyno each performance upgrade. Then we will beef up with fabricated front and rear bumpers from ICI (Innovative Creations Inc.) and end with some NASA-worthy lighting from Vision X. All parts available at Summit Racing summitracing.com and Holcomb Motorsports holcombmotorsports. com

www.rpm-mag.com | NOVEMBER 2014


story by

Toby Brooks photos by

Louis Fronkier



n many competitions, the difference between winning and losing can be measured in fractions of a second and the distance between the victor and the also-rans can be seen through squinted eye and the tiny space marked between a thumb and index finger. For Hampton, Virginia heating and cooling contractor Greg Dudash, the difference between his silky smooth 1962 Chevy C10 and most other rides is readily apparent from first glance, but it is perhaps millimeters—106 millimeters to be exact—that really set him apart from the crowd. To begin, the Bowtie’s wicked stance, obese rear meats, and nouveau-industrial dark monochrome color scheme all scream modern cool. However, it isn’t until Dudash pops the steel factory hood or hits the ignition that the true beast of this beauty roars and whistles its way to work. And with four digits worth of Precision Turbo-supplemented power on tap, the gray hauler can easily have the competition quickly seeing red.


NOVEMBER 2014 | RPM Magazine

Dudash first acquired the truck for just $800 in 1998, just shortly after graduating from high school. With family and job-related duties at the forefront of his priority list and finances a bit tight at the time, the truck was relegated to driving duty and little more than periodic tinkering. However, as Dudash eventually transitioned from employee to business owner, he finally found both the additional time and resources necessary to give the truck her due. “About six or seven years ago, I bought a house and fully remodeled it,” he said. Up until that time, Dudash really had no workspace within which to craft his dreams into automotive reality. “I finally built a garage, and eventually that’s when I started on the chassis,” he added. Dudash kicked off the project with an S&W Race Cars square tube kit and meticulously fit it together as an arrow-straight foundation from which to build. Out back, the truck rides on a ladder bar setup with QA1

coilovers, while the front incorporates a Mustang II setup with tubular upper and lower control arms dampened by another pair of QA1s. A Flaming River rack and pinion was installed for steering duties, while a quartet of disc brakes aptly handle stopping chores. A set of trick black anodized Magnum wheels (15x3.5 fronts and 15x12 double beadlocked rears) add to the sinister look, and the Mickey Thompson front runners and 315 drag radials out back provide ample grip. No engine in the history of the world has been employed more frequently in high performance street machines than

the iconic small block Chevy; however, relatively few have been tweaked, tuned, manicured, and massaged to crank out dyno numbers north of 1,000 horsepower—especially in a streetable and reliable fashion. For this tall feat, Dudash relied upon the crew at Bonner Engine Development. The Bonner gang started the process with a 350 block punched 0.060 over and fitted with an Eagle forged stroker crank and H-beam rods, yielding

STANCE AND STYLE From the factory, the old C10 had a buckboard ride and a nosebleed-high stance. Thanks to the owner-fabbed S&W Race Cars tube chassis, those features are a thing of the past, as the wild Chevy now nestles down low and tight on the Weld Racing and Mickey Thompson rolling stock. Body mods have been kept to a minimum, but the Virgina Rod Company side-dump exhaust adds a cool touch, as do the cage braces exiting the rear of the cab toward the bed floor.

www.rpm-mag.com | NOVEMBER 2014



SLICK STEPPIN’ The 15x12 dual beadlocked rear wheels and Mickey Thompson drag radials look fantastic tucked under the factory stepside bed. The owner-built painted aluminum bed cover looks great and reduces tailgate drag, since the truck already boasts all the aerodynamics of a well-thrown brick.

RUN-N-’CHUTE A single Deist parachute is mounted out back in case the four-wheel discs need a little help in slowing the heavy Chevy from top speed. 388 total cubes. JE flat top pistons complete the rotating assembly, while a Crower solid roller cam, Crower HIPPO lifters, and a set of Crower roller rockers handle valvetrain tasks with ease (and a touch of lopey attitude).


NOVEMBER 2014 | RPM Magazine

A pair of Canfield 220 heads were then torqued in place followed by an aluminum Edelbrock Super Victor intake that appropriately directs the pressurized atmosphere and fuel combo toward the combustion chambers. Fuel metering is handled by a C&S

www.rpm-mag.com | NOVEMBER 2014


TURB-O-MYGOODNESS The enormous 106mm Precision Turbo unit is set to push around 15 pounds of boost through the C&S Specialties carb. All the custom fab work on the install was handled by the crew at Virginia Rod Company.

cvrproducts.com For more information visit


NOVEMBER 2014 | RPM Magazine



aerosol billet blow-thru carburetor that has been crowned with an Extreme Velocity Pro Series blow-thru hat. Ignition tasks are managed by an MSD Digital 7 box. The truck also features a Boost Leash controller and a bed-mounted CO2 tank. The single four-barrel small block is transformed from ordinary to extraordinary thanks to the previously mention turbocharger. The massive 106-millimeter Precision Turbo unit has been mounted passenger side and is currently set up to push around 15 pounds of boost. Fabrication duties for the exhaust and turbo setup were adeptly handled by Donald Williams and Bobby Starcher of Virginia Rod Company (VRC) (Regular RPM

readers have seen VRC’s work before, with Ronald Bookman’s “Dart Vader” on our July 2014 cover…and more to come soon on Project aPocalypSe Horse in the near future). The VRC crew handled the killer fab work on the monstrous C10 inner fenders and also plumbed the charge tubes, airto-water intercooler, and seat-mounted five-gallon ice tank. All that high-whistling horsepower is herded toward the rear via a PTC-beefed Turbo 400 transmission. The fortified automatic has been fitted with a custom transbrake and a PTC stall converter to ensure it holds up to beating and banging on the strip while also behaving well on the street.

