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This week at the Vorshlag shop

Fair

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Plano, TX
November 3, 2020: Monday morning was a roller coaster! Our newest team member had something in life come up and couldn't come back, so we were back to square one - looking for help in the shop. Myles had a suggestion, I called the guy up by 9:30 am, he came by for an interview and TIG welding test at 2:30 pm. That night he was hired, and today is his first day! Nothing ever happens this fast, especially during a pandemic and in the middle of a presidential election!?

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Welcome to the Vorshlag team, Zach Taulbee! (above) We will use his diverse experience (fabrication, engineering, CNC, and more) to help us catch up on customer car work, progress some of the shop builds, new parts development, and more. On his first day he has already worked on 3 different customer cars!

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Over the coming weeks look for more car build work to get knocked out in the shop with Brad, Zach and sometimes even Myles.

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One of the biggest challenges in a working shop is keeping tools and supplies organized, near where they are used, and easy to find. Brad the Builder has been wrapping up construction and now the shop layout has changed - so he spent the day re-organizing the various "Sushi Carts" in the shop.We have 5 or 6 of these big rolling tool carts with bamboo wood tops, like in a hibachi or sushi joint, and years ago we just started calling these Sushi Carts.

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Lots of new stainless hardware, roll cage related tools, and welding consumables that arrived now have a new home in labeled drawers located in carts near the appropriate work areas. Some equipment is getting moved around to better suit our workflow and associated tools.

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Chris Ramey takes the win! OUSCI winner and the $25K purse! Way to go!!! #C4FTW #HPR468 #TAMSCC #DriveOptima #BecauseStreetcar

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Vorshlag supplied Chris with custom MCS dampers and HPR built the 468" LS7 that powers this car. To win overall in OUSCI in a GTV car is quit a feat!

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That's What's Up!
 

Fair

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Plano, TX
So I got a little behind and *poof* 2 months raced by! This is gonna be a quick catch-up and a tiny fraction from my daily FB posts. Almost none of the memes, no vacation pics, no random stuff - just the automotive content.

December 11, 2020: The Vorshlag crew was busy this week, even with half of us out on vacation! 😎

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Myles and Zach worked on this E46 rear shock tower reinforcement structure. Something we have been wanting to do for years, and with our MCS RR3 rear shocks setup as true coilovers, we need to beef up the shock towers on our endurance car. As always, if this works out, we will turn it into a production kit. It would be the two top plates and two tower curved reinforcement pieces, which can then be welded to your BMW E46 chassis.

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Myles and Zach also worked on an E46 lower radiator mount for our rolled, custom Griffin radiator while I was gone. They started with some 18ga steel sheet, cut to shape, bent into "U" sections, with a lot of dimple dies and welded - and with reinforcements at the mounting pads it was 2.3 pounds.

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Using S550 Mustang radiator mount bushings at the bottom + the brackets at the top gives a 4 point pin-in-bushing isolated mounting for the radiator. This will not be a production piece, since it requires a lot of surgery to the upper rad support to fit, plus a custom radiator. Just nice to see some progress on our endurance E46 build. 😁

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One of my #500psi memes that I use often - when a new person pops into a car page asking about what parts to buy for their track car and literally EVERY OTHER comment is "just get more seat time, bro!"


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You guys are killin me... we gotta eat, son!

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Block Norris got cleaned up then torn apart. New front sheet metal going on next before paint.

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December 14, 2020: Myles and Bryan have been churning out parts on all three CNC machines as fast as they can.

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Chips are flyin' to keep up with a massive and unexpected influx of camber plate orders. We're trying to keep up - thanks for your patience! #MadeAtVorshlag

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With Vorshlag you don't have to wait for a sale, search for some obscure coupon code, or need to be in some special group to get a discount. We offer our best prices on our parts 24/7/365! 😁

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"Sales" usually mean the manufacturer is dumping old inventory or desperately need to drum up revenue. Or worse - the typical Black Friday gimmick of jacking up prices then dropping them back down with a fake discount code. Here, we are constantly swamped with orders... until that changes drastically, we will keep our #NoSalesEver policy on our products in place. Its worked for 16 years.

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Muffler noodling! A pair of these 3.5" inlet Magnaflow large case 5x11x22" mufflers should sound good coming out the back of our #LS550 Mustang, Project #Trigger. 😁
That's one thing we're doing the opposite of compared to most Mustang builds - making it QUIET instead of ear splitting LOUD! 🤫 #SoundRestrictons #LagunaSecaExhaust #2020DumpsterFire 😁

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December 15, 2020: The shop truck 2000 Silverado #BlockNorris is undergoing a 2000 to 2005 front sheet metal update, as part of the #TreeAttack2020 repairs.

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Zach had to cut off the bumper mounts and weld on the new conversion pieces, swap fenders, and more. Round 1 of pics, more to come.

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Some more cage progress on the #TeamVorshlag E46 endurance car. The amount of changes we have done to this cage kit are stacking up. 😉

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Zach made this double foot intrusion bar structure on both sides that fits so nicely, and has load paths into the door bars. Added some smaller diameter diagonals to the upper windshield bars, and a diagonal in the rear down bars.

