Detroit Muscle Builds

Parts Used In This Episode

Supplied by Summit
Trick Flow® 515 HP GenX® Top-End Engine Kits for GM LS1 TFS-K306-515-460

Episode Transcript

(Tommy)>> Today on Detroit Muscle we have ourselves a new ride.

(Marc)>> And you might be surprised at just how much fun it really is.

(Tommy)>> We're hauling the mail son.

(Marc)>> Yes sir! We take our little red Corvette out on the open road for a little r&r, ripping and roaring.

(Tommy)>> Then bring her into the shop and throw on simple upgrades, which equals more power. [ engine revving ]

[ engine revving ]

(Tommy)>> Welcome to Detroit Muscle. We're out in our bright red beauty that we just picked up. We didn't spend a whole lot of cha-ching on it but we got a whole lot of zing.

(Marc)>> It's a 2001 Corvette Z06. This is our first Corvette project. So you may be wondering why did we choose this one?

(Tommy)>> You could say that the C-5 Corvette was the beginning of the performance era, and it launched back in '97.

(Marc)>> Yeah and it revived that Corvette brand that was old and tired, and there's no wonder. It's got a new design, better brakes, better suspension. Not to mention it introduced the world to the LS engine platform with a 345 horse LS-1 under the hood.

(Tommy)>> In 2001 they raise the bar yet again with the Z06 package.

(Marc)>> It was lighter, quicker, stiffer, and all around better performing than any previous production Corvette, and with its 385 horsepower LS-6 it could scoot down the quarter mile in 12.7 seconds, sprint 0-60 in four seconds flat, and achieve a top speed of 150 miles per hour.

(Tommy)>> On the track is where this old girl really shines. Heck you can get one-g just on the skid pad.

(Marc)>> Yeah and that's how it comes from the factory thanks to higher spring rates, bigger sway bars, wider wheels and tires, and improved dampening.

(Tommy)>> This car was the cream of the crop when it came to American performance.

(Marc)>> But that was then and factory performance standards have skyrocketed since with supercharged models coming right out of the factory with over 700 horsepower, like the GT 500 and the Hellcat.

(Tommy)>> But that doesn't take away of what this thing is capable of and the potential that it has. Not to mention you don't have to spend a whole bunch of money to get one. Heck we paid less than $20,000 for this one.

(Marc)>> Right, so what is it about this car that attracted us? Well for me it's the bang for your buck performance, reliability, and the aftermarket support to take this thing from pretty cool to totally bad ass.

(Tommy)>> So what do you want to do with this thing?

(Marc)>> I think we need to probably add some power under the hood. I mean that LS-6 makes about 385 from the factory but it could sure make a little bit more with just a couple of tweaks.

(Tommy)>> So you just want to do engine mods?

(Marc)>> I think that's where we should probably start. I say we take it back, get a baseline on the dyno, and just go from there.

(Tommy)>> Alright, you think this old girl will do a burnout.

(Marc)>> It better! Only one way to find out. Alright, think it'll do it?

(Tommy)>> It better do it or I'll have to give it a shot. There's no need for that though.

(Marc)>> Alright let's turn traction control off.

(Tommy)>> Can you handle this?

(Marc)>> Yes, I think so. [ engine revving ]

(Marc)>> Traction control, disengaged. Y'all ready?

(Pat)>> Yep. [ engine revving ]

(Pat)>> Look at that, 336 on power. That's pretty good.

(Tommy)>> Not too bad.

(Pat)>> See I don't know anything about these. I think they're rated at 385. So 336, that's pretty decent. This car's in good shape. You gonna make another bang on it?

(Marc)>> Yeah let's do it. [ engine revving ]

(Pat)>> Well you gained one horsepower, 337. So if you do one more will it gain more?

(Tommy)>> You never know.

(Pat)>> Well with the rear end heating up and the transmission heating up it might. So Marc make another one.

(Marc)>> Alright let's go! [ engine revving ]

(Tommy)>> Like it might have fluttered about 5,000.

(Pat)>> It's going 150 mile an hour. A little bit of heat soak, 331.

(Marc)>> It pull timing?

(Pat)>> It pulled some timing on that one.

(Marc)>> Just cause it's hot.

(Pat)>> That's cool though. This thing's impressive. That's good!

(Marc)>> I expected 300 anyway.