!!! www.rpm-mag.com | NOVEMBER 2014




NOVEMBER 2014 | RPM Magazine

A FEW BOLTS SHORT... Most would expect a ride with this kind of power to be sporting a fabricated 9-inch or big 12-bolt, but Dudash opted for a Chevy 10-bolt that has been beefed up wherever possible. The unit rides on coilovers and swings from a tried-and-true ladder bar setup.

Out back, Dudash admits that a Chevy 10-bolt unexpectedly continues to exist in a single functioning piece despite the ridiculous amounts of power thrown its way by the boosted Mouse motor. “It is as solid as a 10-bolt can be. Thankfully it hasn’t blown yet,” he said with a chuckle. The drag-strip rarity has been fitted with Ford housing ends, 35-spline Moser axles and spool with a 3.23 gear. Paint and body chores were completed

by High Tech Auto Body, a now-closed bodyshop near Dudash’s home in Virginia. “The owner decided to retire not long after the truck was painted, but the gray was actually his idea,” Dudash said. Initially, plans were for a simple gloss black paintjob. After a tedious prep and blocking to get the 50+ year-old sheet metal worked into shape, plans changed to a less common dark metallic shade of Subaru Diamond Grey Mica. The firewall continued on page 76

continued on page 68

www.rpm-mag.com | NOVEMBER 2014


Page 68


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

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Fabrication, Parts, Service Designing and manufacturing of quality drag racing suspensions and components for over 30 years.

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Page 69

Page 70


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

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Tires & Wheels

Safety Apparel & Communication

Transmission Converter Clutch & Driveline

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


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

Tuning & Electronics

Incl. Ignitions, Control Systems, Parts & Service

’62 MILLIMETERS was recently smoothed and painted with the help of friend Paul Henderson. Aside from a fiberglass bumper, relocated taillights, and some trick exhaust exits on the passenger side front fender, the body is stock. An owner-built aluminum tonneau cover and custom parachute mount rounds out a subtle but effective batch of exterior mods. Inside, it is obvious that the truck was built for driving. An F-100 bench seat—selected because it was two inches narrower than stock and could clear the roll cage—provides comfy seating on the truck’s frequent road trips. DJ Safety harnesses keep occupants firmly strapped in place, while a full complement


NOW YOU DON’T SEE THAT EVERY DAY... Be honest...when is the last time you saw a ride with a full tube chassis rocking a bench seat? Not often, we’d guess. Dudash discovered that a Ford F100 bench was just narrow enough to squeeze between the door bars without modification. The center-mounted ice box helps cool the intake charge for added power.

NOVEMBER 2014 | RPM Magazine

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Trick Flow’s new PowerPort® 365 aluminum cylinder heads were created for you to win races. These new extreme performance race heads for big block Chevy engines flow a massive 424 cfm @ .900" lift. The high-strength castings can withstand enormous amounts of compression and rpm. Rectangular-shaped 365cc CNC Competition Ported runners, 119cc heart-shaped chambers, CNC bowl blended valve seat transitions, 24° intake valve angles with 4° side cants, and the highest quality valvetrain components help make PowerPort 365 heads the best choice for your car. Use PowerPort 365 heads on your engine and turn your goal of winning into reality! Airflow Results PowerPort 365

Lift Value .100" .200" .300" .400" .500" .600" .700" .800" .900"

Intake Flow CFM 78 155 239 301 349 385 411 418 424

Exhaust Flow CFM 63 134 198 246 277 301 318 328 337

Tests conducted at 28" of water (pressure). Bore size: 4.600"; exhaust with 2" pipe. To view more airflow charts, go to TrickFlow.com and type the part number you want to see into the Search box and then click “Search.”


Some parts are not legal for sale or use on any pollution-controlled motor vehicles.

ITS A DRIVER... The C10 is no trailer queen. Dudash drives the truck regularly and says it is an absolute blast on the open road.

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of AutoMeter Pro Comp gauges in a carbon fiber insert fill the body-colored factory steel dash. A custom Grant GT wheel and a classic Hurst Quarter Stick shifter round out the custom touches in the interior. “I drive this thing everywhere,” Dudash admitted. On one recent drive, the truck made a 400-mile round trip without complaint on less than two fill ups of the

modest 15-gallon fuel cell. Performance has been good thus far, with a single mild quarter-mile pass at only eight pounds of boost netting speeds in excess of 140 mph. “It was my first run and I let off early. It scared me a bit,” Dudash admitted. With the wick turned up a bit and some more wheel time under his belt, Dudash expects passes well into the eight second quarter-mile range at

160+mph this spring. Whether it is motorsports or team sports, many competitions are often decided by the narrowest of measures. However, with over a hundred millimeters of Precision Turbo boost, Ron Dudash’s wicked and wild 1962 C10 is usually the coolest ride around by a Texas mile.

www.rpm-mag.com | NOVEMBER 2014


story by

George Pich

photos by

Tia Elizabeth


FIT. FINISH. FAST. From top to bottom and front to back, the level of quality in the build is top-shelf. Early on the truck had the standard high gloss wooden box floor which Ricky said had to go, along with the power Caddy bench seat and host of other early mods in favor of this rendition.


NOVEMBER 2014 | RPM Magazine


s we hit Virginia during what we like to call our 2014 RPM Magazine Search For Horsepower Tour, we kept hearing about this jet black, Shafiroff big block powered, nitroused ’57 Chevy pickup. Apparently this thing was feared on the streets,

on the track and even on the Christmas parade route, (we’ll get to that later). Rumors met reality when we casually wandered over to check out a sinister looking black truck that we noticed at the recent Southern Fried Festival and Car Show in Hampton, VA. It, too, had a Shafiroff big Chevy

under the hood, was sipping a hit of nitrous via an NOS Fogger system, and seemed to have all the makings of more than just a street machine. Not being able to locate the owner at first, we did a little digging with the locals. “Y’all wanna know more about that truck?” said a voice

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www.rpm-mag.com | NOVEMBER 2014



RAT-TASTIC The Shafiroff 632 Big Chief Ultra Street Big Dawg pump gas motor dyno’d at 1,009 horsepower with 870lbs of torque at 6,700 RPM with Sunoco Ultra 93 unleaded fuel. An NOS Pro Race Fogger system is plumbed into the Dart Big Chief intake and a 1250cfm Holley carburetor by Pro Systems sits on top.

from behind as we looked over the incredible straight lines of the full bodied hauler. “That’s one fast machine and the guy who owns it is pretty well known in these parts,” the stranger continued. With our curiosity piqued even more, the deal was done and we tracked down the owner for a one-on-one chat and photoshoot of this legendary heavyweight. Ricky Ashworth, a shipbuilder by trade, is as straightup a motorhead as they come.


