Roll Bar Install Advice
Roll Bar Install Advice
Not sure if this is the best place to post this. could some of you veterans builders, tell me whats involved in installing a roll cage, in a 63 nova 2dr HT with a stock front end with disc brakes. maybe not a not a 12 point as it will be on the strip a lot, and prob not fastest enough to need one for 1/4mi strip rules but it's not a daily driver , but then like what would be the next choice ? a 6 point or 8 point cage ? as someone pointed out it's prob needed, since i'm cutting up the floor and putting a narrowed rear subframe with a ladder bar setup. and big wheel wells in, it will be needed to replace the strength I lose by cutting car. Also, especially on hardtop, i'm wanting to tie it all together, so the front edge of quarter panel is tied to main hoop so quarter does'nt crack @ roof pillar. where do you buy a roll bar kit ? whats the going price ?
this will be a weekend cruiser with 4 to 5 trips to the 1/4mi strip every yr. and prob a 400HP SBC with a auto tranny and 9" rear. the plan is to tuck 14" w or 16" w meats under the rear fender, and maybe later on using a 450+ SBC. i only want to do the rear 1/2 once. any or advice welcome.
the guy helping me owns the welding shop, is there a generic plan I can kinda start ? you know so I will know how to build a cage what size tubing ID or OD and what tubing thickness am I looking at. I don't know if my buddie has built a race cage b4, I haven't talked to him about it yet. but a basic idea on how they are built would help plan it out.
You will need to gut the car from the firewall back.......and build a 3/4 back car.
Alston and others sell rear clips. You will be money ahead by doing it that way.
I would go ahead and get a front clip too.....and do away with the towers that are a Pain in the %$& ......
Roll bar thickness should be determined by the drag strip rules where you plan to race......or it will not pass tech.... ( been there...done that )
the biggest tip would be to go to your drag strip where you plan to race the most and get a rule book. That should answer most of your questions. Also don't grind on or smooth out any welds which is against the rules in most cases.
Here are instructions I wrote for a bar installation that will give you some insight into installation procedures and reasons for the rules. A cage will be minimum 8-point with the last two points being a straight tube from the intersection of the crossbar/diagonal side bar down to the sub-frame connectors. Roll bars use 1 3/4" tubing, roll cages use 1 5/8" tubing, either 0.120" wall mild steel or 0.083" chromoly minumum. Do as lostinthought suggested, contact NHRA and buy a rulebook. It's all spelled out in there. I wrote this piece to make the book easier to understand.
This topic will cover a 5-point roll bar as opposed to a roll cage. Most fellows these days will go ahead and build a cage while they have the welder and their tools fired up, but we'll cover the bar for those of you who don't plan on going 9's (or quicker). With an otherwise unaltered floor and firewall, a 5-point bar will take you to 10 flat. A "point" refers tp a connection point of the end of a bar at the car floor or frame. A 5-point roll bar will have connections as follows: The main hoop, or B-bar, will connect to the sill/floor at two points just behind the driver, the two rear braces will make two more connections somewhere in the trunk area and the fifth point will be in the area of the driver's left foot, made by the driver's "side bar". Most of the time, racers will go ahead and install a sixth point "side bar" on the passenger side of the car, helping to stiffen the car up. One note of interest here, mimimum O.D. of the tubing for a bar is 1 3/4", for a cage it's 1 5/8", so it may be cheaper to buy all 1 5/8" tubing and build the cage from the start. Anyway, I'll start off with the rule for the bar:
2005 NHRA Rulebook, General Regulations
4:10 ROLL BARS
All roll bars must be within 6" of the rear, or side, of the driver's head, extend in height at least 3" above the driver's helmet with driver in normal driving position and be at least as wide as the driver's shoulders or within 1" of the driver's door. Roll bar must be adequately supported or cross-braced to prevent forward or lateral collapse. Rear braces must be of the same diameter and wall thickness as the roll bar and intersect the roll bar at a point not more than 5" from the top of the roll bar. Crossbar and rear braces must be welded to main hoop. Side-bar must be included on driver's side and must pass the driver at a point midway between the shoulder and elbow. Swing-out sidebar permitted. All roll bars must have in their construction a cross bar for seat bracing and as the shoulder harness attachment point. Cross bar must be installed no more than 4" below, and not above, the driver's shoulders or to the side bar. All vehicles with OEM frame must have roll bar welded or bolted to frame; installation of frame connectors on unibody cars does not constitute a frame; therefore it is not necessary to have the roll bar attached to the frame. Unibody cars with stock floor and firewall (wheeltubs permitted) may attach roll bar with 6-inch x 6-inch x 0.125-inch (1/8") steel plates on top and bottom of floor bolted together with at least four 3/8-inch (0.375") diameter bolts and nuts, or weld main hoop to rocker sill area with 0.125-inch (1/8") reinforcing plates, with plates welded completely. All 4130 chromoly tube welding must be done by approved TIG heliarc process; mild steel welding must be done by approved MIG wire feed or approved TIG heliarc process. Welding must be free of slag and porosity. Any grinding of welds prohibited. See illustration. Roll bar must be padded anywhere drivers helmet may contact it while in driving position. Adequate padding must have minimum 1/4-inch compression or meet S.F.I. Spec 45.1. All cars running 180-mph or faster, S.F.I. Spec 45.1 mandatory.
