Brandon Furches, owner of Furches Performance out of Ludlow Massachusetts, had a soft spot for the fifth-generation W-body the second he saw his first promotional poster of one in 2000. Shortly after, his grandfather purchased a brand new one. In 2005, Brandon bought his first Monte Carlo, which his grandfather found for him in Florida. His first long-distance drive as a teenager was the convoy from Florida to Massachusetts with his grandfather, driving their matching Monte’s home. Fast forward 13 years, Brandon has owned six of these two-door living rooms on wheels.
Being a real gearhead, you could imagine Brandon didn’t have much self-control when it came to leaving these cars original. Amidst many of his previous supercharged and nitrous-powered 3.8-liter vehicles, he also built what is still to date (until proven otherwise by his newest creation) the fastest W-body Monte Carlo in existence; turbo LS-powered. Brandon however, ended up selling this car a few years back to fund his business.
This past summer, Brandon found a cream puff of a 2004 Dale Earnhardt “Intimidator” edition Monte with a blown-up 3.8-liter in it. In Brandon’s remarks, he couldn’t help but comment on how flawless the leather interior was in this $700 bargain. It was the perfect recipe for him, as his previous instincts told him the best way to set records was to LS swap the car anyway. Using the experience from his last build, he knew what worked and what could stand to be improved upon in the build process. The goal was to outperform his previous Monte, which ran a best of 11.0s at 134 mph.
Getting into the details:
The heart of this powerplant revolves around an essentially stock bottom end 5.3-liter LS4, which he robbed out of a later model Impala SS for $600, including the impala’s sub-frame and wiring harness. Brandon added a custom-grind camshaft from Comp Cams, as well as PAC Racing Springs atop a set of otherwise stock 243 heads. He used 80 lb/hr Ford Racing injectors and twin 340lph fuel pumps to feed the necessary fuel to the car’s 73mm Bullseye Power turbo. Atop the LS4 is an Edelbrock high-ram style intake manifold and 92mm Fuel Air Spark Technology (FAST) throttle body. The engine breathes through v-banded GM exhaust manifolds and a 4-inch straight pipe.
The PCM Brandon used is from a 2004 Chevy van, which allowed him to maintain the factory gauges, while still being able to program the 5.3 to run a three-bar operating system through HP Tuners. He took a unique approach to the transmission combination in this car, using a 4t80e out of a 1990s Cadillac Eldorado. Fortunately, there was some literature on the Sloppy Mechanics Wiki page, which allowed him to almost treat it as a stand-alone, full manual control; similar to that of Jake’s Performance 4l80e controller. East Coast Converter put together a necessary 2800 rpm stall for Brandon, using a GM core.
An array of unique pieces went into this project to make it all jive, as it isn’t exactly the most common combination to see in this body style. Brandon’s friend, Adam Girard of AG Designs, used his skills to fabricate one-off, necessary components to accommodate the B&M Racing shifter, and created engine mounts and various accessory brackets. Having a sideways V-8, Brandon had to fabricate all of his hot and cold side plumbing to make the car breathe under boost. These aren’t things you can just order on eBay. Finishing off the Monte is a custom, “Urban Jungle” vinyl wrap, done by Peak Graphics.
All in all, the build took roughly six months from the time Brandon found the car on Facebook Marketplace, until now. There is no dyno data on the car yet, nor have there been any 1/4-mile passes made. The car’s maiden voyage just took place on November 18. He ripped it up a little bit last Friday, on the streets of “Mexico.” There are still many bugs to work out, and a lot more power to be made. Stay tuned to see what kind of records Brandon sets with his front wheel drive masterpiece.