At the tail end of day just one through Unwell 7 days 2023, we were going for walks the pits and headed for our motor vehicle to commence the journey from Orlando, FL to Bradenton. Having said that, when we handed by Steve Groenink and his 1973 Toyota Celica with a sweet-looking, turbocharged, 388 cubic inch LS motor stuffed concerning the frame rails, we realized our generate throughout the state could wait a several extra minutes.
Steve had run a fast 7.08 at 198 mph before that working day and was joyful to converse with us about his vintage Celica and its LS-swapped motor combo. As it turned out, Steve has owned this Celica for a although now and has significant strategies and lofty objectives for it, as predicted.
“I’ve owned the Celica for 11 decades,” Groenink instructed us. “I uncovered it in a farmer’s field. It had been deserted for 27 several years. I paid out like $600 for it and it was a basket circumstance, but all the trim and all the glass was there. I’ve experienced two or three diverse builds of it over the a long time. This current LS setup I finished in about 2017. I have put 5,000-6,000 avenue miles on it considering that then.”
Steve’s 388 cubic inch LS engine options a Principle Efficiency LSR aluminum block, a Callies Magnum center-counterweighted crankshaft with a 3.650” stroke, MGP aluminum rods, Diamond LS2K pistons, and a Brain Tooley Racing hydraulic roller camshaft.
“The heads are from a now defunct company named SPS,” Groenink states. “The male now works for Frankenstein, so they are very similar to a Frankenstein M311 head casting.”
The valvetrain includes titanium consumption valves and Inconel exhaust valves with a Texas Velocity ingestion up prime and a Shearer Fab intercooler. Serving to the 388 LS motor make major electricity is a Precision XPR 98mm turbo that commonly sees 30-40-lbs. of improve.
“To operate that 7.08, it was about 32-lbs.,” he claims. “I’ve type of set my personalized restrict at about 40-lbs. [of boost] for the week, so we’ll see what it does. I’ll likely just hold the same tune-up in it, but my best purpose is to operate a 6.90 at around 200 mph, so it’s right there.”
The LS motor is cranking out an believed 1,400-1,600 wheel horsepower. And considering that Steve has beforehand scattered an engine owing to weaker rods, he’s upgraded to aluminum rods and would like to preserve the motor below the 1,800-1,900 hp array.
“It must make the ambitions I want to make with that horsepower,” he provides.
As for effectiveness off the observe, Steve suggests the Celica is reputable on the avenue with the exception of a problem he was obtaining with a radiator fan controller. Nevertheless, minimal problems like that are not commonly an challenge for seasoned drag-and-travel competition like Steve.
“In the past, we did Miles of Mayhem (in Canada) and concluded next in general in 2021,” he suggests. “Then, previous yr, I experienced just gotten the engine together and experienced a little bit of an situation, so I just did not want to hazard it, so we pulled out on working day one particular. This is my initial time at Ill Week, which is turning into the Environment Collection of Drag and Travel. I figured if I’m heading to make the generate, I’m likely to make the travel in this article. It is the ideal of the most effective prep. The auto is on a radial tire, so we desired to make certain we have superior tracks for it.”
A variety of competitors at Ill 7 days travelled a superior distance to appreciate the week in Florida, but Steve was among the the furthest, clocking 3,200 miles to get to Orlando from southern Alberta, Canada.
Acquiring travelled that length designed even harder to find out that Steve and his Celica had to bow out of competitors in Unwell Week 2023 following the finish of day a single because of to concerns obtaining to Bradenton from Orlando. We eagerly await his next drag-and-push occasion and seeing him crack off a 6.90 go!
Engine of the 7 days is sponsored by PennGrade Motor Oil, Elring – Das Primary and NPW Organizations. If you have an engine you’d like to highlight in this collection, make sure you email Engine Builder Editor Greg Jones at [email protected]