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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
Hey guys I have been lurking around on the site for awhile now so I figured it's time to post up my current build for those of you who are interested in reading about peoples builds :)

I have tons of pics of my current build so if you guys are interested please let me know and I can upload pics of the build process for you all to see. My wife is 4 1/2 months pregnant with our first baby so I only have about 4 months to finish this entire build. What a fun time this has been for me, building an awesome car while preparing to be a father.. I couldn't be happier right now and I am crazy busy with this build. If all goes to plan I will have a whole new car in 7 months time. Talk about Exciting!



The Car:

1956 210

Solid as can be. No rust on floors, trunk, or in window frames. The reason I purchased this car is because of how solid it is. When i purchased the car it already had a 396 / 4sp combo installed with 3.55 gears. I dyno tuned it at my local dyno shop and put down a respectable 335 Wheel horse on 87 octane and made a 14 second pass @ 100mph at 4600' with street tires and a 2.3 60'. Respectable to say the least but I was ready for something more. So about 2 months ago I started my build and here are the details.



We just finished the rear end portion of the build. this included a shortened 9" rear end with 35 spline moser axles, wave trac w/ 3.50 gears and 4 piston power disc brakes. Installed the " in the rail " spring relocation kit with new springs and caltrax bars and dropped it 2 inches and added 50/50 drag shocks. We also mini tubbed the trunk and I now have 14" of clearance from the lip to the frame rail and no one would ever know by looking in my trunk which is exactly what I wanted.. I am currently using 325/60/15 M&H Draig Radials on a 10" wide Rally rim and I have plenty of room to run a larger tire if I choose too.

We installed a S&W 12PT cage with rear bars that lets you keep the rear seat. The cage was highly modified by us for a better fit than what they recommended. The S&W is a nice kit but I think they should bend the bars for a tighter and cleaner fit so this is what we did. The cage install turned out great. The car is heading to a local interior shop next week for all new interior. Seat skins, door panels, headliner and carpet. I don't want anything fancy when it comes to interior so I am using plain black vinyl, something that looks good, clean and simple.

After the upholostery shop finishes the interior it's heading back to my house for the motor and transmission install. ( specs below ) Once the motor and transmission is isntalled the car will head out to my friends body shop for a full custom paint job. My friend is good with photoshop and created a sample for me of how my car is going to look. It's going to be a love or hate thing with the Orange and Black color Combo but I am really excited about it and I think it will turn out great. I will post this photoshop pic below for you to see what it will look like.

After the car is done with paint I will obviously start wiring the fuel injection system and adding the fuel lines, wiring, etc.. I will also install my front 2" drop spindles, 6 piston disc brakes, tubular control arms, Sway bar and power disc brake system.. Then at this point it will head out to the dyno shop for a custom dyno tune. I do not like carbs sticking on top of a blower so I decided to go with the Enderle Bird Catcher with a custom EFI system. Here is the specs:

Custom Merlin III 540 BBC
Mahle Forged Blower pistons 8:1
Custom Comp blower cam solid roller
full roller harland sharp rockers
hardland sharp stud girdle
merlin III rectangular port alum heads 2.3/1.88 port matched to intake
Full Length Headers w/ Dual 3" Flowmaster exhaust
Supercharger USA Stage III Anodized Internals 8-71 Blower
1:1 Ratio, Probably around 8 psi throug the 540
Megasquirt III-x Fuel Injection System
Bosch Custom Flowed 1200CC Injectors
Custom made plate & rails with CNC machine
Enderle Bird Catcher Top Hat
Jakes Performance 4L80 W/ Billet shafts, 3K lockup stall, trans brake & and warrantied to 1500 horse. I wanted a 80% street car 20% track car which is why I spent the extra 3K on a overdrive transmission that can handle anything I throw at it.

I have no idea what kind of power this is going to make. I am hoping for ~800 wheel horse on pump gas once it's tuned in.. With my custom blower everyone told me it should make close to 1000 wheel horse at my boost level but I would rather set my expectations low and be surprised in a good way. If I can put down 800 wheel horse while dead hooking off the line with my trans brake I will be plenty happy and should be plenty fast for now. Once I run consistent times I can then either run more boost or run a plate n itrous system to raise the bar a little, but for now all I care about is perfect drivability and tuning with pump gas.. My other car made 1200 wheel horse but obviously it's a lot easier to make big power with a turbo car over a supercharger car because of the nice big front mount intercooler on that setup. Either way I really enjoy this site and I have learned a lot and I can post pics of my build if you guys want to see. otherwise I will keep you updated throughout the next 3 months since tons of changes are coming soon!


