Another build thread + Racing Updates

Magnethead

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At 8 AM on Saturday, we had a bare and empty engine block.

By Noon Saturday, we had an assembled short block

By 5PM Saturday, we had an assembled long block in the car

By 9PM Saturday, we had a transmission fully installed in the car.

Sunday morning we bled the brakes, rolled it out the door, and made some noise for 2 warmup sessions before 2PM.

Monday morning we pulled the valvetrain off, re-torqued the heads, put all the valvetrain on, did another warm-up around noon, and drained the break-in oil.

It's now track ready.

















 

Magnethead

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I'm a wee bit behind here. The last 30 days have been a bit of a whirlwind.

Sept 8 we had the engine back together
Sept 16,17,18, 19, 20 we ran a doubleheader at Ennis
Sept 26th we pulled our primary transmission out and swapped in the spare, also made a torque converter stator change
October 3 we tested our spare transmission at Xtreme to make sure it works, meanwhile I was in 2 places at once (more on that later)
October 9,10 we raced in Tulsa (more on that later)
Today we unboxed and re-boxed the car.
 

Magnethead

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Last weekend of September, we pulled our primary 'old faithful' transmission out. After we got all the input shaft issues fixed from last year and switched to Allison TranSynd fluid, it'd gone 54 runs without having the pan off. We've kept the spare trans in the trailer but never ran it. So we put it in the car and changed the torque converter to our 'cold weather' stator.

We also switched from Mickey Thompson 3197's to Hoosier c1500's because the 3197s have a major blistering issue above 220 MPH. MT knows about it, and production is basically paused and they are unobtainium.

So October 3rd we went to Xtreme to do a combo Tire/Transmission test. First pass was good, right on our 1/4 mile numbers. Second run, it didn't shift. Chased through all the mechanics, made a couple small adjustments, checked valvetrain and found bad juju that we were able to catch and fix before it became ugly juju. Third run I changed some things and it went 3.91 carrying the wheels about 200 feet. Aight, Cool.

Now that Tuesday before, I got a call from Texas Motorplex to run the live stream for the ARDL race the same weekend. So I was Teamviewer'd into my production computer, running the live stream at one track, while running out car at another track a half hour down the highway.





 

Magnethead

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Friday, I got off work at 11AM, ran home, jumped in the truck and left for Tulsa for the Mid-West Drag Racing Series season finale. We rolled in around 7PM after a 1-hour delay from having the lower radiator hose come off the water pump in Ardmore, OK. Luckily it was just a hose-clamp failure. Got the hose back on, put 5 gallons of water in it to make it to O'Reillys and put coolant in, and we were back on the road.

We missed the first 2 qualifiers due to our late arrival, but made Q3 and Q4. The transmission was taking 500 RPM to shift instead of the usual 200 RPM, so we knew something wasn't quite right, but figured it would be workable, so we left that transmission in Friday night. Not that there was much time to change it - Q4 was at 11:30 PM and Q5 was at 10AM.

We ran a 3.96 off the trailer with a guess-a-tune in the car. Wanted to make sure we had a respectable lap. Conditions worsened by the minute; Dad didn't want to run Q4 and alot of others didn't either. I wanted to see just what the track and tires would take - great conditions for a Bonsai run.

69 degree air temp. 69 degree dew point. 96% humidity. 77 degree track temp.

Car goes 3.917 with a little steering input. I'll take it.

Q5 the next morning, track's a bit better, I back it down a bit after analyzing the Q4 run. It makes another 3.917.

Aight, Cool. Dial a 3.92 for first round.

Dad's .020 to the other lane's .055 ..... and the car doesn't shift. Dad pedals it, knocks it into high gear, and still runs a 4.05 at 173 for the loss.

We get back, micro-analyze every bit of data recording on the car. Everything seemed like it did what it's supposed to. Has to be the transmission? So we drive home from Tulsa, get home at midnight, and plan on swapping transmissions.




 

Magnethead

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This morning we unload the car. Think just for the hell of it, I'll wire up my MSD tester and make sure the output is doing what the data recording says.