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#TodaysNonBilledHours are all sunk into the kamikaze tree repair work on the #BlockNorris shop truck. 😒

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The 2003-07 sheet metal update and the 2005-07 Silverado SS upgrades are not exactly jiving well. Bought the body panels, bumper, bumper cover, and "SS" upper grill from the same supplier / brand and the "SS" grill was clearly wrong (made for 2500-3500 HD hood - which I do not want). The shipping damages to the hood and SS lower cover are another pain to deal with - and it came from the manufacturer on a pallet at "not cheap" shipping costs.

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I can see why our painter didn't want to do this work. 😝 The tolerances of the Taiwan parts is starting to stack up - the lower running lights don't fit the fenders well, plus other things. Tons of little brackets needed to mount the Silverado SS bumper cover - which are no longer made by GM, so there's a lot of "fiddly work" needed. The joys of hot rodding! 😁

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December 16, 2020: Between manning the CNC machines and other tasks, Myles and the crew have been busy revising two of our latest brake cooling air deflector designs: the S197 Mustang and E46 M3. These had been on cars and sold to customers, but a few folks noticed some issues with some additional variables we didn't have on our test cars: big aftermarket swaybars, some early production control arms, etc. We put these on production hold for a few weeks until we could tweak the designs and test them on some cars.

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The latest revisions to both car model deflectors incorporate what we've learned from feedback and both will be in production later this week. We also had a sheet metal material shortage for a couple of weeks, but finally found a supplier that had the alloy and thickness we needed, and that shipment should be here tomorrow.

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Thanks to the patience of folks waiting on backorders - you will get the latest revisions of these! #StayCoolOnTrack #NoBrakeHosesNeeded #AlwaysImproving 😎

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That's What's Up!
 

Fair

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Plano, TX
December 17, 2020: Long day of prototype work on our latest rev to the E46 M3 brake cooling deflector.

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Myles worked on this while Zach made a production batch of S550 deflectors. After a couple of test fits, another revision, and a test drive, the production version on the M3 test car was silent.
Production batch of those tomorrow!

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The Pontini Racing boys came by to knock out some tasks on the CTS-V tonight. New rear lower control arms installed that clear the 18x12" wheels better (with fresh sphericals), new upper control arm bushings installed that removes a TON of bind (the Delrin bushings were very "locked up"), new rear calipers, and more. Progress!

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Tim, Zach and Magan worked on the #TeamVorshlag E46 tonight. Dash removed, some cage welding, and then a dash center panel.

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Magan made a template for the center panel, and with instruction from Zach learned out to use SolidWorks, the CNC plasma table, then burnished and signed her work. "And I helped!" #ShakeAndBake

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December 18th, 2020: Lots of brake deflector orders shipping today...

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Even the Grinch likes this price.

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That's What's Up!
 

Fair

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Plano, TX
December 21, 2020: Today's #NonBillableHours went to fixing a bunch of broken bullshit - but the 2005 Silverado front end and SS conversions are both complete on #BlockNorris. Taking it to the painter soon when I pick up the '67 Mustang to bring back to wrap up that LS7 swap.

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What went wrong? Well first, one of the driving lights had a broken tab, so Brad made an aluminum replacement and epoxy'd that in place. Then a lot of fender + front radiator suppoer adjustment, then the headlights were able to fit. The broken grille happened in shipping - and would have taken 2+ weeks to get replaced, and an hour of time jacking with the seller. Instead Brad spent an hour, made al aluminum backing place that he epoxy'd in place, and super glued the seam. Looks as good as new, just more of that bs.

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December 22, 2020: No time to touch #Trigger in the last week, other than a small victory with the vacuum hose at the firewall. Wiring diagram manual arrived, as did a Holley LS alternator harness. While the intake was off I made some measurements to the cowl and bottom side of the hood, #BecauseReasons #Phase2Plans

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We spec'd and ordered the oil cooler for the Phase 1 engine today, as well as the remote oil filter / thermostatic bypass - then we can finish the oil system plumbing. More wiring work in the works, as well as the exhaust system - as soon as the second muffler arrives. Gotta get this on track ASAP or I will go insane! #LS550

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Giant holes in firewalls are a big "no-no" in road racing, and really all forms of motorsport. We're going through this CTS-V endurance car and adding block off panels and Seals-It 2-piece grommets for every wiring pass-through.

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Sometimes they need to be custom shaped to pass a particular wiring end through - but that's just what you do. #StaySafe #FireBad

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December 23, 2020: Got a modern-ish car? Got sixteen bucks? Might not be a bad idea to have one of these kits handy. Includes common sized OEM automotive push pin and plastic rivets. #ShareTheTech

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Brad is wrapping up the last task on the shop truck - de-badge and side rub strip adhesive removal. Almost done, ready to load into the trailer to take to the painter. #BlockNorris

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Heat gun, plastic scraper, eraser wheel, Goof Off and some rags. Twenty year old adhesive is not just going to "fall off".

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Zach stuck around after work last night and with help from Magan they made an oil cooler mount for the #TeamVorshlag E46 endurance car.

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This is the largest Derale 10000 series stacked plate cooler (54010), rated to shed 67,000 BTU's Per Hour. Next up: remote oil filter with thermostatic bypass.

