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Old 05-08-2011, 08:44 AM   #1
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GTO Clutch Reservoir Install

So many of you manual tranny guys may not be aware of this "issue". The Camaro having been my first hydraulic clutch I wanted to do everything in my power to prevent any sort of future problems or premature failure. I didn't know much about the hydraulic clutch system, but as soon as I started reading more and more posts concerning possible damage due to clutch dust inside the fluid system I wanted to nip the cause in the bud. This is the article that absolutely sold me on the necessity. I've included a few pics of the finished project, the first is @2SSRS's location the others are of my car with the reservoir mounted the same as @flht99b.

http://www.rangeracceleration.com/Clutch_Care.html

I do not want ANY of the credit for this, I am simply posting some good info from Camaro5 members @flht99b and @2SSRS. Thanks, guys for your insight and help concerning parts.

You will need a GTO clutch reservoir, which is a GM part but very hard to acquire by most (believe me, I tried). I got mine from @2SSRS, and as far as I know he has quite a few on hand at any given time. Please chime in if I'm mistaken . I got my EPDM hose and EPDM cap, as well as the hardware from @flht99b. Thanks to both of you! As far as I know, I took the last of @flht99b's spare hardware so you probably won't have the luxury I did and have to do your own legwork. You'll need (2) bolts (self tapping) or a set of blind nuts, an EPDM hose (17") and an EPDM cap.

Tools and supplies you’ll need are regular and needle nose pliers (or vise grips) to get the factory clamps off the stock hose that runs from the clutch master/slave cylinder to the brake master cylinder reservoir. The firewall end will be a PITA, I used vise grips. You will re-use these clamps on the new hose, one at the new GTO clutch reservoir end, the other at firewall.

You’ll need a right angle drill and a ¼” drill bit for the finish size holes ( 2 ) that you will drill in the factory vertical bracket that currently holds the positive battery cable. I started with an 1/8” pilot hole and then finished both holes with the ¼” drill bit. The mounting hardware with the shaft on it goes in from the front of the car side of the bracket that you drilled the holes in. In other words, the hardware parts I sent with the shaft on it goes in so that the screws that screw in are on the GTO reservoir side. From the pictures I posted on the forum (http://www.camaro5.com/forums/showth...=34085&page=10 ) beginning with post # 237 you can see I made a template from sticky back paper by tracing the back of the GTO reservoir and put it on the positive battery cable mounting bracket perpendicular to the outer edge of the bracket so I could accurately locate the 2 mounting holes ( center punched so the 1/8” pilot hole would not wander ). @flht99b

I used a dremel to make the pilot holes, it didn't have much torque so it took patience. Then I finagled a small cordless drill in there to enlarge the holes to1/4".

To remove the positive battery cable from the bracket, you undo the 3 snaps at the top of the red cover so it comes off. Then you squeeze the black part of the plastic holder, the side closest to the firewall and pull up and the battery cable with the black plastic mount/cover slides up and off the metal bracket. I pushed it aside and ensured it was kept away from all metal for safety. Once the GTO reservoir is installed, just slide the positive battery cable and it’s black holder back onto the bracket and snap the top red cover back on.
You’ll need DOT 3 or DOT 4 brake fluid, your choice. Factory is DOT3.
You’ll need some method ( a motorcycle brake/fork syringe with a small hose on the end works best ) to remove the existing brake fluid in the brake master cylinder reservoir. They can be found at motorcycle shops and I understand Wal-Mart carries them in the motorcycle section of the store.
You’ll need lots of rags, fender covers, paper, whatever to ensure brake fluid does not come in contact with any painted finish. You can get 99% of the existing brake fluid out of the master cylinder reservoir with the syringe very easily, there will be only a few drops of fluid left in the hose you are replacing so you can minimize the spillage of brake fluid to almost zero. I had a single drop hit the sloped part of the shock tower and it ran, instantly wiped it up but there is still a noticeable "stain". Brake fluid eats paint like a fat kid eats cake! Be sure NOT to pump the brake pedal for any reason while you have the brake fluid removed from the brake reservoir, you could possibly introduce air into the system and then would have to bleed the master cylinder and/or entire brake system.
Once you’ve finished the installation, just top off the brake master cylinder reservoir and fill the new GTO clutch reservoir. Pump the clutch pedal several times, add fluid as necessary and you are good to go. There is no need to bleed the clutch or brake master cylinder unless you intend to flush all the fluid out of them.
There is no relocation of the battery cable with the mounting position and method I choose. If you are reasonably careful measuring and drilling the 2 reservoir mounting holes, the clutch reservoir will be dead level in both planes.


