We've Come Too Far!
Since when have you been able to drive off the showroom floor and onto the dragstrip then knock down mid-12-second e.t.'s and 115-mph runs with a completely stock Detroit-built hot rod? With an automatic trans and the traction control on? I haven't been paying too much attention to the late-model iron, namely the Corvette. Now you might be thinking, "Kevin, you know the LS7 505hp ZO6 has been out for years?" or "Wow, how could you miss the release of the ZR1 supercharged LS9 with its outstanding 630 ponies on tap?" I'm not talking about these pure-breed race cars. I'm talking about your bread-and-butter, standard, '08-and-up Corvette with the Gen IV LS3 6.2L producing 430 SAE horsepower; this is one of the most amazing feats of engineering to date. You could put your grandmother in this car and she wouldn't know she was driving a hot rod down to the local market. Nary a chop to the idle, smooth power from the electronic-controlled throttle; this package has it all. Now stand on the throttle and boy, will it open your eyes.
One of our fellow racers at Fontana has been racing an '06 GTO for years. He has been so successful with late-model-electronics cars that he and his GTO won the Summit ET World Championship at the NHRA Finals in the Sportsman class. Well, this past weekend he didn't have his usual Yellow GTO-the car you hated to see in the other lane-but instead a paper-plate '09 Silver auto-equipped Corvette. He would roll into the water, turn off the traction control, and do a short burnout. Reengaging the traction control, carefully staging the car, and as quiet as a mouse, thunder down the track to a 12.30 e.t. at over 115 mph. Again, I was floored. It's only a matter of time before he has this car completely sorted out and killing the competition on a weekly basis. Then he'll drive it back down to San Diego, knocking down nearly 30 mpg on the way.
I hope the insurance police and politicians won't get in the way of our advancements in technology. I can't wait for the next 10 years. All I can say is that I'm going to be paying more attention to the new hot rods from now on. I just need to rob a bank so I can own one!
Shiftless In San Diego
Q: I am having a terrible time setting up the Proform 750-cfm carb on my 454, mainly finding brackets that would accommodate the throttle cable and the TV cable. I'm running a 700-R4 trans and have not been able to adjust the TV cable to get the trans to behave! After five different brackets, I finally found that the one that mounts using two of the carb mounts works fine. So now I have this awesome setup, and it runs great, but it won't shift. I've tried all the methods to adjust a TV cable, and it still won't shift correctly. Also, the Lokar pedal and throttle cable assembly won't give me full throw on the carb, no matter how I set it up. Should I be using a bell crank of some sort? No one has the answers, and I feel like I'm the first person to run into these issues, but I know that's not true! Please help if you can.
San Diego, CA
A: Adjusting the Throttle Pressure cable on a 700-R4 transmission can be a real challenge. Many a trans has been burned up due to incorrect adjustment or incorrect travel because of the centerline of throttle shaft-to-cable mounting location. The distance from the throttle shaft to the cable mounting pickup point must be around 1.125 inches. Any less and the TV cable won't move in its full range and can't get to full TV pressure. If this distance is too great, the cable will run out of travel and adjust too quick, which will really lower your part-throttle transmission line pressure and cook the trans.