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All loaded up and ready for paint! #ShopTruck #RaceTruck #BlockNorris

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December 24, 2020: Really impressed with the bodywork Shiloh and his crew at Heritage Collision Center did to this ‘67 Mustang! The composite hood, fenders and nose took a LOT of rework to make them fit together (and they are from the same company!?) but the results are amazing, even in primer. Their flares rear fenders also match the front and give plenty of room for the 315mm Rivals.
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Body lines set, blocked, primed and ready for the finished work. After the track test this will come back for a full paint job worthy of some D&E points! #PimpinAintEasy

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Made a short 2 min video while walking around a 2020 GT500. Still not a fan of supercharged engines or 4000 pound curb weights, but the Tremec TR-9070 DCT is completely bad ass, and there are a few body and underhood details that caught my eye.

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video:

First time using a my PC (built for faster editing) and new video editing software (Pinnacle Studio 23) and it went fairly well. Enjoy!

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December 29, 2020: When leaving Cars & Coffee leads to crash damage, it is nice to know that your local Ford dealer can supply all new engine cradle (front subframe), spindles, and other hardware in a SINGLE DAY at a damned good price.

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This was all ordered Monday and arrived Tuesday, and was $300 cheaper than the cheapest online parts house (due to their trick of using massively inflated shipping to disguise their "low prices"). Thanks, Bob Tomes Ford! We will start brewing the coffee soon...

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December 30, 2020: Tripling the power while tripling the fuel range, lots of smiles, and lots of lessons learned in this LS swap Grand Wagoneer story.

Link: https://www.hagerty.com/media/mainte...ssons-learned/

It takes time to do i right, but re-powering an old classic with modern LS power can REALLY make the vehicle so much more enjoyable to own and drive. #LSswapThePlanet

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Trying to help a customer choose the right AiM Sports, LLC. digital logging dash for his S197 Mustang race car. This car had OEM gauges with a 4.6L engine but making them work with the Gen II 5.0L swap is a lot more hassle (all of the engine harness wiring is gone - not our fault), and he had an AiM SOLO DL behind the steering wheel anyway. Two CAN wires and a digital dash is connected to the ECM for all of the data.

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The two AiM dash sizes we are looking at are the AiM MXS 1.2 with a 5" screen mounted on the column or a larger 7" screen AiM MXG 1.2 mounted at the gauge depth. Jason made some full sizes mock-ups from their CAD drawings, and then we tested them in the car at various depths. The SOLO will go away, obviously, as these digital dashes both have logging and predictive lap timing.

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Steering wheel size can different and make the visible opening smaller than you'd think. In the end the smaller MXS mounted closer to the wheel (so you can get to the menu buttons) makes the most sense. Your mileage may vary.

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Making a pair of these seat brackets takes over four hours, spent: CNC plasma cutting, then clean up, bending, fixturing, and carefully timed TIG welding. Then more clean up, then off to the powder coater.

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Patience is the key here - weld too long and it warps the plate. So a few stitch welds for the ribs are done, then it all has to air cool back to room temp before more welding can happen.
Hopefully we can cut down some of the prep/clean up work with a cleaner way to CNC cut these - either laser or water jet - in 2021.

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December 31, 2020: Someone asked on one of the pages today about "what hood latch should I use on my race car?"

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There is exactly one good choice: AEROCATCH. THIS IS THE WAY

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There are 8 cars being built in the shop, one waiting in the trailer (8 of them are V8 swaps, all 9 of them are race cars), and more waiting off site. We might need some additional help in 2021...

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That's What's Up!
 
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Fair

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403
Plano, TX
January 2, 2021: Recent work on the shop truck, which included a sheet metal update and Silverado SS conversions. The blog post below links to our forum build thread update. Enjoy. #GMT800 #ShopTruck #SilveradoSS

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https://www.vorshlag.com/blog/2021/0...-ss-conversion - blog post here

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January 5, 2021: Three different projects going down on the S550 chassis today - Project #Trigger is useful to have around.

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Shock mount design changes, weird muffler tip heat shields, fuel tank going in. #LS550 #DyingToRace #FinishDamnit

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Guess who's back on track for 2021?? Jamie Beck's 2013 Mustang ST2 car is coming out of hibernation for a quick fix and then off to the painter later this week.
A week ago we dragged this car out of the trailer and dragged it into the shop (we added a winch to the floor to get it up the ramp).

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Brad has since replaced the front subframe, a spindle, a control arm and a few other bits before we load up and transport it to Heritage Collision Center for the final bodywork and paint. Big thanks to Motion Control Suspension for turning around the rebuild on the RR2 shocks so quickly. Gonna drive it out of the shop, into the trailer, and it will be back on track soon! #BackInTheSaddleAgain #ThatWillBuffOut

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January 6, 2021: In between memes I have to do real work. Took a bunch of pics of this Motion Control Suspension TT2 (internal doubles) for NA/NB MX5, with Vorshlag
top mounts and Swift Springs for a winning combination.

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This is one of those times where something other than your hard top is worth more than the rest of the car... #MoreThanJustMemes #GoodDampersMatter

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Connected the battery, primed the fuel pump, turned the key - and the Coyote 5.0 fired right up after a 2 year slumber! Great oil pressure and it sounds as rowdy and ready as ever.

