Cross 8 Project Extra Power

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Updated: April 16, 2019

I’m happy to share some good new progress on the Cross8. I feel like it has roared back to life over the Christmas period.

It took some serious TLC by Nass and the team at Nass Automotive (Thornleigh Cylinder Head & Engine Reconditioning) but all’s well that ends well, thanks boys, you legends!

Like a bad itch that I couldn’t reach, something inside me just wouldn’t let 2018 turn into 2019 without sorting out the few small issues that had crept in that I just couldn’t seem to sort out. As much as I wanted to convince myself I was happy with the cam that went in earlier in 2018, at the end of the day it just wasn’t big enough. I wanted more power and had to solve a stalling issue on startup (early in the morning), that developed after the cam went in and was still hanging around after another two sessions in the Dyno.

I hadn’t made any real improvement in my times on the dragway. by this lack of progress, and I wanted to start 2019 with a clean slate by getting these things right. So as Christmas started to loom, I decided to take the car out to Nass who had seat cut my heads earlier in the year and spent a pile of time with me. We had a great chat about the Cross8, sharing some insights into the LS1 engine and the possibilities it provided with modifications. After Nass had a chance to have a proper look at the engine and have a dig in around the ECU, he found a few software/tuning related issues that were causing the stalling and before long it was time to get a bigger cam in, get the heads ported and stall converter in.

Crow Cams Have Put A Little More Fire In My Belly

For the cam, Nass got on the phone to our friends at Crow Cams and ordered in a high-performance Cam, with tough street capabilities (PT #871249). With advertised duration inlet is 277deg; advertised exhaust is 284, duration at .050, inlet is 226deg, exhaust is 232deg. Valve lift inlet is .608 in; valve lift exhaust is .602 and lobe split is 112 deg. This street cam was bigger than the previous but still allowed for the drivability that was required for a daily drive. As many of you know the guys at Crow Cams have now been in the game for more than 30 years and have maintained the most advanced cam development and CNC grinding facilities in Australia which have been used by car companies and some of Australia’s most successful racers to great effect. Not to rest on their reputation, over the past 12 months the lads have taken things to the next level with a new valvetrain simulation software developed to produce profiles that offer aggressive acceleration and maximum area under the cam, without compromising valve spring lift or quiet valve train operation. These next-gen profiles produce more .200 duration for impressive mid-range power and torque over other cam profiles with similar .050 duration and lift. The results are a smooth and precise cam with reduced wear and extended life of associate parts like valve springs.

“When It Comes To Chasing A Few Extra Ponies, Porting Your Cylinder Heads Is The Most Cost-Effective Way To Achieve Results That You Will Be Able To Feel In The Driver’s Seat.”

Making sure the cam was perfectly matched to the stall converter is a huge part of any build, so Nass’s next port of call was to Slingshot Stall Converters. Slingshot Stall Converters are specialists with more than 30 years’ experience custom building and modifying high stall torque converters. They don’t do budget off-the-shelf solutions, they supply made-to-order performance converters at the top end of the market and their reputation for engineering even the most difficult converter is second to none.

The Slingshot Stall Converter Was The Way Forward

The stall converter is a complex device that, if properly tuned, can have a tremendous impact on your vehicle’s performance, economy and durability, and turn your automatic from a driving experience much like a “soggy wheat bix” into a powerhouse! Increasing the performance of your beast can chew up a pile of your hard earned cash, and it can all be wasted if you don’t get a torque converter specifically designed to match to your vehicle and maximise all that extra power and speed.

Using quality components is essential when it comes to high-performance vehicles, so don’t be fooled by low prices and eBay bargains. Converter failures are devastating, and any small savings that can be made by buying rubbish online could end up costing you a small fortune replacing a pile of your other upgrades and other significant parts like gearboxes if it goes tit’s up. It’s just not worth it.

If you get a chance, make sure you jump onto the Slingshot website http://www. slingshotconverters.com.au along with the Crow Cams site for their full ranges http://www. crowcams.com.au. My parts were pretty mild compared to the top end performance items these companies both provide.

I have to take my hat off to Nass when in the week before Christmas he found the time to port my heads, with customers screaming at him left, right and centre for pre-Christmas deliveries. He did a precision job for me when completing the black art of porting the heads and flow to 560hp at .600lift. There is no doubt that when it comes to chasing a few extra ponies, porting your cylinder heads is the most cost-effective way to achieve results that you will be able to feel in the driver’s seat. When performed by someone with the experience and expertise like Nass, you’re going to feel the extra power. Along with the Crow Cam upgrade and Slingshot stall converter, I feel like those headaches from 2018 have well and truly been left behind.

If you are into Crewman’s, Cross8’s, Adventra’s and AWD Holdens there are a few great Facebook Groups I’ve recently joined that have been sharing a pile of great content and stories. The knowledge base that exists between the members is huge, and they are very welcoming and happy to share knowledge and experiences just for the love of the cars. So if you are interested check out the “Holden Crewman Enthusiasts” as well as the Adventra & AWD Holden Group”. They are a great bunch!

Jamie “The Colonel” Gray