Parts Used In This Episode

Summit Racing
Ridetech Control Arm Bushings
Summit Racing
Ridetech Drop Spindles
Summit Racing
Ridetech HQ Series Shockwave Air Shocks
Summit Racing
Ridetech HQ Series Shockwave Air Shocks
Summit Racing
Ridetech MuscleBar Sway Bars
Summit Racing
RideTech RidePro E5 Air Ride Control BigRed AirPod Dual Compressor System
Summit Racing
Ridetech Streering Kit
Summit Racing
Ridetech StreetGrip Sway Bars
Summit Racing
Ridetech StrongArms Tubular Control Arms Lower
Summit Racing
Ridetech StrongArms Tubular Control Arms Upper
Summit Racing
Ridetech Tru Turn StrongArms Package
Summit Racing
Wilwood Disc Brakes Brake Calipers
Summit Racing
Wilwood Forged DynaPro 6 Big Brake Front Brake Kit
Summit Racing
Wilwood Smart Pad Brake Pads
The Industrial Depot
Tools, Hardware, Shop Supplies

Episode Transcript

(Tommy)>> You're watching Powernation!

(Joel)>> Today on Detroit Muscle Tommy and I run this Olds around the track to see what this '83 Hurst could do at its worst. Then we put some new shoes on and improve its stability so it can support all the ponies we'll be adding under the hood. [ Music ] [ engines revving ] [ Music ]

(Tommy)>> Now we're not building a race car, but we are here at the racetrack to have a bit of fun.

(Joel)>> That's right. We're gonna be addressing four main pillars of performance. Speed, acceleration, handling, and braking.

(Tommy)>> I bet it's gonna be a little bit more like swerving on the handling side of things. Let's flip a coin to see who gets to drive first.

(Joel)>> You take a break. You've been working hard. I got this!

(Tommy)>> That calls me a loser. [ Music ] [ engine idling ] [ engine revving ]

(Tommy)>> Took a minute for that second one to kick in though. Now there's an actual reason why we do this. Some say it's because you're trying to clean the tires off, and some say it's because you're putting heat in it for better traction. You could say it just looks cool, and it sounds cool, and who doesn't like the smell of tire smoke. [ Music ] [ engine idling ] [ Music ]

[ tires squealing ] [ Joel laughing ]

(Joel)>> Woo hoo! Bucket list item check! [ tires squealing ]

(Tommy)>> Now so far watching this Olds run up and down the track hasn't been too bad. None of it was really impressive because it doesn't make all that much horsepower, but I have to say once we put quite a bit more grunt up under the hood it's probably gonna be more fun than a night out square dancing. I don't know if that's good or not really now that I think about it. We've moved on from the strip over here to the parking lot to continue our festivities of a good time.

(Joel)>> We're gonna move on to the next phase of testing, which would be the handling. Now from the factory these Hurst Olds had a little bit beefier suspension than your standard Cutlass, including upgraded front and rear sway bars and heavy duty springs.

(Tommy)>> But that stuff will only carry you so far. That 40-year-old technology, well we're anticipating what that thing's gonna do is flip-flop back and forth around those cones.

(Joel)>> Well there's only one way to find out. I'm riding with you.

(Tommy)>> That's cool with me. [ Music ] Not driving hard enough. I can tell because you aren't gripping them handles at all. [ tires squealing ]

(Joel)>> Woo hoo! [ Music ]

(Tommy)>> You know, I need to try this one handed. I mean just in the spirit of a G-body. [ Music ] [ tires squealing ] [ Music ]

(Tommy)>> Not exactly what I wanted to do. I don't like these seats! It's like it likes you more than it does me. [ Music ]

(Joel)>> Oh yeah! [ Music ] Just so you know, I've got plans this weekend and none of them involve a hospital.

(Tommy)>> We ain't got crazy yet. Don't be worried. I'll let you know. Well for our final test we've dropped ourselves a few cones out and about for a braking pop quiz. Now what's gonna happen. Joel's gonna run down there, turn around, come back this way, and get the car up to 50 miles per hour. Once he crosses these four cones running across this way he's gonna drop the anchor and see how far it takes for that car to come to a complete stop, but we don't have any idea how well that Olds is gonna do. Time will tell.

(Joel)>> Now I'm not sure what kind of maintenance this thing has had its whole life. So, I'm assuming the calipers and pads are in fairly rough shape. Guess we won't really know until we do it. So here we go. [ Music ]

[ tires squealing ] [ Music ] [ tires squealing ]

(Tommy)>> Well after those three obstacle courses pretty much the conclusion that we've got across the board is mediocre.

(Joel)>> We definitely got a lot of work ahead of ourselves, but the aftermarket support on these G-bodies is pretty stellar. So, we can go pretty much any direction we want.

(Tommy)>> Well after a day like today I do believe we deserve a good cold something. What do you think?

(Joel)>> You're not wrong. I should have took your advice on that Aloe Vera.

