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    1. #1
      Join Date
      Mar 2010
      Posts
      469

      Targa Truck '71 GMC build - The first truck in Targa Newfoundland.

      Welcome to my build thread. I will be outlining the upgrades that will be made to my 1971 GMC to compete in the Targa Newfoundland in September 2014. For those of you unfamiliar, the Targa Newfoundland is a 1400 mile race across rural Newfoundland, way up north in Canada. I will also be AutoXing and doing track days.

      http://www.targanewfoundland.com/index.php/en/

      A little history from 1989.
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      I have owned this truck for over 25 years. My dad gave it to me as a father-son project when I was 14, it was a 100 dollar pile of green... rust. It took 8 years to complete the original build and over the years I have kept upgrading it, mostly for road trips and occasional trips to the drag strip and I land speed raced it a few years ago. You may have seen a small blurb about it in Aug. 2011ís Hot Rod.

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      I have been trying to find a form of racing that I could compete in, that I enjoyed and fit into my busy life. I started auto crossing the truck with a local Subaru club last year, just for kicks. It is outrageously fun. One thing led to another and Iím now a volunteer to organize events and I fell off the deep-end in February when I signed up to be the first truck to ever compete in the Targa Newfoundland.

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      One of these is not like the other. Actually, the Subaru crowd has been super supportive and hard to beat...


      Meet the beginning of the Targa Truck.

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      Most of the work will done by myself, with exception of serious fabrication work. This garage is at my parents' house - this is where I originally built it when I was a kid - painted it here too. This Targa upgrade will be done in my home garage, which is far less nice...

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      The current interior is very simple. A couple of seats out of a Benz, a custom stick to get around the baby seat. Done. This will all be changing as I have to fully 'cage the truck.

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      And the crown jewel. My LSX race block based 427, AFR heads, Callies rotating, Big stuff 3, etc, etc. Itís backed by a t56 Magnum and a Spec 3+ clutch. Itís crazy, crazy fun. This I did not build, itís capable of 8000 rpm, but the current cam is built for torque and runs out of steam in the 7000 rpm area. It pulls like a freight train at any rpm.

      Due to timing I have to do this build in two phases.

      I have hired Ron Sutton to advise the project, both Phases and for Phase 2. I have been working/designing with an amazing fabricator, but have not inked that deal yet. More to come.

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      Phase 1 for September 2014
      - upgrade the brakes
      - brake cooling
      - upgrade the shocks
      - new wheels and tires
      - 6 or 8 point cage - design and fab
      - fire system
      - new race seats
      - 5 or 6 point racing harnesses
      - track time practicing

      Phase 2 will be a complete chassis for spring/summer 2015
      This has been in development for a couple months with Ron Sutton and a fabricator/chassis designer. My plan was to complete it for this year, but that will just not work from either a timing or financial standpoint. More to come on this. The basic plan is a monster custom chassis as this thing is a long bed, 18/315s all the way around, engine set-back, etc, etc. Something that will withstand everything from daily driving in city rush hour to a 5500 mile round trip with a 1400 road race in the middle, like the Targa Newfoundland.

      Throughout the build, feel free to ask questions. Some of what Iím doing will be great for your trucks, some of the stuff will be purely race safety kinda stuff.



      The truck will remain a street vehicle, one that goes like hell, stops and turns. And yes, the baby seat stays too. I plan on making this build fun and ideally, informative. Cool?

      In addition to this build thread, I am going to start a thread on preparing for the Targa Newfoundland. I know many have an interest in doing it, as it's a bucket list kinda deal. I'm going to share my experience openly, because the more of us out there racing - the better.

      bovey


    2. #2
      Join Date
      Jul 2009
      Location
      Sackville, NB, Canada
      Posts
      164
      Country Flag: Canada
      Awesome! I lived in NFLD for years and watched the first few Targa races while I was there. I'm sure the truck will get a lot of attention and it sounds like it's going to be a beast. Looking forward to following the build.
      Tyson
      '95 Firebird Formula: suspension + 315's
      '09 G8 GT: baby seats
      '72 Stingray convertible
      '66 Mustang Coupe

    3. #3
      Join Date
      May 2010
      Location
      kitchener,Ontario,Canada
      Posts
      2,178
      Country Flag: Canada
      You newfies are crazy *******s,swear like truckers,fish like captain highliner and , I love ya lol sounds like a awesome project. I love the idea of the baby seat too
      Spinnin'my tires in life's fast lane

      Ryan Austin
      On twitter @raustinss
      On Instagram austinss70

    4. #4
      Join Date
      Sep 2006
      Location
      New York, NY
      Posts
      458
      Country Flag: United States
      Cool project. Not to dissuade you, I think it's awesome to do this, but watch "Love the Beast" before you go. It's a great car movie, and applicable to your current situation.

