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[ZR1] Phoenix rising from the ashes with Vengeance Racing

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[ZR1] Phoenix rising from the ashes with Vengeance Racing

 
Old 01-23-2017, 09:26 PM
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whatcop?
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Default Phoenix rising from the ashes with Vengeance Racing

Some of you know the history of my car and its progress over my ownership. I figured some of you don’t and for those that do you could read up on the updates all in one place. I know a lot have seen me be very vocal and asinine at times, but it’s because I am a true enthusiast and hate when inaccurate information is posted. I feel the forum is a place for true information to be shared.

I bought the car December 2011 and slowly began modifying it. First came a 2.35 pulley and a Vengeance Racing tune with gutted cats and a K&N filter. That satisfied me for all of 10 minutes. I immediately discovered that my IAT2s were through the roof when I would take the car to the drag strip or road course. Well since no one had really modified these cars much at this point I consulted Vengeance Racing and we agreed that adding methanol and a heat exchanger were the next steps. We performed these modifications and I was back on the road. Well then I decided to make an intake for the car since I was still on the stock snout and also added a 102tb to the mix. Car performed well but after a bit lost about 20whp and some boost. Figured it was belt slip and got to work on figuring out how to get rid of it and so I worked with Greg (gkzr1) and we discovered we could run metco idlers and slip on a gates belt. After that a buddy and I added in a used pieced together nitrous kit. I sprayed the ever living crap out of the car. I was spraying a 150 shot and probably put 20-30 bottles through the car. The best the car ever did was a 10.2 @ 143 due to the stock clutch giving up the ghost. The car ran strong for a bit and then started consuming some oil. Next it started to puke oil out the intake from the PCV system and finally it spit oil out the rear main seal. So I had Vengeance Racing do a leak down test and compression test for me. Unfortunately, the results came back very poorly. I decided to take it upon myself due to funds at the time to tackle the refresh on my own with friends help. I put the car up on jack stands in my apartment complexes parking deck like a rebel and disassembled the motor. The factory rings had butted up and tore into themselves and slightly into the cylinder wall. I decided a dingle berry hone would be sufficient enough to clean up the cylinder walls since someone else had done it on their motor after their LS9 had the same failure. It took some time to get done due to me having the heads reworked by someone that I thought was a friend. He held onto my heads for 8 months and would dodge me at any chance. Finally, I got my heads back and started slapping everything back in. I was told I could reuse my stock bearings (no, not by Vengeance) if placed back in the order they came out in. I used ARP rod bolts and ARP head bolts when reassembling. Well I got her back together with some new ARH 2’’ headers squeezed in. I then took her over to Vengeance Racing and ran into several assembly issues such as a water pump seal leaking. Ron (owner of Vengeance) knew I was on a deadline to make it to the Ocala ½ mile event and was kind enough to let me use an open lift to finish her up. They stayed with me till midnight the Thursday before the event in an attempt to tune my car, but something was wrong and each bank of the engine were reading differently. So I decided to trailer the car down to Florida anyways and see if I could figure it out at the event. Well I did figure it out and was not very happy. My “friend” had ported through the intake runner on the heads and then slapped JB weld on them to fix them. I contacted so called friend and asked for my labor money back since I felt that was fair compensation since I now had to either repair or buy a new head. He refused to answer my text messages or answer my calls. Ron was kind enough to step in on my behalf since he knew this friend very well and convinced him to do the stand up thing and return me my labor money. Ron then helped me get my head repaired and get the car tuned properly. The car then struggled to make 720whp and 750wtq. I was happy with it given my hobo job. I decided to be slightly gentle on the car and then put the nitrous back on. We sprayed the car with a 200 shot and it only made 880whp/1050tq. Not the greatest numbers but I figured with the condition of the cylinder walls it was expected. Well shortly thereafter the Georgia ½ mile event came up. I attended and was excited to finally run the car. I decided for my first run I would do a shake down pass without nitrous. I came out the hole soft and started to lean into it. In 3rd gear the car started to not feel right and I saw some smoke come out from the hood vent and just brushed it off. I then snatched 4th gear and the car just felt like a dog, but still like a dummy I stayed in it. I crossed the traps oddly enough at the top of 4th gear and then I felt it…. The worst feeling a car guy can feel. Something small in the motor came apart and then I felt a massive explosion of the motor as it spit itself out the bottom. I quickly pulled it out of gear and looked in my rearview mirror to see nothing but smoke behind me and then moments later the smoke was replaced by a giant continuous fireball. After years of racing and being a hooligan I knew to let it coast to kill the fire and knew there would be oil on my tires so I did not dare to touch the brakes. The fire slowly died down and then reignited for a brief moment. Luckily at this event there was plenty of track and so I had time to coast and enough braking room. Finally I stopped and got out of the car quickly after popping the hood. I walked away and then turned around to see flames wicking out from under the hood. I ran back and opened the hood fully just as the fire response team was coming up to put the fire out. They doused the car and luckily saved it from burning down. As a side note I still won against the car running next to me lol. I think at this point Ron was standing in a trailer when he heard the announcement of what had happened to a white ZR1 and started just shaking his head knowing my insane mechanical skills had struck once again.

