Words By Sean Haggai, Photography by Sean Haggai
Of course slowing all that whoa called for some serious stopping power. A set of Brembo 6-pstion front calipers with 14-inch rotors were mounted up front as well as a unique Brembo caliper and rotor setup for the rear. Out back, McCarthey’s team designed an ingenious plan, which included the use of two, opposing calipers clamping the rear rotor. One caliper would serve as the driver’s primary braking source while the other caliper would clamp on the rotor for stunts via a drift-brake handled mounted in the car.
We Drove These LS3’S Hard. Lots Of Jumps And Stunts, Lots Of High-Rpm And We Never Had An Engine Failure With The Six Months Of ...Vehicle Effects also installed a variety of chassis components, including a Riley Motorsports front K-Member, which not only helps add structural rigidity but facilitates a unique engine swap. Vehcile Effects even added solid motor mounts to tie the K-Member and engine together – stay tuned on that one.
To handle bounce, Vehicle Effects outfitted each corner of the Chargers with a set of AFCO, single-adjustable coilovers while 4-link setup is connected to a Detroit locker-stuffed, Ford 9-inch rearend. Speedway Engineering was called into duty as well; helping to control sway with a cache of swaybars front and rear. Of course, Vehicle Effects laid this out seven times over. Doing the math, that’s a total 28 shocks and 14 swaybars.
Remove the hood and a very unfamiliar, non-Mopar engine was stuffed between the framerails. No, your eyes are not playing tricks with you. If you’re familiar with late-model powerplants, you’ll recognize the composite intake manifold, individual coilpacks, fuel rails and center-mounted throttle body as an LS engine. Not just any LS would do, though, of course.
Vehicle Effects stuffed seven, 420hp LS3 crate engines; complete with everything you’d need from Chevrolet Performance into each Charger. Each LS3 was backed by a fully-built, Turbo 400 3-speed automatic transmission with a manual valvebody.
No expense was spared on these slushboxes either. Each TH400 received a Continental converter and even billet input shafts for repeated abuse on set. Only one Charger would get a slick-shifting 5-speed manual, which we had the chance to feature here. Custom exhaust cutouts allow burly orchestra compliments of a toned and tuned Magnaflow exhaust system. Those exhausts exit beautifully on each side, below the belt line and before each rear tire.
While we were on subject, McCarthy threw down some truth our way, “We drove these LS3’s hard. Lots of jumps and stunts, lots of high-rpm and we never had an engine failure with the six months of filming these cars were put through.” If that’s not a testament to the strength of these late-model mills, we’re not sure what else you’d need. Reliable would be a complete understatement.
Post filming, only three and a half Chargers have survived their on screen debut. Currently, Vehilce Effects is fast at work compiling ammunition for the next movie. Stay tuned, we’ll be sure to keep you up to date with what’s next for the Fast 7 Furious series.