    5. #5
      Join Date
      Nov 2012
      Location
      Sacramento, CA
      Posts
      1,918
      Country Flag: United States
      Hey Mark,

      I'm looking forward to working with you on your new truck chassis which will be a killer for next year's event ... and helping improve your current truck to perform as best it can in this year's event.

      For your current truck, I'm suggesting better shocks & brakes. To keep the cost in line, let's go with Wilwood D52 floating calipers up front in place of your cast iron GM calipers. Then, let's upgrade the pads from BP-10's to Wilwood's BP-20's. That will increase your braking force enough to make a significant improvement. See the chart below.

      I feel your current braking torque is less than optimum, especially for the 295 tires you're planning to run. If your master cylinder needs replacing, you could go with option #1 and switch to a 7/8" M/C & leave the pedal ratio alone. You said your brake pedal is 14" long from pivot center to center of foot pad ... and the dimension to the M/C rod clevis is 2.5". That works out to a 5.6-1 pedal ratio.

      If the M/C does NOT need replacing, save some money & simply increase the pedal ratio. If you drill a hole for the M/C rod at 2" from the pivot 91/2" above the current hole CL-to-CL) ... that will change the pedal ratio from 5.6-1 to 7-1 as shown in Option #2. That
      would be my preference.



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    6. #6
      Join Date
      Nov 2012
      Location
      Sacramento, CA
      Posts
      1,918
      Country Flag: United States
      Mark,

      As far as the shocks go, since you're staying bolt-on, non-coil overs on the current upgrade, I'd suggest ridetech's single adjustable HQ's, but let's custom valve them with a "little" stiffer rebound & digressive valving curve in the rear & a "lot" more rebound with a digressive valving curve in the front.

      This will help grip up all 4 tires up on autocross & road course track days. And it will provide much more high speed stability for the Targa event. Make sense ?


    7. #7
      Join Date
      Nov 2012
      Posts
      117
      Country Flag: Canada
      Im so jealous mark, I hope to run my truck in targa newfoundland one day too, maybe by then we will have our own truck class lol.

    8. #8
      Join Date
      Jul 2004
      Location
      Braselton, Ga.
      Posts
      1,477
      Country Flag: United States
      I'm keeping a close eye on this one!!

    9. #9
      Join Date
      Mar 2010
      Posts
      469
      Quote Originally Posted by jerome View Post
      Cool project. Not to dissuade you, I think it's awesome to do this, but watch "Love the Beast" before you go. It's a great car movie, and applicable to your current situation.
      Yes, I actually hosted a viewing party for Love the Beast when I came out. We have huge discussions on this very point. Some said they'd never do it, I personally was a little on the fence at the time. I did find it a little odd that Eric needed the push from Jay Leno to rebuild the car. The first thing I thought when it was laying in the trees was, get it in a shop and rebuild.

      Here's the thing. I've owned this truck for many years, I've drag raced it and land speed raced it. It has seen both coasts of Canada and the USA. I have personally put 160 000 miles on this truck. 3 engines. 4 transmissions more tires than I can count. It has been graffitied once and rear-ended twice. I've totally lost count of stone chips and scratches. It evolves and it breaks and wears out time and time again.

      5 years ago would I put it in such harms way? Maybe not. But I am now married with a 21 month old son. Life speeds up and I spend less time driving and working on this truck, the very thing that keeps me calm - it's my golf if you will. I am not a car show guy, I build my stuff to go fast and haul ___ at all times. No trailer either, it has to be tough - which has been a huge amount of the conversation I have had with Ron Sutton. And lastly, I've noticed that as people grow older with their cars they've had for a long time, the car sits in the garage and collects dust. No. Thank. You. It's a truck, it's only worth something to me, and it's worthless unless I use it.

      This year posed an odd chance for me to do a race like this, I kinda have the time and kinda have the money (less so). The Targa Newfoundland was looking for a truck to be the first truck to run. I figured that combo wouldn't happen again. So I pulled the trigger.

      I do thank you for your concern, I do think about those "what ifs" and had a huge conversation with my fab shop, who will be installing the 8-point roll cage in 2 weeks time to keep me safe.

    10. #10
      Join Date
      Mar 2010
      Posts
      469
      A good news story.

      Hey Ron, thanks again for everything this far. It has been awesome to work with you.

