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Quest for improved 4th gen Fbody drivability


Bru

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My car has never been that fast, and definitely not fast enough to make dealing with a lumpy cam, loud exhaust and noisy drivetrain worth it, so this year I took transforming the car into a more street-able configuration.

Previous setup was this cam, 231/235 .617/.621 113+3, and stock heads with LS6 intake. Car ran 12.0 at 113 mph and made 380 rwhp and 355 rwtq. It did alright - cam with stock lifters and Yella Terra rockers was noisy and the problematic 98 PCM never seemed to drive as smoothly as I hoped; it needed more tuning than a quick dyno tune could cure. Here's what the old cam sounded like:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wMohYGtwYcw

Now, I'm running a "sleeper" cam, not for any deceiving qualities but just to make as much, or more, power as before but with a smoother driving experience more like stock. Pat G from LS1Tech spec'd a cam for what I was looking for and spit out 222/226 .626”/.626” 115 LSA +3.

I had Speed Inc throw in the cam and a set of stock cleaned-up 799 heads (243 equivalent) as well as trunion upgraded rockers and LS7 lifters.

Dyno results with the new setup was 389 hp and 373 tq with a massively improved drivability. The car purrs at idle and doesn't shake back and forth, plus there are fewer vibrations and overall is just a whole lot nicer to drive. Also been getting much better fuel economy than before.



Here's an idle clip of the new cam (idle was a little high at that point) and below is the dyno run Speed recorded for me.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zETPGnQQDg8

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eMNayAglSw4

After driving TCG Tour, the next thing to go is ditch the Spohn tunnel mount torque arm, and Maganaflow catback. I'm going to get a beefier-than-stock trans-mounted torque arm to reduce the road noise and soften the ride comfort a little, as well as reduce the gear whine with aftermarket gears. The tunnel mount torque arm is like a stethoscope from the rear end to your butthole. No likely. Plus it clunks like a mother fucker.

Stock muffler is likely going to go on once I find a decent one, and then I'll add an electric cutout. Just a few more things to get ready for TCG Tour 2016.

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Track results: 11.829 @ 115.44 mph.




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The plan for this year is to get the car into more of a street handling setup while taking the next step toward increased drivability. All parts are here except the front Koni Yellows, which were on backorder.

Strano springs are already on the car and will be accompanied with the following:

-Koni Yellow Sport adjustable shocks
-Strano 35 mm/ 22 bar set
-UMI LCA with rod end to reduce binding
-UMI long torque arm with relocation bracket
-Hawk slotted rotors and 5.0 pads
-Matching tires front and rear, Conti Extreme DW stock sized

The hope is to bring balance to the force, er, handling. I hate the way this thing drives with the short torque arm and drag radials in the back. Might pick up a set of sticky rears down the road for drag use.

Will also be reading up on tuning to see if I can make a difference in how much fuel this thing pukes out the back. I reek every time I drove the car and it belches black smoke out the pipes at WOT, as seen in my track vid and by everyone on TCG tour :rofl:



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I just spent 1,200 miles on the new setup during TCG Tour and wanted to share my thoughts. My goal for this car is to drive as much like a modern muscle car as possible, which is impossible given the chassis rigidity of newer cars but I wanted to see how close I could take this thing. As a reminder, here's what I added:

-Koni Yellow Sport adjustable shocks (replacing Bilstein HD)
-Strano 35 mm/ 22 bar set (replacing stock)
-UMI LCA with rod end to reduce binding (replacing poly ended)
-UMI long torque arm with relocation bracket (replacing short TQ arm)
-Hawk slotted rotors and 5.0 pads (replacing stock)
-Matching tires front and rear, Conti Extreme DW stock sized (replacing drag radials)
Already installed: Strano springs

Those concerned about a balanced handling experience need to ditch drag radials in the back. Handling was absolute garbage even with a mild drag radial like the Nitto 555Rs, and I didn't realize it until installing the matching tires on all four corners. The soft-sidewall drag radial out back and a stiff-sidewall summer tire up front created an ill-handling car where the front and rear were disconnected from each other. The front turned in sharp and crisp while the back responded slower than the front and created a very odd sensation that was totally the tires, which I installed before any other mods.

The Continental tires are good, but either the 17-inch size (274/40/17) doesn't have the steering feel I was hoping for with a too-tall sidewall, or the tires just don't communicate turn-in very well. I wish there was more steering feedback that I felt more of even with the Sumitomo summer tires. The Continentals seem to make a lot of noise near their grip limits, which I didn't mind so much still learning the car. If I did anything more to maximize this setup, it would be an 18-inch package front and rear with wider, more aggressive tires.

On to the suspension. The Konis completely transformed this car. I wasn't sure they would be a huge difference over the Bilstein HDs but let me tell you this is a completely different car. Like going from a base Camaro to 1LE, which may not seem like that big of a difference but the base Camaro SS drove horribly compared with the 1LE. With Konis, the car rides better in the general sense of ride quality. There are fewer body noises and hatch rattles, and the car is more controlled over rough roads.