Now, let's examine the rule:
A. "All roll bars must be within 6" of the rear, or side, of the driver's head, extend in height at least 3" above the driver's helmet with driver in normal driving position and be at least as wide as the driver's shoulders or within 1" of the driver's door."
Some fellows will build their roll bar only to protect the driver if their car is a purpose-built race car that will never have a passenger (unlike a car which will also be run on the street), so they build the bar to look sort of like a pyramid, except rounded on the top where it protects the driver's head. They will run the main hoop (B bar) up from the driver's side sill to the roof, make a half-circle around their helmet and then take the bar down to the sill at the other door instead of running it to the other side of the roof of the car and then down. This arrangement makes no sense to me. It's just that much more work when you decide to go faster and make a cage out of it. The part of the rule that says "at least as wide as the driver's shoulders or within 1" of the drivers door" is meant for the "pyramid" guys. The part about being within 6 inches of the rear of the driver's head is to prevent a builder from installing the bar back at the rear window or up by the windshield with no other protective bars in between. You might have to picture the roof being caved in. If the bar is near the driver's head, he will be protected. By the way, let's get the terminology in order. The main hoop is normally referred to as the "B" bar, as that's where the B pillar is on the car. The windshield frame is the "A" pillar or A bar and the rear window frame is the "C" pillar.
B."Roll bar must be adequately supported or cross-braced to prevent forward or lateral collapse."
Forward or rearward "lozenging" or collapse is prevented by the two diagonal bars (rear braces) which connect to the top of the B bar and run down through the package tray and into the trunk area in the rear, or into the floor of the bed if we're talking pickup truck, forming a triangular support to the B bar when the car/truck is viewed from the side. Lateral collapse is prevented by the cross bar which runs from the left (or driver's side) of the B bar to the right (or passenger's side) of the B bar. This cross bar is installed at the driver's shoulder height with the driver seated in his/her driving position.
C. " Rear braces must be of the same diameter and wall thickness as the roll bar and intersect the roll bar at a point not more than 5" from the top of the roll bar."
"Same diameter" means minimum 1 3/4" (1.750")
"Same wall thickness means 0.118" for mild steel and 0.083" for chromoly
"Not more than 5"....means do not move the rear braces over to the side of the car to the vertical part of the B bar any further down than 5" as measured from the top of the B bar. The closer to the top of the B bar these rear braces are, the better they can prevent the B bar from forward or rearward collapse (lozenging).
D."Crossbar and rear braces must be welded to main hoop."
The main hoop is normally called the B bar in tech lingo.
E. "Side-bar must be included on driver's side and must pass the driver at a point midway between the shoulder and elbow. Swing-out sidebar permitted."
This bar welds at the intersection of the B bar/cross bar at the driver's left shoulder and runs downhill diagonally to a point near the driver's left foot. It's purpose is to keep the driver in the car in the event he/she is out of the belts. (Yep, it happens).
If you're planning a swing-out side bar, get yourself a NHRA Rulebook. There are several ways to do it, all of them too lengthy to address here.
