Phantom Cat Motorsports

Autosport Fabricator, Racer, and Anime fanatic

R.I.P. old friend.....

As much as it saddens me, the Malibu was laid to rest mid way though the 2012 season. Seemingly endless clutch pedal woes and other mechanical issues, compounded by softening floor and rotting frame behind the rear wheels (a bang up at a drift day a few years back certainly didn't help) led me to decide to pull the plug on it. Because it was my first real hotrod, It'll always have a place in my heart. I'll miss you buddy.

2011 Season......

Here's one from Drift Battle 2009. Credit goes to Bob J

For the most part the 2011 season was an awesome one for the 'Bu. I made two track days @ Gingerman Raceway, five autocrosses with the Furrin Group, and three drift events with the Motor City Mayhem Tour. The track days were FUCKING awesome. What fun I had! Par for course, at the first drift event I twisted off another axle and lost a seal in the hyd throwout at the second. At the final autocross, the clutch made it known that it'd had enough. So now I need yet another goddamm clutch in my car. FUCK I'm tired of this. I think I'm just asking too much of a 10.5" clutch. The guy who's been building my clutches is working on something new and we're waiting on his patent..... Also it'll have a new RAM Clutches HD hydraulic throwout. As well is some 17" wheels with 255/45R17's. Up front, I addressed the G-body crappy camber curve issue by installing 1" longer ball joints upper and lower and followed it up with a performance alignment. Out back, I went down 50 lbs on spring rate, to help the lack of weight transfer, and installed an Auburn Pro Series diff. The combo of springs and diff should give a lot better bite off the turns. An unexpected result of the lower ball joints and softer springs is the sits a bit lower and looks really nice! Of course this is all dependant on my whether I get an out of state job in wind energy or not.

Here's a few more, courtesy of Clutch Motorsports Photography, of me on my way to a class win @ US131. My second of the year. Look under the pass side tire in the first shot and you can see the huge problem with the suspension geometry on G-bodies. The camber curve sucks, because of the short spindle height. Hard cornering actually causes the tire to roll off the track surface. This issue has since been addressed!

From the MSU autocross:

Here's one from round two of the MCM Tour

And round four:

And round five:


I was invited to compete in Car Craft magazines Real Street Eliminator event at the 2009 Street Machine Nationals. It was a long drive there and back, but it was really fun. I had a great time! My buddy Dave also got invited. We were reppin' G-bodies! I finished last in two of the three events(I don't feel I was beaten, just out-spent...). I did manage to beat the dragrace 'vette in the autocross. Check it out in Car Craft's January '10 issue

The results!

Here are a few from Speedrift 13 at Autocity courtesy of Ryan Belville.

Here's the finished product! The following photos are from the DK Motorsports autocross event held in Brighton on Memorial day weekend. These are not my photos. They were taken by cturnbull802.

These two photos are in sequence of a right hand turn, just off the starting line. The right photo is of me chasing the rear end as it slides around the corner, because the torque comes on so quickly that the tires couldn't plant the power.

The car was VERY good the four runs I made( more on that in a moment....). The combination of springs, swaybars, shocks, bushings, and control arm bracing made a HUGE difference in the cars handling! Two complaints though.... Stickier tires would be helpful, as the torque my motor makes broke the 245/50-16 BFG KDW's loose with great ease and Richmond powertrax lockers don't like torque. Coming off the sweeper near the end of the fourth run, I pulled the trigger to make a charge for the finish and promptly blew up the locker and this is the end result: 

This what a powertrax locker looks like after being force fed nearly 500 ft lbs of torque.


***Hey! be sure to stop at the video page for links to videos of the car in action!***

Oh, Look!!!!

Would you look at that! There's a sucubus on my car. Awww, Isn't she cute?!


