The “NO PUNK” Camaro has been causing quite a stir all over the internet and especially in the Houston, Texas area in which it is based. Packing a forged LSX powerplant a lot of boost, it’s quickly becoming one of the 5th-gens to keep an eye on these days. Understanding that our friends at Redline Motorsports commissioned its latest iteration, we hit up Howard Tanner, owner and CEO of Redline for an in-depth look into this build. Below are his own words:
“We had originally built the car for a customer here in South Florida where it had a forged 416 and a Whipple. At that time it also had a 4L80E and an LPE 9-inch. The customer eventually sold it to a guy in Houston. When the [new owner] acquired the car he called us and asked us if we could continue servicing the Camaro as it ran spot on – consistent 9.80’s at 141 mph. Of course this wasn’t enough for the heat in Houston, so it was sent back to us in South Florida for a regrouping.
The customer wanted a quicker car, but also expressed a desire to roll into the numerous street meets and “Cars and Coffee;” which seem to be popular these days. After much thought, our boys at Redline whipped up a plan and set it off, (for sure, we knew a couple of hair driers where on the menu). Turbocharging is great because it allows us to build a very well-mannered engine, yet move enough airflow to make 1200 horsepower. Of course to make this kind of power a strong mill is needed.
The customer wanted a quicker car, but also expressed a desire to roll into the numerous street meets and “Cars and Coffee;” which seem to be popular these days. – Howard Tanner, Redline Motorsports
When we are looking to make solid power in the 1000-plus range, we looked to our friends at Chevrolet Performance since we’ve had great luck with the GM LSX iron block. The 6-bolt head clamping was also a favorable feature when going to this block. Stuffed inside was a Callies Magnum crankshaft spec’ing in at 4.00-inch, a set of Callies “Ultra Rods” and a custom set of Manley pistons spec’d out for a good dose of boost. Snugged down on top of the black was a pair of Mast Motorsports 285cc CNC ported heads and held in place with a set of ARP head studs.
We spec’d a hydraulic roller camshaft, widdled out by COMP Cams. With this solid foundation, we knew moving some serious airflow was the secret. A pair of Precison Turbo 64/62 billet wheel turbos fabricated into a turbo system of our own design would solve this mystery. A huge 6-inch thick air-to-air intercooler was used to deal with the higher heat made under boost and the entire pressure side uses Wiggins-style clamps. Now that enough airflow potential was there, we needed to feed this hungry mill some juice! A Fore Innovations triple pump setup fed to the engine with -10 fuel lines, an Aeromotive regulator and rails completed the loop. A set of Injector Dynamics ID1300’s provided the fuel to the fire.
” …we knew moving some serious airflow was the secret. A pair of Precison Turbo 64/62 billet wheel turbos fabricated into a turbo system of our own design would solve this mystery.” – Howard Tanner
With this combination resident calibrator, we massaged the factory E38 controller to let this setup lay down an easy 1185 rear-wheel horsepower on 16-lbs of pressure. Once we get it close on the rollers, we usually will hit the track and finish off the calibration. Sixteen-pounds wasn’t a lot, but why beat its brains in on the dyno? All that matters is the track results, dyno sheets are for internet posting.
Off to the track, our team at Redline hauled the NO PUNK Camaro up to Palm Beach International Raceway to stretch its legs. After a few mid-9 second passes it was accessed that the car needed to leave harder and shift more consistent. This is when I contacted my friend JC Beatie from ATI, where a bulletproof TH400 was prepared. It was also there where the SuperCase 400 was stuffed with the best hardware available (for a TH400); including a lightning-fast trans brake. However, while the transmission was solid, the remaining weak link ended up being the LPE 9-inch – breaking on the second pass.
“…After a couple shakedown passes and some strategic manipulation of the AMS-2000 boost controller, the NO PUNK Camaro clicked off an 8.98 at 163 mph – not exactly where we wanted to be, but close.” – Howard Tanner
Going back to the drawing board, we put in a call to Frank at The Driveshaft Shop, which lead to a 9-inch IRS conversion. Once we had the reverend stronger then ever, we went back to the track without concern about how much the Mickey Thompson 275 Radial Pro tires could take. After a couple shakedown passes and some strategic manipulation of the AMS-2000 boost controller, the NO PUNK Camaro clicked off an 8.98 at 163 mph – not exactly where we wanted to be, but close.”
The car was shipped back to Houston, Texas where last week the Redline road crew backed up their work laying down another 8.98 at 162 mph. Tanner informed us that the car is coming back to them to have a custom suspension built as the car’s chassis is not allowing us to take full advantage of the power this car has on the line. They feel with a 60’ in the 1.3x range a 8.5x pass is in the horizon. In the meantime, look for this beast lurking around the streets of Houston!
Rick Seitz is the owner and founder of GMEFI Magazine, and has a true love and passion for all vehicles. When he isn’t tuning, testing, or competing with the brand’s current crop of project vehicles, he’s busy tinkering and planning the next modifications for his own cars.