Old School vs. New-ish

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My friend Jeff just got his 2002 Trans-Am back – after much engine work –  and is somewhat disappointed. The car sounds tough. Slightly choppy idle and booming voice under way, courtesy of a not-stock exhaust that still has cats but no mufflers. Chambered pipes being good for the soul.455 1

But the car doesn’t feel as strong on the low end – coming off the line – as it did before all this work. The hot cam, the headers and head work and reprogrammed ECU. My Trans-Am – an old school TA from the ‘70s – feels stronger, even though I have no doubt Jeff’s TA makes more power.

I suspect two things account for this.

One, my TA has a bigger engine (7.4 liters vs. 5.7 in Jeff’s TA) and while his muscled-up Chevy LS V8 no doubt makes a lot of horsepower, I doubt it makes as much torque. The factory rating (Jeff’s TA) was 345 ft.-lbs. at 4,000 RPM.

And mine?

Even though 1976 was a low ebb for both horsepower and torque, the Pontiac 455 still made 330 ft.-lbs. at  a diesel-like 2,000 RPM. That’s 2,000 RPM sooner – a huge assist as far as getting a 3,700 pound machine rolling.

Also, the 455 in my TA is no longer stock. It now produces much more torque than the original 330 ft.-lbs.2002 TA engine

I have not dyno’d it, but for frame of reference, a 74 Trans-Am 455 (the regular 455, not the high-performance SD-455) produced 380 ft.-lbs. and it’s well-known that even a mildly hotted-up 455 can make 500-plus ft.-lbs. of torque. My 455 has a cam that’s hotter than the ’74 L75 (250 hp) 455 and so probably makes somewhere  in the vicinity of 450 ft.-lbs. of torque. These big engines were all about torque. It’s what made them such great street performance engines. Their displacement (and long stroke) were – and still are – a big plus in a street-driven performance car. They also work exceptionally well with automatics (the transmission’s  torque converter multiplying the already prodigious torque) and it is usually not necessary to rev them much to get neck-snapping, tire-chirping acceleration.

If you go back and check the 1/4 times of ’60 and ’70s-era stock muscle cars, you’ll discover that most of the very quickest ones were the big-engined ones.

Because big torque. Down low – and right now.

Jeff’s 5.7 LS engine is a high-RPM engine.  rear gears

The cam he chose comes on strong at 4,000-plus RPM. Which makes it a great track-day cam. It still makes more than decent power at low-mid RPM, plenty to be street-drivable. But to really get something out of it, you’ve got to spin it. There’s plenty of horsepower up there, but you have to be willing to work for it. The low-mid-range is … disappointing.

Which brings me to the Other Thing.

Rear gears.

Jeff’s TA originally came with a 3.42 final drive. My TA currently has a 3.90 final drive.

You know about leverage, right? In simple-speak, a 3.90 rearset gives you more of it. The car launches harder.

Jeff’s 3.42 rearset launches the car less hard.

Muscle cars – the old school ones – used to come with ratios like my car’s 3.90 (or even 4.11) but the downside was – in the days before overdrive transmissions – your cruise RPM would be unacceptably high and your top speed dramatically less. This was the sacrifice you made to burn rubber coming off the line. You also burned through gas as though there was a quarter-sized hole in the tank.TA burnout

But with an overdrive transmission, you can have your cake and eat it, too. Neck-snapping off-the-line acceleration and moderate cruise RPM… even not-terrible gas mileage.

Which is why I put an overdrive transmission in my car. Even with the 3.90 rearset, with an overdrive transmission (2004R automatic with .67 overdrive in fourth) cruise RPM at 70-75 MPH is about 2,000 – well within acceptable range. And if I drive the car somewhat reasonably, it’ll only burn through gas as though there’s a dime-sized hole in the tank.

I think Jeff’s car would benefit a lot from a more aggressive set of rear gears, maybe a 3.73 or even a 3.90 like I have in mine. Particularly because he has a manual (six-speed) with an even steeper overdrive (sixth) than my four-speed automatic, which would keep his highway cruise RPMs at an even more reasonable level. The only reason his car didn’t come with a more aggressive (3.73 or 3.90) gearset when it was new was because Pontiac (GM) had to deal with the government’s Corporate Average Fuel Economy (CAFE) mandatory minimums and even though a 3.73 vs. a 3.42 axle would not have made much difference to the buyer (maybe 2 MPG) that slight difference was a big difference insofar as the government’s assessment of  “fleet average” MPGs. Pontiac (GM) would get tagged with gas guzzler fines if the average dipped too low – which made a 3.73 or 3.90 rearset harder to justify as a factory option.

