LS9 69 Camaro


I’ve just finished my latest project, an LS9-powered 69 Camaro. It’s my most ambitious project to date, though the original II Much (my 67 Nova) might disagree.

The car has all the very best stuff from Detroit Speed: mini-tubs, Quadralink, subframe, subframe connectors, etc. Forgeline center lock wheels, Wilwood 14.25″ brakes, InfinityBox wiring and harness, VaporWorx fuel system, C&R Racing radiator and intercooler, and Vintage Air heating and air conditioning.

Some of the unique features of the car include a custom exhaust (2″ primaries, 4″ collector, oval tubes, x-pipe, and 3″ tail pipes), a complete custom dash and matching interior, Cobra Misano carbon fiber seats, 9 speaker stereo/navigation system, constant velocity driveshaft, automatic headlights, LED interior lighting, self-draining catch cans, and more.

Here’s a few pictures:

Custom interior

Custom interior…

...Coming from this

… from this

Ready for a hood

Engine ready…

... starting from here

… starting from here

Current Happenings

Over the past couple of years, I’ve been on a slightly different direction here at II Much Fabrication. The most noticeable thing you might notice is that there’s relatively little mention of Fuel Vents, and that’s because I’ve sold that enterprise to my old business partner. I had grown weary of the time required, most especially time during business hours as I still have a day job and a manager that wasn’t too keen on not having my full attention during the day.

In the end, we parted company, and I’ve gotten back to building cars. If you’ve come here looking for fuel vents, a Google search will quickly get to where you want to be, or you can try this: Fuel Vent webstore.

Most recently, I’ve built an LS9-powered 69 Camaro for a local customer. I’ll post more about it over the next few days.

Knowledge with Oil

Joe Gibbs Break-In Oil and Mobil1 0W-40 European Formula are ready for the job.

Joe Gibbs Break-In Oil and Mobil1 0W-40 European Formula are ready for the job of keep my forged LS7 happy at 7 grand.

The shop Z06 is on the mend from recent piston surgery, and I bought some Mobil1 0W-40 motor oil to fill up the dry sump tank for its initial fire. GM recommends 5W-30 Mobil1 and every LS7 leaves the factory filled with it, and I like the 0W-40 only because it has more zinc, and it is preferred oil in my crowd at the local tracks. I mentioned all that to Dave Crume (of Crume Racing Engines), who built the short-block, and he cringed. He told me to use Joe Gibbs break-in oil for a couple of hours, then switch to a quality non-synthetic oil, and then to a synthetic oil at 500-1000 miles. He said the engine wouldn’t break in properly unless I did that.

Call me skeptical. Continue reading

STACK TPMS Install on the Tommy Camaro

The gauge shows tire pressures and temperatures at a glance by rotating through the four tires.

The Stack TPMS gauge shows tire pressures and temperatures at a glance.

More and more safety and convenience systems are making their way from late-model vehicles to our hot rods. Some high end builds are using anti-lock braking systems and traction control. Other examples are cruise control, three point seatbelts, thermostatically controlled environment controls, interior and exterior lighting, and navigation systems, to name a few.

The latest in this long list is TPMS: a tire pressure monitoring system. When we built the Tommy Camaro, the owner wanted to go without a spare, and use run-flat tires with a TPMS. After some research, and a walk-through at the PRI show, we found this amazing system from Stack. Stack specializes in data recording for race cars, and recently added a TPMS to their catalogue. Continue reading

Hose Clamps

To make room for the MAF routing we’ve spliced in an aluminum tube into the upper radiator hose and sealed the assembly with the nearly magical Gates heat shrink clamps.

We’re in the process of sealing up the cooling system of the Tommy Camaro  with a variety of clamps —  none of which are the typical hardware store worm drive type. The most obvious and interesting clamp is the Gates heat shrink product which holds the upper radiator hose together. Given the multi part nature of the upper hose, traditional clamps would have been an unattractive bristled mess of stainless steel. The Gates clamps look way cleaner and outperform the old school alternative.
Continue reading

Shock simulators in the Fab Shop

Quadra-Link suspension installed using shock simulators

We’ve made more progress on the 69 Camaro getting a high-end Pro-Touring upgrade here in the Fab Shop. We’ve just finished installing the DSE Quadra-Link rear suspension along with welding in the Speedtech Chicane front coil over adapter. Both systems are supposed to be installed by using the coilover shock to guide where the upper mount is supposed to go.

But we had a better idea… Continue reading

Welding Center

I’ve been using my new Miller welders for about a month now. I’m pleased so far… the Dynasty 200 DX TIG machine has an amazing arc and the foot pedal felt natural from the start. I’m also applying my new knowledge of proper setup when using a gas lens (use 22 CFH rather than 16ish). Now I can use a tungsten stickout of an inch with no problem at all. Check out the size of the machine in the photo below. It weighs less than 50 lbs, and can be carried to the job site. It will even work with 110V if needed. I still haven’t tried it out on aluminum — which is why I sold my Lincoln to step up to this machine in the first place. That’s going to change soon: I’ve got a fuel tank to make in a couple of weeks.

My new Miller MIG machine (Millermatic 211) was a bit more trouble. Using the factory setup wasn’t working — I was struggling with burnback (where the wire melts at the torch end and not in the weld puddle) until I read on the Miller welding forum to turn up wire speed about 20% when using .024 wire (which I was). Now the machine is rock-solid and works perfectly. The low-spatter claims seem to be true as well.