(Pat)>> I was hoping it would get over 300 and it should right because the car's in great shape. So I'm impressed, 336, 337, 331.

(Marc)>> I think we got one of those ones from the factory that got a little extra on it.

(Pat)>> One of the Wednesday ones. No that's cool. With your mods can't wait to see for power when it comes back here.

(Marc)>> You know it's not the car it's the driver. This is the driver.

(Pat)>> Was your butt off the seat when you were pressing the pedal?

(Marc)>> Oh yeah.

(Tommy)>> You had the seat all the way forward too.

(Marc)>> Well I have to have it all the way forward.

(Pat)>> Dent the floor board when you're doing pulls.

(Tommy)>> Can we take the cardboard out? That'll get us five more horsepower.

(Pat)>> It very well could.

(Tommy)>> Bless his heart.

(Marc)>> Alright let's get it unstrapped and get it down to the shop.

(Pat)>> Well make your mods and bring it back. I can't wait.

(Tommy)>> Coming up we start tearing into the top end of our Z06 and add over 100 horsepower.

(Tommy)>> Well we made 337 at the rear wheels on the dyno. What do you think about that?

(Marc)>> I think that's pretty good but I do think there's a little bit of power left in there. We need to find it.

(Tommy)>> Yeah it shouldn't be too hard to locate.

(Marc)>> Got the exhaust off, oil and coolant drained. You know what's next?

(Tommy)>> What's that?

(Marc)>> Teardown time.

(Tommy)>> You so excited. [ drill spinning ]

(Marc)>> Tommy.

(Tommy)>> What's that buddy?

(Marc)>> What do you think about the way this thing is engineered?

(Tommy)>> There's a lot going on under the hood of this thing.

(Marc)>> It's just the way it's packaged is...

(Tommy)>> Quite impressive.

(Marc)>> ...a little different. Got it, thank you.

[ drill spinning ]

(Tommy)>> So how far you want to dig on this thing? You had mentioned bolt-ons and this is a little more involved than that.

(Marc)>> The heads bolt on don't they?

(Tommy)>> Yeah I guess you're right.

(Marc)>> Let's get those off, get the cam out there. I think we can do a heads-cam upgrade. What did you think we were gonna do like a supercharger or something?

(Tommy)>> You know we've been known to do that before.

(Marc)>> I know we've got a bunch of parts laying around but it's gonna be worth it, trust me. Let me show you what I'm talking about. Well we went to Summit Racing for everything you see here on the table but the money maker is gonna be this top end kit right here. The center piece, these Gen-X cylinder heads. It comes with the gaskets as well, cam shaft, push rods, rocker arms, and everything you need to get that stuff installed. Now if you have a low mile car that's really all you need but our car has 82,000 miles on it. So we might as well replace some of the wear items as well, like the timing set, and the lifters. These things go bad. The retainers, they get dry rotted and cracked. Another thing, we're gonna be adding more power. So we might as well do some bigger injectors, and mentioning those wear items gaskets don't really go bad on LS' but it's not a bad idea to get some new ones while we're in there. Even got a little steam line kit here, but what's great about this is the engine doesn't have to come out of the car to get any of this stuff installed. Draw back though it's a little more technically difficult than your normal bolt-ons would be, and that's what Tommy was talking about. So we need to get this thing stripped down to the short block so we can get some of this stuff installed. [ drill spinning ]

(Marc)>> Look at that. That looks good! Everything look good inside there?

(Tommy)>> Oh yeah, looks like somebody's been driving it like a grandma.

(Marc)>> It definitely was not me. I'm gonna work on getting this timing cover out so we can get this cam out.

[ drill spinning ]

(Marc)>> Now I'd already planned on putting a new timing set on this anyway but you can see this slack here in the chain. This one's worn out and it needs to go. [ drill spinning ]

[ drill spinning ]

(Marc)>> Before we install our new cam shaft we'll lube the journals and lobes with assembly lube for initial startup.

(Tommy)>> We're gonna use an ARP cam retainer bolt kit, and we're gonna torque these down to 25 foot pounds.

(Marc)>> Now it's time for the timing chain.

(Tommy)>> You excited about driving this thing all hopped up?

(Marc)>> I don't know. I'm like mixed about it. I think it's gonna be cool but it might be annoying too. I don't know. It's like 50/50. Get this timing cover on. It's a shame nobody's going to be able to see that nice, pretty timing chain anymore. I'm gonna go ahead and install the harmonic balancer before I torque the timing cover bolts. That way the seal on the front cover fits the balancer perfectly.

