Kilduff Lightning Rod

Working on my Kilduff Lightning Rod Shifter. Painted the unit Black today and trried it with some lighting under it. I’ve ordered some LED Tape to put light under the engravings and make them stand out in the dark.

Kilduff Lightning Rod shifter with Faceplate in Gloss Black

Kilduff Lightning Rod with Faceplate Gloss Black

Kilduff Lightning Rod Shifter

Kilduff Lightning Rod Shifter

Kilduff Lightning Rod Shifter Lighted Indicators

Kilduff Lightning Rod Shifter with Indicators lit up


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Kilduff Lightning Rod Shifter

So there have been times in the last 10 years I actually thought we would get Ethyl together and start driving the piss out of her. During those times I entertain myself with ideas of things I would like to do. One thing I have been working on for a couple of years is a more business like and functional console that accommodates the reverse manual shift pattern of the TH400. I do not or am not able to drink anything in the car, mostly because of the 250 lbs springs on the coil overs which require a mouthpiece when driving on Texas concrete roads. So right off the bat the cup holders had to go. Got rid of them a few years ago but the console lacked the functionality I wanted. Even the nice looking M6 shift boots really bug me since you cannot tell what the transmission is doing in a glance. So I got hold of Brian Kilduff and picked up once of his fantastic Lighting Rod shifters. I thought the multi-lever shifter was cool, because [B]”race car.”[/B]

The unit is as solid as a piece of construction gear. I swear you would expect a D8 Caterpillar shifter to be this strong. The unit was mainly made to stand alone though Brian does sell consoles. He doesn’t provide anything that can be sculpted into the existing console lines, his consoles are just folded aluminum tunnels. I like the unpolished aluminum look but after fires and all the horseshit we’ve come through I didn’t have the heart or coin to ask Steve to make it work. So I just started the project myself. I had already been working on the console looking for ideas on electronics, switches, and so forth. In early versions I tried to use ABS Plastic to form a replacement for the shift boot.

Right away the window switches were a problem. The switch box is huge under the console. I would have loved to have scrapped the OEM Switches and put my own in..

At one point the panel hosted the fire suppression handles as well as the electronics.

Unable to overcome the switches, the earlier versions envisioned a quick release panel that the new switches would be put in (Transbrake and Lineloc). This way they would be accessible with the 1/4 turn fastener. That was used early on and eventually the carbon fiber replacement for the cup holders came to host the Leash Boost Control Display.

So I picked up the Kilduff and started trying to figure how to integrate it since it wasn’t an easy swap. In one version I built my own sheet metal console,

Wrestling with the Kilduff and fabricating the necessary components was sort of fun. I sure wish I could lay fiberglass or carbon fiber.

Eventually I have decided I have to cut the OEM Console. Didn’t want to do it but didn’t cut enough to hurt the structural integrity of it. First I mocked up the base cover with cardboard and fitted it so the console trim piece would still snap in. One of th3e difficult things about that trim piece is that they seem to have designed it so nothing else would work with it, lots of curves. I just straightened them out some.

Eventually I even cut the center trim brace on the trim piece.

Fitment seems pretty good and gear shifter travel seems to be okay. Ther is adequate room to mount the electronics behind the shifter, including the Leash boost control window which I am really considering moving above the Radio or in the hole the radio will leave. I am using aluminum as the base. Haven’t decided on the thickness but will probably have it as thick as I can and still snap the consoie trim back in place.

Here are a few shots with the shift levers in different positions.







[B]1-2 Shift[/B]

[B]2-3 Shift[/B]

So I cut another plate out today to see what I could do about using the shifter markings. Think it turned out great. I need one of their lips to smooth the edges of the cut out.

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Track Shots


Shots provided by the CTSV Club who arranged the photographer. I am very grateful to the CTSV Club for their gracious hosting of the track day.

Great Burnout shot captured by the CTSV Club on March 15 2015

Great Burnout shot captured by the CTSV Club on March 15 2015


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What it is really all about

Friends along the way make this all worthwhile.

Jacob and Steve

James Karger and Mike Franks

Loyd Mead

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Dialing Her In and Updating Her

We were very excited after the 9.29 @ 154 pass. We pushed her a little too hard and destroyed a couple of spark plugs. So now we are getting a head job done. Should be finished in a week. Chris Nichols at GForce Engineering also stepped up and found us some solid subframe bushings that will help us stop the car from being so squirrel y on the launch. We still have some work to do on the Boost control and the two step but cannot resolve those until we get the car to hook up. We are going to look at dropping in a 3.25 gear and the Kilduff Lightning Rod Shifter while we are at it. Trapping above 150 tends to point out a lot of weaknesses. One such problem was the weatherstripping around the windshield which the wind tended to tear out. Scared ten years off of James as it blew loose and flapped in the wind at 150ish. We temporarily taped the weatherstripping but need to find a better long term solution. Likewise, the rubber bumper cover began to tear off at the high speeds. I used washers and screws to bolt the up but will replace that with 1/4 turn fasteners.  Finally we are going to make a serious effort to get the rollbar sorted out by improving the door post mounts.


