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Blog Archive for: 1 2011

by Kyle Tomita on Mon, Jan 31st, 2011 | Client Vehicles, Fabrication

The shaker scoop for the Frankenstang Project was not fully completed when the pervious post went out, even if I thought it was.  Alex Laventure went a different way with the air filter setup, which is a better way.

This is the K&N air filter sitting on top of the mild steel lip Alex made.  He first bent up the 90 degree angle for the lip and then shaped it into a circle that snuggly fits the air filer.  The air filter holder would then be welded to the metal scoop base that he made earlier. 

Air filter for shaker hood scoop

 The ring fits snuggly against the filter to keep out foreign material.   

Alex Laventure welding - blue flare

Here is a photo of Alex welding the air filter holder onto the scoop base.  With the base and filter holder firmly attached, it was time to install it on the carb.

Shaker hood scoop on 1969 Ford Mustang

Here is the finished project.  The filter sits perfectly in the shaker hood scoop.  The Frankenstang Project is progressing very well.  Check back for more updates.

by Kyle Tomita on Wed, Jan 26th, 2011 | Client Vehicles, Fabrication

As the GM LS engine is used in more and more cars and available in crate engine form, the amount of projects that utilize this V8 will steadily increase.  The generation III LS engine has been used in many of GM's makes and models since 1997.  This fuel injected V8 replaces the caburated V8's that were popular before.  A Chevy 350 was one of the popular V8's that was swapped into many cars and trucks.

The gen III LS is a good fit for many projects because of its weight, size, power output, and fuel economy.  Fuel injected engines are more efficient than carbureted ones.

One of our recent projects utilizes the L92, a 6.2L variant, has been installed in a 1978 Chevy C10 Silverado Stepside that previously had a Chevy 350.  L92 is out of an 2008 Cadillac Escalade.  Before the L92 was able to power this Chevy Stepside, it was sent off to the machine to be hot tanked and honed.  The mild cam from Comp Cams was installed along with Comp Cams hardened pushrods and Comp Cams springs.  Variable Valve Timing was deleted from this application.

L92 in 1978 Chevy Stepside

A set of SMP headers were installed.  They were chosen for this application because they offered the most clearance for other components.

The L92 is mated to a 6L90E transmission.  The 6L90E is a heavy duty automatic transmission produced by GM.  Along with any swap, many different modifications around the vehicle are required.  The size and shape of the L92 differs from the 350, therefore a different set of motor and tranny mounts were necessary.

A panel was also fabricated to hold the ecu and other necessary electronics under the hood.

This panel provides a place to mount electronics under the hood and also cleans up the engine bay.  It is better be organized than just have electronic boxes screwed into the side of the engine bay.

The gauage cluster also received some attention because of the new engine.  The new fuel injected setup was not compatible with the stock 1978 mechanical gauge cluster.  Russ Weimer had the responsibility to rewire the gauge cluster and dash.  His task included installing all necessary engine monitoring sensor and other parts to make the new set of Autometer gauges to work properly.  The gauge cluster now holds a set of Autometer full sweep analog electronic gauges.

The stock bezel was used to give the car the same stock feel.

This Chevy Stepside had been lowered by the previous owner.  Our client wanted us to put the suspension back to stock form.  To do this, the front suspension components were swapped out for new OEM replacements.  The rear leaf spring setup needed a little more attention.  To get the truck to sit lower, the frame was c-notched to fit the rear axle.  Alex was given the task of repairing the frame.  He cut out the c-notched section, which was not modified very cleanly.  The welds on the c-notch were poor and many pieces of welding rod were still stuck to the seam.  After the c-notch was removed and the frame reinforced, the leaf springs were flipped.  The truck now sits at its proper height.