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Our initial "incident repair" work is almost wrapped up before Jamie's ST2 Mustang goes off to the painter for the pretty bits. Waiting on a new pair of side brackets so we can install the new OMP halo seat, then we drive to the trailer and load up.

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The Aerocatch latches still work fine, even after a "pretty good nudge", in case you were wondering. This Mustang should be back on track in a few weeks! #TheFirst2021Miracle #CornerPony

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While *idiots raid the Capital*, we're here, head down and working hard to keep up with the pace of orders. Bryan and Myles are keeping both CMC mills are running two different Porsche camber plates. They have the CNC lathe just finishing a run of stainless bushings for a huge Ohlins order, and now back to cutting upper perches for several OEM application camber plates.

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6thgen Camaro camber plate orders have blown up this week, so we're making an emergency run of those, with another huge truck load of metal coming in. Zach is buried in #LS550 swap motor mount fabrication and welding. Brad is wrapping up work on multiple customer cars and the rest of us are just trying to stay ahead of the phones, emails, and incoming orders. All the while the drywall crew has us walking over ourselves, and painting begins tomorrow.

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2021 is off to a crazy but good start, at least within these walls. #Vorshlag #KeepMakingChips

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January 7, 2021: Long day - lots of drywall dust, then Brad laid down primer in the lobby.

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Amy and I painted some gray in there after 5 while Tim, Zach and Magan looked at the Team Car a lot. They did mount a t-stat housing and made a trunk floor template (for another template). "Progress"

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January 8, 2021: Back to some tech sharing #BringTheTech

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Rubber coated P-clamps are always handy on a race car build. Sure, we have some specialized brackets for many things, but you always want to keep some of these guys around.
This 52 piece kit on Amazon has stainless steel clamps in 6 sizes for $22. https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B089M25CDP/?tag=tmo302-20

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January 11, 2021: "Some assembly required" - a pile of parts has to be assembled with the right hardware and the correct adapters to make a working camber plate assembly.

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This was a 10 set private label order we built last week, showing the assembly steps as it all went together. #VorshlagBuilt

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That's What's Up!
 

Fair

Go Big or Go Home
Supporting Vendor
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Plano, TX
January 11, 2021: Turning metal into chips, and when they all wash away we have beautiful and strong camber plates left behind.

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Big batch of 6th gen Camaro camber plates being built this week (we built a batch last week, too!) - the demand for camber for this car model is blowing up right now, so we tripled our batch size. #6thGenCamaro #VorshlagBuilt

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Now there's another big payout autocross, this time $15K. And King of the Mountain is $25K. Is Optima going to do another $25K event?

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LINK: https://proautocross.com/ - check it!
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January 13, 2021: The best part about having two CNC mills is we can do each side of a 2 sided operation simultaneously.

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While these 6th gen Camaro top pointer rings are being made, Zach is welding up batches of the 6th gen bolt rings, and I plan to take all of this to the plater at once. #VorshlagBuilt

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We have built a lot of tables, racks, and fixtures for use in the shop over the years. Sometimes it is because nobody makes exactly what we need, or the options out there are too expensive. But when the shop is THIS busy and backed up, it is time to start thinking about buying a pre-made solution rather than tying up shop time making something.

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When looking at vertical sheet metal racks, I looked at what a local Metal Supermarkets had (homemade), then we did some online searches. Found this beefy rack from ULine, the packaging people. $420 for a welded, versatile, strong, powder coated rack was by FAR cheaper than the material, billable shop time, and powder coating costs it would have taken to replicate. Of course ... we still modified it. Added four $10/each casters from Northern Tool and a piece of 3/4" plywood to keep the smaller sheet metal drops from falling through. So another $50 to make it just about perfect. All part of a recent push to finish construction, get better organized, six sigma placements. The CNC room is getting much closer to being full setup and optimized... right up until we buy another giant machine.

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January 14, 2021: Amy's ScheisseWagon had prematurely worn out the tires we installed new in June 2019 - to the point that they were out of round, cupped, leaking, some TPMS sensors were dead, and the fronts were corded. This car has been eating tires since the day she bought it - and we have replaced everything in the suspension at least once. Yes, it will get another 4 wheel alignment in the next few days.

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Yesterday, while doing some Mk6 Golf camber plate development / measuring with this CC (this chassis has the same struts/tower/top mounts) we installed a low cost set of replacement wheels (all four are round now) and fresh Pirelli tires and new 315 MHz TMPS sensors. We could have gone from 18x8" to an 18x9", but... why? It is a "people mover" and nothing more. Wheels were a whopping $122 each.

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Unintended benefit: the new wheel and tire package was 6.3 pounds (12.3%) lighter per corner, and that unsprung mass reduction does translate into better ride quality. Was also nice not hearing the "wah-wah-wah" howling (sounded like mud tires) on the road, and we no longer need to check/top off air pressure every time she drives it. #StillHateThisCar

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The MOMO Heritage 6 is a flow formed wheel, but it is heavier than some other options out there. But the extra pounds make them strong, which I guess makes for a great street wheel. This custom ordered set of 18x11s went on this tester's 2000 FRC with 315mm Falkens at all four corners last night.