      I had to order my parts online, in the end from both Summit and Jegs. Normally, I'm a shop local kinda guy. But it just did not work this time.

      Anyway, both shipments where super fast. But someone went above and beyond at FedEx. A guy named "George" noticed I had a box for pick-up as my other box was going out for delivery. When he saw were the boxes came from he figured I was building a "race car" and gave me a call. He saved me a trip and a couple extra days of waiting.

      So...
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      Installation starts tomorrow, so long as my son recovers from his illness.

    11. #11
      Join Date
      Mar 2010
      Posts
      469
      Hey! They are super keen for more trucks. Actually, they sent me a note a couple weeks ago to let me know that the truck is one of the most anticipated entries they have ever had. Everyone is super excited to see a truck go fast.

    12. #12
      Join Date
      Mar 2010
      Posts
      469
      Quote Originally Posted by raustinss View Post
      You newfies are crazy *******s,swear like truckers,fish like captain highliner and , I love ya lol sounds like a awesome project. I love the idea of the baby seat too
      Here, hope you enjoy this. A nice family drive.

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ajCzgXH8DZc
      Last edited by bovey; 04-22-2014 at 04:55 PM. Reason: forgot link

    13. #13
      Join Date
      Sep 2006
      Location
      New York, NY
      Posts
      458
      Country Flag: United States
      Very cool build. Looking forward to updates, especially with the graphic design / artistic element that you're bringing to the table.

      Sounds like you have quite the history with the truck. Are you running a stock front spindle and truckarm rear suspension?

    14. #14
      Join Date
      Mar 2010
      Posts
      469
      Quote Originally Posted by jerome View Post
      Very cool build. Looking forward to updates, especially with the graphic design / artistic element that you're bringing to the table.

      Sounds like you have quite the history with the truck. Are you running a stock front spindle and truckarm rear suspension?
      Thanks. I'm going to have fun with this. And yes, I have a big history with this truck and plan on making it bigger.

      I run a CPP front spindle, drop coils and a CCP sway bar. Which I discovered tonight has been hitting the steering linkage. Joy.

      Rear is a bone stock truck arm with 4" drop coils, 2" blocks and ECE shock relocates and a CCP pan hard bar.

    15. #15
      Join Date
      Mar 2010
      Posts
      469
      Quick update. Tore everything apart tonight and am figuring out how to run ducts to cool the brakes.

      Did a quick mock-up of the D52s to make sure all the bolts were right and everything moved correctly. It does. If you pop back to Ron's numbers, this upgrade is about effectiveness (cost too), not sexiness. Hello stock rotors.

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      And as I tear everything apart, I remember how everything was shiny and new as I notice all the dirt, and grease, and grim... I take a time to:

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      I love form, but function wins. Because race truck. More soon.

    16. #16
      Join Date
      Feb 2011
      Location
      Indpls, IN
      Posts
      615
      Country Flag: United States
      Awesome! Great video also.

      Good Luck and will be watching your progress.

      Also, How is the car seat mounted? No rear seat in my Falcon at this time.

    17. #17
      Join Date
      May 2010
      Location
      kitchener,Ontario,Canada
      Posts
      2,178
      Country Flag: Canada
      That's awesome love the video. Kids are the best. If you ever decide to swing thru ontario im a hour and change from Toronto (southwest) dinner and drinks on me
      Spinnin'my tires in life's fast lane

      Ryan Austin
      On twitter @raustinss
      On Instagram austinss70

    18. #18
      Join Date
      Dec 2010
      Posts
      709
      I like it!

    19. #19
      Join Date
      Mar 2010
      Posts
      469
      Quote Originally Posted by Jetfixr320 View Post
      Also, How is the car seat mounted? No rear seat in my Falcon at this time.
      I'll find the pics and post them. I built a custom mount and use an Orbit Baby car seat - they are amazing. Great design. Pricey, but worth it.


      Quote Originally Posted by Jetfixr320 View Post
      If you ever decide to swing thru ontario im a hour and change from Toronto (southwest) dinner and drinks on me
      Deal. I'm through Ontario a lot. I'll be track dating this thing all over the place this year from Grand Bend to CTMP. I'm not a car show guy, but plan on doing a few - Toronto, Kitchener and London area.


      Also, more updates coming soon. Had some issues with the brakes AND I was an instructor in a Performance Driving School all week-end. Time has been totally crushed. Phew.

    20. #20
      Join Date
      May 2008
      Location
      Toronto
      Posts
      213
      Country Flag: Canada
      Looking good Mark.
      I didn't realize you were instructing this weekend.
      Did you get a chance to ride in the AMG during one of his spins?

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