The shroud that holds the radiator received a special finishing touch.  A stainless steel PSI badge was welded on and the whole part was painted black.  These small touches make each project uniquely done by PSI.  This is just one of many Chevy stepsides that received a modern Chevy V8 at PSI.

by Kyle Tomita on Tue, Jan 25th, 2011 | Fabrication, PSI Projects

Work on our 64 Continental project car continues. Alex Laventure and Erick Sackhoff had some time away from working on client cars so they did some work on this project.  Thie Continental will be powered by a Ford V8 out of a 2003 Ford Mustang Cobra with a Kenne Bell supercharger.  This engine is substantially wider than the 460 that originally powered it.  The crossmember was already modified to fit the wider engine.  The unique combination of engine and body required the fabrication of custom engine and transmission mounts.  No aftermarket company offers mounts for this specific application.  Also having channelled the car, none drivetrain path of the drivetrain are from the original car.  This will be a totally custom car when they are done. 

They started designing the mounts by first putting the engine and trans in the car and using braces to hold it in place.  The transmission mount was fabricated first.  This mount would be easier because it only required one location to mount.  The transmission is bolted to the engine on one end.  The transmission was positioned in place and a piece of metal was welded between the parts of the frame that were added for channeling the car.  A rubber mount was used to prevent some vibrations transferring from the engine to the car. 

After this mount was fabricated and mounted, Alex began work on the engine mounts.  Alex fabricated a plate to bolt to the stock mounting locations on the engine.  Building off this plate, he fabricated a boxed in section that connect to the section mounted on the frame. 

PSI custom engine mount unassembled

Here are the pieces that make up one mount. 

PSI custom engine mount assembled

Here is one mount assembled. 

PSI custom engine mounts

Here is a photo of both the assembled mount and an unassembled one.

Here is a photo of one of the engine mounts.  This photo is taken from the level of the frame.  On the left is the tranmission bellhousing and on the right of the photo is the frame. 

Here is a photo of the engine mount from above.  We will have better photos of the engine mounts installed in the car without the engine when the engine is removed for painting. 

Continue to follow the blog for the progress of our custom Continental.

by Kyle Tomita on Mon, Jan 24th, 2011 | General, In The Lobby

We have a new addition to our lobby, a seven-eighths scale chopper.  It joins the custom Chevy BelAir SS and Ducatti 1098 that already reside in the lobby. 

This collaboration shows our level of fabrication and engineering capabilities.  This scale chopper is powered by a four-stroke out of a Honda CRF250, which produces about 35hp.  It is capable of reaching speeds of 70-80mph.  Come down check it out in our lobby and get a tour of our facility.

by Kyle Tomita on Fri, Jan 21st, 2011 | Fabrication, PSI Projects

One major advantage of having a skilled fabricator, like Alex Laventure, is that our shop projects receive the same high quality work that client's projects receive.  Alex has been in the fabrication and restoration industry for over 18 years.  This experience allows him to make efficient use of the small amount of time that we have available to work on shop projects. 

One such shop project that received this attention is Erick Sackhoff's 1964 Lincoln Continental.  We have talked about this project in a previous blog, http://tunedbypsi.com/blog-entry.php?64-Lincoln-Continental-Project-76.  This blog with focus briefly on the metalwork put into repairing the body of this '64 Continental project. 

PSI's 64 Continental Project - raw metal 2

In its current state, the car is stripped down to bare metal.  It this state, Alex repaired body panels that had been damaged and rusted.  The areas that received attention from Alex are hard to distinguish from the original metal body panels.  Many of the vistors to PSI view this Continental and have a hard time finding the sections that have been replaced.  Alex blended the two pieces of sheetmetal together so well that it hides the area of contact.  Unless the visitor is in the industry, the weld points go unnoticed. 

