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760 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
This is it. The Hellion.


The end result of a childhood obsession, countless hours in the garage, and a big middle finger to everyone who said it couldn't be done.
"If you tell me something can't be done, shut up and watch me do it." - Dad

In this thread, I will try my best to document and recapture the journey of the build for each component of the car.


Before I continue, there are a few people I need to thank for the inspiration, guidance, wisdom, and support for this incredible car.

James Reeves - I know we've never met in person, but your GLH has been the driving force behind this build since I first started this endeavor as a kid. I remember years ago picking up an issue of Street & Tuner Magazine, flipping it open, and seeing an Omni GLH featured over four pages. A 500 horsepower Omni. I read that article probably 10 times over and knew that I was hooked on getting mine to that level some day. I didn't know how, and I didn't know how long it would take, but I knew that it was possible and that's all the information I needed.

Cindy @ FWDP - I honestly don't know where this car or this community would be without your support. I can't thank you enough for taking my money every time I've called down there. I know at first I was just some kid ordering parts, and over the years I kept dropping it off at the shop for more upgrades between deployments to the Middle East, but I am sincerely grateful to you and your team for taking me in. The engine that you guys put together for me back in 2011 is still going strong. I've put it through some abuse, and it just keeps on going.

Shadow - I've picked your brain a few times and have read through your build thread numerous times. I can't thank you enough for providing to me and this community all of the invaluable time and research you've put into making you car faster and sharing it with the community. In fact, I'm still running the ACT SRT-4 clutch combo that you posted years ago in my A520.

NAJ - I'm not sure how many times I've reached out to you for guidance on getting my car back on the road with wiring issues. You've helped on both my GLH and my Charger back when I had it. To be honest, the wiring of the GLH had me close to quitting with all of the electric issues the old harness gave me over the years. But, every time there was an issue, you had a fix for it. Thank you!

signsoflife22 - If there was anyone I needed to thank for support outside of my family and close friends, its you. It seemed like every step I took forward, or every post I made on FB, you were there saying "Hell Yeah brother!" Not everyone in my circle of friends "gets" what I had been trying to do or had believed that my build would even work. But you were there motivating me from the sidelines. I can't thank you enough for being my friend.

760 Posts
Discussion Starter · #2 · (Edited)
Well, first things first. The powerhouse.


What you see above is a heavily modified 2.2L, sporting the ravishing BMF intake made by acannell, a Holset HE351CW turbo, LS2 Coil-On-Plug (Coil near plug, whatever) Ignition, a custom sidewinder exhaust header made out of 321 stainless, a hidden Air-to-Water Intercooler, Tial 38mm external wastegate, 4 inch custom downpipe, and four 1680cc Sieman Deka E-85 compatible injectors, custom front airbox, and a Honda Civic radiator.

Now for the stuff that you don't see..

  • Non Common Block bored .040 over
  • Forged crankshaft
  • BC Pro Billet H-Beam Rods
  • Venolia Forged Pistons
  • Port matched head
  • +1mm oversized valves w/3 angle back cut
  • FWDP F4 camshaft; 282/276 duration, 470/467 gross valve lift
  • Walbro 450 fuel pump (E85 compatible)
  • 100psi Fuel Lab Pressure Regulator
  • Billet Aluminum Fuel Rail
  • PTFE -6AN fuel lines (feed/return)
  • 4 BAR MAP sensor
  • ARP Head Studs
  • A520 transmission
  • Cromoly Flexplate
  • ACT HD Pressure Plate (SRT-4)
  • ACT Lightweight Flywheel (SRT-4)
  • Clutchnet Custom 4 puck disc
  • OBX LSD from FWD Performance

760 Posts
Discussion Starter · #3 ·
The Sidewinder tube header:


Arguably the most important piece on the entire car to me. This was fabbed up by a buddy of mine while I was deployed. I had left my engine, intake, and turbo with him while I went overseas and told him exactly how I wanted my turbo to sit over the transmission. He had no other direction other than that and he absolutely nailed it. The header itself is made out of 321 stainless and funnels into a 4-1 collector. Attached to the header is a 38mm external Tial wastegate provided by FWD Performance.


One of my goals during the build was to try and keep as much heat away from the BMFi as possible. As you can see above, I wrapped the entire header with DEI Titanium heat wrap and got a matching DEI turbo blanket. And yes, those are hose clamps that are holding the wrap down. They work wonders above the crappy metal zipties that come with the kit. Still holding strong to this day. My first big hurdle was somehow getting this combination to fit in the car, something I had yet to try at this point.


My first obstacle presented itself.. the turbos exhaust housing hit the drivers side passenger mount. There were several attempts to figure out a way to get it to clear by clocking the compressor housing a few different ways. But, no matter what I tried, it just wouldn't fit.

