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At Kenny Kent Toyota in Evansville, Austin Frazier, a 23-year-old with spina bifida, may be the dealership’s most inspirational employee yet.
Source: Automotive News – swapmeetclassified
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Greg Brown blankets a 416ci LS with Hemi heads to make 636 HP on pump gas.
That’s the outrage we’d expect from the Mopar faithful or perhaps even the Ford hemi guys. After all, their righteous indignation is aimed directly at a set of hemi heads sitting astride an LS short-block.
Allow that to stew in its own juices for a moment or two. Then ignore the automotive theologians and focus instead on the fact that hot rodding has always ridden on the knife’s edge of automotive heresy. It wasn’t all that long ago that hot rodders were reviled hooligans.
Still, the two terms “hemi” and “LS” would seem to be mutually exclusive, except to Greg Brown. To him, the two were destined to partner up to create the unlikeliest of performance engines. Brown’s initial foray into the world of hemi heads began when he saw the need—long before perhaps there was a need—for a set of hemi heads on a small-block Ford. Emerging from a rather large pile of aluminum shavings, he presented the world a set of Hammerhead hemi castings banging valves up and down on a 351W and later a 427 Ford. That alone was cause for celebration, but Brown was already looking ahead.
Being the creative guy that he is, it occurred to him one day that there was but a mere 0.020-inch difference in the bore spacing between a small-block Ford (4.380-inch) and GM’s LS engine (4.40-inch). This simple observation led him to drill a 10-bolt LS head pattern into a pair of castings and with a few other changes he had what he needed to bolt a set of Hammerheads on an LS engine. Aligning his ducks beak-to-tail wasn’t nearly as easy as that oversimplified description, but a good idea whose time has come is a force that cannot be ignored.
Brown has spent the past 18 months dealing with all the pesky minutiae required to make the valves go up and down without issues. He introduced his premiere hemi LS at the 2017 PRI show and HOT ROD was immediately intrigued. We put the pressure on him by recording the event as the LS hemi churned up the dyno for its maiden effort. But before we get to the sexy power numbers, let’s do the equivalent of automotive cave diving into those massive aluminum ports that started all this craziness.
Brown’s initial effort was aimed at building a set of hemi heads that would bolt directly to a small-block Ford. While the valve arrangement and the massive valve covers certainly exude hemi, looking at the chamber might lead you to think this is nothing more than a wedge chamber with big valves. According to Brown, that’s exactly what it is. “It’s really just a rotated wedge chamber.” But a near-centralized spark plug and wide canted valves pointed in make it look like a hemi. ‘Nuff said.
The main advantage of this valve arrangement is that the valves open toward the center of the cylinder bore as opposed to wedge heads with inline valves that open toward the cylinder wall. The difference is all about flow. With a 2.20-inch intake valve, this head with Brown’s street-friendly 45-degree valve job will push the needle to 379 cfm on the intake side and 263 cfm on the exhaust side, both at 0.700 lift. And those are not the peak numbers; the intake can over-achieve beyond 400 cfm at 0.800-inch lift.
Brown says that he has several customers focused on turbo-boosting these castings. With porting and a larger valve, Brown has already achieved 470 cfm on the intake side. The combination of massive airflow with boost should be impressive.
Of course, these expansive heads also require their own specific valvetrain. For this, Brown sought out Jesel’s assistance and all Hammerheads come with Jesel Professional series shaft rockers. For this LS engine, Brown fitted the heads with Comp beehive springs for the hydraulic roller cam.
The Hammerhead intake port layout was originally designed to allow Ford Windsor intakes to bolt right on. We’ll get to how Brown solved that for the LS a little later. The exhaust ports were a bit more of a challenge with Brown settling on the Ford/Yates C3 layout. This allows an engine builder to at least buy the exhaust flanges to facilitate custom headers.