With our timing cover and balancer torqued down, now we can install our lifters and tighten them down.

Well it's time to put these Trick Flow cylinder heads on. What's cool about these is not only do they look nice but they're gonna add about 130 horsepower when used in conjunction with that cam shaft we've already installed. Now we just need to get them bolted on, torqued down, and we can get this thing back together. We're using ARP head bolts, which are stronger than the factory bolts and they're reusable. They need to be torque in the right sequence in three steps, ending with 75 foot pounds. All we have left to do is add the push rods, rocker arms, and cinch everything down to 22 foot pounds. What's better than one upgrade, two!

(Tommy)>> We help get the air in and out of that beefed up LS-6.

(Tommy)>> Marc and I have made some pretty good progress. We got our intake on. It's all torqued down. Some other front accessories on, and you also may be noticing a bit of twinkle. That's because we've installed some stainless steel bolts that we got from ARP as an accessory bolt kit. Now the next thing we're gonna be doing is installing our headers. So what we decided to go with is a set of these Hooker Black Heart Tri-Y headers. These things are made of stainless steel. So you don't have to worry about rust and corrosion. With our car being a C-5 installation is a breeze. These long tube headers are made with inch and seven-eighths primaries and three inch collectors. They also have the provisions to re-use the upper o-e-m air injection system.

(Marc)>> While Tommy's working on those headers I'm getting these new coil packs installed onto the brackets. Now there wasn't anything wrong with our original coil packs but the car does have 80,000 miles on it and they're nearly 20 years old, and those things do go bad eventually. So we picked up some new ones while we were in there because we want this thing to run tip top. Now we've got everything else that you see on the table along with those coils from Rock Auto dot com. It's a good idea to replace some of the normal wear items like pulleys, tensioners, and belts, and also tune up items, plugs and wires, and one thing that Rock Auto does have now that they didn't have before is fluids like this fully synthetic 5W30 oil. Speaking of fluids they also have the Dex Cool, which is the factory fill for this thing. It's pre-diluted 50/50. So we can just pour this stuff right in, and the cooling system, obviously it's a good idea to put a new radiator in. Ours was seeping a little bit around the seams here. You always put new hoses and radiator cap on. That's never a bad idea. So I need to get these coil packs on. Then I can move on with the rest of this other stuff.

(Tommy)>> I'm gonna need your help putting this in big guy.

(Marc)>> Alright.

Got to go your way a little bit.

(Tommy)>> Sitting on top of a hose. There we go!

(Marc)>> There we go.

One thing you can't forget when you're doing upgrades like heads-cam swap like we've done is a cold air kit. We got this one from Holley. It's called an Intech. Now that factory air box would be fine if we're keeping it under 400 horse, but something like this would free up power even on a stock engine.

This intake uses the factory mounting locations for simple installation, while the housing is designed to match the engine compartment for a clean appearance.

(Tommy)>> You ready to do some exhaust?

(Marc)>> Yep, you know which side's which there?

(Tommy)>> Nope.

(Marc)>> The driver's side O-2 sensor is further back and they point up.

(Tommy)>> It would be this one over there. We're using the Hooker Black Heart header back exhaust system, which bolts directly to our long tube headers. It's constructed from three inch 18 gauge mandrel bent 304 stainless steel to maximize strength and durability. It uses an X-pipe design to maximize performance and reduce in cabin exhaust drone.

The kit uses the o-e-m mounting points for a hassle free install.

(Marc)>> It also comes with these dual polished stainless steel high flow straight through mufflers. Try that.

(Tommy)>> You got a clamp?

[ drill spinning ]

[ drill spinning ]

(Marc)>> Dyno, dyno, in the floor. We added power, how much more?

(Tommy)>> Well we're back down here in Engine Power and we've got our Corvette strapped to the dyno, and we're just about ready to make a pull. Now we've done several upgrades up under the hood and the next thing we're gonna address is our tune.

(Pat)>> All they've got to do is adjust the timing, change some jet and air bleed, and we're good to go.

(Marc)>> Now it's a little more complicated than that actually. We need to do a custom calibration for the computer and Mike's gonna help us do that. Mike what is it exactly that we need to do?