PRACTICAL PICKUP? SURE... PRACTICALLY IN THE LOW 8’S! Probably not much good for hauling anything in the box these days…but the big Chevy does haul something else pretty well!

This guy lives and breathes horsepower…which is a perfect fit with RPM! As we’ve said many times before, every car has a story, and here’s the story of Ricky Ashworth’s $200 Chevrolet pickup. “My father and I purchased this truck for $200 in 1978 from out front of an old gas station in Norfolk, VA.” Ricky explained. “I always wanted a 1969 Z/28 in high school, but I ended up with the truck my senior year. It started out with black Imron paint, baby moon

NOVEMBER 2014 | RPM Magazine

hubcaps, and an electric bench seat out of a Cadillac. You know, it had one of those nice wooden beds and even a spare tire rack on the side…after a while that had to go!” Ricky’s dad, being handy with cars, built a 327 with a 650 Holley double pumper and backed it up with a 4-speed stick. “Pops didn’t know it at the time, but after watching my brother street race his

’66 GTO back then, I got the itch to do some racing of my own. I eventually put nitrous on the 327 after getting suckered into a race with a big block thinking he had a small block. The system I used back then was called a Marvin Miller plate system and man was it fun—especially when I went back and spanked that big block with it!” So began Ashworth’s street cred for being quick and

www.rpm-mag.com | NOVEMBER 2014




NOVEMBER 2014 | RPM Magazine

CLEAN-N-TIDY INSIDE Inside is just as nice as out, with a combination of street rod and hardcore strip equipment. The 10 point cage is not for show by any means, nor are the big tach and Pro-Lites. Use of the original dash with every gauge and switch known to man is a killer touch. A tilt column with billet wheel is installed, while seats are racing buckets with custom covers to match custom door panels. The TCI Outlaw shifter is set-up for a reverse pattern and two MSD systems are mounted off to the lower right on the passenger side for ease of access to switch between “street” and “strip” operation.

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

From $225

winning races, and he has run nitrous oxide ever since. “I had a race almost every weekend and won a lot. Back then, that nitrous was hard on parts and we blew up more than our fair share of motors, and Pops didn’t like that at all!” After graduating and moving into his own place with roommates who also had hot rods and loved street racing, Ricky just got faster and went from running 12.40 at 109mph back then to his current 8.57 quarter-mile times at over 156mph, but it certainly didn’t happen overnight. “I had several 327 motors then finally went to a 454 big block Chevy. From there, I went to a 468 and then a 598-inch Scott Shafiroff Big Dawg street



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www.rpm-mag.com | NOVEMBER 2014


MY TRUCK TOP QUALITY A unique look under the hood and behind the glass of the 3,600lb machine.


AFR change (%)

100 80 60




20 0 -20



150 200 Time (msec)





NOVEMBER 2014 | RPM Magazine

DRESSED TO KILL The old school rake on Ashworth’s radical Chevrolet pickup tells you that this is one bad machine.

RICKY ASHWORTH’S 1957 CHEVROLET TRUCK Chassis: 113-inch wheelbase and weighs 3,670lbs without driver. Mild steel 2x3-inch square tubing for rear and front clip.10-point mild steel roll cage. Suspension (Front and Rear): S&W Pinto A-Arms, Mustang II rack and pinion. QA1 coilover shocks. Rear 4-link suspension with Afco double adjustable coilover shocks. ART anti-roll bar and ART wishbone. Body and Paint: Sherwin Williams base coat/clear coat in GM 8555 black. Body work and paint by Bruce Wills at Coxtons. Hood and fender emblems along with cartoon on tailgate painted by Greg Rudy, owner of Rudy’s Kustom Grafix. Engine: Scott Shafiroff 632 Big Chief Ultra Street Big Dawg pump gas motor. Dart Big M tall deck 10.200. Cylinder Heads: 18-degree Dart Big Chief heads fully CNC ported, titanium intake valves, Manley Nextek valve springs, Isky EZ Roll lifters, Trend pushrods, and T&D shaft rockers. Rotating Assembly: Ross 10.75:1 compression 4.605 custom pistons with tool hardened steel rings. Callies 4.750 stroke crank and Oliver billet 6.700 steel rods. Calico coated bearings. Other Specs: Shafiroff custom ground roller cam, Cometic head gaskets, Moroso billet aluminum oil pump, and Stage 2 Mark 4 aluminum oil pan. Meziere 300 series electric water pump and Moroso 3-vane vacuum pump. Exhaust is Hedman 2 1/4-inch custom headers with 4-inch collectors and side exits coated by Jet-Hot. Induction and Power Adder: Dart Big Chief intake with 1250cfm Holley carburetor by Pro Systems. NOS Pro Race Fogger system.

motor. I’ll be honest, after having that one I didn’t ever expect to go bigger, but I did and I’m currently running a 632 Shafiroff Big Chief pump gas motor with a Fogger nitrous system on it. Ricky has had his share of fame with the truck and has

been on several TV shows including Pinks: All Out and the 4-wide race at Charlotte’s Z-MAX Dragway where he made the final 32-car field. He’s also been on Pass Time in Budds Creek Maryland and has appeared in a Mother’s Wax commercial. During