And it's not.

Nope.

Not the next 25 times, either.

Grab the spare ignition box. Same thing. so it's not the box.

-stares intently at relay board-

I ground the RPM stud on the relay board, and the shifter still doesn't fire.

<explenative>

So we switch to time-based shift....and it works. Huh? No Comprendhe.

So I wire up an ice-cube relay to go around the relay board...and MSD works off RPM.

So I made that permanent, and we also changed the shift actuator, the shifter cable, and rebuilt/greased the shifter itself.

And tested it about 25 more times to make sure it works.

And put it back in the box.
 

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If you've ever wondered what goes on back at pit before we tow up to the staging lanes, I recorded this at the Dallas Double race.

Spin over to 20PSI oil pressure with fuel lever at 50%
Engage gasoline fuel pump for 3 seconds
Fuel full-on
Spin over to 30psi oil pressure, ignition on
Once Engine RPM drops and recovers, gasoline fuel pump off, primary fuel to 50%
Wait 10 seconds, water pump on
Water temp at 120, primary fuel to 100%, put in gear, cycle from low-high-reverse-low-transbrake-low-high.
Water temp at 150, primary fuel off, kill engine at 2600 RPM.

 
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Magnethead

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Alot of photos I just dumped here. Been busier than a cat in the box. Last 2 weeks at work were over 50 hours and I'm still behind on to-do lists. Going to try and shorten up this week. We'll see how that goes.

So after band-aiding the shifter issue after Tulsa (drove back Saturday, fixed it Sunday), we put the car back in the box and dropped it off at the track on Tuesday for the NHRA National Event.

I sucked all weekend as a crew chief.

In the staging lanes for Q1, I second guessed myself and sped the car up .01 to account for a head wind. Dropped a 6.092 on the board, putting us on the DNQ list. We can't run faster than 6.10.

Second session was late in the evening, I took a 6.13 setup from a previous race, which the computer said would run a 6.07 in that air, then slowed it down another 5 numbers to set up for a 6.12. It put a damn 6.07 on the board. So we were DNQ'd for the race.

Fortunately, there were exactly 32 cars on the property, so we were #31 on the sheet and Wynette (who has been lock-step with us all year, #2 behind our string of #1's in qualifying) was #32 after going 6.08 the first session and 6.05 the second session.

I slow the car down some more (levels of stupid at this point), and the car goes out there and basically tries to stand up on the wheelie bar. It was higher than 2 weekends prior at Xtreme. It jumped off to the right of the groove and dad pedaled it at 200 feet then shut off at 5.84 to coast to a 6.223 @ 212.

That tells you how much I'm having to kill the car from zero to three seconds. When a pedal job PLUS lifting way early, still goes faster than half the field does on a regular day.

So dragster is done for the year.

Project list:
  • Repair the front wings using a secondary strut
  • Repair the parachutes that have been held on by a single self-tapping screw on each pack (the welds re-broke a while back)
  • Re-wire the relay board
  • Add a hand-brake secondary hydraulic system

Meanwhile, progress on my truck has now been able to be kick-started.

I have the V6 engine completely out of the truck and ready for the local high school auto shop class to pick it up. I have the harness and hoses tagged so I know what goes where. I'm looking at what needs to be done to clearance the K-member for the oil pan. I need to give the whole engine bay a serious cleaning - probably 2 or 3 cans of GUNK de-greaser, plus a serious sponge bath and whatever else it might take.
 

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Well, I was right on GUNK de-greaser and a sponge bath.

I've used 1.5 cans of GUNK and blown through most of a bottle of Purple Power concentrate. I spent 3 nights this week with the GUNK and water hose and purple power. Went back at it today with wire wheels and wire brushes and the purple power and water hose to finally get it clean.

Most of the grungey spots were on the drive side around the motor mount, I think because that's where I had a casting/freeze plug blow out some years ago.

Tomorrow I'll spray-paint the spots that have rust/bare metal and need to be addressed. I don't plan to completely re-paint everything, but i'm going to try and make it look at least a little uniform.

