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The Beretta..

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  • The Beretta..

    A little bit of history. Ive had this car since the summer before my senior year of high school in 05, it was my 2nd Beretta. Bought it for one reason only. To build and race. Specifically for a 3400 swap(3.4L), it was "the swap" and would be my first ever. Started drag racing with the 2.8 running 17s and got it down to 16.4 with a few minor things. One thing leads to another, Im on 3400 #2 and building the first one I had with 3500 (3.5L) top end, custom built 10.5:1 JE pistons, reground cam, and everything between you could imagine.. All in or nothing. Stock 3400 was putting down high 14s, the new one after a long time of tuning and finally going with stand alone EMS it made 224.5whp on a dyno dynamics dyno tuned by Bobby when he worked at PRE. By this time it was mostly an auto cross car due to breaking stuff drag racing.. and those shift cables....... best qtr mile time with the built engine was 13.6@102 with drag radials. I was actually in the process of building a turbo setup with a ball bearing turbonetics 60-1 even. So the more serious suspension came.. konis.. then blew the diff at the end of summer 2013(smackdown).. rebuilt the diff, then full coilovers with high spring rates.. corner balanced. Got my suspension dialed in and then I killed the clutch at the start of the race season after 30k of abuse (clutchmaster stage 3, amazing btw). OH and the wheel bearings.. poor wheel bearings.. last set of Moog bearings lasted 500 miles.. front and rear.. that was my turning point.. especially when I just rebuild the diff 500 miles ago.. and the one of a kind suspension.. I said F@#$ IT. I cant keep fixing this car every time I race and dealing with all the bs thats holding me back from being able to use the car like I want. Im going rwd. I told myself If im going to go through all the trouble of doing this, it will be done right. Built to work correctly. The T5 trans is crap and would never hold the power of the new turbo setup I was working on, and it was the only rwd trans that would work with my engine.. that wasnt an option.. so what do you do.. buy a new rwd car and start over? have a car payment on top of having to drop a bunch of money on it just so I would be happy with it? Even a GTO or c5, which I have always wanted.. just couldnt bring myself to do it.

    This is when you do something extremely logical buy an LS1 with a t56! As everybody you know tells you that your stupid and you cant do it haha.

    so the parts I have:
    -LS1 (was going to rebuild, probably going LS3 now)
    -T56 from an 800hp 04 CTSv with 4k miles, its not a stock trans! bronze pads,billet keys, steel shift fork, bronze shifter cup. I have all the parts to convert it to GTO spec, basically moves the shifter location. Also have an MGW-p short shifter for it.
    -front subframe designed to use C4 corvette suspension, built by (huge thanks to Jaymzz for the lead on that)
    -SPC fully adjustable upper control arms
    -84-87 c4 lower control arm
    -85 c4 steering knuckles (stronger than 84, go figure)
    -Van steel c4 to c6 caliper adapter
    -Glabal west lower control arm bushings
    -Coleman racing custom built 5x114.3 hubs with massive bearings
    -Coleman racing gen4 camaro spindle conversion (drill out the c4 knuckle mounting holes, direct bolt it. and yes c4 OEM bearings suck too.. I WILL NOT have that issue again. ever.)
    -2 turn lock to lock steering rack
    -Moog ball joints and tie rod ends
    -Nissan s14 rear subframe and suspension with factory LSD
    -4.083 gearing (not installed)
    -SPL solid subframe bushings
    -SPL solid diff bushings
    -TSW Nurburgring 18x9.5 40mm offset wheels (had the center machined for hub clearance)
    -275/35/18 (crap tires just for rolling use)
    -C6 grand sport calipers (6 piston front, 4 piston rear)
    -C6 grand sport/zo6 centric slotted rotors that have been redrilled
    -OMP Champ R seats, Planted aluminum rails
    -working on a custom dash, with speed hut gauges
    -integrated frame

    Im forgetting a LOT im sure...

    Planning on getting:
    -Koni double adjustable coilovers
    -8 or 10 point cage
    -new style interior, since im doing a dash..
    -fuel cell
    -paint (same colors)
    -Better LSD
    -SPL fully adjustable rear control arms
    -lots more that have yet to be figured out or not set in stone

    I was planning on 400-450whp when I started this, but now im thinking more hence the ls3. Possibly even procharged but I think NA might be better for what I want. This will be a full interior car, with a stereo.

    going on 6 or 7 years now with this project... I started it under a carport on gravel lol.

    this is shortly after I bought it.

    in its prime!

    race weight with me in it.

    the 3400 right before I pulled it.. poor thing is sitting in my garage.. was going to put it in my 77 celica but it just didnt fit like I had hoped.

