Two-hundred miles per hour. That’s how fast Josh Forster wants to go in his ’99 Z28. If Forster reaches that goal at the Mojave Mile next month, his 4th Gen will be hurtling at a rate of 293 feet per second, covering roughly the length of a football field in the blink of an eye. It’s a tough feat for any car to pull off, but luckily this Army-Green Camaro has all the right weapons to get the job done.
We caught up with Forster at Cunningham Motorsports in Murrieta, California where he was doing some pre-race tuning on the green beast. “Last time I ran it at the Mojave Mile I went 188.5, and that was with a broken boost coupler. I’ve made a few changes since then, so this time I’m shooting for 200.” Forster tells us.
The Big Gun – Boosted 408 Iron-Block LS
The Camaro’s engine combo is surprisingly straight-forward. It starts with a GM 6.0L iron block that’s been bored and stroked to 408 cubic inches.
The rotating assembly is a team of an Eagle crank and rods, and a set of low-compression Wiseco forged pistons. The cylinder heads are a set of Edelbrock’s LS series Pro-Ports that have been CNC ported by West Coast Cylinder Heads. A relatively mild custom cam from COMP rounds out the short-block.
It’s an impressive package, but we know what you’re really interested in – that big turbo hanging off the front and that black Edelbrock Pro-Flo XT intake manifold that isn’t supposed to fit an F-body. Forster tells us, “The turbo is a 91mm from Forced Inductions, and it’s kind of a hybrid between a Garrett and a Precision turbo. I built all of the hot-side and cold-side piping myself, and I used a Turbosmart Progate 50mm wastegate and a Tial Q 50mm blow-off-valve.”
So what about that towering Edlebrock Pro-Flo XT intake manifold? How’d he get it to fit in there? “With a lot of cutting!” Forster told us with a laugh. “I had to remove the wiper linkage, but it still fits under the stock hood. You can see it even still has the factory plastic around the cowl that I had to notch a little.”
While Forster had the Z28 on the dyno at CMS it pumped out 877 horsepower and 860 pound feet of torque. Good numbers, especially since it was difficult to get a good run due to considerable surging problems related to the load bearing dyno. Check out the video we took to see what we mean.
The Total Package
If you’re looking to go 200 MPH, you need more than just big power to get there. Every system in the car needs to be up to the task. To get that nearly 900 horsepower to the rear tires, Forster uses a Centerforce DYAD twin-disc clutch and a beefy Viper T-56. The rear end is a Moser 9-inch with 3.23 gears that match up well with the T-56’s double over drive.
For suspension, in the front the “Army-Z” uses a BMR K-member designed to give more room in turbo applications and a set of QA1 coilovers. The rear suspension uses a BMR torque arm and control arms with Hotchkis springs. The brake system consists of Brembo 4-piston brakes with 14-inch rotors in front, and upgraded stock-type pads and rotors in the rear.
Even with that much power Forster says the Z is still plenty streetable. “I could use it as a daily if I wanted to, especially because of the DYAD clutch.
The cam isn’t too big, and Ryne and the guys here at CMS have gotten it to idle really well. Even the exhaust is pretty quiet. It has a collector cut out and single 4-inch piping that goes all the way over the rear axle.”
Sure there are plenty of “streetable” 900 horsepower late models out there, but let’s be honest; not many of them actually get put to good use at events like the Mojave Mile.
No Room for Fear on “The Mile”
When we asked Forster what it was like to run all out in a standing mile he told us, “It can be a little nerve racking. Especially early in the morning when the track is cold. They don’t let you warm up the tires so traction can be an issue. But I’ve learned to just keep my foot in it and it will straighten out. Another thing is that the windows start to bow in pretty far from the pressure and air starts rushing in. I’ve tried lots of things to stop it, even taping up the windows, but it gets in anyway.”
It’s refreshing to see a stupidly-powerful LS powered car that isn’t just chasing a big dyno number. Forster is actually putting all those ponies to work. The next Mojave Mile is set to go down May 5th and 6th at the Mojave Air and Space Port, near Mojave, California, and we plan to keep up with Forster to see how the “Army-Z” performs, so stay tuned!