To begin this hemi LS odyssey, Brown’s initial customer, Ricky Tucker, wanted this unique combination stuffed into a Pro Touring ’69 Camaro. Brown started with a production LS3 block at a 4.165-inch bore and honed the cylinders another 0.005-inch and pumped the displacement with a 4.00-inch Lunati steel forged crank along with 6.125-inch Lunati H-beam rods.
An effort like this does require some help from solid sources like the guys at Diamond who had already helped Brown with hemi pistons for his initial Ford effort. The pistons are really just a set of LS strokers with a crown configured to accommodate the hemi valve layout and larger 2.200-inch intake valves. Brown told us that bore spacing is measured from the center outwards. So the outboard valves would be skewed slightly inboard compared to a stock valve position on an LS engine.
For piston-to-valve clearance, Brown came up with a simple solution. While a standard valve relief pattern would supply a 0.050-inch radial clearance (given the 2.200-inch valve size) between the valve edge and the piston, that would become tighter with the outboard cylinders due to the hemi heads’ shorter bore spacing. So Brown had Diamond machine the valve pockets for a 2.250-inch valve diameter, creating the additional radial clearance.
Brown says that while these Diamond pistons were custom machined and therefore expensive, he’s working with a couple of piston companies to come up with production parts that would be more affordably priced. For sealing, Brown went with a set of 1.5/1.5/3.0mm Total Seal ductile-iron top and Napier second ring set with a standard tension oil ring set.
The next big hurdle was a bit more challenging. Brown’s Hammerhead castings reverse the normal LS valve layout, meaning that while an LS engine orients the valves starting with the intake while the hemi heads lead with an exhaust valve. This demands a re-oriented camshaft that reverses the intake and exhaust lobes. At the time, Brown had Comp Cams employ a billet LS cam core to create his camshaft. This clearly isn’t an off-the-shelf cam even though the specs are still very mild at 238/246 degrees at 0.050 with 0.595-inch lift on both the intake and exhaust ground on a 112-degre lobe separation angle (LSA).
Interestingly, Brown later discovered almost by accident that the new Gen V LT1 and LT4 engines switched the valve orientation and now place the exhaust valve at the front of the chamber instead of the intake. He immediately recognized that he could use a Gen V cam blank for future LS hemi builds, saving considerable expense over a billet core. The Gen V engines use a single-bolt cam drive, but other than that, it is an easy retro-fit to any LS engine. Sometimes the world just delivers an unexpected present right to your shop door. Greg Brown must live right.
But the challenges of building an LS hemi were far from resolved. The stock LS engine deck height is 9.240 inches while the Hammerheads were originally designed for either a short-deck Windsor at 8.206 or the taller 351W deck of 9.48. Since Brown had designed his original Hammerheads to accommodate either of the Ford intake manifolds, the LS presented a significant design impediment.
His solution for this first LS hemi effort focused on a NASCAR restrictor-plate version of the SB2 intake. “That wasn’t my first choice, but the customer required that the engine fit under the flat, stock hood of a ’69 Camaro. That made it tough.” The restrictor plate version SB2 was a solid two inches shorter and provided the real estate to fit it with a Holley 1,000 cfm throttle body. But that doesn’t mean this intake bolted right up.
When asked how much time he had invested in this intake, Brown just sighed and admitted he easily had over 40 hours in this casting just to make it fit. To start, he sawed it right down the middle, adding a pair of 5/8-inch thick plates. Plus, the customer wanted the engine to look carbureted, so the short, Deatschwerks 50-lb/hr injectors were placed on the inboard side of the intake runners. With the final welding of the now two-piece intake complete, it’s difficult to fully appreciate the effort that went into its creation.
Brown says he’s initiated a plan with Tyler Hogan at Hogan’s Racing Manifolds to build a sheetmetal base for the LS hemi engines that would accommodate the multiple top half Holley castings that would allow both a single or dual four-barrel mount or a front-mounted EFI-style throttle body which will also make this a much more affordable induction. Brown said that if he had been able to use the taller manifold, the engine would have gained significant torque, but packaging constraints dictated the shorter version. All that means is there is plenty of power still available, given fewer tuning restraints.