Well I picked up all the parts of my motor that were scattered on the track and threw them in a bag and grabbed a beer at 10am because that is all I could do at that point. I ended up putting the car on my trailer and taking it home. I told Ron I would be in contact with him soon once I decided what I wanted to do. A few weeks later I went over to Vengeance Racing and we sat down and talked about what I wanted to do with the car and what my goals were. I told Ron I wanted to be able to road course, ¼ mile, ½ mile and mexico the car whenever I can. We agreed for my abusive nature overkill was key. So what did Ron do? He spec’d an engine capable of withstanding upwards of 1500whp (more to come on that). The guys then set out on the long adventure of cleaning up all my handy work on the car with my intercooler system and wiring for nitrous lol. Vengeance now has a saying called “De-Petering” a car smh lol. They dealt with all the fire damage which included all the engine bay wiring, main fuel line, brake lines and even the flooring under the driver’s side footwell. They had to remove everything and pressure wash the entire chassis due to all the extinguisher material that was caked on the entire car. I was honestly blown away by the attention to detail they put into ensuring my ZR1 was as clean/”de Petered” as possible. Ron explained to me that if they were going to work on my car moving forward that he wanted the quality of the build to be indicative of what they are used to delivering to their clients. Who was I to argue after all I had put myself thru at this point…

The new combination consists of:
GM LSX Block
Callies BILLET/Center Counterweight Crankshaft
Callies Ultra Billet Connecting Rods
Diamond Racing Forged/Gas ported Pistons
Trend Wrist Pins
Katech C5R Timing Chain
Katech LS9/ZR1 Oil Pump
Machine work and assembly of the shortblock was handled by Late Model Engines.
Vengeance Racing Custom Camshaft
Morel Link Bar Lifters
ARP Custom “Aged” Head Stud Kit
Cometic MLX Head Gaskets
Mast Motorsports LS3 Cylinder Heads with Titanium Intake valves/Inconel Exhaust Valves

Ron also insisted I replace my existing supercharger with a new GM unit that he would port (AT NO CHARGE) and install with the new engine. Knowing my port job looked like something out of a horror film and my blower had been abused for quite some time I agreed and we installed a new GM unit with VR port program which includes opening the snout to match my 102mm throttle body. Ron and his crew also re wrapped my entire exhaust system/cleaned & flowed my fuel injectors while installing the new power plant.

The new combo is putting down (on a break in tune with conservative timing) 842whp/831tq while just rolling into it and the power curve is insanely wide, I love how it’s making 700whp at 4500 rpm. The car is just going to be a complete brute at the track and on the street. The best part of these numbers is that they are no nonsense numbers, they are all done on 18” drag radials and are hot pulls, which means what I make on the dyno is what I make on the street.

Finally, the car has been completed and unless you read this or I told you the car had been involved in a fire you would never know. I am going to put some break in miles on the car and then drop it back off at Vengeance Racing for them to install a Nitrous Outlet LS9 spray bar system, which will make this car a pure terror. I cannot wait to terrorize the streets as well as upcoming ¼ and ½ mile events with this new combination!!!

Ron and his guys at Vengeance Racing truly are top notch. All of the customers refer to each other as a big “VR family” because from the moment you walk through the shops doors or talk to them on the phone you know you aren’t just another paycheck to them, but someone they want to become a lifelong member of a great group to be a part of and to share great moments with at any event or gathering. I cannot thank Ron and his staff enough for the attention to detail on my build and the care/dedication they put into ensuring I will have one of the baddest ZR1’s on the planet. I have dealt with a lot of shops in my time and I have never experienced the level of professionalism/talent/pride that Vengeance Racing offers. These guys have a customer for life.






























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Old 01-23-2017, 09:45 PM
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RobWilson
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Congrats on getting the car back together

Kudos to the team at VR.
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Old 01-23-2017, 09:51 PM
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WOW I watched your car blow up on you tube. Best engine toss I have ever seen !!

Congrats on the new setup. I hope it goes the distance for you. I see that you went with the carbon k&N. Did you need to do anything special to get a fit on the LPE snout ?
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Old 01-23-2017, 09:53 PM
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Originally Posted by I brake for nothing View Post
WOW I watched your car blow up on you tube. Best engine toss I have ever seen !!

Congrats on the new setup. I hope it goes the distance for you. I see that you went with the carbon k&N. Did you need to do anything special to get a fit on the LPE snout ?
It actually has a ported stock snout
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Old 01-23-2017, 10:03 PM
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Wow, what a story!! Congrats on having it going again! Businesses that operate like Vengeance are invaluable in any industry.
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Old 01-23-2017, 10:11 PM
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Oh wow I didnt realize you could open up a stocker to take a 102mm tb. That setup looks CLEAN !!
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Old 01-23-2017, 10:52 PM
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Here you go

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Old 01-24-2017, 12:01 PM
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Nice job from Vengeance repairing a total mess of a car.. Scenarios like this are a shop's worst nightmare.

