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    Thread: Because Roadkill (yep--it means what you think it means, so come on in!)

    1. 02-11-2017 04:54 PM #376
      Quote Originally Posted by StressStrain View Post
      What's with the 5 lug front and 4 lug rear?
      Quote Originally Posted by 4.OMG View Post
      I'm pretty sure he has a Ford 8.8 rear from a Fox-body Mustang. Much stronger than a 7.5" 10-bolt.
      ^^ THAT.

      I knew the stock 7.5 axle wouldn't survive behind the big block, so I swapped it out for a Fox-body 8.8 axle. For the time being, I am running Fox wheels to match. Eventually, I plan to do a c-clip eliminator and an axle shaft upgrade on that 8.8, at which time I can have the new axle shafts drilled for my stock 5x4.75 pattern. I may also re-gear it at the same time if I think it is necessary (it currently has 3.08 gears)... but for now, what you see is what you get.
      Dempsey Bowling
      Sales Consultant at Doug Smith Dodge/Chrysler/Jeep/Ram/Subaru/Kia/used
      My fleet: 91 Miata, 98 Wrangler Sport, 01 Suburban 2500 8.1L, 14 Impreza Limited, 80 Grand Prix LJ 454

    2. Geriatric Member Aonarch's Avatar
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      02-11-2017 06:51 PM #377
      Woot!

    3. 02-17-2017 11:23 AM #378
      Last night, a co-worker and I dug into my front suspension to install my new springs and shocks. He had recently done a spring swap on his '84 Camaro, so we both figured the process would be the same. It was similar, but we did need to adopt a couple different procedures to make it work.

      We put the car on a lift, disconnected the sway bar, and unbolted the bottom of both shocks. We placed a transmission jack under each inner ends of the driver side lower control arm, then removed those two bolts. Now we slowly lifted the entire car, allowing the control arm to slowly drop down from the inside until the spring was loose. The new spring was put into position, then we gently lowered the car and fiddled with the jacks until the arm ends went back into place. We reinserted both bolts and got the nuts started. Not bad, we both thought.

      I paused to take a photo of one old spring next to one new one. I expected the new ones to be shorter (unloaded) than the old ones, so I was quite surprised to see this:



      The passenger side would not be so easy. The biggest problem was that one header tube runs right below the arm mounts, ie directly in the path we wanted the control arm's rear end to take. Instead of just letting the arm ends drop straight down, this time we'd have to get them to move outward at the same time... and, if we were lucky, the spring wouldn't fly out and kill us in the process.

      We got the old spring out, put the new one in place, and started to move the arm ends back into place. This is where things got difficult, as this arm fought us every inch of the way. We would stop, analyze the situation, lower it back down, adjust the jacks, and try again. We must have done this six or eight times, always with it stubbornly refusing to go where we wanted. Dallin came up with an idea of just trying to get the front arm partially into position--just enough to get its bolt through the forward-most hole. We managed to pull that off, which at least made us feel less unsafe since there was now another anchor point holding the compressed spring in place. Now we could focus on just getting the rear arm mount high enough to be in the correct plane, though it was way too far outside its frame mount. That's when my co-worker Dave passed through to see what we we up to. "If you guys had a ratchet strap, you could pull that outer arm end rearward and it would go right into place." I went rummaging through the shop, found a ratchet strap, and followed his suggestion. Like magic, it went perfectly into place. Wow! At last, we were able to properly insert both bolts on this side.

      By now it was past the time when Dallin had promised his wife he would be home. Oops. We quickly reattached the sway bar and torqued all the control arm nuts. He thought we could quickly swap the shocks and be done with the entire operation, but of course the 37-year-old upper nuts were pretty much rusted in place and didn't want to budge. Dave came back out and suggested we grind off the top. We started to do that on the driver side... it was taking forever... and we ultimately had to break it off after the grinder had cut it halfway through. I told Dallin not to worry about it any more tonight; I would just park the car outside and have Dave take me home. So that was it.