Again, much of this is taken from information given to me by @flht99b and @2SSRS, so GIVE CREDIT WHERE CREDIT IS DUE! I operated on advice given to me by them, and they deserve any thanks you might have . All I have done is put it into a single DIY post. Hope this helps!
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Old 05-08-2011, 09:49 AM   #2
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Great write up
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Old 05-08-2011, 10:03 AM   #3
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Old 05-08-2011, 06:34 PM   #4
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Here is a picture of my install location and a write up I sent to those that are interested in the parts I used and the method / location of mounting the reservoir. You'll notice the 2 white spacers that go with the hardware I used to move the reservoir away from the battery cable 1/2" and make it easier to pour fluid into the reservoir.
If you decide to mount the GTO reservoir as I did, here are some installation tips / instructions. Feel free to PM me if you have any questions. No matter how you decide to go about this, separating the clutch and brake reservoirs is one of the best mods you can do to your car.
Tools and supplies you’ll need are regular and needle nose pliers to get the factory clamps off the stock hose that runs from the clutch master/slave cylinder to the brake master cylinder reservoir. The clamp at the firewall ( clutch master cylinder ) can be a bit of a challenge but with patience it can be slid back on the hose. I used a medium sized needle nose pliers and plenty of light ( 53 year old eyes ) to release this clamp. You will re-use these clamps on the new hose, one at the new GTO clutch reservoir end, the other at the clutch master/slave cylinder end on the firewall.
You’ll need a right angle drill and a ¼” drill bit for the finish size holes ( 2 ) that you will drill in the factory vertical bracket that currently holds the positive battery cable. I started with an 1/8” pilot hole and then finished both holes with the ¼” drill bit. The mounting hardware with the shaft on it goes in from the front of the car side of the bracket that you drilled the holes in. In other words, the hardware parts I used with the shaft on it goes in so that the screws that screw in are on the GTO reservoir side. From the pictures I posted on the forum (http://www.camaro5.com/forums/showth...=34085&page=10 ) beginning with post # 237 you can see I made a template from sticky back paper by tracing the back of the GTO reservoir and put it on the positive battery cable mounting bracket perpendicular to the outer edge of the bracket so I could accurately locate the 2 mounting holes ( center punched so the 1/8” pilot hole would not wander ).
To temporarily remove the positive battery cable from the bracket, you undo the 3 snaps at the top ( red ) so the top part of the red cover comes off. Then you squeeze the black part of the plastic holder, squeeze the side closest to the firewall and pull up and the battery cable with the black plastic mount/cover slides up and off the metal bracket. I pushed it aside and wrapped it in a thick rag for safety. Once the GTO reservoir is installed, just slide the positive battery cable and it’s black holder back onto the bracket and snap the top red cover back on.
You’ll need DOT 3 or DOT 4 brake fluid, your choice. Factory is DOT3. I’ve upgraded both my brakes and clutch hydraulic systems to ATE Super Blue Racing DOT4 brake fluid for its higher boiling point. I have run 1 Autocross and 2 road courses with my car so I felt the higher boiling point of DOT4 was desirable.
You’ll need Phillips and/or flat head screw driver, the hardware I supply from Ace Hardware takes either type of screwdriver, you’ll use a screw driver at both ends of the mounting hardware. Once you see the hardware you’ll see what I mean. I also used a touch of blue Locktite on the mounting hardware for good measure.
You’ll need some method ( a motorcycle brake/fork syringe with a small hose on the end works best ) to remove the existing brake fluid in the brake master cylinder reservoir. They can be found at motorcycle shops and I understand Wal-Mart carries them in the motorcycle section of the store.
You’ll need lots of rags, fender covers, paper, whatever to ensure brake fluid does not come in contact with any painted finish. You can get 99% of the existing brake fluid out of the master cylinder reservoir with the syringe very easily, there will be only a few drops of fluid left in the hose you are replacing so you can minimize the spillage of brake fluid to almost zero. Be sure NOT to pump the BRAKE pedal for any reason while you have the brake fluid removed from the brake reservoir, you could possibly introduce air into the system and then would have to bleed the master cylinder and/or entire brake system.
Once you’ve finished the installation, just top off the brake master cylinder reservoir and fill the new GTO clutch reservoir. Pump the clutch pedal several times, add fluid as necessary and you are good to go. There is no need to bleed the clutch or brake master cylinder unless you intend to flush all the fluid out of them.
There is no relocation of the battery cable with the mounting position and method I choose. If you are reasonably careful measuring and drilling the 2 reservoir mounting holes, the clutch reservoir will be dead level in both planes.
Hope this helps. Let me know if you have any questions. It’s really easy, just takes a bit of time and care. I spent weeks thinking about where and how I wanted to mount the reservoir ( wanted it to look OEM if possible ) and then more time tracking down the EPDM cap, EPDM hose and just the right hardware to mount the reservoir but the whole installation took less than 2 hours.
Ed M.
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Last edited by flht99b; 05-08-2011 at 06:37 PM. Reason: More information
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Old 06-22-2011, 12:37 AM   #5
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So you mount the new GTO reservoir. Now you have two reservoirs...the other being the brake.