Electronics: Two MSD systems, one for cruising and one for racing. “Just unhook plug and swap them over along with swapping coil wire.” Racing setup: 7531 MSD and crank trigger with HVC-2 Red coil. Street setup: MSD Digital 6 Plus with Blaster HVC-2 Blue coil. Transmission & Converter: ATI turbo 400. ATI 9-inch 5000 stall Treemaster converter. ATI trans brake. TCI Outlaw shifter with reverse pattern. Rear Differential: Chromoly fabricated 9-inch rear with 40 spline gun drilled axles, 4.56 Richmond pro gears and Moser 40 spline spool. Performance: Dyno’d at 1009 horsepower with 870lbs of torque at 6700 RPM with Sunoco Ultra 93 unleaded fuel. Best ET & MPH: 8.57 @ 156mph quartermile

www.rpm-mag.com | NOVEMBER 2014


• 100% Holley - Made in the U.S.A. • 97% aluminum construction • 28% weight savings • 20% more fuel bowl capacity • 10 new fuel bowl features • 6 new main-body features • 5 new metering block features • 1 new carburetor ... Gen 3


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Fully machined from venturii throat to throttle bore for predictable & repeatable performance

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Factory ready TPS mounting points for use with data acquisition

HOLLEY.COM | Techline: 270-781-9741 NOVEMBER 2014 | RPM Magazine

Available in vibratory polished finish with Red™ or Black™ metering blocks & booster inserts or in Hard Core Gray™ hard-anodized finish!


HOOKED UP AND TICKED OFF With the front hoops hung and the rear meats wrinkled, you can almost see an evil snarl on the wicked Chevy’s face. Jeffrey Ervin photo top, Russell Karchner photo left

an interview on one of the shows, Ricky was asked how long it took him to build the truck. He answered, “One wife and six girlfriends, which is equivalent to 36 years. And now, since I bought the 632 motor, its seven girlfriends,” he laughed.

The truck will run in the mid 8-second range all day long with street tires and mufflers, is very streetable and gets driven on the streets and highways a lot. Ricky has run in several Outlaw races on unprepped tracks in VA in hopes of someday running the Oklahoma

(800) 208-1755


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www.rpm-mag.com | NOVEMBER 2014


SIGHTS AND SOUNDS Above left: As Ricky pulled through the tunnel at our shoot location, let’s just say the sound was awesome! Above right: Greg Rudy of Rudy’s Kustom Grafix added a number of custom painted accents to the flawless mile-deep black paint, including this cool Wile E. Coyote and Roadrunner graphic. Russell Karchner photo


NOVEMBER 2014 | RPM Magazine


See it in action! Use your smartphone to scan the QR code and see more than 20 videos of Ashworth’s awesome hauler!

Outlaw cars and did make the number 10 spot, “...but number 10 is considered the gatekeeper,” he said. The truck has been to the GoodGuys Nationals in Charlotte just so at the end of the show Ricky could blast around the track for three laps. However, he admitted to more. “I actually made nine laps in

one night at the GoodGuys show because people were giving me their tickets, and trust me, I went all out on the back stretch, what a blast! I have even run the road course, which was really cool. Sure, I didn’t set any speed records, but they

Ricky drives this truck everywhere—city streets, highways, oval tracks, road race courses, and drag strips…he’s done it all!

knew when I was taking off and finishing,” he joked. Ricky can also be found doing a lot of charity car shows and even running the truck in Christmas parades (check out the QR code above to see the

truck in action). “You know, I think I could write a country song about my truck; ‘best friends, dogs and ex-girlfriends come and go, but I ain’t getting rid of my truck!’”

www.rpm-mag.com | NOVEMBER 2014



PISTON INNOVATION FOR GM LS >> Asymmetrical designs reduce weight and friction while improving power and longevity. Here’s how modern race technology emerged on the street!


n engine is an explosion-driven air pump and at its heart pistons, operating within ring-sealed cylinders, endure the blast, converting the effects of the expanding explosive mixture into kinetic energy—the energy of motion. The motion is evidenced by the speeding pistons and the blast is delivered by an electrical firing cycle that occurs at a specific instance in time and crank angle. As a result, high cylinder pressures are exacted upon piston crowns and top ring grooves. But the piston is also exposed to additional loads exerted upon it due to connecting rod swing and crank pin rotation. Loads exerted on one of the piston’s skirts, referred to as the “major thrust side” (on the right side when viewing the engine from the flywheel end with the crankshaft rotating counterclockwise) can reach 10 times higher than the load exerted on the



Fergus Ogilvy

opposing skirt, referred to as the “minor thrust side.” The disparity in skirt loading varies in magnitude depending on key variables, including the engine’s stroke length, rod length, and peak cylinder pressure. To address skirt load disparities asymmetrical pistons were devised. Common place in the leading auto racing arenas, including F1, Le Mans Sportscars and NASCAR, JE Pistons was first to introduce them for operation in GM LS engines. Created with major and minor thrust faces these new asymmetrical pistons are now available for all LS variants.

WHY PLACE THE PISTON PIN OFF CENTER? In traditional symmetrical piston designs the piston pin journal that secures the pin that joins the piston to the connecting rod is located at the piston’s center. As

photos and images by

NOVEMBER 2014 | RPM Magazine

JE Pistons

a rule, symmetrical pistons are just easier to design and manufacture and they work acceptably well in most applications. However, though adequate in coping with the stresses, symmetrical pin placement usually isn’t the ideal formula. “Alternatively, as the crank rotates,” explains JE engineer, Gary Meier, “the

Asymmetrical piston skirts differ in size. Their thrust side is represented by the larger skirt; their non-thrust side by the smaller skirt. Properly placed, the piston’s major thrust side will rest on the right side of the cylinder when viewed from the flywheel. Reductions in weight and friction are two key advantages. They are also stronger and better equipped for high thrust loads.


