Almost done

Just about all bits are bolted in place and the car is looking very close to being a finished product. Still to come is raditor and cold air ducting, stickers needed for the track and a list of other small items. Note that the carbon fibre plenum has gone from the inlet, this is due to it causing a 12hp power decrease on the dyno. In time, a new larger plenum will be made but a foam air filter will do for now.

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With some shiny paint and new suspension, it needed everything else bolted back on. As it’s the “final” assembly, a bit more care was taken to keep things secure and in a usefull place.

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Up until now, the suspension was stock, time to change that with some Bilstein inserts and coil over sleeves for the front, bilstein shocks and spring adaptors for the rear. All bushes were replaced with eurothane at the same time.


Lots of adjustable bits on the front with adjustable camber arms and sway bar. The sway bar links were later replaced with adjustable length rose joints rather than using the eurothane bent meatl links.

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Pulling it apart

After the dyno I pulled off everything that could be unbolted and a few more bits as well.


It was then stuck on it’s side, sandblasted, welded up and generally cleaned up.


Then some shiny paint was put on it make it brighter when working under the car


Inside and the engine bay was painted white for more light when working on the car as well.


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Initial Dyno Tuning

Now that the engine is running, it was time to fire it up on the dyno and see what fell off. Fortunately not much fell off and the engine ran smoothly after a couple of niggly issues were resolved. As the engine is internally stock, including cams, there is room for more power when needed. Turning on the Nitrous added 92 hp to the reading, unfortunately you can’t use this on the circuit, just the drag strip.

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Coils, leads and ceramic coating

After some initial start-ups discovered a blown coil, LS1 coils went in. The exhaust was ceramic coated to keep the engine bay heat down at the same time


I got annoyed with a custom lead company not doing anything and made my own using off the sheld leads and connectors. They seem to be doing a good job at the moment but may be replaced in the future as putting them on the plugs in the holes is not always easy.


The doors were obviously too heavy and full of stuff, so out with the cutting tools and in with some thin aluminium.

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Cooling and exhaust

The factory radiator was going to be an issue, so an alloy item was fitted on an angle, yet to come is ducting to ensure as much air as possible is forced to go through the radiator and not allowed to go around it.


The exhaust was alos custom, all the way from the head to the side pipe. It has a slide on collector so we can play with pipe lengths later on.

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The ugly factory steering column had to go, it looked very much out of place and wasn’t in an ideal position. The custom shaft is much neater and better located.

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As all of the plumbing needed to be custom made, AN fitting were used. This allows for easier manufacture of the lines and easier removal/installation when working on the car. The downside is the increased cost over rubber hoses.

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Plumbing, nitrous, fibreglass and wiring

Next up was some brake line plumbing, custom braided lines replacing 95% of the lines both inside the car and outside. The remaining 5% are solid lines, no rubber lines left at all.


Because I have a morbid obsession with drag racing a circuit car, a blue bottle went in the boot with it’s heater and associated plumbing.


To get rid of the worst bits of paint on the car and to save a miniscule amount of weight, fibreglass bonnet and boot replaced the factory steel items. Fibreglass bumpers were also fitted.

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Starting to get some electrons moving was next in line, most of which is dummied in place so as to sort out how to get everything working without sparks and smoke.


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Adding safety

Not wanting to scrimp on safety and needing to meet both CAMS and ANDRA safety regulations,  a few bars went inside the shell. The full cage ties in to the front strut towers and rear chassis rails above the suspension points.

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Continuing on with the safety theme, in went some bigger brakes, an off-the-shelf kit with AP Racing 4 spot calipers and 330mm two piece rotors on the front to work with VT commodore calipers and rotors on the rear

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Throwing stuff out and putting stuff in

Now that the engine was looking good, I put in the fuel system I had left over from the unfinished project (40litre foaned filled fuel cell, carter lift pump and walbro EFI pump in a surge tank)


And removed the pesky interior that was never going to stay. Fortunatley another Commodore loving person wanted the greeness and it went to “a good home”


Now that there was some space inside the car, the old interior was replaced with a floor mounted pedal box and Racetech seat


Finally some mounts to fix the engine and box in place properly were fabricated. Unfortuantley this showed that the extractors designed for a Nissan S13 chassis didn’t clear the rail and floorpan of the Commodore so they had to go and a making a new custom exhaust was added to the to-do list.

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