Twas the night before SEMA, when all through the ‘net,
Not an embargo was broken, all the secrets were kept;
The parts were installed with care,
In hopes that the media would soon be there;
The builds nestled all snug in their trailers,
While visions of SEMA glory filled their creators;
And Vengeance Racing in their shop, and I with my head hung low in my lap,
Had just settled our brains for another SEMA missed, another long winter nap…
We could go on here, but, we think you’re getting the point. The 10-year SALT build continues to take its sweet time but – stay with me now – this time we really are closing in on getting the beast up and running. The Vengeance Racing crew has been working feverishly to collect, check, and prep parts for final installation. The engine shop, Late Model Engines (LME), is honing away, getting our 370 cubic-inch solid roller iron block ready for runway boost sessions. And a ton of amazing new partners has been working hard to make sure we’re ready to roll come springtime. So, while we’re all waiting for SEMA news to start flowing in next week, sit back, relax, and bask in the glory that is SALT’s very last SEMA sat on the sidelines.
A complete rear suspension setup from UMI Suspension – spec’d to match the awesome front setup already installed – promises to keep us headed in a straight line. This traditional-but-trick setup will also give us some great technical content, as this particular UMI approach uses the company’s Rear Weight Jack System, which will allow us to set ride height while running ‘traditional’ non-coilover rear spring/shock combo, freeing up room in a particularly cluttered area of the vehicle, and helping us to reduce cost and complexity. No shocks just yet – UMI recommends setting ride height first and then measuring the shock height to make sure we get the perfect pair of rear shocks to match our setup. More on that soon…
The UMI Rear Weight Jack System (PN 2075-3-R) includes custom wound premium race quality springs (200-pounds for our application) and UMI’s unique spring perches featuring a smooth acting Torrington bearing. The heavy-duty jack screw and spring pad are easily adjusted by using a 3/4-inch socket, extension and ratchet through the bottom of the existing hole in the axle. Installation requires simply removing the standard spring and inserting the weight jack assembly.
There’s also UMI’s Lower Control Arms, and fantastic Tunnel Mounted Torque Arm (PN 2201-R), which replaces the factory arm with a shorter, more rigid design that optimizes instant center, shortens response time, and helps improve launch. With the torque arm removed from the transmission, cracked tail housings are eliminated… And with 1200+ horsepower transferring through the 6-speed transmission, well, we’re gonna need every little trick in the book to try to keep it together. It also features an integrated and replaceable driveshaft loop to keep us safe and legit while going through tech.
Speaking of the transmission, we’re going to be counting on the beautiful QuarterMaster Optimum-SR to turn PSI into MPH… This is a “true racing clutch that features factory driving characteristics” and has been designed for up to 1400 horsepower and 1000 ft./lbs. of torque. Fourteen hundred horsepower you say… we’ll take that as a challenge.
Buying wheels for any project is always an awesome moment and picking wheels for SALT was no different. The checklist for us was pretty short; Gotta look cool, gotta be black and machined, and they have got to be safe. No china-cast cheapies at 200 miles an hour; no sir. Our search turned up a ton of great American Made wheels and RC Components RC Comp series took a steady lead when we really dug into the specs. “Proudly made 100-percent in the US”, these wheels feature forged centers machined from 6061-T6 aluminum, billet beadlocks, a machined inner surface for even more tire slippage control, and an SFI 15.2 certification.
Up front, SALT will be wearing a pair of 17×4.5-inch Torx wheels, which are 1-piece forged and machined wheels by RC. These are paired with a set of 15×10-inch rear wheels that we had cut to accommodate a 1.5-inch narrower rear end. More on the wheels and the math to figure out backspacing in an upcoming article.
Did we mention the 1.5-inch per side narrower rear end? Man, we’re killing it on these segues today. Let’s just keep it rolling… See what we did there? Man, we’re killing it on these puns today. Okay, sorry, back to the tech. Vengeance spec’d a brute of a 9-inch build from Moser, which features, like, everything you’d ever want, including 35-spline axles, a spool, 5/8-inch wheel studs, and matching Moser drag brakes. We went with the lowest (numerical) gearing we could fit at 3.25 because math. More math in a later article…
Lots of quality hard parts abound, and inside SALT, we’re not planning to stop the party. A pair of Procar by SCAT fixed back Xtreme seats will keep drivers in place. These seats are actually the same style that come in Chevrolet Performance’s COPO Camaro race cars, which makes us feel at ease putting them in our little fourth-gen. Plus they fit perfectly with the ‘cage and they accommodate 5-point harnesses, which are an obvious necessity at these power levels. You do run a proper roll cage and harness in your standing mile car, right?!
Lastly, rounding out our pre-SEMA recap, a quick look at a ton of goodies from Holley EFI. You already know why the Holley system rocks (and we will remind you of that in upcoming articles) but we’d be remiss to not mention why this particular system is so special to us. You see, in this hobby, the good ones always seem to go too soon, and it’s with great sadness that we remember our good friend Ricky Best, the former Holley rep who hooked us up with all of these goodies way back when, who suddenly passed earlier this year in an auto accident. We’ll miss Ricky forever but will smile and think of him every single time the Holley digital dash powers up. A great reminder of an awesome friend who loved this hobby with every bone in his body, and an even better reminder to stay safe while doing what we love. RIP Ricky Best, we love you.