I know the driver side hard brake line is going to be an issue (conflict of space with the procharger), I think the flex line may actually reach to the distribution block if I re-route it, letting me completely remove the hard line. That would really clean some things up.

I haven't decided if I want to replace the brake booster or not. It's the original one, grungy looking, and if I was gonna change it, now would be the perfect time.

The exhaust heat shields are bolted through from inside the cab, so I'll have to find the bolts on the inside and pop those off so I can properly clean the firewall.

Local High School Auto Tech teacher is supposed to come pick up the V6 Monday Morning.

----

Worked on the parachutes a bit today too. We got a piece of aerotube from AED, it's just a shave too wide to fit in the car's tubing - different tubing profiles from different suppliers. But it's close enough that a little playing with the press will make it work.



































 

Magnethead

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Magnethead

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Mated the engine and transmission today. Torqued the flexplate bolts to 85 ft-lbs with red locktite and the converter bolts to 50 ft-lbs with red locktite.

Because of how hot the torque converter gets, the red locktite has the effective strength of blue, so the bolts will still be easy to remove. We've had both of them come loose on the dragster.

I added a couple ground straps - one from one head to the other, and one going from the top starter bolt to the driver side cylinder head.

I hooked that strap and the main lead to a battery, and made my own solenoid jump switch, and primed the engine to 70 pounds of oil pressure. The oil pressure is being regulated by the bypass spring inside the oil pump - it's probably making closer to 90 pounds at the gears. And that's just spinning off the starter; imagine at idle RPM.

What that tells me is that I can probably stand to go down one viscosity, from 20-50 to 10-40 or even 10-30.































 

Magnethead

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It's in. But as usual with racecar stuff, nothing fit first stab.

First, the motor mounts were wider than the saddles

Then, the oil pan hit the K member. So I put a 2" spacer under the transmission

Then, the driver side header hits the steering column - Spintech flattened the tubes in the wrong spot (I knew about it before, but didnt know it was so severe)

Then the exhaust wye pipe hit the cab. I'll have to run a collector spacer.

Then the driver side of the wye pipe didn't line up at all. I'll have to get the splice cut and stretched.

So I ground the motor mount really tight - it's very much a swedge fit. Drive side is T-slotted from the factory, so I slotted it some more, then slotted the passenger one (which is just a drop-slot from the factory).

Then I notched the K-member in the closest spot to gain 1/4" of clearance.

Transmission ended up being 2-1/4" higher than it used to be.

With the trans "in place", I went to line up the driveshaft. The carrier bearing right now is mocked at 3.5" higher than it used to be. That makes a pretty sharp angle going down to the pinion. That's going to be fun to sort out.

Procharger fits as intended. Need to nibble at the inner fender some more, and move the brake line (which I already planned on). Inlet tube fits kinda how I expected it to, and charge pipe will be a PITA as I figured. Definitely will need to notch the blower plate.



































 

Magnethead

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Today was productive.

Beat the headers to fit around the steering shaft
Put headers on
Installed throttle pedal & Morse Cable
Made & installed GM to DCX Throttle Position Sensor Adapter
Made extension pigtail for Idle Air Solenoid (not yet installed)
Made & installed extensions for Intake Air Temperature and Engine Coolant Temperature
Replaced/extended Injector #4 pigtail

https://photos.app.goo.gl/QAE4eXYe5UL5b1Ma8



https://photos.app.goo.gl/ySAVfMepu5dwnGj98



https://photos.app.goo.gl/QM3VbQEyvmrEgrE26



https://photos.app.goo.gl/TUX3KcXSogrfQMyP9



https://photos.app.goo.gl/BsWob8dH9uYQ9wYk7



https://photos.app.goo.gl/kEDGBXLcN871woPBA



https://photos.app.goo.gl/BKx7sWgSfFZgGuA79



https://photos.app.goo.gl/QrPSfHQzZD9PeMNN6

 

Magnethead

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Hard to believe I haven't updated in a month. But working 12's and 16's and not getting sleep some nights will do that. I've been absolutely drained of energy this month, Yesterday was a nice recharge day, but I need more.

