GMHTP Featured Car - 532RWHP 1996 Chevrolet Impala SS

Discussion in 'OT Driven' started by TriShield, Apr 17, 2004.

  1. TriShield

    TriShield Super Moderator® Super Moderator

    Joined:
    Jul 6, 2001
    Messages:
    132,822
    Likes Received:
    1,753
    Location:
    PRESIDENTIAL TOWER, GREAT AGAIN, NY
    Four-Door Frenzy - Give this Impala a first and seond glance, and you still wouldn't think it could blow your doors off.

    [​IMG]

    By Steve Baur
    Photography: Rick Jensen

    On a third glance, you might catch the subtle "Supercharged" graphic on the decklid, but it's probably too late by then. The boost is in full swing and you're left holding your shifter in your hand and wondering what just happened to that four-door tub that seemed so innocent.

    That's really the goal of a sleeper, and while Colorado Springs residents Jeff and Dawn Wendling may have just wanted to preserve the Impala SS's good looks, they added a mountain of horsepower not typically associated with Chevy's last rear-wheel-drive sedan.

    [​IMG]
    Suspension modifications include Hotchkis sway bars and trailing arms, along with an Eibach Pro spring kit.

    Jeff, a 44-year-old integrated system technician, purchased his pride and joy in 1997, and he wasted no time in modifying it. Jeff's son Mike performed most of the work at RMCR Performance in Colorado Springs, where he works as a master technician. With a mere 1,500 miles showing on the odometer, Mike tossed on a Vortech S-Trim supercharger, Borla exhaust system and AS&M headers. At an average altitude of 6,000 feet, the air where the Wendlings live is not exactly optimal for horsepower, but the huffer motivated the behemoth in a big way. These mods were followed by a Vigilante torque converter, which enabled the Impy to scoot down the quarter mile to the tune of low 13s.

    Jeff drove the Impala in this configuration for 20,000 miles. "We were pushing 10psi on the stock motor," Jeff said, "so I decided to tear it down before something catastrophic happened." What ensued was nothing short of a gearhead's dream.


    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
    Wendling's son Mike is the master technician at Rocky Mountain Competitive Research (RMCR), and he along with RMCR president Mark McCallon put the Impala's powerplant on steroids. Note the custom RMCR aftercooler plumbing and the clean installation of all of the go-fast goodies.


    Mark McCallon, RMCR's president, handled the engine assembly which included a .020 overbore of the block, followed by SRP pistons, Summit Racing's Pro Light I-beam connecting rods and the stock crankshaft. The RMCR staff also race-ported a set of LT4 cylinder heads and gave them a five-angle valve job. 2.00 intake and 1.55 exhaust valves receive air from an LT4 intake manifold, and fuel from a set of Ford Racing 30 lb./hr. injectors. Mike prefers the impedance rates of the small injectors and compensated for their flow rate with a Bell Engineering fuel management unit.

    Conducting the where to go and what to do chores is a custom RMCR-spec Competition Cams bumpstick, which offers a duration of 210 degrees intake/220 degrees exhaust at .050, along with .507-inch lift on a 114-degree centerline. Comp's 1.6:1 roller rockers work in concert with an AFR Rev kit to keep the air moving in and the exhaust moving out. The aforementioned Arizona Speed and Marine was sourced for the 1 5/8-inch, equal-length headers, which are connected to the stock catalytic converters for the street, and straight-through pipes for the track. These are followed by the burbling Borla catback system.

    The Vortech S-Trim was upgraded to a T-Trim model for more boost, but Mike and his RMCR band of brothers looked to improve the efficiency of the supercharger by adding an aftercooler. Originally a Vortech unit, RMCR modified the intercooler to work with the Impala engine compartment structure. A Vortech Maxflow race bypass valve is also employed, but the huffer is just one of the power adders on board. Jeff also has a Nitrous Express EFI single-stage nitrous system with all the bells and whistles that's worth an extra 75 horsepower at the touch of a button.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    RMCR also handled the transmission rebuild. Since Jeff feared for the stock short-block, certainly the automatic box would need some beefing. Therefore Level 10 Kevlar clutches, Kolene steels and a billet servo were added to the TransGo shift kit to make sure minimal power was lost between shifts. A Precision Industries 2500-stall converter helps get the Chevy off the line and also speeds the arrival of boost. Out back, the Impala's stock rear end has been fitted with a G2 Motorsports girdle and a set of 3.73 gears, although Mike told us that a Ford 9-inch would soon replace the ailing GM unit.

    What was all of this heavy mechanical labor worth? How does 532 rear-wheel horsepower on 91-octane pump gas sound? At Bandimere Speedway in Denver, with 5,800 feet of altitude, the Impala went 12.00 at 117 mph with a 1.7-second short time. And the car still only has 34,000 miles on it. All outward appearances would suggest that this Chevy has been given a hot set of wheels and not much else, but when the Wendlings unleash four doors of frenzy, you better have brought your A game.

    [​IMG]
    The Chevy's interior is pristine in nature, due in part to the mere 34,000 miles that the car has racked up. Auto Meter boost, fuel and oil pressure gauges now adorn the four-door cockpit, but all else is stock right down to the upholstery and exterior black paint.