(Mike)>> Marc the main reasons we have to build another tune file are because of the parts that you put on the car, like the injectors and the cylinder heads. We're gonna flow more fuel, more air. The computer has to know those things for the operating systems to manage everything correctly. The first thing I like to do is go in and get the injector data in. So that's done. We have to go in to the d-t-c section and turn off some of the m-i-l's and things like that so you don't get a check engine light for certain areas of the car that aren't seeing things normally. Then we go in and we work on our short term and long term fuel trims. That takes a little time. You want to be within about three to five percent on a correction factor with those. Other than that we want to pull timing out because the engine's more efficient, it flows more air, runs better. So it takes less timing to make the same amount of power and be as efficient. And then obviously the fuel table has to be adjusted for the compensation of the larger injector and more fuel. We'll go ahead, make a couple of short pulls to about 5,000 r-p-m, make sure all the data looks good there, and we'll just step up the r-p-m and the timing from there. What we'll be searching for is when we add timing once that torque peak starts to crest and just roll over we want to pull about a degree, degree and a half after that, and that's going to be our prime target for our timing. So at this point I've already loaded in the new tune, wrote that to the computer. So we're gonna fire this thing up and make our first little short pull.

(Marc)>> Let's make some noise.

(Pat)>> So that's adjusting timing, jet, and air bleed electronically. [ engine starts & revs ]

(Pat)>> Oh look at that, 407 and made 412 pound feet.

(Mike)>> Alright we're on a good start. That was only to 5,000.

(Pat)>> I know, you were very gentile with it.

(Mike)>> Now that I know everything's good let's take it to the moon and back.

(Marc)>> Alright.

(Tommy)>> Don't get none of that on you.

(Pat)>> You've been watching some of those kid shows haven't you?

(Mike)>> Yes!

(Pat)>> Are you gonna give it the raspberries this time?

(Mike)>> 7!

(Pat)>> Alright. [ engine revving ]

(Tommy)>> It's gonna make a little different sound this time.

(Pat)>> Sounds good. [ engine revving ]

(Pat)>> That pulled really clean. Look at that, 447 and 411 pound feet.

(Tommy)>> He's excited.

(Mike)>> You did a good little install here my man.

(Marc)>> It's the tune.

(Pat)>> This has some like miltose timing in it doesn't it?

(Mike)>> Oh yeah, it's 23 degrees right now.

(Pat)>> It's probably a little rich, I can smell it.

(Mike)>> I'm just gonna add a little timing first and leave the fuel alone.

(Pat)>> That'll indirectly lean it out.

(Tommy)>> You know Marc's kinda the Mustang guy, but as big as that smile is I think he's a Corvette guy too.

(Pat)>> It's hard to see through the beard.

(Mike)>> Alright it's written to the car. Hey Pat you ready to go?

(Pat)>> Light it!

(Mike)>> Let's do it. [ engine starting and revving ]

(Pat)>> It was a little insensitive to that change but 445, 411, overlays the graph.

(Mike)>> That was a one degree change.

(Pat)>> That was one degree.

(Mike)>> That shows we're pretty much there then.

(Pat)>> Well yeah unless you run it and just do something crazy. If you want to take four jets out of it.

(Mike)>> You want me to put another two degrees in it?

(Pat)>> Yeah the worst it could be is wrong. [ engine revving ]

(Pat)>> That's 446.

(Mike)>> We're there.

(Pat)>> I think we're there for right now without making any like major swings in fuel or anything like that.

(Mike)>> And that's 100 and what horsepower more.

(Tommy)>> Almost 110.

(Marc)>> 337 is what we started with.

(Pat)>> It was 337?

(Tommy)>> Yeah we're at 446.

(Pat)>> 446, 447, dude that's good!

(Mike)>> That's wonderful, for heads and cam.

(Marc)>> Yeah, cold air, long tubes exhaust.

(Pat)>> 110 at the tire though that's serious business right there. That's pretty sporty and this car wasn't that hard to work on was it?

(Tommy)>> Nah not really.

(Pat)>> Everyone has that oh my god Vettes are. We're gonna have to take the front end off to change spark plugs and this one wasn't that bad.

(Marc)>> Not bad at all.

(Pat)>> Nice going!

(Mike)>> Nice job on it!

(Marc)>> Thank you guys.

(Mike)>> Let's go do burnouts.

(Marc)>> How about doughnuts?

(Mike)>> Even better!
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