Everything is big in Texas: the bravado, the beers, the houses, the steak dinners (free if you can eat them with out a doggie bag, or a barf bag for that matter), even the horizon looms large.
It only makes sense that the state itself is an imposing beast. It is no New England shire that you can pass through while programming your navigation system and not even know it. And cruising across the Midwest states is a nice way to spend an afternoon, but hardly a challenge compared to the vastness of Texas, which is roughly 657 miles across at its widest point. This predisposition to largeness also translates into the performance realm where big boost, big power and big displays are the norm in the Lone Star state. Those crazy Texans like using the power too. You may have seen some of the video clips of these exploits on the Net: Supras versus Vipers, Supras versus Supras, Supras versus Hayabusa motorcycles in Houston and Dallas. The inherent dangers of running insane speeds on public roads are quite obvious.
Enter the Texas Mile, a sanctioned, closed-course competition conducted over a standing mile in Goliad, TX. The speed trials are conducted at the Goliad Airport, a small regional facility with a lot of pristine pavement. The Texas Mile is a drag race meets Silver State Challenge proposition; and it has a number of categories for stock-spec cars, tuned street machines and purpose-built Bonneville land speed cars. It should be no surprise that a Supra is the top dog in the Ultimate Street class.
Tommy Banh is The Man with Texas-sized huevos and 1128 wheel horsepower under his right heel. "I set out to push the limits of a street car," Tommy said. "And the next thing I knew I was screaming past 200 mph and setting the Ultimate Street record." Tommy's shop, Autobanh Motorsports, was founded in 2004 and has played a role in the development of many high-power Supras.
Tommy's Supra once again solidifies the 2JZ-GTE as one of the all-time great engines. Tommy's engine features a stock crankshaft that has been knife-edged by G&G Performance, who also handled all the block and head machining. The 2JZ is stuffed with Autobanh-spec Weisco pistons, Carrillo H-beam rods and is held together with custom Autobanh Polydyn-coated bearings and ARP hardware. The short block is topped with a port-matched and polished head infested with top grade hardware. Ferrea 1mm-over stainless steel valves, titanium retainers and double spring valvesprings are actuated by 280-degree HKS bumpsticks. A pair of Unorthodox Racing cam gears are on call to fine tune the timing.
When it comes to turbos there is always a compromise between power and response. It is also critical to select a turbo based on the intended usage of the vehicle. So a top-speed turbo can be big, Texas big. It can be bigger than a drag turbo because it will not have to spool between gears like a quarter mile unit. Tommy's turbo makes a case that there is no such thing as too big. He runs a Precision Turbo & Engine GT4780 based on a Garrett GT series unit. It has a standard bearing center section and standard aerodynamics; only R-spec GT series turbos feature full ball-bearing cartridges and the GT42 is the biggest frame with Garrett's vented inducer aerodynamics. Rest assured the GT4780 has it where it counts.
The turbo has a .96 A/R on the turbine side with a GT47 turbine wheel and a 80mm compressor wheel. Top speed boost is 36 psi but Tommy backs this off to a 'conservative' 30 psi on the street. A trick Full Race custom manifold secures the Precision turbo via a strong T6 flange. The remainder of the turbo system features a 44mm Tial Sport wastegate with V-band clamp and a 50mm Tial Sport blow-off valve. An HKS EVC EZ controls the boost while a GReddy front-mount intercooler setup puts the chill on the charge air.
One of the real gems under the hood is the Virtual Works intake manifold. This large-plenum manifold is the new king of the castle, replacing the popular Veilside piece that's been out of production for a year or so. The Virtual manifold uses a humongous 90mm Accufab throttle body; and the importance of a high-flowing intake manifold in high boost applications cannot be overstated. Dana Westover of Virtual Works said that the rule of thumb is a T4 series turbo with a 74mm compressor wheel, which will realize big benefits from the intake. He also pointed out that a Supra making 500hp saw a 100hp gain with the intake. The problem is that most people decide to go big turbo and big intake all at once and add other things like intercoolers so there is little opportunity for strict before-and-after comparisons. Virtual Works' flow testing showed a 335-cfm flow rate and .02 percent cylinder-to-cylinder variance. Optimal cylinder-to-cylinder balance is key to making outlandish power reliably; never mind peak power for a full mile.
