Del's Build: SLC IR/8

#1
I’ve been looking forward to starting this thread for years and it’s finally here! This first post will be long winded, but gives some background on how my whole SLC build came about.

Building a car has been a childhood dream of mine for as long as I can remember. Back when I was a kid, it was to build a Lamborghini Countach kit car. Of course as time progressed and research, a typically kit car would be pointless. I’d guess about a decade ago, I came across the Factory Five GTM and that became my new dream and started the savings account. Of course, as with life, things came up and I had to get priorities in line and where I wanted to be in life before I started the build. Within that time frame I dated, engaged and married my wife. She knew about this dream of mine the whole time and has always been supportive of me accomplishing it which still amazes me considering the money I have invested so far into my SLC. First things first though, we had to get her through her 2nd bachelors, this time to be a RN then we could start saving up to build our, as she calls it, dream home…..and my shop. This was a necessity for me, especially if she gets the house she wants all drawn and built from scratch. The bay the SLC now resides in has always been dedicated for it and even after being built, that’ll be its home. With that out of the way, onto more saving on my part to get where I wanted to be $-wise, before purchasing the car. I was getting impatient by this point so to speed up the process I bought a 2000 T/A WS6 and sold my Raptor. Said WS6 has since been swapped to a 13yr old Corvette (which I surprisingly like more) and I still have my 09 Hayabusa, both of which are my daily drivers with the busa likely getting more miles per year than the C5.

While waiting on the car to be manufactured, one day I randomly came up with IR/8 “name” for the car which is actually, I guess, I sort of consider a sub-model or trim of my SLC. I’ll attempt to explain a little about how it came about… I’ve used InfiniteReality (IR) as a forum name and basically anything online. “Infinite” originally came from the handle I used on BBS’s back in the day of dial-up and before the internet was widely used. At some point while pursuing my Associates and Bachelors in college, I came across “Reality” written on a desk I sat at in one of my calculus classes and from that day on, I put the 2 together and Infinite Reality was born. The whole Infinite Reality become a part of who I am goes as far as coming up with my own logo, which even lead to a tattoo a few years ago. Most people (including my beautiful wife) think the whole thing is dumb or lame, but I’m not one to care what others think….I do things, like going with bronze wheels, because I like or enjoy it, not to be cool or impress anyone.  The “8” comes from how many cylinders the car will have and R8 even applies since they use the Graziano transaxle in them. I’ll eventually get an emblem made for the rear of the car. I’m still playing with designs, but keep going back to something that mimics the new Z/28 badge.

Enough about that, onto the good stuff like the specs of my car, what drivetrain I have for it, my thoughts on the car and where I’m at so far on the build. While I was pretty pumped up to get the car, I honestly wasn’t near as excited as I thought I’d be. I think everyone else was more excited than I was. Everyone else sees a supercar where as the only thing I see is LOTS of work, lol, but the build is the part I have been looking forward to. I knew this would be a huge and tedious project, but as I’ve started to dive into it I’m discovering there is even more than expected that’s involved. It’s like I have 100 smaller projects I want to get done all at the same time and ASAP, but of course have realized I need to take baby steps for this build. I’ve never taken on a project of this magnitude, but also fairly confident in my abilities, knowledge and willingness to learn. The only thing I’m a little leery of is getting the engine running, especially getting rid of all the miscellaneous codes it’s likely to throw and since this will be my first engine install. I’m more electrically inclined compared to mechanical, but seems I’ve gotten my feet wet on most anything short of an engine build/install.

Overall I plan to stick to a standard build and body, at least at first. I do plan to retrofit the tail lights with halos as running lights and LEDs for brake lights, I started a thread beginning of 2017 on this, but never really played with it much more. I also plan to get another set of bi-xenon Hella projectors to replace the high beams that comes with the kit so I can run quad low/high beams. While it may not quite be legal, I can always unplug one set during inspections to pass. I’m really looking forward to the interior electronics; I can’t wait to get to that stage! I already have bought a 525hp LS3 with controller kit, just waiting on the transaxle to show up from RCR. I plan to run side exit exhaust and yet undetermined if I’ll have to run cats, but would rather not in lieu of a bigger muffler to quiet it down as much as possible. We don’t have emissions here, but State Police may require to visually see it for the original inspection to get it registered. This vehicle is a work of art honest. It's amazing engineering feat and those control arms... ahhh. Fran and his team did an awesome job designing this thing and I'm thankful to be one of few fortunate people to build and own one now. My hat goes off to Fran and his team for this, it's simply badass in so many ways that words can't describe!