    I always liked this picture. This is my factory 16" wheel with my new c6z rotor sitting on top of it, with my old factory beretta rotor sitting on top of that.

    front suspension

    after a few years of working on it under a car port I finally go a hold of a house with a garage, ghetto rigged all my suspension so it would roll on a trailer. The car was leveled before all that, front and rear roll centers were figured out, ackerman angle, etc. in this picture everything is sitting where it goes for the most part. It took forever to get all the dialed in and make an engine fit. no wheel spacers were used! pretty proud of that. front is acually 1/2" wider than the rear. A LOT of cutting was involved, and ghetto bracing all over to prevent the body from twisting around.

    thats about where the engine has to sit.. not what I was planning for... but due to the fact im using a corvette subframe, it forces the engine to sit back like its in a corvette due to the steering rack.. technically its better this way, just not what I wanted to do..

    this is just a mockup photo

    for some reason it wanted me to upload a picture before posting this.. so I uploaded one.

    Last edited by BerettaLS; 01-01-20, 12:13 AM.

  • #2

    a big hole..

    had to mock it up

    rear subframe mock up

    getting the car square again after the move.

    part of the frame rails

    side section of the frame rail

    poor hacked up car..


    • #3

      more of the frame rail

      tacked in

      then these things showed up from Art Morrison

      had to attach them to something so I ended up building this

      all welded up. discoloration is just the weld through primer. Bottom of the rail is perfectly even with the bottom of the floor. It will be getting a flat floor.

      rear subframe mount.

      ghetto stuff is my bracing.

      shaped the tunnel a little bit along with various other things.

      subframe mount tigged up. I was dreading this for a long time! laying down in the trunk, working the pedal with my elbow, feeding rod, and working the torch... glad its done..

      C clamps are holding the subframe in. weld in nuts are in the mail! just waiting on those at the moment.

      all cleaned up!

      this is currently where it stands. I got confirmation from art morrison today about mandrel bending the front section for me today, that will be ordered up next week and delivered in about a month from now!


      • #4
        Looking good! I remember a lot of messages seeing some of your design.
        Glad Art Morrison was able to do your bends. Let me know when you want to start designing your cage because I had a couple ideas.


        • #5
          Thanks! So much thought into random stupid pieces that probably dont matter lol. That stuff has held me up a lot.

          will do!! At this rate ive been working on it lately it could be a few months. Realistically it will be a year or so..


          • #6
            made some pretty good progress on this thing the past few weeks.

            Bolted down!

            Frame rails showed up!

            hacking it up.

            Almost fit in this picture.

            Minor tweaking and a little prep to go. I could have welded it up tonight..

            Im really not sure what to do with the front of the frame yet.. so im thinking about it.

            One of my ideas.. cut off and put the cage through it.. not sure if its a good one yet.


            • #7
              Looking good!
              For the front check the rules for what they require. On my Blazer I am going to angle the front frame section down a little incase of a wreck. Some classes require a crash box


              • #8
                Thanks! Thats a good idea with the angle.. the rail isnt in the best spot for a front end crash I dont think, dead center of the seat but on the floor.

                my biggest issue with building the cage for a class is, Im not really racing in a specific class. I need to find out if I can build an fia certified cage and have it pass nhra for the late night (fun) drags. I know the size is smaller for for fia..


                • #9
                  Chromoly will work for both sanctions but expensive.


                  • #10
                    Im probably going to go with DOM, it seems a lot more forgiving in general


                    • #11

                      on the scales awhile back. only had one in the back. no engine or trans. I was just curious..

                      front of the frame is basically done. Braced for the upper and lower control arms, have a spot for the cage up front, and got the frame notched and boxed back in for the steering rack.


                      • #12


                        • #13

                          All mocked up. Engine is within 1/8" of being centered, trans is within 1* of the diff, just need to measure out the overall driveshaft angle but I think thats ok. Currently waiting on engine/trans mount parts in the mail. Need to swap out the trail housing on the trans to the fbody style also.. but making good progress I think!


                          • #14
                            Looking good! Can't wait to start on mine again someday.


                            • #15
                              Thanks! Engine mounts are holding me up.. Should be delivered next week. I also really need to put insulation and drywall in my kitchen celing.. Getting a bit cold with open studs lol. Priorities.. Thats the question..