      This morning, I was able to get a photo in the light:



      I only moved the car about 100 feet, so I'm sure the springs will settle a little. Even still, I am thrilled to have the nose up at stock height. There is still a slight bit of rake, which is also fine by me. This turned out about as good as I could have hoped.

      Now, to get the shocks installed....
      Dempsey Bowling
      Sales Consultant at Doug Smith Dodge/Chrysler/Jeep/Ram/Subaru/Kia/used
      My fleet: 91 Miata, 98 Wrangler Sport, 01 Suburban 2500 8.1L, 14 Impreza Limited, 80 Grand Prix LJ 454

    4. Member Smooremin's Avatar
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      02-17-2017 11:28 AM #379
      Quote Originally Posted by patrikman View Post
      Asking OT for relationship advice makes about as much sense as asking TCL what car to buy.

    5. Geriatric Member Aonarch's Avatar
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      02-17-2017 11:57 AM #380
      Awesome!


      Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

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      02-17-2017 12:24 PM #381
      I'd say lookin' good, but that doesn't seem quite right.

      Ride height lookin' good.



    7. 02-21-2017 11:03 AM #382
      The new shocks are installed and everything is buttoned up on the front end, so I decided to drive the Grand Prix to work yesterday for a shakedown run. I'm quite pleased with how the car rides. I'm sure it's no slot car, but at least both ends are balanced as far as firmness and suspension response are concerned.

      On my way home, I was on a three-lane concrete road that crosses over some railroad tracks. I was in the center lane, doing between 40-45 MPH as I approached the overpass. As I began climbing the hill, the car in front of me began to slow because the car in front of him was doing the same... even though nobody was in front of him and the stop light on top of the overpass was green. I could see our light was going to change soon, and if the first bozo kept slowing down we'd all have to stop. The right lane was empty and nobody was coming up from behind, so I hit my signal and started to change lanes. Just as I crossed into the right lane, I gave the throttle a light prod--at least I thought it was light--in order to coax the TCU to drop down out of fourth gear and into third. The computer was perhaps a bit too eager, because it went right past third and instead dropped me into second gear. By now I was steering a bit to the left so as to follow the curve of the road, and the sudden onset of torque caused the tires to break loose and the tail end began sliding out to the right. It completely surprised me, but I quickly lifted off the throttle to kill the wheelspin, then got back on it much more gently in order to remain in my lane and safely crest the hill.

      I am quickly realizing this car commands complete respect from its driver.
      Dempsey Bowling
      Sales Consultant at Doug Smith Dodge/Chrysler/Jeep/Ram/Subaru/Kia/used
      My fleet: 91 Miata, 98 Wrangler Sport, 01 Suburban 2500 8.1L, 14 Impreza Limited, 80 Grand Prix LJ 454

    8. 02-21-2017 01:14 PM #383
      just tub the rears

    9. 03-09-2017 09:30 PM #384
      I've put close to 300 miles on the new engine by now. Things seem to be working reasonably well. There are still carburetor quirks, of course, and those just make me want to install my EFI sooner rather than later. But I need to shift my focus to Jeep prep for EJS, so I doubt I'll do anything else of significance to the Pontiac until after Easter.

      I did record another clip at idle, just so you all know I really did fix my header leak. (I wish my phone would record at louder volume.)


      Driving this thing makes me happy. As I've mentioned, the EZ-TCU provides firm, solid shifts even without telling the computer to go overboard. If I gently roll into a bit of throttle from a standstill, it will reliably bark the tires on the 1-2 upshift. This controller is much more aggressive than the OEM programming in my Suburban.



      Anyway, I'm having fun.
      Dempsey Bowling
      Sales Consultant at Doug Smith Dodge/Chrysler/Jeep/Ram/Subaru/Kia/used
      My fleet: 91 Miata, 98 Wrangler Sport, 01 Suburban 2500 8.1L, 14 Impreza Limited, 80 Grand Prix LJ 454

    10. 03-10-2017 10:40 AM #385
      Brain fart! This morning it dawned on me: in last night's post I completely forgot to mention curb weight.

