The Boost Caboose! – Roadkill Ep. 57

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What if you could have a supercharger on any car, any time? In this episode of Roadkill powered by Dodge, that was the plan with the Roadkill Boost Caboose, a trailer with an engine that powers a centrifugal supercharger that sends boost to the tow vehicle! And, it’s not just any tow vehicle -- it’s the long-lost Roadkill 1978 Chevy Monza Spyder from episode 16 that was boosted with five leaf blowers mounted under the hatch. This application of boost is a few notches more absurd, but does it really work? Watch as David Freiburger and Mike Finnegan head to a secret high-speed, high-tire-smoke test facility to find out.
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(engine rumbling) - on this episode of "roadkill, we're bringing back the monza! - and we are going way beyond leaf blowers! (engine races) (engine rumbling) (engine spluttering) (tires screech) (theme music playing) (engine rumbles) (exciting rock music plays) - remember our monza? way back in 2013, we bought this thing from a used car lot, and then we boosted with five leaf blowers in the back of it. and we took it land-speed racing and went like 139 miles an hour. and ever since then, this thing has been sitting at jeff lutz's shop back there in pennsylvania. but finally, we have another idea. and the way we're going to do that is with a trailer behind the monza with an engine mounted to it. and the engine will be running, spinning a centrifugal supercharger, which will then feed into our old discharge pipe from the leaf blowers. and send boost to the engine in the monza. so it'll be a functional, power-producing boost caboose. - like most great things in life, the boost caboose idea came about after a session of tacos and beer between freiburger and i. and i really i think the beer was the impetus for this genius plan. behind these gates lies the land of abandoned engines and parts and various projects from "roadkill" and other shows that our shop manager deems too valuable to leave out here in the middle of everything else. so. - way back here is the big-block chevy that we ran in the bonneville camaro, when i blew it up. but it already has a vortech supercharger on it. thereby making it the perfect motor to mount on our trailer. but, we're going to have to take the engine apart and figure out what went wrong and try and fix it. this is like the "roadkill" tomb of broken dreams. all our leftover junk that doesn't work anymore. so this is like a cubic inch big-block chevy that made, let's see 791 horsepower on motor and 1105 at 10 pounds of boost. i think our plan here is just to rip this thing apart as it sits on the stand. mostly take the cylinder heads off and find out what went wrong. we'll probably see holes in pistons, stuff like that. my hope is that we did not melt out any of the chamber gak, anything like that. i don't think parts fell out, i think it's literally a melted hole in a piston. - ooohhhh. there's a hole. - it's pretty gnarly down here. this is the thinnest part of the piston, too, right here. so. (sighs) ah, yeah. last night didn't quite go as planned. started tearing the motor down, i was actually going to take the thing completely apart, because i was thinking, "all we need is one piston, and we're good. " but when i took out the damaged piston, i found a few things that concerned me. and now i need to show them to dave, because it's his motor, and he needs to decide are we going to put this back together with baling wire and duct tape, just because it needs to spin a blower and not move a car, or are we going to find a other motor? - good morning. - good morning. (david laughs) - i stopped last night because i pulled out the number two piston, the one with the hole in it. the rod's not entirely happy. - oh really? - you can see the heat generated from. - you can actually see the pin is torched a little bit. - yeeeah. - you could probably dingle-ball that. - no, this is junk. - let's go find our motor. - i know. - we need a motor. (exciting rock music plays) yeah. - that does not look good! - hooo! - yeah! - it broke in half! - it's not a four-door. (both laugh) it shouldn't be open back here. - why is this thing bent in half? well, that's a stupid question. oh, man. look at that! (mike groans) (both laugh) - this is, the fenders are folded in. we're about to pluck the only valuable part off of the buick, which is the 350 engine and transmission that we bought for our corvette chassis. this car is so much worse than the last time i saw it, and that's saying something. - (groaning) poor car! - it's not going to come. - ohhh. (fake cries) spent so much money, and worked so hard. only for the car to do this during transport. - i have no plan whatsoever. we're just going to hook stuff up and pull. okay. okay. (hydraulics whirring) - now it's going to feel like driving a mini-truck. (engine turns over, cranks) boom, boom, boom! - [david voiceover] the engine we pulled out of the buick is a 350 small-block chevy, different than that big-block that was blown up. but now we've got to build the boost caboose. - this was the $400 model. there was a $1600 engine test stand that we could have bought, but i thought it was going on top of a trailer. - (laughs) we now discovered this is the trailer frame. - this is the trailer now. (laughs) - yeah, i