7\13\01: Allot happened since my last update. The supercharger was installed after many hours of knuckle scrapes and pushing and pulling. I have to say I wouldn't recommend it to anyone in a hurry or without 40+ hours of time to spare to install it. The results of course made the whole thing worth it, its fast as hell. However after just 2 days of racing around the city the transmission started slipping very badly (yeah I know, ha ha). With just over 10,000 miles the stock transmission was toast. I can't say I was totally surprised but one never looks forward to the cost of repair and downtime involved. I had a choice of what to do about the transmission. A: Attempt to get GM to replace it under warranty or B: Spend the money and built it right. I decided on B: because replacing the transmission with another stock one would eventually lead to the same result. Not to mention making GM pay for something that was obviously my doing didn't sit well. Although I do think GM owe's me a little something for all the money I've given them in five 4T65-E transmissions and only covering one of them under warrantee. So the search went on for placing offering build up kits for the 4L60-E. Needless to say the transmission in the C5 is allot more common in high performance applications then the front wheel drive GTP transmission. I was practically finding builders on every corner in Southern California ready and willing to build it up. After searching the net and hearing excellent things I bit my tongue and went to a company I've had NOTHING but problems with in the past to get a performance kit to build the transmission up with. This wasn't a easy decision but after researching allot of clients I went with Level10 in Hamburg NJ for a rebuild kit and performance billet torque converter. Having never worked on a RWD transmission I opted to pay someone who knew what they where doing to remove and repair the transmission and re-install it. I'm very glad I did after seeing everything involved to do the work. It damn near requires a car lift because the whole rear end subframe is dropped out in the process. Adding to the difficulty is the C5's unique rear mounted transmission rather then engine mounted a 5 inch metal matrix torque tube transfers the power to the rear mounted transmission/differential. Its done this way to maintain a almost exact 50/50 weight ratio for the front and rear to improve handling. When researching transmission shops I opted to go with one who had done a fair amount of the transmissions before but had the policy of really going out of their way to ensure no stone went unturned in the rebuild process. On top of everything included in the Level10 PTS rebuild system and valvebody recalibration unit they started replacing any weak looking non hardened steel parts with hardened ones. The end result was a transmission that performed exactly how I wanted it. They told me to go easy on the transmission for the first 600 miles and then bring it back for inspection before really getting on the gas hard. I won't tell you what a pain in the ass I thought this was going to be. Happy with getting the car back from the shop after it was down for a few days I ended up putting the 600 miles on the transmission that night. It was taken back the next day to be checked out and everything was fine. That was nearly 5,000 hard miles ago and the transmission has been perfect. To help ensure its life a very large external trans cooler was also installed. I have taken it to the track but my local track is such crap I can't get accurate times out of it. Either the timing system is down when I go or when I do get a run in the tires spin all over the place. I had the announcer at the track announce a 10 second run when a car I was running neck and neck with ran a low 12 second run according to his time that printed. I've made the decision to never return to run a car there again. Heed this warning.........Carlsbad Raceway sucks!!!!!!! There is a light at the end of the tunnel however. California Speedway in Fontana announced its opening a dragstrip! The first races are on September 8th and 9th. I was extremely excited when I heard the news. This puts the strip about a 45 minute drive away from me on toll roads which is shorter then the trip to Carlsbad. Also this will be a professional operation and not a abandon airport runway which Carlsbad operates. I will be there in September but until then I won't take any guess's on what the car will turn in the 1/4 mile. I did however get the car dynoed a couple days ago. 408.2HP and 370 torque to the wheels. It equates to about 510HP at the crankshaft. The dyno run recorded 5 degree's of knock retard which was robbing some power. The cars stock PCV valve was not operating correctly allowing oil to blow into the intake manifold in small amounts, enough to cause detonation and plug fouling. A new redesigned PCV valve has been sent to me from Carroll Supercharging but I haven't installed it yet. Its expected with 0 degree's of knock retard to pull over 430+HP at the wheels. I'll throw a bunch of pictures up of the past couple months of car excitement. Here is a graph the the dyno run. The much famed spooky location where I come to take pictures of all my cars at night here, here, here, here, here, and here. Picture of my underhood during the supercharger installation here, here. And finally the completed installation here. Pictures of the trans rebuild here, here, here, here, here, and here. Any finally here is a run and the Carlsbad raceway. Its to bad you can't hear the V8 over the sound of the revved up open piped 4. The announcer said the run was a 10.51@120MPH. There's no way that happened, my hate for the raceway continues to grow. View the video here. When I haven't been working on the car I took my bike to the track for a couple hundred miles of hot lapping fun, view that here. For anyone interested the place that rebuilt my transmission is Ryans transmission in Foothill Ranch, Ca. They have a website here. Mike Ryan the guy pictured right oversaw the whole project, thanks again for a great job Mike!
