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I NEED info on heavily modified C3's

AKRAY4PLAY

Well-known member
Joined
Oct 14, 2001
Messages
584
Location
Wasilla, Alaska, U.S.A.
Corvette
'77 L-82, black on black. Full mod 406 small block
Hello Everyone!,
I just became a member after reading all of the great input from you all! I am looking for lots of help in setting up my Vette the right way. Any input or ideas, I am more than greatfull.
First a little history. I own a '77 L-82 with 113,000 miles. I purchased the car for $3700 two years ago with the intent of doing a complete factory restoration. That idea went out the window when my roommate brought his '67 GTA Mustang home. Don't get too weirded-out folks, it is a very clean and modified car, but I am a bow-tie boy through and through. This was the birth of "THE GREAT GLORIOUS IDEA FROM HELL!!", and the end of my petty cash. Being a couple of youthfull and opposing, Ford vs. GM, good buddies we are, it was time for friendly match up. As I stated earlier, his car is highly tweaked and mine was stock. I think everyone knows who won, but let it be known that I got more attension paid to the Vette from the public. My friend gave me a break and said if I do some mods, he'll gladly and fairly re-run me for bragging rights. And that is how I came to pick everyone's brain about finishing my project.
Here is a run down of where I am currently. My brother-in-law and I built a CRAZY small block 406. Far too many mods to list right now. For short, best guess from lots of builders, it makes 575hp and 560ft/lbs under 6500rpm and on 89 pump gas! I know it sounds unlikely for a mouse motor, but I have a fortune invested in it. I already had the stock turbo 400 built to take the engine, complete with a 2400rpm stall converter. The rear end and drive lines scare me!!! it has the stock optional high performance rear end ratio and stock drive lines. I am thinking of going with Tom's Differentials out of southern California. Does anyone know anything about Tom's???? Or any other place that specializes in beefing up the rear?????? I have seen guys run 10's with stock rear end set ups without breaking anything. The only problem, these were drag race prepped C3's and not daily drivers with lead feet, that's my catagory. Most of the motorheads I have spoken with say the stock stuff will hold, until I get it hook up. I have purchased and installed the "performance plus" suspension kit from Vettebrakes. I have not driven the car yet, but Vettebrakes is claiming .95 G's in the corners and 1.4 second times in the 0-60 foot race. Big bragging, I don't know either way without driving the car. Has anyone installed the front and rear transverse composite kits on a C3??? And what are the cooly-dude settings?? That brings me to the most debated topic of my curiousity, tire and wheel combos!!! I currently have 15x8 with 4 inch backspace wheels wrapped with 255/60/15 BFG Radial TA's. They fit great and work good with the car in stock trim. I want to stay with the same size up front, but need to know what works the best in the rear??? I have heard it all from stock size (not a chance in hell!) to "tubbing out" for 325/50/15 Drag Radials. I don't mind ripping up the chassis and drive train, but i just can't bring myself to alter those beautifull body lines. I want the sleeper look, until I hit the ignition. And lastly!!! Does anybody know anything that needs to be beefed up on the frame??? Everyone answers me with a deer in the head lights look. Naturally the warm-fuzzy does not blend with their answers, and it would not make my day to end up upside down in the ditch because of a broken frame from too much torque.
I am sorry for making my debut with so many questions, not to mension the length of my entry. I promise to keep it short in the future!! I will also post some photos of the car, and any along the way steps in completing the project that anyone might be interested in. Thank you in advance for your time, patience and knowledge. Take care and flex that American Muscle!!!
Brian
 

Ken

Gone but not forgotten
Joined
Jan 30, 2001
Messages
8,237
Location
Hermosa Beach, CA
Corvette
1987 Z51 Silver Coupe
Welcome To The Corvette Action Center AKRAY4PLAY!

Can't help ya, just wanted to welcome ya. :upthumbs
 

JHL

Senior Member
Joined
Oct 24, 2000
Messages
403
Location
Everywhere
Corvette
81 4 speed
Hello,

First of all welcome to the site I`m sure you`ll find lot`s to interest you as well as some usefull info.

I can`t give you all the answers you are looking for but on one point the tyres, I have 295/50 rears on the standard 8" rims and they fit without any rubbing and the only minor mod required was a slight bend in each exhaust pipe to clear the rubber. It`s a tight fit and I doubt if you would get any bigger tyres on the standard backspaced rims.

Although my car doesn`t have the horse power you are talking about I go for broke at the drag strip and surprisingly the axle is still out back where it`s supposed to be.:L :L

J.
 

