PROJECT TOMAHAWK GTO
Well my latest project has started and the results are in! The first phase of Project Tomahawk has been completed and we have been rewarded with some decent results… Follow along because this does get long winded…
Started the day at Mike Dez Racing in Seekonk Massachusetts (508-336-6588) so we can gather a baseline on the GTO’s horsepower levels. Mike and Brian cinched down the bright yellow “goat” for a few tests and the party began. Power looked good for a new engine and after four passes the HP really didn’t vary all that much. Peak horsepower levels were running around 286-289 RWHP so the stock flywheel horsepower rating of 350 is not far off!
I’ll try to get the files from Dez Racing and post them up later…
After some “what ifs” as to the car’s potential, we had some Cokes and pizza as we watched Don (Slowhawk) tune up another LS1 F-body customer from New Hampshire. Don noticed a few items from the “goat’s” dyno graph that needed attention and once I have LS1Edit is in my greedy little hands, we’ll have the problems rectified with Don’s tutelage.
Around 2:00 pm I left Dez’s joint and headed north on Rt. 95 towards New England Dragway in Epping, New Hampshire. There were a few traffic problems on highway because of the Labor Day holiday but the new toy ran flawlessly all the way there. What a great ride it was! The CD player blasting out the typical early Van Halen and older re-mastered Grand Funk Railroad that I love to hear. Fitting music for the old and the new venue of this GTO project car. I finally got to enjoy the car for more than just a short trip around town for a cruise night or just a craving for some speed. It was the best.
When I arrived at the gates of NED, I was rewarded with about a one-hour “hang around” time just waiting for the track to open up. At least it allowed the “goat” a well-deserved cool down period for its brand new engine and drivetrain.
Once in the gate, I breezed through Tech and drove right up to the lanes. There we waited again for almost an hour for the track personnel to get the facility ready. Guess I should have figured this all out since I’ve always known the NED routine was not “racer friendly” but at least it gave me time to cool the engine down even further and spend some time answering a few questions about the “goat”.
At 6 pm sharp the lanes were officially opened and I was finally strapped in going to the starting line. I did a slight burn out to clean off any pebbles, then shut off the traction control and dropped the shifter in “3”. A couple of seconds of gauge checking and it’s up to the beams. I shallow staged to minimize the ET and brought the revs up to 1000 with the foot brake on. The tree dropped and I was off with a howling of the rear tires. The scoreboard showed a reaction time of .465 RED but hey, it’s my first time down the track with this car so cut me a little slack.
The brand new LS1 engine sounded really sweet at the top of each gear change and both were consistent at 6000 rpm per the stock tachometer. I looked up as I passed through the lights and saw a first actual ET of the car. As I approached the time slip booth, at least I knew it wasn’t a fifteen second pass.
I hot lapped the car back to the lanes to see what I could do if I tried something different at the start. Other than getting used to the dynamics of this car, all I did was show that a hot engine does not like to be raced.
She spun a bit more but the slower elapsed time showed the car needs to cool down quite a bit in order to perform better.
I upped the tire pressure in front to 45 psi and reset the rears ar 35 psi. Just to see if this would help anything! Jumped back in and got I line. Much to my surprise the lanes were moving quite quickly and again with little to no cool down, the car went its worst pass of the night.
This time I allowed the engine to cool down about a hour before returning to the lanes. I had been running the left lane for a true back to back test but this time I wanted to try the right side since the left was not hooking at all.
I also babied the car a bit more, leaving as if I was next to a cop and then hitting it. The car seemed to like this approach as the elapsed time returned to the 14.0x time I had run the first pass. So close to a thirteen but I knew I needed more “bite” to get this car quicker.
This was going to be the last pass of the evening for me so I had to think about my next move. I wanted that high thirteen and possibly a 100 mph pass. I was tired and had to look forward to a two and a half hour ride back home so I tried something a little different. I feathered the car out of the hole a little more before I planted the throttle. Helped a little but….. :banghead:
The baseline is there so we’ll see what a set of drag radials and a homemade inlet pipe will do. Scheduled for another bout with the NED racetrack in a couple of weeks so I’ll let you know how it goes.
Thanks and a tip of the hat to Mike Dez Racing