      Yesterday while on a casual drive in the GP, I realized I was in the general area of the recycling yard where I weigh my vehicles. The car was relatively empty as far as needless cargo goes, and the gas tank was essentially full, so I decided it would be a good time to find out my "after" weight so I can compare it to when the car was stock. Without further ado:

      Stock (all iron 231/3.8L V6, 3spd auto, 7.5" axle, single soda straw exhaust): 3,320 lbs
      Modified (454 w/iron heads, 4L80E, Ford 8.8 axle, dual 3" exhaust system): 3,740 lbs

      Amazingly, it seems I've picked up enough extra power to overcome the additional 420 pounds of mass.


      And speaking of full tanks of fuel, for the first time with the V8 I calculated my mileage when I filled up yesterday morning. That fuel was used nearly 50-50 between city and highway driving; I managed 11.75 mpg.

      EDIT: I found my original scale slip and updates my figures above.
      Last edited by TurboMinivan; 05-08-2017 at 05:00 PM.
      Dempsey Bowling
      Sales Consultant at Doug Smith Dodge/Chrysler/Jeep/Ram/Subaru/Kia/used
      My fleet: 91 Miata, 98 Wrangler Sport, 01 Suburban 2500 8.1L, 14 Impreza Limited, 80 Grand Prix LJ 454

    11. Member Crispyfritter's Avatar
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      03-14-2017 11:59 AM #386
      I should have weighed mine, but I'm just going from a 350/350 combo to a 6.0/4L65E.

      But wow, I can't believe the weight difference is that huge. That Big block is a heavy beast! I imagine your trans is super heavy too.



      Also, I have a video up of mine running, so we're getting closer to your roadtrip.

      Chris
      | 2017 Korean Appliance SE | 2008 Suburban LTZ | 2003 Dodge Ram | 2002 BMW 530i con mañuel | 1974 SuperBeetle x 2 | 1979 Camaro | 1975 Scout |
      The poster formerly known as 200HP4dr

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      03-14-2017 12:17 PM #387
      An extra 440 pounds of road-hugging weight. Still lighter than my aluminum-block 6.2l car!
      Quote Originally Posted by sosumi on the B6 S4 V8
      It sounds like a giant shotgun and then like a bunch of ground up Yugo's in a cement mixer followed by weeks of silence interspersed by wails from the owner.

    13. 03-14-2017 12:20 PM #388
      Quote Originally Posted by Crispyfritter View Post
      But wow, I can't believe the weight difference is that huge. That Big block is a heavy beast! I imagine your trans is super heavy too.
      Yep, lots of cast iron there. Half the reason I want to swap to aluminum heads is just to drop a hundred pounds off the nose--the extra power and torque will just be a nice bonus. And everybody says the 4L80 weighs a ton, which I believe after trying to lift it.

      I'll go looking for your video (which I presume is in your Camaro thread).
      Dempsey Bowling
      Sales Consultant at Doug Smith Dodge/Chrysler/Jeep/Ram/Subaru/Kia/used
      My fleet: 91 Miata, 98 Wrangler Sport, 01 Suburban 2500 8.1L, 14 Impreza Limited, 80 Grand Prix LJ 454

    14. Member Crispyfritter's Avatar
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      03-14-2017 12:23 PM #389
      Quote Originally Posted by TurboMinivan View Post
      Yep, lots of cast iron there. Half the reason I want to swap to aluminum heads is just to drop a hundred pounds off the nose--the extra power and torque will just be a nice bonus. And everybody says the 4L80 weighs a ton, which I believe after trying to lift it.

      I'll go looking for your video (which I presume is in your Camaro thread).
      Make sure you check out Finnegan's Garage YouTube channel. He does a direct weight comparison on a big block between the stock vs. Aluminum heads The weight savings is pretty substantial.

