Welcome To The PSI Blog

Blog Archive for: 2 2011

by Kyle Tomita on Tue, Feb 15th, 2011 | Institute of Automotive Performance

The Institute of Automotive Performance will be having their Open House on March 3, 2011 at Portland Speed Industries.  The event will begin at 6:00pm. 

John Reed will be leading the discussion on courses, scheduling, and basically anything you need to know about IAP.  There also will be a time to ask any questions you may have. 

IAP - John Reed instructing a student

John Reed instructing an IAP student on the dyno.  

This event will be an informative and important event to attend for those serious in expanding their tuning knowledge.  If you are interested, please rsvp through their contact page, http://iapedu.com/contact.php.

by Kyle Tomita on Fri, Feb 11th, 2011 | Client Vehicles, On The Dyno, Tuning

Recently, Jason Oefelein tuned a client's 2010 GT-R on the dyno.

2010 Nissan GT-R on the dyno at PSI

The GT-R has an upgraded intercooler, aftermarket downpipes, and a turbo back exhaust. 

Jason Tuning a GT-R at PSI

Jason tuned this GT-R with the an AccessTuner Pro from Cobb Tuning.  The GT-R made 564 whp and 543 ft-lbs of torque. 

Here is the video of the GT-R on the dyno.

2010 Nissan GT-R on the dyno at PSI from Portland Speed Industries on Vimeo.

by Kyle Tomita on Thu, Feb 10th, 2011 | General

The Dodge Viper is an American sports car.  The Viper has a straightfoward design with muscular and aggressive sytling.  Being an American sports car, it has a large displacement V10 under the hood. 

Under the hood of 2008 Dodge Viper SRT-10

It is the looks and power of the Viper that have made it a popular car for many of our clients. 

Dodge Vipers at PSI

Above: From left to right, 2008 Dodge Viper SRT-10, 1997 Dodge Viper GTS, 1997 Dodge Viper GTS, 2006 Twin-turbo Dodge Viper SRT-10, Acura NSX, and Nissan Skyline

The photo above just shows a few of the Vipers that we have at our shop.  We have worked on every generation of Viper.  Recently, a client brought in his track prepped Viper to have the clutch replaced for the upcoming season.  We did some work on this same Viper the previous year. 

Not all our clients race their Vipers, but many daily drive them.  For these cars, a new header and exhaust system are popular additions.  They provide an increase to power output, and a very noticable difference in the sound.  The sound and feel is what makes driving these cars special. 

Here is a video of one of the Vipers on the dyno.

2008 Dodge Viper SRT-10 from Portland Speed Industries on Vimeo.

This Viper had a set of Bellanger headers and exhaust installed. The headers and exhaust made this Viper sound even better than it already did.  The Viper also received a custom PSI intake system with wet nitrous injection.  This Viper put down 678 whp and 779 ft-lbs of torque. 

For some clients, 1000whp is the goal for their Vipers.  At this point, forced induction is needed to push the V10 even further.  These high horsepower goals are reached through the assistance of a supercharger or twin turbos, and our clients have opted from both. 

Dodge Viper hood open 2

This twin-turbo Viper produces over 1000whp on pump gas with water/methanol injection.

The Viper V10 has not only graced the engine bays of Vipers but also of the Dodge Ram SRT-10's.  At one time, we had both a supercharged and twin-turbocharged Ram SRT-10's and both were making over 1000whp. 

We also must really like the Viper because our video game system is a Dodge Viper. 

Dodge Viper Video Game Racing Machine

We took the back section of a Viper that we purchased for the engine and turned it into a gaming system.  It currently features a Playstation 3 with a Logitech steering wheel.  It is hooked up to a 3D television to give it a little more realistic feel.  Our current game of choice is Gran Turismo 5.  Whenever we are not working on cars, we like to race with them in our Viper. 

Some might be wondering what car is going to be powered by the engine from our game system.  That project is currently being worked on and more details will be released in the future.  Check back here for more about the Vipers and other cars we work on everyday.

by Kyle Tomita on Wed, Feb 9th, 2011 | Client Vehicles

Around here, we swap ls engines into a lot of different cars and trucks, but we also work on them in the cars they come in.  Recently, a client brought in his Chevrolet Corvette Z06, which comes with a 7.0L LS7.  Our client wanted to keep the car naturally aspirated but also wanted more power.  He was hoping for 500whp. 

With this goal in mind, a plan was devised to help the engine breathe better, so an intake system, headers, and exhaust system were ordered. 

