Welcome to the fourth of six total installments chronicling the assembling of our old "carny" Corvette into the ultimate C2 Vette Rod. Last month, the crew at Corvette Restoration AZ put the finishing touches on the paint and bodywork, and installed the A/C and all-new wiring harnesses. In this issue, we will install our badass 393 stroker, a brand-new Tremec 5-speed, and a twin-fan radiator setup. Before we continue with the build, here are the remaining basic elements of the Timber Wolf C2:
* Chassis, Suspension, Brakes, and Rearend Install
* Interior and Stereo Install, Wrap-Up, and Vehicle Drive Experience
Last month, the bodywork was done, and the car was finally primed and painted. As we said, we will also get into a little more detail on the engine accessories, including our new pulley system and the radiator/fan combo.
More than 25 years ago, a young Kim Ian Madsen, seeking a rebuild on a Vette engine, came through the doors of JD Machine in Lake Havasu City, Arizona. That would be the first of many car projects between them. When we asked JD Machine if they would like to participate in the engine build of the Timber Wolf C2, their answer was a definite yes. For the past 27 years, JD Machine has built stock and custom engines for all sorts of uses including circle track, street rods, off-road, race boats, and land speed racing. They also supply fully machined assemblies for those who like to do their own engine builds. As well as having a complete machine shop, they also have a Staska engine dyno in a separate test cell with the capability of over 1,500 hp.
When the plans were first laid for the drivetrain of the Timber Wolf C2, we decided to build a 393 Chevy stroker motor, primarily to produce big-block power from a well-built, old-school smallblock. We wanted to keep the install as simple as possible due to our time limitations, and since the C2 used a small-block from the factory, we knew another smallblock from the same bloodline would drop in with little effort.
To start this project, we needed a well-seasoned block that would be acceptable for a high-horse build like ours. We decided to source out one of Chevrolet's finest-a Gen-1 350 Chevy block-preferably with the last three digits in the casting number at the back of the block reading 010, which designates a high-nickel content block. When we contacted Mike Dawson, owner of JD Machine, he picked out his best block for this project from his vast inventory. All the blocks stored at JD Machine have been previously cleaned and magnetically inspected.
The block received the first of many machine operations from Don Hink, who handles all the machine work at JD Machine. The block's main bore line was bored and honed, and the cylinders were roughed in to a 4.030 bore. The block was also align bored and honed, and Eagle billet four-bolt main caps were installed. Next, the block was set up in the RMC deck squaring fixture. The RMC 12V surfacing machine was used to cut the deck down to 9.005 finished deck height. After the surfacing was completed, the block's cylinders were power honed with a series of different grit stones, with a finishing grit of No. 600.
While the block work was being tended to, cylinder head technician Logan Streckler took command of the set of 200cc cast-iron heads supplied by RHS. We decided to go with cast-iron heads instead of aluminum because the cost of the same heads in cast iron is much less, and probably will provide more power in the end. Streckler started out by port matching the heads to the new Weiand Stealth intake manifold. The manifold selected for the Timber Wolf C2 is a low-profile, dual-plane manifold. The port match was only the beginning of the fully finished ports, short turns, and bowls. No part was left unattended, including recutting the seats to double-check guide clearances and rehoning the valve guides. The valve work on the RHS heads is a special part of this build up and one of the important machine operations at JD Machine. This is where horsepower is found or lost. When building any engine, one always has a horsepower figure in mind as a goal. In this case, we had a set goal of 500 hp and 500 lb-ft of torque. We felt this would make a perfect street machine with a sensible compression ratio of 9.5:1. This way, the car could easily run on pump gas available anywhere in the U.S.
From there, the engine block was set up for stroke relieving for the Eagle 4340 stroker crank and their awesome Eagle H-beam 6.0-inch rods. JD Machine has used Eagle products for years and swears by them. The stroke on the crank is 3.875-inches, which required close attention at the bottom of the cylinder bores so not to grind through the water jackets. After all grinding was completed, the block was pressure tested to make certain the water jackets hadn't been breached. After the rotating assembly cleared the crank case area, the block was completely deburred, and all threaded holes were tapped and checked over for any damage. This engine work was accomplished by engine assembler Billy Medley. At this point, the engine was laid together for a dry assembly to check piston-to-valve clearance, pushrod length, and all clearances. Once we were certain everything cleared in the engine, the rotating assembly was balanced on the Winona balancer, where the finished balance job was less than 1 gram max out of balance. ATI Performance Products provided a Super Racing Damper, timing pointer, and one of their trick crank bolts to help balance the assembly.
Once all machine work was completed, the block and all its parts received a final wash and were readied for assembly. For high-horse insurance, a set of ARP main studs were used to mount the crankshaft into the block. We also ordered a set of custom-built Diamond 18cc dish pistons for our rotating assembly. MAHLE Clevite high-performance main and rod bearings were used along with a Weiand Team G Hi-Flow waterpump.
We ordered the RHS 200cc (64cc chamber) 2.02/1.60 straight plug cast-iron heads as a complete assembly; they came equipped with the latest and greatest from Comp Cams, including their Pro Magnum rocker arms. We also used ARP head bolts to mount the cylinder heads. We decided to go with a Comp Cams custom-grind hydraulic roller cam that Comp delivered within a few days. Comp also shipped us their adjustable billet timing set, a steel timing cover, and a set of ZEX high-performance spark plugs to round out the valvetrain.
