With racing season over, we’re hard at work on the Vega Resurrection, and we’ve made some significant progress since the last update to this blog. A few photos and notes:
The overhead switch panel is mounted and wired. As you can see, I had to add a couple accessory switches to our carbon dipped K&R Performance Severe Duty Switch Panel; these control the separate transmission cooling pump from Jones Transmission Pumps and related fan – which will come in handy when I hot lap the little Vega.
Our custom Richardson Boyz steering wheel is now installed and wired. What do all the buttons do? Transbrake (top bulb) on the top right, with the long-throw bottom bulb button alongside it. Bump down is on the lower right. And that button on the left is subject to get me in a bunch of trouble: it activates 500 HP of NX “Mo”! To keep the installation clean, I utilized a 4-wire stretch cord from Dedenbear.
I mentioned in a previous blog that our K&R dual dial boards will be activated by a separate controller so that they’ll still be active when I run in No Box and Footbrake. These dial boards hang from slick Richardson Boyz mounts in both quarter windows.
You know we’re getting close when we order seat belts! These Pro1 camlocks are the bomb: the murdered-out look fits perfectly in the Vega, and I love the 2” lap belts for added comfort!
We’re almost done with the stuff that you’ll never see: the area behind the dash is full of wire – with looms to the Auto Meter LCD, stereo, starter bump switches, and more – and the data acquisition cables for the LCD. While this is cleaner than it appears, it will look a whole lot better when it’s hidden behind this:
Shawn and the boys at T2G Customs painted the dash to match the body, and even dulled out the top so that I don’t have to deal with a bunch of glare. The dash houses the Auto Meter LCD, a separate oil pressure warning light, and the stereo.
Since this area of the car in its previous life was worn rusty by thousands of hops in and out, we decided to protect the powder coating with these pretty carbon fiber tubing protectors from Jerry Bickel Race Cars.
Wiring is done on the driver’s side of the engine compartment (OK, it was pretty easy: just the line lock, Oil pressure switch, one of two 02 sensors, and this water pump). I try to wire all of our accessories with Weather Pack connections on each of our cars, and I pre-wire all of our spare parts with the appropriate Weather Pack ends so at-track swaps are a snap. My water pump of choice is the Dedenbear remote pump – same one that we’ve used exclusively for over a decade. I really like the convenience and practicality of a remote pump, which I explained in this video, and to date, I’ve had very minimal trouble from these Dedenbear units.
The next time you see this area of the Vega, it will look a lot more full! Stay tuned, the first of two 383 CID powerplants will rest between the frame rails within the next week or two. Behind it resides a BTE Top Sportsman transmission with all the bells and whistles: 1.80 straight cut gear set, aftermarket case, pro-brake, vasco input shaft, etc. It’s the same transmission I’ll run in my Corvette. One note here: rather than the conventional 10-clutch high gear setup, I use a 6-clutch pack in the Vega (when I tested with a 10 I could feel the added friction in high gear with my low power combination). Inside the bellhousing is an 8” BTE Converter. I’m going to start with the same converter that I ran in the Vega in its previous life. We’re going from 355 to 383 cubic inches, and adding somewhere in the neighborhood of 350 pounds. Is it the “perfect” converter for the job? In all likelihood, no. But it’s a fine starting point. Between the data acquisition, some track time, and a little elbow grease, I’m sure we’ll have it right where I want it sooner than later!