Congratulations to our Berettafest location winners, Paul and Karen Keller, on their Branson, Missouri proposal. Hope to see you all there in 2017!
Chevy Beretta Owners Community
Jonathan Chmura’s 1996 Z-Clone 3500 4T60E HD
I’m not sure how to describe this car other than its a ever progressing project that has changed direction multiple times in it’s life, but in the end has always acceled in it’s original discipline. I’ll be blunt, I bought this car after building a hybrid engine for my 95 and then splitting up with an ex GF… I was driving my 95 daily with this engine and saw what it was doing to it in a daily application, and seeing how I was on my own and didn’t have to ask anyone for permission I just bought this car. Granted it was also brought to my attention probably at the best possible time. It was purchased from Ansonia CT so somewhat local to me, a base model raspberry V6 auto car with 74k on the clock a cracked radiator and basically no rust problems. So I get this car to my place and I also have a Z kit acquired to bring it’s appearance up to snuff… I’ve done the base look for so long it was time for me to go Z. That’s where the basic info stops and the drive line stories begin… There were lots of changes with this car over and over again to tweak it to what it is today, and to be honest the transmission is currently out of it right now being tweaked once again as I’m learning more and more about it.
It seems odd to say this but this car has really only had two engines… It feels like way more have been through it but it’s mostly just been removal for inspection or tweaks more than actually changing the motor as a whole. It started with the Hybrid engine that came from my 95, When that was cleaned up for use in this car I also purchased a new very large camshaft for it as well as some much stronger valve springs…. Many of this stuff was not available at the time of building my first engine so I went all out on the cam this time around. That setup ran till Jan of 2010 when I pulled that engine to go through it and update some stuff. In between it had been serviced for a bad timing set, and some other various problems. I can say in its first outing in 2008 the car put down a 13.996@98 in the 1/4mile at Bfest Niagara Falls. Best time for a 3400/3500 4t60e Beretta. Only recently have I been able to beat that time and one needs to remember other changes that were done to this car between then and now actually slowed that 13.996 down to a 14.3/14.2. It wasn’t till Winter of 2014/2015 that I would decide it’s time for a new engine to make this car quicker.
Insert the ambitions to put a 3500 for good in this car and get it back into the 13’s without any nitrous. Search began for a 3500 engine with the proper forged crankshaft since I knew that should hold up best to what I would be doing. I found one locally with 45k on it and bought it, at the time I did not believe the crank was the proper one until I had it all apart and proved that to be incorrect. During that build I found that I would need to replace my camshaft due to some wear as well as that would require new springs and pushrods, so I went all out and had this motor blueprinted by myself and every part of it gone through carefully. Had the rotating assy balanced, pistons measured and bores sized independently for each one to ensure proper fit and so on… I could go on forever about all the detail work and customization that went into that 3500 but to save on this post you can read it all here… http://www.beretta.net/forum/viewtopic.php?f=27&t=5733&start=765#p134079. Since the 3500 project start, the car has also be upgraded to a 4t60e-HD transmission and the HD CV joints as well… I did however immediately break an axle shaft on my first visit to the drag strip with that setup. Everything had been upgraded but the axle shaft itself, and that had been slowly twisting since 2008 and finally decided to let go. All of those changes update and problems aside, I’m back to ripping into the transmission to learn more about it, how it shifts and why, improve upon that as well as find and identify a problem that resulted in low line pressure and extremely poor shift quality on my last visit to the dragway. I will leave you with this… A full or maybe full list of whats done to this car.
Balanced and blueprinted assy
SS Performance Valves
PAC 1218 Racing Springs
Comp Custom Cam, Dur@.006 268/282 Dur@.050 218/230 Total Lift .570/.568 109ICL 113LSA
TCE Double Roller Timing chain
Ported 3500 Heads LIM and UIM
TCE 65mm Billet Throttle body
S&S customized headers for L-body application
Twin-Z Performance 304 Stainless steel Catback pipe
Spintech 304 Stainless steel muffler
Walbro 255 HP intank fuel pump
All Sonnax replacement valve body valves
Sonnax billet 3rd gear piston
Raybestos Stage 1 4t65e Input clutches
Alto Performance 2nd gear powerpack clutches
Raybestos 3rd gear 4t65e Z-pak
4t65e Ratchet sprags for input and third gear
4t60e-HD differential with EP Limited Slip insert
OEM HD axle components paired with Beretta half shafts and N-body outer CV’s
Eibach springs paired with Koni struts shocks
J-body Koni Strut front inserts
Ford Thunderbird Rear Koni Shocks.
Addco 1″ rear swaybar
N-body front knuckles and wheel bearings
N-body or F-body swapppable brake package. 10.94″ or 11.92″ rotor options depending on what I’m doing
95 Neon sport rear disc brakes
I’m sure I’m forgetting something but I can only remember so much.
All I care about is, It’s Pink, It’s Loud, It goes fast, It stops quick, and It turns when you tell it to. This car has been a journey and I’m sure it’s not done yet and will probably never be done. I hope to continue to expand upon it’s accomplishments and make this one Beretta that can never be forgotten.
Cory Cain’s 1992 GT 3.1
Here are some words from Cody about his GT:
At the age of 15, my parents made the deal they would buy me a first car, of their choosing, and if I liked it, I could pay them back for it. We looked around for a car for awhile and eventually, one Saturday morning, I was shocked to see a white 1991 GT sitting in the driveway. Through my high school life, that car was my best friend, and cleaned better than my room. Once out of high school I made the decision to trade her in. This past May, at the age of 30, I started feeling nostalgic, and found this little girl just a state away. A very good memorable road trip(with mom, dad, and a brother), I drove her the 4 hours home. What a blast from the past, and what fun little cars they are. Thank you again for enough votes to get her on a calendar, I’ll never forget it!
Indygurl – Jessica Van Ness’s 1990 Indy 3.1
Here are some words from Jessica about her Indy:
I bought my Indy in March of 2012, with 136,000 miles, from Allegan, MI, the city I grew up in. A friend told me of a guy that used to have a bunch of Berettas. The Indy was the only one he had left along with a bunch of parts off past cars. I bought my Indy for $250 and had it towed home due to a blown brake line. It has been through three fuel pumps and I had to strip and clean the interior due to the infamous water leak. We drove a 2000 mile round trip to Berettafest in Maryland 2016 (our first) and did great! I’m hoping to drive it again this year but we will see. The car now has 225,000 miles.
NJ93TY – Nick Romash’s 1990 GTZ 2.3L Quad 4 HO 5-Speed
Here are some words from Nick about his GTZ:
I found this car on Long island Craigslist in 2010 or 2011 by accident. I wasn’t really looking for another Beretta but Quad 4, 5-speed, low mileage sounded good. 17,xxx original miles, $1500 firm. I called the guy and had to buy it the same night I talked to him. And I did. Turns out the car was on the same road my Aunt lived on in New York about nine houses up.
I had the car for about a year and a half before I started working on it. I had been searching and collecting NOS parts for it. It needed a lot of work, mostly cosmetic, but I was prepared. Once I had everything I needed I started ripping into the car.
Everything came apart: glass, bumpers, interior. Once it was stripped I brought it to my paint guy and let him do his thing. After a few weeks I got the car back and started putting it back together. It was a long process but totally worth it. I’m glad the car was finished in time for my first Berettafest in Ocean City, Maryland [Editor’s note: Where it won Best of Berettafest, by the way].
Below are a few pics of the car when I first got it and as it went through its restoration process (open full article to view).