So I've been kicking the tyres for a while trying to work out what I'm going to do. After coming to the Salt in '09 I've wanted to come back with a car. I've got a VN Sedan here that I've had for a while that I used to drag race with a turbocharged V6. It used to make around 450hp and run 11.9 on the quarter.
The car was quite a sleeper back in the day.
The trumpets were used to see how fast we could get the car over the quarter naturally aspirated. It ran 13.8 at 99mph with only 9.6:1 comp and a 3.45 diff ratio.
It was a very good manifold. Looked top,s and once we got things sorted it helped us down the track. I started with three 45mm throttle bodies and then stepped up to three 50mm throttle bodies, and eventually to some 10-12in long trumpets. Certainly got a few looks at the track with three trumpets sticking out of the bonnet.
The welding was done by Gary Carter in Sydney (02 9755 1264 - All Aluminium & Cast Iron Welding Services, Unit 4, 10 Childs Rd Chipping Norton NSW 2170).
The guy is simply awesome. I took the manifold to him with the top sliced off and the plate for the throttle bodies and he did the rest.
With the turbo is was much faster.
This was the first turbo set-up. Even without the intercooler (7psi) it ran 12.9 at 107mph on pure street tyres. With the 'cooler (10.5psi) it ran 11.99 at 114.76mph on slicks.
I tried to sell the whole thing once I'd ran an 11sec timeslip, but at the time no one was interested, although I did sell quite a few parts off it. Now I've got a rolling shell with some stuff still in it, but generally it needs a bit to be running again. On the plus side I still have a few performance parts left over like a brand new block and some Buick turbo rods and pistons and other bits. But the reality is that it's still some time off before the VN is ready to run E/BGC.
The main problem was when you were overtaking a semi-trailer and it'd come on boost and you'd be sideways smoking the tyres up beside the truck trying the get past.
On the highway it was near impossible to cruise at 110 because the the slightest hill would start to load the engine and then it'd start boosting and you'd be doing 160kph up hill with a light throttle. Lots of fun.http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=17WyeMQzZ7c
The short block from the VN is now in the Spirit of Sunshine Lakester. I have a brand new block to fill so I sold the boy the old engine. It's a pretty tough little donk, I was real happy to see it run 193mph.
I don't want to run a turbo on the salt though, I've seen the problem Norm Bradshaw is having with the turbo taxi. I reckon a screw type supercharger is the way to go to control the engine output more precisely.
Which brings me forward to this weekend. I got a message from Craig Parker at Street Machine that his sister was looking to get rid of her EL Falcon. The towies offered her $100 for it and if I'd match that, the car was mine. Well seeing we already own an EF and an EL Falcon it was silly not to buy the car purely for parts. But then the story gets sweeter. The car still drives and is registered (until Wed, 1st Sept).
Now they reckon the car has done a head gasket or something. Well that's what their mechanic tells them, but they've been driving the car around anyway until they bought a newer car at auction. My main worry was getting the car here to home down near Albury. Paying $100 for the car and then $500+ for towing wasn't the perferred option. So I jumped on the XPT yesterday and trundled up to Sydney to check it out. I told Craig we'd take it anyway and he thoughtly delivered the car to my in-laws who are 5mins away from his place (but across the other side of Sydney from his Sister's place).
I rang the in-laws to check the car was there before I jumped on the train, and yep it was there all right. They reckoned it looked better than our EF or other EL. That was encouraging news seeing I was about to sit in the cattle cart for 7hrs.
When i got up there it was dark, but the car looked okay under the torch (don't they all) and so I decided to take it for a drive to fill it up before the trip back home.
Now we've owned six-cylinder Falcons since 1998 as family hacks, but I've got to say this one kills both our current drivers in terms of performance. They reckon they've put BARS leak in the coolant to fix the "head", but I can tell there a problem at all. The engine runs smooth and barely registers any heat at all on the temp gauge, and fried the tyres easy if you get too heavy footed.
So this morning I woke up at the in-laws, gave the car a quick check over. Tyres good, oil good, plenty of coolant and then started driving. And besides needing a pair of rear shocks (a bit floaty) it runs like a dream. Best $100 I ever spent.
It's not perfect though.
The hoodlining has sunk and grazes the top of my head (bloody annoying when you drive) and there's a rust spot hidden under the boot lid where it has obviously sat for too long with leaves trapped or something. There's also a few knobs missing and dash lights not working but over all, it's not bad.
So, on my trip back I've been thinking, as I do when I stuck in the car by myself for 5.5hrs.
Even though I can get a pink slip tomorrow, there's no point putting the car back on the road. It's not worth anything! Even if it was totally awesome in every aspect the car is only worth $4000 tops. With 13 years of shopping dings and scrapes this car isn't totally awesome. Add the hoodlining, rust hole and other bits into the mix and it's not worth fixing it and putting 12 months rego on to get maybe $1500-$2000.
But it would make a great salt car. Smile
The lean swoopy shape of the EL lends itself to high speed work as proven by several others on the salt. And the engine has got less than 200,000ks so it's pretty much good to go, (obviously I'm going to have a tinker with it anyway). The only real issue is that the car is an auto, but it'll do for shits and giggles.
So while I collect bits for my E/BGC Commodore set-up I figure I might as well have a play with the Falcon in E/PRO (or something similar depending on how much time and money I can put together). I don't see myself cracking Max's 179mph record any time soon, but at least it'll give me a chance to get some experience before I jump in the Commodore, which will hopefully make 3x the horsepower of the Falcon.
But yeah, I'm happy with the EL for $100. You won't believe it when I post the pics tomorrow. It's not the lowest I've ever paid for a going car, but definitely the lowest for a registered and roadworthy one.
Of course if anyone wants to chip in with some tips I won't say no. Smile