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Old 09-21-2020, 07:52 AM   #1
Billy Nees
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Default Not for Nuthin' But Close!

Ya know, I spoke to Ken about this and said that I wasn't going to get into another "build" but this latest "junkyard" find just shows too much promise for me not to share it. I would just like to think that I'm not wasting my time and effort. I'm in the "racecar" business not the entertainment business so I will hope that a few of these cars will get built. More later.
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Old 09-21-2020, 10:34 AM   #2
Lew Silverman
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Default Re: Not for Nuthin' But Close!

The amazing thing is that there are so many vehicles still "out there" waiting to be discovered. They may never be 100-point restorations, but when has that ever stopped us? The only limiting factors are your wallet and your imagination! Party on!
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Old 09-22-2020, 08:52 PM   #3
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Default Re: Not for Nuthin' But Close!

Can't wait to see some details!
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Old 09-23-2020, 08:36 AM   #4
Billy Nees
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Default Re: Not for Nuthin' But Close!

This IS NOT a "Dime Rocket"!

Well, here I go again. I brought home another "junkyard find" that runs fine, looks OK and was priced very right. It failed Pa. inspection for some structural "issues" that aren't going to affect me and the previous owner had to give it up. Combos similar to this one have been brought up in "Class Builds" and have been shown to have some potential.

2005 Chevy Cavalier 4 door, 2.2/134 c.i./140/140 and an auto. It can pretty much only run in D/FS at a wt. of 2830 although it can theoretically run E/FS it would need to have 840 !!! lbs. added to make E wt. Not a very good combo when you compare it's 140 HP factor to Shaw's ElCamino at 140 HP but I doubt that anyone will be finding a decent 4.3 ElCamino for scrap prices any time soon.

I brought it to "The Beav" for it's first time out and ran some not-so-great 16.30s and was having some sensor issues so it came home and almost went back to the junkyard to meet it's fate.

Here is where this starts to get good, I found a bad coolant temp sensor and decided to replace it and a few other things and see what happens. I treated it to an oil change (0-20) and a new fuel filter, didn't bother to look at the spark plugs but I DID put in a clean, used O2 sensor, took off the catalytic converter and the rest of the exhaust and slipped a 2 ft. piece of pipe on the exhaust pipe where I cut off the cat., bolted on a very used, old set of 22x8-15 M/T slicks on 15x7 Beretta wheels and took the P/S pump off, laid it aside and made a quickie block-off plate to fill up the hole (it bolts to the rear of the head and runs off the back of the intake cam). That's it, that's all that is done to this "junkyard" car. The car weighs 2850 (20 lbs. good) with me in it.

Now for the payoff. I took the car to Island Dragway (the only track open on Bracket Finals weekend), got the car hot and made 3 passes doing nothing but clearing the ECU in the lanes before each run. It went 15.83, 15.80, 15.79 at 86 and change. For one last run, I tried cooling the car off before the run and it rewarded me with a 15.705 at 87! Not too bad on a 15.60 index! Not too shabby for a totally "stock", junk car.

Hopefully before the end of the season, I'd like to do something with the final drive ratio, maybe build a header for it and download some kind of a "tuner" package for it but there's no doubt in my mind that this junker will run comfortably under the index.

So there ya have it. Stop drinking those expensive energy drinks, get out of your Mother's basement, get in your Dodge Caravan and find yourself a tow dolly and a 2002-2005 Cavalier and YOU TOO can be an NHRA Stock Eliminator Hero!!!

No more excuses!!!
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Old 09-23-2020, 11:31 AM   #5
Mark Yacavone
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Default Re: Not for Nuthin' But Close!

Good show, Billy.
A final drive and converter change will put it comfortably under the index.
Not so much of an expensive deal, but where it gets more labor intensive.
This is the part that will separate the doers from the dreamers. ;-)
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Old 09-23-2020, 03:38 PM   #6
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Default Re: Not for Nuthin' But Close!

Billy I have a 2008 Cobalt "sports sedan" has 171 hp 4 cylinder, this thing is quick for what it is. The next step up from this one is the super sport with the super charger.

That is impressive with what you done with just minor tinkering.

I am trying to figure out what to do with it, sell it, race it?
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Old 09-23-2020, 04:17 PM   #7
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Default Re: Not for Nuthin' But Close!

Well, it's in the guide and at "only" 167 HP!
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Old 09-25-2020, 09:16 AM   #8
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Default Re: Not for Nuthin' But Close!

Once again Billy has shown you don't have to be well healed to compete!
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Old 09-25-2020, 05:08 PM   #9
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Default Re: Not for Nuthin' But Close!

Mike, I keep looking at the Cobalt that would be something different, not sure would have to look at the guide to see what class it would fit into. Header, ignition, wheels tires, new cv joints it would be something I have never done before (front wheel drive). We don't have that many FWD in division 4
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Old 09-29-2020, 09:11 AM   #10
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Default Re: Not for Nuthin' But Close!

I picked up a good set of 22" Hoosier Frontrunners (Rearrunners?) for the car at the Grove this weekend for a case of Yuengling Lager !
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