RES­I­DENT EVIL 5000 700HP

THE NUM­BER PLATES AREN’T JUST FOR SHOW – DALE JEF­FREY’S SL/R HOUSES A BEAST UN­DER THE BON­NET

Street Machine - - Your Stuff - STORY BO RIS VISK OVI C PHO­TOS CHRIS THORO­GOOD

AQUICK glance at Dale Jef­frey’s To­rana doesn’t give you any clues that there are 700 horses hid­ing un­der the bon­net. Even the re­verse-cowl scoop doesn’t draw your at­ten­tion; af­ter all, these were stan­dard fit­ment on A9X To­ranas and the stretched ver­sion from Alfa Mo­tor­sport Fi­bre­glass looks right at home on the blacked-out bon­net. With its fac­tory-style Satin Mist paint and SL/R 5000 black­outs, you could eas­ily think it’s just a tidy To­rana with a nice set of wheels on it. But if that was the case, we prob­a­bly wouldn’t be fea­tur­ing it in Street Ma­chine.

Nope, there’s a lit­tle bit of some­thing spe­cial hid­ing un­der the bon­net in the form of a 440ci Ls-based mon­ster that Dale bought off some­one who fig­ured a house ren­o­va­tion was more im­por­tant than go­ing re­ally fast. Clearly that guy isn’t aware that you can’t race a house! His loss was Dale’s gain, as he picked up an LSX long block for $11,000 – de­liv­ered.

What he got for his hard-earned coin came with a pretty im­pres­sive parts list. It starts off with a GM Mo­tor­sport LSX block with a Cal­lies 4.125in stro­ker crank, Cal­lies H-beam rods and a set of JE forged pistons. The heads are also from GM Mo­tor­sport – Cnc-ported LS3 units to make the best use of the big Comp Cams solid-roller that mea­sures up at 780thou lift and 272/278@0.050 du­ra­tion. Keep­ing those valves con­trolled is a Je­sel Pro Se­ries shaft-mounted roller-rocker set – all top­notch stuff.

The en­gine had orig­i­nally been pur­chased to put into a VZ SS Thun­der ute that Dale had pre­vi­ously built up with a Vortech V2 T-trim su­per­charger that made 650hp at the tyres. The LSX was go­ing to be a step up with a GT48 turbo hang­ing off the side. He then con­sid­ered stuff­ing it into a VE Club­sport R8 wagon, but came to the con­clu­sion that it would prob­a­bly be a lit­tle bit too wild and wreck a per­fectly good car.

In the end, Dale re­turned to his roots and his love for To­ranas. “I found the To­rana at Pres­tige Mo­tors in Syd­ney when I was flick­ing through the in­ter­net,” Dale says. “Af­ter own­ing three pre­vi­ous To­ranas – an SS hatch­back, LH four-door and an LX four­door – it caught my eye. It al­ready had an LS1 in it, so I thought: ‘Beauty, I’ll put the 440 in that.”

Dale headed up to Syd­ney to check the

WITH ITS FAC­TORY-STYLE SATIN MIST PAINT AND SL/R 5000 BLACK­OUTS, YOU COULD EAS­ILY THINK IT’S JUST A TIDY TO­RANA WITH A NICE SET OF WHEELS ON IT

car out, took it for one drive and fell in love with it. It was shipped down to Mel­bourne and Dale en­joyed three whole months of happy cruis­ing – then he pulled the mo­tor and ’box out. Don’t worry, there was noth­ing wrong with it, he was just itch­ing to get that big-inch LSX bolted in place of the stocker LS1.

You might think it would be a pretty straight­for­ward job, sim­ply un­bolt­ing one en­gine and slot­ting in a new one, but things are never that sim­ple – not when you’re mess­ing with a mod­i­fied car. Dale also wanted to change a few things and tidy up the en­gine bay a bit, as the pre­vi­ous in­stal­la­tion es­sen­tially in­volved an en­gine that had been plucked out of a Com­modore and dropped straight into the Torry – there wasn’t any ef­fort spent on de-ug­ly­ing the LS1. But as you can see from the pics, this time Dale went to a lot of ef­fort to cre­ate one of the nicest-look­ing LS swaps you’ll ever see.

