November 2012 Chevy High Performance Q&A

Power Tour Leaves

Kevin McClelland Sep 20, 2012 0 Comment(s)
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The Hot Rod Power Tour has come and gone this year. I like to use this phrase on people who don’t understand deadlines. We all live by deadlines. Some are self-imposed and the others are set for us (like tax day!).

I used to work at a company that had no idea what a deadline was. We’d set deadlines and they would come and go with no result, weeks turned into months, and months into years. ... This is when I coined the “Power Tour” phrase. Power Tour is leaving whether you’re there with your hot rod or not. You can’t ask for an extra day—or hour—because they won’t listen. They are going to pull out and get on the road to the next city on a schedule.

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Why I bring this topic up is that my son, Daniel, came out last week and set a deadline to get his RX-7 with its LS2 and six-speed swap running in 60 days! Yes, the engine is built and dropped in, the chassis and brakes are modified and rebuilt. Now we’re down to the simple stuff, like marrying the LS2 computer and harness to the RX-7 original electrical system. One thing I’ve learned about Mazda is the double- and triple-fuse electrical circuits; if you ever blow a fuse you’ll be looking for a while to find the blown one. Unfortunately, this marriage is far from simple. Our good friend Ken Casey at John Elway Chevy has been looking up electrical diagrams of the ’06 GTO electrical system, and Daniel has done a tremendous amount of research of other engine swaps into the Third Gen RX-7 Mazdas. We spent all last weekend rebuilding the harnesses from the GTO and integrating them into the Mazda. We’re about a third of the way on the electrical systems. I sure wish there was a way to test everything without hooking up the battery and checking for smoke. You know how the old saying goes, when the smoke leaks out of the wires, it’s back to the shop to have the smoke put back in them. If not, it won’t run again.

As soon as we finish the electrical we’ll move the car over to my garage and start on the exhaust system. This will be a full dual exhaust with the factory dual cats from the GTO, as we’re building an emissions-legal swap. This will take me a bit of time; it will be built up from mandrel-bent 304 stainless 21/2-inch tubing. Tight doesn’t even begin to describe the exhaust routing. I’m not looking forward to this exercise, as I’ve built my fair share from scratch. But it’s all about the deadline. I’ve got to give Daniel credit for putting a line in the sand. Now we’ve got something to shoot for. Do you need to set any deadlines? Well, get after it and get your project done. Let us know how it worked out and what you learned. Good luck and work safe!

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