Here's the engine finally bolted in for least untill I blow it up, which with the way I drive, will happen eventually. Once the car's completed, I'm going to start saving for a forged rotating assembly to go in another 400 block I have. Hopefully I can get it done before this engine lets go.  To the right of the valve cover you can see the HVAC delete plate I made from 1/8" aluminum. That's the fuel pressure regulator and power distribution block mounted on it. As well is the breather tank that will stop the oil being blown out of the old vavle cover breather onto the headers

 This engine is a 76' 400 block bored .030 over, with a scat cast crank, race prepped 5.7 350 rods w/ ARP bolts, and hypereutectic pistons. Vortec heads with 2.02/1.60 valves, screw-in-studs, and guide plates. Steel roller rocker arms are actuacted by a .489/.504 Lunati VooDoo cam. Fuel is handled by a 750  model 3310 holley, converted to 4150 specs, and an Edelbrock Performer RPM intake. The E-85 conversion was handled by Classic Motorsports. The serpentine system is from a '90 Camaro. This the best way to go for a motor that's gonna be wound out hard. I've run this motor to almost 7,000 RPM a few times with no belt problems. I've always had issues with V-belts coming off at these kind of engine speeds.  Oil system consists of a TRW M99HVS big-block style pump w/ 3/4" pick up, a steel drive shaft, and an 8 qt. low-profile oil pan from Trans-dapt. For the clutch, I installed a Fidanza 153 tooth aluminum flywheel w/ a balance plate, a Centerforce DFX competition 10.5" clutch, Ram hydraulic throwout, and a roller pilot bearing. Bolted to the block is a 403 bellhousing (for small flywheels) and a 3.42 wide ratio Borg Warner Super T-10 4-speed tranmission. 

This has been an amazing combination. Useable power everywhere in the RPM range. From idle to 7,000 RPM this just keeps pulling, no flat spots anywhere in the power band. Awesome.

Interior- cage, dash and whatnot

These photos are of cage kit I purchased from Jegs. This is the main hoop cross-brace. The kit comes with bars that go straight back, but I prefer the "X"-brace, due to its greater strength. I also added the main hoop cross bar.

These door bars necessitated removal of the lower half of the door panels due to clearance issues, but the handles just clear the bars perfectly

Here are the seats installed. The near seat, the passengers, is a Kirkey drag race unit and the drivers, mine of course, is a Kirkey intermediate road race unit

Here're the seats from behind. I'm going to add a bar from the center of the harness crossmember(the bar directly behind the seats) back the joint of the main hoop cross-brace, to strengthen it. As soon as I add harness mounts and paint it, the cage will be done.


Here's the dash with the gauges and lights installed, as well as the radio/switch panel. Also the shifter is finally installed and adjusted. Now I have to figure out a way to mount a back-up light switch. I have a Hurst unit that mounts to the stop bolt, but there isn't enough room up in the box out for it.........

Here's the completed dash panel with all the components installed. The gauges Are Auto Meter Classic Chrome. The assembly is kinda heavy and I would've prefered Unltalites, but I don't have Ultralite money in the budget.

 Here's the "bundle of snakes" wiring for the dash. I took three or four hours to do this! I used weather-pack connectors to facilitate easy removal of the dash for service or whatever. The connectors also made the installation very quick and easy.

Here's the CNC brake cylinder installed for the rear brakes. It's actually intended for use as a "line-lock" for the front brakes, but it works as well for the rears. I tried on OEM style cable operated system, using parts from a 3rd. gen Camaro. It was a total failure.... While it did function as a brake activator(?), it wouldn't lock the rears. I guess that's why it's called trial and error. When this photo was taken, I'd still to install the larger, thicker radiator, the water pump, break-in the cam, and install the breather system.

Air intake


I'd originaly intended to run a 4" cowl hood, but didn't think it would go with the cars sleeper look. This is similar to the system that we installed on the Monte listed on the toys and projects page. It fit under the hood with a minor bit of inderstructure trimming. The hat and hoses are from Spectre. The wheelwell pass-throughs are made from 4" exhaust pipe. The lower photo is the R.H. pass-through before painting.

This is the R.H. filter, as seen through the wheel well. I fabricated the shield to both provide a little ram air effect, catching air coming under the bumper and to protect the filter from debis and spray off the front tires.

Worm's eye view of the filters. The photo looks crappy, because I'd just finished sweeping before heading home.