This is how my paint is going to look.. Thanks to my buddy for putting my thoughts into a pic for me from his awesome photoshop skills :)

 

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Very very cool build you got going there. Looking forward to seeing your progress and I encourage you to post a few pictures of your mini tubbing and roll cage install, as well as picture updates as they become available. I am going down the same road right now and start the tubs, firewall smoothing and roll cage in a couple of weeks along with a complete 4 link install. Once that's done, mine will also be out for paint bit will be Black & White.

I can also relate on the baby front as I did a complete rotisserie frame off on my 69 RS Z/28 when my wife was expecting our first child a few years ago. We now have 2 boys aged 3 & 6 and they're starting to get pumped about hot rods and big inch motors. Congrats on the new addition and welcome to fatherhood. It truly rocks, and what could be better than a blown tri five with a car seat in the back. I love it!
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 · (Edited)
Very very cool build you got going there. Looking forward to seeing your progress and I encourage you to post a few pictures of your mini tubbing and roll cage install, as well as picture updates as they become available. I am going down the same road right now and start the tubs, firewall smoothing and roll cage in a couple of weeks along with a complete 4 link install. Once that's done, mine will also be out for paint bit will be Black & White.

I can also relate on the baby front as I did a complete rotisserie frame off on my 69 RS Z/28 when my wife was expecting our first child a few years ago. We now have 2 boys aged 3 & 6 and they're starting to get pumped about hot rods and big inch motors. Congrats on the new addition and welcome to fatherhood. It truly rocks, and what could be better than a blown tri five with a car seat in the back. I love it!
We used wheel tubs out of a 60 chevy pickup truck, They almost fit right in without much work and they look completely factory which I like. I have a couple pics I will post below but this is right when some of the work was done so it's not very pretty to look at but it will give you a good idea if nothing else. Thank you for the compliments I am really excited about this build. Most of my friends are into the imports but I was raised with American cars and that's all I will own. Which cage did you order? if it's the S&W I have a few recommendations for you.. **trying to find wheel tub pics now, I will upload them when I can find them **



56 Chevy W/ Blown 540 Build Thread

Sounds SERIOUS :happy0030: :happy0030: :happy0030:
Like the pic< paint too > :tu
Specs on motor are :congrats: Hopefully shes gonna be a driver , well kinda a driver :wavey:
Yes, That's the plan. I am building this car to drive all summer long on pump gas. I could have saved 2+ thousand if I went with a built 400 over the 4L80 but I wanted something i can get in and cruise down the freeway at 80mph @ 2000 rpm. Being fuel injected with independent injector control we will really be able to dial this in well and it should actually get decent mileage once we are done with the lockup converter. Obviously I don't expect anything decent for mileage being a blown 8.8 litre but I am planning around 10mpg once its tuned in which isn't all that bad considering the power it will make. I rate my cars in Smiles per gallon, Not miles per gallon :)

Thanks for the compliments guys.. I will post some better pics as soon as I have them.


I plan on adding removable door bars.. This pic was taken as we were welding in the cage still. It's easier to add the bars once the cage is already done.





 

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I ordered all my sheet metal from Williams Classic Chassis in California. Earle is a dealer for Morrison Chassis so he got me one of their 8 point roll cages and ordered it with the rear bars contoured for a rear seat. I have asked a good friend to help me with the cage and he has done quite a few NHRA certified cages with over 1000 hours tig welding roll cages into various race cars so I am comfortable that we can address most anything.
 

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Sweet ride!!I think you are going to find the best part of driving it is the comment from the right,or the back.."Make it go fast daddy".I have been so busy building everyone elses cars and trucks that I miss those words.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
I ordered all my sheet metal from Williams Classic Chassis in California. Earle is a dealer for Morrison Chassis so he got me one of their 8 point roll cages and ordered it with the rear bars contoured for a rear seat. I have asked a good friend to help me with the cage and he has done quite a few NHRA certified cages with over 1000 hours tig welding roll cages into various race cars so I am comfortable that we can address most anything.

That's good.. The S&W Cage was a nightmare and I wouldn't recommend it to anyone using it on a street car. Glad you have a different setup.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Well thought I would give you all a update even though not much has been accomplished. The motor is now all together and ready to go.. We finally finished up the roll cage and I painted the cage and the interior.. Right now we are installing my front coil overs, power disc brakes, 4L80 transmission and the 540 blower motor. Once this is all done it's heading to the interior shop which will probably be next weekend sometime ( I decided to install the drivetrain before the interior ) the interior guy already has my seats and he said as soon as I drop the car off to him he will have all new interior in my car in about a week.