PSI's 64 Continental Project - raw metal

This Continental usually draws visitors' attention because of the body being in raw metal and the fact that the car practically sits on the ground, when the airbags are deflated.  Currently in the photograph above, the Lincoln is sitting off the ground because Alex is in the process of fabricating motor and tranny mounts.  Normally a V8 from a 2003 Ford Mustang Cobra with a Kenne Bell supercharger does not sit in the engine bay.  Therefore, exstensive fabrication is needed to swap this V8 in the car.  When this project reaches fruition, most of the components of this Continetal will be replaced and upgraded.  Check back as this Continental project proceeds.  The progression will be slow because our client's projects come first.

by Kyle Tomita on Thu, Jan 20th, 2011 | Client Vehicles, Fabrication

After headers were modified to fit, Alex Laventure began work on the shaker scoop, which is also referred to as a shaker hood.  A shaker scoop protrudes out of the hood and is attached to the engine.  This attachment causes the scoop to move with the engine, where the name shaker is derived.  Here is the shaker scoop on the "Frankenstang" project. 

Alex fabricated the air cleaner base out of sheet of mild steel.  The base was formed by stepping the sheet metal.  It was stepped once to create a recessed area for the carb. 

Shaker scoop center

Another step was added to adjust the base for height.  The 460 is rather large engine and with the custom motor mounts, the carb sits higher than that of other cars with shaker hoods.  Limited space is something often dealt with in engine swaps. 

Here is a photo of the completed base.  The base will later be powder coated. 

Here is the base installed on the 460 with the rubber piece. 

Check back here for future updates as the "Frankenstang" project continues.

by Kyle Tomita on Tue, Jan 18th, 2011 | Client Vehicles

One of our client's who owns a G37S that we have done extensive work on, also owns a 2010 Toyota Tundra.  He recently brought it down for us to work on.  This Tundra already sits on a 12" lift kit from Bulletproof Suspensions. 

Lifted 2010 Tundra

The client had us modify this suspension lift kit to further improve the trucks off-road capabilities.  Fox Racing coilovers and remote reservoir rear shocks were installed. 

Fox Racing components ready to be installed. 

Russ Weimer installing Fox Racing coilovers on 2010 Tundra

A Technician installed the Fox Racing coilovers with remote reservoirs up front.

Gary Rayevich installing remote reservoir shocks on a Tundra

A Technician installed the Fox Racing remote reservoir shocks in the rear.

Quick disconnect sway bars were installed to increase wheel travel. 

After a quick tuning of the suspension, this Tundra is now even more prepared for off-road duty. 

2010 Tundra lifted

by Kyle Tomita on Mon, Jan 17th, 2011 | Client Vehicles

A Subaru WRX STi is a popular car in the Pacific Northwest because of its AWD capabilities and styling.  A large portion of owner also like to modify their STi's.  One of our client's is no exception.  He is not new to high performance cars.  He owns several other iconic imports, like a 600+whp single turbo Toyota Supra and a Nissan GT-R. 

This STi is his daily driver so 600+whp was not the goal for this car. 

2010 STi at PSI

Modifications to this STi focused mainly airflow efficiency.  An Injen intake system allows air to flow more freely than the stock airbox.  The intake system was modified slightly to provide clearance for the installation of an AEM water/meth injection system. 

Alex modifying an Injen Intake for an 2010 STi

Alex Laventure TIG welding the intake back together after making some minor adjustments.

2010 STi engine bay

The engine bay of this STi. 

A Cobb downpipe and exhaust allow the exhaust gases to flow more efficiently. 

Gary Rayevich is installed the Cobb downpipe. 

The downpipe coming right off the hot side of the turbo. 

Gary Rayevich and Russ Weimer worked to get the exhaust installed and lined up properly. 

While providing efficient airflow, these modifications also improve the sound of this STi. 

An AEM water/methanol injection system was also installed on this STi.  This system improves performance by increasing the octane level, which allows for higher boost levels.  The methanol also acts as a cooling agent, which further increases the efficiency of the top-mount intercooler.  The pump and reservoir were discreetly installed behind the front bumper.  The reservoir occupies the same openning as the Injen cold-air intake.  If you refer back to the photo of the engine bay, you can see the black reservoir cap under the intake piping. 