With the engine assembled, Brown delivered the engine to Pro Motor Engines in Mooresville, North Carolina where Dennis Borem and company bolted the hemi on the dyno while Holley’s Robin Lawrence lent his considerable tuning skills to the Holley HP EFI system. In a short period of time the wide-body LS churned out a peak torque of 545 lb-ft at 5,500 rpm and 636 hp at a very manageable 6,500. This is a 10.5:1 compression pump-gas engine that would run all day at these elevated numbers. Despite the large, single-plane intake and big-tube headers, this 416 was still capable of over 400 lb-ft even at 2,800 rpm.
Even with all this innovation, Hammerhead prices a pair of these castings for a hydraulic roller cam at only $5,995. There’s far more to a complete engine of course, but not as pricey as first appears. So there you have it, LS irreverence on a grand scale that will soon find its way under the hood of a Detroit Speed-built ’69 Camaro. We can only imagine the questions that will crowd around the engine compartment every time Tucker pops the hood.
Cylinder Head Flow*
*Numbers are for a standard set of Hammerhead hemi heads. The heads were flowed using a test depression of 28 inches of water with the heads mounted on a 4.125-inch bore fixture.
|Intake:||238˚ at .050-inch lift|
|Exhaust:||246˚ at .050-inch lift|
|Valve lift:||0.595 inches|
On The Dyno
|Peak/rpm:||545 @ 5,500||636 @ 6,500|
Source: Hot Rod
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The 1969 Hurst SC/ Rambler was a scrappy car. It was an unexpected jaw-punch, dealt by Detroit’s number four automaker. While the 1,512 units that AMC put on pavement weren’t going to turn the tide of the muscle car war, they certainly left some Ford, Chevy, and Dodge owners with bruised and battered egos. For the today-unimaginable price of roughly $3,000, buyers were rewarded with a stripper model capable of low 14s [in 1969] and the perfect look-at-me paint scheme to bait in unsuspecting stop-light prey. Really, it’s a shame there weren’t more of them.
Scramblers, a moniker they’ve absorbed over the decades, aren’t your usual swap meet fare, but Ken Maisano and business partner, Scott Tedro, the duo behind MASCAR Classics, have a penchant for finding and building rare rides. In fact, this isn’t the first creation out of the Costa Mesa shop to attract Car Craft’s attention, nor is it the first time this car has graced these pages. Maisano’s garage, featured in a previous This Guy’s Garage segment, actually had the Rambler in it, although long before they started turning wrenches on the car.
“Scott bought the car on eBay for like $5,000,” said Maisano. “It was all rusty, so we said ‘if we’re gonna do something with this, let’s really do something. Every year we build three or four cars for the MCACN show. We pick a theme for each and just go. It’s a shop-owned, collaboration deal.”
The theme for the Rambler wasn’t as cut and dry as previous projects. In fact, it’s a little bit of everything–but most importantly, it’s fast.
“You could call it an all-out, killer, modernized Pro Street Car,” said Maisano. “But, there isn’t much street about it.”
The team working on the Rambler, which consisted of Maisano, Tedro, and Dennis Cross, cut into the car, ditching pretty much everything but the sheet metal. “It’s a complete tube chassis built by Dennis,” said Maisano. All of the new bits, including the floor, were fabricated in-house by Cross including a full rollcage NHRA certified to 7.50s–you, know…street car stuff. “We could have got it certified into the 6.50s,” said Maisano. “But, that would have required more of funny car-style cage, and this was supposed to be a street car.”
The rollcage flows rearward into a custom 4-link, rear suspension that supports a narrowed, Mark Williams 9in axle. In keeping with the Pro Street-esque, styling, the axle is shod in Weld Racing wheels with big tires–however, not too big. “I didn’t want to go crazy on the car, so it’s got a Super Stock–style 14inx32in tire on the back.
