Ripper's KARR build

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Re: Ripper's KARR build

Postby Pac-Man » Wed Mar 25, 2015 5:37 am

Great story Heath! Looking forward to part two!
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Re: Ripper's KARR build

Postby ripperace » Thu Mar 26, 2015 9:18 pm

So now we'll get down to actually getting stuff done with the car, because I didn't really have much time to mess with it in the last few years. Business from my shop kept me busy working on other people's junk rather than my own. Every winter I keep saying that I'll get busy on it, but then wind up in a funk until the weather breaks, and I wind up in boats up to my neck. This year I'm changing that because quite frankly I'm sick of this thing taking up residence in the shop and not being able to move the thing! So, with that in mind, we'll show you what I've done to it to get the underside of the car going. Since there was that big old hoss kick on the driver rear floor pan, I was going to have to remove the undercoating to pull the dent. I'm actually STILL doing that because most of this stuff is like concrete. Really hard, and stuck to the car really well. That sucks. But alas, where I needed to get the undercoating removed came off fairly easily thanks to the fact that the drivetrain leaked like a sieve. So from the firewall back, in the middle of the car, the undercoat had been coming off really easily. The wheelhouses, not so much.

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The bottom pic shows the dent in the floor from the underside of the car. The driver front floor is hooved up about a 1/2 inch as well, but it's spread out over the entire area under the drivers legs, so it should be a cakewalk to pull and get back in shape rather than the pyramid shaped dent in the rear. It's going to take some pulling, heating and shrinking of that metal to get it back to where it was originally. Should be real fun......And I say that with the utmost sarcasm.

This next set is pretty much everything metal that can be unbolted from the car that was taken to the sandblaster to have 30 years worth of crud removed so I could paint them all. The rear end I wasn't worried about because I had plans on gutting it anyway and making some much needed upgrades to it. You're not going to put a 350 HP engine up to one of these 7.5 inch 10 bolts and have it dig what you're doing to it. They like to scatter under much more than 300 HP. So there's a truck load of stuff that went to Mr Mitchell to have him blast it all. All this stuff got POR 15 , and some of it top coated chassis black.

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And yes, in case you're wondering, that's the elusive dual snorkel Camaro Z-28 air cleaner. I am using the Trans Am top for it, with the Camaro bottom. I took the Thermac motors off and welded the holes shut on both snorkels. The bottom isn't finished off yet, and I'm not real happy with the top either, so I'm going to end up re-refinishing those pieces later on. It took 3 years to locate all the parts for that set up alone. I wasn't going to shell out the $900 some of these goons on eBay are selling NOS units for, so I located them all a piece at a time. I've got right around $450 in it. I found a guy that had a set of NOS flex hoses for these, and quite frankly, that was the most expensive part of getting this set up. I think it'll look cool under the hood once it's completed.

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Re: Ripper's KARR build

Postby ripperace » Thu Mar 26, 2015 9:26 pm

We'll call this The Passions Gullwing Arrival:

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Ahh, the grin of a happy Ripper!
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And for good measure, no gullwing arrival would be complete without.......Turbo Boost Face!
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Re: Ripper's KARR build

Postby stillgrowingup » Thu Mar 26, 2015 9:51 pm

Looks like you are doing great work on that car Heath. That car is solid! I'm seriously jealous ..... i just have one question ... When we going race? 8-)

Tony

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Re: Ripper's KARR build

Postby ripperace » Thu Mar 26, 2015 9:55 pm

Good one Tony! I think you'd probably clean my clock. Isn't yours a stroker?

On with more.....
See the dimples in the hood? That's what happens if you're stupid and shove a truck radiator into a Trans Am!

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The remedy? One that fits!!!! I bought it used, had it pressure tested and cleaned, and bought fans that have an actual shroud around them rather than one big fan hanging out in the open like the factory did. I never understood why they thought that would provide good airflow across the radiator when you're not moving. That's the same as having a flex fan with no shroud around it! Sure, it'll move air, but not the right amount in my opinion. I'm debating on buying an aluminum radiator regardless. One thing these cars lacked was an efficient enough cooling system in my opinion. One weak link, and you've got a hot car. I'm hoping to eliminate the possibility of having a weak link at the front of my car as many others have had in the past. Obviously, the previous owner had issues with heat, or else he wouldn't have stuffed a truck radiator down it's throat. The car actually ran cold when I got it because the radiator was so big.