I had even thought about taking the header back to my buddy and having him shorten the neck at the collector, however, that would end up pushing the turbo into the neck of the intake manifold.

After a few hours of brainstorming and installing/removing the turbo, I came to the conclusion that the drivers side mount could be "thinned" since it looked to jut out a good 2 inches from the main part of where it mounted.

So I ended up cutting the "wing" of the mount and welded it back on to be closer to the main mount body/housing. By doing so, I freed up plenty of room for the turbo to move while the engine rocked under torque.



I made sure to reinforce the "wing" of the mount as well and I replaced the old hardware. Its not going anywhere.

760 Posts
Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Let's talk about the exhaust.



The holset turbo has a 4 inch exit out of the turbine housing, so I thought I should stay with that length. It just so happened that my wife and I decided to go to Summit Racing up in McDonough, GA one weekend for a Scratch & Dent sale event they had going on. Honestly, I forget why we went up there that weekend, but I did find a full exhaust kit for a 6.6L Duramax under one of the tables there. It retailed around $300 but I was able to get it out the door for only $90. Score!

My biggest hurdle that I would eventually have to figure out was how to stuff a 4in downpipe between a hefty turbo, the tube header, and the firewall without hitting anything..


Thankfully, I can think outside the box. A quick trip to Home Depot for some 4in dryer duct hose and I had the perfect mock-up tool for a large diameter exhaust. If you hadn't guessed, the real estate behind the turbo was very contested. But I managed to figure out a way to make it all fit. My next big step was to recreate the angle off of the exhaust housing that I had made with the dryer duct. I did have a 90 degree pipe with the kit I had bought, but was too long of a radius to even come close to fitting. So I had to start thinking about pie.


Is it pretty? No.
Does it work? Yes.


I'm sure there's some exhaust expert out there who would love to tell me that the exhaust angle port velocity pie R squared theorem blah blah blah for my little exhaust elbow is all wrong and that I should have done X, Y, or Z to have better results. Don't care. I figure there's enough area at the exhaust turbine to dump into the rest of the exhaust that the angle doesn't even matter that much. All I cared about at this point is that the darn thing would fit, and it did so rather nicely. Now for the rest of the downpipe.


Let me tell you how valuable that dryer hose ducting from Home Depot is. I made a full downpipe mock-up out of that thing and basically replicated it with pieces of the Duramax exhaust kit. The flex piece on the downpipe was something I added in order to accomodate for the engine rocking backwards under torque. I also welded V-clamps to all the connections for easy removal. If I wanted to, I could run just the open downpipe, but that would be just obnoxious.


And then finally when the downpipe was welded up, I gave it a good wrapping with more DEI Titanium heat wrap. Looks pretty good to me and keeps under hood temps down quite a bit.


Finally, here's the tail end of the exhaust that comes out in front of the drivers rear tire. It got a little snug under the car, so I wrapped the last part of it with DEI Titanium Heat Wrap to keep the exhaust from heating up the gas tank. After a few good pulls, I can crawl under the car and touch my hand to the pipe, and it'd be mildly warm.

2,507 Posts
Our builds are very similar in a lot of ways(except you have more doors), and you have helped me a ton as well my friend.
Your build is like another cheat-sheet for mine. I’ve progressed so slowly with mine that others have built many MANY cars since I started mine, but it is what it is.
I absolutely LOVE your ride, and LOVE the build thread you’ve started. Rock-on man

Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

760 Posts
Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Right, lets move on to the "cool" stuff
(I'll see myself out.)


Pictured above is my Air-to-Water Intercooler kit complete with a water pump (not pictured). From left to right we have the ice box, then the heat exchanger, and then the intercooler core itself. I bought the heat exchanger and the ice box from the Frozenboost website, while the intercooler core and the water pump came from CX Racing. I chose to go with an A2W setup mostly because I love the thought that I can be below ambient temperature for a race event. Granted, I know that it gets fairly warm during passes, but thats the beauty of buying bags of ice for $3 at the local gas station. Plus, I didn't want to stuff a big Air to Air IC up front. I liked the idea of it being hidden or tucked away. So I ran with it.


Here's a little invention I came up with after noticing a problem testing the A2W system. The Ice Box on the inside is just a box with 5 holes punched on the side. When you attach the water pump to the outside of the box, water goes in and pumped up to the front. However, I noticed something that I think people should be made more aware of when running ice water. Eventually, those pieces of ice get small enough to get sucked into the water pump and clog it. When it does that, you restrict the amount of water going through the intercooler core, resulting in more heat buildup, ending with loss of power. So to fix this issue, I ran up to Home Depot (they should sponsor me at this point) and found some fittings that matched the inside threads of the ice box. On top of those fittings, I used a garden hose cap and a household sink mesh filter. (By the way, two different sections of Home Depot). After that was assembled, I ran four tests to check the amount of flow.
With the filter on and ice in the box, there was just about the same amount of water flow going through as with no filter and no ice.. I call that a win.