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Some additional C5 products will be tested on this car in the coming months. #WeGotTheMeats #Arbys EDIT: apparently the Falen is SUPER chonky, as weight of the bare wheel shows below.

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Major "Car Tetris" move inside the shop today. Some neglected cars getting moved front and center for some work, including this wide bodied M3.

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The front splitter and rear diffuser were installed, then alignment strings placed underneath so the under chassis flat panels and side aero treatments could be designed and built. Plus some tweaks to the front wheel spats and rear side aero are underway.

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Some of the last work needed before it heads off to paint! #ChainsawMassacre

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January 15, 2021: Tim, Zach and Magan stayed late last night to work on the #TeamCar, our LS swapped E46 endurance build.

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Cage tubes welded in (including some additional foot protection bars), Prius electric assist steering column mounts cut off and modified (new mount coming), dash bar work, new inner door handles mounted and connected, and custom shifter mocked up. Little by little...

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That's What's Up!
 
Last edited:

Fair

Go Big or Go Home
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Plano, TX
January 15. 2021: Update to my post from a couple of months ago - the burnishing tool works wonders but it makes a FOOKIN MESS!

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So Zach went all #Mythbusters on that thang, added a vacuum assist which cleans as it polishedes. Works wonders, doesn't sh!t metal dust everywhere. #Winning

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Tube framed GT made to look like an S550 Mustang, from the crazy Aussies at https://www.marccarsaustralia.com.au/

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Some after hours assembly of Amy's HPR 454 LS7 engine for her 86. Rods bearings checked, main bearing and thrust bearing checked and dialed in, then the crank final installed.

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Very meticulous measurements and tweaks took a few hours, but we got it all dialed in. #Agent86 #HPR454

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January 16, 2021: I have to post this PSA periodically, in case people get the wrong idea: Doing engine swaps IS NOT EASY. It is also NOT a cheaper way to get a good lap time on track.
Buying a run-of-the-mill C5 - C6 Corvette and modding that is infinitely easier and *always* cheaper (for the same lap time) as LS swapping any chassis, if you account for all of the time / labor / research / hassle needed to finish a swap.

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That's the painful truth. I am telling you that as a shop owner who makes LS swaps for a living. Why would I lie about this?????? We have this talk with people all the time who call us and think that they can turn their ratty street car into a track terror for $1000 and a weekend of work, like the YouTube and TV stars like to promote. That's just bunk. The opposite of truth. FAKE NEWS, but on the real though.

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Even if you value your time at $0/hour, and you have ALL sorts of skills that are helpful with swaps (wiring, plumbing, tuning, fabrication, parts sourcing, exhaust building, cooling experience, and on and on), and all of the necessary tools to make everything, it STILL takes a lot more effort, time, and money to do one of these swaps WELL enough to be fast and reliable on the track as a hum-drum C5 with a handful of mods.

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Of course there ARE good reasons to LS swap some chassis, so lets list them:

1. You just hate C5-C7 Corvettes for some huge reason: laid back seating position/visibility, lack of interior room (these cars are hard to cage well), the "its just so big" factor, the feel of a remote transmission shifter makes you cringe, the gold chain car show factor, etc. All of these are valid reasons - if you have the money and skill to make a swapped car faster than one of them, then go for it.

2. The final weight of a stripped/track prepped C5 (2800 ish pounds) is much heavier than your own race car's end goal. It is still hard to beat that weigh in some swaps, but it CAN be done on *some chassis* without notable impacts on safety. Some.

3. You have an unusual love for some particular chassis and want to make THAT CAR in its fastest version possible. Hey, I get it - there are some neat cars out there to fall in love with. Just about any chassis CAN get much faster with an infusion of LS goodness! Some folks are on a crusade to prove that "X" chassis can be as good or better than Corvettes on track - with copious amounts of power, time, and money thrown at one. Go for it, eyes wide open.

4. You just HATE MONEY.

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Again, we love LS swaps around here, and part of our business is built around them. But we're not going to "tell you what you want to hear". These are the painful facts, learned after 2 decades of swaps and hundreds of swap kits sold. There are also some chassis we simply will NOT LS swap: NA/NB Miatas, P-cars, E30 BMWs, most AWD and FWD chassis, and many more. Lots of reasons why - mostly the compromises needed to fit this engine and an appropriate transmission are too great of a cost to the original chassis.

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I hope that eases some of your fever dreams. Again, if you have the will and the means, anything can be LS swapped. We can help with some chassis but not all. Cheers! #TheMoreYouKnow

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Random pictures from the shop, part 2! Brad has been painting like mad and the back half of the shop is all cleaned, painted and ready to be put back together. The drywall crew finishing the tape/mud work was worth every penny!

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Steering column mount and AiM dash arrived late on Friday. Zach (after cleaning up the fab table, then making another mess again, ha!) got to work installing the Keyser column mount (that Tim found) onto our Prius column, which Magan removed the old brackets from and cleaned up ahead of time.

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Perfect fit! Should have this column finally installed on the #TeamVorshlag E46 later this next week. A little more painting at the other side of the shop and we can finish cleaning up, organizing, and moving clutter upstairs over the CNC rooms.