TSV Technology

We started from a clean sheet to create the most efficient, most advanced supercharger ever created for GM LS engines. Our revolutionary new intercooler design delivers more power than the competition run-after-run, regardless of how hot it is outside. With factory-like drivability, a bypass valve for enhanced fuel economy, and OEM-level fit and finish that looks great under the hood, Magnuson's Heartbeat is true horsepower without compromise.

These new JE asymmetrical pistons for LS engines address disproportionate loads in the cylinder. Produced in 2618 aluminum alloy they are the first of their kind. Though they are well-suited to long-stroke engines and forced induction and nitrous applications producing 1,500hp and beyond they also operate happily on street machines.

www.rpm-mag.com | NOVEMBER 2014


RPM QUICK TECH offset pin preloads the major skirt face and thus reduces the noise caused by piston slap, particularly prevalent during cold starting. Combining the off-set pin with a large skirt area on the heavily loaded major thrust side and a small skirt area on the less loaded minor thrust side, results in a piston design that is not only better equipped for the high thrust loads, but also is stronger, delivers more horsepower reliably, and prolongs engine life while remaining lighter than previous designs.� According to JE, these new LS asymmetrical pistons represent the beginning of a shift in their engineering philosophy toward such forgings. More pertinently still, an entire range of consumer-level pistons that have the same degree of pro-level race engineering are now available to the average enthusiast.


In this Finite Element Analysis (FEA) image, the highest stress levels are identified by the bright green areas, shown here on the piston crown. The colors start in a dark blue, signifying low stress, and increase as the colors change to green, yellow, and red.

JE offsets the piston pin for quieter cold starts. In so doing, the piston achieves near perfect balance. It also achieves valuable weight loss. Developed from 5115 alloy steel, the pin measures 2.250 inches compared with the traditional pin of 2.750 inches. As a result, weight falls from 130 to 106 grams. The minor thrust side of the asymmetrical piston encounters loadings up to 10 times less than the piston’s major thrust skirt. Disparities in skirt loadings vary with engine stroke, rod length, and cylinder pressure.

NOVEMBER 2014 | RPM Magazine

FEA images are captured at peak cylinder pressure, during the firing stroke. Clearly, thermal and mechanical load analyses are crucial aids in highperformance piston design.

BBC 632 Nitrous Series

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• 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

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www.rpm-mag.com | NOVEMBER 2014



Rapid prototype pistons are made of plastic in a 3-D printer. They are valuable for verification prior to preparing forge tooling. Beyond this they are used to assess a series of requirements, including validating oil squirter clearance.


NOVEMBER 2014 | RPM Magazine

JE manufactures their own forgings and claims access to 300 variations. Quick to notice nearly every LS replacement piston is still loosely based on older small-block Chevrolet designs, they strive to maintain asymmetrical dominance in the LS piston market.

Before shipping, pistons are measured with Coordinate Measuring Machines to ensure accuracy. Though not included in the piston package, JE recommends using their Pro Seal ring pack.

So far, JE, who was quick to recognize the technology gap in aftermarket pistons for hot rodders and racers especially in the high horsepower LS market, has added 160 new part numbers to their lineup and more are coming. For this article, JE was kind enough to supply CAD and


www.JEPistons.com 714.898.9763

FEA images of the LS asymmetrical pistons. Check out the captions and photographs for a more visual representation of the theory, the design data that influenced the designs, and some of the additional benefits to JE’s asymmetrical and offset pin concept.



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

Toby Brooks


to furnish our garage space and install some PART 6: >>We beginbulletproof storage and organization products from Pit Pal Products

lthough our last installment of the RPM Hardcore Horsepower Garage appeared back in our August issue, we’ve still been plenty busy working to complete construction and finish work on our new 1,500 square-ft Nucor Building Systems utility building. With a new Epoxy Master floor successfully installed and our new Greg Smith Equipment 4-post lift fully assembled and operational, we had managed to complete two major tasks in the span of two weekends. And with our new Miller Welding Equipment MIG, TIG, and plasma cutter units assembled and ready to work, it was time to get our electrical work protected and get organized.

While our workspace is expansive and the 12-foot ceiling height certainly helps the space feel extra roomy, it didn’t take us long to start junking the place up. Most notably, the 2x6 steel stud construction made for handy stashing space for all measures of unrelated items. Notice we said stashed—not stored. Hoping to get our stuff together, we contacted the friendly folks at Pit Pal Products for help. Pit Pal has been building top quality storage and organization products since 1982. Although long used by racers in the tight confines of trailer installations, the welded construction, unsurpassed functionality, and killer good looks of the entire 800+ product strong Pit Pal

1: All of our Pit Pal Products cabinets arrived well packaged and scratch and dent free and needed only minimal assembly before being ready for installation. After consulting with the helpful staff at Pit Pal, we opted for a trash can (#590), universal 3-shelf with roll and towel bar (#365), 5 lb. fire extinguisher holder (#352), two organizer cabinets (#320A), a cable tie holder (#RT2), a vertical box holder (#520), a 24 quart oil cabinet (#329), an aerosol & oil cabinet (#1112), two electric cord brackets (#220), and one of their super cool medium all-aluminum work tables (#155). After seeing the quality, versatility, and functionality of these items, all we can say is we plan on ordering more very soon. Although they are perfect for trailer and hauler applications, they are no less awesome in a shop or garage! But before we could install them, we had some work to do to get our shop walls ready for cabinet mounting.

www.rpm-mag.com | NOVEMBER 2014


line makes it a superb candidate for garage and shop installations, as well. We contacted Pit Pal co-founder Jody Schmeisser for some more info. After Jody found out a bit about our application, he suggested a number of Pit Pal’s made in USA line of versatile aluminum storage and organization components. We ordered up a wide assortment and within a week our products arrived. The first thing we noticed during unboxing was the superb workmanship that went into each piece. The welds on the fabricated components, still done by hand by TIG craftsmen in Zion, Illinois each and every day, were flawless. The etched Pit Pal logo was tastefully applied to add a touch of class and put jealous garage visitors on notice: this was no knockoff. It was the real thing. Assembly of the cabinets with doors and the items with add-on components was a breeze and clear instructions were packed with each item had we chosen to read them. Within minutes our items were fully assembled and ready for mounting. Before that could occur, however, we had to insulate and cover our walls. We picked up


NOVEMBER 2014 | RPM Magazine

2: What a mess! It didn’t take long for our sweet new Nucor Steel building to start to get cluttered. We also were afraid to do any serious metal work with our Miller Welders before we appropriately protected the in-wall wiring and insulated our walls.

