Another build thread + Racing Updates

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Geeze!! The hood is sticking up and needs adjustment and no antenna for the radio. How's he gonna drive that thing? No tunes ......................... :idunno:
He and his dad are in Oklahoma for Rocky Mountain Race week
His Dakota truck was teched in and he's ready to race it.
Track is going hot in about 30 minutes.

What an interesting name for an event in OK, which I recall as ending well short of the Rockies.

Geeze!! The hood is sticking up and needs adjustment and no antenna for the radio. How's he gonna drive that thing? No tunes ......................... :idunno:

Dad stayed home. I ran solo-ish. Had a couple local friends that got in as well, so hung with them all week.

I just got home at 7:30 AM after a 4 hour nap at a rest stop.

The engine makes its own music.

RMRW runs in the Colorado and Kansas region every summer for the last 10 or so years. Last year they added a second event in September for the Kansas-Oklahoma-Texas region.

Finished the week 20th in class. Logged a touch over 1,000 miles while racing at 4 tracks in 5 days.

Day 1 - Oklahoma City, OK - 13.276
Day 2 - Dallas, TX - 13.124
Day 3 - Tulsa, OK - 13.121
Day 4 - Arkansas City, KS - 13.70 (track was ****)
Day 5 - Oklahoma City - 13.366
5-Day average: 13.3174 (good for 20th place on a 13.0 index)

I made a bonsai run at the very end, went 11.956 @ 114.05 at 8.5 pounds of boost. Truck weighs 4400 pounds with me in it. Empty weights are 2470 front, 1740 rear.
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drained the oil - had a brassy look to it but dad's not concerned considering the number of miles - probably the brass distributor bushing. no copper, and the oil filter has zero metal in it.

Took the LF shock off and I'm within 1/8" of bottoming out the shock, it's riding on the metal bump-stops. So I need to do something with the springs. Shooting an email to Landrum.

Have tried to reach out to FTI about re-stalling the converter yesterday. Looks like getting a hold of the guy I need may be a chore.

Going to relocate the battery from front of bed to back of bed. Also going to add a second battery.

Going to look into getting a roll bar put in the cab. (I've known this would happen and have a rough idea already).

Going to look into changing seats to better accommodate a proper 5-point harness. May or may not have to remove center console.

Going to ditch the troublesome electric shifter & package in a regular one.
best pass:

0060': 1.785
0330': 4.980
0660': 7.678 @ 91.11
1000': 9.998
1320': 11.956 @ 114.05

@Nitro Dude

Nice pass. Did you see that Bobby Bode qualified #3 in St Louis with his best pass ever with a 3.89 at 322 mph? It seems like it was just yesterday that I was bouncing him on my knee and pushing him around in his stroller. :)
Found some 2.5" coil spacerscandidates from Supreme Suspensions, sent them an email

Heard from Justin at FTI, $400 and 3 weeks to adjust the torque converter (plus shipping)

Going to put a red top in each rear corner

Seats are going to get back-burnered

Got the new blower pulley today

Need to get a water/methanol injection system and get it plumbed in
Things have been a little crazy since that last post.

Found a Rocky Mountain Race Week Sponsor that was able to do my converter re-stall in 2 weeks - for $200, and I was able to drop off and pick it up, as they are an hour from me. That made life easy.

Dad got me a different gearset for my birthday, so we pulled and rebuilt the transmission. 1.80 low gear came out, 1.98 went in. That will artificially tighten the converter in low gear, plus the ~500 rpm re-stall tightening.

I also picked up some traction bars.

All I lack is putting the exhaust Y-pipe on, then it will be track ready with ONLY the mechanical 60' improvements made (converter might make a little difference downtrack).

Then I will bring it back, change blower pulley, put the water/methanol system on it, move the battery, and add a second battery.

Did some basic diagnostics on the dragster engine with ~28 runs on this cycle. The findings?

It's scattered apart on the bench. Again.

And we still haven't found what the issue is for what we found.

But we did find some stuff messed up bad.
Took the Dakota to the track this weekend. It was bitter cold and wet - 62 degrees ambient, 75% humidity (incidentally, 75 grains), 1700 feet DA.

The gear change made a huge difference. Not sure if the converter change did anything at all.

Taking these 6 year old DOT radials off and putting a 28x9 slick on. Gonna try to go back out December 4th, weather permitting.

Even on the crappy old tires, it's lifting the left front tire off the ground for just a moment. But initial traction isn't happening. Hopefully the slicks fix that.

Also need to adjust the traction bars significantly.