Out front, the roll cage carries into the engine bay, supporting a strut-style suspension with coilovers. Steering has been converted to a modern, rack and pinion–style setup, and braking duty is handled at all four corners by big, Wilwood brakes. But it’s what’s in the middle of that bay that really matters.
The powerplant is a Maisano-built, all-aluminum AMC. It’s big, nasty, and the aftermarket’s best stab at AMC components. Gone is the original 390ci, iron mill. In its place is an all-aluminum unit from Indy Cylinder Heads. Maisano did the machine work in house and punched the block out to a 4.375-inch bore which he filled with Diamond pistons. The bottom end of the engine carries a Moldex 4.250-inch stroke crankshaft, and Eagle Specialties, 6.200-inch connecting rods. The moving parts combine to yield a 13.7:1 compression ratio and displacement of 511ci of AMC.
Induction duties are handled by a pair of aluminum Indy Cylinder Heads castings, an Indy single-plane intake manifold, and a 1150cfm Holley Dominator carb. An MSD Digital 7 ignition box, coil, and Pro Billet distributor provide the spark, while custom headers, fabricated by Cross, with 2.25in diameter primaries and 4in collectors funnel exhaust in a rearward-ish, as the car lacks a full exhaust.
Don’t think for one minute this is an all-show, no-go setup. Just looking at the cam specs, which measure 282/288 degrees at 0.050-inch with 0.750-inch of lift on the intake and exhaust valves, paints a very clear picture of performance. On the engine dyno at Westech Performance, the engine cranked out an honest 870hp at 7,300 rpm and 695 lb-ft at 6,900 rpm on race gas. In order to stand up to that power, and help the engine get right up to its powerband, a Mike’s Transmission’s Powerglide and sky-high 6,300 rpm–stall torque converter were employed.
Without a doubt, one of the most instantly recognizable features of a SC/Hurst Rambler is the color-burst paint scheme and hood scoop, two facets that were cleverly retained.
“These cars had an A paint scheme and a B paint scheme from the factory,” said Maisano. “Scott didn’t like either but wanted it to look old school. So, we made our own, which we call an A/B paint scheme. It has colors from both factory schemes in it.”
Scott Tedro and Adam Stankus worked off of Scott’s vision to come up with the wild A/B-scheme rendered heavily in metal flake. Ken Maisano expertly applied the multiple layers of candy, color, and flake.
In order to keep the goofy, AMC scoop, but add some modern functionality, Maisano combined two OEM-style scoops into one. “I bought two replacement, OEM-style hoods, cut them and half and put them together to make it replicate the original style, but fit the dominator carb underneath,” he said.
The aesthetic MASCAR has achieved is a spot-on blend; equal parts funk and ferocity– a look only an AMC can pull off, and an instantly recognizable homage to its Hurst SC roots. But what stamp does one apply to quantify the style? Hard to say. “If I had to call it anything, I’d say it would be a great Street Outlaws car…but needs another 2,000 hp,” says Maisano. Regardless of what you call it, “It’s a scary ride,” he laughs.
Who: MASCAR Classics (Scott Tedro and Ken Maisano)
What: 1969 AMC Rambler SC/ Hurst (Scrambler)
Where: Costa Mesa, CA
Based on an aluminum Indy Cylinder Heads block, the engine is filled with a Moldex crankshaft, Eagle Specialties connecting rods and Diamond pistons. Indy cylinder heads and intake manifold move the air while a massive cam and Jessel rockers work the valves. Fuel is supplied by an Aeromotive pump and regulator and a Holley Dominator 1150cfm carb. An advanced MSD box, coil, and distributor deliver the spark. Maisano did the machining in house and assembled the engine.
To deal with the AMC engine’s torquey temperament, a Mikes Transmission Powerglide is employed. To help the engine get up to its powerband in a hurry, a Mikes 6,200 rpm stall torque converter was chosen.
Providing the perfect Pro Street look, and the strength to match, is a Mark Williams 9in axle.