AKRAY4PLAY

Well-known member
Joined
Oct 14, 2001
Messages
584
Location
Wasilla, Alaska, U.S.A.
Corvette
'77 L-82, black on black. Full mod 406 small block
JHL,
THANKS FOR THE HEADS UP ON THE TIRES. WHAT BRAND ARE YOU CURRENTLY RUNNING? AND HOW WELL DO THEY HOLD GRIP WITH THAT FOUR SPEED? THEY MAY JUST BE THE TICKET I AM LOOKING FOR. THANKS AGAIN AND I HOPE TO HEAR FROM YOU SOON. LATER, BRIAN
 
B

BJS1977

Guest
wow lots of questions. my friend has a similar car to yours and so do i so i will try to help a little. my buddy has a full kit (front and rear composite springs, tubular control arms, poly bushings etc.) from vette brakes on his 82 (625hp by the way) says that it hooks up and handles great and was really easy to install. it also sheads like 100+ pounds compared to the original setup. he also has modified rear trailing arms allowing the use of 11'in wide tires. i don't have any personal dealings with tom's differentials but i have seen several build ups in car mags using tom's diff's parts and they all worked great and tom's has a really good rep. the only prob so far with the suspension has been the half shafts. they twist pretty easily when you can get it to hook. that will be a prob if you decide to go with slicks. i hope this answered some of your questions. let us kow what this thing does when its done cause i'm real curious. it should be a monster.
 

AKRAY4PLAY

Well-known member
Joined
Oct 14, 2001
Messages
584
Location
Wasilla, Alaska, U.S.A.
Corvette
'77 L-82, black on black. Full mod 406 small block
BRY,
THANKS FOR THE INPUT. I HAVE WHAT SOUNDS LIKE THE SAME KIT AS YOUR FRIEND. FOR ANYONE ELSE INTERESTED, IT RUNS BETWEEN $1800 AND $2000 FOR THE FOR THE FULL MONTE! IT WAS VERY EASY TO INTO INSTALL, IT TOOK ONLY 4 HOURS. IT TOOK 12 TO DISASSEMBLE IT, LOTS OF RUSTY BOLTS! DOES YOUR FRIEND HAVE THE OFFSET TRAILING ARMS THAT ARE ALSO AVAILABLE FROM VETTEBRAKES?? AND IS HE RUNNING STOCK REAR END PARTS OR AFTERMARKET??
I WILL KEEP EVERYONE POSTED OF WHAT THE CAR DOES AFTER I GET MY MOTOR BACK FROM THE DYNO SHOP. I MAY EVEN SPLURGE AND BUY A 200HP NITROUS KIT THIS WINTER, JUST AN IDEA. FIRST I WILL HAVE TO RE-LEARN HOW TO DRIVE IT. THANKS AGAIN FOR THE INFORMATION, AND I MAY NEED TO SPEAK WITH YOUR FRIEND IF I CAN'T GET THE SET UP RIGHT.
I AM ENDEBTED TO YOU, BRIAN
 
B

BJS1977

Guest
yeah he's got the vette brakes trailing arms. i think the diff is stock with 4.11 gears. i'm pretty sure the half shafts are custom made thought.( haven't seen him in a while) his suspension holds up fine but he mostly street races which isn't as hard on parts due to the lack of traction. if you want to add nitrous, which i am also thinking about by the way, i don't think there is an independent rear in the world that gonna stand up to 775hp for long.
 

JHL

Senior Member
Joined
Oct 24, 2000
Messages
403
Location
Everywhere
Corvette
81 4 speed
I have BFG`s, the standard trailing arms and I think the rear end is around 3.70. The tyres are ok on the dry roads but a liability in the wet. The only other tyres I have seen over here in that size are Hoosier Quik Times.

I was leaving the lights at about 4000rpm and the best 60` I have had was 1.77 but with the new engine the clutch only lasted a couple of races:eek :eek and gave me 13.8@104, the flywheel and disc was blue and looked like someone had taken a blowtorch to them. The new QuarterMaster set-up should sort that out. The last meeting of the year was rained off so I have no new times but I hope to borrow a G-Tech from a friend some weekend to give me some idea of how it goes.

I`m not to bothered about the handling, the stock set-up works fine for me but I hate to be beat from the lights.

 

AKRAY4PLAY

Well-known member
Joined
Oct 14, 2001
Messages
584
Location
Wasilla, Alaska, U.S.A.
Corvette
'77 L-82, black on black. Full mod 406 small block
JHL,
thanks for the info yet again. i believe the bfg 295/50/15 will fill my needs nicely. and if i can leave the line with 1.7 60ft times, life will be splinded indeed. sorry to hear the clutch smoked, way bummer. oh well, parts is parts and if your not breaking 'em, you not driven 'em!!!!!!! unfortunately i don't think i will be able to get my car assembled before the drag track closes for the winter, but i will be there opening day for sure. thank you again, brian
 

JHL

Senior Member
Joined
Oct 24, 2000
Messages
403
Location
Everywhere
Corvette
81 4 speed
I thought you might be interested in a picture of the clutch pack, at over a $1000 it wasn`t cheap but allegedly the best. One thing I considered after I read an article was to use it with an auto tranny. The clutch replaces the torque converter and is used to get you going off the line then you have the benifit of the auto shift during the race, I`m not exactly sure how it worked but it sounded interesting, alternatively I could robb a bank and buy Quafe 5 or 6 speed sequential tranny and have a 9" F**D rear end fitted. With the right gear ratios in the box and axle it would fly in the quarter. I won`t spend any more on the engine. Big horsepower is ok if you want top speed but I work on the idea that at most there is only two or three hundred yards between stop lights and that`s as far as I need to go.:L :L



J.
 