4\15\01: Well so much for being "tame" on the modifications to the vette. Not happy with well enough I researched porting/polishing of the heads as well as some additional intake work but without doing a camshaft I would still have a hard time reaching 350HP at the wheels which is right around 400HP at the crank. Not wanting to do a camshaft for installation and idle reasons I decided to scrap the heads idea and go big. This is what i'm currently installing. The kit is made by www.CarrollSupercharging.com and uses a Vortech blower. Its all but done but Carroll forgot to send me a couple important parts needed to finish the job. Its expected to hit 400+HP at the wheels and be nearly 500HP at the crankshaft. I get to reuse the Titanium exhaust and my air filter so at least that's not money wasted. I have a almost complete installation picture of the supercharger here. I'm still constantly amazed at the space I still have in the vette to throw things. Here's a picture of 2 17inch and 2 18inch rims in back. Other then that not allot happening. I installed a high intensity discharge headlight system on the bike here. If you haven't heard already its been announced that the redesigned 2003 Grand Prix will reuse the Supercharged 3.8L engine. This is MOST disappointing to me as I was holding out for a all new redesigned engine as I had heard about straight from people at GM. But with the Oldsmobile line being killed off so did the engine since it was going to be a multi-platform engine. I'll hold out final judgment but this is probably going to be the 1 thing killing me from buying another GTP. Lets at least hope they do something about the transmission.
2\17\01: Merry belated Christmas and New Year. I hope everyone got what they wanted!? After almost 2 months of advertising which cost near $200.00 the 2000 GTP finally sold, and I got what I was asking. The owner got a exhaust Ubend and Magnuson nosedrive with 3.4 pulley on the car since it was to much trouble to take off.......maybe one day he will notice and call me to say thanks. Even before the GTP was sold I was eagerly searching the net for a replacement car. As it turns out I found the exact car I wanted and flew out to Iowa 3 days before Christmas to drive it back. I have a little writeup on the purchase here. So I guess the questions on everyone's mind is......is this page going to become a Corvette page? NO as much as I love the car I don't feel right turning this page into something it wasn't intended for. Truth is....knowing what I know about the 2003 Grand Prix GTP I WILL own one. But that doesn't mean I'm going to let the web page sit dormant until then. There's still 2 Grand Prix's out front and I am still working with Ram Air Tech on the TWINDUALCAM.com website and products. Not the least of which is the recent accomplishment of a 40HP to the wheels package. Bringing the 3.4L engine to a even 200HP at the wheels and 250HP at the crank. If that was'nt exciting enough magazines have recently picked up on the progress being done by TDC and featured the full suspension package in the recently released November/December issue of Pontiac Enthusiast magazine, not a little excerpt either but a full 4 page review. Also my job has kept me very busy as well but I love it. The bike I had been waiting for was released a few weeks ago and I picked that up. Its a Silver/Black (I swear i'm not addicted to silver/black vehicles) 2001 Honda CBR 600 F4i. Its still being broken it so I have to stay under 7,000RPM. Another 100 miles and its 14,500RPM redline can be reached. View that here.
12\17\00: Got the car back Friday after some delays at the dealer getting a transmission. The GM dealer warrantied everything and the total bill sent to GM was just over $4000.00. They did a fantastic job replacing the transmission....not a single scratch under the hood. And the transmission isn't a rebuilt one but a factory new one. I've placed ad's in the paper and online for the car. I'm selling it for $17,800.00 just to get it sold fast and out of my mind.
