Thursday, June 25, 2009

The Sweet Sound of American Racing Headers with Stolen Fox Axle Backs

So I've had my 1-7/8" American Racing Headers on for quite some time (Over six months already!) but I had never gotten around to actually record some good footage of them on the car. I recorded some video when I first picked up the car, but since it basically was running on 6 or 7 cylinders it was not really how it sounds.

Last week someone asked about them and how they sounded since they were going to get a set themselves and I figured it was about time to whip out the trusty old camcorder and record some footage. The only problem with these little hand-held cams is that they really don't capture the full sound of the exhaust system. You usually miss a lot of the bass and the relative volume is hard to determine. (e.g. Is it loud? or is the camera just too close to the exhaust for the mic to record it properly? )

0-20mph (windows closed) 0-30mph (window open) in city traffic

Cruising at 55mph and WOT to 80mph

Remote Start Idle

This next video to me sounds more realistic than the previous one
'Normal' Start Idle

Start, Idle and a few Revs :D

While I was shooting the last 2 videos with my buddy Neil we both noticed the following: When I first picked up my car after the headers were just installed I thought it was SO loud, now I start up the car and don't even notice it's running anymore - has the volume changed? No, but my hearing must have ! ;) Just a week or two ago I heard 'ChristianCoach's Magnaflow Cat-Back system (He did a great SS-V front Conversion!) and was surprised how quiet it was. It makes me think back about how quiet the stock system really is. I doubt most people would even hear it idling!

I guess it goes to show you just get used to these changes much like the power of your car. And that, is just nature's way of letting you know you need to start saving for your next mod! ;)

Monday, June 8, 2009

Cam Shaft Upgrade - Part III ; Timing Chain & Oil Pump

So I think I FINALLY got all the parts I want/need for this cam-swap. I know that a lot (read: Most/99.99%) of people don't swap all of these out, but like I mentioned before in previous posts - I'd rather do it right the first time and not have anything break on me.

New Timing Chain
C5 R Heavy Duty Timing Chain by IWIS GM LS1,LS2,LS3, LS6, LS7
Basically there were two options available that I was interested in, both made by a German company called 'IWIS'. First is a chain with part number: SD3SR602 which runs about $50. The Second is the so called C5-R Chain with part number: HME-G68V-2 which runs about $130 - $160. After doing some research it basically came out that the $50 chain is better than stock (and more than enough for most people) and that the $130 chain is better than the $50 chain. Of course with my obsessive "can't have it break EVER" attitude I chose the $130 chain. Apparently in the past some companies have tried selling the $50 chain AS the $130 chain so to avoid any confusion i ordered HME-G68V-2 direct from KaTech Engines.

Next up the oil-pump - I NEVER even saw any mention of upgrading this on any cam-swap project untill I stumbled across it on an Australian Forum. Apparently the 'DOD' oilpumps have a much higher flow rate which if you take out the DOD can lead to trouble such as pumping all oil out of the pan. Now I don't know all the details and I doubt this would happen with the 9 quarts of Oil the G8 takes (I think some people swapped out the oilpan for a stock LS2 pan which made the problem worse) but after talking to several people in the know the concensus was that if you get rid of DOD you really should swap out the oil-pump for a 'normal' one instead of high-flow. I ended up ordering this one from Lingenfelter:

Melling LS1, LS2, LS3, LS6 Standard-volume High pressure Oil Pump
Melling LS1, LS2, LS3, LS6 Standard-volume High pressure Oil Pump
Part: MEL10295
Price: $108.95
Shipping Weight: 5.00 pounds

The 10295 provides users of stock crankshaft short blocks a quality replacement for the original stock LS1 oil pump. The inlet and outlet passages have been optimized to improve oil flow entering and exiting the pump which improves overall pump performance. The design of the pressure relief has been updated to improve low RPM performance. The pressure by-pass setting has been increased 10 psi, with the installed spring. An additional pressure relief spring is supplied which will reduce the by-pass back to the stock setting. The pump cover is CNC machined from cast iron and coated to improve performance and durability. The oil pump housing is CNC machined from cast aluminum and hard-coat anodized to increase hardness and improve durability.