But that’s easily corrected.

A more aggressive rearset would get Jeff’s rear wheels spinning faster and sooner – which would make his TA accelerate more aggressively.

Like my car!

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  1. Old School religions, like that of the ziojew were take it or leave it. Jews are allowed to mock and ridicule their books all they like. Its deeds that are judged.

    New School religions like Chrisitianity and Islam, are not take it or leave it in the least. You are not even allowed to question things, much less mock or ridicule them. Jews books were written by men. The same books in new school religions are written by all powerful ghosts.

    Is the evil ziojew behind this? That is for you to decide. Are you a creator of your reality? Or only a passive victim of whatever powers that be?

    Why is the fantasy of the bible and koran so attractive. Why are the teevee and computer screen fantasies places where we spend the majority of our waking free time?

    I was watching Bleak House, a story of a girl cursed, an outcast, an orphan, and abused and neglected and all this kind of stuff.

    And she is this soul of wise maturity, and is circumspect and grave and good-natured and sturdy and has all of the approved, slightly sycophantic but positively conceived virtues that are useful to the ruling classes of our national clichéd virtues.

    And this struck me as fundamentally unbelievable. And I had the same experience, I remember thinking though that there was something fundamentally malicious about the Harry Potter series just something nasty and malicious and underhanded and mean, if not downright malignant, about the Harry Potter series.

    And I realized that the reason that I experienced those books as malignant was because Harry Potter is clearly an abused child. Right? He’s forced to live in a cupboard under the stairs, he is neglected, he’s abused, scorn is heaped upon him, his fat pseudo-sibling is constantly berating and hurting him, and he is emotionally and verbally – and to some degree physically, if you count his living quarters – abused throughout his entire childhood.

    And then when he is what, 12 or so, this owl comes by and summons him to Hogwarts, where he is mature and wise and courageous and trustworthy and special. Now of course, it is the mark of the psyche that those who are humiliated seek comically exaggerated powers and fantasy.

    The whole comic book industry and WWF and the military and the police, and all of the exaggerated and clichéd extensions of hypermasculinity or hyperfemininity result from the crushing humiliation of abuse which blows out the other side in exaggeration.

    If you take a ball bearing on a string up to a height, like the Newton things, like a pendulum. You take a pendulum all the way up to horizontal and you let it go, it does not come to rest in the middle. It swings to the opposite extreme. And it’s the same thing with humiliation and grandiosity. And brutality and sentimentality. But particularly with grandiosity and humiliation, those two very much go hand in hand.

    So the fact that this abused kid has as his fantasy life being special and picked by the hat and have all these amazing powers and the Chosen One and revenge fantasies, right, and somebody killed my parents, I must take revenge, Voldemort of course is his uncle…

    You see this with Luke Skywalker. And again, we don’t know much about Luke Skywalker’s early childhood, but we do know that he has a heavy, overbearing, cynical, dour, dream-crushing kind of uncle – who can never be the parent, right?

    Everything that happens after the beginning of these films is a fantasy reaction to the humiliation at the beginning of the films. Everything that happens in the last 9/10 of these epic films is a psychological fantasy based upon the crushing humiliation of the first 10%. That is a guarantee.

    Whenever you see a young person being humiliated at the beginning of the show, you know that everything that follows is the fantasy reaction to that in terms of grandiosity and I am the chosen one and my father was a hero, although I’ve been told he wasn’t, and I have chosen an special and great.

    That’s all just a reaction to being constantly humiliated. And it’s tragic reaction and something that I think remains underappreciated in art. as most of the psychological ramifications of art remain underappreciated.

    It’s this massive seesaw: You put 10% humiliation at the beginning, you get 90% grandiose self aggrandizing megalomaniacal fantasy at the other 90%, and the rest of it goes from there.

    You see this all the time, like in Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, where Charlie is an abused child who then goes on this grandiose Oompa-Loompa-fueled fantasy of fame, power, money, and candy!

    So this is privation, right? It’s like when Solzheitsyn describes how those who are starving in the gulag archipelago are constantly constantly talking about food and fantasizing about food and thinking about food and how to cook it in their minds, because they’re starving.

    It’s all a massive reaction to humiliation. Almost all of children’s literature is a massive reaction to humiliation.