After dialing up the suspension firmness, the car is considerably more responsive and quicker to turn. Even a little twitch of the steering wheel results in the nose changing directions. It's hyper-sensitive and almost too high strung for my tastes. Luckily it's also adjustable. Handling is massively improved. I didn't think a fourth-gen could drive like this. I feel the setup is now limited by the tire choice considering even when the tires are squealing the car is flat and composed.

The brakes are holy-shit levels of goodness. Again, I didn't think an F-Body could stop this well and the new pads/rotors really whoa this thing down. No squealing or noise, and the coated rotors will keep the hats looking good for a long time I hope (no rust). It stops so aggressively that the left turn signal illuminated during a few intentional panic stops - not really sure what that's about.

I really want to get this on an autox course. An open circuit would be fun but the automatic transmission blows for corner exit and would likely grenade trying to hold a gear, plus I'd need an oil and power steering cooler, so autox is easier on the car and probably what I'll do next. It's still a riot of a street car even if neither of those happen.

The items I added to improve drivability worked well, like the long torque arm to reduce road noise, but noisy summer tires and poly-or-rod-ended parts underneath plus leaking t-top seals made the car exhausting to drive 1,200 miles with very poor levels of wind and road noise. I accept that, because it's an 18-year old F-Body with 120,000 miles.
 

lastls1

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Question were you running the stock converter with the first bigger cam? That makes a big difference in drivability. My cam is larger than your first one and it street drives totally fine.
 
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Bru

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Yes.

But is yours a 98?
 
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Bru

Bru

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Mine is not a 98, but most all sites that sell the larger cams say a bigger stall is a must. My cam said 3600 and above
I misread your post. I've had a 3600 yank in the car since it was stock.
 

crooks

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I really like the sound of the slp dual dual muffler with headers and no cats. I went through 2 mufflers before I got this one.
 

Shibby50

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Were both cams tuned at the same shop? I know that can also make a night and day difference.
 
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I really like the sound of the slp dual dual muffler with headers and no cats. I went through 2 mufflers before I got this one.
Got any sound clips?
 

Mook

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Im just glad you painted the hood.
 

The Beast

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I like what you are doing I just recently took off my borla exhaust and went with magnaflow with a elec cutout If needed. At first It was weird driving the car so quietly but god damn my ears stop hurting and I have no headache. Keep up us posted with more videos with your progress.
 

Xfirez51

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Was the cam matched to the heads? IOW, the choice of those is not discreet. The head and flow characteristics should dictate the cam spec. Is a 600+ lift make any difference with the 799 heads, I don't know, just simply asking the question. The 115LSA is going to give u a smooth idle. Power and torque look good as does AFR.
 
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Bru

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Was the cam matched to the heads? IOW, the choice of those is not discreet. The head and flow characteristics should dictate the cam spec. Is a 600+ lift make any difference with the 799 heads, I don't know, just simply asking the question. The 115LSA is going to give u a smooth idle. Power and torque look good as does AFR.

Yes, cam was spec'd with those heads in mind. And the rest of the drivetrain. Very happy with the torque curve.
 

Yaj Yak

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i love all of this.

simple build with parts matched throughout to make everything work together.


:fy:
 

SleeperLS

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Also loving the move to a better drivers car. After having my Monte Carlo with a high stall, cam,heads,coil overs and all that other "race car" shit, I will never make a car of mine like that again. Drive ability is huge IMO now. Having a more comfortable sports car is so much more enjoyable. Good shit.
 

Gav'sPurpleZ

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i'm not a fan of the MF exhaust... Sounds ALOT better with the new parts / cam.

Barney is ALOT louder then the 77. I guess noise is my friend. :rofl:
 
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Bru

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I like what you are doing I just recently took off my borla exhaust and went with magnaflow with a elec cutout If needed. At first It was weird driving the car so quietly but god damn my ears stop hurting and I have no headache. Keep up us posted with more videos with your progress.
I'm teased every time I get in a new muscle car like the Mustang, Challenger or Camaro, wanting that kind of drivability with the same power. It's crazy to think that a bone stock car with kitty cat drivability can easily put down high 300s in the poverty V8 version, which is something I wanted to mimic in my rattle trap mullet-mobile.
 

OffshoreDrilling

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Nice change up Joe! The lumpy cam does get old. Unless you're trying to squeeze the most out you can, something more tame with a mild compromise in power (not so in your case) is a great trade off.

Also, we all might be getting old. Having a car that's comfortable to drive is a huge plus.
 
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Bru

Bru

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i'm not a fan of the MF exhaust... Sounds ALOT better with the new parts / cam.

Barney is ALOT louder then the 77. I guess noise is my friend. :rofl:
My Magnaflow muffler has gotten shit tons louder over the years too.
 

EmersonHart13

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I think my ears are still echoing from the LOUD NOISES my car makes at 80 plus.
 

Yaj Yak

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stock exhaust & cutouts ftmfw
 

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