Exactly what do I do with the lines?? That's what has me confused. Where does the line from the new GTO reservoir go and what about the brake line? I know I disconnect something, but from where and ... well, where do I put the new ones?
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Old 06-22-2011, 04:26 AM   #6
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You cap off the brake reservoir where the original hose was originally attached. The hose that went to the brake reservoir originally now goes to the GTO reservoir you just installed. Depending on where you installed the GTO reservoir the original hose may or may not fit.
You need EPDM hose and a EPDM cap, regular "gas or hydraulic hose" you find at the parts store is not compatible with brake fluid. The kit I made up has the cap and longer hose as well as mounting hardware for the GTO reservoir.
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Old 06-22-2011, 12:23 PM   #7
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I installed this setup this past weekend and it seems a whole lot better!!!! With less than a 1000 miles on my new car I would get the "burned clutch" smell every now and again. Now that I have this installed (I used Super Blue Brake Fluid also) I dont get that smell anymore and the clutch seems more responsive.

It may be just in my head but either way I like the mod!!!!
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Old 06-22-2011, 01:08 PM   #8
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This was the first mod I did too the car over a year ago. Well worth the money for the insurance. Absolutley amazing the difference in color between the brake/clutch reservoirs. You can see the plug in picture 2 on the side of the brake reservoir. I used braided line (only cause I had it in the garage) and dressed up the ends with fake red -AN fittings, again had them from another project car.
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Old 06-23-2011, 01:09 AM   #9
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AHHHH!!!!

I got it!

Ok. Cap off the line that comes out of the brake fluid reservoir AT the reservoir. Attach that line to the new GTO clutch fluid reservoir (as long as it is long enough). Correct? Sounds right. Question....(since I'm not there looking at my brake fluid reservoir)....there is another line that comes out of the brake fluid reservoir, right? Basically, there are two lines that come out of it ... one for the brakes and one for the clutch?

And, do you have any more of the kits for sale and if so, how much are you charging? Send me a pm.
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Old 06-23-2011, 03:50 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TAG UR IT View Post
AHHHH!!!!

I got it!

Ok. Cap off the line that comes out of the brake fluid reservoir AT the reservoir. Attach that line to the new GTO clutch fluid reservoir (as long as it is long enough). Correct? Sounds right. Question....(since I'm not there looking at my brake fluid reservoir)....there is another line that comes out of the brake fluid reservoir, right? Basically, there are two lines that come out of it ... one for the brakes and one for the clutch?