The final touch on this round of modifications is a Cobb Accessport.  With all modifications, a proper fune is necessary to take full advantage of those modifications.  The STi was strapped down to our Dynojet dyno. 

Here is the video of the STi on the dyno.

2010 Subaru WRX STi on dyno at PSI from Portland Speed Industries on Vimeo.

With all the modifications, this STi put down 312 whp and 374 ft-lbs of torque.

With power and AWD handling, this STi is the perfect daily driver for the northwest.

by Kyle Tomita on Fri, Jan 14th, 2011 | Client Vehicles, Fabrication

A client, whose Nissan GT-R recieved an AMS Alpha 6 preformance kit installed by us, recently brought it back to make the exhaust sound more aggressive. 

GT-R's meet at PSI 009

An electronic cutout system was installed in the exhaust system to give a more aggressive sound on demand.  Having the cutout instead of removing the mufflers gives the owner an option to have a more civilized exhaust tone.  The electronic cutouts are controlled by a switch mounted on the underside of the dash. 

When the cutout is openned, the exhaust is loud and aggressive, which is only used off road. 

When closed, the exhaust gases run through the AMS exhaust system. 

The GT-R's have become more popular with our clients and now modifying them is what they want to do.  This owner daily drives his GTR and we also recently replaced his tires.  Check back here as we continue to work on this cars and many others.

GT-R's meet at PSI 006

by Kyle Tomita on Thu, Jan 13th, 2011 | General

The official Yaer Production's intro video of PSI is now on Vimeo.

PSI - a Yaer Productions from Portland Speed Industries on Vimeo.

Here is a short video that Ryan Davis, of Yaer Productions, put together for us.

In a short time, Yaer Productions has become a premier production company.  Based in the Pacific Northwest, Yaer Productions draws on the talents of photographers and videographers from the area.  They work extensively with Formula Drift and cover many of the Northwest drift events.  We are lucky to have the opportunity to work with such a professional and unique company.  Over the past year, our involvement with Yaer productions has increased.  Ryan accompanied Jason Oefelein, owner of PSI, to the Texas Mile, (http://tunedbypsi.com/blog-entry.php?Texas-Mile-153), where he gathered some excellent footage.

With future collaborations with Yaer Productions, the quality of our videos will continue to impress.  Check back to see what new video features Yaer Productions creates for us.

by Kyle Tomita on Wed, Jan 12th, 2011 | Client Vehicles, Fabrication

Now with the modified oil pan back in the car, work can begin on the modification of the headers.  Often times when swapping in a motor, modifications are required.  This big block 460's headers will be have to be modified to fit in the "Frankenstang" project.  At first, we attempted to source a set of headers that would work for this application, but none could be found.  Alex Laventure selected the headers that provided the best base to start fabrication from.

The space available to run the headers was limited and so was the space to work.  The passenger side header needed the most work.  All four runners needed to be modified.  Alex essentially used only a small section off the flange as the base.  Tubing was cut and welded to join all for runners into the collector. 

Alex took measurements and checked the fitment with the flange bolted to the engine and did all welding off the car. 

Once all the tubes were fabricated, Alex welded the collector on. 

The above photo shows the amount of space available for the header.  The header that Alex modified offers the clearance needed to fit between the 460 and chassis.  The passenger side header required a lot more modification than the driver's side. 

The driver's side header only required modification after the collector.  This side's header had the clearance because the manufacturer took into account the steering columns location. 

Here are the newly fabricated headers.  Now that the headers are completed, Alex can begin fabricating a custom exhaust system.  Check back for more updates on the "Frankenstang" project.

by Kyle Tomita on Fri, Jan 7th, 2011 | Client Vehicles, Suspension

One of our client's brought back his G37S. 

If you remember, this is the car that we installed a Stillen supercharger and HKS exhaust.  Here is the previous post in case you missed it, http://blog.tunedbypsi.com/supercharged-2008-infiniti-g37s/

The G37S did not return because of problems but to have upgrades installed.  The client has been driving his G37S daily and is really enjoying the added power.  These power adders increased horsepower and torque by 120 and 70 respectively. 