3: We moved out the clutter and prepared our 2x6 walls for insulation and oriented strand board (OSB). Although we don’t intend to heat and cool the shop space just yet, it is way easier to do it now rather than later, and at around $75 a bag, it is a realtively cheap investment that will help regulate the shop temperature and deaden sound during late night thrashes.




4 4: We hit the gaps along the base in the sheetmetal corrugations with expanding foam before installing the batt insulation. Although the Nucor kit came with pre-cut foam, the spray stuff helps seal every small crack to help prevent air movement and seal out creepy crawlies.


5: The kraft paper faced batt insulation went in easily. We opted for a relatively thick R19. In our installation, due to the Nucor steel construction, we used duct tape to hold each batt in place before cutting the OSB to fit. Note that In other locales, an additional vapor barrier is required.

RPM GARAGE 6: With all the insullation and OSB panels installed on the wall, we hit it with a coat of oil-based primer. This step is necessary in order to get latex wall paint to stick to the OSB.


7: Moving on to out Pit Pal installation, here we installed the locking pin that holds the fold down door open or closed depending upon the door position. Obviously critical in trailer installations to keep contents from spilling out during transport, it also helps keep things safe in a garage installation like ours. Once properly installed, the pin locks in place (left) regardless of whether you want the door held open or latched shut. To open, simply pull the knob to release the pin (right).

8: Door assembly was a snap, with just a few locking nutsecured bolts to install. On items that do not include doors such as electical cord hangers and other brackets, the Pit Pal Product is fully welded and ready to use without any assembly required at all.


mahle hV385 goes


with all steel 1mm, 1mm, 2mm rings

MAHLE has a long and storied history of leading the way in developing technology for the finest engine builders in the world. This technology continues to breed success on tracks around the world, and MAHLE has done it again. The engineers at MAHLE revolutionize performance piston ring technology with the introduction of HV385 performance ring sets. A MAHLE patented high-tech process employing supersonic application technology leading to improved part consistency, greater bonding, and reduced drag. www.mahle-aftermarket.com

www.rpm-mag.com | NOVEMBER 2014



NOVEMBER 2014 | RPM Magazine

RPM GARAGE several bags of R19 batt insulation at the local home improvement store and cut and duct taped it into position before affixing 5/16-inch oriented strand board (OSB) over the top and securely screwing it to the wall studs using self-tapping drywall screws. Once our wall was up, it was time for painting. OSB is composed of small wood chips that are glued together and formed into 4x8-foot sheets. As such, the surface does not readily take typical paint without first being fully primed. We rolled on a coat of Kilz oil-based wall primer and let it dry for a day before going back over the entire surface with two coats of flat white latex wall paint. With the walls painted, we were ready to install our Pit Pal Products. We will affix the units to wall studs wherever possible and use spring-loaded toggle bolts through the OSB everywhere else. While we weren’t quite able to get our items installed before press time, we have

to admit we can’t wait to see what they’ll look like on the finished install (tune in next month!). However, what we are most looking forward to is the function of our new storage pieces. One of our favorite features of the Pit Pal Products line is that they will provide an instant visual inventory because there will be a place for everything and everything will be in its place. For instance, we’ll be able to easily tell when we are running low on oil or rubber gloves or a host of other items on the way out the door simply by looking at the cabinet where those particular items are stored (no more digging through storage crates or in the back of dark cabinets!). Check back next month as we complete our Pit Pal Products installation, add some trim and finish pieces, assemble a new stainless steel Trinity Tool Chest, and get cranking on finishing out our bathroom and office space. In the meantime, keep on wrenchin’!


9: Pit Pal’s years of experience equipping race trailers has resulted in some pretty cool tricks that can help you in the garage, too. Take their spring-loaded paper towel bars, for instance. These handy pieces add tension to the roll to prevent it from unfurling in the back of your race trailer. At the same time, they also allow you to tear off what you need with one hand without the whole roll unspooling in a mess on the floor.

SOURCE Pit Pal Products www.pitpal.com 888.748.7257

www.rpm-mag.com | NOVEMBER 2014




>>Anodize, Inc. treats some parts to a cool custom finish



f you have been following the saga of our ongoing build of a wild 2006 Pro Street Mustang, you know that we have been tantalizingly close to some major milestones for months now. With the car still in chassis and the engine still under construction, we had hoped that this month would be the month that might finally get the car rolling or the engine on the dyno. Unfortunately, we simply ran out of month. Hopes are high that the car will be on the ground and rolling again by the time you read this, as Rich Gebhardt and crew work to finally finish the initial chassis fabrication. And, after significant delays getting our intake

manifold finished, we finally had to pull the plug with one shop and plan and head another direction. This hiccup cost us additional time and money—and blew any shot at a dyno pull this month. As the Chevy guys say…“Rats.” Not to be dissuaded, we soldiered on with a few odds-and-ends projects that we could complete with or without the car. One of those projects was to source a pair of cool billet blow-off valves from Nitrous Pro Flow (PN. 333222). These O-ringed and spring-loaded pieces are critical in protecting an expensive intake and fuel system in the event of a backfire. And at an MSRP of $169 for a pair, they

story by

Toby Brooks

photos by

Toby Brooks and Todd Fambrough

This is what our parts looked like after we got them back from Anodize, Inc. The cool pink anodizing is durable and will add a splash of color throughout the build. These cup washers (right) were once highly popular and produced by Performance Engineering (PE). Unfortunately, PE is no longer in business. Although metric sizes are readily available from other suppliers, we ended up having to scrounge eBay for new/old stock standard size PE parts and managed to source a fairly large quantity from our new friend Ron Stroup who had a bunch stashed away in his shop. All the others we had custom machined at an international machine shop. The Summit Racing Equipment -3AN tube nuts and tube sleeves (left) came in black, but we opted to go pink on the nitrous side plumbing, while leaving the fuel side black.