Above: Halltech Intake System

Above: American Racing Headers

Above: Billy Boat Exhaust

Installed these components. 

After everything was installed, it was time to put the Z06 on the dyno. 

Here is a video:

2006 Corvette Z06 on dyno at PSI from Portland Speed Industries on Vimeo.

The Z06 put down 505 whp and 470 ft-lbs of torque to the wheels.  The client was happy with this amount of power, but more power may be in the future for this Corvette.

by Kyle Tomita on Fri, Feb 4th, 2011 | Client Vehicles, Fabrication

Work continues on the LS3 280Z project.  This Datsun 280Z will soon be powered by an E-Rod LS3.  An E-Rod LS3 is a CARB legal version of the LS3 crate motor. 

For this application, the LS3 was mated to a Tremec T56 six-speed transmission from a Dodge Viper. 

The V8 is substantially larger than the original Datsun engine so custom mounts needed to be fabricated.  Only essential components were left in the engine bay to help with deciding the placement. 

Pictured above is the engine bay with the motor mounts fabricated by Alex Laventure. 

E-Rod LS3 in a Datsun 280Z

The LS3 fits perfectly in the engine bay of this Datsun.  The engine sits back in the engine bay to keep most of the weight near the center of the car.  The shifter's position in the cabin also plays a role.  The tranmission was secured to the car with custom fabricated tranny mounts. 

The tranny tunnel needed to be cut to accomodate the shifter location.  After the shifter was positioned, a plate was fabricated to fill the hole. 

Alex created a cardboard pattern and then cut the piece out of metal. 

Alex used many metalworking tools to match the shape of the tunnel.  Some such tools were hammers, mallets, english wheel, metal shrinker, and others. 

Custom Viper T56 Trans in a Datsun 280Z - fab

Here is the finished product.  Once welded in, the panel will blend in well with the tunnel.

The shifter posed a problem because in the Viper, the shifter sits off to the left.  Alex modified the shifter to come straight back off the transmission, as evident in the above photo. 

A Hurst shifter was modified to the allow for the best angle for the shifter.   

The shifter was topped off with a Hurst six-speed shift knob.

Work will continue and we hope to start up very soon.

by Kyle Tomita on Thu, Feb 3rd, 2011 | Client Vehicles, General, Tuning

Since the beginning, PSI has been associated with the Nissan GT-R.  Our shop car is a pristine example of a Nissan Skyline R34 GT-R.

GT-R's: R34 and R33

We have been modifying all ranges of the GT-R line, from the R34 to the R32 and now the R35.  When the new Nissan GT-R's (R35) were released, we were eager to begin tapping into the potential of this new platform.

GT-R's meet at PSI 011

Several of our clients were early GT-R owners, however initially many were reluctant to modify them.  When they first came out, many concern was raised about the durability of their transmissions.  While able to handle the stock power of the VR38DETT powerplant, the transmissions would often be the weak link in the system when dealing with a modified GT-R.  Companies like AMS Performance have been producing more power from the VR, and the need for a stronger transmission became prevalent.

Texas Mile October 2010 028

Above is a shot of AMS's GT-R at the Texas Mile event we attended in October.

This need for a stronger transmission is where ShepTrans came into the picture.  ShepTrans rebuilds the GT-R's transmission with upgraded components, which allows them to hold over 1200hp.   Before the transmissions can be sent to ShepTrans, they are removed from the GT-R.

The entire rear subframe is removed with the transmission and rear diff.

Russ Weimer and Gary Rayevich installing the transmission and read subframe on a 2010 Nissan GT-R

Reinstalling the freshly built transmission.

With the added strength of the transmissions, our clients felt more comfortable and confident in having their GT-R's modified.  As a west coast distributor and installer for AMS Performance, we have installed many of their components and Alpha packages into our client's GT-R's.

Alpha 6 GT-R

One of our client's saw an increase of over 100 whp and 170 ft-lbs of torque with an AMS Alpha 6 performance package.

blog dyno-template-before-and-after

Another one of our GT-R clients recently had us install an upgraded transmission.  In its current state, we have modified his GT-R to make over 600 whp, but with the ShepTrans built transmission, he feels comfortable with pushing his car further.  He has goals to make over 1000hp and we are working with him to put together the best solution for that goal.

As that GT-R was leaving, another client dropped of his GT-R for an upgraded transmission as well.  Only time will tell of the power goals for this client.  One thing is for sure, we will turn it into a very fast and fun GT-R.