(Tommy)>> You're gonna need some sav somewhere buddy. You went from pale to pinkish.

(Joel)>> And I know better than that. That's the dumb thing.

(Tommy)>> You know, bad decisions make great stories.

(Joel)>> Coming up, we break down our plan of attack and show off some legendary eye candy.

(Tommy)>> That joyride exposed a few areas that need some attention with our Oldsmobile, but it's really not a surprise because it's simply a product of its time. At first glance it's easy to see that an '83 Hurst Olds definitely has a unique personality. The black body with the accents of silver and red stripes could lead one to believe it's a performer, but it falls a bit short. So, we devised ourselves a plan, and we're gonna up the performance, attitude, and attraction. This '80's rocker is in need of a heart transplant. A few of you OGs are probably saying, I'll bet they're gonna put an LS in it and rolling your eyes. The LS engines have plenty of benefits, but we're keeping it Oldsmobile.

(Joel)>> This hopped-up power plant makes 500 horses and 540-foot pounds of pure tire shredding torque, and it's been operated on by some highly skilled hands including that of Doctor Olds himself, Mister Joe Mondello. The addition of this big block Olds paired with the curb appeal of that G-body is gonna equal a whole lot of fun.

(Tommy)>> One of the most iconic features of this G-body would have to be those lightning rod shifters. To discard those would be a disgrace. So, we're keeping this thing an automatic.

(Joel)>> We're gonna be running significantly higher than factory power. Therefore, we're gonna need some reinforcements because quite frankly that stock trans just ain't gonna cut it. Overdrive is also a must. That way we can have the best of both worlds, performance and efficiency.

(Tommy)>> The stock rear is a tiny 7.5, and to leave it under there is just a bad decision. It might handle the torque from that big block a few times, but it's not gonna like it very long. To withstand all the abuse that we plan to throw at this thing we've decided a nine inch was in order.

(Joel)>> We've got plenty of go-fast goodies. So, you know what that means. We're in need of some serious brakes. These drilled and slotted rotors paired with these four piston Wilwood calipers should definitely get the job done.

(Tommy)>> Driving this thing around, it rode nice, and as far as cornering goes it wasn't terrible, or was it? A Hurst Olds has an upgraded suspension over a standard Cutlass, but as things normally go, they can always be better. Plus, this thing looks like it's sitting on jack stands. Altering the ground clearance would give it an attitude adjustment to compliment the performance we're shoe-horning under the hood.

(Joel)>> So it's out with the old and in with the new. This setup will give us adjustability on all four corners, way better handling, all while retaining one smooth ride.

(Tommy)>> As for the interior cars of the '80s had a certain style to them. A word that can be used to describe them is plush. Overall, our interior is quite nice as far as condition goes. Deep red upholstery is common in the hot rod world. However, all velour, maybe not so much! This Hurst Olds has lived a pampered and sheltered life, but the reflection has some imperfections. The graphics are starting to deteriorate and show their age. The paint is clean but needs some serious t-l-c.

(Joel)>> But that's no issue. A little rubbing and buffing will rejuvenate that menacing vibe that these black cars are known for. All these parts laid out on the floor coupled with some hard work is our solution.

(Tommy)>> When we're all said and done, we're gonna have ourselves a bona fide G-body that's gonna do it all, steer, stop and runs like. [ horn honking ]

(Joel)>> Sorry! Up next, we ditch middle age metal for some high tech touches.

(Joel)>> Dismantling the rear suspension on one of these old G-bodies is fairly straightforward. [ Music ] [ drill humming ]

(Joel)>> You've got a couple of stop lines to unhook, including the parking brake cable. [ Music ] Then once your sway bar, shock mounts, and control arms are freed up you're ready to drop the rear axle. [ mechanical humming ] [ Joel whistling ] [ Music ]

(Tommy)>> That's what they look like.

(Joel)>> After prying, fiddling, and tossing what's left of our front suspension it's time to lay down some rust preventative paint as well as a rubberized coating for a nice, clean undercarriage. [ Music ] [ aerosol can hissing ] [ Music ]

(Tommy)>> We've been busy. With all of our suspension laying there on the floor we gave the underside of our Hurst Olds what I call a "truckers bath", and even sprayed on some black to dress things up a bit.

