Here is a little something to update the Draglist gang.
Sin City 2012 SEASON UPDATE
Due to a new job and working late into the night on the car most nights I have been lax in keeping my “What I did last weekend” stories up to date. I miss writing them, but just can't find the extra time in the day to do it. So here is a brief overview of the season to date.
The winter involved a complete dis-assembly of the car to have the chassis powder-coated. This gave me a chance to work over and inspect all the components on the car. I had everything apart, updated or serviced, or changed out. We discovered a couple of problems that plagued us at every event last year and started this year with a bright outlook. One area was the trans, which was new last year. The planetarys were bad causing the car to leave soft. We serviced it, put a new clutch pack in and looked the rest of it over.
The first event was an 1/8th mile race at Springfield, MO. We had a small brake issue, but the car seemed strong with it's best ever 60-foot times. It was spinning the tires down track so I felt we had something to work with now.
Back at the shop I pulled it all down, checked the pistons, serviced the clutch. Pulled the trans and serviced it. I found a cracked flywheel. Thanks to Mike Cavalieri we got one just in time to for the event. We were looking forward to a great showing at the Reunion in Bowling Green. We had dry hops and visions of running our best times ever in the car.
Boy, sometimes the Nitro Goddess can be a real witch. When we got to the track, the warm up went well. The burnout was nice, after that we pretty much sucked. The first dry hop was soft, like it was still in high gear. I double checked, nope the trans shifter was in low. So now do I do another weak suck dry hop or stage it and hope it is fixed? I tried another dry hop, no good. So I staged knowing I was going to be leaving in high gear and get my butt handed to me against my friend Jon Capps. That is exactly how it went. Except the car never came to life and labored all down the track. We had plenty of time to check things over, the only trouble was I couldn't find the problem. Then trans looked OK, after taking it apart again. I checked the engine and only came up with the idea that the mag or coil was bad. Now I had the choice of either going out and making a bad show, or disappointing Steve Gibbs and the crowd by now showing for the next round. I voted to not run the car as I didn't feel I had cured anything. It turns out this drug down the quality of the funnycar show at the event, but we wouldn't have added to the show at that point anyway.
Back at the shop it all comes apart again. I get a 2nd set of eyes on the trans, actually a 4th or 5th set as a number of guys including Ron “Tikiman” Warrior spent some time going over it at Bowling Green. Nothing shows as wrong, with the exception that the planetary hub stays on the center shaft when the cases are split. That seems a bit odd, but not earth shaking out of the ordinary. When I went to put it back in the car is where it finally showed a problem. We traced it back through the reverser and found the snap rings were bent over and not allowing everything to fit properly. Also the splines on the center shaft were hanging up on the hub. With a short time before Eddyville race, I called and borrowed trans from the Bear Town Shaker boys.
To solve the running poorly problem I sent the mag and coil off to be checked. I started at the crank and checked every single part on the engine to find any problems. Nothing was off or wasn't exactly what I thought it was. I put the freshly checked mag and coil back in the car and went to Eddyville. I would be an understatement to say I was a bit nervous about racing in front of the home crowd without finding anything definite wrong on the car. I guess the ride to Ca for a mag check worked wonders. We unloaded the car and set low ET for the event on the first run. I had the engine backed down just wanting to go A to B. We hopped it up for the 2nd round and would have had a hell of a race against my friend Anthony Bronge. We left together and were both hauling the mail when the rear end broke in my car. Anthony went on to run 4.05. I know we had something for him as the cars were side by side when our rear end gave up. Did I mention the rear end was 5-runs old? So even though the rear end problem kept us from the win, the engine was stout and the team left Eddyville in high spirits.
I have to say, this Eddyville race was one of the best weekends of racing I have had in a long time. Home crowd, the car turned around performance wise. My father in law came to his first drag race with us. My friends Frank Ousley, Shane, and Mark Hutchison came to help out on the car. Jerry came over and had the cylinders balanced. It was truly a great night of racing.
Back at the shop I tore the car clear down, pulled the rear end. We found the pinion bearing was burnt up. When I called Dennis Mothershed at Victory Performance to get another set of rear gears, he suggested we look at the oiling path for that bearing. That ended up being what caused the trouble in the first place. So the rear end was fixed, now on to the trans, clutch and engine. Mark Kinser was the one who found the trans issues, and fixed it up for me. When we magged the crank, it was starting to have more small ones than we wanted. So I called Tim Wilkerson and had him ship over a new one. The trouble with that is we missed the Cedar Falls race. That sucked as that is Norm's home track and we were looking forward to running well there.
So, now I felt we needed to test the car. It hasn't been on a ¼ mile track yet and I had some things I wanted to check out before the World Series. I talked with BJ at Byron and he gave his blessing to come test while he was holding his Nostalgia race. After a couple of phone calls with Jerry, we loaded up and headed over to the track. We went Saturday and got parked with the rest of the guys. Then Sunday dawned nice and sunny. The temp was around 83-degrees just a perfect day to be at the track racing. Frank and Shane again came over and agreed to help us out. We started the car a couple of times getting the idle temps evened out. We went to the line to try out some things with the car set up pretty soft. I think I scared Jerry, as I suggested a lower nitro % than he was thinking. That usually doesn't happen, of course my thoughts are always to add more!
After a nice burnout, I staged the car and ran it all the way to the end. It went a 6.35 or .36 at 220 something. Now that isn't an earth shattering run, but it was clean and dry at the other end and also a team record with this car. We brought it back to the pits, checked it over and again hopped it up for the 2nd round.
On the line we had a couple of plug wires crossed. This started a downhill process that kept the car from firing. We pulled off the track, pretty disappointed to say the least. Back in the pits we checked things over. Nothing seemed wrong, but since it was early and the car didn't start I decided to put it apart and check everything. We pulled the heads, pistons and rods and looked everything over. All seemed fine so we loaded up and went home.
I put it back together and fired it up just to make sure we had no other issues. Now I will service the clutch, trans. Pull the pinion support out to double check that our bearing fix worked. Then clean everything and get ready for the World Series.
So even though we haven't gotten to run up to our potential, I feel the car is coming around this year. Finding problems that we were fighting since the beginning is allowing for some confidence in our program again. We have run our best 60-foot times this year. We have run consistent 660-foot times. We have run it to the end of the track under power. So now it is time to turn up the wick and try to run it with the rest of the gang.
Thanks for taking the time to read the update,