The car was delivered on 6/22/17. I took the following week off from work and put myself on nights to beat the heat and a lot less distractions. The following week I worked for a couple of days and got ready for vacation in Boston and Bermuda. Here’s what’s done so far and more to come this weekend which should be a lot cooler with this Hurricane Harvey (hopefully it keeps going west) providing rain over here:

- Pulled the doors off and removed the front and rear clams, recently pull the center section
- Organized everything that came out of the car and got it stored under my 3 SLC dedicated work benches
- Got my QuickJack put together to get the car off the ground and not use jack stands. Thanks Cam for recommending this, it’s a huge plus!
- Torqued all the suspension stuff and any other bolt already on the car to spec and marked.
- Pulled all 4 calipers off to remove Chevrolet and paint them. I cut out some full size gloss black Brembo decals before the clear coat. White is definitely not the best choice for calipers, but least it’ll match the car for most part during the build and test/tuning it. When it finally gets paint (or wrap) I’ll pull them off and completely apart to powdercoat to match (or accent).
- Ran all the brake’s hard lines and mounted.
- Ordered and now have some ¼” aluminum for a battery mount as well as a sheet of 1/16” to make the radiator shroud.
- Mounted the 3 reservoirs for front/rear brake and clutch
- Mounted the masters for each, as well as put the Tilton pedals together
- This probably sounds questionable, but I started a journal of the build notebook
- Did a lot of reading in the build manuals, trying to get a BOM together for random stuff I’ll need.
- Peeled 75% of the tape and glue off the car from shipping. I read there would be a lot and that definitely wasn’t a lie!
- Random miscellaneous stuff

EXTERIOR
White gel coat
20x12 & 19x10 Forgestar F14 wheels (Prismatic Bronze Chrome with Casper Clear)
Street tail
One-piece windows
Door mount mirrors
Carbon fiber splitter
Carbon fiber side skirts
Carbon fiber rear window vent
No fender vents
Inner fender panels
Adjustable pedals
Parking brake
Street & track sway bars

INTERIOR (I love carbon fiber)
Carbon fiber dash
Carbon fiber cockpit tub
- Carbon fiber center console
- Carbon fiber headliner
- Carbon fiber area behind the seats
- Carbon fiber a-pillar covers
- Carbon fiber extended door panels
- Carbon fiber in any other pieces I missed

DRIVETRAIN & FUEL
Graziano transaxle
Transaxle completion kit (clutch, flywheel, starter, etc)
Transaxle adapter plate for LS engine
Complete fuel system kit (dual pump)
LS front dress kit
Front box heat deflector














Parts inventory





Carbon fiber tub








Week 1 of work:










Calipers after decals and before clear



Calipers after clear






Brake line mounting. I will adjust the braided line so it’s not coiled.





My journal


You may have noticed already, I went against the grain with my choice in wheel color. While deciding on the color, I was going through them with my wife trying to figure out what I wanted. I liked most colors, but I wanted something different yet staying subtle. She saw the gold color on the Superlite build site and liked that color the best which somehow lead me to think of a bronze. After looking at the Prismatic site for this color for hours, it seems like I looked at dozens and dozens of shades of bronze. Eventually I decided on a color called bronze chrome with a Casper clear. The only issue I had with the whole SLC purchase was the powdercoating place that did my wheels… They did them in separate batches and it’s pretty obvious that fronts are satin bronze and the rears are satin brown. If it’s overcast (or like pictures with roll up door open), it’s not quite as noticeable but if the sun is out or in the shop it’s very apparent. I’m not sure why this happened and originally thought maybe I was being anal….but when your wife sees the SLC for the first time and asks why the wheels are different colors, you know it’s pretty obvious. I have to contact them to get this only issue solved, just need a good picture of them in the sun. To be honest, it’ll be very embarrassing to drive the car when the front and rear wheels are different colors. When the sun is out one weekend soon, I’ll get a side by side picture of them.

 

Mike D

Lifetime Premier Supporter
#2
Congrats on these exciting times! Looking forward to seeing the completed product. Love the lover choices.
 
#4
Congrats on these exciting times! Looking forward to seeing the completed product. Love the lover choices.
Thanks and definitely exciting times!

Congratulations and well done on the progress so far.

I like the IR/8 name and when people ask you can call it "Irate"

Ian
Funny you say that...and I completely forgot to mention my personal plate idea. I knew there was something about the name I was forgetting! This may change, but as of now the plate will read IR8SPED. :)
 

Will Campbell

Bronze Supporter
#5
Great looking car. I see you like carbon, like me :).

Based on a lot of cars using the LS crate engines and controllers, I don't think that will be a big problem to get working immediately.
 

Mark B.

Bronze Supporter
#6
Congrats! Very nice choice. The one thing I regret is not getting all carbon interior pieces. Now I'm going to have to cover all of my fiberglass pieces and add more weight :(
 
#7
Thanks Will and Mark! Glad to hear the LS start up sounds easier than I'm anticipating, just waiting on the transaxle so I can mate them and slide both of them in.

