2006: Fine tuning the Beast
The exhaust and minor suspension work done in 2005 really made this car a fun commuter
but the straight dual exhaust path grew tiresome in residential driving.
After some research it was determined that an H-pipe would probably help mellow the
exhaust tone somewhat. An X-pipe (while known to outperform the H-pipe configuration) was
not chosen due to its supposed tendency to raise the perceived pitch of the exhaust note.
This can be confirmed by my Charger Daytona which is equipped with an X-pipe. Performance-wise
there was no worry... it's a stock high mileage original 180hp 400!!(
At the same time, the transmission was flushed and a new pan gasket installed. Along with
a gear selector seal, there are no NO leaks from that area. It's likely this mixture of transmission
fluid and engine oil that helped preserve the car all these years!
To address the numerous remaining leaks from the engine, the oil pan was also resealed along with the
timing cover. Of course, this also meant a new timing gear and chain. Sadly, looking back this would have
been a good opportunity to slide in a fresh camshaft but I didn't think of it at the time. Unfortunately,
the mechanic who worked on the car was quite sloppy with the RTV sealant... it ended up on my shaker scoop
and even the front grille! They also went ahead and redid the valve cover gaskets even though I had done
them just 4 years prior. As I said, lots of messy RTV all over the place.
On a positive note, the car now has zero leaks. It's a pleasure to drive anywhere, pretty much as a
normal commuter car. The carb tuning is getting tougher and tougher to nail, though... when hot, the car
can have a hard time starting properly.
This shot shows the car sitting in the pits at the dragstrip, as I was photographing the event. Now I
would never dream of tracking this car, out of fear of spreading Pontiac parts all the way down a 1/4 mile!
Not your usual sight in a business parking garage.