1999 Chevrolet Corvette - Setting The Pace...

In Both Performance & Appearance

Richard Prince Nov 1, 2001 0 Comment(s)
Vemp_0111_07_z 999_chevrolet_corvette Side_view 2/8

The stroker was built using Brian's original block as a foundation. Because the LS1's cylinder liners don't allow for a bore increase, the block was honed only enough to clean up the cylinder walls and true the bores with a torque plate bolted in place. The original internals were shelved in favor of a Lunati stroker kit that included a forged crankshaft, forged rods, and forged pistons anchored by full floating pins. A custom ground camshaft replaced the factory stick and shortened pushrods were substituted for the originals.

Because the custom camshaft has higher lift than the factory unit, and because the cylinder head castings were milled to bump up compression ratio, valve actuation geometry was significantly changed. By specifying shortened pushrods, engine builder Dennis was able to maintain the proper rocker arm ratio and rocker arm tip to valve tip contact pattern. Rather than allowing critical clearances to fall within an acceptable tolerance range, Dennis makes sure every one is exactly where he wants. Main and connecting rod bearing clearances, for example, are carefully set toward the high side of their acceptable range in order to maximize the thickness of their oil film.

Every performance junkie knows that improved breathing is one of the keys to unlocking horsepower. To that end the engine was outfitted with a ported LS6 intake manifold, a ported mass airflow sensor, and a larger throttle body.

At the other end, custom-designed Vette Doctors headers speed the exit of exhaust gases. Because the engine routinely sees high rpm usage, ATI underdrive pulleys were installed. And to help control engine temperature, Brian opted to go with a Ron Davis aluminum radiator.

The final power making move involved the car's electronics. Its stock engine management system was reprogrammed with custom tailored fuel and ignition timing curves to take full advantage of all the other modifications. Finally, in the interest of occupant safety, the Vette Doctors welded in a Kirk Racing rollcage anchored to the car's structure at six points. Also in the name of increased safety they added a five-point Simpson harness.

The Corvette's original wheels got treated to high quality chrome plating and wear street tires for occasional road duty. A spare pair of rims fitted with Mickey Thompson ET Streets is put on the rear for added traction at the race track.

After the engine stroke and all ancillary work the car remains entirely civilized. It starts immediately, idles sedately, drives well, and offers up all of the creature comforts Chevrolet engineered into it in the first place. But when Brian puts his foot into it, all semblance of civility is abandoned as evidenced by the car's consistent 11.20 quarters. With that kind of speed, this Corvette really sets the pace for all of its competitors!


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