12\10\00: The 2000 GTP will be returned to me either tomorrow or Tuesday this week. Most of the modifications on the car have already been sold off and I may elect to sell the car earlier then previously thought. I went to a motorcycle convention yesterday where they debuted the new 2001 Honda F4i bike that I already have a hold on at a local dealer when it comes out Jan 15th.On the way back from the show I got a call from someone who had seen my ad for my current bike online and wanted to take a look at it. We met later that night and I found it quite odd that these 2 people where going over the bike with a fine tooth comb. Even stranger he offered to pay for the bike with cash and didn't need to talk price....he would take it for what I was asking. After the sale was completed I come to find out this bike is going to be used for a movie. Its called "Collateral Damage" and stars Arnold Schwarzenegger. The bike will be used for the chase scenes and another bike just like the one I had will be crashed it the movie. Arnold himself being a avid motorcyclist will actually ride my bike personally for 2 weeks before those scenes are shot to get used to the bike. Its to bad my bike had to be this famous AFTER I sold it but its exciting none the less. The bike was yellow and black but will probably have the badgeing removed and be mostly if not all yellow in the movie. I have a picture of the people from the studio who bought the bike here the guy on the right is actually the stunt man who will be doing the crash scenes. The Durango situation is almost cleared up and looks like I got out of this one for under $200.00 for new bumper\brackets and paint....wahoo. The bumper came painted flat black and everyone says it looks better that way but I think the rental car place would disagree here's a picture of it here. And finally all masked up and ready to be painted here.
12\3\00: The first dealer I dropped the 2000 GTP at noticed the supercharger pulley being smaller and said they didn't want to work on the car. I then did a quick conversion to stock exhaust and air intake and put a keyed 3.8 (factory size) pulley on the magnuson drive and took it to another local dealer. This time everything was ok and they are warrantying the transmission. The replacement transmission is coming from Detriot and will probably be a week to get. In the meantime GM payed for a 2000 Durango 4x4 rental. Now I've never had a 4x4 in the driveway and the urge to go offroading was just TOO much. So late Friday night I decided to terrorize a local park in 4WD and kick up dirt while doing donuts. Not 15 seconds into it I came down a incline and locked brakes up. The grass was wet and I guess the ABS was seriously lagging. A tree was far off but the car kept sliding towards it. Well I ended up mowing it down.....much to the laughter of the passengers inside including myself. A quick look showed front fascia damage and a dented bumper. Amazingly it missed the hood and grill which where high dollar items. I'm doing the repairs myself which is going to cost around $600.00. The fascia dents popped back out after a day in the sun and just needs repainted. The metal bumper itself is way beyond repair and must be replaced. Pictures of the Durango incident are here, here, here, and here.
11\26\00: Back from the gathering! Yes although it was over 2 months ago my busy work life prevents me from updating as often as I wish. This year was all out the best time I have had the gatherings, hands down. A select few were treated to allot of behind the scene's action at GM's assembly plant and upcoming GM vehicles. A big thanks to Tony Lauer for yet again coordinating a eventful 3 days. Allot of money was raised for charity and I'm glad his goal was surpassed. Although allot of repeat owners where in attendance, there where allot of new faces that I was happy to meet. My dad also had a fun time and even ran at the track for the first time. Both cars where non-problematic as hoped and ran great even with my 250lbs of luggage sagging the rear down and 10,000+ foot altitude passing through Colorado. Joe Rice who had a twindualcam.com prototype exhaust installed was also present. He was nice enough to let me take it down the track and it pulled pretty strong but it did drone at cruise. This was caused by the exhaust not having a resonator in it. The final production exhaust will have a resonator which will all but eliminate the drone at cruise, it will however also take a couple horsepower away from the engine as well. Pictures of the gathering are up in the pictures section, click here to go there. Another reason for the delay in posting and maybe the most important one is my decision to go ahead with the plan or purchasing a all out sports car. Talking with the other owners at the gathering I got the general sense from everyone that it really wasn't just my hard driving that is killing these transmissions. Its a widespread issue that varies greatly. People who drive there car really hard, normally.....people that have many modifications and people who have very light mods like I do currently. Then I got to talking to the the at the plant where the Grand Prix's are made. The failure rate on the 65-E heavy duty version is staggering. GM does have a solution to meet the Grand Prix performance minded drivers...its just to bad its still nearly 2 years away when it debuts as a 2003 model. Without going to far into it (because of a agreement made) I feel so confident in the new model coming out that I will buy one when it comes out. Where does that leave the current 3 Grand Prix's parked in the driveway? Well, I'm due to purchase a new car in late March and until then the 2 GTP's will remain in the driveway. The 89 SE however is up for sale due to the space issue currently surrounding the Grand Prix herd....or lack there of. The 2000 will be sold beginning of March and will probably have the modifications currently on it sold off to help recover the costs unless the new owner is willing to take the modifications into account when purchasing the car and pay a higher price. Its to bad the intercooler situation has fallen through...and to this day 3 months after it being promised for public release nothing has happened. Last Wednesday the transmission started acting up and slipping under acceleration in the 2000 GTP. Its at the dealer now and am still waiting to hear exactly whats wrong. Its only got 20,000 miles on it and it hasn't been abused so this is quite a shock. It only reassures my choice of selling the car next year and moving on to a stronger engine\transmission combo in a new car. Twindualcam.com recently got 200.5HP at the wheels on a 1992 GTP 5 speed. This was only done with a exhaust\intake\underdrive pulley. The next step is to get 200 at the wheels with a auto which shouldn't be to hard. The underdrive pulley actually picked up 9HP, more then previously thought. Even on a automatic car its still estimated to be near 8HP.