Best pass was 7.32 (previous 7.67)

@Nitro Dude @BobbyFord
Took the Dakota to the track this weekend. It was bitter cold and wet - 62 degrees ambient, 75% humidity (incidentally, 75 grains), 1700 feet DA.

The gear change made a huge difference. Not sure if the converter change did anything at all.

Taking these 6 year old DOT radials off and putting a 28x9 slick on. Gonna try to go back out December 4th, weather permitting.

Even on the crappy old tires, it's lifting the left front tire off the ground for just a moment. But initial traction isn't happening. Hopefully the slicks fix that.

Also need to adjust the traction bars significantly.

Best pass was 7.32 (previous 7.67)

@Nitro Dude @BobbyFord

Nice job staging... you flickered the bottom bulb perfect. Big Jim would have been proud of you. But, it did look like you rolled a little before you hit the gas and that would have threw the whole run off in a nitro car. :)
Nice job staging... you flickered the bottom bulb perfect. Big Jim would have been proud of you. But, it did look like you rolled a little before you hit the gas and that would have threw the whole run off in a nitro car. :)
The crosspin in the differential has about 1/2 turn of driveshaft slop in it. The trans itself doesn't seem to have any creep in it, fortunately. I can't remember if I took an intentional bite or not when it flickered.

The pro tree is hard to concentrate on. Trying to start the recorder, stage, set the brake, swap feet, then let go - is alot to go on in only a couple of seconds. Same with using a delay box on long tree / top bulb.

I like the long tree / bottom bulb much better.

Picked up the 28x9 Pro Bracket Radials at Summit today. Tried to fit the metal stems in the wheels, no go. Will have to figure something out to get a socket on them, or grind the wheel.
Got the stems in the wheels yesterday (channel-locks and a screwdriver, but working on grinding down a socket for long term needs), and got them mounted and balanced today. Also changed the traction bar configuration.

I need to work on:

Mount the water-methanol injection system pump
Move the data logger and wideband to a rocker switch instead of ignition
Move the primary battery
Add a second battery
Adjust the band
Make the front loop crossmember
Make the front loop transmission tie
Make the front loop attachment points
Make the exhaust tie strap

I want to test on December 4th or 5th ideally. Maybe not with all the changes fixed, but start working that direction.
Been crawling around under the truck this week. Got the front driveshaft loop all done and driveshaft back in.

Figured out how to run the battery cables for the combined adding a battery & moving the existing battery. Also looked at my anchoring options.

I have a general idea for where to put the methanol injection pump, on the carrier bearing crossmember. Going to put the tank over/in front of the left rear fender.

As much as I really want the air compressor to be behind the axle, I am not sure it will be feasible. I found out the Viair compressors are not rated for "wet duty", so I am apprehensive to put it under the right rear bed corner like I was going to. I'd have to make a pretty big shield to keep it from getting coated in debris and spray. The entire back of the truck already has a layer of burnout rubber. It's also supposed to be mounted upright and in a well ventilated place.

My second thought was to mount it to the shock crossmember, but there's not really enough room for that without adding alot of structure.

So i may just put the compressor and tank where the battery is now. The compressor is 11 pounds, figure the tank is 4, call it 15 total. The battery is 38 pounds. So I'll still be adding 38 pounds to the left rear and moving 23 pounds behind the right rear. I can put both up high and leave the bed clear for putting supplies under. Also have to remember that I'll likely have roll cage bars going through the front of the bed, too.

I need to move the logger and wideband over to a rocker switch and make the tiebar for the exhaust.
I need to work on:

Mount the water-methanol injection system pump
Move the data logger and wideband to a rocker switch instead of ignition
Move the primary battery
Add a second battery
Adjust the band
Make the front loop crossmember
Make the front loop transmission tie
Make the front loop attachment points
Make the exhaust tie strap
Locate two camera mounting points

Need to adjust the band tomorrow night before putting it on the trailer.

Otherwise, ready for Saturday.
Talked to the fab guy that did my intercooler today. He's going to build a coolant expansion tank for me, so I can solve the cooling issue I have properly. (OK, not perfectly properly, but way better than it is now).

Went out to test and tune during a bracket race on Saturday. Entered No-Box (Transbrake) and Sportsman (Footbrake). Apparently it was my night, because I did everything possible wrong, and still kept going rounds in Sportsman.

