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Old 09-28-2011, 12:07 PM
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First time out at Dragstrip

Good Day Gents

Finally have the Nova up to standards, enough to hit the track for my VERY 1st TIME! Test n Tune @Milan dragway next friday I've been to watch races, but never actually down the 1320, and I've been working on a car for years. So, I'm asking some of you vets, what are some tips for my trip out? I'll give u a rundown...

I have a friend who can trailer me out there, although I can probably drive the hour drive there in the car.
I have a 76 Nova, 350 vortec with some work done on the heads,
holley 650 carb,
Performer intake (which I think is a limiter in my powerband)
comp 282hr,
3k B&M converter,
th350 trans W/shift kit
stock rear end w/ 2.73 or 3.08's
Borrowed 15" bfg drag radials.

So, What should I expect? I'm nervous... I'm thinking, mid 14's? I dunno. Goes pretty hard on the street.
SHould I shift it myself?
@what RPM?
Brake torque it?
Anything I can do b4 next weekend, for about 100 bucks or so that will help me? THANKS FOR YOUR HELP, and I will keep u posted!

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Old 09-28-2011, 02:32 PM
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Seeing that it is so late in the current season, here is what I would do.

I would take it to the strip and run it as it is right now. Check the obvious stuff - fluids, tire pressures, loose stuff in the car, trunk, etc. Get it through tech for any comments they may have (probably won't if you're in one of the stock classes).

Then take it out and make a few runs to see how consistent it is. Get a baseline so you can evaluate any changes you make later. Constantly making changes to try for a lower ET doesn't make a lot of sense when you're going to run on a dialin. It's far more important to have a consistent running car so you can shave your dialin close enough to be competitve in the elimination rounds. Part of the consistency exercise is also getting your reaction time and staging rollout figured out for you and your car.

Once you get it consistent, then make some changes and spend some money if you want to go faster / quicker.

BTW, never been to Milan - how is it as a facility? I race Wednesday nights at Norwalk - unfortunately tonight is the last Wednesday night of the season and it's raining a little here right now.

Good luck with your car. Let us know how it goes.
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Old 09-29-2011, 06:25 AM
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Thanks 4 the input

See, I had the wrong idea in mind from the jump. I was going out with the mindset of trying to see how fast I can get it to run, as opposed to how consistant. A consistant running car is a good running car, rather it's in the 14's or 9's

I'm really trying to get a judge on my e.t.'s b4 I go out there, so I can know if my combo is under-performing. I've been perusing a few vette and mustang forums, looking @their times and trying to predict mine. I should trap better than 100 mph, I'm hoping. And a 60 ft under 2.5, would be nice.

Milan is a cool facility, from what i can see going to various grudge matches and PassTime and Pinks All Out tapings, they do their best to keep the track prepped, clean and sticky for the drivers. And I believe there is test and tune every wed and fri for the remainder of the month. I plan to go next fri. I do plan to take pics an post them
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Old 09-29-2011, 06:48 AM
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I have been to milan several times, it is a nice facility. One of the nicest 1/4 strips left IMO. I think you might be able to get under the 14's with drag radials on your car. Play with your launch, if you're going to slap it from idle or load the converter (preferred). I'm a little concerned about your driveline, stock components don't like drag radials, and especially if you're not letting the rear break out much with the 2.73 gears. Is this an open rear?

I'd say your gearing is the weak link at this point. Easy fix.

K
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Old 09-29-2011, 07:13 AM
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Letting my rear "break out"?

You know, I've only experienced 1/4 mile racing, it seems like having to watch an 8th mile race would be a gyp!! So Norwalk is only 8th mile? Wow. I thought that was one of the biggest, baddest dragways in the area, with the jet-powered nights and such. But I look forward to going, probably for the Halloween Classic.

I was told that if I put some slicks on, kiss my rear end good bye. It is stock, one wheel peel. But I thought that the 2.73's and the pegleg would actually HELP me not break anything??? Since I don't have crazy torque multiplication down low, and no posi putting stress on both axles, would make for a softer launch, and i pick it up on the big end??? I've never driven this with the DR's before though Stock I have itty bitty 14'" rallys that spin until I come out the gas
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Old 09-29-2011, 07:46 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MrChevyDC3
You know, I've only experienced 1/4 mile racing, it seems like having to watch an 8th mile race would be a gyp!! So Norwalk is only 8th mile? Wow. I thought that was one of the biggest, baddest dragways in the area, with the jet-powered nights and such. But I look forward to going, probably for the Halloween Classic.
Don't know where the 1/8th mile at Norwalk came in to the discussion. It is a 1/4 mile track and they run 1/4 mile on Amateur nights as well. The only time I've seen them run 1/8th mile is the Blue Suede Cruise fun runs, when the junior drag cars are running, and sometimes when the crosswind is excessive for the level of cars that are running at the time. One of the freshest, cleanest tracks I've been to. The pits are entirely paved and are nearly 4000 feet long. Great track owner and very customer oriented. They have also hosted one of the NHRA National events the last five years, so you know the track is right on a par with other national event facilities.

I'm going to the Halloween classic as well and taking the grand kids.
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Old 09-29-2011, 12:18 PM
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This ain't cucumber's first rodeo. Pay attention to what he has to tell you.

