You have to admire a company with slogans like "Performance spoken fluently," "Friends don't let friends drive stock" and "Progress through ingenuity."
Ripp Modifications, a performance shop located in Staten Island, N.Y., built a good clientele base with first- and second-generation AWD Diamond Stars. When Mitsubishi went V6 FWD, the performance parade came to a quick stop. But things didn't dry up completely.
Ripp looked into turbocharging the 3-g Eclipse, but the extensive nature of the modifications made a kit too expensive. One customer, though, had to have turbo boost so Ripp worked its magic. When finished, the car appeared on the Club 3G website, creating a buzz among owners of third-gen Eclipses and the second-gen Stratus, which share the 6G72 V6. Ripp, in turn, dreamed up a supercharger package that provided the boost, was more cost effective and easier to install.
In January 2002, a customer with a 2001 Dodge Stratus R/T approached Ripp about the blower set-up and Ripp made the dream a reality.
Ripp's Ross Esposito conceptualized a complete tuner car in the mold of a Saleen Mustang. Ripp would address every performance system to illustrate all the possibilities to potential customers with the intention of setting up a program where a stock R/T is dropped off and a Ripp Limited Edition GTS is picked up.
Ripp contacted Wiseco Pistons to build custom 6G72 pistons. Having studied and found design flaws in the stock pistons, Ripp sent Endyn a test piston along with one of its heads to make certain changes. These efforts resulted in three different forged designs: a low-compression 8.5:1 for high boost levels; a stock-compression 9.0:1 slug specifically for the blower system, and a 10.8:1 normally aspirated high-compression set.
For rods, Ripp contacted Brian Crower, who was able to build a set of rods that weren't too heavy but were still strong enough to handle a healthy dose of boost.
The last reciprocating component, the crank, was delivered to long-time engine machinist Pete Yacca of New York Speed and Machine. He was very impressed with the size and quality of the factory crank, stating specifically that it was internally balanced, thus making it an excellent candidate for high-revving power. The crank was balanced to speeds in excess of 13,000 rpm.
The short block was assembled by Ross' father, Angelo Esposito, who diligently maintained close tolerances throughout the bottom end.
At this point, Ripp technicians and long-time Mopar fans Mark Edwards and Carmine Lopardo took over the buildup. They modified the oil pump to make 10 psi more pressure, which would ensure proper lubrication.
With the short block ready to roll, Ripp turned its attention to the cylinder heads. Ripp measured rod angles, crank material, and head flow and was very pleased with the results. "We were impressed with the stock heads," says Ripp's Russ Esposito. "We were able to work with an impressive 8mm of port expansion on the exhaust side. Along with a five angle parabolic valve grind and significant polishing work, Ripp Modifications turned the heads from simple air movers to massive air flowers. Based on just the flow chart numbers, we knew this was heading in the right direction," says Esposito.
The Supercharger Drive System (SDS) was originally designed to be a one-off piece, but based on client support, Ripp Modifications decided to manufacture it in kit form. The SDS utilizes 6061 aluminum drive housing with a 3031 chrome-moly driveshaft and super high-speed, low-resistance ball bearings on each side. Many key features of the production-spec SDS will be CNC designed and CNC machined and fully TIG welded. Hardened stainless hardware, hard oil return and feed lines and brass fittings will also be employed.