GForce Engineering Subframe Busings

GForce Engineering Subframe Bushings-2

Ethyl Waiting on Her Heads

Plug Failure

Gained lots of room eliminating cruise control

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03/15/2015 Ennis Texas Results Photographs

Thanks to Victor Flores for a number of these

Ennis Texas 03/15/2015-1

Ennis Texas 03/15/2015-2

Ennis Texas 03/15/2015-3

Ennis Texas 03/15/2015-4

Ennis Texas 03/15/2015-5

Ennis Texas 03/15/2015-6

Ennis Texas 03/15/2015-7

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03/13/2015 Ennis Texas Photographs

Ennis Texas 03/13/2015-1

Ennis Texas 03/13/2015-2

Ennis Texas 03/13/2015-3

Ennis Texas 03/13/2015-4

Ennis Texas 03/13/2015-5

Ennis Texas 03/13/2015-6

Ennis Texas 03/13/2015-7

Ennis Texas 03/13/2015-8

Ennis Texas 03/13/2015-9


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Kilduff Lightning Rod Shifter

Going to try  to incorporate a Kilduff Lightning Rod Shifter. It is a really high quality product produced by Kilduff Machine IN California. Brian Kilduff is the owner.  Brian is exceptionally easy to work with and delivered the high quality product as promised. We knew there would be challenges going in as the shifter unit itself is self contained. It measures longer and narrower than the OEM  GTO shifter and is longer and wider than the B&M Quicksilver. Brian makes a very nice console addition that does fit very well to the shifter assembly. The problem is marrying it up to the GTO Dash Panel trim that hooks to the current OEM setup. Alternatives would include

  • modifying the OEM console  or
  • just making a new console. Issues include

Issues with the fitment include

  • Overall length of the shift unit which is self contained. The unit really will look good as a standalone unit not associated with a console.
  • The current shifter throw gets really close to the front dash panel
  • The OEM GTO has electric windows with controls integrated into the console and the Body Control Module. While they can be relocated, circuit integration ofr each control to each window is over my head.
  • The OEM GTO Traction Control button is in the console.
  • The overall OEM Console is integrated into the dash panel with asymetric curving trim that is hard to replicate and hard to fit custom additions to.




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Leash Boost Controller

As I understand it, the boost controller gives you a variable spring in the wastegate. It is a gate pressure controller actually. Some people even do not run springs in wastgegates when they have boost controllers. The controller creates pressure in the wastegate. That pressure either comes from Manifold pressure or Co2. The pressure in the wastegates called Gate Pressure actually performs the same function as springs do except, the gate pressure control makes it more accurate and you have a broader ability to set the gate curves differently.

The Boost Leash has a launch stage that you program the desired launch psi. It has 5 time based stages that start after the launch input is activated and released. The 5 stages have time delay, rate of pressure increase, and psi for each stage.

There is also a datalog screen that datalogs the time, boost and Gate psi curve so you can see what the pressure curve looks like which aids in tuning.

Without the boost controller and with 18 lbs springs in the gates, we had a hard time building boost on the line, foot and transbreaking would result in so much building it blew the tires completely away. Driving the car on the street was like holding a loaded shotgun to your balls, It you nailed it and threw 26 lbs of boost at it all at once, even at 100 MPH the car would break the tires loose and scare the shit out of me, ask me how I know this. The boost controller gives us a chance to set up track friendly boost curves or stages with curves. Leaving 4 lbs boost springs let the car default to about 5-10 lbs of boost which is manageable. On a prepped track we can bring boost in fast but not like the supercharger did. We can manage it to what the track will hold. At least that is the theoiry. I probably won’t be driving around playing with it on the street, it will really come into play at the track.

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Corbeau Forza Seats

I have been wanting aftermarket seats for years. Even realizing the GTO seats are better than most of what I could get, I still wanted something lighter and with a different look. SNL had a Camaro in with Corbeau Forza Wide Seats. I sat in one and my butt actually slipped in and out without a lot of friction. So I looked around for several months and finally decided there was never going to be any used ones come up that someone wasn’t trying to rob everyone with. I just up and bought one from Racing Seats USA in Delhi.

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