When a front-motor, rear-drive car launches, the chassis twists on a diagonal. The left front and the right rear get light. The right front and the left rear get heavy. That's why you always see the right rear tire worn out. There is insufficient weight on it to allow a grip, unlike the left rear, which has sufficient weight on it to hook up.

A down and dirty temporary fix is to install an air shock or air bag on the right rear only. Rig up a pressure gauge and line on it to the outside of the car, so that you can add or subtract pressure and read it on the gauge from outside the car. It's not any big deal to fabricate a mount that will come off a bumper bracket or other frame member. Don't drill any holes in the sheet metal. This air shock/bag is only temporary, until you get rid of the pegleg rear.

When you have it installed, get an air bottle, fill it to 100 lbs, stop at the grocery and get a bottle of sneaker white polish. Go to any area that has asphalt and nobody around. Start with maybe 30 lbs in the shock/bag and 45 lbs in the rear tires. Crawl under and make a line across the tread of both rear tires with the sneaker polish, maybe 4 inches wide, from one sidewall to the other sidewall of the tire. Allow the white liquid to dry.

Assuming a launch, hold the brake and let off the brake at the same time you mat the loud pedal. Do not stall the motor up against the torque converter. Leave from an idle every time. Doing the same thing the same way every time will develop consistency and that's what you want, like cucumber said.

After your first launch, get under and inspect the polish lines. What you are after is for both lines to be the same all the way across the tire and you want both lines to look the same. If there is less polish on the right rear than there is on the left rear, then you know that the right rear is still spinning in relation to the left rear and that you need more pressure in the right rear shock to push the tire down harder on the pavement. Once you get the shock pressure dialed in, look at both polish stripes to be the same all the way across the tread of the tires. Wiped off in the middle of the tread will tell you that the tire pressure is too high. Polish left in the middle, but worn off at the edges of the tread will tell you that the tire pressure is too low.

Now, you have a whole new playtoy to experiment with. Have fun.
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Old 09-29-2011, 01:37 PM
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Look forward to it!

You know, I totally read into KillerF's post the wrong way. I assumed when he said Milan was one of the nicest 1/4 strips left, I assumed... U know. My bad

I've heard about the airbag in the shock trick in lieu of a posi. I'm gonna look into that, maybe see if I can pull the project off b4 next week. So I can buy just one airbag to put in the shock of the drive tire?? I'll look into that, Thanks Tech!
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Old 09-29-2011, 01:48 PM
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If you have the option to trailer the car, I would do it. It sucks when you drive to the track it and break it. It can make for a long frustrating day. Concentrating on getting consistent is the most important thing and it is more about you than the car. Once you know how the car reacts you can start to tune it from there. Remember to only change 1 thing at a time or you will spend a lot of time chasing your tail.
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Old 09-29-2011, 02:11 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MrChevyDC3
So I can buy just one airbag to put in the shock of the drive tire??
One only, installed in the passenger side rear position.
I strongly agree with Chet's suggestion of trailering the car. I have seen fellows drive to the strip and break their car. It ain't pretty, figuring a way to get the car and your passengers home late at night.
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Old 09-29-2011, 03:43 PM
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It's also a good idea to drain anti-freeze and run just straight water at the track. Coolant takes a longer time to clean and dry the track should you bust something. This something could be a heater hose all the way up too a rod sticking out the side of the block. You may ruin your evening breaking something but try not to ruin the next guys night.

I just about lost a rear motored TAD and got a friend hurt @ a local sat. night special 1/8 miler because no one was paying attention to what was on the track. Had i not walked our lane he would have never driven that car through blowing the tires away just before the traps. We were match racing that thing at local tracks for a few bucks, I was the pit crew, he did the driving and we tuned together.

Tony
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Old 09-30-2011, 06:41 AM
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"It's also a good idea to drain anti-freeze and run just straight water at the track."

Thanks for the added tips guys. I can understand that concept, and I guess i should do that and put a lil race gas in b4 we load up to go? .. You know, I hear folks take pride in saying they drove their cars to the track, bolted on some slicks and ran xx.xx, and drove back home. However, being my first time out thrashing on it, I will pay a buddy to trailer it out there. That way i'll have a line up/pitman too So you suggest we walk the some of the length of the track b4 my run?
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Old 09-30-2011, 07:47 AM
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If your setup does not require race gas, don't waste your money, it is not going to make that much of a difference.
From you initial post I don't think it is going to make a difference for you.
Save you money in case you need to replace any broken parts.
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Old 09-30-2011, 07:48 AM
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They won't let you walk the track. We where the big "paid show" when we match raced so we took a few liberties as well as we weren't going to bang up up a pro-chassis at a beer and peanut track. It takes a lot of work to put on a show at the track and not make yourself look like a bunch of fools. Which we did a time or 2 even though we tried hard not too.............

You are going to be at a class act facility so the lanes should be of little worry for you. Warm the tire (s) a little stage it up and turn it loose.....having fun and being safe is your job .

Tony
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Old 10-01-2011, 07:58 AM
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Wonder how his track time went? may have been up all night re-living his first pass on the strip.
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