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Direct Support—Continuing the Blue Mule Saga with Motion Raceworks


Motion Raceworks Blue Mule Camaro Project CarBy Stephanie Davies

Photos Courtesy of Motion Raceworks

The Blue Mule, previously introduced within the pages of Fastest Street Car, is the brainchild of Doug and Andy Cook at Motion Raceworks in Davenport, Iowa. If you’re having trouble recalling this monster of a build, allow us to refresh your memory. This street-legal, 7-second 2018 Camaro SS was built with a simple mission in mind — showcasing the new Gen V LT’s capabilities and eliminating confusion surrounding its direct-injection technology.

With project partners like Chevrolet Performance, HP Tuners, and Precision Turbo, Motion Raceworks’ Andy and Doug Cook planned and prepared for the Blue Mule with some of the best names in the business. The Camaro features relatively limited, albeit badass, upgrades in an effort to test the OE parts’ true potential by pushing them to the limit.

Setting out to build the fastest sixth-generation Camaro in the world, Motion Raceworks also wanted to locate the absolute threshold of individual stock parts to better assist customers with their own builds.

Texas Speed and Performance LT Cam/Spring Kit
Texas Speed and Performance of Georgetown, Texas, provided a Zero-Degree Cam Phaser Lockout, and the company also custom-ground a camshaft for Doug and Andy’s Blue Mule project.
The Motion Raceworks team chose Texas Speed and Performance Gen V LT1/L83/L86 .660-inch Dual Spring Kit with PAC Valve Springs, Titanium Retainers, and PRC Integrated Seat/Seals for this build. The dual valve springs used in the kit feature a proprietary spring developed specifically for the Gen 5 6.2-liter LT1 engine, which requires a taller installed height than the typical LS engine. Developed with the help of PAC Racing, this .660-inch dual spring kit still offers excellent valvetrain control, even for the more aggressive hydraulic-roller camshafts.

“We’re trying not to jump to replacing every part, which is usually what people do when they build a car,” Doug Cook, co-owner of Motion Raceworks, explained. “We want to push the stock parts to the extreme to be able to gauge their capacity, and report back to our customers. This is not a build that will ever be ‘done.’ It’s an ongoing project.”

While the Blue Mule retains its stock transmission, part of that ongoing development is pushing the limits of a largely stock drivetrain. The way Doug explains it, “Chevy Performance wanted to see how far we could take the Camaro with the ZL1 billet torque converter, a Circle D flexplate, and otherwise stock parts.

For this reason, the transmission remains “bone-stock.” After a consultation with Rodney from RPM Transmissions, who told Doug there were not a lot of changes that could be made, the team decided to run with it, and see “what they could break.”

ARP, Johnson Lifters, Texas Speed Roller Tip Rockers
These valve springs are also said to offer excellent durability and stability and will work well with factory-style lifters. PAC uses a proprietary process called nanopeening that increases the residual stress of the wire, meaning that it compresses the molecules together tightly to help bolster their bond. This greatly reduces the chances of spring fatigue and failure. This kit also includes the patent-pending Precision Race Components integrated valve seat and seal that makes for a simple installation without any possibility tearing the valve seals. Chosen to finish out the modifications to the engine were Texas Speed Roller Tip rocker arms, LT4 GM head gaskets, ARP head studs, and Johnson lifters.

According to Chevy Performance, the high-stall converter provides up to a 45-percent increase in stall speed over the standard unit, resulting in consistent lower 60-foot times and quicker overall ETs. Of course, the ultimate stall speed achieved depends entirely on the modifications, torque management, tires, and track surface, so individual results may vary.

With that in mind, we dive headfirst into what it takes to tune a build like The Blue Mule, and break down the differences in tuning a direct-injection engine versus port fuel injection, why they are necessary, and how Motion Raceworks ensures this Camaro is performing at a high level.

Motion Racework also fit the LT1 with its own Billet AFM Delete Valley Cover. This unit features O-ring seal ports for the factory AFM, easing the removal of AFM-style lifters. It also accepts the factory oil pressure sensor, and features a factory thickness for fuel pump ptimization.
The Frankenstein Engine Dynamics’ Freakshow Billet Intake Manifold, featuring a 2,000-horsepower-capable, two-piece intake plenum lets this powerplant breathe freely.
HP Tuners
To dial in the new combo, Motion Raceworks chose HP Tuner’s new MPVI2 tuning module, which offers features like Bluetooth, a proprietary expansion port, and mobile device support, enabling faster and easier reading, editing, and writing of the Camaro’s calibration.
Precision Turbo mirror image turbochargers
Precision Turbo’s new mirror-image turbochargers deliver boost that should push the power to unbelievable levels. We will offer more detail on these turbos in an upcoming story.
MagnaFuel, Motion Raceworks
Motion Raceworks is proud of the unique fuel system feeding this beast. Its team constructed a fuel cell mounted in the rear driver side. This self-contained, 6-gallon cell is hidden beneath the carpeting. It features an in-tank Magnafuel MP-4312 Pro Tuner 750 Pump, as well as a feed and return line to the Magnafuel MP-9950-B-BLK Boost Reference Regulator. The secondary fuel system is contained and activates off of an on-demand toggle or via a predetermined voltage from the throttle position sensor. Frankenstein Freak Show LT Billet Rails are the final path to a set of Fuel Injector Development 1600cc/min fuel injectors.


Chevrolet Performance


Frankenstein Engine Dynamics


HP Tuners




Motion Raceworks


Precision Turbo


Texas Speed and Performance

Mike Galimi
Mike Galimi
Mike Galimi is the Director of Content & Marketing at ProMedia Publishing and Events with nearly 20 years of experience in motorsport writing and photography.