To complete the second phase of the build, Strictly Performance also fabricated a custom strut for the Procharger's J-bracket to keep it from flexing. In combination with the 8-rib upgrade option and ATI Super Damper, the strut would help prevent belt slippage. Because the original Procharger bypass valve wouldn't hold up to the 20 psi supplied by the D-1SC, it was also swapped in favor of a Turbonetics Raptor. Still using base Procharger twin air-to-air intercoolers, this combination was sufficient for 705 rear-wheel horsepower with additional tuning, but Barth knew there was additional power to be had through replacing the stock-style 2.5-inch off-road Y-pipe and single inlet/dual outlet Cat-Back with one of his true dual setups. Big 3-inch tubes were carefully bent to the contours of the floorpan, then welded to an X-pipe and Magnaflow mufflers, made to connect to the SLP center mount exhaust. With a few tweaks and the addition of a McLeod twin disc clutch, pressure plate and billet flywheel, the SS reached 813 hp and 765 lb-ft of torque.
At last, Frank was satisfied with his '02 SS, and saw no need to discard his Weiand/Lingenfelter aluminum intake manifold and BBK 80mm throttle body in favor of a higher-priced setup. Prior to the exhaust and clutch upgrade, he had already managed a 10.20 at 143 mph at California Speedway (aka Fontana). Utilizing only Mickey Thompson 275/40/17 drag radials mounted on the stock 35th Anniversary rims, 3.73 gear, and SLP subframe connectors, Frank mustered up a 1.84 short time. As soon as the stock 10-bolt makes its untimely demise, he plans to upgrade to a 12-bolt rear and possibly even some sturdier suspension pieces. Meanwhile, he's keeping his fingers crossed for the stock T-56 and driveshaft.
Hopefully this California dream machine won't need an aftermarket trans or 12-bolt to continue its primary duties as a Sunday driver, though. With the top down, the sun glaring off the cherry Bright Red paint, and 800hp tunes playing out the SLP center mount exhaust tips, we can't imagine a better car for SoCal--and neither can Frank.