My 1,400rwhp TT LT1 Street Car Build

RecklessRegal

Apprentice
Feb 17, 2019
82
53
Soooooo this is a little tricky for me, because I'm not really a pro touring guy, but I'm not really a drag racing guy either. I'm more of a combo of both, so I basically like really really extreme street cars, meant for drag racing, but built with the build quality you see in pro touring cars. I guess I'm a street racer trapped in a pro touring guys body, or something.

Anyhow, this is my project. It's a 1981 Buick Regal, and since NO one I talk to knows what a Regal is, I have to tell them it's like the Grand National.... but not. I picked the car up in 2014 for $600 and then sold the wheels on it to make my money back 24 hours later. I quickly got it stripped down, and while I had big plans for it, life happened - as it tends to do. The next 4 years were spent renovating my garage, moving across country, building a new house, moving BACK across country, building a new house, and renovating THAT garage to get to a point where I could finally start. The only real good part about this is that I spent that entire time stashing parts for it, so I have a TON of **** for this build.

Here is what the car looked like the day that I bought it, and some of the teardown pics.

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RecklessRegal

Apprentice
Thread starter
Feb 17, 2019
82
53
Fast forward 4 years now, and my son and I were ready to get started on this project. The very first step was to get the car off the trailer it had sat on for years, and onto some sort of a chassis table. I decided on a chassis table vs a rotisserie at this stage because I'll be cutting up most of what you see here, and I need something with lots of bracing, lost of adjustment, and something I can make sure is true and level. So we picked up some 2x3, 2x2, and 2.5x2.5 steel tube and went to work. This is what we came up with.

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The only thing left to do at this point, was to get the car onto the table. I've done this a few times and it's always tricky. Cherry picker on the trunk latch, 4x4 across the frame, and you can drive the trailer in or out, obviously in is expert mode.

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If you want to check out a video of how we made the table and the process of getting the car onto the table, you can follow along on our YouTube channel as well.

 

RecklessRegal

Apprentice
Thread starter
Feb 17, 2019
82
53
Getting everything onto the chassis table was great, because it allows me to actually move this thing around the shop now. At this stage of the project, I'm only interested in the frame though, so the body had to be split. I wanted it out of the way and high enough for me to slide the table back under it if needed, so we grabbed some 4x4 posts and got to work. The body is supported at the striker plates and at the front door hinges. I had to cut up most of the trunk area to get the frame out (spare tire well especially), but I'm not worried about that because all of the floors will be replaced.

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And if you're interested, here is the video on this whole process as well.

 

RecklessRegal

Apprentice
Thread starter
Feb 17, 2019
82
53
This is where it starts to get fun. Ok, actually I lied, this is where it gets messy and after that, THEN it gets fun. I had to find a way to strip 38 years of grease, brake dust, road grime, and whatever else was on the factory frame. Sure I could have sent it out for sandblasting, but given the fact that I'm throwing away 85% of this frame, I didn't see the need to have clean garbage. A little oven cleaner, a little greaser, and a pressure washer did a great job on it.

Once it was finally clean, I started cutting things up to make room for the new front upper shock mounts. The factory upper mount, as you know, uses a bushing and it's not the most stable thing in the world. For what I intend to use this car for, a solid upper mount is a much better design as it will allow the shock to do it's job more efficiently.

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For those of you that prefer the video, I got you covered there too.

 

RecklessRegal

Apprentice
Thread starter
Feb 17, 2019
82
53
The coilover mount project went so well, that I'll admit I got a little cocky and decided to just dive right into the deep end. I need to shed some weight from this pig, plus I need all the room I can get for the twin turbos and 6.2L LT1, so I knocked off the front frame horns and engine cross member, and replaced them with something a little more my speed.

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And the video, because why not?

 

RecklessRegal

Apprentice
Thread starter
Feb 17, 2019
82
53
Chopping sh*t off the front end of the car went so well, why not chop stuff off the back too?

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Before it can go back together, I had to put together the entire front end so that I could establish a front axle center line, and thus later a wheel base, to make sure everything ended up in the right place.

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And roll footage, because we can.

 

RecklessRegal

Apprentice
Thread starter
Feb 17, 2019
82
53
This is the last update that I have for today, because it's the most recent project completed on the car, and that is the wishbone and ant-roll bar. When you convert from a triangulated 4 link (like a stock g-body suspension) to a true 4 link, you need something to keep the rear end under the car, the wishbone serves that purpose. Combine that with an anti roll bar, which is basically a tune-able sway bar on steroids, and this car should be rock solid at 200mph and dead hook on a gravel road. I don't have many pics of the anti roll bar, since I changed my plan at the 11th hour, but there is some cool footage of the plasma in the video.

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Video, for everyone who likes a soundtrack.

 

GuysMonteSS

Royal Smart Person
May 21, 2011
1,449
113
Kentville,Nova Scotia,Canada
Very nice !!!
Where did you get the rack and pinion ??
Guy
 

RecklessRegal

Apprentice
Thread starter
Feb 17, 2019
82
53
Any reason your not going full tube chassis or still building for a class.

There are a few reasons. The #1 reason is that full tube chassis means strut style front suspension, which means spindle mount wheels, spindle mount brakes, etc. Not only is it ungodly expensive (a single double adjustable front strut is between $6-12k) but it's also not strong enough to survive on the street. People also tend to try to find any handicap they can, and not having a stock front suspension is just one more thing someone can try to use against me.


Very nice !!!
Where did you get the rack and pinion ??
Guy

This rack is a Double AA Performance rack that is basically a narrowed pinto rack designed to be used with this style front end. I believe TRZ sells a manual rack conversion for stock frame cars though.
 

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