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January 18, 2021: Some track driver was complaining online that his pads "de-laminated" and was super disappointed in this brand. Check out the pad material thickness - its HALF the thickness of the backing plate! This pad was used WAY beyond its design life. So I meme'd his pic and will use it to show what NOT TO DO, so others can learn.

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Pre-track inspection should always be looking at the thickness of the brake pads - THIS IS THE WAY to spot these issues before you take a lap, before you lose your brakes. If the pads are even close to the same thickness as the backing plates they have no chance of lasting a track day. THROW THEM AWAY and put your spare set on.

You do have spare pads, ready at all times, right? If your pads have to be built to order then ORDER TWO SETS so you don't get caught out. I'm saying this because it has happened to me, and my big 2014 crash was due to *this very oversight*, 100% on my part. During the pre-track inspection our techs noted the pads were the same thickness as the backing plate, but I hadn't ordered spare pads and said "it will be fine". During my first session the brakes failed, at 155mph. And now I have a crushed vertebrea, yay!
Don't take your brakes for granted. Ever. This is a sure fire way to ruin your day! #ThisIsTheWay

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Some of you might remember the corrosion test we started last October, after looking at moving our camber plate bushings from carbon steel with a yellow zinc chromate plating to a stainless steel. I also put a bare carbon steel part on the test, which is outside the shop.

Surprisingly the plated carbon steel piece still looks great after 83 days. But.... this is a static test, and the real part sees a lot of suspension forces that could likely wear the plating off before it corrodes away. And of course there is no salt spray, plasma this or that, yadda yadda yuadda. #EnterArmChairEngineers

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We quietly switched to stainless for all bushings starting that day, and we're making more this week. Eventually we will be 100% stainless for these parts, but I'm not willing to toss out 100s of perfectly good plated parts (that have worked great this way for 17 years). We have been switching more hardware to SS versions over time as well.
This is not the only thing we might switch to stainless steel. This material costs 3x as much but we haven't had a price increase in NINE years, and all of our materials are up up up in the last 3-4 years. We've managed to reduce waste and increase machining efficiency to keep prices stable, but as more of our items switch to stainless there will eventually be a price bump, which will likely have to happen in 2021.

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Good, healthy reasons to mod your car - not the social media reasons. Well said - worth the 8 minutes.


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That's What's Up!
 

Fair

Go Big or Go Home
Supporting Vendor
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January 19, 2021: Stopping by Heritage to drop off parts for #BlockNorris and checked out the repair work on Jamie Becks Mustang. Looking good!

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Also I saw what might be our next LS swap development mule (E90 M3 chassis), that Tyler Rodgers will want to get rid of.

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Erik and I worked a little on Amys #HPR454. More bearing checks on the rods, found which bearings are needed (4th set) for this highly customized rod/piston combo (pin guided).
Also took a look at my new Dart aluminum tall deck LS Next block for the phase 2 engine for my Mustang, #Trigger.

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Gotta get the Phase 1 mini-me engine going in this car, knock out some testing, then this big LS can go in. Backed up in customer cars so we dont get to wrench on shop cars nearly enough.

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Different sections of the shop are being painted, organized, re-arranged. It is almost not an embarrassing pigsty... almost!

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January 20, 2021: Brad finished up the wall paint work in the shop today - woo!

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That means he is back working on the '69 Camaro tomorrow, starting with the Lexan rear window install.

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January 21, 2021: What shift boot to use on your gutted race car? We like this Joes Racing Products unit, which is thermally insulated and fire proof. Comes with an aluminum base frame that the boot snaps into, for easy access during maintenance.

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This shot by Brad Maxcy was from the C4 Corvette we built, Project #DangerZone. Why on earth did I want to build a C4?? #Sickness
https://www.joesracing.com/product/joes-shift-boots/

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Some weights we took last night at HorsePower Research of two aluminum blocks. First is my Dart LS Next tall deck, unskirted block. This is one meaty and strong aftermarket block at 125.7 pounds, and very well made. This one was machined and bushed for larger diameter lifters.

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Second one was an RHS tall deck which I weighed with the main caps and hardware at 121.2 lbs, a few pounds lighter. Beautiful casting and machine work. A stock GM aluminum LS1 block weighs 110 lbs, so these have 11-16 more pounds added in the block and caps for added strength. Iron LS blocks are usually an additional 101-103 pounds.Enjoy! #WeighEverything

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Many of you Mustang folks that have been reading my posts for a while know that Vorshlag made a customized 6 piston 15" front brake upgrade kit for this chassis, with brand new Ford sourced parts. Unlike the Ford Performance M-2300-V kit, we actually *included the properly sized master cylinder* so the hydraulic ratio wasn't totally fubar with this massive caliper change. This was a hard learned lesson.

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During the pandemic the WILDLY erratic pricing form Ford made this kit no longer viable or competitive. In the forum link below we share the part numbers and best sources for how to replicate this for your non-PP Mustang in the most cost effective way. Same goes for our "GT" rear upgrade kit for V6 cars - there is now a Ford Performance kit for that, too. Lastly there's also some news about Powerbrake, which we hope comes back to supplying the S550 and other chassis soon. We're still using their parts on a number of cars, just can't supply their kits new - for now.