Suspension and Brakes
Suspension consists of a custom-fabricated 4-link in the rear with a strut type system up front. Coilovers are used on all four corners, as are big, Wilwood brakes.
Wheels and Tires
Weld racing wheels, big in the back, skinny in the front are wrapped in competition-grade Hoosier rubber.
On the outside, the Rambler is all steel, with a factory-esque paint scheme–albeit with some candy, flake, and clever re-scheming. The hood scoop is constructed from two OEM-style pieces joined together by Maisano.
The interior is sparse–race car–style– but features Auto Meter gauges, a sturdy, custom-fab’d roll cage, and twin bucket seats.
On the engine dyno at Westech Performance in Mira Loma, CA, the engine belted out 870 hp at 7,300 rpm and 695 lb-ft at 6,900 rpm on race gas.
The post This AMC Hurst SC/Rambler Is the Barely-Streetable Monster of Nightmares appeared first on Hot Rod Network.
Source: Hot Rod
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Two senators urged Attorney General Jeff Sessions to thoroughly investigate Daimler after a media report alleged the automaker used potentially illegal software to pass diesel emissions tests.
Source: Automotive News – swapmeetclassified
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What you’re looking at is probably the lowest-mileage, manual-transmission LS6 1970 Chevelle in the world right now. Barn find car hunter Patrick Nichols found it stored in a block building near Pittsburg, Pennsylvania, thanks to a tip from a friend. Less than twelve hours after hearing whispered murmurs of this car’s existence, Patrick hit the road, driving from his home in Tennessee to the Keystone State to check it out.
The car was better than he had imagined, shocking actually. “It’s a total time capsule,” says Patrick incredulously. Through some local research, he learned the original owner’s name was Lee Bianchi, who special-ordered the car from his local Chevrolet dealership. His intentions were to race the car, which would account for his interesting picks on the order sheet, especially the bench seat with a manual transmission. Upon delivery, Lee removed the emissions equipment, added headers, a carb and intake, and took it racing. After a few years, Lee sold it to Steve Furio, who recognized the potential value of the car. He never drove the car. Instead, Steve immediately put it into storage, keeping it in a in a clean, dry building, thankfully. The last time this car was inspected and registered was 1976, and the odometer reads a scant 1,092 miles.
Delivered from the Baltimore assembly plant with white rally stripes, original owner Lee Bianchi had the stripes painted gold because he thought the white clashed with the car’s saddle interior. The Tuxedo Black paint is original, however, as is the LS6 454, M22 four-speed, and the 12-bolt rear axle, which is equipped with 4.10:1 gears. The correct four-row radiator is still in place, as are the deep-groove pulleys for the engine accessories. Patrick describes the car as amazing. It is intact, minus a few pieces. Even better, it’s completely rust-free, and Patrick speculates that the paint could be buffed to a near-showroom quality shine, it’s that well preserved. He even found the assembly line build sheet, complete and intact, stashed in the rear seat springs.
Patrick has gained notoriety as a rare-car and barn find sleuth, thanks to articles in HOT ROD, Car Craft, and through his own social media. As a result, he gets tipped off to rare cars like this all across the country. He thinks nothing of jumping on a plane with little or no notice, heading somewhere to document a new find. Barn finds are all the rage now, but Patrick tells us he and his brothers Derrick and Curtis have been doing this for decades. “It was much harder before the internet. My brothers and I spent hours driving country roads looking for cars,” he says. “I love the search; that’s the most appealing part of the process”, he added. “I believe I was born to do this.”
If you’re thinking of going to Pittsburg to track this car down, you’re too late. Patrick purchased the car from Steve Furio’s widow. On his way home, Patrick brought the Chevelle to its original owner, who was ecstatic to see his old car again and provided Patrick with some old pictures from when he first owned the car.
Patrick intends to document and preserve the car as it is: a stunning example of one of Chevrolet’s most iconic muscle cars. Watch the video to see some of the options and components that make this car unique.