    [​IMG]
    The next time you think your F-body is the bomb, give the guy in the sedan some credit, because Jeff Wendling has proved that sedans can certainly be your worst nightmare.

    DATA FILE

    Car: 1996 Chevrolet Impala SS
    Owners: Jeff and Dawn Wendling
    Block: Stock LT1, .020 overbore
    Compression ratio: 9.5:1
    Heads: LT4, race ported by RMCR, 5-angle valve job, 2.00-inch intake/1.55-inch exhaust valves
    Intake manifold: LT4
    Cam: Custom Comp Cams, 210/220 duration at .050, .507-inch lift, 114-degree centerline
    Pushrods: Comp Cams chromoly
    Rocker arms: Comp Cams 1.6:1 aluminum roller rockers with AFR Rev kit
    Pistons: SRP forged aluminum
    Rings: J&E file to fit
    Crankshaft: Stock, balanced
    Connecting rods: Summit Racing Pro Light I-Beam
    Throttle body: AS&M 52mm
    Fuel injectors: Ford Racing Performance Parts 30 lb./hr., Bell Engineering FMU
    Fuel pump: Walbro 255lph in-tank, Airtex 255lph in-line
    Ignition: Crane HI-6R with boost retard, PS-92R coil, Jacobs Electronics spark plug wires
    Engine management: Stock OBD-II with RMCR/Z-Industries tuning
    Power adder: Vortech T-Trim supercharger, Nitrous Express EFI single 75-horsepower stage
    Boost: 15psi at 6,000 feet
    Intercooler: RMCR Impala aftercooler
    Wastegate: Vortech Maxflow race bypass valve
    Exhaust system: AS&M 1 5/8-inch equal length headers, stock catalytic converters or bypass pipe, Borla catback
    Transmission: 4L60E with TransGo shift kit, Level 10 clutches, billet servo
    Torque converter: Precision Industries Vigilante 9.5-inch 2500-stall
    Driveshaft: Stock, balanced
    Front suspension: Hotchkis sway bar and Eibach Pro coils
    Rear suspension: Hotchkis sway bar and upper/lower control arms, Eibach Pro coils
    Rear end: Stock 8.5 with 3.73 gear and G2 Motorsports girdle
    Brakes: Stock, cross-drilled rotors, Raybestos pads
    Wheels: Boyd 405 Viper 17x9.5 street, Centerline Telstar 15x8 race
    Front tires: BFGoodrich 275/40/17 KDW street, Goodyear Eagle 235/60/15 race
    Rear tires: BFGoodrich 285/40/17 KDW street, M/T ET Drag 26x10 race
    Fuel octane: 91
    Race weight: 4,600 lbs.
    Best ET/mph: 12.00/117 mph
    Best 60-ft. time: 1.7 seconds
    Current mileage: 34,493
    Miles driven weekly: 20

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
    The Impala rides on rare 17 by 9.5-inch Boyd billet wheels wrapped in BFG 275/40 front and 285/40 rear rubber. At the track, traction is found with a set of Centerline Telstars and 26 by 10-inch Mickey Thompson ET Drags.

    [​IMG]
     
  2. Hurricurry

    Hurricurry professional alcoholic OT Supporter

    Joined:
    Mar 11, 2003
    Messages:
    4,732
    Likes Received:
    1
    Location:
    Belgium
    :cool: but still ugly
     
  3. smaug

    smaug born to lose

    Joined:
    Nov 9, 2001
    Messages:
    23,868
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Hamilton, Bermuda
    f-bodies suck..

    GMHTP caters to f-bodies..


    that impala rocks. :cool:
     
  4. lambosv21

    lambosv21 Please Don't Pet The Cows

    Joined:
    Aug 26, 2003
    Messages:
    4,092
    Likes Received:
    0
    damn thats really well done


    12 flat at bandimere :eek4: :fast:
     
  5. Danb13

    Danb13 Real life is so boring and stupid

    Joined:
    Jul 10, 2001
    Messages:
    20,554
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Denver Colorado
    decent times, but i woulda figured a fully built v8 would run closer to high tens, theres bpu supra that do high 11's here.....
     
  6. Apex

    Apex My Island In The Sun

    Joined:
    Sep 14, 2001
    Messages:
    3,942
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Okinawa, Japan
    I love sleepers!
     
  7. TriShield

    TriShield Super Moderator® Super Moderator

    Joined:
    Jul 6, 2001
    Messages:
    132,822
    Likes Received:
    1,753
    Location:
    PRESIDENTIAL TOWER, GREAT AGAIN, NY
    I expect an Impala SS to be fast.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    Those are real sleepers! :o
     
  8. TriShield

    TriShield Super Moderator® Super Moderator

    Joined:
    Jul 6, 2001
    Messages:
    132,822
    Likes Received:
    1,753
    Location:
    PRESIDENTIAL TOWER, GREAT AGAIN, NY
    Love the 4DR Vettes. :cool:
     
  9. TigerWoodsJr

    TigerWoodsJr LSX Elitist Prick

    Joined:
    Jul 22, 2001
    Messages:
    10,666
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Maine / Williston, ND
    :bowdown: I got pulled over putting one sideways on a testdrive one time.
     