Once it's done with the interior we will wire up the fuel injection system and start the tuning process. Once it's done being tuned it will head in to the paint shop. I will be honest, I am really nervous about what kind of power my car is going to make. I hope I made the right decision with a roots blower. I mostly went with the blower because of the awesome whine but I hope to make some good #s at the same time and I hope my car runs hard at the track because of all the money I spent to get it where it is. If I end up putting down like 600 horse it will be heartbreaking and that is when I will sell the blower for a loss and go back to my turbos but hopefully i wont have to do that. For now I am not going to cut the hood, I will just leave it off until the tuning process is done just to make sure it makes decent power on the rollers.

I have never met another local 8-71 guy so I have no idea what to expect at 1:1 ratio on pump gas (1:1 ratio on a 540 is about 7-8psi). Good news is it's a blower cam made for this type of setup.. Solid roller, all the goodies.. If anyone here has any guesses on my power levels and track times @ 4500 ft please feel free to post up.. I am curious how close you will be and I will post up my dyno numbers as soon as I have them. Hopefully I will have some more pics and updates soon.. We are in the the slow process right now. Brake lines, motor mounts, trans mount, fuel lines, etc.. The boring stuff that takes forever.
 

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Your newborn when it arrives will be the luckiest baby in the US to be taken home in a classic looking and dare I say sounding as good as it looks 56. First day of school they will be the coolest kid even before the bell rings.
 

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Most blowers come with pulleys that can be under driven, or swapped to be over driven. I have a 54 tooth and a 61 tooth. If ran with the 54 on the lower pulley and the 61 up top, it's 11.5% under driven. If I swap the pulleys around, it becomes 12.9% over driven. The interesting thing becomes the cubic inch tables vs. boost and also the air density at elevation which also effects boost.

For example, the bigger the cubic inches, the lower the boost, and the higher the elevation the lower the effective compression. Put together big cubes and high elevation and you have a recipe for less boost and lower horsepower than you would at sea level. On your setup at 1:1 your blower should make 6lbs of boost on a 540 cubic inch motor. What that chart doesn't calculate is your elevation of 4500 feet which gives you low air density. This will further affect boost although I don't know the exact formula for this calculation, it may be equivalent to it making as low as 3-4 lbs of boost.


My motor is a 565 cubic inch and if I attempted to run it under driven at 5000', it would be a negative vacuum and wouldn't even run. I am therefore forced to swap the pulleys and run them at 12.9% over driven. That should allow me to make 7 lbs of boost according to the cubic inches. Now add the elevation factor of 5000' where the blower and compression is far less productive and this thing might only make 5lbs of effective boost. If I would have researched this before the fact, I would have bought a 10-71 or a 12-71, but that's another book.

I built the big cubes without knowing the full ramifications on a blower, and now I will pay the price with this thing making lower than anticipated boost at this elevation. That becomes worse in the summer time here as AD changes to nearly 7000' feet above sea level on some days, and that wreaks havoc on air fuel ratios here. I'll set it up and run it to see what it's like, but I'm holding onto hope that it makes 800hp where this motor will easily make 1000+hp at sea level. The fun part will be taking this car to race tracks in Mission and Ashcroft BC where things are close to sea level, and the odd trip to the coast where it will see some cruising and track time. I will have to swap the pulleys back around and back some timing out when I run it at sea level but it will still be fun for sure.

If it isn't enough fun, I'll change one pulley and add a couple pounds of boost while running it 20% over driven. That's about as far as I would want to go with it as the higher you run it, the hotter it gets. May just have to add a water/methanol injection system and keep a few jugs of windshield washer antifreeze in the trunk. That will boost the octane to 110 or so and help it make more power while cooling the intake charge.

Who's working all this out for you and how good are they at tuning blower motors?
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 · (Edited)
yeah the more I read about blowers the more I wish I stuck with my turbo system.. I only went with the blower for the sound, I should have thought it through more.. My cheap T67 garrett turbos put down 1200 wheel horse, I can't believe i was stupid enough not to run them again on my 56.. I don't think I am going to make very much power this time around.

