Are there any drag racers here and is a performance forum a good idea?

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Are there any drag racers here and is a performance forum a good idea?

Post by bracketchev1221 on Sun Oct 06, 2013 10:37 pm

I was curious to see if there were any drag racers, or those that would be interested in trying to make their cars ET better. I have been racing Chevelles for the better part of 20 years. I still have my 70, I have run the 78-81 body style, and I am now looking into getting my 76 into the 12's and be street driven. All of the ideas carry over for this body style and chassis design from 64 to 88. Anyone out there? I live in the Eastern PA area and wouldn't mind getting together for a drag day at either Maple Grove or Cecil County Dragway. Let's hear about them.
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Re: Are there any drag racers here and is a performance forum a good idea?

Post by JB2wheeler on Sun Oct 06, 2013 11:06 pm

Yes, there are racers here, but I am not one of them. I am very interested in having a good 60 foot time just for an ocassional outing. I have as much engine as I need. My racing days are over, the memories are not. . JB
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Re: Are there any drag racers here and is a performance forum a good idea?

Post by bracketchev1221 on Sun Oct 06, 2013 11:23 pm

Well, believe it or not, that is one topic I would like to address. "Enough engine". I see a big movement to building these 700 hp pump gas engines. I honestly don't see the need for them. It does not take a ton of hp to have a fast, fun street car. I can tell you my Chevelle weighed 3675 with me in it when I first built it with a 540hp 427. That car went 11.20's consistently with a best of 11.05. That to me is really fast for a car to be driven on the street. You can't get traction as it is, so why need more. I think there is more fun for the average person to optimize and play with what they have and get out there and run it. You can build a 400 hp 350 and have tons of fun with it on the street, and still be able to run in the 12's. Which is a lot faster than many people think.
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Re: Are there any drag racers here and is a performance forum a good idea?

Post by dynchel on Mon Oct 07, 2013 7:31 am

I like the idea, I personally don't race but am constantly trying to improve performance. ie battery in trunk, weight reduced (within reason) 373 gears, etc.
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Re: Are there any drag racers here and is a performance forum a good idea?

Post by driveit on Mon Oct 07, 2013 8:04 am

I am interested. I am about to start off from scratch with this one though. I am getting the body straightened out for right now and getting ready to put all new HD suspension parts under it. Two inch drop spindle in the front and a 1 inch lowering spring in the rear. A rebuilt engine will be in the works soon and a 700R4. Maybe a 3:42 gear if I have enough green left over. Doesn't look promising though.

Tips?
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Re: Are there any drag racers here and is a performance forum a good idea?

Post by JB2wheeler on Mon Oct 07, 2013 9:39 am

I have the 3.42 gear with a Turbo400. With the 700R4 trans, that is a good gear but with my 400 trans it gets weary doing 65 MPH at 3,000 RPMs and the full length headers screaming at you. JB
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Re: Are there any drag racers here and is a performance forum a good idea?

Post by dynchel on Mon Oct 07, 2013 9:48 am

Twisted Evil 
JB2wheeler wrote:I have the 3.42 gear with a Turbo400. With the 700R4 trans, that is a good gear but with my 400 trans it gets weary doing 65 MPH at 3,000 RPMs and the full length headers screaming at you. JB
 
I know what you mean lol, i have 373 gears, a th350 trans, 245/60/15 tires,a "built trans" that chirps the tires on practically any gear change, a 2200 stall converter, and side pipes dumping three feet from my head.  Definatly not a power tour car.Evil or Very Mad   It is fun from stoplight to stoplight.Twisted Evil


Last edited by dynchel on Mon Oct 07, 2013 9:53 am; edited 1 time in total (Reason for editing : added details)
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Re: Are there any drag racers here and is a performance forum a good idea?

Post by driveit on Mon Oct 07, 2013 1:53 pm

Think I would get a better cruising RPM and still be sporty with that setup?
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Re: Are there any drag racers here and is a performance forum a good idea?

Post by JB2wheeler on Mon Oct 07, 2013 6:21 pm

Definately. If I ever have trouble with my expensive T400 I will go with an overdrive auto. JB
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Re: Are there any drag racers here and is a performance forum a good idea?

