V6Z24.com 0wnZ me
Joined: 05 Jun 2005
Location: Windsor, Ontario
1988 Cavalier Z24
|Not so much of a build but lots of unfinished work will be seeing completion this year. After my last track outing and dissapointment, i have all but forget about the thing sitting safe in my garage. But all that has come to pass, this year i feel things are different, and i feel a drive compelling me to both race and street drive it this year. Fact is, i miss it. Ive been driving a tank lately, and feel embaressed by its total fall on its face ballsucking performance. No lie, and be warned, a 3.9 is not even close to enough engine for a dodge dakota. Not even with massive custom rust weight reduction.
So this brings me to what i felt my problems were last outing. My tune was pretty stable, not perfect but i had decent fueling and was playing with the spark tables all weekend. Never hit any knock, felt like i had good mid-range power, but was noticing i felt the top end felt choked. Im almost certain this is due to valve float, as i was planning on upgrading the valvesprings some time after installing the cam. I wanted to ease the break-in a bit a 3400 valvesprings were cushy enough to allow this. But thats not enough, as i think im getting near my limits of what a stock 3400 tb can flow. As for the manifolds, they are just another restriction at this point. With 19 lb injectors, i would be safe to leave them and tune in the upgrades to come, but again i can go back as easily as forwards so an upgrade is due here as well. The list seems to be getting longer as i dont work on the car, but its now tripling as i prepare for what i hope to be a memorable year.
You see my last two outings were an extreme contrast to eachother. The first, on street tires, with an untuned hybrid running a comp 260 cam, netted me some serious mph. It made me shudder to think of the possibilities, as a 97 mph trap speed was nothing to scoff at. But those 60 footers, well that was a different story. 2.3, 2.4, all in this terrible range. I couldnt get the car to hook if my life depended on it. Wheelhop and spin was all i could find out of the hole, but once i reached 2nd and 3rd, it seemed there was no end to the acceleration. Fast foward a year, and ive since done some minor upgrades, nothing particular to note. Except the ostrich. I spend a fair amount of time tuning and it really did make a difference. The spark tables were cranked to the point of knock, and backed off a few degrees. The fueling was great, if anything could use some leaning out in a few places. All this the best i could tell from a nb 02. But it felt strong. Not seat of pants feel, but actual datalog comparison and trying multiple tunes to find the areas i had missed. I would spend entire days datalogging and trying 2-3 tunes in sequence, to tell me what was happening when i made x change or y change.
All that was left was to wipe that .3-.4 seconds off that 60 footer. I mean, 3/8 of a second in sixty feet should mean at least .5 by the end, and i would be impressed with a 14.2 or a 14.3. with a 14.7 on street tires under my belt, i was sure slicks were my answer. I ordered a set of m&h race masters (23.0x8.5x15) and went to the track. My first mistake was not having the car running in a while before going. My second mistake was going to a large event, with ALOT of people there. The event was 3 days long, and friday was just test and tune. Great, ill get lots of practice right? Wrong. I broke my upper plenum in my haste, not noticing that the injector harness had slipped inbetween the injector rail and the plenum. I got another manifold 3 hours later, just in time to tech and get one run in. Awsome. By the end of the weekend i was frustrated and torn. I didnt want to break the car but knew what i had to do to even hope for a quicker time. I was dangling in the high 14's and even though it was bracket racing and i had dialed in a 14.8, i was really pushing to get it to go faster. And it didnt. I was 7 mph shy of my street tire times, and i managed a 2.07 60 footer on sunday when i had nothing left to loose. I was running a constant 14.81-14.82, but my r/t's were worse than bad. I was spending so much time deciding on launch rpms i basically wrote myself out of every race.
SO fast foward to now, and it bears down on me as i see so many members moving on, that some of us are still here to stay. Im glad by this but i also want to carry the flame when i visit the strip, and to me theres nothing like a burping idle of an open exhaust with some car that has some aggressive cam. Im planning on a turbo one day, but theres nothing to me like that tone of muscle. Even at the track i had confused a great number of people, they really had no idea i even had a v6. They didnt know what the hell it was. I was approached a few times for some questions as the burping idle sure confused them once they heard the true nature as a ripped the m&h racemasters into smoke at the burnout box.
