Huge thanks to Underground Racing

JohnnyBravo

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All I can say is WOW.

When I first bought my 1998 GTS, it was **** stock with 12,000 miles. It didn't even have so much as K&N's or smooth tubes. In fact, it still had the original tires on all 4 corners. It was the perfect, pampered car for my first Viper.

Within about 3 months, I'd already purchased a Roe blower, water methanol kit, and a few other little goodies. I installed everything myself and tuned it with the VEC2 over the phone with Sean Roe. The car obviously had more in it than I could get out of it, so the car went to PBJ in St. Louis for a 10 lb pulley, 1.7 rockers and a PBJ tune. The car came home making 630/675 on pump gas with the methanol.
Frankly, I didn't think I'd need more power than that, so I was content...........for a while.

The next plan was simply to add a set of heads to the Roe and see how much power I could pick up. After waiting several months to get in to the shop, I finally decided that I could wait no longer and started calling around to other tuners. I stumbled across the UGR thread about the $15k blower kit, installed and tuned. I called Kevin Howeth at Underground Racing and talked to him for quite a while. I found Kevin to be extremely knowledgeable about Vipers and racing in general. I immediately had a comfort level with Kevin and felt like he really understood my racing goals.

I called Exotic Transport and shipped my car to UGR for the Paxton treatment. While it was there, Kevin and I talked regularly about my racing goals both on and off the track (on closed courses). I told him what I was looking for as far as power and reliability. After several dozen discussions about what they could do and what I could afford, a decision was made to stay with the Paxton setup but to put it on a much more wicked motor.

The motor was pulled and sent to Proline for a full 510 stroker upgrade. UGR built for me essentially the same motor that was in Garth's car when it ran 7.98.

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After the motor came back, UGR installed a set of JM Stage 3 CNC heads and a custom split duration blower cam.

Wanting to make sure the car had some "show" to go with the "go" Underground Racing had the intake and valve covers powder coated and installed a polished Paxton unit, polished fuel rails and other polished pieces to liven up the engine compartment.

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With the motor complete and the blower installed, UGR finished the build using the AEM, the custom fuel system, and the water/methanol.

I was constantly updated with pictures and progress reports as the build moved forward. Kevin would either email me, call me or even text message me to make sure I always knew what was going on with the car and discuss what I wanted and make sure I was happy with what I was getting.

When the car was almost done, my fiance and I flew out to Charlotte to meet Kevin and KC, check out the shop, meet their techs and to hang out and learn more about the car. Brian (2MANYTOYS) and his wife drove over from Ashville for the weekend to hang out with us, as well. When we arrived on Friday night, Kevin picked up my fiance and I from the airport and took us to our hotel. We met up with the Andersons and headed over to the shop to see what was shaking at UGR. The place was PACKED with Vipers. There were no less than 18 Vipers in various stages of modification, along with a couple of Viper trucks, a Ford GT and a Lamborghini Gallardo.

After hanging out at the shop for a while, we all headed out for dinner. Brian and his wife, KC and his girlfriend, Kevin, my fiance and I all had a blast at dinner and at the end of the meal, Kevin picked up the tab for all of us. That was a very nice surprise after having just met everyone a few hours earlier.

Saturday morning, while the girls were shopping, Brian and I headed back to the shop to watch them dyno tune my car. After a couple of test pulls, Brian and I hopped on the back to hold it down and let KC work his magic. It only took 2 more pulls before the car was tuned perfectly.

Pump gas and water methanol:

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Those are SAE corrected numbers, with torque curve and air/fuel. No funny business. That's the genuine article.

I couldn't have been happier. According to the AEM data logs, the car is only making about 10 psi even on a 15 psi pulley because of how much air the motor/heads flow. If there was a way to get more boost out of that blower, the numbers would be even higher. Suffice it to say, though, 962/914 on pump gas and only 10 psi was WAY more than I expected.

Fortunately for me, they knew that the car was going to make some good power, so before I got there they suggested to me that I upgrade my toasted Centerforce clutch in favor of a new McCleod Twin Disc with billet flywheel and replace my stock rear differential with a new Quaife unit. I'm glad they did.

Kevin unstrapped the car from the dyno and took the car out for a drive with KC monitoring the AEM on the laptop from the passenger seat. After about 20 minutes of driveability tuning, they brought the car back and handed me the keys.

The car fired up immediately and idled like stock. Although there was slightly more pedal effort required, the clutch engaged very much like stock and off I went. There was no bogging and no chatter in the clutch at all. I took a short test drive and made some highway blasts with the car. My Kumhos never stood a chance. I could light them up at will from an 80 mph punch. My jaw hurt terribly because I couldn't quit smiling. It was time to head back to the shop, change my underwear and go out for dinner again. We met up with another couple from North Carolina and all 8 of us headed out for a nice steak dinner. It was a **** of a weekend getaway. All in all, I feel like we made some great new friends, learned a lot about the Viper and saw first hand what the guys at UGR are capable of.

I can say this much. The car is an absolute beast.

Anyone who says that a Paxton can't make power down low has never driven a UGR Paxton car. As you can see, my dyno looks like a Roe blower on steroids. There is no place in the rpm band where it doesn't make huge power.

UGR loaded my car back on the trailer this morning and I expect to see it home in the next few days.

I honestly could not be any happier with the work that Underground Racing did for me and I can't imagine going anywhere else for work on my Viper.
 