Post by bracketchev1221 on Mon Oct 07, 2013 7:30 pm

I'm planning a t-350 and a 3.42 with 275/60-15's for mine. I had a 79 with a 406, t-350 and 3.73's a long time ago. It was rough. With 235/60-14 tires, 60 was a challenge with the 3.73's. My Nova has the 275/60's on it now with 4.10 gears. That is really rough.

But comparing apples to apples, here are the 1st gear ratios

t-350 2.52
t-400 2.48
700R4 3.06

So you can run a t-350 and a 3.73 gear, with an effective gear of 9.399. With a 700R4 you can run a 3.08 gear and have the same effective 1st gear. So it is a win win. A 3.42 with a 700R4 and OD will get better mileage and leave harder than a t-350 or 400 with 4.10 gears.
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Re: Are there any drag racers here and is a performance forum a good idea?

Post by bracketchev1221 on Mon Oct 07, 2013 7:35 pm

dynchel wrote:I like the idea, I personally don't race but am constantly trying to improve performance.  ie battery in trunk, weight reduced (within reason) 373 gears, etc.
These cars like the battery moved to the passenger side rear corner to help counter the tendency for the car to lift the right rear tire under acceleration. That is the famous body twist that everyone sees out of this chassis design. It is not frame twist at all. It is the rotation of the pinion gear causing the rear end to want to rotate clockwise looking at it from the front. I have pictures of my Chevelle with the driver side front tire a foot and half in the air and the passenger side front square on the ground. It made for a good picture, but did nothing for helping the car accelerate.
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Re: Are there any drag racers here and is a performance forum a good idea?

Post by Joe73 on Mon Oct 07, 2013 7:47 pm

bracketchev1221 wrote:I'm planning a t-350 and a 3.42 with 275/60-15's for mine.  I had a 79 with a 406, t-350 and 3.73's a long time ago.  It was rough.  With 235/60-14 tires, 60 was a challenge with the 3.73's.  My Nova has the 275/60's on it now with 4.10 gears.  That is really rough.  

But comparing apples to apples, here are the 1st gear ratios

t-350   2.52
t-400   2.48
700R4  3.06

So you can run a t-350 and a 3.73 gear, with an effective gear of  9.399.  With a 700R4 you can run a 3.08 gear and have the same effective 1st gear.  So it is a win win.  A 3.42 with a 700R4 and OD will get better mileage and leave harder than a t-350 or 400 with 4.10 gears.
That info is spot on!! My SS was my daily driver for a couple of years. Factory Muncie M20 with a 2.52 first gear and a factory 3.42 rear gear. Great light to light, but no fun on the highway. If I remember correctly it ran 2200 rpms at 55-60 mph. Now with the same trans and my 4.10 rear I have now, highway driving is useless. It runs well over 3 grand on the tach. A nice beefed up overdrive trans is the way to go if your not worried about keeping everything number matching.
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Re: Are there any drag racers here and is a performance forum a good idea?

Post by dynchel on Mon Oct 07, 2013 8:08 pm

bracketchev1221 wrote:
dynchel wrote:I like the idea, I personally don't race but am constantly trying to improve performance.  ie battery in trunk, weight reduced (within reason) 373 gears, etc.
These cars like the battery moved to the passenger side rear corner to help counter the tendency for the car to lift the right rear tire under acceleration.  That is the famous body twist that everyone sees out of this chassis design.  It is not frame twist at all.  It is the rotation of the pinion gear causing the rear end to want to rotate clockwise looking at it from the front.  I have pictures of my Chevelle with the driver side front tire a foot and half in the air and the passenger side front square on the ground.  It made for a good picture, but did nothing for helping the car accelerate.  
So what suspention set up do you use in the rear?  I have PST control arms, stock replacement Moog springs, Monroe sensatrac shocks, and a Impala SS rear sway bar.  The rear end has a Richmond powertrax and Richmond 373 gears.  The car had a wicked wheel hop, It's been mentioned (here) the shocks are too soft, "you need traction bars", frame support, etc.  Do you have a setup that works well. And will you share?  Thanks john m.
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Re: Are there any drag racers here and is a performance forum a good idea?