All electrical is done. New transmission mount is made and in place. Radiator was ordered December 1. Crankcase Evac is done.

Plugged in the V8 computer I have, flashed my VIN to it, tested all 8 fuel injectors and the idle speed controller this morning. Everything is fundamentally complete and ready to start.
 

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Work has been crazy lately (moving 3 whole primary care doctors clinics) on top of the holidays; Have one Dialysis clinic relocation that will take a chunk of my time in January and February. Then we'll be back on Dragster duty. As the folks at work say, you can't burn a candle at both ends if the candle no longer exists.

Getting the run-around from AFCO on the radiator. Ordered December 1, original quote was Mid-January, now we're into late January. So, we'll see.

I'll go ahead and throw out some photos.
































 

Magnethead

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Magnethead

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So long story short,

We took the HiPoTek Cross-member, I re-drilled new holes 1.5" forward on the backside, put those back in the factory front holes. Then I took some 3/8" steel plate, ground it to the same taper as the frame rail (gross. So. Much. Grinding. Dust.), drilled both the plate and the frame, then used a 1" hole saw on the outside of the frame (replicating factory holes), shoved the bolt through, then welded the 3/8" plate to the frame rail. Now the crossmember is directly under the tailshaft.

Then I got a Summit Vacuum fitting for the valve cover. The important thing here - The Moroso fitting is a threaded union, where the nut threads in from the engine side. Fine for racecars, not fine for the street. The Summit fitting is a billet piece where the threads and base are all one piece, and the nut goes on the outside. Has a nice O-ring and washer too. It's at the very top of the valve cover and offset outward to clear the rocker shaft and head stud. That also will minimize the amount of oil pulled through - there's 1.5" from the vent to the valve cover rail surface. That tells you how TALL the Doug Lee covers are. They actually barely clear the Dryer and Brake Booster when it comes to going off/on, dryer being the closer of the two.

I got a 12AN to barb 90* fitting and a 12AN to barb 45* fitting. Put the 90 on the Valve Cover and 45 on the Mighty Mouse PCV Catch Can, ran a piece of 3/4" hose between. Simple enough for me.

Current project is plumbing the steering system.
 

Magnethead

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Dragster 2021 gallery: https://photos.app.goo.gl/Jv6xgZ3vTEso2HLc7
Dakota 2021 gallery: https://photos.app.goo.gl/TCRhzyWddQwYD3jz5

Starting with the dragster since it's the shorter update.

CargoMate wouldn't build a cabinet for our trailer, so dad set out and built one himself. It frees up alot of room under the workbench inside the trailer. Hardest part was laying down the main sheeting and getting it in the right place.

We got the supercharger back from being rebuilt in early January.

Then we went testing, with the slowest pulley we have, 64/56, 14% overdrive. I left the National Event 6.10 timing map in the ignition, and put down a 3.98 - which would be about a 6.11, making 26 pounds of boost. I took that map out and let it eat, and put down a 3.90 the second run at 28 pounds.

https://photos.app.goo.gl/7NhBSPGcV5AKaKrp8
































 

Magnethead

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Alright, now for the truck updates.

So when I left off in December, I had the engine in, transmission crossmember in, injectors 7 and 8 wired, and that was about it.

Since then, I've received the radiator, built a shroud for it, mounted it in the truck, routed all the coolant hoses, tried and failed to start it, tried and failed to start it again, found a distributor gremlin, found an electrical gremlin, and finally got it to make noise, albeit briefly.

The radiator came in from afco exactly how I had designed it, fit exactly like a glove. Picked up some universal hoses from Summit and was able to cobble everything together, plus hook up the heater hoses. Right now, it doesn't look like I'll need the expansion tank, but I still have that option later.

A friend gave me some .050 sheet metal and bent it up on his brake and shear, I got some closed-cell foam and made it all work with the two 10" SPAL fans.

Since I don't have a power steering reservoir yet, I'm running a bypass belt to only drive the water pump and alternator.

