IT HAS been a couple of months since we last got stuck into the Turbo Taxi. That was on Street Machine Drag Challenge Weekend, where Scotty drove the car up from Melbourne, raced for three days and came back with a new PB of 11.54@121mph. At that point we’d just added our second set of LPG injectors into the mix and upped the boost, but unfortunately the ignition system was now holding us back.
The taxi misfired and misbehaved for the whole trip, and while it went quicker than ever on Day One, it wasn’t even remotely repeatable across the rest of the weekend. Scotty tried different sparkplug gaps and threw brand new coils at it, but the problem still persisted.
Once we were back in Melbourne, we threw it on the dyno at MPW Performance to figure out if there was a simple fix. Unfortunately the coils just weren’t supplying enough power to have our sparkplugs ignite all the LPG fuel we were throwing at the motor, and it was blowing out the spark. We all scratched our heads and decided the best solution would be a voltage booster system.
Fortunately Herrod Motorsport had just the thing we needed, a JMS voltage booster. We had Jason from Tunnel Vision wire it in, and bingo! Misfiring problem solved.
We then headed to Heathcote Park Raceway for the Ford Forum Nationals to see what it could do. Scotty had his hands full racing the Toxic Avenger Territory, which you would have seen last episode, so friend of the show Bubba Medlyn took the taxi’s helm for the day.
It had rained for most of the previous night and that morning, so track conditions weren’t ideal, but Bubba managed a respectable 11.60 from just a few runs. But regardless of the driver, it wasn’t going to run a 10 at that power level.
We were at the limit of the wastegate spring we had at the time, so we stuck the taxi on the hoist at Maxx Performance and Scotty added a second spring to the ’gate to up the boost pressure. Jason from Tunnel Vision then tuned her up to run at roughly 20lb boost, which we hoped would be enough to get that 10.
Scotty drove her up to Sydney Dragway for a mid-week street meet, and on the first run it produced its fastest-ever trap speed, 129mph, despite the traction control cutting power on the launch. With the traction control off it went a best of 11.30@126mph.
The mph and 60-foot time were still down on the taxi’s best, so at this power level we were confident the car would soon see its first 10. Scotty headed out to Calder Park a couple of weeks later to give it a crack.
On the first run the taxi was hitting boost cut all the way down the track. On the second go-round, it left harder than it ever had before and looked to be on a mission until about three-quarters down the track, when the motor gave a little hiccup. Scotty kept his foot planted like an absolute savage and sent it through the timing beams. When he came off the throttle the engine gave its last breath and let go spectacularly, melting piston number four and sending a rod through the block.
And the time? You wouldn’t believe it – 11.01@125mph. Stitch-up.