How much are you in your blower system if you don't mind me asking? I may even try selling my blower before I bolt it on.. That way I will be able to get more money being brand new then used. I build my car with a cage, suspension, with a 4L80 and brake and I will be dissapointed if I only make 600 horse but honestly that is what I am thinking I will make. 600 horse is only mid 11s at my elevation which is pathetic being a blown 540. with only 7 psi on my twin turbos I put down 770 wheel and I ran a 11.50 @ 130 boiling the tires down the track. I only was able to race it once before it caught on fire so I was never able to dial it in. it was a fast setup with low boost but the problem is I wont be able to make near as much power on 7psi with this blower as I did on the turbos because this setup doesn't have a intercooler so I have to pull back the timing quite a bit.

I am pretty much doing it all myself. I had a tuner give me a base tune on my camaro and then I fine tuned it from there myself and it ran well. I can tune it from scratch if necessary but I am a little slow is all. It will take me 10times longer to tune my car then someone that tunes a lot. I am almost out of cash so I wont be able to afford a tuner this time so if I end up running the blower I will be tuning it all myself.
 

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I had the blower motor custom built with some real good components that were designed to make it bulletproof. The blower itself I bought new from a local guy who never used it and got it for a pretty good price, but ditched the Demon carbs for a new set of AED 950's that were custom built for me. It's not that I'm into it that fat, but to change out the pistons and the cam at this stage of the game to go with something else would be foolish for me.

I chose the right combo to build 1000hp at sea level and I'm really not too worried what it makes at elevation as I'm sure it will still make a solid 800 or perhaps more? Besides, I built this for the fun factor and it's that $hit eatin grin that I want when I take it out for a cruise. Always said I'd build a blower car and this one is going to be it. That feeling of satisfaction cannot be replaced, and to be honest I'm just not a fan of other power adders as compared to a supercharger.

Yep...I'm all in on this car, and it will be built as planned. If at some point down the road I grow to dislike the blower, then I'll pull it off and change out the cam to run a single carb setup with this motor which could easily make 600hp or more even with the lower compression slugs. If it was all about the numbers, I could always add some nitrous but I'm just not that worried about that. I think you're analyzing the numbers too much and you might be missing the mark with that thinking. Finish it up and enjoy it I say.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
I had the blower motor custom built with some real good components that were designed to make it bulletproof. The blower itself I bought new from a local guy who never used it and got it for a pretty good price, but ditched the Demon carbs for a new set of AED 950's that were custom built for me. It's not that I'm into it that fat, but to change out the pistons and the cam at this stage of the game to go with something else would be foolish for me.

I chose the right combo to build 1000hp at sea level and I'm really not too worried what it makes at elevation as I'm sure it will still make a solid 850 or more. Besides, I built this for the fun factor and it's that $hit eatin grin that I want when I take it out for a cruise. Always said I'd build a blower car and this one is going to be it. That feeling of satisfaction cannot be replaced, and to be honest I'm just not a fan of other power additives.

I'm all in on this car, and it will be built as planned. If at some point down the road I grow to dislike the blower, then I'll pull it off and change out the cam with a single dominator and a shot of nitrous for good measure. I think you're worrying too much about the number and you might be missing the mark with that thinking. Finish it up I say.

I think you are right.. I am worrying about the # more than the fun factor and I somehow need to find a way to get over it.. I guess it's hard for me to swallow the fact this 540 motor already made 1300+ crank and 1200 wheel and now I am goign to be putting down 700 if I am lucky. For some reason knowing that eats me up. I built this motor myself and researched it quite abit and it's a top dollar setup.. Merlin Block, heads, solid roller, etc etc... The parts I put in this motor will handle 1800 horse without a problem and knowing this motor already handled 1300+ feels good and when I pulled it apart to inspect it after the fire the pistons and bearings looked brand new. I could still read the part #s on them. Thanks for the advice.. I think it may be in my best interest not to even dyno my 56 once it's done. I think knowing the # would eat at me.. I should juts finish it and drive it and enjoy it and not worry about making 4 digits again. I know myself, If I see it only put down 600 horse I will drive myself insane.
 

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One last word on the build you have...the blower will add some 40% power to what the motor can make, and a 540 with a good solid roller will make 600 by itself, so no doubt you'll be in the 800 range all done and said. Quit thinking about it, it'll make more power than the tires will handle anyways! Each and everytime you unload on it, it's gonna fry the tires off it anyways. :tu
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 · (Edited)
One last word on the build you have...the blower will add some 40% power to what the motor can make, and a 540 with a good solid roller will make 600 by itself, so no doubt you'll be in the 800 range all done and said. Quit thinking about it, it'll make more power than the tires will handle anyways! Each and everytime you unload on it, it's gonna fry the tires off it anyways. :tu