The mock up process for getting the intercooler and plumbing probably took the longest to figure out. I had gone through a few different ideas on how I wanted everything to fit. Luckily I am an absolute Master at CAD engineering (that's Cardboard Assisted Design) and built a mockup intercooler core.

If you didn't already know this, pool noodles are a cheap and easy way to figure out plumbing ideas without have to destroy metal pipe or pulling out the welder. I've found it's much easier to destroy children's pool toys. They understand though because racecar.

Anways, I went ahead and placed the Honda Civic radiator where I wanted it to be. Straight into the head. With that in place, I had this idea that I wanted to make an airbox that would lead straight into the turbo from the front of the car, so I needed to space out the pipes evenly somehow to make that happen, as well as keep the intercooler in a spot where it wouldn't interfere with anything in the engine bay, looked hidden, and still functioned.


With a little thought, I figured I could re-clock the compressor housing to line up with inlet of the intercooler tucked below. Again, that 4in dryer duct came in handy with mocking up the intake into the turbo. It gave me a fairly solid idea of what kind of bend I needed to work with in order to get everything lined up correctly. The next thing I had to figure out was where and how to mount the intercooler in the engine bay. The kit didn't come with any kind of mounting hardware. So I had to figure out some ideas on my own.


This little piece doesn't look like much of anything, but it's actually one of my intercooler mounts I made. I sketched it out on some paper and then folded in the edges I needed in order to make the mount. I welded it all up, drilled two holes to mount to the body and then drilled the mounting hole that would bolt to the intercooler. Sometimes I make cool things.



Aaaand that's pretty much how that works on the one side. The drivers side of the intercooler has a long piece of steel (kind of like a ruler) that I welded to the frame of the car that sort of drops down and has a spot drilled for the other bolt to grab onto the intercooler.


Pictured above is how its mounted in the car now. The fitting coming out of the top is the water feed.

760 Posts
Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Sorry, I meant to keep updating this, but I moved into a new dorm over here in Korea.

Anyways, I'll move onto the custom air box I made. I wanted to have direct air going into the turbo with as little restriction as possible. So I decided to build myself a box that would sit up in the corner of the grille and would feed air straight into the turbo.


So I began by routing the dryer duct I got from Home Depot out to where I felt was the most direct route into the turbo. From there I put a cardboard plate to form the back plate of the box that would be the best central placement for the inlet.



Once I had the central location for the inlet roughly figured out, I broke out the tape measure and drew out a rough sketch of the air box I wanted. The little notch on the bottom right of the drawing was for the headlight corner relief that allows the headlight bezel to be mounted to the body. After I had the rough drawing, I resorted to my skills in CAD design to make a prototype air box.

CAD: Cardboard Assisted Design, by the way.



Once I was satisfied with the cardboard mock up, I went out to get some plate steel from Tractor Supply and cut it into the sides that I could weld together to create the air box.



Now obviously I'm not going to run the car on the street without a filter. The open style is meant to get as much air into the turbo as quickly as possible at the track, but, I also built this car to be driven on the street. So, I spent a decent amount of time on Autozone and O'Reillys trying to find a drop in K&N filter that would fit inside the back wall of the air box. Eventually, I stumbled across a flat style filter for an Infiniti G35 that would fit snugly inside. I welded in side tabs that I could easily pop the filter in and out of and would keep the filter from falling over. Works pretty well and only takes a few minutes to change from the K&N to the bellmouth I found at a swap meet for $5.00.


Since the box was finally built and welded together, all that was left was the pipe connecting the box to the turbo. For that, I took some of the 4 inch exhaust pipe I had and welded up a nice inlet into the turbo.


I cut off about half an inch from the side of the pipe that attaches to the inlet of the turbo to allow the movement of the engine rocking back and forth. Also, I got tired of the stock radiator support, so I eventually cut it off and made a better looking piece out of flat stock that would also be much better to mount anything to as well as give me the perfect placement for the radiator mounting location I had decided on. Leaving the stock radiator support would've left me with a canted radiator. This also allowed me to give a direct shot from the radiator into the engine.


When it's all put together, it doesn't look too shabby. Also, when everything is bolted down and secure, the front end is very stout.

Premium Member
293 Posts
Yo! Very nice to see you jump on and post your build. I saw your car on ThatDudeinBlue's review on youtube and i also found some vids from your own channel. When i was getting amped up for my new glh project, i was ecstatic to find a few "new" vids of glh's on youtube. I have shown more than a few of my friends this car over the past 6 months. What took you so long to post the project?