Shelby3

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That's a King Of The Hill Paxton build you have there Mark. The torque curve is sick.
 

goldcup

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Congratulations Im guessing you will have a hard time finding anyone able to run with you.
I want a ride in that monster this summer!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
 

treesnake

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Hi Mark
Congratulations... great numbers. You must be pleased. Just in time for Spring. Look out KC. I hope to see your car at the "Ozarks run" if not before.

BTW... My "situation" hasn't changed since we last talked. Your UGR story is very interesting. Thanks again for the pulley.
 

plumcrazy

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jeez, thats sweet. nice setup right there.

and on 10psi too..... :)

what the CR on that monster ?
 
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JohnnyBravo

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jeez, thats sweet. nice setup right there.

and on 10psi too..... :)

what the CR on that monster ?

I would love to see what it would do with more boost, but that's about the smallest pulley they have and it just wouldn't make more than 10 psi (until right at 6000 rpms, where I think it finally crept up to a whopping 10.9 psi). But at least I know the motor isn't working very hard to make good power.

I believe the compression ratio is around 9.1 or 9.2:1.

It's a heck of a lot of fun. :)
 

1TONY1

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I would love to see what it would do with more boost, but that's about the smallest pulley they have and it just wouldn't make more than 10 psi (until right at 6000 rpms, where I think it finally crept up to a whopping 10.9 psi). But at least I know the motor isn't working very hard to make good power.

I believe the compression ratio is around 9.1 or 9.2:1.

It's a heck of a lot of fun. :)

What size pulley is it ? That tells more than calling it a 15 lb pulley since like your the flow can make a difference.
 

Mccarlin

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Looks great!!! You went in for a 15K paxton kit and left spending at least double that i see :rolaugh: Happens every time.
 
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JohnnyBravo

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Looks great!!! You went in for a 15K paxton kit and left spending at least double that i see :rolaugh: Happens every time.

It actually wasn't that bad at all. I had already purchased a set of heads back in early 2007. So that money was spent over a year ago. They just never got installed. The motor and the cam were the only other "go fast" upgrades outside of the "package deal" and I had the proceeds from the sale of my used Roe blower to help offset the cost of those things. So, believe it or not, I stayed pretty close to that $15k figure.

I did decide to go with a better clutch and the Quaife, but those were more along the lines of "safety" items as opposed to speed items and Underground gave me an incredible price on those items so that I could afford to have them in the car.

I didn't have a big budget to work with, and the guys at UGR made sure to stay right on target with what I had to spend. There were not any surprises on the bill. No extra fees, no extra charges, nothing. And they told me what all the prices would be, in writing, up front. My invoice after the build was complete was EXACTLY the same as my proposed invoice before the build began. It wasn't off one dollar.

It's nice to know there are tuners out there who are honest, up front, and can build a great product at a reasonable price.
 

Mccarlin

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I didn't have a big budget to work with, and the guys at UGR made sure to stay right on target with what I had to spend. There were not any surprises on the bill. No extra fees, no extra charges, nothing. And they told me what all the prices would be, in writing, up front. My invoice after the build was complete was EXACTLY the same as my proposed invoice before the build began. It wasn't off one dollar.

It's nice to know there are tuners out there who are honest, up front, and can build a great product at a reasonable price.

That is NICE to know when im ready to go to the next level. There arent many honest tuners out there who dont try to add things to the final bill.

Have fun, BE SAFE!
 

TAXIMAN1

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simply AWESOME. My last experience with a supercharged car was 1994-96, when I had a 92' LX 5.0, with a first Gen. Vortec B-trim (non IC).. WHAT A NIGHTMARE... Never ran right, popped Head gaskets all the time. However, the few times the car ran well, it did 11.90's (back, when that was actually fast)..
There is no doubt. UGR has an awesome reputation. If I was going to mod my car, it would be headed to UGR without a doubt.. But those memories of my nightmare 5.0 still haunt me.. I know,I know, everything has changed.. I would seriously consider doing this, if I could get past the terrible experience I had, with a CROOK of a tuner back in 94'.. In fact, I wouldnt even call this guy a tuner. But thats a whole other story,..

AWESOME car, Nice Job UGR..... Good luck with it..
 

2MANYTOYS

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Congrats Mark! You've got a beast on your hands. We had a great time hanging out with you and Heather. We need to do that again soon.

I couldn't believe that thing made that much power at 10psi. Be careful and keep the shiny side up!:2tu:
 

Fast Too

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All I can say is WOW.

All I can say is they don't answer e-mail. Guess they got enough work and are not interested in more. I'll keep shopping. Glad you had good luck with them and they kept you informed. They must have given you a back door e-mail they actually check once in a while.
 

2MANYTOYS

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All I can say is they don't answer e-mail. Guess they got enough work and are not interested in more. I'll keep shopping. Glad you had good luck with them and they kept you informed. They must have given you a back door e-mail they actually check once in a while.


What email are you using? I've never had a problem getting kevin by email. Just give him a call. 704-361-3443. I know their website is under construction.
 
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JohnnyBravo

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All I can say is they don't answer e-mail. Guess they got enough work and are not interested in more. I'll keep shopping. Glad you had good luck with them and they kept you informed. They must have given you a back door e-mail they actually check once in a while.

I never had a problem getting a hold of them via phone or email. Kevin would even return emails from his iPhone if he was out of the office.

He is surprisingly easy to get a hold of.

Try giving him a call at 704-361-3443
 

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