Reader's Rides: Kevin Jewer's 7-Second RWD Talon

March 8, 2017 / by Bradley Iger

We take a look inside Kevin Jewer's rear-wheel drive converted Eagle Talon that makes 1000 horsepower and runs 7s in the quarter mile.

Necessity, as they say, is the mother of invention. That sentiment embodies the spirit of Kevin Jewer’s 7-second Eagle Talon, a car which sends all of its 1000hp where you might not necessarily expect. “This car was converted to rear-wheel drive by Buschur Racing back in the mid-90s, and for the exact same reason I wanted it,” Jewer explains.

Jewer’s fastest pass so far, running 55 psi of boost and a 100 shot.


“After running AWD DSMs and EVOs for 8 years I was tired of breaking driveline parts. I didn't want to be limited by that anymore, just as Buschur didn't ten years earlier. In addition to driveline strength, a major draw for me was the desire to have a consistent test bed for trying new ideas and measuring changes in performance. A RWD auto transmission car is consistent enough for this, and it has been an endless source of learning for me over the years.”

Ten years on, Jewer’s combination has seen a number of different configurations over the seasons. “With this setup, converter selection is tricky and nitrous is normally a requirement. However, with the right converter it can be made to work without any nitrous at all.”

Jewer says he acquired the car in 2007 and after making a few tweaks, the car was ready to make its track debut the following season. The Talon is motivated by the same 2.0-liter Mitsubishi 4G63 that the car was born with, and even still uses the stock block, crank and OEM timing components. But that’s about where the pedestrian attributes of this beast end.

“This car has also served as a test bed for compound turbocharging,” Jewer says. “In a compound setup, one large turbocharger feeds a second smaller turbocharger and the pressure ratios multiply, and the result is that tons of boost becomes available very quickly. In the beginning nearly everyone argued that this wouldn't work on a spark ignition engine, but I've been testing it since 2009 and it has been working very well for me, and has now started a bit of a trend.”

The Mitsubishi 4G63’s setup includes FFWD Connection Vader rods that support Wiseco 1400HD pistons, while Forced Performance FP4R camshafts with Fidanza adjustable gears are installed in a ported cylinder head. SS valves are installed on the intake side and Ferrea Super Alloy valves are used for the exhaust. When it comes to the boost, the unique setup is best explained by Jewer himself:

“I use two Forced Performance turbos. The small (secondary) one is a 59mm GT3582HTA in T3 fitment, and the large (primary) turbo is a 76mm 4505 HTZ in T4 fitment. Combined the two turbos make up to 65 psi (more is available), and I can spool from idle to 60 psi in 3 seconds on the transbrake. The car is launched at this boost level.”

Jewer setup includes Wiseco 1400HD pistons, which he reports have been stout enough to withstand the abuse of four race seasons straight before being replaced as a regular maintenance item. The top end of the 4G63 sports Forced Performance FP4R camshafts installed in a ported cylinder head. Since moving to FFWD Connection aluminum rods, Jewer says he’s been replacing the rod and piston combination every two seasons just to be safe. “But, two seasons can easily be a couple hundred passes or dyno pulls, so that's a pretty long life expectancy. This car gets run a lot.”

With all the grunt sent to the rear wheels through a Powerglide gearbox and routed through a GM 12-bolt rear end, the combination is good for consistent low 8-second passes, and personal best of 7.91 at 180 mph with 55 psi of boost and a 100 shot of nitrous. And despite the rigors of competition with such a high-strung setup, Jewer reports the combination has been very reliable.

“I run the car in all of the local import events, WCF at MIR in the fall, the DSM/EVO/GTR Shootout at Norwalk, and I run the local X275 series at New England Dragway. The Wiseco 1400HD pistons have been outstanding for me. I previously ran about four seasons on a set before I would replace them as maintenance items. Even with ETs to low 8s they had no issues holding up to the abuse. The tremendous strength of the pistons and pins and excellent availability make them an easy choice.”

The Talon’s compound turbo setup consists of a Forced Performance 4505 HTA with a 45R-based 76mm billet compressor for the big turbo and a Forced Performance 3582HTA with a 35R-based 61mm billet compressor for the smaller unit. The main advantage of compound turbocharging for SI engines is quick spool, which is especially useful when paring a small 122-inch four cylinder motor and an automatic transmission auto trans.

Ten years on, Jewer and his Talon don’t show signs of slowing down any time soon. “All of these events are awesome and running strong,” he explains. “I also regular do street nights and track rentals to test the car. Lots of testing. I think it's great that 20 years after this car was originally built, it has been rebuilt and upgraded a number of times and is still raced regularly at a number of different events.” So do we, Kevin!

Specs:

  • Stock block (fully filled) - 2-liter, 122 cubic inches
  • Stock crank
  • FFWD Connection Vader rods
  • Wiseco 1400HD pistons
  • Copper gasket with O-ring
  • Forced Performance FP4R cams w/ Fidanza adjustable gears (cam card: 
  • Ferrea SS intake valves 1mm over
  • Ferrea superalloy exhaust valves (not sure on size)
  • OEM timing components
  • Ported head
  • Powerglide transmission
  • GM 12 bolt rear
  • Ladder bar rear, strange ultra strut front
  • Stock ECU with ECMlink software
  • Forced Performance 4505 HTA for the big turbo, 45R based 76mm billet compressor
  • Forced Performance 3582HTA for the small turbo, 35R based 61mm billet compressor
  • Mechanical fuel pump with 8 Fuel Injector Clinic high-z 1650s
This dyno sheet looks pretty impressive to us, but Jewer is quick to point out that it’s a bit misleading. “An auto car with an 8500 rpm converter and a 10k rpm redline doesn't dyno well. It's not really a curve, but a single hold point. Graphed versus time, however, it's a fairly normal looking curve.

Topics: FEATURES, featured, CAR FEATURES

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Written by Bradley Iger

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