Thank you so much for bringing this to us!

760 Posts
Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Yo! Very nice to see you jump on and post your build. I saw your car on ThatDudeinBlue's review on youtube and i also found some vids from your own channel. When i was getting amped up for my new glh project, i was ecstatic to find a few "new" vids of glh's on youtube. I have shown more than a few of my friends this car over the past 6 months. What took you so long to post the project?

Thank you so much for bringing this to us!
Mostly my recent move out to Korea lol.
But mostly I stayed off the forums with this build to avoid people telling me that my methods or the way I was building it was wrong, couldn't be done, wouldn't work, they'd do it this way or that way, etc. Didn't need or want any discouragement, so I stayed quiet and built it myself in my garage the way that I wanted to.

760 Posts
Discussion Starter · #15 ·
I guess we'll talk about the suspension next. Typing this out for the second time since my draft wasn't saved...

Auto part Suspension Suspension part
Suspension part Coil spring Suspension Shock absorber Auto part

The left picture is the setup I have on the front and the right picture is the rear coilover setup.

The front coilovers are Racelands for a 1992 to 2001 Subaru Impreza. The kit from Raceland comes with a set of 2 fronts and 2 rear, the rears which I didn't use. It cost $479 shipped to my door at the time I bought them. The cool thing about the fronts is that they come with a built in camber plate on top. You do have to modify the bottom parts where it mounts to the knuckle, and then drill three holes in the shock tower to mount it. I'll get to those pics in a minute below.

The rear coilovers are something I came up with after reading rx2mazda's thread on using KYB AGX adjustable shocks as front coilovers. So I decided to figure out a way to make rear coild out of them in order to adjust the amount of squat my car suffered from at the track. I wrote up a thread that you can find here if you'd like to read up in more detail. I don't think the photos work there anymore. Also, If you decide to go this route for whatever reason, and you want the car to go significantly lower than stock, then I recommend using 6" coil springs instead of 8" ones I have in the picture. The combination listed below only goes down about an inch below stock height and high enough to stick a toaster between the fender and top of the tire at max height. I intended to change out to shorter springs, but never got around to it.. so its still sitting near the lowest setting. Good thing is that the shock has more than enough travel to compensate for the changes in height.

Here's the parts list for the rear coilover setup. Not sure how accurate the prices are now:

•Two(2) KYB AGX adjustable shock absorbers (P/N KYB 741033) $85.23 EACH from Summit Racing
•Two(2) 5" Coilover Sleeves (P/N A1-12451) $15.53 EACH from A-1 Racing Products
•Two(2) Spring Coil Over adjusting nuts (P/N A1-12460) $12.87 EACH from A-1 Racing Products
•One(1) Spanner wrench (P/N PROZ902) $9.95 from A-1 Racing Products
•Two(2) 8" Landrum Coil Springs 275lb/in (P/N Y8-275) $55.99 EACH from Summit Racing

Tire Auto part Automotive tire Fuel line Vehicle brake

The cool thing is that the rears are basically a bolt in so long as you retain the use of the top hardware. With the adjustability of the KYB AGX's on the rear with the 275 coils, I was able to dial in a really good setup for launching at the track without having the rear end act like a pogo stick. I forget what setting the AGX's are on, but the setup now absorbs the weight transfer softly and slowly throws it back forward.


Here is the Subie coil next to the stock struts I had on the car before. You can see that the two mounting plates are similar, but this is where you'll need to modify them a bit. Also, look at how much adjustability is there on the Subie coil.. I could dump the entire front end of the car to rest on the tires if I wanted to!



Picture above is where I made a simple template for figuring out how to line up the mounting holes onto the knuckle. I took a silver sharpie and colored in the dark areas exposed and then took a dremel to it to make it work.


Something like that. Used the wishbone as a more accurate guide. Make sure if you decide to go this route that you wear gloves and arm protection.. I had metal slivers in my arm for days and they are not fun.. thinking back, I probably should have gone an easier route with something more bolt on.. but I was committed at this point, so screw it, I pushed on. I don't regret it.


Tuh-duh, end result. You get a little bit of adjustment at the top hole slot, then more camber adjustment with the camber plate up top. It works for me.


Lastly, I took the top part of the coilover, flipped it upside down, and set it on top of the shock tower and marked out where the mounting holes needed to be drilled. . Anyways, I drilled the holes and then bolted the new coils in.


Premium Member
293 Posts
+1 what i like the most about this build is the atypical design path. The fact that you marched forward in the direction of your choice and committed to the cause and saw it through.
I hear you about the nay-sayers and the poopoo 'ers. The elderly in this format of car seem to be more stubborn and discouraging than other car clubs. But the cumulative community makes up for it.
Thank you for posting!

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