www.rpm-mag.com | NOVEMBER 2014


are relatively cheap insurance for protecting a high-dollar fabricated intake. The relief valves would soon be sent to Metal Crafters of Monmouth, where resident dime-layer Robert Carrasca would mount them fore and aft in the lower plenum. But first, we had some tricks up our sleeve thanks to the good folks at Anodize, Inc. Anodize, Inc. offers a full array of metal finishing services. In particular, we needed some anodizing done in a custom color for a box full of aluminum parts, including some custom made cup washers and our Summit Racing nitrous fittings. We also wanted to try out their cool laser etching process on the relief valve that will eventually live just behind our MSD distributor right up front. Take a look and we think you’ll agree that Anodize, Inc. knocked this project out of the park. Tune in next month, as we are pretty sure the car will be rolling again and headed to Donald Williams’ Virginia Rod Company for Phase 2 of the build. It can’t get there soon enough!


These Nitrous Pro Flow pressure relief valves are inexpensive insurance in the event of a backfire. With an intake manifold that cost nearly $5,000 and has taken seven months (and counting) to complete, the last thing we wanted to do was risk it. Although the valves look cool straight out of the box, we had plans to trick them out even more.

NOVEMBER 2014 | RPM Magazine

We disassembled both valves and brush finished the thicknesses of both plates with a Dremel. The valve to be used on the front (below) was then sanded clean and prepped for re-anodizing and laser etching with the aPocalypSe Horse logo. This is how our parts box looked as we wrapped everything up and sent it to Anodize, Inc. The myriad of colors was due to the fact that we bought all the new/old stock parts we could find regardless of the color. Anodize, Inc. chemically strips all parts prior to the anodizing process. In addition to cup washers, we sent the Summit Racing tube nuts and sleeves and one of the two relief valve cover plates.

RPM PROJECT CAR Here, an (Left) A batch of Anodize, CNC parts is readied Inc. for anodizing. Not technician only does anodizing add beauty, it actually laser etches a set of increases the durability Scorpion of the part as well. Racing (Right) This set of billet roller throttle brackets has rockers. just emerged from Anodize, its electrochemical Inc. can bath. Anodize, Inc. laser etch has a variety of colors almost any available, including aluminum aPocalypSe pink. part and the results are incredibly detailed and high quality.

SOURCES Anodize, Inc.

www.anodizeinc.com 352.512.0747

Nitrous Pro Flow The finished product is durable and will certainly compliment the detailing we have planned under the hood as well as on the trick Mac-Fab Beadlocks. The laser-etched pressure relief valve adds just one more touch of personalization on a build whose theme has been to treat each and every component as if it were a piece of art all by itself. Hopefully next month that art will finally start rolling again!

www.nitrousproflow.com 954.771.6216

Summit Racing Equipment www.summitracing.com 800.230.3030



Take your engine to the top level with Scorpion Shaft Mount Rocker Arms. Made for the most demanding racing applications, this system greatly increases valvetrain stability, stiffness and geometry, which means much better performance and more horsepower potential. Rocker Arms • Lifters • Pushrods Valves • Valve Springs & More!



www.rpm-mag.com | NOVEMBER 2014



CUSTOM FABRICATION >>Our third-gen Camaro gets some one-off chassis work for lighter weight and better rigidity by

Blake Robinson


s we stated in our last installment of Project Back On Track, do-it-yourself fabrication can be a blessing to your pocketbook and can allow you to create some kick-ass custom parts. Don’t get us wrong, the performance industry is flooded with cool prefabricated parts at a great price, but there is nothing better than the satisfaction of saying: “I built that myself.” So with the help of two great friends/fellow gearheads, (Kevin McCombs & Buddy Sowders), we tackled the next modifications on the Project Back on Track Camaro. With this car being purpose-built within the rules and guidelines of a specific class, we were left having to utilize the


NOVEMBER 2014 | RPM Magazine

factory front frame rails, stock engine location, and the stock strut towers. While we can handle the first two items, the factory strut towers are not only an eyesore, but created an obstacle for me, even when the fiberglass front-end was removed from the car. After doing a lot of research online and asking around about removing the unwanted obstruction caused by the inner fenderwells on our project, we decided to create our own front strut bars and strut tower supports. The addition of the strut bars and supports will be beneficial not only in making our frame more rigid, but will also allow us to cut out the fenderwells without losing any structural integrity to the strut tower itself.

We started by loosening up the coilover springs on our struts, removed most of the front section of the fenderwell, its frame, and the factory battery tray. Using a cutoff wheel and a sawzall, Kevin started to clear a path for the front strut bars that would attach to the front of the factory frame, forward of the suspension, as well as to the highest point possible on the A pillar bar of our roll cage. (The A pillar is the front bar of the roll cage, inside of the car). Using a 6-foot stick of 1 5/8-inch mild steel tubing, we placed a mark at 26 inches to indicate the start of the bend, then placed the tube in our Baileigh Industrial RDB-050 bender. Since we were creating our own front strut bars, we started with a bend of 45 degrees and checked the fitment


1: The factory inner fenderwells and frame create a huge obstacle when it comes to gaining access to the engine compartment. Not for long!