    C.S. Lewis. The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe, the Narnia series. Abandoned, humiliated, but I step through a cupboard into a magical world where I am special and amazing and wonderful. It’s just this fantasy reaction.

    The scar tissue of humiliation, neglect, and abuse is all of these ghastly repetitive fantasies. I mean, even in Lord of the Rings to some degree, the hobbits are clearly children, and they are on the periphery and considered unimportant and small and unworthy, they have these fantasies.

    The hobbit is the neglected child’s fantasy that he is the salvation of the future, and of course that is very true from a psychological perspective, but it always gets transmuted or transubstantiated into these abstract fantasies of power and worth and proving your worth to those around you through valiant acts of tiny courage. It’s inevitable. Anyway.

    To move on from that, we have this consistent drumbeat. Hamlet of course is just another example of this: a scorned, abused, and humiliated young man who had these grandiose fantasies and ends up impotent and dead.

    He takes this to its conclusion. He takes the myth of grandiosity to its conclusion, which is where you try to step off into the airy clouds of grandiose atmospheres, and you step off the cliffs of reality and plunge to your death. It’s a very very dangerous thing. It’s a very dangerous thing to be grandiose.

    It is one of the quickest routes to spiritual death, second only to violation of the innocent. Second only to evil is grandiosity, and the two are greatly coupled of course to spiritual death.

    And this thing that happened in art all the time, can be termed the manufacture of the survivor. Art can be about highlighting what is real, and I think it should be. Highlighting the essence of life, what is real, the meaning in the mundane.

    But art is also of course so often used for propaganda. We all know that art is used for propaganda. And there is almost no greater propagandistic art than family mythologies. Y’know, The clumsy one, the angry one, the bitter one, the resentful one, the virtue of the parents in all cases, all that kind of stuff is just a form of art.

    And I think one of the most destructive and nasty and underhanded types of propaganda is the myth of the survivor.

    So let’s say you are Harry Potter, but not Harry Potter. Someone who has Harry Potter’s life, but is not Harry Potter. And you have been locked in a cupboard and ignored and starved and verbally abused and all that.

    And then you read Harry Potter and you see, well, gosh, Harry Potter receives a calling, you see, from an owl and he goes to Hogwarts and he does all these wonderful, amazing, courageous things and he becomes the hero of the school, and he’s the savior of the world, and he’s great and he’s grand and he’s courageous and he’s sexy when he gets older, he’s all these kinds of things, right?

    He gets the girl. He has no problems assuming the mantle of leadership in a challenging and chaotic and dangerous world. He strides forward, seizes Excalibur, or at least the broomstick in the Quidditch game.

    He does all of these amazing wonderful things. And what does that do? Well, it holds up a standard, you see. It holds up a standard that you can be abused and locked in cupboards and starved and ignored and humiliated and all of that and then you can pop out of it – at the age of 12, no less – and you can assume your rightful place as the leader of the world and the center of the universe and a master of sports and a master of social interactions, who is well-liked by the virtuous and disliked by the evil and never cowed and never beaten, who stands tall and firm and shouts into the hurricanes of evil storming at him and draws forth his wand and conquers and triumphs.

    It’s insane. It is to say that a child can escape the physiological effects of child abuse, significant long-term verbal child abuse, which in many ways is the most toxic. It is to say that a child can survive, a child’s brain will not be affected fundamentally by this.

    And at the age of 12 he can achieve the most stellar kind of emotional and mental acuity and maturity, to the point where he can take on tasks that adult tremble before, like defeating this Voldemort character and so on. You see just how completely mental and insane that is?

    Let’s look at it from this standpoint. We all understand that a child that is fed 500 calories or 700 calories a day is going to be incredibly skinny and malnourished and sick and so on, right?

    So imagine if you saw some film, we’re just looking at how crazy the idea is that is portrayed in all of these movies, Harry Potter and Bleak House and Hamlet and Luke Skywalker’s Star Wars and so on.

    Let’s say you have a film about children of the Holocaust and the children have spent years in a concentration camp where they have been worked very hard and they have received very little nutrition.

    And you see these children come out at the end of the film, liberated by the Americans or Russians or whatever. And they come out of the end of the film and you see these stumbling sticks, bony, emaciated, sunken-cheeked, extended-ribbed, stomachs pressed up against their spines. you see these children come stumbling out of this concentration camp, but the last kid who comes out is the picture of radiant, muscular, rosy-cheeked white-toothed health.