(Joel)>> After ripping through the cones in this old G-body it became very apparent that an overhaul to the suspension was in order. There was oftentimes when it felt like we were floating on a pirate ship in the middle of the Atlantic. Our solution was to try and find something that would give us the smooth operation of a luxury sedan but the performance of a track car. This air suspension setup we got from Ridetech gives us the best of both worlds. At the heart of the beast lies the monotube air shock with 24 position rebound adjustment to fine tune your driving preferences. At the push of a button we can lower the ride height for a lower center of gravity or soften everything up for cruising down the highway. We also opted for the tubular upper and lower control arms for high speed stability and steering feel. Lastly these two-inch drop spindles will tuck those custom black wheels up into the fender wells for a much more aggressive stance. [ torch hissing ]

(Joel)>> To make room for our air suspension a little slicing and dicing is required. [ saw buzzing ]

(Joel)>> This is to ensure there's enough space around the air shocks to inflate and deflate as needed. However, the new upper and lower controls arms are designed to bolt right into place of the factory originals. [ Music ] Making the installation of the drop spindles a total breeze. [ Music ]

(Tommy)>> Worn steering components can cause several issues. Make your tires wear funny and seem like the steering wheel is a little bit lazy. Now depending on the amount of wear it can also be downright dangerous. With our Olds it's got some age on it and the front components that we took out, well, they were on the verge of needing to be replaced. So, reusing that old stuff is a bad idea. We've got an upgraded setup from Ridetech. It comes with your aluminum sleeves, rod ends, tie rod ends, center link, and the idler arm. [ Music ] All over the place MO! [ Music ]

(Joel)>> One of the easiest upgrades you can do to your suspension setup is swapping out your sway bar. Now these old G-bodies back in the day came with a variety of different sizes based on your performance package. This one I particular that came on the Hurst Olds was definitely beefier than the rest. Measuring in at an inch and a quarter in diameter, it's no doubt one hefty hung of metal. However as always, the aftermarket finds a way to one up the o-e. This inch and three-eighths bar we got from Ridetech will give us better than stock stability, but we do have to use adapter plates in order to mount it to make up for that increase in diameter. [ Music ] Once the adapter plates are bolted into place the sway bar can be secured to its forever home. A couple of zips with the impact on the end links secures outside stability.

(Tommy)>> One of the last upgrades that we're gonna be installing on the front of our Oldsmobile is some brakes. We got a full setup from Wilwood including their drilled and slotted rotors and six piston calipers that we found at Summit Racing. Once we get those on, we can move toward the rear.

(Joel)>> Coming up, we inflate the ego of our Hurst Olds.

(Joel)>> Well guys we're all finished up front. Now it's time to tackle the rear. You know one of the most important upgrades you can do to your project is making sure you've got enough rear axle to support the ponies that you're pushing underneath the hood. this built to order nine-inch setup we got from Quick Performance features a quarter inch walled axle tube, custom aluminum fill plug, 3.50 gear ratio, and of course Wilwood disc brakes. Now we've already done a little bit of pre-assembly and got our brake system already setup because it's easier to do it on the stand as opposed to underneath the car. Our next step's to go ahead and pop out these o-e style upper bushings and replace them with these aluminum spherical style that tie into our air ride system. [ Music ] Pulling these rubber bushings will give us a number of advantages. The larger aluminized surface area gives the rear axle a sturdier foundation... [ Music ] ...allowing for less tire wear and more traction. With 540-foot pounds of torque pending from our big block power plant we'll need all the help we can get to keep this G-body between the ditches. [ Music ]

Watch your noggin. [ Music ]

(Tommy)>> Come on! [ Music ] Alright hold up.

(Joel)>> With the new rear axle in place it's time to bolt on all the goodies. Just like in the front, the upper and lower strong arms bolt right in with all the hardware included. [ Music ] [ mechanical humming ] [ Music ]

(Joel)>> After a quick once over that everything is high and tight, the car goes up for a tag team install of the new heavy duty rear sway bar. A couple of the final and most crucial components of an air suspension setup will be your tank and compressor. The Ridetech E-5 air pod offers an integrated pre-wired solution that comes with dual compressors as well as a high flow air valve solenoid block for smooth air shock balance. The kit also features a three and a half ich l-c-d touch screen display monitor for user friendly plug and play adjustment. The best part about this whole setup, ease of installation. Drill four holes, she's ready to mount. [ Music ] Now there's a couple of things you need to consider when you're deciding the final resting place for your compressor. Number one, making sure there's enough space around the compressors to reduce heat build-up. And number two, you want to make sure that the tank doesn't interfere with the hinges of the deck lid. Otherwise, it might not close properly. [ Music ]

(Tommy)>> With our plans of throwing some serious performance into that Hurst Olds we knew we were gonna need a tire that could handle that power. These Continental Extreme Contact Sports should do the trick.

(Joel)>> Continental Extreme Contact Sport tires are engineered and tested by actual professional race car drivers. They come complete with Sport Plus technology to help provide responsive handling, better grip, and extended tread life. With its specialized compound and asymmetric design, the Extreme Contact Sport is built for the ultra high performance that we need. We'll be running 235/40 ZR-18s in the front and 255/45 ZR-18s in the rear to help achieve that iconic hot rod rake. [ air compressor humming ] [ Music ]

(Joel)>> Well guys we've definitely had some fun swapping this crappy old suspension out for that slick new air ride setup, and those tires and wheels really bring out a new stance and luster into this G-body. And of course, Tommy's not around for any kind of clean up. It's hard to find good help these days.
Show Full Transcript