If you know of a barn find or want to see what Patrick is up to, follow him on Facebook and YouTube at Patrick Glenn Nichols Muscle Car Barn Finds, or his personal Facebook page, Patrick Glenn Nichols. You can also email a hot tip to him at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The post Barn Find Hunter Patrick Nichols finds this Ultra-Low Mileage LS6 Chevelle appeared first on Hot Rod Network.
Source: Hot Rod
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Has this ever happened to you? According to seasoned wrecking yard counterpersons who’ve been there, it used to happen a lot. And on customer-friend Danny Stinson’s ongoing 1955 Chevy, second-series, half-ton shorty project, it’s happened once again.
Sometimes it’s difficult to resist the path of most resistance. As y’all may recall from a few issues back, we’d chosen the harder road. The object of desire was a proper-width 8-inch Ford rearend. Rather than ordering one our way and ready-to-go from Currie Enterprises, we got ours the old fashioned way. We built it—beginning with used parts.
As the story goes, we used the best bits from two like-kind rearends. In the process yours truly overlooked one small but important detail. Some 8-inch Ford rearends have their fill plug in the back of the axle housing. Others have their fill plug in the cast-iron carrier housing. Either-style axle housing will accept either-style carrier housing, but when mix-matchin’ we’d best pay attention because we could end up with the wrong combination of components—and oops, no access for gear lube.
At times like these, cheatin’ comes to mind. Our subject truck’s 8-inch is now good as new. With its brand-new gaskets and seals, this tight assembly won’t leak, so will future fluid-checks really be necessary? I could just shut up about the whole thing, calculate the exact amount of gear lube, add it via funnel through the vent, and be done. Other than us here, who’ll ever know?
This is where the voices chime in. The little voice on the right shoulder disagrees with the little voice on the left shoulder and the dummy in the middle is reminded that we don’t do our customer-friends that way. Let’s do the right thing. Let’s ’fess up and fix it—for free.
Just pondering our options; it seems as though a new entryway through the backside of the axle housing would be the easiest approach. We already have a 3/4-inch steel bung ’n’ pipe plug on a shelf in the shop—the kind we’d find in the plumbing section of our local hardware store. They’d do the job, but they’re not much to look at, and, of course, welding or brazing would be required. If I had my own way, I wouldn’t make a burnt mess of our freshly painted axle housing. A low-profile aluminum bung could be affixed to ground-clean steel with panel bonding adhesive, but naw—let’s stay open for suggestions.
In such uncertain situations, it’s good to have a go-to guru. Mine is “Guardrail” Willie Martin, third-generation proprietor of Riverside, California’s Ed Martin Garage. Again, as y’all may recall from a few issues back, it was Martin who rebuilt our 8-inch pumpkin, while Mrs. Rotten and I worked on the axle housing at home. It wasn’t ’til later, after final assembly, when my own carless mismatch was discovered.
Kindly willing to cover my oversight, Martin has offered to swap our freshened-up internals to a proper bungholed carrier housing. Now, with parts already painted, I’d prefer not to go so deep. So, as a Plan B fix for the fix we’re in, Martin suggests a push-in rubber fill plug from our local Dodge dealership—the kind we’d find under, let’s say, a 2006 Durango.
There’s just something about fixing my bungles that makes me want to get to work. Here it so happens, this’ll be the first bit o’ work to take place in our new Montana-based shop. Although we’re still setting up, and although a good portion of our tools are in storage far away, we’ll affordably fill some tool gaps and get this little job done—with a little help from Harbor Freight. On that there note, let’s put a plug in it.
Source: Hot Rod
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In its first quarterly report since Delphi Automotive split, Delphi Technologies reported record revenue but lower net income.
Source: Automotive News – swapmeetclassified
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Ford tapped Kumar Galhotra, a company veteran who steered the Lincoln luxury brand back to respectability, to replace Raj Nair, who was ousted after an internal investigation uncovered “inappropriate behavior,” as its president of North America.
Source: Automotive News – swapmeetclassified
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