      And yeah, its in my Camaro thread. Search for "Mullet"



      Chris

      Edit: Here: http://forums.vwvortex.com/showthrea...e-inside/page6
      Last edited by Crispyfritter; 03-14-2017 at 12:35 PM.
      | 2017 Korean Appliance SE | 2008 Suburban LTZ | 2003 Dodge Ram | 2002 BMW 530i con mañuel | 1974 SuperBeetle x 2 | 1979 Camaro | 1975 Scout |
      The poster formerly known as 200HP4dr

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      04-21-2017 04:28 PM #390
      Updates?

    16. 04-22-2017 11:45 AM #391
      Quote Originally Posted by PoorHouse View Post
      Updates?
      Well, earlier I had said this:

      Quote Originally Posted by TurboMinivan View Post
      But I need to shift my focus to Jeep prep for EJS, so I doubt I'll do anything else of significance to the Pontiac until after Easter.
      But now its after Easter, you're saying. While that's true, I haven't done anything major other than plan out my next move. I am debating between installing the EFI (which would require a new gas tank & pump assembly), upgrading the front brakes (they are down to the wear indicators, and the RWD 2nd-gen Blazer setup is a bolt-on swap), or addressing the rear axle (installing c-clip eliminators and new axle shafts). Decisions, decisions.

      Oh! I did do something a few weeks ago, and it is well worth mentioning here. Ever since getting the car running with the V8, I have had a bizarre variety of intermittent electrical issues. For example, my 4-pack of secondary gauges would sometimes wiggle all their needles in unison... but since my primary gauges didn't do the same thing, I figured it had to do with a poor connection in their wiring (the 4-pack is wired completely independent from the primary gauges). I would also notice the volt gauge indicated the alternator would struggle to get past 12v any time I was at idle, and even at moderate RPM seemingly small loads would cause the gauge to drop significantly. The real kicker was nighttime driving: the car's entire lighting system would randomly dim sharply for no apparent reason, as if the entire lighting system was shorting out or something. Replacing the alternator didn't make a lick of difference. It was weird.

      Then one day Mike and I stopped by O'Reilly and were chatting with Eric. He was telling us about his '64 El Camino which he just got running, and he shared a fascinating tale. "Man, when I started driving the car it kept having electrical problems. I'd be going along and it was like the entire car would suddenly short out--the headlights would go dark, the engine would sputter, the gauges went nuts, etc. Someone asked me about ground straps, so I went home and dug up a plain old GM engine-to-firewall strap. I attached it to the back of the intake manifold and the firewall. Suddenly all of my electrical problems were fixed."

      I started thinking about the GP. I couldn't recall hooking up any sort of ground wire like this. Furthermore, the car's negative battery cable has a beefy wire going to the engine block, but does not have a smaller wire going to the body. Hmm. Could my solution really be so simple? As soon as I got home, I went looking through my garage for a ground strap. I didn't have a GM one, but I did have a couple from FWD turbo Mopars. I figured the electrons wouldn't mind the brand mismatch, so I installed one between the back of the intake manifold and the firewall.



      Bam! Just like that, all of my electrical gremlins disappeared. Gauge needles stopped flickering, alternator charges properly, my voltage doesn't drop, my headlights stay bright, etc etc etc.

      Ground straps, people! Ground straps!
      Dempsey Bowling
      Sales Consultant at Doug Smith Dodge/Chrysler/Jeep/Ram/Subaru/Kia/used
      My fleet: 91 Miata, 98 Wrangler Sport, 01 Suburban 2500 8.1L, 14 Impreza Limited, 80 Grand Prix LJ 454

    17. Member monoaural's Avatar
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      04-22-2017 04:22 PM #392
      Quote Originally Posted by TurboMinivan View Post

      Bam! Just like that, all of my electrical gremlins disappeared. Gauge needles stopped flickering, alternator charges properly, my voltage doesn't drop, my headlights stay bright, etc etc etc.