2: Kevin has removed a portion of the fenderwell framing and battery tray. Using a cut off wheel, he clears a path for the new front strut bar.

of the tube. We found that if we added another 5 degrees to our bend, totaling 50 degrees, we would be dead on where we wanted our tube to meet the frame. Buddy cut and fit an 1/8inch steel plate to be welded between the frame and the tube to help spread the load on the third-gen’s factory frame rails. After a final test fit of our new strut bar, Buddy marked the centerline on the tube as well as the cut-off mark for

the backside of the tube to be notched for the A pillar. The tube was cut leaving almost Âź of the diameter of the 1 5/8-inch tube and installed at 20 degrees in our Eastwood Company tubing notcher. The additional length was added to again strengthen the joint as mentioned in our last article. With the tube now ready for installation, a final test fit was done. With everything looking good, Buddy tacked the tube into place.

www.rpm-mag.com | NOVEMBER 2014



3: We cannot stress the use of a lubricant on the counter die of a bender enough. Trust us—this step can reduce a lot of headaches.


4: With the 1 5/8-inch tube wiped clean of any debris, we properly placed it in our bender and went to work.


NOVEMBER 2014 | RPM Magazine

Kevin removed the remainder of the front section of the fenderwell to allow us to take measurements for the front strut tower support tube. We used 1 1/4-inch mild steel tubing for our strut tower supports. The overall length of the tube was 16 inches (a bit long to allow for a proper trim to fit) and the start of the bend was marked at 11 inches. After changing the tooling over on the bender, we made the pre-measured 44 degree bend. The fitment was checked, the tube was trimmed to fit, then notched at 0 degrees. Remember that 0 degrees is equivalent to a 90 degree angle on our Eastwood Company notcher. With the tube notched, Buddy welded an 1/8-inch steel plate to the frame and then tack welded the tube in place. The rear portion of the fenderwell was now able to be removed using the sawzall without any chance of the strut tower moving. Measurements were then made, and again a 16-inch piece of 1 1/4-inch mild steel tubing was used. The tube was placed in the RDB-050 bender at the 8-inch start of the bend mark and bent to the

predetermined 25 degrees. Buddy welded an 1/8-inch steel plate to the frame and checked the fitment of the tube. With the tube cut to the proper length, it was notched at 0 degrees and tack welded into place. After one final check, the tubes were welded into place and the outer frame of the fenderwell was removed. This completed one side of our custom modification and provided us with all the information needed to duplicate the strut bar and supports for the other side. With our fabrication now complete and all of the tubes sporting a fresh coat of paint, it was time to reinstall our coilover strut assemblies. As with any build, it seems like you can never have enough performance upgrades, and on a third-gen Camaro, aftermarket caster/camber plates are a must. We have already upgraded our factory front struts to an aftermarket drop spindle with coilovers, but had never accounted for the loss of travel, until now. After speaking with the guys at UMI Performance, we opted


5: Buddy completed a test fit of the tube after it was bent at 45-degrees. We added an additional 5 degrees to get the tube to the center of the frame.


6: With the tube in place, Buddy marked both ends for the final trim to create a good snug fit.

to use a pair of their 82-92 GM F-Body Spherical Caster/Camber Plates, part#2040. UMI began its journey in the aftermarket suspension industry in 2003 under the leadership of Ryan Kirkwood. UMI Performance manufactures 99.9% of their products, from start to finish, within their own facility. UMI’s heavy duty caster/ camber plates allow you to

make alignment changes that are not permitted with the factory strut mounts. These heavy duty strut mounts are fully TIG welded using ¼” steel and feature a chrome moly Teflon lined spherical bearing. The mounts are also built with increased height to provide additional travel for lowered vehicles. This makes them a must for our Project Back on Track Camaro.

www.rpm-mag.com | NOVEMBER 2014


RPM PROJECT CAR 7: 1/8-inch steel plates were welded to the factory frame to help spread the load on the joint between the frame and all of our tubes.



8 10: Remember, when using this style of tubing notcher, you should always add Âź of the diameter of the tube it is being welded to for a good strong load bearing joint.

Installation of these plates is a breeze and they come with new 3/16� thick CNC machined zinc plated retainer mounts. No drilling or welding is required for this

8: Kevin then removed the rest of the fenderwell on the front side to allow us to take measurements for the front strut tower support. The old adage of "measure twice, cut once" would certainly apply here.


9: After test fitting the front strut support, Buddy placed cut off marks and notch degrees on the tube.


NOVEMBER 2014 | RPM Magazine

straight forward bolt-on item. We started by installing the new spherical bearing housing on the strut and started the nut to hand tight. The retaining ring was then

www.rpm-mag.com | NOVEMBER 2014



12: The UMI Performance caster/camber plate comes with the strut mount, bearing, hardware to install the bearing, and a new retaining bracket.




UMI Performance

www.umiperformance.com 814.343.6315

11: With all of the tubes now in place, the remainder of the fenderwell framing can be removed.

installed from the inside of the fenderwell. Once the studs were through the factory strut tower mounting pad, the performance strut mount was


placed over the studs and the hardware was installed to 25 ft. lbs. The strut bolt was then torqued to 50 ft. lbs and that was that.

NOVEMBER 2014 | RPM Magazine

Baileigh Industrial Stay tuned…with our mock-up engine on its way, we will be installing the motor plate, mid-plate, and other components next time.

metal.baileighindustrial.com 920.684.4990

The Eastwood Company www.eastwood.com 800.343.9353

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The ultimate reversible 16" S-Blade electric fan. A powerful electric motor helps this fan move an impressive 2,500 cfm of airflow. Can be used as an auxiliary or primary cooling fan. PN 398

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RPM Magazine November Issue 2014  

HIGH HORSEPOWER HAULERS MY TRUCK.... “...Best friends, dogs, and ex-girlfriends come and go...but I ain’t getting rid of my truck!” ‘62...

RPM Magazine November Issue 2014  

HIGH HORSEPOWER HAULERS MY TRUCK.... “...Best friends, dogs, and ex-girlfriends come and go...but I ain’t getting rid of my truck!” ‘62...

Profile for rpmmag