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To Stroke or not to Stroke

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Old 11-14-2016, 09:34 PM   #1
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Default To Stroke or not to Stroke

I have a fox body that I'm building that I would like to compete in the optima street car challenge with, but mostly it'll be a fun street car that i will autox.

Now, I have a stock short block lq9 and t56 sitting in my garage, along with a 4" crank and rods....just need pistons. I was originally planning on stuffing it into a drag car, but I've been heavily considering sticking in the fox.

Would a 408 stroker be too much for a fox to autox or should I just build the stock lq9?
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Old 11-16-2016, 01:55 PM   #2
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I would just build the stock LQ9, horsepower has such a minute effect in AutoX and Road Racing that it's not even funny. The money you would spend stroking it added with the additional piston skirt wear etc would be a waste IMO.
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Old 11-16-2016, 04:38 PM   #3
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I agree. Freshen up the motor, maybe a little cam if you want and a little head work to support but make it reliable as possible. Then spend most of the money in suspension wheels and tires.

Friend of mine (that got a invite to SEMA for OSUSC) was able to drive Danny Popp's newest C5Z street car that is basically stock with JRI shocks. My friend owns a built C5Z making somewhere 550-600 rwhp and can wheel that car amazingly well.

He was within .3 seconds in his own car and Danny's car same course/same day....that proved to him (and me) power is not always the answer.

BUT, as you know in OPTIMA stuff you are up against a lot of 500+ hp cars that on a road course may pull on you.

To get your feet wet, a rock solid motor/drivetrain with EVERY Foxbody suspension part.

Tubular K member/control arms (save weight)
PHB and TA setup or a Watts Link
Decently wide wheels with the best 200TW tires you can buy (currently Rivals)

A solid 400-450 hp "stock-ish" LS motor in a smaller Fox would be good power-to-weight.
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Old 11-20-2016, 09:33 PM   #4
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Danny Popp's car runs a 388ci (4.125" bore/3.622" stroke) setup that revs to 9000rpm.... I wouldn't exactly call that stock

He also runs a crazy light Tilton 5.5" triple disc clutch/flywheel combo for super fast revving engine. It works for him that is for sure.

My buddy Rich Wilhoff runs the yellow C6 Z06 with a built 427ci from Katech (4.125"bore/4" stroke) keeping revs under 7K RPM and was also in the Optima challenge and won the series overall.... just not the winner takes all event in Las Vegas. His car makes around 575rwhp and 80rwtq more than Danny's. Rich said he doesn't want to give up the torque...

I would say more cubes and therefore torque is preferable unless you have big $'s to make a high revving short stroke setup.

If you are serious about AutoX or road racing you want an aluminum block. An engineer would give his left nut to shave 80lbs off of the front end of a car.

Last edited by gnx7; 11-20-2016 at 09:39 PM.
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Old 11-21-2016, 08:25 AM   #5
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Originally Posted by gnx7 View Post
Danny Popp's car runs a 388ci (4.125" bore/3.622" stroke) setup that revs to 9000rpm.... I wouldn't exactly call that stock
His A Street C5Z is a stock motor with only shocks/springs.

AFAIK, he has:
Optima C5Z (front splitter/spoiler)
Full road race C5Z (gutted/caged etc)
Stock C5Z (shocks/springs only) newest addition
The '72

Last edited by smitty2919; 11-21-2016 at 08:37 AM.
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Old 11-21-2016, 11:50 AM   #6
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On a light car and for autox I wouldn't bother to stroke it.

Now on a heavier car and on an actual road course it would be nice to have all that extra torque all over the RPM range.
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Old 11-21-2016, 11:54 AM   #7
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I definitely don't feel like the longer stroke is needed for what appears like it will be a light weight setup. Plus the stock stroke will promote longer engine life which is plus in my opinion.
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Old 11-21-2016, 12:11 PM   #8
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I'll add that a lot a horsepower can have a negative impact on autocross. I have a hell of a time balancing throttle and grip on my car. It requires more concentration than I'm happy with. This, in turn, can distract from the stuff you should be paying attention to on the course.
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