I also have the exhaust taken care of. With the spintech headers and 3" Y-pipe (containing both upstream sensors at the flanges and a wideband at the merge), it goes directly to a 3" Loudvalves boost-activated cutout, then a 3" Flowmaster catalytic converter, then necks down to the existing 2.5" pipe, two downstreams, the 2.5" 12" glasspack, then over the frame to a tire dump.

The first time I tried to start it, it acted like the battery was completely dead. So i got a new battery (old one was stamped 2015), tried to start it a couple weeks ago, and it did basically the same thing. Did some troubleshooting, and was getting 4 volts to the start and 10 at the battery.

After doing some troubleshooting, it was determined to be a grounding issue. At the time, I had a #10 going between both cylinder heads, a #10 from the top starter bolt to the driver side head, and a #10 from each cylinder head to the firewall studs.

So I picked up some 1/0 wire and lugs. I replaced the #2 ground strap from battery to rear frame with #1/0, I ran a new, dedicated #1/0 from the rear frame to the K-member, and added a strap from the bottom starter bolt to the K-member. I also replaced the stock #4 starter wire with a #1/0.

Things got better, and I was at least able to start it and make noise. I didn't have the base tune in it, so it was dead fat rich with the 60# injectors and 2.5 bar MAP sensor, when programmed for 23# and 1-bar.

I currently have several spools of #14 wire on the way, as well as a 25ft spool of #2/0 red wire. I'm going to see if I can get some short pieces of #2/0 red and black as well.

My plan is to re-route the #4 alternator wire from the cutoff switch, and instead go directly to the battery. That will shorten that wire up by 6 feet, and free up some room at the switch.

I'm then going to replace the main run of #2 going from the PDC to the cutoff switch with #2/0. it will be tricky with such a stiff wire, but I will make it work.

Then, I will replace the #2 from battery to switch with #2/0. I may also replace that #1/0 from PDC to starter with #2/0 at some point. only because it's black instead of red right now.

Then, I will replace that #1/0 from battery to frame with #2/0, and same with the ground strap from starter to K-member.

That will make the entire starter loop be #2/0, except the main ground path, which will be #1/0 in parallel with metal chassis.

I'm also going to add a #2 ground strap from the front frame to the rear frame.

I'm also going to run the ground wire from the fuel pump to a better chassis ground.

I'm also going to run a ground strap from my electrical panel to the same chassis ground as the fuel pump.

I'm also going to run the power and ground for the onboard air compressor (#12), replace the #18 water pump wiring with #14, and replace the #18 fan wiring with #12.

I don't have an electric water pump setup picked out yet, as I'm debating how/where to plumb it that would be most effective. Leading thought right now is to suck from the bottom hose, pushing to the heater return hose. That would push coolant through the heater core and down the front of the intake manifold, and also down the water pump. It wouldn't help alot with cooling the block itself while sitting, but once the engine was restarted, the mechanical pump would then be pushing cooled water through the block. Until I go to a pierburg/BMW setup, I'm not sure I could ask for more without running no thermostat and blocking the bypass ports on manifold and mechanical pump. In which case, It would still flow through the upper hose rather than the block.

Right now, I have a base tune in it, but cant start it until oil temp is back above 50F due to the 50wt break-in oil.










[imghttps://lh3.googleusercontent.com/pw/ACtC-3dlNQNSDb02zozLArFzLQ7eHaM4f0jleOfm4u_PzMLuTtHv1bPxkRS3g-9OKCbZdGaGJndhkIvk9-udrQNQ0nqcBjWFbCmdIwKAsKC9csbkSyE-mhx-fA-EcauNsXSiuJCOPS-S8YMOlL99wXMivTjIkQ=w473-h840-no?authuser=0[/img]








 

Magnethead

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Magnethead

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I know I'm lacking on updates. I'll make a big catch-up post eventually. I've been doing 50-70 hour weeks at work, plus working on the dragster and truck, plus trying to find elusive sleep.

I drove it down the road other day. That's your teaser.
 
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