But it wasn’t all plain sail­ing with the new combo; Dale had a bit of grief with it early on in the piece. Ini­tially a 434-cu­ber, the change from twin-turbo to nat­u­rally as­pi­rated meant a new set of pistons and a bump in com­pres­sion, which also pushed the ca­pac­ity out to 440 cubes.

“I sent the mo­tor to Top Torque to get built and then it went to Scott Cook to go on the en­gine dyno. We did six runs and it bent a pushrod as it only had a stan­dard oil pump, so we fixed the pushrod and that’s when I de­cided to go to a dry sump from ARE,” Dale says.

The en­gine then went back on the dyno fit­ted with a Hol­ley Hi-ram in­take and

AF­TER OWN­ING THREE PRE­VI­OUS TO­RANAS, THIS LX CAUGHT MY EYE. IT AL­READY HAD AN LS1 IN IT, SO I THOUGHT: ‘BEAUTY, I’LL PUT THE 440 IN THAT’

102mm throt­tle­body and pumped out an im­pres­sive 701hp on 98-oc­tane pump fuel. Even more im­pres­sive was the torque: “The en­gine made 500lb-ft at 3000rpm and kept climb­ing to 595lb-ft. It’s got so much torque and pulls like a freight train,” Dale says.

While the Hol­ley in­take ob­vi­ously worked a treat, the over­all height was a bit much for what Dale had planned. “I didn’t want to run a six-inch re­verse-cowl; I wanted to run a four-inch,” he says. “So to keep it all un­der we had to source an­other in­take set-up, and I’m glad I did, be­cause I made a lot more ponies out of do­ing it.”

To solve the prob­lem Dale jumped on the Mast Motorsports web­site and se­lected a two-piece, in­ter­nally Cnc-ported 4500 Se­ries man­i­fold. To top the big sin­gle-plane in­take, Dale sourced an Edel­brock 2000cfm throt­tle­body that has four two-inch ven­turis. In case you were won­der­ing – as I was – if there was any dif­fer­ence in the sur­face area of the 102mm throt­tle­body ver­sus the four­bar­rel ver­sion, it’s very slight.

With ev­ery­thing but­toned up and tucked un­der the bon­net, it was al­most ‘job done’, but there were still a few grem­lins that needed to get sorted. On its first test drive the gear­box didn’t seem right and it turned out to be an over­sized spring in the trans­brake cir­cuit. Af­ter that the rear main seal wanted to take a leak and there was a small drama with a trans fluid fire while dyno tuning. Thank­fully there was no ma­jor dam­age, and the car then went to a hub dyno, where it made over 600hp at the hubs!

Yep, it might look like a sweet lit­tle SL/R 5000, but it’s def­i­nitely got some evil lurk­ing be­neath.

THE EN­GINE MADE 500LB-FT AT 3000RPM AND KEPT CLIMB­ING TO 595LB-FT. IT PULLS LIKE A FREIGHT TRAIN

EN­GINE A mas­sive im­prove­ment to the looks of an LS is eas­ily achieved by re­lo­cat­ing the coil packs and in­stalling some flash bil­let rocker cov­ers. To keep ev­ery­thing un­der the 4in re­verse-cowl, Dale opted for a Mast Motorsports in­take topped by an Edel­brock 2000cfm throt­tle­body. It’s thor­oughly mod­ern, but with a tough-as­nails old-school look. You’ve prob­a­bly also spot­ted that gi­ant oil tank for the ARE dry sump sys­tem. As well as much bet­ter oil con­trol, it also helps get the mo­tor nice and low and un­der the 4in cowl BOOT No drop tank for this SL/R, in­stead there’s a fuel cell keep­ing com­pany with the bat­tery and tubs

THANKS Pete Cor­co­ran, Tom Bil­ston & Chris Hether­ing­ton at Auto Projects Per­for­mance & Restora­tion; Sean Grif­fioen for mo­tor build­ing as­sis­tance; Mark Ross at Sebastopol Smash Re­pairs; Lu­cas at Stroke Me Rac­ing Fab­ri­ca­tions for cus­tom ex­trac­tors, en­gine mounts, rear en­gine plate and chas­sis strength­en­ing; Scott Cook at SCM En­gine De­vel­op­ments; Si­mon Phillips at Vic Dyno Hire; Matt at MDT Au­tos; Mum for al­ways sup­port­ing me; my sis­ter Kel­lie and part­ner Tam

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