It has been in storage too long. Usually I would have my cars out way before July, but we seemed to have a very late and wet spring and with customer's cars taking priority and all my time, I didn't have time for my car.
It is out of storage and was driven straight over to the shop. Going to be installing some freshly restored front control arms with all new Moog bushings and ball joints. I will also be installing some low mileage, used WS6 front springs. Yes, this car was originally not a WS6. After the suspension install, I might take it to the local drag strip to bench mark it's performance before making modifications. It will be slow with 5 psi of boost and everything stock, but you have to start somewhere.
Made some progress and got the front control arms swapped out along with my set of used WS6 front springs. Those parts store rental spring compressors are very sketchy.
Also replaced the front sway bar bushings and sway bar links. The real surprise was that every part un-bolted. Including the old sway bar links. Usually you have to cut them off. Cars from Texas are awesome!
After installation, the front end was aligned. No more tire rub on dips and the steering wheel is straight. It actually might ride just a little smoother now.
As you can see in the pictures, the rubber in the bushings was pretty much destroyed.
Next on the list of things to fix on this car was the gas tank. The filler neck was very loose in the tank. Someone tried to epoxy or JB Weld it into place. You can tell it was leaking if you filled the tank.
Drained the tank and unbolted from the car. Again, Texas cars are awesome. They just come apart. Found the build sheet on top of the tank. It is a cool find, but I have the dealer invoice for this car too which is easier to read.
All back together and running good.
Looking to take it to the local 1/4 mile drag strip next for some base line time slips. Not expecting much for being all stock with small exhaust and only 5 psi of boost.
Took the car to my local 1/4 mile dragstrip, Great Lakes Dragaway in Union Grove Wis. Wednesday night happens to be ladies night where ladies can race for free and they have a guys vs. girls bracket racing competition. On the drive out there, I did a little "test pass" and I could tell it was going to be slow. But, I expected that being all stock and only 5 psi.
First pass down the track resulted in an ugly stumble from the carb at the quick full throttle hit. This caused a large delay in acceleration at the start which resulted in a 17.19 time slip. Playing with the launch off the start to get around the stumble resulted in a 16.84. Better, but not great.
I did enter the guys bracket race and made it to the final round but lost.
With a baseline ¼ mile time established, the T/A Nationals in Ohio was right around the corner. I plan to trailer my T/A to the Nats to have on display at my vendor booth. But, I had to put at least one of my products on it. I decided to do the exhaust as it was something that everyone could see and hear.
So, the car was back at the shop almost immediately after going to the track and the puny exhaust and Flowmaster mufflers were chopped off with much enthusiasm.
On went my 2.5” down pipe, Y pipe and tail pipe system. No mufflers and no catalytic converter. It is all pipe. It sounds amazing and is not too loud. Has a nice muscle car rumble. I made sure to weld in an oxygen sensor (O2) bung in the new down pipe for a future mod of a wide band air fuel ratio gauge. In my haste to get the car finished, I forgot to take pics of the new exhaust. I will upload pics next time it is on the lift.
East bound and down……
All loaded up and ready to head out to the Trans Am Nationals in Fairborn, Ohio. We were packed full in the truck and ended up loading our luggage in the Trans Am. I had replaced the passenger door panel the night before (the old one was pretty ratty and I had a better used one to install). Little did I know that this would come to bite me this morning as the power window on the passenger side decided not to go up, only down. Uggh. Had to unload the car off the trailer to get the door open and remove the door panel again to try and diagnose what happened. After some testing, it was a loose connector on the window motor. Got the window up and loaded it back on the trailer. It set us back about 45 minutes, but we were on our way and headed to Ohio.
We arrived mid day Friday. We unloaded the car, checked into the hotel, ate dinner and my son and I checked out the cars before calling it a night. The weather was perfect all weekend.
Saturday morning ate breakfast and headed out to the vendor spot to set up shop. Met a lot of great people as usual every year. It was especially great to meet some of my customers in person. I bought some 301T parts in the swap meet area. Looked over a few customer’s cars and made a few quick repairs for them. Here at TTA Performance, we even provide for the little guys cars too as a kid had a pedal car TTA. The only thing it needed was a TTA Performance sticker to really show the side walk racers whats up.
