Build thread + Racing Updates


Admin & Resident Techie
Staff member
Oct 18, 2005
Ft Worth Tx
New car = New Thread.

Dad went by the other day to pick up the windows, headers, and other misc small parts. All the bodywork has been repaired, primered, and block sanded. They sprayed a test panel and it came out good.




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Dad put the engine in it last weekend and built an alternator mount. Headers are really ehhhhhh but we'll make them work.

But the wiring is NOT going to work. It's all getting ripped out completely, and starting over. Judging by the holes in the midplate, it has had a small block chevy, a big block chevy, and a hemi in it at verious points. It's also had BOTH a lenco and a Liberty based on the cutout of the transmission tunnel, in addition to a powerglide.

I've done as much research as possible, but we can't figure out the history of it at all. We just know it's been in a barn the last several years.




Tore down the engine the rest of the way this morning. It preserved well, being under a shelf for the last 5-6 years. The only rust was on the inside of the oil pan. Although, at some point the oil pump pickup screen had broken off. Bearings all look good. Plan is to put the old crankshaft from the blower engine in it, new rods and valve springs, reuse the pistons and rest of the valvetain.
your dad gonna have a frakentruck too?

btw Mags - what is your daily now?
your dad gonna have a frakentruck too?

btw Mags - what is your daily now?
I didn't say it was a truck anywhere :) But i'm leaving some clues in the background of the first photo....

This engine was in our camaro from 2011 to 2013, in the dragster from 2014 to 2017.

The block/cam/crank/rods all have at least 1,000 passes on them. We don't remember if we ever changed the pistons or not. We put new rod/main bearings in it every other year.


your dad gonna have a frakentruck too?

btw Mags - what is your daily now?
Daily is a 2011 Ram 1500 (Hemi). Has 194,000 miles on it. Cam failed around 160K so it has MDS delete and some other goodies.

Heading to Rocky Mountain Race Week, the whole combination weighed about 15,600 pounds. Going over Raton pass was...interesting. A very slow crawl in manual 1 and 2.

The dakota is ~4300 pounds
The race support trailer is ~1300 pounds
The flatbed is ~3000 pounds
The ram is ~7000 pounds

Pulled the transmission out of the dakota over the course of the last week, doing pits and pieces here and there.

Opened it up last night and..... it's immaculate after 2,000 miles of moving about 6,000 pounds of weight.

So now we're not sure what when wrong in Bandimere. Going to take the torque converter to a shop to get cut open and looked at.



It's funny how much you think you know, but don't. Several things on this new car have been baffling dad and I, so I started reaching out to people smarter than us for answers.

Along the way, I borrowed some AI technology and ended up reading a 1989 issue of Hot Rod Magazine, which then got me a name, which got me a city, which got me another name....and finally by the end of today I had found the original builder of our new toy - all the way up in Menominee, Michigan. The guy is 73 years old and still building cars, but wasn't much to talk on the phone. I did find his son on Facebook and we've been sharing stories since.

We still don't have the full story, but so, so many things are becoming clearer now.

And just purchased LED head and Taillights for it. New wheels should be here within a week or two. We're starting to make headway on the electrical. Everything in the back is done, now to focus on the engine electrical.
Got the LED taillights installed and sorted out. That was interesting to play with - The tails were wires with Brake as hot and Running as ground. Works fine with a CK style bulb.... Once we got that sorted out, all looks good now.

Also test-fit the LED headlights. they are BRIGHT for only drawing 3.5 amps. Need to play with the retainer bracket a little, not a fan of it.

Front wheels arrived on Thursday, got them mounted and balanced this weekend. Rear wheels shipped today.

Got the dash back from HydroDip and got new back wheels on. Working on electrical.

On the opposite spectrum...Got the trans in my truck after 4 weeks, only to find more issues...get to un-bolt it all again and pull the engine out.
Thinking what the borescope shows is carbon deposits flaking loose....but cylinders 3 and 5 have 80% leakdown and only 120 psi of compression. The other 6 cylinders are tight with80 psi compression.





Looks like ring wash if that’s on the thrust side of the piston.

that's on the sides I believe. Could kinda see the thrust side, and not the top side at all. We'll have a better idea once the head is off. We could pull the driver side head in the truck, but if we find something, I want to be able to pull the passenger head - even though all 4 on that side have 180 psi of compression. The passenger head can't come off in the truck, at least any kind of easily.

Got the front drive accessories and radiator off tonight and headers unbolted from the heads. All the electrical is unplugged.

Need to unbolt the collectors, pull the headers out the top, slide the transmission back (somehow) to get it off the dowels and supported on a sling, drain the oil, unhook the oil cooler, pull the distributor cap, and then should be ready for the pluck.
Today has been a data whirlwind.

Got home, pulled headers, oil filter, oil cooler off. Borescoped intake valves. 100% oil fudge cake going on in the intake runners.

Started a conversation about Holley on Mopar, and got told 4 different ways not to run a dual-sync distributor. Apparently the crank signal is trash on them.
Three of them went to a MSD style flying magnet.
One went a way I actually like better - Welding an LS 58x reluctor wheel to the back of the Mopar crank pulley. That way none of the front drive has to be spaced out, and it works hunky-dory with parts store available LS sensors.



Guessing valve seals more than likely.
I had that on a gray market BMW once. I rebuilt the engine but my boss sent the head out to his machinist instead of the guy I always used. The engine used a lot oil after the rebuild. The head was fresh with new viton seals. The guides were out of spec. We sent the head to my engine guy and the oil consumption was over.
The boss thought it was my ring job and said he pay my again if it was the head but I’d have to eat the labor if it was the bore. He lied and we both learned a lesson.
Got the engine out of the dakota and both heads off. Intakes 3 and 5 definitely failed the water test, and the runners are visibly burned where the flame front was breaking past the valve seat.

Pulled the springs off and the guides (or lack thereof) are very loose. Valves are floppy at full lift and that's likely contributing to the valve seals leaking.

Talked to 2 different machine shops and already made my mind up on which i'm using. Quote is roughly $1,000 for 16 manganese-bronze guides, 16 valve seals, 16 valve jobs (14 cleanup and 2 fix), and 2 intake valves.

Also making good progress on wiring up the new toy.







The boss thought it was my ring job and said he pay my again if it was the head but I’d have to eat the labor if it was the bore. He lied and we both learned a lesson.
I had a boss like that when I first entered the serious working world. More than once he made promises and failed to keep them and all but one time did it involve anything except money.
Eventually got to the point where I embarrassed him in front of other people and proving he was screwing me over. His response was to fire me.
It took three months to find another job and it turned out to be the best job I ever had,
I had a boss like that when I first entered the serious working world. More than once he made promises and failed to keep them and all but one time did it involve anything except money.
Eventually got to the point where I embarrassed him in front of other people and proving he was screwing me over. His response was to fire me.
It took three months to find another job and it turned out to be the best job I ever had,
The same thing happened to me. I called him out for the money at one of the morning meetings, he fired me on the spot. I went to work for another independent but was making less money. I called Mike back and after a lengthy discussion he hired me back. We started using my machinist for all of our engine work.
Shortly after that I got the job offer from the city.
It all worked out.
Went to a new year's nitro party and there was an orange lambo there. It's exactly the look we're going for.

The seat didn't have a headrest originally. Dad made one with some aluminum & integrated it to the seat, which is tailor made to the chassis.

In the middle of all the cold, he also got the quarter and back windows all taken care of with all new MarGuard Lexan. A little more tricky because the windows are flush with the body, including a recessed bevel.

your dad gonna have a frankentruck too?

It's a 2000 S-10 Pro Stock Truck.








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