Performance Q&A Tech Section

Our Resident tech guru, Big Mac, tells all.

Kevin McClelland Apr 1, 2009 0 Comment(s)
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The Great Move Is On
It's official. I'm seeking new employment. This gig at Chevy High Performance is the best second job I've ever had (thanks, Henry), but I do need to put food on the table and a roof over our heads! So we're picking up roots that have grown very deep in Northern California for the past 15 years and moving back to Southern California. SoCal is the heart and soul of the performance aftermarket industry, which I'm so in love with and which has served my family well for the past 28 years.

How many projects have you done in your garage in the past decade and a half? How do you start to think about packing up your shop/garage, and how do you get it to a new location without giving away or selling everything? That's what my wife and I are up against. Back in 1993, when we first moved to NorCal, we rented a 24-foot box truck with a lift gate, which we packed to the gills. We were holding things into the box when we pulled down the door of the truck. This didn't include what we stuffed into our Suburban and the '57 Chevy on our open trailer. And one of my buddies still had to trailer down my '68 Camaro months later.

Shift to 2008. Between two full trucks and trailer race rigs, two race cars, and three street cars, we're going to be a little busy shuttling everything down south. We've already rid ourselves of two street cars, including Daniel's '68 Nova. We'll pick a new project when we get settled. It may be really off the wall, but we'll have to wait and see.

So again, how many projects have you worked on in the past 15 years, and how many parts and pieces do you consider priceless? I can easily count six major projects that I've finished over the years, plus a number of minor upgrades. Just to pack up the garage I've got to assemble two complete engines. This is good and bad. Finishing the engines requires many hours, but they move a lot easier complete.

My final ace in the hole is our good friend and neighbor, who has a 53-foot trailer. The first words out of his mouth were, "I'll move your garage!" This was music to my ears. Now to decide what I really need after all these years. When you come across things you moved 15 years ago and haven't touched since, it makes you really take a hard look at them. However, as my lovely wife likes to remind me, when I put the wagon together, things came off the shelf that I'd had since the early '80s.

May I survive to write next month's column. Talk to you soon!

Two or Three Speeds?
I want to race my '67 Chevy II in the eighth-mile at my local Florida Dragway, in the 7.50 index class. Presently the car is powered by a stock ZZ4 Chevy crate engine, a Tremec TKO 600 five-speed, and a 12-bolt Eaton posi rearend with 4.10:1 gears.

I'm also running Calvert bars on stock monoleaf springs and Rancho shocks. I intend to use P255/60R15 Mickey Thompson ET Street Drag radials or a pair of 26x8.5x15 MT slicks tucked into the stock wheelwells. Other than that, I have a six-point 'cage installed and it is NHRA legal. Do you recommend going with a TH350 for consistency? Would you consider any additional changes to the engine or gear ratio? I understand you're a veteran drag racer and would appreciate your recommendations to be competitive in the class.Gerry VeeLand O Lakes, FL

A One thing our Malibu wagon has taught us is that we don't know everything! Not that we ever said we did, but a new car can be a humbling experience. A 7.50 in the eighth doesn't sound too tough, but that equates to an 11.55 e.t. in the quarter-mile! You've got a few things to think about.




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