TT#1 for both classes was on Tune Revision #009. The truck was slower than expected, so I go to put Tune #008 back in for TT #2 of both classes. Dakota battery is dead, left the electric water pump on. Go to jump it off the ram, and the Ram's battery is dead from running the power inverter for my laptop to charge. Borrowed the battery charger from the friend i was parked next to to get the Dakota fired, drove it around then was able to put Tune #008 in it. In doing so, it got hot again. At this point they called No-Box to the staging lanes. I left it running in the staging lanes, making it even hotter, and by the time i'm at the front, they shut me off because the overflow tank is blowing coolant out it's vent.

Borrowed a screw driver there under the bridge, grabbed a bottle from a trash can, and emptied the overflow tank on the spot. Fired it back up, made the run as last car in class, then came right back around to be last pair of sportsman (only 5 pairs). IT was REALLY hot now, even with WP and fans running. By the time I got parked, the windshield was fogging from the heat differential. OBD logging shows it hit 110C/230F. It's a 20 pound system (227*), so i was right on the edge of steaming.

It slowed down even more, the heat not helping, so I put Tune #009 back in and left it in for the night.

My reaction times ranged from unspeakaby/embarrassingly horrible, to 0.008.

I lost first round of No-Box, bought back for the test run, lost there.

Sportsman Round 1 I was terrible on the tree, but the other car took 7 tenths of stripe to got 2 tenths under the dial while I dropped when i knew I wasn't getting there (7.92 on a 7.50). Shouldn't have got the win, but they gave it to me.
Note: 4 of the 5 losing cars bought back in, taking the field from 10 to 9 cars for second round.
Sportsman Round 2 I was 0.008 on the tree to the other guy's .003 red. I was almost 2 tenths slow from the dial (7.68 on a 7.50). Shouldn't have got the win, but they gave it to me.
Sportsman Round 3 I was .045 on the tree to their .084, but they went into tire spin immediately. I knew I was fast and needed to shed ET, around 500' I got on the binders hard enough to unload the rear tires and it start to try to wag on me. Went through the stripe really unstable at a whole 73 MPH - I shed 18 MPH to go 7.66 on a 7.65 dial. Shouldn't have won that one, but I'd rather be lucky than good. But being good helps. It was on a 7.5x pass.
Sportsman Round 4 I was terrible on the tree again, but the other guy was .020 red. I went out the back door, 7.45 on a 7.50 dial. I should have been toast, but they gave it to me.
Sportsman Final Round I am terrible on the tree again, but my opponent goes .030 red. I run it out the back door, 7.46 on a 7.50 dial. I should have been toast, but they gave it to me.

It was just my night. I think the truck is simply so loud that it throws off the opponent and they go red. That's the only excuse I can think of to have 3 red lights in 5 rounds, and the other 2 were simply the other driver doing a bad job with otherwise winnable rounds.






Good job buddy. You will get more consistent on the tree with more and more laps under your belt. You definitely need to get that heating problem fixed. You don't want any fluids to get under your tires while on a pass.
Good job buddy. You will get more consistent on the tree with more and more laps under your belt. You definitely need to get that heating problem fixed. You don't want any fluids to get under your tires while on a pass.
The transmission vent doesn't have a tank, either. Need to add one of those, too.

The block is half filled and radiator is half-height. I knew I'd be close on cooling. But I think the expansion tank will go a long ways towards fixing the issue. Right now the coolant is pushing out but not recovering in. The expansion tank will fix that. But I really need to get the fitting for the expansion tank swapped with the upper hose - there is a steam bubble building up at the top of the radiator with no escape until I open the bleed valve on the expansion tank fitting. But that requires pulling the radiator, flushing/cleaning it, and cutting/welding the tank to swap the fittings.

A guy on dodge forum also pointed out that I should add a divider blade between the two fans, so they don't pull vortices on eachother.
I took out some of the 1/2" foam from the fan shroud and added some 3/4" foam, including a vertical strip between the fans.

Something I have learned from talking to AFCO, Mezeire, and some mopar folks:

  • The factory water passages are ripe for air bubbles. The rear manifold steam bleeds are an absolute must, and will even benefit a traditional street vehicle. But getting one to clear the distributor is a lesson in futility.
  • The factory 00+ top hose fill is a horrible, horrible idea. A cooling system should never be filled from the high pressure side, always fill at the water pump inlet. That's how most traditional radiators are set up.
  • A 16AN hose clears the fuel rails and alternator nicely. The ID of 16AN fittings are 3/4". Contrary to popular belief, that's just fine. Especially considering the inlet ID of the Davies water pump is 1-1/4".
  • The thermal reduction suction power of water isn't what you would expect, and alot of radiator caps seal poorly. Even a .010" metal shim can be night and day difference in a cap sealing. Crimping the hooks is more of a band-aid. The recovery tank needs to always be 1/2 full cold, and be at about the same height as the middle of the radiator, or higher.