    Well, you would say to yourself, wait a got dam minute? That is completely unrealistic. This kid had the same diet as all the other kids, which is a couple of hundred calories a day, he was worked to death, he was beaten, he was humiliated, he was attacked, he was confined, so how on earth does he come out not just not unhealthy but radiantly healthy?

    The most healthy child that one could imagine? How does that happen? And you would understand that if you were a filmmaker and portrayed this, it would be completely incomprehensible.

    And it would be completely incomprehensible. How on earth could this child have not just survived, but flourished in this environment? How could the brutalization of children in the concentration camp produced even one radiantly healthy child who was warm and affectionate and courageous and good?

    You would understand that this would simply be a piling on of additional abuse to the children who were emaciated. Because you would be saying to them, you don’t have to be that way, because look, this kid’s really healthy.

    So if you got emaciated in a concentration camp, if you came out sickly and brittle-boned and with rickets and dysentery and coughing up your last lung, well, that was stupid, wasn’t it?

    Because there are ways that you can be radiantly healthy under such concentration camp conditions. You can come out radiantly healthy. So if you didn’t come out radiantly healthy, it’s because you did something really bad and stupid and wrong and fundamentally it’s your goddamn fault.

    And we all understand this with the concentration camp movie. To have one child come trotting out amazingly healthy and happy and positive and singsong-y would be complete propaganda for concentration camps, and it would be a complete kick to the nads, spit in the face to the emaciated children, who would then self-attack when they saw this other kid, and say, why am I so thin and rickety and starving?

    Why are my teeth falling out and why are my fingernails falling out? Why am I barely able to keep my skin and bone together? Obviously I am doing something wrong because some kids in this environment flourish!

    They become radiantly healthy. They defeat the Death Star, they defeat Voldemort, they do things which even adults cannot do. They are the hobbits who can climb up Mount Doom and they can do all these amazing things, but I am not that way.

    So some kid is locked in a cupboard and verbally abused, he reads Harry Potter, and says holy crap, you can become like that? Even with this kind of upbringing? Well, how come I’m not like that? I must be doing something wrong. I must be weak. I must be deficient. I must be taking things the wrong way. I must be looking at things badly.

    The physiological effects of child abuse are as foundational and as inescapable as the effects of starvation on the body.

    You don’t get to will yourself to be healthy when you are getting only a couple hundred calories a day, or a thousand. You can’t will yourself to be healthy, you can’t think fat, right?

    And children cannot will themselves to be healthy and mature and socially competent and good at sports and courageous and excellent leaders and all the things which we hope our children can become with great parenting. You can’t will that. You can’t just have that happen to you because some meth fantasized fucking owl flies into your room and shits a note on your desk.

    To even have this as a shared fantasy is to fundamentally shift the blame to the victim. Imagine if you had a movie about two sisters, or a book, and they were both brutally gang raped. And one of them became Hilary and one became Oprah. That’s is the kind of lunatic logos and ethos we routinely swallow here in ameriKuh.

    It has to stop.

  2. Putting together a rear differential *correctly* is not for amateurs. I can’t link it from work (corporate filter), but search on YouTube for Eric The Car Guy (no relation). He’s putting together a Ford Fairmont and just re-did the 8″ rear end on it. It took him a couple of days to get the gears to mesh correctly and have correct backlash.

  3. Eric,

    It sounds like your buddy might have gone a bit too big on the cam for his application which is a common problem with many LS builds. The great thing about LS motors is you can have your cake and eat it too. Low RPM power plus good high RPM pull.
    Without knowing all of the engine and cam specs it’s impossible to tell but if it was a Comp/Lunati/Crane I can look up the specs by model # and give you a definitive answer.

    Was the rotating assembly kept stock or is it aftermarket?
    Factory compression ratio or raised CR?
    Are the heads stock or modified?
    What intake manifold is he using?
    Is he running any type of power adder?
    Automatic or manual trans?
    Was the ECU tuned after the mods?

    With the right combo that LS1 would surprise you even with those grandma 3.41 gears.

    • Hi Pedro,

      I think you’re right – he went too big on the cam. This is his first build and I am betting that (like a lot of guys doing their first build) he made the mistake of choosing a cam a bit to much for everyday street driving. I know he he redid the bottom end with mostly stock-type parts, including stock replacement CR pistons. Stock heads. He does have an aftermarket intake and throttle body.I am not sure what he had done (if anything) to the ECU. It’s a manual six speed car.