Like with all vehicles, a proper tune is necessary to not only protect the car but to get the most out of the upgraded components.  We currently offer GT-R tuning by way of the GT-R AccessTuner Pro from Cobb Tuning.  Cobb Tuning made us an authorized tuner for their system.  With the ability to tune the GT-R, PSI offers the complete package to the GT-R community in the Northwest.

Jason Tuning a GT-R at PSI

Jason Oefelein using the AccessTuner Pro from Cobb Tuning.

With our affiliations with other leaders in the industry, PSI has become a premiere location for modifying Nissan's current "Godzilla", the R35 GT-R.  When you stop by, do not forget to check out our R34 GT-R, the predecessor to the R35 GT-R.  We put the same experience, time, and attention into working on your GT-R as we spent crafting our GT-R into the street car it is today.

GT-R's meet at PSI 006

by Kyle Tomita on Wed, Feb 2nd, 2011 | Client Vehicles, Fabrication

For the 2011 season, Gary's S13 will have a tube frame rearend that is detachable.  The setup is similar to the Falken/Discount Tire LS powered S13 driven by Daijiro Yoshihara in the Formula Drift Series.  This new tube frame section meant that the rear quarter of the car needed to be cut off.  The car is getting a set of Origin widebody quarters but they wanted an inner quarter panel.  This is where Alex came in.

Alex helped with fabricating quarter panels that were basically flat with a flanged wheel arch.  To help with wheel clearance, much of the wheel wells were removed.  The bottom of these custom quarters were flanged so that they would blend smoothly with the current wheel arch.  This will give a smooth wheel well rather than have a sharp or pinched edge that could be damage the tires.

This is the custom quarter panel.

The flanged edge on the bottom will blend with the body to form a smooth wheel arch.

A fuel cell was also added for 2011 and with this additional, a firewall was needed.  The firewall needs to separate the cabin of the vehicle from the fuel cell.  Gary drew out a pattern for the firewall and cut it out of sheetmetal.  The firewall was beadrolled in the center to provide some additional strength to the large piece of metal.  The top edge was also flanged to ease in the attachment of the firewall to the car.

Alex uses the ERCO metal shrinker to create the flange on the firewall.

Gary punched out holes with the ironworker to allow bars for the rear tube section to bolt to.

Here is the firewall before installation.   Gary will continue to work on finishing up the detachable tube frame rearend during the beginning of the season.  He will still be out at the early events so check them out at PARC and PGP.  Also continue to check back on our blog for more updates on this build.

by Kyle Tomita on Tue, Feb 1st, 2011 | Client Vehicles, Fabrication

All parts can be modified.  The quality of the modification is key.  The quality of aftermarket parts available today vary greatly.  The parts we choose for our clients are of the highest quality and from manufacturers that stand behind their product.  With the vast array of vehicles on the roads today, aftermarket parts, even those of the highest quality need to be modified.  Especially with the amount of customization we do, parts are often not available, whether quality or application. 

We are fortunate to have  a very talented fabricator, Alex Laventure.  His many years of experience allow him to devise the most efficient and cost-effective solutions for our fabrication needs, while still maintaining a high level of quality.

Welding the front end supports on an S13

A recent project we were working on was a LS1 powered 350Z. As is the case with many custom projects, modifications were necessary to ensure the highest quality of the complete package.  In our client's 350Z, the LS1 was being mated to Tremec transmission. This transmission obviously has differing dimensions than the stock transmission mounted to the VQ. A Sikky Manufaturing supplied shifter was used to compensate for the distance between the shifters for both vehicles.  The Sikky shift kit uses a longer linkage between the shifter and transmission.  The installation of this kit went smoothly. However, for our application, the shift linkage needed to be modified because the positioning allowed the transmission to shift out of gear during operation.  That is the nature of this type of project, custom projects means many parts to be modified for the specific application.

Pieces of a shifter

Alex began by disassembling the shifter relocation kit to determine the best resolution.

Alex Laventure milling a part

He then took measurements and milled down certain components to his specifications.

Spiral of smoke

A shot of the smoke being generated during milling.

modifications need to be kept looking clean

Once all the compenents were modified, Alex reassembled the shifter.  Whenever modifying a component, especially when a important as the shifter, it always important to unsure you produce the highest quality part.  Alex finished the shifter make it as close to the original as possible.  His goal was to improve functionality but keep the appearance of a unmodified unit.  Feel free to view other components that were either modified or fabricated by Alex.  Also, check back  on this blog for future custom projects.

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