Glad they made it all right and its lined out.

Maybe time for you to lock your tool box up and lose the key.

J/K.

Good luck at the races.
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Old 01-24-2017, 01:35 PM
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Wow you've been on quite the adventure haven't you

You new setup is going to be bulletproof compared to a max effort LS9 build and is going to make tons of power (As already seen). You'll be a terror for sure. Enjoy it, and let VR do the wrenching :P. After working on oldies and the new ones, I've decided these new cars are best left to the performance shops once you get past exhaust and cold air intakes.

Maybe I missed it, but did you get the rear end painted?

Last edited by Can'tHave2MuchHP; 01-24-2017 at 01:36 PM.
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Old 01-24-2017, 02:22 PM
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You are leaving some power on the table with the ported stock snout and CAI. A 4.5" CAI and Ported LPE snout would help at that level for sure. Glad they were able to fix that nightmare scenario.
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Old 01-24-2017, 03:30 PM
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Originally Posted by corvettes4ever View Post
Wow you've been on quite the adventure haven't you

You new setup is going to be bulletproof compared to a max effort LS9 build and is going to make tons of power (As already seen). You'll be a terror for sure. Enjoy it, and let VR do the wrenching :P. After working on oldies and the new ones, I've decided these new cars are best left to the performance shops once you get past exhaust and cold air intakes.

Maybe I missed it, but did you get the rear end painted?

Yeah I got a new bumper and had it painted satin black.
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Old 01-24-2017, 08:53 PM
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Don't know you personally but have read a lot of your post. Always respected your opinion. Glad to see you and the beast back on the road.

PS. I didn't know you were a shade tree mechanic.
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Old 01-25-2017, 01:19 AM
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Glad it's back up and running.
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Old 01-25-2017, 01:49 AM
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Glad to see the car back together. I will say though, the Smores bumper looked cooler
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Old 01-25-2017, 09:03 AM
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glad to see the car put back together and stronger than ever. I was there when your car let go, and took pics of it in the aftermath. Felt really bad for you but looks like it's taken a turn for the better
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Old 01-25-2017, 09:46 AM
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Originally Posted by Texasthunder View Post
Don't know you personally but have read a lot of your post. Always respected your opinion. Glad to see you and the beast back on the road.

PS. I didn't know you were a shade tree mechanic.

And that's why I am an open book on the forum. I'm a firm believer that information about what works and what doesn't really does push how we maximize these cars. If you go look at the threads from years ago before gkzr1 and myself started digging into these cars you would see the max power was limited to the low 600s. It's others like ourselves that share on here that have really turned these things into monsters.

Originally Posted by Detoxx03 View Post
Glad it's back up and running.

Thanks boss man

Originally Posted by four0nefive View Post
Glad to see the car back together. I will say though, the Smores bumper looked cooler
LOL I hear that from probably 50% of everyone that's seen it. They either love it or hate it.


Originally Posted by encasedmetal View Post
glad to see the car put back together and stronger than ever. I was there when your car let go, and took pics of it in the aftermath. Felt really bad for you but looks like it's taken a turn for the better

It sucked but working with vengeance I knew I was in good hands and knew it would come back better than ever and will last many years to come.
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Old 01-25-2017, 09:59 AM
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This was a close to hell adventure with a happy ending. Great right up and lot of info on a great build. Nice from you for sharing your recipe for succes with other members who may like to build something bullet proof.

Just to make sure I understand wright, is a LPE snout would of make a difference with your set up, as stated by lLT1Z?
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Old 01-25-2017, 11:10 AM
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Glad to see it's back up and running!

Good luck moving forward, and thanks for always being up front with sharing information and guidance with the rest of us trying to go faster (as well as Greg-gkzr1).

Joe T
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Old 01-25-2017, 12:44 PM
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Originally Posted by The boss View Post
This was a close to hell adventure with a happy ending. Great right up and lot of info on a great build. Nice from you for sharing your recipe for succes with other members who may like to build something bullet proof.

Just to make sure I understand wright, is a LPE snout would of make a difference with your set up, as stated by lLT1Z?
Not really sure that it would. The stock snout can be opened up quite a bit. At this point the 102tb is the limiting point imo. If I did get a 108tb then I could see the LPE snout being worth while. The car makes 20lbs of boost on the street with a 10% lower and 2.175 upper, mast black label heads and 2" headers and a very big cam so the boost to me looks right with all those factors which should drop it. Also Atlanta is at about 1000' elevation so that's going to have a part in that boost number too.
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Old 01-25-2017, 02:27 PM
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Are you running the standard nick williams 102 or the new one that is designed for boosted applications ?

I think I am going to follow your path and simply hog out the stock snout. Im not going to be anywhere near 20# of boost.
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