With the mighty GT4780 exhaling 36 psi, relieving backpressure on the hot side was a big concern. Backpressure not only causes pumping losses that sacrifice power, but the restriction that creates the backpressure can be a source of heat. A huge Autobanh-built five-inch downpipe ensures that even gale force winds can be quickly evacuated from the turbine housing. Once out of the housing, spent gasses continue out a custom Autobanh five-inch exhaust system. That's right. It's a five-inch exhaust from turbine to tip. Tommy also saw fit to put the squeeze on the 2JZ with a direct-port nitrous NOS setup jetted to 180hp.
Making power is about burning fuel and to generate four-digit power you have to be hosing the cylinders with gasoline. Tommy is running a super high flow Walbro pump, custom Autobanh fuel rail and 165 lb/hr injectors from Precision Turbo & Engine. At 165 lb/hr, that's a mind blowing 1732 in cc speak, the Precision injectors are the largest the company offers and are damn near a fire hose. The 2JZ-GTE has a capable ignition system and Tommy elected to add only a HKS DL-I amplifier box.
Even the choicest of part combinations can be reduced to mediocrity with a Stone Age tuning scheme. Tommy cleared this hurdle with room to spare, employing the tried-and-proven AEM EMS plug-and-play stand-alone engine control system and a gifted tuner. Autobanh installed the unit, and Justin Nenni of Austin, Texas' Tuning Concepts worked his magic on the keyboard. Justin has tuned a number of high-horsepower Supras including Peter Blach's four-digit whip and a number of t04r.com power chart superstars. "After the motor was broken in on the dyno and it had 300 miles of street driving under its belt," Tommy says, "we were ready to tune the car. After about 10 passes on the dyno Justin was able to get the baseline tuned with a minimum of 30 psi. The car made right at the 1000-whp mark. With 36 psi we managed to get 1128 whp with a fairly heat soaked motor. With this setup, the turbo starts to spool at about 3000 rpm and it pushes full street boost (30psi) at 5800 rpm. The 1128 whp was achieved with boost only and the motor revved safely to 10,000 rpm. Peak torque was 770 lb-ft."
Going balls to the walls for a flat mile does put a strain on the suspension. So Tommy installed a set of Tein coilovers to keep the Toyota planted. The brakes are stock Supra, the transmission is the original Getrag six-speed fortified with a Tilton triple carbon clutch and lightened flywheel combination. The diff is a TRD piece, and the drivetrain runs a custom driveshaft. The Supra tears at the pavement with a huge contact patch created by 305/35-18 Nitto NT555Rs mounted on 18x11.5 CCW 505s. Up front 18x10 505s, which look like BMW M-Parallels with their five twin spoke design, are joined by 275/35-18 Nittos. No real innovation under the car, a testament to how strong the Supra is right out of the box.
Body tuning has been kept minimal as well with the addition of Stillen side skirts, a modified Wings West front lip and a vented TRD hood. Modena Autoworks of Houston installed the body parts and freshened up the stock Anthracite paint.
Inside, Tommy made the appropriate safety moves. A sweet 10-point roll cage with driver and passenger swing outs to keep ingress and egress easy for the street was installed. The cage is approved for 8.5-second quarter mile e.t.s. Leather-wrapped Sparco Milano II bucket seats and Simpson harnesses are the only other interior upgrades, save a few well-placed gauges.
The machine still sees the road on a semi-regular basis. "The car is running around the streets of Houston with low boost," Tommy says. "And since there's nothing on the streets of Houston that can keep up with this monster, I have to find fun with 1000cc-plus motorcycles. It's known as the Bike Killer." When you're picking on two-wheelers you really are living big in Texas.