  10. rem177

    rem177 OT Supporter

    Joined:
    Sep 15, 2002
    Messages:
    43,374
    Likes Received:
    512
    Location:
    Suburbs of Chicago
    My cousin is doing his Impala, he bought the LT4 conversion...much more will follow...heres his:
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
     
  11. HPS

    HPS I'm not fat, I'm poofy... :fawk:

    Joined:
    Nov 9, 2000
    Messages:
    11,981
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Elgin, TX (Right by Austin)
    My dream daily driver/kid carrier! :eek3: (although I would put on FM5's)... :bigthumb:
     
  12. VicenteFox

    VicenteFox Does your mother still hang out at dockside bars?

    Joined:
    Sep 15, 2001
    Messages:
    65,251
    Likes Received:
    59
    Location:
    Pacific Coast Hwy, Ca
    wheels need work but the car is sick.
     
  13. twofourtysx

    twofourtysx New Member

    Joined:
    Aug 19, 2002
    Messages:
    13,091
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    CA
    seems like you would get more hp from a built 350 with boost and nos
     
  14. Chevy350

    Chevy350 OT Supporter

    Joined:
    Apr 27, 2002
    Messages:
    2,667
    Likes Received:
    11
    Location:
    AZ
    Keep in mind the car weighs 4200 lbs + whatever the driver and fuel weigh. I have seen vids of a couple of them built up though where they do get into the 10's.
     
  15. TriShield

    TriShield Super Moderator® Super Moderator

    Joined:
    Jul 6, 2001
    Messages:
    132,822
    Likes Received:
    1,753
    Location:
    PRESIDENTIAL TOWER, GREAT AGAIN, NY
    4,600lbs.
     
  16. Ry-Ballz

    Ry-Ballz This sucks, change the channel

    Joined:
    Jan 10, 2001
    Messages:
    33,044
    Likes Received:
    12
    Location:
    Mexico
    That car knocked the doors off my friends Turbo II RX-7 down in Castle Rock one night.
     
  17. Painkiller

    Painkiller The Synarchy of Molten Bones

    Joined:
    Dec 20, 2001
    Messages:
    24,941
    Likes Received:
    98
    Location:
    Earf
    Thats pretty fast for 4200 pounds and 5800 feet above sea level.
     
  18. Surgie

    Surgie Mein Führer, I can walk!

    Joined:
    Jun 24, 2001
    Messages:
    69,008
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Knoxville, TN
    Syclone's are only sleepers if they're ignorant, whereas Impy SS's were what... mid 15s stock? :hs:
     
  19. Seeker

    Seeker Brofessional OT Supporter

    Joined:
    Oct 24, 2001
    Messages:
    122,697
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Garage 5252
    :werd:

    That's why I want to get a Caprice and do an LS1 swap. They're a lot cheaper than Impalas, too. Impalas in my area are still going for $12k, when I see one for sale. Roadmasters and Caprices are going for $4k, max. Usually more like $2k.

    I'd probably be happy with a stock LS1, but if not, bolt-ons will probably satisfy me. :yum:

    Now how do I find a good excuse to get rid of my Maxima? :naughty:
     
  20. Chevy350

    Chevy350 OT Supporter

    Joined:
    Apr 27, 2002
    Messages:
    2,667
    Likes Received:
    11
    Location:
    AZ
    i was using what mine weighs (ie Stock) which is just under 4200lbs..but yeah sorry that particular car 4600...in anycase still freaking fast. especially considering the alt. its at.
     
  21. Chevy350

    Chevy350 OT Supporter

    Joined:
    Apr 27, 2002
    Messages:
    2,667
    Likes Received:
    11
    Location:
    AZ
    The 9c1 caprices, wagons, caddy fleetwoods and buick roadmasters all had the lt1's in them. From my understanding its not worth swapping in an LS1, supposed to be a pain in the butt. Save the yourself some time and spend the money building up the LT1. just a thought.
     
  22. jk

    jk Guest

    very fast.
    but can't handle worth crap and the interior sux.
    *rice suit on
     
  23. vex

    vex Guest

    those wheels are hideous
     
  24. Seeker

    Seeker Brofessional OT Supporter

    Joined:
    Oct 24, 2001
    Messages:
    122,697
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Garage 5252
    Hope I'm not hijacking the thread too much, but if I couldn't get the 9c1 Caprice w/ an LT1, would it still not be worth it to get an LS1? An LT1 would probably be a lot cheaper/easier to find, huh?

    If I do the swap, I'll probably have to change out the shifter, too. :sad2:
     
  25. ruffryda1122

    ruffryda1122 Obsessed is a word the lazy use to describe the de

    Joined:
    Aug 19, 2001
    Messages:
    4,431
    Likes Received:
    2
    Location:
    Dallas suburbs
    my 17 y/o girlfriend drives a '96 SS Impala, and i was thinkin of pickin it up off of her this summer when she gets a new car...


    Has anyone done a 6 speed conversion on an SS? I'd love to see that before i try
     

Share This Page