After the engine was assembled, and we had our cylinder head data, Comp shipped us our custom-length Magnum pushrods. To button up the bottom end, we used a Champ road race oil pan and pickup in conjunction with a Melling Select Performance high-volume oil pump and chrome-moly shaft.the dual-plane Weiand intake and a custom-built, dyno-tested, Willy's Carburetor Shop 650 DP Holley was then installed. Holley provided the carb and Willy's performed the magic. For fire control, MSD provided one of their jammin' Pro-Billet tach drive distributors, a 6AL ignition control box, a Blaster coil, an APS billet starter, and spark plug wires for our monster mouse motor.
To ensure we would always have plenty of power, we used an Optima Red Top SC75U battery. To button up the valvetrain, we decided to go with a retro look, so we contacted Billet fabrication, and they sent us a set of their intense billet aluminum SBC valve covers. These valve covers are used on tons of NASCAR engines but rarely seen on street cars. A Holley 110-gph high-performance mechanical fuel pump provides the go juice from the new exact reproduction Quanta gas tank and sender out back. Right Stuff Detailing provided us with a new fuel line and clips, and Pure Choice Motorsports provided a set of their stainless steel braided fuel lines.
After the engine was built, it was loaded onto the Stuska Track Master Dyno Cart and hooked up to the dyno. Dyno technician Chris Harvey then put the 393ci engine through its paces. After a full day of tuning, testing, and trying different carburetor and carburetor spacers, sweet success finally arrived with our final tally at 475 hp at 5,700 rpm and 489 lb-ft of torque-not bad for a pump gas mouse motor.
That's it for this month, folks. Until next time, as always, we hope to see you out there in the "Taillight Zone."
Corvette Fever/Timber Wolf Speed Shop Sponsors
Al Knoch Interiors ::: Interior
ATI Performance Products ::: Engine Balancer
Automotive Racing Products (ARP) ::: Main Bearing & Cylinder Head Bolts
Be Cool ::: Radiator & Fan System
Billet Fabrication ::: Billet Valve Covers
Boyd Coddington Wheels ::: Custom Aluminum Wheels
BTM Cheetah Continuation Cars ::: Wide Body Panel Fabrication
Champ Pans ::: Oil pan & Pickup
Classic Chevy 5-speeds ::: TKO Tremec Transmission Elite Kit
Coffman Corvette ::: Radiator Core Support
Comp Cams ::: Camshaft kit, Pushrods, Timing Chain & Cover, Plugs, Rocker Arms
Corvette Central ::: Sidepipes, Exterior Lights, Battery Tray, Window Seals
Corvette Clocks by Roger ::: Gauge Cluster and Clock
Corvette Image ::: Corvette Front End Assembly & Hood
Corvette Restoration AZ ::: Paint, Bodywork & Assembly
Corvette Rubber ::: Weatherstripping and Window Seals
Custom Autosound ::: Stereo & Speaker System
Detroit Speed & Engineering ::: Power Steering Pump
Denny's Driveshafts ::: Rear Axle Halfshafts
Diamond Racing Products ::: Pistons
Eagle Specialty Products ::: Crankshaft & Connecting Rods
Eaton ::: Differential (Posi Unit)
Flaming River Industries ::: S/S Tilt Column, Steering Wheel & Adapter, Steering Box, Alternator Kill Switch
Goodyear Tire & Rubber ::: Tires
Hedman Hedders ::: Headers
Holley Performance Products ::: Carburetor, Intake Manifold & Water Pump (Weiand)
JD Machine ::: Engine Block, Assembly & Dyno
Keen Parts ::: Bumper Brackets, Braces & Rocker Moldings
Lonestar Caliper ::: Proportioning Valve & Rearend Spindle Flanges
MAHLE Clevite ::: Main & Rod Bearings
M & H Electric Fabricators ::: Wiring Harnesses
Melling Select Performance ::: Oil Pump & Intermediate Shaft
Mid America Motorworks ::: HD Side Yokes & Seals
Motive Gear ::: Ring-and-Pinion, Install Kit
MSD Ignition ::: Distributor, Starter, Coil, Plug Wires, MSD6AL Box
Muskegon Brake ::: HD Rearend Cover, Install Kit, Bolt Kit, Locks
Optima Batteries ::: Battery
Paragon Reproductions ::: Emblems, Underbody Components, Bumber Bracing, Trim & Fasteners
Penn-Ohio Corvette Specialties ::: Heat Barrier Kit
Phoenix Graphix ::: '67 Stinger Hood Stencil Kit
Pure Choice Motorsports ::: S/S Fuel Lines
Quanta Products ::: Gas tank & sender
Racing Head Service ::: Cylinder Head Assemblies
Right Stuff Detailing ::: Main Fuel Line and Clip Set
Scottsdale Paint & Supply ::: PPG Platinum basecoat/clearcoat paint
Trim Parts ::: Glovebox Door & Fuel Filler Door Assys.
Vette Brakes and Products ::: Brakes & Suspension Components
Vintage Air ::: A/C & Frontrunner Pulley System
Willy's Carburetor & Dyno Shop ::: Holley Carburetor (build)