Here's the completed exhaust system. It's comprised of Dynomax shorty headers, a Jegs universal X-pipe, JegsA/G body 2-1/2" dual exhaust kit, A Jegs dual exhaust crossmember, and 40 series 2 chamber Flowmasters

There's not much to see here, but this is how the exhaust exits the car. The Jegs kit comes with the "SS" style outlets, that exit under the rear bumper. I've always prefered the "442/Hurst Olds" outlets, similar to what I've done here. I espcially like the way they're "tight and right", it adds to the sleeper look. Of course, the sleeper look ends when the car starts. The exhaust note will be a dead giveaway that it's got some power under the hood!


Suspension, Drivetrain, and Brakes

The first two photos are of work in progress. The third is comparison of the old versus new front springs. Despite the height difference the cars ride height stayed the same. Also note the broken coil. The fouth is the complteted front.

Front specs.: 800lb. Hypercoil 5.5"x12" street stock springs, boxed lower arms(can't see in photo) Monte Carlo SS 1-1/4" O.E. swaybar. Energy Suspension bushings on swaybar, upper and lower control arms. Monroe Sensa-trac shocks. Quick ratio steering box from an IROC Camaro and a pitman arm from an '86 Cutlass. My car originaly came with a "605" model box. The pitman arm from it won't work on an "800" model box, which is what the Camaro box is.

Rear specs.: 275lb. Hypercoil street stock coil springs, boxed upper and lower control arms, braced lower control arm mounts, Energy Suspension bushings, Afco Street Stock shocks and a Monte Carlo SS O.E. swaybar. The chains keep the suspension from droping to the point the springs fall out, because they're so short.

Day Motorsports "Metric" rear disc kit. Awesome kit costing only $210! It came with rotors, calipers, brackets, Hawk pads, caliper bolts.  Moser Engineering axles with ARP studs replace the 27 years old stockers. I wasn't confident about drifting on axles that old. I could see a C-clip button popping of in mid-slide with my luck. I had to use the long studs due to the spacer required for the Firebird wheel I'm going to run. On the fronts below for the same reason.....

I installed new rotors, clipers, and Hawk HPplus autocross pads, along with ARP studs. As the original ones were very skanky. The car still has the tiny original brakes. I was considering installing the larger 12" brakes from a B4C cop car or 1LE Camaro, but the brakes on the car now will lock up with ease. Larger brakes will add quite a bit of cost as well as increase the cars weight and the there's the increase of rotating mass with the larger rotors. I'm going to install a hydraulic "e-brake" this winter and if it works like I suspect it will, I'm not even going to bother with rear discs. More money for tires!!!

Future mods are a Fox-body Mustang P/S steering rack, which should shave 35-40 pounds off the nose. Along with that, I'm going to modify the spindles for more steering travel as well as fabricate my own lower control arms to make use of the increased angle.

Radiator and Fan

Here's the radiator installed in the mounts I fabricated.  It has a very "race car" feel to it. Pure function over form. The radiator seen here has been replaced by a 31"x19" Griffin Universal two row w/ 1-1/4" tubes. The hoses, seen in other photos, were made from modifying hoses from different cars. The upper has been replaced with a  stainless flexible unit. The lower was made from two lowers from a 1988 Monte Carlo. The lower two photos are of the brackets that mount the fan to the radiator mounts.

Cowl Extentsion


I noticed with the removal of the HVAC box, rain and snow were getting into the engine compartment. Specifically on the starter and header. To solve this I fabricated, what I call the cowl extentsion, to catch and direct the water to a drain hole drilled in it, that drains into the wheelwell. I'm quite happy with how it turned out.

Clutch/Brake pedals

Ain't it a thing of beauty? A clutch pedal in a A/G-body! I used a set of 3rd gen. camaro pedals, that required a few easy modification to install. Truly the only way to go, when doing one of these conversions. I did modify the clutch pedal by cutting a part off the backside of the pedal arm and welding to the front side, to gain more pedal travel. It can be seen in the photo, just at the bend above the foot pad. Using a clutch master cylinder from a 3rd gen. camaro makes the conversion simple.