Huw Evans
December 1, 2006
Photos By: Jason Siu

The solid GT rear end was also upgraded with an Eaton Posi, 31-spline axles and C-clip eliminators. The turbo kit process began when Rios got his hands on an Innovative kit and mocked it up. "I got Jaime Vorhees at Fabtech in Chatsworth, CA to fabricate a complete turbo system for the car based on my original design. Jaime was a real help in getting the turbo system to work, because even though I'm an automotive tech by trade and did most of the work on this car myself, with the turbo system it was still a lot of trial and error." So as the turbo system was coming along, Rio sought about getting a suitable automatic trans to handle the not inconsiderable power he'd soon be making. "For me, I knew that there was one shop that had just what I was looking for - Lentech. I purchased the best transmission I could for my application - 4R70W with a manual valve body and trans brake. I had my specs for the trans and Len, at Lentech was really good. They built the tranny off the specs and shipped directly to me." As the white monster neared completion, Rios was getting quite excited. It was coming together but it wasn't all smooth sailing. "I rigged up the Idle Air Control Valve so it was remote mounted, so I could use a '99 Cobra style single-blade throttle body - one thing that I probably should have learned, was place more emphasis on reliability - I was trying to make a lot of power on pump gas. When the car was completed I took it to the dyno - but I ended up hurting the motor." Not one to be deterred, Eddie found the time to do a little engine freshening and troubleshooting. "Once I had figured all the bugs were worked out, I took the car to Los Angeles County Raceway. It worked. The converter in my trans was just well suited to the combination - on my first time off the trailer the car went a 10.0 at 131 miles per hour.

"It was a great feeling seeing those numbers on my first time out and I knew I wanted to run again. However Rios, decided a few adjustments were in order, namely upgrading the turbo. I went with a [Precision Turbo] PT76. I dyno'ed the car and took it to the track again." This time it went a 9.58 at 158! Although Eddie was excited, the track officials at LACR weren't and they booted him off for not having a 10-point cage. "Even though I got kicked off, it was still great to see those numbers - I knew what this car could do."

Quite a bit more than that in fact, but to up the ante, Rios is taking a few steps toward durability. "When I ran that 9.58 - the engine was running a lot of boost. I had it dialled for 25 lbs and I knew, that even with a stock, blown Cobra bottom end, the motor was in kill mode - I was having back pressure issues and knew that it would only be a matter of time before it cooked." To that end, Eddie took a pro-active approach, by yanking out the Cobra engine - the day after these photos were taken in fact and setting work on a custom piece bullet with all the trappings. "I got a Teksid aluminum block," he said last time we talked. "The car was still very heavy, particularly at the front, so I'm trying to lighten it wherever I can so I can get it in the 8s. Just changing the block alone will shave 80 lbs off the nose. Now this engine has Diamond pistons with ceramic-coated tops and sides, billet rods and a pair of heads worked over by Al Papitto. "It should last pretty good," says Rios. No doubt.