I politely disagree about a 8:1 540 with a blower cam making that much power without the boost. there is Just not enough compression or tight enough LSA to make good power. My old 505 BBC with 10:1 compression and a radical NA 108 LSA cam put down 500 horse which surprised me in a good way being a carb.. a 540 isn't much bigger and with the compression going from 10:1 to 8:1 I think that is a easy 50HP loss or more. I would only expect my 540 with the blower cam and 8:1 compression to make 400 to the wheels NA. Sure, the torque #s would be decent still being a big cube motor but I think the power would be down quite a bit. Maybe you are talking about crank power as I am talking about wheel power which is a big difference for sure. I have experience with this because I have owned a dynojet dyno out here for a couple years and I seen tons of guys claiming 700 horse with their 555 bbc's and when they put down 450 they were upset to say the least. I seen it all the time, If everything is not perfectly planned out on a motor build it will not make power. Everything must work hand in hand for the engine to make power.. People that buys these random cams from summit with ebay heads expects to make mountains of power and they are always dissapointed.. That's why I have learned to set my expectations low and to take the time to plan my motor build. The only cars that EVER put over 1000 horse on my dyno were turbo cars. Supercharger cars and NA cars just can't put that much power to the wheels without spraying nitrous on top of the boost. The record in my shop is cody's supra which put down 1500 wheel through a 3.4 litre and he runs 8s.. It's sick as can be.

A customer of mine brought in his 67 camaro with a 540, 8:1 compression. It's a more basic setup than mine ( not nearly as nice of heads and he is only a hydraulic roller cam ) with 20% overdrive and 116 octane on a 8-71. When he came into the shop he was bragging it will break the dyno and being very cocky and naturally I just laughed because I seen these types of people all the time. He looked at me in the eyes and said " mine will destroy your camaro's #s " and I just smiled as I made a bet with someone there.. My bet was " 10 bucks says he doesn't put down over 700 horse " and the guy looked at me as if I was crazy and said bet is on. DOn't get me wrong this camaro ran a 10.00 @ 135 at our local track, it was fast.. But I knew it wouldn't get close to 4 digits especially with his high stalled setup and after the first pull was over I was right. he only put down 670 wheel horse.. He had a large stall convertor which robs power, if he was using a manual he probably would of made 850 but nothing more than that. Since I am running mine on 91 octane I don't expect more than 600 true rear wheel horse. But so far, his car made the most power out of all the roots blowers that came through the shop. My old supercharged CTS V cadillac put down 480 and my buddy with a 03 cobra w/ a kennebell put down 665 @ 20 psi.. These roots blowers just don't make power but I admit, they sound cool as can be. I have numerous cars over 800 wheel horse but they are all turbos or pro chargers.

*edit* I forgot, there was one car with a roots blower that made over 800.. it was a brand new shelby gt 500 super snake with a 3.4 whipple. He put down 808 to the wheels @ 25 psi on race gas... But then again his was a 125k car and whipples/kennebelles are way more efficient than the old school roots blowers.
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
I am really liking this cowl hood idea.. As I said before I can then run a nice CAI to the blower while keeping it all under the hood with the use of a nice air filter. Thanks for posting the awesome pics!


On a side note does anyone happen to know how much I should expect my new rear 4 leaf springs to sag? 1 inch? 2 inches? How long does it usually take for the springs to settle? I want the rear of my car to sit lower and my buddy said before I install a thicker lowering block it's probably best I wait until my springs are done settling in.


Nathan
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 · (Edited)
just thought I would share a few updates.

The motor, transmission and rear end install is all done. I need to move the brake booster up another inch so it will sit straight and clear my valve covers but besides that the 4 wheel disc brakes and coil over front suspension is done as well. The radiator is not mounted yet but once we make some brackets we will bolt it in.

I dropped the car off last night to a custom interior shop so he can install all new interior in the car. Once that's done we will install the fuel system and wire the fuel injection. Once the car is fully tuned and driving I will take it to get painted. I didn't want to touch the paint until the car is all done and running..

I am still not sure where the bird catcher is goign to sit, I may need to figure out how to raise it up a little to clear through the hood. The stock hoods on these cars are so large the blower looks tiny in my engine bay. It's all coming together well and the car should be running in about a month. Once it rolls off the dyno I will post the #s


 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
just another quick update. Interior turned out awesome and the car is almost ready to fire up. We should have it on the dyno this week for the tune. I am hoping to make at least 700 wheel, We will see! Blower, Bird, fuel injection system, lines, brakes, etc is all installed and done. The only thing left to do is wire the water pump, electric fans and dakota digital dash. I will post the dyno #s once we are done tuning it.
 
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