With this increase in power, the client wanted to increase the handling performance. 

Left to right: SPC front upper control arms and SPC rear lower control arms

Left to Right: Hawk Performance HPS brake pads and dba rotors

The KW coilovers allow the car to handle better and increase aesthetic appeal by lowering the car.  SPC control arms were installed in the front and rear to adjust camber.  The rear lower control arms were also modified to allow for toe adjustment.  The upgraded dba brake rotors and Hawk Performance pads provide the car with the stopping ability to match its power. 

After installing a new suspension setup, a proper alignment is very important. 

Whenever modifying a car, balance is key.  It will posess the power, handling, and braking to match.  The entire package is what will provide the best driving experience, and this car now has it.  The owner recently picked up a set of Vossen wheels.


by Kyle Tomita on Tue, Jan 4th, 2011 | Client Vehicles

You may remember a week or so ago we had a post about a stock CTS-V that was undergoing some modifications, if not, here it is, http://blog.tunedbypsi.com/a-stock-cts-v/.  That same CTS-V is finished and ready for the road. 

January 3 2011 in front of PSI

Here it sits out front along with some GT-Rs, ready to be picked up.

This CTS-V received a MagnaCharger supercharger, Corsa exhaust, and Billy Boat long tube headers. 

A Technician is installing the Supercharger on top of the LS2.  This supercharger forces more air into the cylinders generating a larger explosion.  To help the engine exhale more efficiently, Billy Boat long tube headers and Corsa exhaust were installed. 

These aftermarket parts are less restrictive than their stock counterparts.  The headers and exhaust did not bolt right up to each other but required some modification.  The ends of both parts needed to be modified to connect properly and securely to avoid exhaust leaks.  Not only does the new exhaust system provide better airflow characteristics, it also improves the exhaust tone. 

Here is the newly modified CTS-V on the dyno.

Supercharged 2007 Cadillac CTS-V from Portland Speed Industries on Vimeo.

The supercharged LS2 produces 454 whp and 431 ft-lbs of torque.  The new setup increases power to 103 whp and 70 ft-lbs of torque, over the stock 351 whp and 361 ft-lbs of torque.

With 454 whp, this CTS-V will be a lot of fun for the client to enjoy.

by Kyle Tomita on Mon, Jan 3rd, 2011 | Client Vehicles, Fabrication

A client's 1969 Lincoln Continental received a performance restoration.  We call it a performance restoration because performance was the goal of this project.  The Continental came to us after being purchased by the current owner.  He wanted us to go over the car and do a post purchase inspection.   The client's goals for this vehicle was to enjoy it so getting it to run and drive well was the main concern. 

Under the hood was a Ford 460 that needed some attention.  The 460 was removed, stripped down, and sent to the machine shop.  At the machine shop, the 460 was hot tanked to clean it, magnfluxed to check for cracks, decked, bored 30 over for Keith Black pistons, and line bored.  The rotating assembly was balanced and the crank was machined.  Once it returned, it was ready to assemble the engine. 

blog russ working on 460

Rather than used stock heads, a set of Edelbrock Performer RPM aluminum heads were secured to the block with ARP head studs. A Comp Cams 34-225 cam is used along with Comp Cams Magnum roller rockers, 3/8th push rods, and hydraulic flat tappet lifters. 

Along with the rebuild, the 460 was mated to a C6 transmission, which is a heavy duty C4 transmission. The tranmission received a mild shift kit before going in.  The rearend was also changed to 3.0 gears. 

The brakes also received some attention.  New pads and rotors were installed in the front and the rear. 

To tune this fresh 460, the Continetal was strapped to the dyno. 

The freshly built engine still needs to be broken in.  Here is a video of it on the dyno.

1969 Lincoln Continental on dyno at PSI from Portland Speed Industries on Vimeo.

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