was standing around going, "man, what are we going to do?" he drew up like this rad drawing of a trailer, and all of a sudden, i'm like, "why aren't we just putting wheels and tires on this?" (lively rock music playing) what we have to do now is take the transmission off, because we're not going to use it. and then we even have motor mounts here we can start building our mounts for the trailer, even though we still don't have a trailer axle. which is a big problem. - today's gone pretty good. we have parts here. there's sparks flying. things are being attached. i'm betting by the end of the day, you might actually hear a noise out of that engine. not so much this one. in fact, we've actually not even started this one, and we haven't seen this car in about three years. so, hopefully it still runs. - we got these headers a long time ago, when we were building the vette-kart. 'cause we were going to use these tractor-pull type headers that just point straight up in the air. they've been sitting around, just waiting for this opportunity. this is a simple vortech carbureted blow-through supercharger kit for a small-block chevy, but i'm worried that the headers i just installed aren't going to fit with the blower. oh, i'm a complete chump! the blower's going to mount right here, (laughs) i have to flip the headers side-to-side, and even then, they might not work. look at how the air intake is right next to the header. not good. we've got this thing giving the illusion of being done, it's like got a lot of stuff going on. but there's a whole lot of detail left to happen, and i'm really worried about it. i'm going to have to do radiator hoses, we still have to mount the fuel cell, we still have to put axles under it, we need to make a hitch on the monza. and then there's going to be a bunch of other stuff that we haven't thought of. (dramatic music playing) - we're going to attempt to start the boost caboose for the very first time. - it might. (engine fires up) fires right up! - wow! (engine revs loudly) we win! - i'm worried that with two axles, it's actually not going to have any tongue weight. his argument for two axles is that it's more stable. 'cause like if you put one axle on it, you can grab the tongue and like turn the trailer, and if you put two, you can't. so therefore, he's thinking it doesn't do this down the highway as much. but, i think as small as the trailer is, and as big as the tires are, and how far apart they'd have to be, that we would end up with virtually no tongue weight. so my vote is one. and i think we're going with one, mostly out of laziness. we're behind schedule. here's a fun (laughs) pointer. the electric fuel pump on the monza is hooked up to the headlight switch. and so when our video guys were shooting beauty shots of the monza earlier with the headlights on, the fuel pump was running the whole time. little did anyone know, float was sunk in the carburetor. therefore, fuel was pouring down the carburetor into the engine for about half an hour while they were shooting video. so now i'm going to have to drain the oil, see how much gas is in it, then pull all the spark plugs out, see if i need to spray any fuel out of the cylinders. hopefully it's all run past the rings by now. wow! would you look at that! pure gas right at the end. i fought all the spark plugs out of this thing, and now i'm going to turn it over by hand. watch all the gas that's going to pour out of the cylinders. there we go! it's all pouring out of spark plug holes. save us a whole lot of trouble, if somebody would just throw a match right now. - this is our new cross-member for our axle studs. those are going to bolt on right there. that's going to shove up in the chassis and get welded to the chassis. it'll be amazing. (exciting music plays) (engine turns over and revs) - that's exactly how it sounded when i broke the record in ohio. (david laughs) (engine revs loudly) (mike coughs) - okay? (somber music playing) ready? - put her down. - there we go! - let's check the ride. - ohhh. this thing's good. look at all that tongue weight. - [david voiceover] and that's when we found out that it's kind of a pain in the neck to put a trailer hitch on a monza. (welder buzzing) - there we go! boom. okay. now we have to roll over the drill press, use those holes as a guide, drill through this, and get out of here. - we didn't build that part, though. - i know. so it's okay. ready? - yeah. (engine turns over and revs) - victory is ours! - what you have witnessed is the escalation from leaf blowers, look at that beauty right there, all the way to the boost caboose. the only thing it's really lacking here is the actual boost part of the program. we need to put the blower belt on and run a hose from here up to the engine, and then figure out how to tune the thing. or not. and go for a drive with this thing screaming at like 5000 rpm, making like seven pounds of boost into that engine, and maybe even making more power as a result. meanwhile, packin' it in for the night. (chain rattling) (dramatic music playing) they're doing construction on our shop and we got thrown out. so we were here, 'till like what? one in the morning last night? that's when i got home. finally got the last few details done on this thing. we're going to hook it up, and show you some of the crazines
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