Post by Joe73 on Mon Oct 07, 2013 8:35 pm

I've been running Competition Engineering drag shocks in my front and rear. They have 3 settings on them. I keep the fronts at 80/30 rate and the rears at 50/50 rate. CE says they are not for street use but I havent had any problems with them. Never and wheel hop with them.
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Re: Are there any drag racers here and is a performance forum a good idea?

Post by dynchel on Mon Oct 07, 2013 8:40 pm

Joe73 wrote:I've been running Competition Engineering drag shocks in my front and rear.  They have 3 settings on them.  I keep the fronts at 80/30 rate and the rears at 50/50 rate.  CE says they are not for street use but I havent had any problems with them.  Never and wheel hop with them.  
OK, if I'm understanding correctly, my shocks are the problem?
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Re: Are there any drag racers here and is a performance forum a good idea?

Post by bracketchev1221 on Mon Oct 07, 2013 10:00 pm

Sometimes it can be attributed to just the tires. But other times it is combination of shock dampening and or rear bar angle. I have used the competition engineering shock in my chevelle. You need to dampen the bounce of the rear. But one thing that may need to be addressed is the angle of the bars. If the back of the car is high, the angles of the link bars in the rear can be off. When I had the small tires on the Chevelle, I used the old Southside Machine lift bars. I had those with the Competition engineering shocks, and went 10.50's with a 1.47 60' time.
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Re: Are there any drag racers here and is a performance forum a good idea?

Post by BlackChevelleSS on Tue Oct 08, 2013 12:27 am

man my 70 weighed in 4200lbs with me in it. AC, PS PW PDB bucket seats and all. Im struggling in the 12s. I was running a 30 over 454, xr274 comp cam, 1.7 rockers, 840 rectangle heads, vic jr intake, and 3000 stall th400 and 3.31 gears with 275/60 MTs DRs  This setup got me 12.39 @ 111mph

I just changed my set up recently went to 290 oval ports with 2.19 1.88 and a rpm intake and that lasted all but maybe one hard pull till I lost a ring land in my 20 year old KB hyperexplodit pistons.
So I just ordered a set of Probe forged pistons to throw together, shell be around 11:1 compression with the 290s so Im hoping to get into the 11s and I got to get this thing together before the 20th cause Im paid to race that day.

Planning on retiring this motor soon, I only planned on using it a couple of years then building me a 496, cause I threw it together with all the used parts I could buy back in 2007. Thats why its such a screwed up set up in the beginning. but here it is 6 years later and im still screwing with this motor. probably 100 passes on it and I know over 10K miles

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Re: Are there any drag racers here and is a performance forum a good idea?

Post by bracketchev1221 on Tue Oct 08, 2013 1:41 am

Well, the oval ports will definitely wake up the motor down low. With the 3.31 gear low end torque is more important than top end power. I don't know that the valves are going to help that much. They are larger, but they are also shrouded on the sides by the closed chamber. But going in the low 12s with a 4200 lbs car with all the extras is no small task. Especially with a cruising gear in it. I have never been a fan of trying to make too much power with a hyper piston. They are just so unforgiving. I grew up with using forged pistons, and that is what I continue to use. My street motors get SRP pistons and the race engines get JE pistons. If it is a budget engine, I will go with Speed Pro pistons.
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Re: Are there any drag racers here and is a performance forum a good idea?

Post by Joe73 on Tue Oct 08, 2013 5:49 am

Whenever I got wheel hop, I knew I needed new shocks. When it was my daily driver in the mid 80's, I used sears heavy duty rear shocks with no problems.
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Re: Are there any drag racers here and is a performance forum a good idea?

Post by thatfnthing on Tue Oct 08, 2013 1:12 pm

driveit wrote:A rebuilt engine will be in the works soon and a 700R4.  Maybe a 3:42 gear if I have enough green left over.  Doesn't look promising though.
Consider an OD trans and new rear gears being a matched set, and plan your money that way.  You don't want to do one without the other, because when they're mismatched you will not enjoy the car.  An OD trans and low rear gears will be a slug, and a non-OD trans with large rear gears will scream at you on the highway.