      I’ll get more info out of him!

    • assuming a 10:1 scr (stock ls-1 spec), 220-230 deg of duration @ .050 is about as much cam as you would want… I’ve run 244 @ .050 on 10:1 scr with 4.10s a short tire and a 3k stall and it was ok but still a bit soft on the low end.
      for unknown combos I will run a compression test, less than 180 psi would seem to me to need some combination of less cam/more compression/deeper gears/more stall.
      friend of mine had a (not stock) 318 in a (over 4k lbs) ’78 Dodge Ram that only cranked at 75 psi.
      would’ve been a turd except it also had a 5k rpm stall and 4.88 gears. it was an odd build set up for stock automatic truck class (NHRA). he held the class record for a time at 13.13 in the 1/4

      • Hi DirtyBob,


        I was surprised how weak (in comparison) my friend’s car felt vs. mine.

        My TA (even with a ridiculous 8.2:1 CR) and a pretty mild (270 degree) cam pulls much harder coming off the line. I suspect Jeff’s car would catch me after about half-way down the track, but my car feels quicker on the street.

        Part-throttle especially. That 455 makes a tsunami-like swell of torque that no modern (small) V8 can match without a huffer!

    • Pedro, I agree. Some people will go up on their rocker arm ratios and it sounds good on the face of it but will often kill the low end. He may have done something I learned not to do, use an off the shelf cam. I finally bit the financial bullet and found the bullet was easy to swallow, not much difference in cost in having a custom ground cam. I used Lunati and my cam didn’t have much lope at all and ran the a/c and power fine. It wasn’t a tire-shredder at low rpm but once you got to 3500 rpm the madman woke up and it pulled hard to over 7,000. The 1-2 shift would leave rubber and jump the car sideways pretty hard and you didn’t want to do that on anything but clean pavement.

      • Eight,

        Total overall lift really isn’t the factor that kills power when LS cam swaps are concerned. In my experience most off the shelf LS cams don’t offer enough lobe separation angle between the intake and exhaust lobes. This kills low RPM power due to excessive overlap which causes exhaust reversion. The intake duration and exhaust duration are usually the same which is not ideal for a wide powerband when naturally aspirated.

        A good old school street/strip SBC cam is 210-220 intake/exhaust duration @ 108-110 degree LSA with around .500/in. lift with a 1.5 ratio rocker.

        My choice for a mildly worked over LS1 is 220 intake/ 230 exhaust @.050 with a 114 degree LSA and .350 lobe lift. The factory rocker arms are 1.7 ratio so no need to upgrade them. That will give you .595 gross valve lift and a VERY wide 1500-7k RPM powerband.

        • usually the split duration cams are there to crutch poor exhaust flow.

          if the head has a good i/e ratio and adequate exhaust then the longer exhaust duration is not needed and will leave some power on the table.

          tightening the lsa moves torque down the rpm range but makes for a peakier hp/torque curve and preserves some cylinder pressure. in general this should help the low end a bit….

    • another thing that could make it lazy on the low end is not enough timing,
      wouldn’t surprise me if the initial advance is low and comes in too slowly (esp. if the ecu hasn’t been tuned).
      sometimes guys will deliberately set the initial timing and idle speed too low in order to accentuate the lope….

  4. I was shocked to learn that the rear gear in my ’12 Challenger R/T is a 3.06. I started shopping around for a better gearset….somewhere in the 3.4X or 3.7x range only to find out that it would be almost useless if I didn’t replace the weaksauce Mercedes axles first. My engine makes roughly 410 HP and well over 400 ft/lbs but feels weak down low. Once the VVT works its magic I can feel the huge surge in power up towards 4k RPM. If I could afford it I’d daily a 70s Mopar in a heartbeat but it would almost be cheaper to buy a Hellcat than the old Mopar iron.

    • Shemp, Unless you are running slicks why would the rear gears hurt your axle? Under really high torque the tires will be the weak link. My uncle just got a 2010 RT, some special edition. It doesn’t seem as fast as it should be. I’m guessing its the auto and rear gears.

      • Todd,
        It’s not that the gear hurts the axles directly. The mutliplication of torque as a result of the gear change puts even more stress on axles that, while not common, have been known to brake in nearly stock cars with repeated launches. Until I can afford to put some $1500 axles that are known as the 1400HP axles I’d rather not chance it as my car is making a decent bit mroe power than stock already.