So in light of this, and feeling the need for speed (or some deep 14's) ive embarked on a quest of both personal and pleasure. On one side ive got to ensure im not made a fool again by the awsome nature of pure grip. But im also sure that im going to need more power. Alot more power. I need to fully encompass the powerband of the cam. So i think some better breathing is in order. First ive already started, a while ago, slowly building up to this year. Ive got a 3500 plenum thats been ported and polished at the tb mouth and the intake ports. As for a tb, ive got a 75 mm (the neck tapers to 72mm) from a lsx style truck. Same 3 bolt you see on most gm tb's. Ive already cnc cut my adapter, it fits snugly and looks pretty good, altough it is thick however it could easily accept a port for a nitrous nozzle if all else fails. To accompany this entourage of top end makeover, ill be port matching the lower intake to the upper and polishing as far down as i can reach. On the bottom side of the intake ill again port match to the heads, minimal clean up and a nice rough texture to keep the fuel in the air. But onto how to get that fuel in. I picked up some ford bluetops, as ive heard they have a great spray pattern and should fit the hp range i hope to be in. Ive also seriously contemplated a AFPR from the 60* store along with a 255 lph fuel pump, and might be later additions.
I have a set of glassbeaded 3400 heads ready for porting, which i was going to do myself. I work in a cnc shop, and could easily cmm the ports to get a balence between the ports. Im also very able with airgrinders, and im sure i would do a good job on the heads. However i feel with too much riding on this, im going to leave the work up to the 60* store. Ill talk to them and see if polishing the cc and the exhaust port to a mirror after they return to me is acceptable, i know im more than capable of some simple polishing as ive done many complex form sections on dies and an easier to work material will only make it easier. Ill fill the heads with some 3500 valves, and top them off with some 26986 springs. Ill also grab some new chromemoly pushrods, because i never bothered using custom length ones as i had the comp 1.6 iron rockers on since the hybrid swap. Ill re-use the rockers, they have worked well thus far and i see no reason to upgrade now. Ill save the fancy stuff for a later build were i can simply add them in. No cam changes, i like the comp unit. The lifters are still new and just breaking in, and are comp units as well. The timing chain is swell and last time i checked my compression was better than good, it was unreal. only 3-4psi variation between all of them, iirc it was around 185 psi cranking. Ill use some new .040 iron head head gaskets, they have worked well for me.
In addition to these things, i have a few surprises as well on the way. Only to further aid in breathing the motor and letting it really stride to it 6500 rpm redline. Ill also be getting myself a WB02, and wiring it directly into the 7730 for datalogging duty. I will also be adding the heated NB02, as ive never bothered upgrading it before. I also wanted to add a lsd, but the engineered unit is just so much money, and the team green unit leaves me wondering if i will be tearing into my trans for nothing. I think after another track outing i will know what i have to do.
In addition to all these subtle upgrades, i will also be addressing the paint department. Not performance related but just another hint of things to come for this z24. The passenger rocker has already been replaced, leaving me with a bit of finish work and the drivers rocker. Otherwise the body needs a bit of welding to clean up a repair from a previous owner and a few spots that were getting worse than i liked. Mainly on the wheel lip of the quarters. Nothing a body man cant handle.
Hopefully with these upgrades, i will be able to satisfy my burning to get myself into the low 14's, maybe even with some really good weather and alot of luck a high 13.9. I know its just a hybrid, but when all is said and done it will make impressions. And i do have a bare 3400 block, just asking for a 3500 crank and some forged h-beams to make a nice ra. But for now ill see the life out of the 3.1, if it can take the further abuse i throw at it, it may find its way into another j down the road. Ive been eyeballing some verts, altough nothing of interest yet.
And finally, if my goals are left unreached, and my hard work does not see fruitation, and im frustrated again by something left lacking, namely power, i will spray this thing into the 13's. I bought a helmet, its going to happen. Ive got traction, Ive got the weight advantage we all love, now its just up to my 660 to deliver, nitrous fed or not, to ground scorching high revving power we all come to love so much. Pics to come, stage one, remove top end.