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Controlling the power

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Old 04-14-2018, 10:06 PM   #1  
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Controlling the power

I like this video:


At 3:30, he makes a good point. Modern muscle cars are a lot to handle with the traction control turned off.

Iím curious to learn how others address the safety risks from adding so much power to a thirdgen. I bought a QuickTime bellhousing, and I intend to install a driveshaft loop. I just have a 5.3L, though. Iím reading threads with intent to install an LSA. Thatís 500+ horsepower in a car that was designed for half that. Iím sure those who take their thirdgen to the track can offer good advice. When is it wise to add a roll bar and 5 point harnesses?
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Old 04-14-2018, 10:25 PM   #2  
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Re: Controlling the power

I'm over that and honestly, it's not that big of a deal. The new cars have taken away the driver and to me that makes them boring.
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Old 04-15-2018, 01:52 AM   #3  
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Re: Controlling the power

Did that CHKNFKR just take a shiny black Trans Am into a car wash with brushes just to illustrate that ttops can leak? And where's he get off saying the second gen T/A was the last muscle car?
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Old 04-15-2018, 11:46 AM   #4  
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Re: Controlling the power

What I took away from the video was how muscle cars have changed. I remember driving my dadís 68 vette years ago. It had a 427, and it could do a 0-60 run in 1st gear. It was a unique experience of acceleration and engine noise. The thing just kept going. Todayís cars are faster, but the experience is different. The driver is taken out of it. I just want to make sure I donít push the envelope too far. The LS engine can deliver crazy power. I turned off the traction control on a late model vette once. I wish I hadnít. I donít the necessary experience to recover when the rear end yaws violently to the right.
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Old 04-15-2018, 11:57 AM   #5  
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Re: Controlling the power

whoever loaned him the car to make this video should kick his ***, going through a brushed car wash and having water and soap come into the interior just so he could prove a point is just disrespectful to the owner, he could of just sprayed it with a hose to prove the point that old t tops leak.
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Old 04-15-2018, 12:24 PM   #6  
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Re: Controlling the power

Good questions. I think it is incumbent on the modifier that with much bigger HP than than the chassis was originally released with to also upgrade the chassis to suit the new HP be that bracing, brakes, tires*, etc. Roll cage...well if you're drag racing the rules will require it a certain speed otherwise I'd say personal preference.

* Tires are a really big deal. Big HP in a thirdgen had better not be on the original gatorbacks. Beyond that, experience and maturity. I mean, even a worked 6.0L in a third gen wouldn't be as crazy as a factory 450hp '70 454 Chevelle on bias ply tires. The big thing is to realize how much one is used to relying (or not) on modern nanny controls when getting behind the wheel of an older car.

X3 on the car wash, what was he thinking? It wasn't even touchless.
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Old 04-15-2018, 02:18 PM   #7  
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Re: Controlling the power

Driving a powerful car is about having restraint, understanding your actions have consequences, and being smooth (do nothing too abruptly). Similar rules as driving on ice, just not as bad. And tires help a ton.

Last edited by QwkTrip; 04-15-2018 at 04:08 PM.
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Old 04-15-2018, 11:13 PM   #8  
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Re: Controlling the power

Remember when supercars didn't have an entire computer program to keep them from crashing ?. Like the F40. Had to actually know how to handle power or into the pole you go !. Granted most owners left it in the garage and just looked at it.
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Old 04-16-2018, 08:23 AM   #9  
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Re: Controlling the power

It is really easy to add power but the most overlooked part on these cars are the brakes. You really need to upgrade your brakes in parallel with any power mod.
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Old 04-16-2018, 10:38 AM   #10  
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Re: Controlling the power

Quote:
Originally Posted by johnw999 View Post
Iím curious to learn how others address the safety risks from adding so much power to a thirdgen. I bought a QuickTime bellhousing, and I intend to install a driveshaft loop. I just have a 5.3L, though. Iím reading threads with intent to install an LSA. Thatís 500+ horsepower in a car that was designed for half that. Iím sure those who take their thirdgen to the track can offer good advice. When is it wise to add a roll bar and 5 point harnesses?
You already have perimeter subframe connectors that are stitch welded in, right? Not much sense talking about lots of other safety equipment if you haven't done the first step.

Usually how much safety equipment you need is dictated by how fast your car is in the 1/4 mile but you can run as much safety equipment as you want. A car with 500 hp that's a hard top or t-top I would just go ahead and install the roll bar (a legal 4 point) and then add the front two bars that go really low to the front of the car to make it a 6 point. Those six points are not the legal 6 points though so you can't go faster than a four point allows. Driveshaft safety loops are nice insurance.

And as usual I'll close with my normal advice: Don't drive like a racecar driver on a public road, it puts you and every other driver at great risk.
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Old 04-16-2018, 08:03 PM   #11  
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Re: Controlling the power

Thanks. That's great info. I don't intend to drive my Trans Am faster that 80 mph. I just like the 0-60 type acceleration when conditions allow it. I figured the guy who takes his LS thirdgen to the track would know what can go wrong with certain upgrades.
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Old 04-17-2018, 04:17 AM   #12  
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Re: Controlling the power

It's definitely all about the driver. I've had my 3rd gen since high school and it started out with a stock TPI 350. Then it was a 383, then a dog of a high mileage 6.0, and now it has a warmed over 5.3 with a big cam, 3200 vig, 4" exhaust, and 315s. No ABS, no traction control, no airbags, nothing.

Even with the 315s traction is hard to come by at anything under highway speeds at WOT. The car WILL kill you if you don't respect it. But I've learned how it behaves and what my limits are as a driver.

Never had T-Top or interior rattle problems though, I'm a hardtop guy and I started working in an upholstery shop as one of my first jobs. 12 years later the interior is still solid, quiet and higher quality than anything that came from the factory in the 2nd, 3rd, or 4th gens.
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Old 04-17-2018, 04:23 PM   #13  
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Re: Controlling the power

Controlling the power is all about the driver knowing their limits and the limits of the car. Power level is irrelevant. A bad driver can be a bad driver in a 100 hp car just as easily as a 500 hp car. Power should always be the last thing added to a car though since it is the item that will get you in trouble first if you can't handle it. Think of it this way, most people wouldn't give a teenager a Bugatti for their first car. Most of us know they can't handle it. We make them learn on something less and build up to it.

As for modern cars being less easy to drive with the nanny controls turned off, the answer is pretty simple. They were designed to be driven with those controls on because the average buyer isn't capable of handling them without those features. Serious drivers get to where they turn them off for spirited driving and leave them on for the daily commute. They are harder to handle because the design balance expects them to be on.
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