So now I SHOULD have everything needed for my cam-swap and have it be rock-solid. The only thing holding me back now is the possibility of doing forged internals at the same time....

OH also - I guess the 1.8 rockers are out of the question since there will NOT be enough piston to valve clearance - so if you're doing a cam stick with the normal 1.7s!!

Monday, June 1, 2009

Cam Shaft Upgrade - Part II ; More Parts

Somehow UPS, whom I normally prefer over anything else, managed to screw up on 2 packages for me! My head gaskets that Kirk@Vector sent out ASAP have been stuck in their terminal back east somewhere now for over 20 days, and some of the other parts I mentioned in my previous post were shipped without a full address... Just fantastic! But I managed at least to get that last box thanks to Greg@PacePerformance.. now if only those gaskets would show up!

On the plus side it really doesn't matter since I'm not ready financially nor time wise to install any of this stuff anyway but it sure is frustrating when you see other people leap ahead with mods you've been planning for months while you're sitting with (some of ) the parts right next to you. However, It actually fits how I approach every project on my car: do the research, make sure you fully understand all the options, then get the best one available for my particular needs , and then finally do it. While I'd love to slap on a supercharger I'm not doing that until I'm forged so that I'll hopefully never be in the situation where my engine throws a rod because it was just too much stress on the engine etc. Slow but Steady (& reliably!) is the way for me :)

The dangerous thing about NOT jumping in right away though is that it gives your mind the opportunity to keep thinking things over and I tend to do that a LOT. Especially about parts that would make sense to replace/upgrade at the same time since you'll have the engine open anyway. So after some thought & research I decided to add on one more thing to this Cam-Swap, and that is a set of the Yella-Terra Roller Rockers which I got from Mike @ New Era Performance. I figured since I was going to have the heads off and basically most of the internals replaced anyway I might as well upgrade these as well. While some people say the stockers are just fine - and I really don't doubt that - I just liked the look of these and they seemed to be a good match to go with everything else.

Yella-Terra Rockers

The Stock rockers are using a 1.7 Ratio which in combination with my new cam-shaft gave a .588 lift on the intake and a .571 for the exhaust ; With the new 1.8 rockers I will now have (not rounding up) a .622 lift on the intake and a .604 for the exhaust; They also make a 1.85 rocker but that would result in a .639 intake lift and since my new PSI springs (PSI LS1511LM) are only rated for a maximum lift of .625 that was out of the question (without having to get yet another batch of spring upgrades which I didn't feel like spending the money on). Also on the Australian forums people expressed concern about the PTV Clearance - basically Piston to Valve clearance so I didn't want to push it too much to the extremes and possibly damage anything. Though supposedly these 1.8 could still be too much! So I may end up not even using these if it turns out there's an issue.

(p.s. Looking at pictures the Yella-Terra's look suspiciously similar to the SLP rockers and I would almost venture to say they are the same thing, except not as expensive :) )

The other part I will now have to add is a better Timing-Chain. This was not included in the original cam-package (nobody does) but since Charlie saw a stock one break and cause major damage it just seems good sense to not risk that and replace/upgrade the stock timing chain (which at this point already has 20k miles on it).

As for the parts that did arrive - here they are:

1x 12579145 - LS2 PCV Outlet Plug

1x 12588670 - LS2 Timing Chain Dampener

2x 12617944 - Exhaust Manifold Gaskets

1x 12612350 - Oil Pan Gasket

1x 12574294 - Engine Front Cover Gasket

2x 12610311 - Coolant Pump Gasket

8x 12569427 - LS3 Hollow Stem Valves

As an aside - Anyone else ever notice they get 'used' to their cars power? I'm bored with it again so I can't wait to get this cam-shaft in. I've been driving like a grandma over the last couple of days hoping that if I stand on the Gas pedal it'll maybe make me appreciate the car again but so far it's not happening. Right now i'm just not feeling it, because I could floor it and find myself just yawning thinking "yeah.. not fast enough..." Maybe this Cam will be just what the doctor ordered to snap me out of this rut!