With either 700 or 200 trans, consider 3.42 a minimum rear gear size.
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Re: Are there any drag racers here and is a performance forum a good idea?

Post by Bruisr on Tue Oct 08, 2013 1:26 pm

I'm all for a performance section! I've always loved drag racing, just could never afford to do it right. I'm in the assembly stages of rebuilding a 454 and had to stop for lack of funds. I have since changed my plans for a basic build, and want to make some major changes for more power, but like anything power costs money. So I'm trying to make good power with what I have, but have questions with no answers. My machine shop doesn't think what I want to do will work, and I can't afford to change the crankshaft, my pistons are hanging on the rods, but my compression ratio (according to him) is less than 8.1. I don't believe this! Every time I go to him with a question, he says it wont work! I have no one else to bounce ideas off of or anyone to offer advice. So please bring on the performance section.
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Re: Are there any drag racers here and is a performance forum a good idea?

Post by bracketchev1221 on Tue Oct 08, 2013 7:39 pm

Are they the single valve relief flat top pistons?
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Re: Are there any drag racers here and is a performance forum a good idea?

Post by Bruisr on Tue Oct 08, 2013 8:57 pm

Yes, also I'm using a worked set of 049 heads. I've heard and read they have 122 cc's chambers and others claim 113 cc chambers. So I thought, using a steel shim head gasket with a compressed thickness of .019 could help if the chambers actually are 122 cc's. When I had the block and pistons and crank at the machine shop, I had choose to do a basic rebuild. Now, I want to increase the compression ratio, install a bigger cam. I know the engine work is crap if the gears and stall aren't matched to the power band, but I will change the rear gear ratio and already have a 3500 stall convertor. So far I have a 750 double pumper, Victor Jr. intake, MSD ignition. I have some of the items needed for the rear suspension, and will be upgrading the suspension as money allows. The chevelle has been put on a diet. Gutted front and rear bumpers, engine bay deleted of a/c, heater, and other items not needed. Battery is relocated to the trunk, and the interior is void of anything not wanted.
I used a 454 with the same 049 heads, 280 duration comp. cam, 3500 stall, and 4.10 gears with the carb. and intake stated above and loved the way the engine and car responded together. But for some reason, the machine shop is telling me this setup wont work. It worked great before it flattened a lobe on the cam and caused a rod bearing to spin. The pistons are new replacements but look just like the ones they replaced. I didn't measure the deck height, but I'm not understanding what this guys deal is? Is he being honest or trying to get more money?
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Re: Are there any drag racers here and is a performance forum a good idea?

Post by Bruisr on Tue Oct 08, 2013 9:08 pm

By the way, emissions and fuel economy are not a factor! Its not a daily driver, but I will drive it! I don't mind running 4.10 gears, I'm even thinking about 4.30 gears. My tires are 29 inches tall now, and could possibly go to a 30 or 31 inches tall,( to help a little with final drive rpms). This is my pride and joy car(my very first car) and I want a bad A$$! I want to beat my dad's car! He has a 383 pushing around 450 horse with 3000 stall and 4.10 gears in a 66 chevelle. Changing pistons is an option, but money will dictate if that happens or not! Also, not certain if this matters or not, but the rotating assembly in the above mentioned 454 was from a jet boat.
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Re: Are there any drag racers here and is a performance forum a good idea?

Post by carcass on Tue Oct 08, 2013 9:12 pm

I didn't even realize there was no performance section, I wouldn't have even bought my 3rd gen if I didn't think that platform would be good for speed. I have almost no interest in restoring one. I see it and see racecar and think vintage nascar immediately.
Also did I read that there could be too much horsepower? That's like having only one drink, its just silly. If you can afford a 700 horse motor I say go for it! These new LS motors go that big all the time and still retain driveability. A 700 horse gen 1 motor is a bit much . Get bigger tires if traction is a problem!
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