You pretty much nailed it Mark, other than loving the look of carbon, by having all the interior with it I'm thinking it'll save on interior work in the end. While most cars have leather with carbon accents, I'm striving for carbon with leather accents. I also think for the most part I won't have to drop the SLC off to get interior work done as I can bring piece by piece to get done thru the project.

After church tomorrow, I should have the rest of the day to get some stuff done on it. I definitely want to lay the coolant pipes out so I can figure out what couplers I need to get bought. Been deciding on where I'm going to put the battery, I'd like to keep it in the back, but have more room in the front. Where do most people prefer to put theirs?
 

Will Campbell

Bronze Supporter
#8
I mounted my battery in the front, and if I were doing it over again, I wouldn't. It's not clear that I actually improved the weight distribution in a significant way, and I'm sure there was an overall weight penalty, in addition to the extra cost associated with the long cable runs with really big cable.
 
#10
I mounted my battery in the front, and if I were doing it over again, I wouldn't. It's not clear that I actually improved the weight distribution in a significant way, and I'm sure there was an overall weight penalty, in addition to the extra cost associated with the long cable runs with really big cable.
I'm still waiting on the Infinity system but it says the instructions with it says where to mount the battery and while waiting on it I'm looking at locations to mount it now. Does it recommend to mount it in the front? I'm with you Will, mounting in the rear would be a better location for smaller and shorter cable runs. Trying not to veer too far from the typical, but also doing what makes logical sense to me at this point, good or bad.
 

PeteB

Gold Supporter
#11
The Infinity instructions say to mount the battery in the engine compartment. I mounted mine in the front, just because I thought it was cleaner looking not having the battery in the engine compartment.
 
#12
The Infinity instructions say to mount the battery in the engine compartment. I mounted mine in the front, just because I thought it was cleaner looking not having the battery in the engine compartment.
Thanks Pete! Happen to remember where they suggested in the engine compartment or did they just generally say it?
 
#15
There's a very crude block diagram in the manual that shows the battery in the general area of the engine compartment.
Thanks for checking!

Del, That looks nice thanks for the pics and info. I'll keep up with ya and if ya need some help I'll see if I can head your way. I'm in Alex.
Thanks man and I appreciate it! As I get really rolling on this I may take you up on that. It always seems like I did a lot, but when I think back and look, it's like I barely did anything this weekend, lol. I can't wait for it to cool off, hope to be out there after work and not just on the weekends like now.

Someone asked me the other day how many SLC's have been sold. I've often wondered that myself as well, anyone happen to know a ballpark on that?
 
#16
I do have an update to post on here... I officially have insurance on it. I drug my feet on doing it, then Hurricane Harvey popped up and to say the least I was concerned since I live about 2hrs from Houston. I didn't watch the news or anything to keep from getting worried about my investment. It lit a fire under me and got all my stuff together to submit, so now that it's over I can get my policy.

It's pretty amazing and lucky it didn't hit us and no flooding... I live 20 miles from Lake Charles which got flooded and less than 12 miles from Orange which also got flooded. I don't think we had to worry much about flooding, but didn't want to chance it. I was concerned about the wind with the shop having 14x14 doors. I know the building is rated for 110mph winds, but not sure about the roll-ups. All is good now, whew.
 
#17
Unfortunately I haven't had time to really do much on the car lately, getting maintenance stuff done on the other vehicles like new rotors on wife's Terrain, oil changes on all 3 vehicles, etc. This weekend I decided Friday I'll finally install the new leather seat covers, console lid cover and foam on the C5. They've been sitting around for a month or so and are definitely a nice upgrade to the cracked and worn OEM leather. Still have to adjust the side windows on it since it'll leak some during hard rain while sitting at work.

I also didn't get insurance as I stated above, even though we got no flooding around my house, Louisiana had a flood warning for a couple of weeks and finally was lifted Thursday afternoon so Friday I finally officially got insurance which makes me feel 2000x better now. Ended up being cheaper than I was quoted too so that's cool.

Hope to get back on the car next week or weekend, it's definitely not going to build itself. Just need to decide what task I'll tackle next!
 
#19
Del - be sure to also secure your hard brake line at the point it meets the flex line. As the suspension moves it's going to yank back and forth, you don't want all that going into the bend or where you have the last rubber clamp. The end of the line should be hard fixed to the chassis to Handle any strain imparted by the flex line.
 
#20
Thanks guys! I will likely need to redo the braided lines, as after I installed them I saw they shouldn't have any coil to them. Cam, I was wondering about a mount there as well, I'll definitely put one at each spot to be safe. May have to remove the coilover to get a drill in there unless I get lucky and the 90deg bit will be enough.

I need to get in gear on this thing this week, feel like I"m falling behind, lol. Just need to pick up the shop first, it's getting messy and need to get it up to par again. :)
 
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