Project #Trigger – Our S550 Mustang RUNS!

The last four months of work on our 2015 Mustang LS swap test mule was the most intense period yet, and updating the Forum Build Thread took a solid 24 hours of typing, sorting pictures, and performing edits over the past 2 weeks. This four part mega-update to the Forum Build Thread starts here.

Since late August 2022 our crew finished all a ton of wiring, added fluids, built front ducting, added sensors, added fluids, mounted an AiM then Holley digital dash (ugh), programmed the Accusump, made the EPAS rack work, got the engine fired up, fixed a slave cylinder/clutch stop issue, made the center stack dash panel, added SPL rear upper arms, tackled some ABS swap work, got the car aligned, made a new shifter, added some more gauges, and had the first dyno session.

Covering all of that work this time includes a forum update more than 250 pictures, some videos, and about 40,000 words. This is best read this update on a computer with a proper screen, and each picture can be clicked for a higher rez version. Enjoy! #Trigger

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New Year / New Update: Cadillac CTS-V Post!

As 2023 rolls around we just finished a big Forum Build Thread update on a popular customer car build – this 2004 Cadillac CTS-V, which left the shop some months back. We are trying to keep up with all of our forum build updates and this one was the next in line.

This massive 3-part Forum Thread Update covers work we completed on this CTS-V from May through December of 2021. This included finishing up wiring, plumbing and a digital dash (or two!) install to allow the HPR 383″ LS6 to be able to fire up with the Holley Terminator X EFI system. Read about all of the “fun” we had with Holley EFI in this post. We fought a long battle but fired up the engine successfully in August of ’21

Getting past that milestone allowed us to focus the next phase of work – including a rebuild of the Ohlins coilovers + reservoir mounts, a new 1-piece driveshaft, then some front aero work. The aero bits needed included on front flares (to clear 18×11″ wheels and 315mm front tires) and a custom front splitter. We attached the splitter using rear quick release latches and front splitter struts from Professional Awesome. We go into major detail on this forum update showing the steps needed to mount the splitter.

We hope you enjoy reading the forum thread – the latest entry is linked here – and we will have another one to read on this build shortly. So many builds, just never enough time to share content. Have a great 2023 and we hope our documented builds inspire you to build your own race car!

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86 Development Forum Build Thread Update!

After an entry to our 10+ year old 86 Development Forum Build Thread back in May of 2022, we have a major update posted in December showing the first mods and first three track tests in our 2nd gen 2023 BRZ! You can start reading the big 3-part update starting here.

We already had a gaggle of parts waiting for the BRZ before it even arrived, and in this installment we show the installation of much of the parts shown above. We also didn’t waste any time getting to the track, and arrived at our first Motorsport Ranch baseline stock test with 130 miles on the odometer! We have since run two tests on that track and another at Eagles Canyon Raceway (below) – where we had the car log booked and teched for NASA TT5 competition.

We didn’t leave out thew 1st gen 86 cars in this Forum Update, and in fact managed to get to drive this 1st gen 2020 Toyota GT86 (shown below) on two different occasions at ECR. It was nice seeing a consistent 3 second lap time drop on this car (from multiple drivers) driving it “bone stock” then adding Vorshlag camber plates, both times on a consistent set of 225mm Hankook RS4 tires and PFC pads. Those test lap videos are also included in this update. And then to drive our 2nd gen 2023 BRZ there – which utterly obliterated those 1st gen times!

There are tons of pictures of parts, parts being installed, and both cars and parts being weighed, plus more technical information about both the 1st and 2nd gen 86 models – including what previous Subaru chassis / suspensions they were derived from. If you ever thought about buying one of these lightweight, Rear Wheel Drive “86” coupes, do yourself a favor: grab a frosty beverage, boot up a computer with a high rez screen, and dig into the build thread starting here. Each image in the forum post can be clicked for higher resolution versions. Thanks for reading!

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Tube Frame ’69 Camaro Forum – Progress!

This tube framed ’69 Camaro was wrapped up at our shop a month ago, but the Forum Build Thread was badly out of date. We made some time to write-up another 2 part entry for that build that you can read starting here.

In this latest Forum entry what we cover work from late 2019 through mid 2020, and we will cover much more in further installments. Again, this car is running and driving now, just not fully documented as we would like on the Forum Build Thread.

