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February 2009 Chevy High Performance Letters - CHP Garage

Sean Haggai Feb 1, 2010

LS Decoded
Wow. After all these years I finally have a guide to refer to for the "L" series engines. I'll no longer have to ask the seemingly stupid questions. Thank you.

Barry Dukes
Baltimore, MD

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Barry, thank you for writing in and let me assure you, there's no such thing as stupid questions. For every person who comes up with one, I can pretty much guarantee there's someone else out there wondering the same thing. Keep your eyes open, this is just the first of many more LS stories to come.

More LS Passion
I received my copy of the December 2009 magazine and was happy to see two articles that were interesting to me. The article on how to rebuild your suspension was very interesting and informative since I plan to rebuild the suspension and add disc brakes to the front and rear of my truck this winter. Also, the article "LS Motors Decoded" was interesting to me. My truck has an '07 Corvette LS2 mill, a 4L65E transmission, 3.73:1 limited-slip posi rearend.

I had most of the work done by professionals and I am proud of the results and satisfied with the performance of the LS package. I had originally intended to purchase a ZZ4 350 and a new transmission. The owner of Street and Performance told me that he could get me into an LS1 engine with a 4L60E transmission for around [the same] price. After putting six month's worth of thought into it, I decided to go for it and I'm glad I did. According to S&P, with headers and by reprogramming the computer, an LS2 engine they dyno tested put out 448 horsepower, so I am assuming mine is somewhere between 400 and 450.

Dale Collvins
DeKalb, TX

It's really hard to beat the performance for the money. While we'll never deviate from our conventional small- and big-blocks, the LSs are tough to beat. It used to be that carbureted LS mills was the easiest way to make the conversion, however, these days even electronic fuel injection has come to an affordable level, allowing many more people to get into a modern day powerplant. Enjoy your new combination!

To Good Friends
I received my issue of Chevy High in the mail today and when I flipped over to the "Shop Talk" page, I immediately recognized Terry's car in the photo and my first thought was, "Great! Terry is back and writing some stuff for Chevy High!"

I had only heard in recent years that he had been sick, but I did not know any more than that.

I was quickly saddened to hear of his passing. I only knew him as a casual acquaintance, having met him at SEMA several years ago, and I can recall just how easily we struck up what turned out to be a long conversation, and how talking with him was like talking with someone that I'd known for many years.

Although I didn't know him well, it was easy to see that this was a very kind, genuine, driven, and passionate person, and that he will be missed by many.

I'm so glad to have had the opportunity to meet him, and my family will keep the Stevens family in our thoughts and prayers during this difficult time.

Your "Live for the moment!" banner on the "Shop Talk" page could not be a more fitting statement, and I'm sure Terry would certainly agree.

Rob White
Tracy, CA

Thanks for the kind words and for taking the time to share your experience. So you know, I've gone ahead and shared your letter with Terry's other half and she certainly appreciates your letter.

Got something to say? We'll make you famous and put your letter here. Email us at

Update: Brutus
It's not all the time we can get images or information into our stories. With that though, to keep you up to date with Project Brutus, it's finally back on the ground. For the past couple of months, it's been riding high on jack stands up off the ground-wheels removed. We have completely rebuilt the front and rear suspension with PST components as well as the steering system. Henry D was kind enough to lend me some rollers to move the car around though to get the budget big-block back in. We'll also add our 2-inch headers and Monster TH400 too! Won't be long now until we fire this thing up.-SH

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Rooster Call
Sean Haggai
Breathing West Coast air is something I never thought I would miss-it's just home. People I fight with in traffic and avoid in crowds are actually the same people I missed as I was driving to and from the hotel while I was at the LSX Shootout in Memphis, TN. It's hard to explain, I wasn't homesick. I'm just used to the craziness and "get-outta-my-way" mentality. Call it strange-yes. However, the people of Memphis have got to be some of the nicest and most wholesome people I have ever had the chance to meet. Grabbing up a burger at Sonic's should seem pretty normal. However, it was an abnormal meeting with the girl who brought me the food. While it was all of a chill 40 degrees outside, she was genuinely concerned with me and the fact that I was standing in the cold awaiting my measly burger. Maybe it was the southern twang she threw in there that melted my heart. I don't think you would find that sort of legitimacy here in L.A. If you have found it, tell me where it's at. Unless you know someone who knows someone, good luck trying to find some decent hospitality in this town. Is everyone really out for themselves here? At times, it can seem like it.

I question if the West Coast has lost all of what makes this city so great. Sure, we are a melting pot, sporting a variety of nationalities, but is it really necessary to judge the "outsiders?" My theory hasn't gone unmet with proof though. I've seen my fair share of friends who were hosed by others and left for cold without an ounce of regret. It's all about "gettin' yours" here. Whichever the case may be I'll still never turn my back on the city I grew up in. L.A. has been good to me. Find the right group of people or in our case the right shop and you've got friends for life. Get up into San Fernando or the surrounding shops of the "Valley" and you'll meet a group of people who will do anything to make sure your car gets going; just make sure you know someone beforehand. Still, the people of Memphis have got my vote for being the nicest city. Their down-home mentality made an impact on me.

Get To Readin'
Not quite up to speed on the latest automotive based literature? Car Tech auto books & manuals have got everything you'll need to know to perform just about anything automotive related. Learn to how to weld, do bodywork, build a small-block in the garage, or even how to swap an LS motor into just about anything. These rugged books should be in your toolbox. They come fully loaded with thick pages, color images, and detailed captions-everything you'll need to know to get the job done right!

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Car Tech Books

Team CHP Update
As of late, we've been pretty quiet about our drag racing antics, but it's not because we haven't been at it. Actually, it's been quite the opposite. Artis Houston is currently running our newest Pettis Performance-built 598ci big-block in the WCHRA Drag Radial ( class with his '71 Nova. The latest combination utilizes a set of Edelbrock Victor 24 cylinder heads, including a Steve Johnson-prepped Edelbrock E3 nitrous system, and a Hogan's sheetmetal manifold. We're in the testing stages and proud to say that we're already creeping up on our previous best with less effort. As with most of our builds, you can expect a complete detailed story to come in the upcoming issues.

Our other partner in crime, Mike Saiki, has also been competing in the WCHRA Limited 10.5 class with two nearly identical '68 Camaros; one with a 377ci small-block (8.82 at 155 mph) and the other with a 525ci big-block (8.55 at 164 mph), both of which are huffing nitrous. To date, Saiki has clinched the championship and already getting ready for the 2010 season with a 25.5 chassis upgrade.

As for our third-gen, Bill Hickok of Hickok Race Cars in California City, California, has already started on the 25.2 bars, set up the ride height with a fresh set of Weld Racing Wheels on M/T ET Drag tires, and Chris Alston's Chassisworks is currently finishing up our 9-inch rearend with Strange Engineering internals. Up front, we're utilizing a complete RaceCraft tubular K-member with 2-inch drop spindles and VariShock struts. For the skin, you can expect to see all VFN fiberglass components, including the one-piece front end, cowl hood, dash, and doors. We're slowly getting there! -HD



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