We recently visited Finish Line Performance in Naperville, IL, to check out their open house and see some killer cars. Finish Line Performance is not only a very reputable 2 and 4-wheel dyno tuning facility, but they also build everything from custom mandrel-bent exhaust, turbo, and intake systems to complete engines and restorations. We take a look at their turbo Dodge Magnum and the LS2 427 cubic inch Solstice... it's an animal. The grand total for the open house was over 240 cars stopping by to check out the action. Between pulls on their 4-wheel dyno, Dan Bills gave us the skinny on his new Mustang race car as well.
Weve come to realize that the sum of parts on Mike Riochs 1995 Pontiac Trans Am LT1 350 convertible is in need of a performance tune to make them all play together nicely, so we headed out to Finish Line Performance to meet with Dan Bills to get the job done.
After the Dyno tuning was completed at Finish Line Performance, Nick Scavo and Mike Rioch headed out to the drag strip to shave a few tenths off the 1995 Trans Am's quarter mile time.
When it came time to plan the engine in our 1965 Chevelle project, we tossed around a couple ideas, but decided to modify the 350 that came with the car. It's a parts-store remanufactured 4-bolt 350 V8 with less than 10000 miles on it. The bottom end is ideal for a mild street engine, but we didn't like the crappy lo-performance cast iron heads and weak camshaft. So before we turned a single wrench, we turned to our handy copy of Dynomation engine simulation and dyno software to help us build a smooth 400 horsepower version of our engine. Dynomation helps you select cams, heads, compression ratios, exhaust.. all elements of engine design and then simulate dyno pulls and evaluate parts changes, all without buying a single part. It's a great way to hone-in on your ideal combination without having to spend extra money and time doing things twice.
1000 horsepower used to be a huge deal... you needed and extremely large displacement engine with and insane compression ratio and a monster power adder to pull it off. And when you did it, you basically had yourself a temperamental race-only motor that was only good for 1/4 mile passes. Not any more, thanks to combinations like this 540 cubic inch Chevy V8 built by Fast Times Motorworks.
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