In this installment we show changes to ride height, fender work, aluminum rear wheel tubs, custom Moser axles measured / ordered / installed in the Moser 9″ rear”, updates to the Watts Link, brake hydraulics being built, a fire suppression system install, cage-mounted external battery kill switch + fire pull panel, explain some GM ECM issues we faced, and show finish work on the aluminum hood vent.

This update also covers some fun we had with the G-Force straight cut gear 5 speed transmission, which required opening that up and replacing several parts with upgraded units we sourced from G-Force. Not what we wanted to tackle on a brand new build, but a weird failure on a shift fork cam required this step.

This forum post also covers measuring for custom MCS remote triples, then their installation. Plus some modifications to the trunk for the wing uprights. As always every image within the Forum Build Thread can be clicked for a higher resolution version, and we don’t skimp on the pics. We will show more in the next installment as we get time to write it up, but just know that this car will be aligned and dyno tuned soon so we can get it on track for some proper testing. Thanks for reading!

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C5/C6 Corvette – Track Reliability Tips

What does it take to put a C5 or C6 generation Corvette on track and have the ultimate in RELIABILITY? That was the question asked to us today. So we mined our own forum build threads for pictures and suggestions, plus asked Anthony Forney over at HorsePower Research, who has been around Corvettes and track prep for 20 years. We put the highlights in this forum thread.

What started as a C5 only list grew to also cover the LS2 & LS3 powered C6 models. The list is typical of almost any car model, but has many C5 and C6 specific issues and suggested fixes. Cooling system, brake pads, fluids, and a several more items. You can read the 2 part detailed forum post starting here.

What started out as a small list grew and grew, but again you can read all of it starting here. Thanks for reading!

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Vorshlag ’22 Maverick – Smol Truck Development Thread!

We ordered a 2022 Ford Maverick with the 2.0L Ecoboost AWD drivetrain in August 2021, received it in Dec 2021, and now it has Vorshlag camber plates and rear shock mounts + Motion Control Suspension monotube adjustable coilovers. We explain how we went from “A” to “B” to “MCS” in this long overdue Forum Build Thread.

Look at that fender gap – we HAD to drop this thing!

It might seem weird to modify another truck we own, but every vehicle around here has to earn its keep! And since this smol truck is based on the C2 Focus chassis, it has a “hot hatch” pedigree with McPherson struts, multi-link independent rear, All Wheel Drive, and even camber plates. And the optional towing package. Yes, its weird, but somehow it all works. We try to explain it, at least, in the build thread.

We show an insane amount of detail in how we developed the camber plates, the MCS coilover kit, and much more in the forum thread – with expandable pictures and behind the scenes discussions, like we always do! As we continue to develop the Mav it will get wider wheels and stickier tires, and even some road course testing. Yes, its crazy, and we might never sell a single thing for this truck, but its been a fun experiment anyway. You CAN make anything handle better! Thanks for reading.

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Project #Trigger – S550 Mustang Project Update!

We have written another tech filled Forum Build Thread update that catches us up to current time. In this update we cover a load of work tackled over the last 5 months, between customer builds.

The work in this 3-part update covers the last steps needed to wrap up the cooling system, the oil vent catch can and plumbing, a Lexan back window install, carbon doors and even the new paint applied to the front fenders and nose.

The forum post also covers the steering wheel quick disconnect – which was a little tricky to be able to make the horn button work. The car also saw several digital dash mock-ups, shifter modifications, and a detailed guide to installing a fire suppression system.

The install of the AFFF fire suppression system was shown in great detail, and we will pull this out into a separate forum post of its own – showing the differences between “race car” and a “street car” fire system installs. Hope you enjoy lots of pictures showing behind the scenes work – if you do, you can dive deeper starting here.

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Cadillac CTS-V Update – Project Badillac!

Since everyone is tired of seeing updates to the narrow body C6, we figured it was time to play “catch up” on some customer builds! We are starting with a big update to this 1st gen Cadillac CTS-V track build. In the latest Forum Build Thread 3 part update we catch up with a big chunk of work completed during a hectic part of this build, from December ’20 through April ’21. The Caddy is much further along now (runs, drives, & almost complete), but we like to share the details of our builds, and this time period was an important chapter on this CTS-V.

This round of work included some control arm bushing swaps then the HorsePower Research built 383″ LS6 longblock and T56 went into the car. This update also covers a big portion of the BMW Mk60 ABS swap, which included new brake lines, yaw sensor mounting, and a new brake pedal switch with a unique bracket. Then we cover the new LS7 water pump and ICT Billet manual belt tensioner install, and why we picked those. The existing long tube headers were bead blasted, ceramic coated, polished and installed.