And, do you have any more of the kits for sale and if so, how much are you charging? Send me a pm.
There is only 1 black rubber hose coming out of the brake reservoir.
Ed M.
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Old 06-23-2011, 04:50 AM   #11
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How necessary is this mod on a bonestock SS? My car has about 1400 miles and the fluid still looks like honey. No crap to be found in it yet, but I'm not clutch-dumping nor do I plan to.

Also, this mod will not affect the smell of the clutch burning as posted above. If you ride or slip the clutch it will burn and stink regardless of the additional reservoir.
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Old 06-23-2011, 05:17 AM   #12
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Originally Posted by ckaram View Post
How necessary is this mod on a bonestock SS? My car has about 1400 miles and the fluid still looks like honey. No crap to be found in it yet, but I'm not clutch-dumping nor do I plan to.

Also, this mod will not affect the smell of the clutch burning as posted above. If you ride or slip the clutch it will burn and stink regardless of the additional reservoir.
Over time even during normal "non spirited" driving clutch dust does enter the clutch hydraulic slave unit inside the bell housing contaminating the brake and clutch hydraulic system fluid as they share a common reservoir point on top of the brake master cylinder. Corvettes as well as the GTO had a separate reservoir for the clutch hydraulic system to prevent this from happening. The real issue in my mind is keeping the brake hydraulic system clean. By separating the clutch and brake hydraulic systems reservoirs neither system contaminates the other. With the separate clutch reservoir, it is an easy, low cost and not very messy task to change the clutch system fluid with out touching the brake hydraulic system too. This mod will not eliminate the clutch burning smell if excessive clutch slippage is encountered. However, keeping the clutch hydraulic system clean does improve clutch actuation over the long term. I have spent some time measuring clutch and brake fluid temperature and the fluid in the clutch hydraulic system consistently runs hotter than the brake system fluid under normal conditions. The clutch hydraulic slave unit sits inside the bell housing and is subject to engine heat as well as clutch heat and does not posses an effective way to dissipate the heat. In my opinion our cars should have had a separate clutch reservoir and I would be surprised if the ZL1 does not have one from the factory.
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Old 06-23-2011, 08:45 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TAG UR IT View Post
AHHHH!!!!

I got it!

Ok. Cap off the line that comes out of the brake fluid reservoir AT the reservoir. Attach that line to the new GTO clutch fluid reservoir (as long as it is long enough). Correct? Sounds right. Question....(since I'm not there looking at my brake fluid reservoir)....there is another line that comes out of the brake fluid reservoir, right? Basically, there are two lines that come out of it ... one for the brakes and one for the clutch?

And, do you have any more of the kits for sale and if so, how much are you charging? Send me a pm.

There is only one clutch line that goes into the side of the master cylinder. Here is another tips, the brake fluid will slowly eat at the rubber boot. So, what I did is fill the outlet of the brake reservoir with a bolt then placed the rubber cap over and I haven't had a problem since. Make sure if you don't have enough hose you get hose that hold up against brake fluid. Depending on where you mount the new clutch reservoir, you should have enough factory hose. Does this help?
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Old 06-23-2011, 09:26 AM   #14
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Does anyone have a "kit" that is for purchase?
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Old 06-23-2011, 11:27 AM   #15
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The reservoir is a Holden from a 2004-2006 GTO, any GM dealer can order it for about $20 bucks. 2 2 1/2 pop rivets, 1 brake reservoir plug and the factory line. If you need more line, any auto parts store sells it. Whole project = $25.00 including beer.....
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Old 06-23-2011, 10:25 PM   #16
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ok, easy enough. . . but where do you find the brake rez plugs at?
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Old 06-23-2011, 10:28 PM   #17
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Anyone know what the "capacity" of this reservoir is? I've got one from an 02 Camaro LS1 T56 car is it looks very similar in size compared to the GTO reservoir.
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Old 06-23-2011, 10:34 PM   #18
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not much i think its 2-4 oz
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Old 06-24-2011, 04:48 AM   #19
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I want to caution anyone considering this mod. You MUST USE EPDM (ethylene propylene diene Monomer (M-class) rubber) which a synthetic type of rubber for the cap and hose. It is the same material your brake lines are made of. DO NOT use ordinary gas/oil hose you find at your local parts store. Brake fluid will eat ordinary gas/oil hose. EPDM caps and hose is far more expensive than ordinary gas/oil hose. The hose and caps I use in my kit are EPDM and will last as long as any brake hose in your car.
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Old 06-24-2011, 06:22 AM   #20
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Quote:
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I want to caution anyone considering this mod. You MUST USE EPDM (ethylene propylene diene Monomer (M-class) rubber) which a synthetic type of rubber for the cap and hose. It is the same material your brake lines are made of. DO NOT use ordinary gas/oil hose you find at your local parts store. Brake fluid will eat ordinary gas/oil hose. EPDM caps and hose is far more expensive than ordinary gas/oil hose. The hose and caps I use in my kit are EPDM and will last as long as any brake hose in your car.
Ed M.
Thanks Ed! I can't stress the importance of this enough either! This is VERY important, no one wants brake fluid running out all over the car or worse, loosing the braking ability because they used the cheaper rubber plugs and hoses! This is not a project to short cut and save money......
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Old 06-24-2011, 07:41 AM   #21
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Thanks Ed! I can't stress the importance of this enough either! This is VERY important, no one wants brake fluid running out all over the car or worse, loosing the braking ability because they used the cheaper rubber plugs and hoses! This is not a project to short cut and save money......
I cannot locate any epdm hose or caps at any auto parts stores here in Arkansas. I've even tried tractor supply company. I usually get a blank stare in return when I ask if they sell epdm.