        • Hi Shemp,


          A weakness my Pontiac (and many other same-era GM cars with the “10 bolt” rear) has is that the axle shafts are held in place by C clips. If these should fail, the axle – and with it, the entire hub (including the wheel) can sail right off the car, laterally. Normally, these rears hold up ok, but once you’re making serious power and hooking it up, it becomes a potential safety issue and must be addressed.

          • What those axles will handle with a street tire, as large as you can put on the car and what will happen by enlarging the wheel well and putting on some big slicks is destruction and not just losing a C clip. BTDT.

          • I’ve heard that about the older GM stuff…it’s pretty crazy. The axles in the Challengers/LX cars typically shear at the inner CV joint close to the differential. Usually not major destruction….though the newly freed half shaft will by whipping around while the car is in motion and will tear the rear suspension up nicely.

    • not familiar with the late model challengers but the ‘weak’ low end might be from (or aggrivated by?) some sort of torque management in the ecm….
      depending on the first gear ratio in the trans, 3.08 may be plenty.
      Rule of thumb, 1st gear times rear gear of around 12:1 should give a nice launch

      • I’ll have to check on the first gear ratio and see. Dodge put some weird trans calibrations in the Challengers. The are heavy on torque management and fast (as in shifting to the highest gear ASAP) which causes some weird problems in a sporty/muscle car. I have a Hemifever 93 tune and it helped a great deal with the TQ management but it’s hard to get completely around it. Pre-tune the car would barely brake the tires loose. Post-tune it not only breaks them loose from a stop with ease but at WOT chirps shifting from 1-2 and 2-3. I don’t know if it does it from 3-4 as by that time I’m going way too fast for the street. The engine powerband is just higher than the old school stuff as Eric alluded to.

  5. Eric, you may or may not recall a few months ago I talked to you about my plans to purchase a 77 or 78 Pontiac Trans-Am. Well, I finallly made a purchase, but I fell back on my love of Mopars thanks to my early days of watching the General Lee jump over barns and outrun Roscoe. Plus my first car was an inherited 75 Dodge Dart. So, after shopping for several months, I finally went with a 71 Dodge Charger with a 440. Couldn’t be happier. The 71-74 body style of the Charger is not as highly valued as the earlier 68-70 cars, so I was able to get a car that was in really great shape for about a third of the price of an earlier model in comparable condition. Stock 440 is rated at 375 HP and 450 ft lbs. What an awesome car. They don’t make them like this anymore. I’d use it as my daily driver if I could.

    • Hi Brian,


      I personally prefer the “fuselage” styling of the later Chargers; their rarity is another appeal. I almost never see them any more.

      So, congratulations. And, I’m jealous!

      • Hi Eric, i didn’t know your TA had an auto. I’ve always thought it had a manual, as you are really fond of manuals.

        • Hi To5,

          It’s not stock. I put the 2004R in because it’s an easy/fairly inexpensive way to get an overdrive transmission in a Pontiac-powered ’70s-era TA. These transmissions bolt up to the Buick-Olds-Pontic (BOP) bellhousing without an adapter and there is no got-damned computer or got-damned wiring except one 12V pigtail for the lock-up converter. These transmissions – when properly built to handle the power of a big V8 – are really top drawer, with a deep overdriven fourth gear that is just the ticket for a muscle car with a performance minded rear axle ratio.

  6. A more aggressive rearset would get Jeff’s rear wheels spinning faster and sooner – which would make his TA accelerate more aggressively.

    Like my car!

    Poor guy just dropped a bunch on his car and now he’ll lay awake nights until he’s faster than you. Friends like you are expensive! ????

    • He still may be faster once he gets up a head of steam….have to race him to find out. I have to agree that he should have went with some lower gears, without knowing the build specs I would guess 4.10 would make a noticeable improvement. 3.42 to 3.73 seems a bit conservative.
      Going with a larger cam moves the power up the rpm range and enough cam to lope at idle will be soft on the bottom end and like some deeper gears (and a higher stall converter if an automatic).
      The other problem he may run in to is that the stock rear (7.625 ring and pinion/28 spline axles) is rather weak, especially behind a stick. I’ve personally broken three of those (1st time was on street tires….) without 60′ times quicker than 1.88. The differential tends to be the weak link more than the axles.
      The torque arm setup on those camaros hooks rather well, even with an inferior tire. The front torque arm mount is another problem area (breakage) once you start making more power.


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