Saturday afternoon, all the cars were headed out to Tipp City for their car show. We packed up the booth and my son and I headed out to Tipp City in the SE. We followed one of my customers in his 1980 drag car TTA. Highway driving all the way without a problem.
Tipp City was great. Made it just in time to grab the last available parking spaces. It was a big event. Glad we went. Even did a Facebook Live feed from Tipp City. Didn’t stay for the whole thing. Headed back before dark. Chilled out for the rest of the evening. It was a long day and we still had Sunday morning yet before heading home.
Sunday is always hard for me to leave. Seems like more customers come over on Sunday than Saturday. Sold a lot of product. Helped a customer with his carb not getting full throttle and limiting his boost. Didn’t get on the road until 3:00. It was a long drive home. But made it with no problems. Can’t wait until next year.
Time for more modifications. Started with the dashboard. I removed the stock oil pressure/temp gauge from the center of the dash and replaced it with an AEM, wide band air fuel ratio gauge. This will tell me how rich or lean the engine is running. The wide band oxygen sensor is placed in the down pipe after the turbo.
Since the factory oil pressure and temp gauge were now eliminated, I needed to replace them. I installed mechanical gauges in the hole where the radio would go.
I also replaced my tachometer with another since mine was off by 1000 RPM at the higher RPM range. But before doing that, I converted the clock to a vacuum boost gauge and installed a small light in the hole left over from the clock stem. This blue light will turn on with the water injection.
The dash bezel was replaced with the correct style gold bezel. The gold, is a vinyl decal.
The next day, I installed the water injection, boost controller and a cast aluminum carburetor hat with air intake hose and external cone filter. This was done to try and get better, colder air to the carb.
On the street, I had the boost turned up to 10 psi and it felt great.
Time for another track outing.
It was a very cold day which should help this draw through turbo. It was in the high 40's
I decided to make the first pass without the boost controller. I wanted to compare the performance on just the waste gate as I did the first time, but now I had the new exhaust. I also made an adjustment to the secondaries of the carb to help eliminate the bog off the line.
First pass was a shocker as the car went 15.99 at 6 psi of boost. My boost increased by 1 psi due to less restriction in the exhaust. It was now time to increase the boost and see what she could do.
I adjusted the boost controller and went out for another pass. Boost jumped to 10 psi and the water injection was on. This got me a new best of 15.65. This was awesome!
Unfortunately, that is where she stalled out. Tightening the boost controller would not allow me any more boost. It looks like the waste gate actuator was being pushed open by the exhaust back pressure in the turbo. So, I drove it home to make some more changes.
Made some changes to help control the boost. First thing was to shorten the waste gate rod on the turbo. I was lucky that my turbo has a threaded waste gate rod. Shortening the rod put more tension on the spring inside the waste gate. This allowed for a little higher boost with out the boost controller. The boost was a little inconsistent. Sometimes I could get 14 psi, other times it would over boost past 15 and detonate. I set it to about 12 psi and left it there for the time being.
Went back to the track to try again. It was another cold evening. Made a pass at 12 psi and got a 15.40 out of it! I thought for sure the 14’s are within reach.
Dialed in more boost and went again. Had a little bog off the line again and it showed with the slowest 60’ time of the night. But the car hauled at 14 psi consistent. 15.06@94 MPH!! It would have been a 14 second pass if I could have 60’ like my previous runs.
I tried again but the boost spiked past 15 psi again and I heard detonation and I let off.
I went to make a small adjustment to the boost controller to turn it down just a touch, but I accidentally dropped the boost controller and it went under the intake and sat on top of the lifter valley cover. There was no way I was going to get it out at the track. I decided to plug the vacuum line and drive it home with the waste gate hose unplugged. Had to be careful not to go full throttle and end up over boosting it driving it home.
Not sure if I will get another chance at a 14 second ¼ mile pass this year as the weather is changing unseasonably fast and getting very cold. We will have to see.