Read the latest here: https://www.vorshlag.com/forums/foru...ions#post58979

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January 22, 2021: Last night many of the crew stuck around after hours to work on the #TeamVorshlag E46 endurance build. Tim and Myles worked on the steering column mount, altering the Prius EPAS column's placement to remove the extra U-joint we thought might be needed. Then we played with various steering wheels from 3 other cars with the same Sparco/Lifeline QR hub to find the right dish and diameter.

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Magan worked on removing some door trim and hardware and Zach welded on the rear shock tower reinforcement plates they designed and CNC cut earlier. Need to do a bit more welding there, almost done.

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One more another bracket to support the heavy electric motor on the column, then the center support bearing at the firewall, and that should wrap up the electric steering. A lot of trial and error, two columns, multiple mounts tested - we might have a good solution in the end.

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January 22, 2021: Jamie's Mustang getting paint!

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Lots of #LS550 swap part shipping out this week.


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We begin a new LS swap development project next week on .... another different Mustang chassis! #OhTheHorror #FixingCoyoteProblems #LSswapThePlanet

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January 23, 2021: Some work on a couple of customer projects last week - tube framed '69 Camaro back window frame and E46 widebody M3 undertray mounting brackets. More to come!

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Back nearly 20 years ago our choices in automotive floor jacks was pretty dismal. We could spend $900 on a NASCAR style aluminum jack or $800 to import a low profile/high lift steel jack from Holland. The SnapOn / Lincoln jack was $300 and really the best shop jack around.

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Then came the Chi Na copies, and they have improved radically over the last 2 decades. I tested some of these early units in an article I wrote around 2000 or 2001, and it had millions of views. As the article grew in popularity I had friends bring more models for us to test... and it helped.

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That data is all pretty much useless now, but the current crop of aluminum track jacks and steel shop jacks has been pretty stable for a few years, so I spent an hour writing an update to the big "Floor Jack Shootout" article from 20 years ago. Its on the forum, and has some new pics of what we're using, as well as old pics from the original.
Can you spend 400% more and get something maybe 5-10% better? Sure, but that's not what many of us want or need. These import jacks are the industry standard, like it or not. I fought it for years and spent a ton on American made jacks, but that market is essentially dead. Hope you enjoy this quick read, below.

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Link: https://www.vorshlag.com/forums/foru...op-floor-jacks

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January 25, 2021: After picking up parts at the electro plater, Tim was able to fulfill some 6th gen Camaro camber plate back orders.

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This was only the first half. And then the UPS driver never shows up. Loading up packages to take to the hub after 5 pm now!

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Jamie Beck brought the freshly painted Mustang back to us today, drove it out of the trailer and into the shop. Brad got right to work, swapping over some parts that have arrived since, squaring up the alignment, prepping the grill and new nose, then getting ready to reinstall the splitter for tomorrow.

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This pony should be track ready again in a couple of days! #S197 #NotLSswapped #NASAtexas

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More after hours engine assembly.

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Cleaned and installed the Comp Cam with an all new lobe series that will be in the catalog later in 2021. Amys #HPR454 coming together.

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January 26, 2021: Pretty slick merging of a BMW DCT trans and a Honda S2000. THIS IS HOW YOU DO A SEQUENTIAL RIGHT. This links to a page with some in-car video, which was just a shake down track test after this swap was done. But the electronic clutches and fast yet SMOOTH shifting on track seemed to work rather well.

The manually clutched, crash box, "sequential shifted" H-pattern boxes we see so many folks try to use are a much more crude way to make a "sequential" trans.

This BMW DCT probably isn't ready for 600+ ft lbs of torque engines, but Tremec's TR-9070 DCT (from the 2020 GT500) is going to be the front engine/rear drive high torque DCT for the aftermarket. And sooner rather than later. If you think you need a sequential, and your engine makes real torque, my adivce is wait for the Tremec. Otherwise this BMW DCT is pretty slick and being done more frequently.

Read more here:http://www.tracktuned.com/feed/2021/...ct-honda-s2000

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January 27, 2021: Am I doing this #5carchallenge thing right?

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Here's five Muttstangs that I have owned and loved. Didn't even put the current hoopty, since it doesn't run yet.

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This one being built should be better than all previous versions... #LS550 #Trigger

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That's What's Up!
 

Fair

Go Big or Go Home
Supporting Vendor
252
403
Plano, TX
January 27, 2021: Why do people like BMW E30s? One answer: they are light!

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These 3 weights represent our 1991 318is twin cam M42 powered street legal car (2458 lbs), a stock dog of a 1987 325e (2436 lbs), and our 5.3L aluminum LS powered 18x11" wide bodied GRM build from the same "eta" chassis (2534 lbs).

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Otherwise they are fairly turrible: E30 the rear suspension is UTTER GARBAGE, the front suspension ain't great, most are 4 lug with tiny brakes, OEM engines are yawn induing, the weird integral spindle/strut housing makes proper suspension more costly, and these have very little wheel and tire room - even the M3.

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CNC machines are buzzing along, making big batches of camber plates for F80 and Evo 7-9.

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Some new stainless parts being made also. #CNCallTheThings

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Multiple 2nd op setups happening to get ready for tomorrow. #KeepMakingChips

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Some more repairs wrapping up on Jamie's 2013 GT after it arrived back from paint.