      Ground straps, people! Ground straps!
      I bought my first Vw rabbit pickup with the same problem. No ground from the battery to the body. The fuel gauge would drop when you were sitting on the brakes.
      As you have electronic controls for the trans, I would add a ground from the battery to body as well, as the battery does a lot to clean up electrical noise from the alternator.
      -Jon

    18. 04-22-2017 05:04 PM #393
      Quote Originally Posted by monoaural View Post
      I would add a ground from the battery to body as well
      I fully intend to do so, as soon as I can find a cable of the correct length that includes this secondary wire.
      Dempsey Bowling
      Sales Consultant at Doug Smith Dodge/Chrysler/Jeep/Ram/Subaru/Kia/used
      My fleet: 91 Miata, 98 Wrangler Sport, 01 Suburban 2500 8.1L, 14 Impreza Limited, 80 Grand Prix LJ 454

    19. 05-08-2017 05:03 PM #394
      While rummaging through the counter space in my garage, I found my original scale printout from the recycling yard. Turns out my starting weight was 20 pounds higher than I remembered, meaning the engine conversion only added 420 pounds rather than 440. FYI.

      On the way to work today, the GP needed fuel. After fillup, some quick math revealed a tank average of 12.94 mpg. A new record!!!
      Dempsey Bowling
      Sales Consultant at Doug Smith Dodge/Chrysler/Jeep/Ram/Subaru/Kia/used
      My fleet: 91 Miata, 98 Wrangler Sport, 01 Suburban 2500 8.1L, 14 Impreza Limited, 80 Grand Prix LJ 454

    20. 05-29-2017 03:55 PM #395
      I didn't mention it in this thread, but when Var came up and bought his Forester, I filled the tank and was delighted to see a new record economy of 14.1 mpg. But today I filled up on the way to work and it got even better. The vast majority of this last tank was freeway driving, and it earned me 14.56 mpg. Wow. I doubt I'll ever top that figure unless I'm on an all-out road trip.

      My co-worker Mike says if your project car doesn't scare you, you didn't build it correctly. Well, I'm there. The most hair-raising moment is when I'm doing 40-45 MPH and I floor it. The TCU will downshift to first gear, and I usually maintain traction when it does. However, at the upshift to second gear--which happens at about 56 MPH--the tires will then break loose and spin for a few car lengths. Having your tail end lose traction and wiggle at 60 MPH has a way of getting your attention in a hurry...

      ... and this is now my usual procedure when entering a freeway onramp.
      Dempsey Bowling
      Sales Consultant at Doug Smith Dodge/Chrysler/Jeep/Ram/Subaru/Kia/used
      My fleet: 91 Miata, 98 Wrangler Sport, 01 Suburban 2500 8.1L, 14 Impreza Limited, 80 Grand Prix LJ 454

    21. Member VR6ix's Avatar
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      05-29-2017 08:25 PM #396
      Quote Originally Posted by TurboMinivan View Post
      it earned me 14.56 mpg. Wow.
      I was starting to get worried with all this talk about ever-increasing fuel economy on a BB Chevy...

      Quote Originally Posted by TurboMinivan View Post
      ... and this is now my usual procedure when entering a freeway onramp.
      ... but glad to see you sorted it out with tread-wear ratings instead
      · ·we're only gonna die for our own arrogance that's why we might as well take our time...
      · · /
      · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · On a long enough timeline, the survival rate for everyone drops to Ø

    22. 06-01-2017 01:47 AM #397
      As it happens, my backyard-engineered TPS setup has been giving me occasional fits.



      Some days, it works fine. Other days, it sends a signal >100%, which causes the TCU to freak out and go into limp mode. I can't wait to install the FiTech EFI, as I plan to tap into its internal sensor and send that signal to the TCU... but I needed to do something else for the time being to improve the situation. I didn't want to spend any money if I didn't need to, since this new setup will just be temporary. What to do?

      I was venting about this to Mike a few weeks ago, and he told me he had a cable system for a remote TPS just sitting around in his RV (which he stores at a lot 20 miles away). It took a while, but he finally had a reason to drive down there... so I went with him. Sure enough, he had this fancy cable thingy which looked like exactly what I needed. He let me borrow it, as promised, and I went home to see what I could do with it.