AKRAY4PLAY

Well-known member
Joined
Oct 14, 2001
Messages
584
Location
Wasilla, Alaska, U.S.A.
Corvette
'77 L-82, black on black. Full mod 406 small block
that is one sweet unit!! i agree it would be nice to play jesse james or win the power ball lottery just for parts. by the time i get done with everything i planned on doing to my '77, i will have about $35,000 invested. nothing like exploding the purchase price ten fold to put someone in poor house. my brother-in-law also subscibes to your ideas on the quarter mile. he built a motor similar to your build a few years back and was forced to put it in a '78 camero. it was more of a budget car than anything, and there aren't that many fast cars in alaska. out of a state population of 550,000, there are around 200 very respectable cars and lots of wanna-bees with rusted away fenders!!! his camero had a four speed also, and it got with the program. the only thing i did not like was the 4:56 rear end. awesome for the green light drags, expensive getting there. you have to drive 320 miles one way from where we live, valdez, to get to the nearest city, anchorage. that adds up to many gallons. he never got it to the drag strip, but we ran a bunch of tests on the streets of anchorage and never lost. to bad the car got stolen, cops found it five hours later in a huge pile up. not only did it crash, but it burned to the ground to boot. as for my power needs, i like torque!! i love big blocks, but hate the weight! that is the reason i started the 406 build. the first dyno run with my old cam and dual plane intake was impressive for a street motor. at 2000rpm it made 413ft/lbs and pulled hard to 6000rpm, 430ft/lbs, then fell on it's face. but it made over 500 ft/lbs from 3500 to 5700rpm. the cam and intake would best be suited for a nice 4x4 truck in my mind. i have another dyno appointment in ten days to test my new cam and single plane intake. i will keep you posted on the results. until then, we will all have to wait, sorry. let me know how that clutch performs, i work with a guy that needs something along that line for his '69 big block. he either eats clutches or blazes the tires to the rims, no in between. take care, brian
 

JHL

Senior Member
Joined
Oct 24, 2000
Messages
403
Location
Everywhere
Corvette
81 4 speed
Hi Brian,

I have a similar problem, the local drag strip is about a 160 mile round trip and gas is about $5 a gallon at the moment. I only use the Vette occasionally for a run around on sunny days and the odd trip to the drag strip as the fuel consumption is around 10-12mpg.

You are right about the clutch it`s on or off. I have done some work on the linkage last weekend and it is now a bit smoother. The vendor I bought it from sells a lot to the stockcar guys and the big boys run BigBlock Chevy motors usually hooked up to a Jaguar 4 speed tranny and locked 9" Ford axles. They run on tarmac short ovals so I thought if it could handle that sort of abuse it would be okay in my car. I looked a couple of other set-up from Ram and Crower but I couldn`t find anyone over here with them in stock and Jegs were quoting 4 - 6 weeks for delivery on them. Various people I spoke to said the QuarterMaster was a quality item and it is a well made bit of kit.

J.
 

AKRAY4PLAY

Well-known member
Joined
Oct 14, 2001
Messages
584
Location
Wasilla, Alaska, U.S.A.
Corvette
'77 L-82, black on black. Full mod 406 small block
once upon a time ago, i saw a '66 that a guy had at one of the machine shops i was checking out. the owner had far too much money for his own good, bless his heart. anyway, the owner of the shop also built tube frames on the side. off with body and start building something nasty! he took and chopped up the old frame, narrowing the rear and building a 5? link suspension??? it looked weird, but i guess it worked since the shop owner did his the same way. he then put a blown with nitrous 570 inch motor in the frame. rumor has it, the engine was around 1300 ponies. but the one thing that stuck in my mind was the rear end! he had a tom's differential kit utilizing 1350 series u-joints and 12 bolt internals. i have not heard of the car rolling yet, but the rear end makes me think and wonder if it will hold!! that is the reason i asked eariler if anyone had any dealings with tom's. it looks beefy, but i have never heard anything before or after i saw that set up. i will attempt to attach the link to tom's, but my computor is acting a little funny. here goes nothing.

http://www.tomsdifferentials.com/

ps. have you thought about swapping to a hydraulic clutch???
brian
 
T

Turismo

Guest
Hello Brian,

Welcome to the forum. Nice to see a fellow Alaskan out of hibernation. I hang out over in the '84-96 C4 forum. Good luck with your '77!
 

AKRAY4PLAY

Well-known member
Joined
Oct 14, 2001
Messages
584
Location
Wasilla, Alaska, U.S.A.
Corvette
'77 L-82, black on black. Full mod 406 small block
Dale,
Thanks for the welcome! It is nice to know that other "locals" are around and listening. After I get things back together, it may be time for a road trip up your way. I loved Fairbanks when i went to school back in the early '90's. I still have a few friends there, and it would be great to meet you in person!! we could go play on Airport Way, or as it used to called, Airport Dragway. Are guys still going out and running races on Farmer's Loop?? And do the sunny days still bring out all those gorgious '50's and '60's classics down at CJ's drive-in?? I am getting excited just thinking about the old times. Life just keeps getting better and better. Stay in touch, and we'll have some fun when the ice is gone!! Later, Brian
 

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