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Repairs to the tubular bumper beam, end links replaced, grills installed, brake ducts installed, dive planes added, splitter installed. Just waiting on new nets (arrive tomorrow) and a brake system flush and it is ready for dyno and alignment. #CrowdsAreWorried #ExposedSplitterStruts

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Brand new BMW E30 meme... #Stonks #500psi

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January 28, 2021: Some good Time Trial techniques from some fast NASA drivers. Enjoy!

link: https://nasaspeed.news/columns/drive...niques-part-3/

NOTE: Tire compound + traffic can greatly affect your plans, and sometimes you might need to get in your best lap on your FIRST flier.

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The repairs "post-paint" were all wrapped up on Jamie Beck's Mustang this afternoon. Lots of little work completed this week by Brad and the crew to get the bumper beam, nose, and aero bits fitted. Our front brake cooling deflectors were added, as the old 4" brake cooling hoses were constantly getting squashed.

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Current spec center and door nets arrived and were fitted today, and the new Safecraft Safety Equipment belts were also installed and fitted. This #RoadWarrior is now up to spec and ready for the NASA Texas 2021 season.

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A move from ST2 (where the car was overweight) back to ST3 is now planned, so we took a current weight. The trunk mounted ballast rack can handle the weight, and when combined with the custom dyno tune scheduled at TSM, it could be at the bleeding edge of power-to-weight for this class. Time to run the numbers. #VorshlagPrepped #CalculatedRisk

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January 29, 2021: This race gonna be crazy...

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Today marks the day when we began LS swap development on our 12th different generation and make of chassis: The Ford 2005-14 "S197" Mustang. This little 2011 had a blown V6 and the owner has already stripped it in preparation for track rat duties. An LS + T56 Magnum XL drivetrain went into this thing easily - it has a massive engine compartment.

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Brad and I had mocked up the drivetrain before lunch. Shifter lines up perfectly with the stock tunnel hole in this engine placement. Next week we will test fit some of or LS swap headers, engine mounts, and transmission crossmember parts. If something doesn't fit, we'll make new versions that will. #AnotherOne #MorePowerPotential #LSswapThePlanet

February 1, 2021: Progress on the LS Swap for the S197 chassis. We have engine mounts and trans crossmember that work, but we're going to make some adjustments for the S197 chassis to gain a little more clearance in a couple of places. Headers are a bit trickier, but we have some more options to test. Almost there, stay tuned for more - if you care. #S197 #LSswapThePlanet

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A long overdue update to our old S197 Development forum build thread (links to the thread at 3 forums within the blog post), focusing on the 8 years of work covering Jamie Beck's ST3 classed Mustang. Lots of detail within this big 2-part post including prep to the dampers, wheels, aero, transmission, coolers, safety gear, cage and more.

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Spent a chunk of time writing this, and we have 8 years of development on this car, so thanks for reading.

BLOG: https://www.vorshlag.com/blog/2021/0...es-st3-mustang

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February 2, 2021: We got some more done in Amys engine last night.

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Degreed the cam, file fit rings, installed pistons and rods, and installed the Johnson lifters and trays. #HPR454

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I spent the weekend writing forum updates, and today's blog post links to a massive 3-part update on Adam's 1967 Mustang track build. This one is exciting because we made huge progress in the time period covered. The 427" LS7 is installed, wired to a Holley EFI, and the fuel system is plumbed from the Radium FIA fuel cell.

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The front suspension and steering were wrapped up, the 18x11" wheels and 315mm tires fitted, and the cage is now half complete. The car went to the body shop and had a lot of fitting, bodywork, and priming done - plus rear flares. So much to cover, starting at this blog post and linking to the forums. Enjoy!

BLOG: https://www.vorshlag.com/blog/2021/0...k-build-update

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That's What's Up!
 

ChrisM

Mostly harmless.
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Trying to help a customer choose the right AiM Sports, LLC. digital logging dash for his S197 Mustang race car. This car had OEM gauges with a 4.6L engine but making them work with the Gen II 5.0L swap is a lot more hassle (all of the engine harness wiring is gone - not our fault), and he had an AiM SOLO DL behind the steering wheel anyway. Two CAN wires and a digital dash is connected to the ECM for all of the data.

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The two AiM dash sizes we are looking at are the AiM MXS 1.2 with a 5" screen mounted on the column or a larger 7" screen AiM MXG 1.2 mounted at the gauge depth. Jason made some full sizes mock-ups from their CAD drawings, and then we tested them in the car at various depths. The SOLO will go away, obviously, as these digital dashes both have logging and predictive lap timing.

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Steering wheel size can different and make the visible opening smaller than you'd think. In the end the smaller MXS mounted closer to the wheel (so you can get to the menu buttons) makes the most sense. Your mileage may vary.

Subscribing for this because this is the exact situation I'm looking at. Well, close enough. Thanks for the awesome pics because this is on my shortlist.
 

TymeSlayer

Tramps like us, Baby we were born to run...
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Terry,

Regarding you conversion to stainless steel, I am in the fastener business and we're getting hit up with 15-20% increases on just about every fastener in stainless. Not only that but there seems to be a supply issue looming. I believe the raw material manufacturers started running lean on inventory thinking this COVID mess would affect manufacturing and this is starting to cause shortages.
 

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