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Another weak link? The rear suspension.....I don't dig putting 350 horses under the hood and possibly having the rear end components fail. So the first thing was the rear end. A two hour round trip to Summit Racing up in Akron, and $1400 bucks later got me the goods. I updated the axles to a higher spline version, which meant the carrier had to be replaced as well. So we couldn't have the car doing "one wheel peels", so I got a Yukon posi unit for it. I also bought a Raetech solid spacer instead of using the regular weak ass crush sleeve. That's one area on these rear ends that's DEFINATELY weak. When put under real good power, those crush sleeves like to crush further, your pinion gear will walk away from the ring gear, then you've got a Post Toasties mess to clean up. One other thing The General didn't do when building these little rear ends? They didn't weld the axle tubes to the carrier housing but in THREE SPOTS! I solved that problem by welding them solid. When you weld cast, you have to pre-heat it to at least 400 degrees, or else it'll crack. Then you have to keep the heat in the area of the weld, or else it can crack. So what you're seeing is the rear end wrapped in insulation, and the tubes had some stuffed in them as well. I also went with tubular control arms and track bar. I like the UMI units. They're built strong and they have grease fittings on the ends so you can keep the bushings lubed up. NICE!

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The bottom pic shows the difference between the stock control arms and the UMI pieces.
Last edited by ripperace on Thu Mar 26, 2015 10:57 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Ripper's KARR build

Postby ripperace » Thu Mar 26, 2015 10:07 pm

More detail painting you say? No way! Yes way!

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The rear end WOULD HAVE had the stainless brake lines installed on them for this pic, but unfortunately they sent me the lines for a drum brake rear. So I had to send them back for replacements. The front subframe is pretty much ready to go in the car, but I've got to get the underside and the engine compartment done first. I plan on mounting the engine and trans to the subframe, sliding it under the car, then jacking the whole assembly up into the car. But I'll cross that bridge when I get to it because I've got headers for the car and don't know how their fitment would shake out installing the engine the way I plan on. So we'll see. I might have to leave them off the engine, install it, then install the headers. I refinished the gas tank yesterday, and got more undercoating cleaned off today. I'll dig those pics off the phone and post them here tomorrow.

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Re: Ripper's KARR build

Postby stillgrowingup » Thu Mar 26, 2015 10:07 pm

Heath

How'd you get the rear heated before welding it? ... I definitely need to put those UMI bars on my car, they're sweet! ... I have a 355 with an 86 TPI setup ... not a stroker.


Tony

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Re: Ripper's KARR build

Postby ripperace » Thu Mar 26, 2015 10:26 pm

Oxy/Acetylene with a rose bud torch. It took a while to get the thing heated up because you don't want to get it glowing red. It takes time to get it universally heated, then you've got to be qucik to get it welded before it cools off too much. I actually heated to around 600 degrees, then let it cool down to about 450, then welded, checked my heat, re-heated as necessary, then welded the other tube. It's a pain in the ass to weld cast. I do it a lot at work for these tools we make that are basically a control rod/valve for molten aluminum flow. We're not really as particular with those things as I was with the rear end, because those tools end up getting the snot beat out of them. Hell, sometimes we'll just wire feed the cast to the steel rod and be done with it. LOL! But to do it right, you have to do it by the book. The cooling off part is probably the most important because you're welding two different metals together, and you have to ensure the cast cools slowly. Steel will cool slower than cast by nature just because cast is "looser" than steel. The molecules in cast are further apart, so it's actually less dense. If you let it cool off too quickly, the cast will break. That's why that thing is wrapped in insulation, to keep the heat at the weld, and let it cool slower. I went out the next morning, and the cast was at around 95 degrees, and the steel was about 100 within an inch or two of the areas welded. So it worked out fine.

Ripper

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Re: Ripper's KARR build

Postby Rafael » Fri Mar 27, 2015 1:12 am

Sweet!

What rear end gear ratio did you go with?
I did much of the same rear end stuff as you.
I got a 334 stroker, I'll race!!! (Not in yet...:-( )

Cool stuff Heath, keepa postin!

Raf

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Re: Ripper's KARR build

Postby ripperace » Fri Mar 27, 2015 9:25 pm

Hey Raf!
I've got 3.73's in the rear end. That's what was in it, so I figured it'd be fine with the engine. I didn't want to go any higher for fear of running out of the cams RPM band when running down the road. Originally it was turning around 15-1700 cruising at 55-60 mph. Which is right at the edge of the cams band. So if I'd went higher on gear ratio, say 3.23's, I'd have more than likely had a mutt cruising down the highway with a tranny that would shift in and out of overdrive.

Ripper


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