After the drive down to Baltimore and meeting up with David (including a fun visit to the local Tilted Kilt) we were ready to get stuck into the job at hand: updating the Dragon.
Saturday was warm and sunny, almost a shame to waste it on the WMD (Westminster Maintenance Day), but the WAZOO guys are dedicated to building bigger and better ZR-1s and I wasn’t going to pass up the chance to complete several of the jobs that had been on my “to do” list for far too long.
Jim’s place (the then ZR-1 Registry president) is the garage a lot of people dream of having – me included. Spacious, a four post lift, hydraulic bridge jacks to lift one end of the car up in seconds. What else could you ask for? Well, perhaps a team of experienced people to help work on your car, that have done pretty much every job multiple times? Okay… tick that off, the WAZOO has that covered too.
The first day we tackled the under plenum tasks. Pulling the plenum on the LT5 is something that has always looked intimidating, but Jim, David, Mark and Darrin made it look easy. The plan was to replace:
- Fuel Injectors (RC Stainless)
- Plug Leads (Jerry’s Gaskets)
- Coil Packs (Jerry’s Gaskets)
- PCV Hoses (Kurt White)
- Gaskets as needed (Jerry’s Gaskets)
- Stainless Hex Top End Bolts (Jerry’s Gaskets)
While pulling the plenum, we found that the top engine pulley had cut through the (expensive) Samco Duct. This left the underside of the plenum pretty dirty, and the duct will need replacing down the line. I decided I would put the stock duct back on and install an anti-collapse tube – something I can do easily at home.
At the same time, one of the other WAZOO, Yun, was busily installing a Nav/Media system in his car. His ZR-1 is amazing – another Black/Black like mine but amazingly detailed. His engine has almost every line replaced with stainless braided hose and sparkles like automotive jewelry. He also has the full OBX header and catback system, so it was interesting to hear what that sounded like as I have the same waiting for installation.
After completing the work we took the car for a ride and the difference was instantly noticeable. The car pulled stronger throughout the rev band and felteven more eager to “get up and go”. The Dragon was singing! But the noise from the brakes was getting worse…
Back at Jim’s we inspected the brakes. The disk looked nice and shiny from the outside, but run your fingers around the back and… it was chewed to pieces. There was no avoiding it: we needed to replace the rotors and pads. This was annoying as I had a full set of new calipers, rotors, pads etc. sitting at home for my C5 brake upgrade project.
Luckily, parts in the U.S. aren’t as hard to come by as in Canada. What would be a major pain back home was solved by a quick call to a not too distant AutoDepot. We picked up a new set of rotors and pads late Saturday and planned to change the brakes along with the drive-train updates on the Sunday.
Things were looking good.