There is considerable ink showing several issues that the installation of a FAST LSXR 102 intake manifold created – including a unique 4 port steam vent, new fuel rails, 102mm DBW throttle body, and even mods to a strut tower brace to clear this thing. Then there were some changes to the fuel system – including a new Radium filter and repairs to the fill/vent hoses for the fuel filling bulkhead are noted.

A big section of the Forum Build Thread update shows the work we did to add massive engine oil and power steering coolers from Derale, plus a remote oil filter from Improved Racing and a new TurnOne power steering pump – and a lot of plumbing. There was a lot of cooling plumbing that was re-done to work with the steeply rolled radiator including a coolant reservoir, new radiator hoses, and a small manifold to deal with the heater hoses and reservoir fill, then stem vent line tie-ins.

In the final section we cover the unique Cold Air Intake system we created with details on routing, air filter placement, a filter box, and the DEI Gold reflective thermal wrap on all of this. There is plenty of more work to show next time, but you can catch up in this round of work on our forum starting here. We cover all of these steps with a lot of detail and pictures, which hopefully gets you inspired to work on YOUR race car. See y’all at the track!

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Narrow Body C6 Work + Two More TT Wins!

We have been busy improving our dual purpose street / track 2006 Corvette C6 and have tons of upgrades to share and four track events to cover since the July 26th update – click here to read the August 30th update to the Forum Build Thread for this car.

In the period since the last post we have attacked a number of areas that needed improvement, which included: adding camber to all four corners, upgrading the swaybars, another motorsport alignment, built a sim rig (to better learn a new track layout), added a suit cooler system, installed a massive Setrab oil cooler, built a custom Setrab power steering cooler, replaced some items, added an ATI balancer, built an air/oil separator, patched a hole in the inner fender, test fit some calipers, bought another set of wheels, swapped in another seat (then right back out), and added an MGW shifter.

As always, we show all of the steps in that mountain of work listed above, share some tips, and even show some things we did wrong – but we learned from these mistakes and made the car more reliable, easier to drive, and most importantly we made the car FASTER. Two more track tests (#109 and #11 at the same MSR track) showed the car dropped from a previous best of 1:21.9 to a new low time of 1:19.7 on street tires. Two more SCCA Time Trials resulted in two more wins and two “2nd fastest time of the day” in the overall results.

We cover all of this in this 4 part Forum Build Thread update and show hundreds of pictures, videos, data, screenshots of parts we looked at, part numbers, and so much more. And while this narrow body C6 Corvette model is a little unique in some of the problems and challenges it has faced, the testing methods and general build ideas we used can apply to all cars made for track use. No other shop on earth shares as much detail on their competition cars as we do. Thanks for reading!

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More Project #NewBalance Updates + First TT Win!

There have been a lot of updates in the 6 weeks since our last blog post about #ProjectNewBalance, our 2006 Corvette. We are finally at the point – in lap times and money spent – where we can prove that we weren’t completely crazy when we bought this base model narrow body LS2 powered 6-speed manual car versus a Grand Sport (2x the cost) or Z06 (3x to 4x) Corvette of the same C6 generation: we have beaten numerous Grand Sport and Z06 cars in head to head competition on the same tires, with less money spent.

In this massive 4-part Forum Build Thread update we cover work done to this C6 on the following systems: upgraded control arm bushings, ball joints, a “real” alignment done by a Motorsports shop, an exhaust + header + cold air upgrade, a second Corbeau seat install, seat heater circuit, 6-point harnesses, a 3 lb Halon style fire bottle on a quick disconnect, AMB transponder install, and we finally got the Jongbloed 18×11/18x12wheels and 315mm Yokohama A052s installed. Going from our “control tire” 275mm Hankook RS-4s to these 315mm A052s was a BIG leap forward in fun!

This Forum Update also covers two more dedicated track tests (on 3 different sets / types of tires), a Dyno Tuning session, and our first SCCA Time Trial. It also links to two other forum posts where we show detailed instructions on the poly bushings (it was a massive section that we had to peel off) plus another covering our thoughts on SCCA Time Trial rules, 4 years after they were first introduced. We have done even more work, more track tests and another Time Trial event since the last part of that post, but those things will be covered next time. Thanks for reading!

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