9\25\00: Charged air systems finally came out and told everyone it would be the end of October before any intercooler is released....a big mistake in my opinion. Tomorrow I'm leaving for the the annual Grand Prix Gathering.....my dad has already left with the other GTP leaving me to take the 2000 there. It promises to be allot of fun with over 160 people and 120+ cars. Last week I saw TDC's new exhaust for 3.4 DOHC powered cars being dynoed and it picked up 11HP at the wheels. Not happy with the old baseline number I had them put the stock exhaust to confirm the gain on the otherwise stock car. To my surprise the backup baseline dyno number proved the gain. 11HP gain on any engine from a exhaust is pretty impressive...let alone a V6. There's going to be a prototype TDC exhaust at the gathering being tested on the 500 mile trip from the owners home back east....I'll get his impressions and relay them here. As usual high resolution digital pics from the gathering to come. See ya in about a week!
8\19\00: My repeated attempts to call Charged Air Systems about getting a intercooler before the gathering have fallen on deaf ears. They are really missing the boat if they don't have them available for sale by the gathering which is approaching a month away. I replaced the corrugatred rubber connector on my SLP airbox with a metal elbow. I'm sure it did'nt at much power (if at all) but I saw it as a restriction and it was a easy fix. Before shot is here and after shot is here. Not much else has been going on with the car and unless a intercooler comes before the gathering its likely to stay that was for some time. With money being temporarly diverted from the car I did go out and purchase a new higher res digital camera for the Grand Prix Gathering next month, a toolbox and this. And to prevent people from e-mailing me in a "You gave up on cars?!?!" attitude....I've had a bike all along...this is just a new one. A couple weeks back my friend Steve bought a twindualcam.com lowering kit and he came over to install it. Both of us having the same cars appearence wise we got some pretty good before and after shots of what the car looks lowered. Its a pain in the ass to install so if your not comfortable using tools, better have a suspension place do the work. The ride of the car itself after being lowered is practically unchanged, just a tad firmer over the bumps then before. As for handling I know what the kit is capable having one on the 89SE for a few weeks time while it was being developed and he is very happy with it. The jury is still out but he claims one of his headlights cracked and\or went out during a sharp cornering manuver..could it be THAT good??!?!, haha. Here is a picture of the all important before shot with both cars mirror to mirror. And a after mirror to mirror picture showing the 1.5 inch drop. The componants of the kit itself are pretty simple but the mounts the rear coilovers use are custom cut. The springrates are progressive and firm up under hard cornering but leave a nice ride. I'm glad they decided to go with a firmer springrate on the rear (yellow springs in picture), the blue ones that where on the 89SE where not firm enough and under real severe cornering would roll the body of the car to much off axis. The complete lowering package picture is here. And last but not least the side profile of the car showing the reduction in fenderwell gap. For people who may ask....yes you can use this kit with 17inch wheels. In fact you can still even use 18inch wheels, 1 such person named Joe Rice has already added them to his 94 GTP. View scanned in pictures of his car here and here.
Click here for news from 7\24\00-2\10\98