The only hose I found that says it's made of EPDM rubber is a prestone radiator overflow hose, I called prestone and the guy said I shouldn't use it for brake fluid....maybe he thought I was using it under higher pressure? What do you guys think, can I use this hose? If not, I will need to order from somewhere online.

Are there varying types or grades of epdm, or can I use this radiator overflow hose?
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Old 06-24-2011, 11:18 AM   #22
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This is the one I used:

https://www.napaonline.com/Catalog/C...282495029&An=0
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Old 06-24-2011, 02:10 PM   #23
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I have all the parts to do this, what kind of drill is used to put the holes in the positive battery post? Mines obviously too big...
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Old 06-24-2011, 04:32 PM   #24
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JSC81 View Post
I have all the parts to do this, what kind of drill is used to put the holes in the positive battery post? Mines obviously too big...
I think some of the guys used a 90 degree drill, not real common, I know. I am going out to my car to sort that issue out myself.....Maybe I will try my dremel tool.
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2011 IOM SS/RS, M6. Look up our all generation Camaro club website at Heartland Camaros
Gforce Engineering Drivetrain, ECS 1500 Supercharger, TSP Cam, Alky Controls Meth single nozzle. 91 octane, 698 RWHP 625 rwtq. 4200#+, Tuned by Justin "Justune" Kalwei
11.57 @ 126.8 mph with a crappy 1.80 60'.....still learning to drive....M&H DR's and skinnies on 17" Welds.

Last edited by TornadoSS; 06-25-2011 at 10:08 AM. Reason: Added info in new posting
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Old 06-25-2011, 10:07 AM   #25
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Reservoir completed!

Hi Guys, as promised I have a few pics of my install, which is pretty straight forward and mounted in pretty much the same way as some others here, on the battery post. First though, many thanks to flht99b and 2SSRS for the parts! I used a masking tape template traced from back of reservoir and located the holes to my liking. I opted to start the holes with an 1/8" dremel drill bit. Then I removed the CAI Inc intake and used a reg sized battery drill motor with a 1/4" bit from the front side of the battery post bracket, using the pilot holes for a guide. Everything is pretty much self explanatory from here so just take your time and make sure you have all of your paint protected from the brake fluid! Here's a few pics of my install -








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2011 IOM SS/RS, M6. Look up our all generation Camaro club website at Heartland Camaros
Gforce Engineering Drivetrain, ECS 1500 Supercharger, TSP Cam, Alky Controls Meth single nozzle. 91 octane, 698 RWHP 625 rwtq. 4200#+, Tuned by Justin "Justune" Kalwei
11.57 @ 126.8 mph with a crappy 1.80 60'.....still learning to drive....M&H DR's and skinnies on 17" Welds.
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