There’s always a particular turning point during a build when the adrenaline levels start to climb, and for Peter Newell and his team at Competition Specialties in Walpole, Massachusetts, that point came when they bolted on the front-end sheetmetal for Project Orange Krate. In one day, the project caught its first breath as a near complete car where its seductive lines accentuated by endless hours of meticulous body prep and flawless Planet Color Big Bad Orange vibe all came to life.
During this build segment there were a number of important areas spotlighted that were of the utmost importance, starting with the ignition system. Anyone can just plug in the goods and call it a day, but Newell is well known for studying the situation and creating a unique presentation, infusing both form and function. To keep the engine bay clutter free, he mounted the Speedtech Performance black anodized coil pack relocation mounts low on the Detroit Speed hydroformed subframe, then custom cut and routed the Flame-Thrower MAGx2 8mm ignition wires. He even taught us how to fashion a low-buck wire loom from simple zip ties that looks bitchin.
Attention to detail has been such a main thrust throughout this build, giving Orange Krate a broad appeal to look equally at home on the show field or cruise nights while also being able to tear it up on a dragstrip or road race circuit. Newell once again filled up the spray booth and gave plenty of dazzle to the new AutoRad custom radiator core support as well as the fan shroud and related parts, even softening the look of the radiator and condenser with a coating of Eastwood’s Radiator Satin Black.
By the time the Anvil Auto carbon-fiber inner fenders and front-end sheetmetal were installed, it was clear to everyone in the shop that Orange Krate’s presence had finally arrived and that it was going to be one hot contender this season on the track.
Stay tuned as we’re almost ready to add fuel and light up the ignition bringing this project to life.
1. For the versatility of mounting the factory GM coils in a multitude of places, we contacted Speedtech Performance for a set of its trick black anodized coil pack relocation mounts. They come complete with all mounting hardware including bolts, nuts, and countersunk Allen head screws for the bases. Here you can see how an assembled unit looks.
2. Peter Newell of Competition Specialties located a perfect spot atop the front-most crossmember of the Detroit Speed subframe to mount the coil packs for a clean-looking installation. Here he’s using a scribe to mark the mounting points.
3. Once marked, Newell used a cordless drill to create the mounting holes. The area was then blown clean of all debris using an air gun.
4. A tap was then used to thread the holes for the mounting hardware. Newel recommends using cutting oil on the tap to make the job easier.
5. The brackets were then secured in place using the provided countersunk screws.
6. Looking stealthy and making use of an often-overlooked space, the coil packs look killer in their new residence tucked out of the way.
7. Moving the spark is a set of Flame-Thrower MAGx2 8mm ignition wires from Pertronix. We opted for the universal kit with straight spark plug ends since we knew we’d need custom-length wires due to relocating the coil packs.
8. Once the routing was confirmed, the individual wires were measured for exact length and cut to fit, stripping away the outer jacket and inner insulation and exposing the wire. This allows for the creation of the coil pack end.
9. To get started, the coil end boot was slipped onto the wire end and moved back to allow plenty of room to work.
10. The terminal end was then installed on the bare wire end, crimped in place, and soldered.
11. The insulator end was then installed to complete the wire end.
12. For a simple, clean spark plug loom, Newell surprised us with this little tip using, of all things, your basic black medium-sized zip ties.
13. With only four ties per section, he illustrated how to properly loop them on the back side of the loom and trim them to look razor sharp and slick.
14. The final layout of the relocated coil pack mounts combined with the routing of the spark plug wires looks downright bitchin!
15. The custom aluminum AutoRad radiator core support and all related pieces were disassembled and prepped for paint. Here, the support was sanded both by hand and with a DA topped with 220-grit dry sandpaper till smooth.
16. Once sanding was completed, team member Pat Dickinson hung the support and related pieces in the spray booth. Using a clean white cloth he used a Sherwin-Williams prep-solvent to remove all contaminants from the surface, as evidenced by the dirt on the cloth. Just ’cuz it looks clean doesn’t always mean it is.
17. Newell then loaded up his trusty spray gun and laid down just enough Planet Color Big Bad Orange to bring even more of Orange Krate’s parts to life.
18. The new AutoRad aluminum radiator was masked off and given a fresh look thanks to the satin finish of Eastwood’s Radiator Black (PN 10340Z).
19. A light coat is all you need, otherwise you could hinder cooling. Here is the new face of the AutoRad aluminum radiator with its fresh satin black coating.
20. In the reassembly stages, the custom dual fans and aluminum shroud came to life at a new level as they were reattached to the rear of the radiator.
21. Next, the freshly painted AutoRad condenser was attached to the front of the radiator using the supplied highly polished stainless hardware.
22. The custom-designed radiator core support not only looked slick, it brought great design elements to Orange Krate as it was secured in place for the final time.
23. Killer looks ready to get to work cooling Orange Krate once the car hits the street.
24. The lightweight, smooth carbon-fiber inner fenders from Anvil Auto were test-fitted one last time to the front fenders, addressing any minor mounting adjustments before final assembly.
25. Newell and Dickinson then carefully mounted the inner fenders in place using reassembly hardware from Totally Stainless.
26. To protect the freshly painted leading edges of the doors, it’s a good idea to apply some 2-inch masking tape to the areas.
27. The front fenders were then set in place with any final adjustments made at that time.
28. Using the hardware reassembly kit from Totally Stainless was a snap, especially since they individually package the hardware for each component. The attention to detail really shines when you have polished stainless hardware that sets it off.
29. The team paid close attention to the initial assembly of the freshly painted ’70-’73 Camaro RS Conversion Kit from Classic Industries.
30. Here’s a sample of what’s to come as we turn that last corner of Orange Krate’s build. We can hardly wait to share more!