      The carburetor end could not have been easier--it simply clicked into the bracket I was already using:


      I routed the cable around the firewall and over to the left inner fender, then screwed it into place. The mildly tricky part was determining exactly how to attach the sensor to the fender so that I could use its entire sweep range and yet not go so far as to trigger the TCU's panic mode. But after a bit of testing and experimentation, I decided mounting the sensor at this angle would be perfect:


      I've been driving it this way for a couple weeks now, and I've been sure to make frequent full-throttle stabs at the gas pedal--you know, in the name of science--to make sure it works as intended. It has been flawless thus far. Victory!


      In other news, I went hiking through the local Pick-N-Pull today. I passed an early 90s Grand Am and its fender badges caught my eye... so I liberated them. I stuck one on my car just to take this photo:



      I'm wondering what kind of reactions I will get if I stick them on there for good.
      Dempsey Bowling
      Sales Consultant at Doug Smith Dodge/Chrysler/Jeep/Ram/Subaru/Kia/used
      My fleet: 91 Miata, 98 Wrangler Sport, 01 Suburban 2500 8.1L, 14 Impreza Limited, 80 Grand Prix LJ 454

    23. 06-06-2017 06:47 PM #398
      I've been thinking a lot about axle ratios lately. Why? Because I've also been thinking about the c-clip eliminator kit I plan to install... which will involve replacing the diff since I'll upgrade to 31 spline axles at the same time... which means it will be extremely easy and convenient to install a different gear set while I'm at it.

      I am currently running 3.08 gears. I could swap to 3.55 and pick up a nice improvement. Mike says I should just go for 3.73s instead. It's a tough call because I also need to take my tire size into account. My current 235/60-15s are 26.1" in diameter. At some point I might upgrade the rears to 255/60-15s (27.0"), or maybe even 275/60-15s (28.0") if they'll fit. As I kept mulling it over in my mind, I was soon going batty as I went back and forth in a gear ratio calculator. I decided to make a small chart listing all three tire sizes with all three gear ratios so I could look at every option simultaneously. It shows (theoretical) max road speed in each gear, road speed in overdrive at 2000 and 2500 rpm, plus engine speed at 70 MPH road speed. And just for reference, I added a line at the bottom for the Suburban with its 4.10 gears and 30.5" tires.



      The top line is where I am right now. As you can see, keeping my current tires but swapping to 3.55 gears will put me essentially identical to the Suburban as far as highway driving is concerned, which Ive decided is fine. If I went to 3.73s without going to a taller tire, the highway revs creep up even more... to the point that they're getting above my comfort zone (for lack of a better term). Were I running taller tires, the 3.73 option would be more acceptable.

      And then there is the matter of acceleration. I currently don't upshift out of first until 56 MPH, and second gear takes me all the way to 94 MPH. To put it mildly, this seems a bit silly. Going to 3.55 gears will lower those figures to 49 and 81 respectively--which sounds much better--but the 3.73s drop them even further to 46 and 77 MPH, which sounds even more appealing. But then I'm revving a bit more at highway speeds.


      Decisions, decisions. Any opinions, TCL?
      Dempsey Bowling
      Sales Consultant at Doug Smith Dodge/Chrysler/Jeep/Ram/Subaru/Kia/used
      My fleet: 91 Miata, 98 Wrangler Sport, 01 Suburban 2500 8.1L, 14 Impreza Limited, 80 Grand Prix LJ 454

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      06-06-2017 06:55 PM #399
      Looking at that chart I would go 3.73.

      Not a big jump from the 3.55 to the 3.73, 140 rpm or so.

      I realize you have a big block so you have torks. I'm worried about the LS swapped Camaros out there. You've got to stay competitive.

    25. Member Nealric's Avatar
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      06-06-2017 07:42 PM #400
      I'm envious of American car owners and their massive selection of rear end ratios. I'd love to get a lower ratio for my Alfa, but there were only a few hundred cars made with under a 4.10 rear end, and the ring and pinions command $1k if you can find one (and I've been looking for over two years).

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