With that said, I had the radiator converted to 16AN, and also added the steam and drain ports. My fab guy also made the expansion tank, which plumbs to the fitting next to the lower hose.

In the meantime, I've also been working on the new tongue for the 16ft flatbed trailer. It's not a big priority as long as the coupler on it now doesn't come apart.








It's been a minute since I updated this thread. Things have been absolutely balls to the wall this year. I've been active 7 days a week for the last 8-9 weeks now.

1/30 Dragster test session
2/03 Michael Narx Podcast as guest
2/26 Baton Rouge race
3/05 Girlfriend
3/06 Purchased Trailer
3/08 Barndominium
3/12 Got race truck DOT inspected
3/19 Dallas Race
3/26 Okla City race
3/29 Got race truck DOT registered
4/02 dropped off Ram for engine repair
4/03 Barndominium
4/9 Houston race
4/14 Trailer Sheriff Inspection
4/16 Girlfriend
4/23 Houston race

That's 9 straight weeks of either working on a friend's barndominium, working on the race truck, working on products/projects I'm building, or with the Girlfriend. Most days I nap from 2:30 or 3AM to 7AM anymore. I'm "working" well over 120 hours a week.

I've stripped the interior aside of the dash, removed all my wiring, and started over from scratch with all new relay panels and layout. I designed and assembled the new relay panels myself.

The seats were a fiasco, I had to raise them up an inch and move them inboard an inch. Finished the passenger seat last night.

Today I got the shifter mounted. I'm ditching the electric shift and going back to traditional cable. Hoping to weld the cable bracket on Saturday; going to the barndominium on Sunday.

Tomorrow I hope to finish the battery isolator. If I'm lucky, I might make some headway on the switch panel.
Completed Rocky Mountain Race Week. Finished 17th out of 50 in the 12.0 index class. Went 11.96 once, 11.95 once, but couldn't claim those runs and had to backpedal for legal runs. Won first round of the bracket race but it cost me 3 ribs of the blower belt; Lost second round in a close race. AC worked great, had no mechanical issues. Upon return, found a fuel leak in the filling hose (probably loose hose clamp). I need to add a catch-can to the transmission vent; it's tossing fluid when hot. So i ordered one of those from Summit with my new blower belt. I also paid the penalty for a shorter belt. I've been running a 5120788 ($40 at summit; 78.74 inches) and switched to a 5120783 ($47 at summit; 78.3 inches). I don't think the 1/2" will do much, but it might keep the belt from hitting the tensioner base. I'm also going to feed that part of the tensioner base to the dremel and angle grinder/flap disk to smooth it out.

Signed up for King Of The Open Road this morning. It's a different, 2-day format with heads-up racing instead of running against the clock.

Next upgrade is in the works - swapping to a Ford 9" rear axle.

Been doing some measuring. My numbers show that:

The leaf springs are 40.75 inside-inside, 45.75 outside-outside, 43.25 on center

The pinion is 2.25" offset to the passenger side

The WMS-WMS is 64.5 inches. Factory wheel is 5.5" backspace. Since most race wheels are 3.75-4.00 backspace, the desired WMS will be 61.5 inches to keep the track width the same, and also keep the tires from rubbing the leaf springs.

Along with, I'll be doing the 5-lug conversion to the 03/04 front brakes. the brake rotor is the easy part (I might have found something to make it even easier), but I'll have to get the hubs plugged and re-drilled on 2 of the holes. Hopefully not a huge deal. I have 2 friends with machine-shop equipment whose talents I won't count out.

One issue I have found is that because the 03/04 brakes will not clear a 15" wheel, I am automatically restricted in the wheel designs available for the 5x45 pattern in a 16x8 wheel.

942681242 - Black Rock Series 942 Type D Matte Black Wheels > Wheel, Series 942 Type D, 16 in. x 8 in., Steel, Matte Black, 5 x 4.5 in. Bolt Circle, 4.25 in. Backspace - $98.50 (Six 16x8's for street tires + race fronts)
942511240 - Black Rock Series 942 Type D Matte Black Wheels > Wheel, Black Rock Series 942, 15 x 10 in., Steel, Black, 4 in. Backspacing, 5 x 4.50 in. Bolt Circle, Each - $100.50 (Four 15x10's for race tires)

The JEGS Baja-8 wheels don't come as a 16x8 with 5x4.5 pattern for the road tires; The Cragar Soft 8's come as a 16x8 with 5x4.5 pattern, but with a 5" backspace - would require spacers from a race wheel (std 4" backspace).
I feel like I'm never at my home computer anymore....with very good reason. The tuck is taking up 75% of my time and the girlfriend gets the other 25%.

I'll let the photos do the talking. an out of space on my primary Gmail, so had to create a second one.

I had a set of factory 6x4.5" hubs converted to 5x4.5" ford pattern hubs.

Went to King Of The Open Road (KOTOR) event and proceed to make the 200-odd mile cruise without issue, including a nice long legal burnout. They had a whole city square closed off for us.

Got back to the track, had issues with fuel leaks from both the fuel pump itself, and the fuel filler neck, on my first pass. Turned in a 'meh' pass.

Spent most of the evening thrashing on the the fuel leaks, band-aiding them with tighter hose clamps and gorilla tape.

I was the very last pass down the track to close the night in Q2, and things came apart even worse - Converting the gearset from 41 and 10 teeth to about 10 and 10-ish teeth. It locked up to the point that we couldn't get it off the track with the ATV. I'm good friends with the track staff, so they decided to stick around and help me get it loaded up right there around 200 feet downtrack.

Getting it off the tailer at home was even more fun than loading it at the track. Long stoy short, I had to drive the trailer out from under the truck because the truck couldn't roll backwards.

Ironically, I knew this was coming, and had a brand new Ford 9-inch full float "all the bells and whistles" sitting on the pallet on home.




By the end of the following weekend, I had that factory chrysler 8.25 out of the truck and the 9" in.









Spent the two holiday Monday's banging out some good progress.
Last Monday was getting everything tacked in place
Today was pressure washing the back section of frame (the method of movement probably isn't OSHA certified), then washing it with acetone, then sanding any rust spots, and priming all the bare spots.










Looking good, Mag. Best of luck with the Dakota when the racing starts. Look forward to trophies and photos of BIG checks. :cool:
Less productive today, little slowe pace. But still finished out everything I wanted to get done last night and tonight.

All the chassis welding is done for the time being (finished out the anti-roll bar tabs, brake line tab, and stitched the 2-piece frame together). I need to get a few things arranged, then I'll build out some tabs to move one of the transmission coolers, then the other.

I also picked back up on the flatbed trailer project. I bought the 16ft trailer for dirt cheap, knowing it needed a deck, paint, and a coupler replacement (I'm not sure what kind of coupler it has, but i feel like it's gonna come off the ball at any time).

When I looked at it, there were more welds holding the coupler to the tongue, than there were holding the tongue to the frame. I also didn't like the 36" short tongue. As such, I set out to build it out with a more standard 60" tongue. The "factory" 2" x 6" x .120 wall C-channel is being taken out, in favor of 2" x 4" x .250 wall rectangle tube. The factory tongue is also only tied into the first and second crossmembers - I've now notched the second crossmember, and this tongue goes through it and all the way to the outside of the frame.

Each tube was $200 and the coupler and jack were $100. Re-decking it with nine 16ft 2x12's will be about $325, plus another $100 worth of decking stain. (Seven boards for the deck, and two for the tire rows to bring the truck high enough that the door clears the fender). While the decking is off, I'll paint the whole thing and brace the fenders so they can be used as steps (driver one is cracked and that may not be fixable)

Goal is to flip it for at least a small profit, to put towards a 22 or 24ft trailer.




I'm not a great MIG welder on thin stuff, but thick stuff I can do decently if I slow myself down enough. Not all of them came out this pretty, but by the time everything gets put in place, welded as a unit, then braced, the tongue might be stronger than the rest of the trailer.








I'm texting back and forth with Josh right now. I will be racing with him at his home track in Oklahoma Saturday and then he will also be at the Indiana race next week.
I'm texting back and forth with Josh right now. I will be racing with him at his home track in Oklahoma Saturday and then he will also be at the Indiana race next week.
Shame you cant swing south for a visit

Looks like Google is catching on to my image sharing. May have to click the links to view them.
Trailer re-tongue is almost done; Axle is painted. Hoping to stab the housing under the truck tomorrow night and get the truck back to holding itself up. Friday will be cleanup, Saturday will be hauling off alot of recycling sitting on the back of the trailer. Saturday night will be move the bed off the trailer and onto a painting/cleaning rack. In a perfect world, the bed might go on the truck Tuesday or Wednesday night. Depends on what I have to make work in regards to re-running all of the electrical and plumbing.

For the price, this BullDog trailer jack is awesome. Effortless spinning, and a 15" stroke plus the 8" extension. Picks the front axle off the ground and almost puts the back of the frame on the ground.











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