F. " All roll bars must have in their construction a cross bar for seat bracing and as the shoulder harness attachment point. Cross bar must be installed no more than 4" below, and not above, the driver's shoulders or to the side bar."
CAUTION: DO NOT INSTALL THIS BAR UNTIL THE DRIVER IS SEATED IN THE CAR IN HIS/HER NORMAL DRIVING POSITION IN THE CAR..... AND...... DO NOT INSTALL THE SIDE BAR UNTIL THIS CROSS BAR IS IN PLACE. Maximum protection for the driver will be afforded by installing the cross bar with the top of the bar EVEN with the top of the driver's shoulders. That's why you don't want to weld this bar in until you have the driver in position. Now, with the cross bar in position, you can weld the driver's side bar in at the intersection of the B bar/cross bar and be assured the geometric line of pull will be proper on the shoulder belts and the side bar will be high enough to retain the driver in the car in the event of upset, passing the driver midway between the shoulder and the elbow on its way to the floor close to the driver's left foot as dictated in "E" above.
G. " All vehicles with OEM frame must have roll bar welded or bolted to frame; installation of frame connectors on unibody cars does not constitute a frame; therefore it is not necessary to have the roll bar attached to the frame."
For instance, a Chevelle has a full frame, a Camaro is a unibody. If you put subframe connectors on a Camaro, it's still a unibody.
H. "Unibody cars with stock floor and firewall (wheeltubs permitted) may attach roll bar with 6-inch x 6-inch x 0.125-inch (1/8") steel plates on top and bottom of floor bolted together with at least four 3/8-inch (0.375") diameter bolts and nuts, or weld main hoop (B bar) to rocker sill area with 0.125-inch (1/8") reinforcing plates, with plates welded completely."
You can "sandwich" the floor of the car with these "plate pairs" bolted together, one on top of the floor and one underneath for each connection point and weld the bars to the top plates or you can use only one plate at each connection point and weld the plate to the floor or sill of the car, then weld your bar to the plate. This increases the square inch area of the installation and reduces loading on the floor so the bars will not punch through the floor sheet metal like they would if you just welded the bar straight to the floor or sill. When installing the B bar, you'll want to install it on each side as close to the door as possible, so that the driver will be "inside the box". This will probably require moving the B bar tubing up onto the sill of the car, at least partially. Bend up your 6 x 6 plate to weld it in, so that you are welding it partly to the sill and partly to the floor. DO NOT REDUCE THE SIZE OF THE PLATE TO LESS THAN 6 X 6. You may have to grind the end of the B bars to make them conform to the curve of the plate at the sill and that's o.k., you may have to heat and bend the plate to make it conform to the sill/floor and that's o.k. too, just do what you have to do to make it work according to the rules and you'll never have a problem at tech. Maybe you'll end up with part of the bar welded to the plate at the sill area and part of it welded to the plate at the floor, again, whatever it takes. Grind the end of the bar to make it work. I've trailered more than one car for reducing the plate size. Then, after I've asked them to fix it and they show up again with the same lame installation, I send 'em home.
I. " All 4130 chromoly tube welding must be done by approved TIG heliarc process; mild steel welding must be done by approved MIG wire feed or approved TIG heliarc process. Welding must be free of slag and porosity. Any grinding of welds prohibited."
If you're not an expert welder, then for heaven's sake, hire a professional. It'll be the cheapest wages you'll ever pay for a nice roll bar installation. Nothing is cheezier than bird-crap welding and again, I've trailered more than one car for crappy welding. And don't even THINK about grinding any welds on the car. Hire a pro. If you fit up all the bars in the car and tack them in, the pro welder won't be there long doing a proper job. If you have fit the bars properly, there won't be much room at the roof to weld completely around the B bar/rear brace connections, so you may as well plan on gusseting these. Use 1/8" flat plate of a triangular design with the long (unwelded) side of the triangle measuring at least 4". Use two gussets at each rear brace (four gussets in total) and you'll be bulletproof. By the way, NHRA now allows these rear braces to be bent (one bend only) to a maximum of (I believe) 30 degrees so that you guys with street/strip cars can retain the back seat in the car for double dates and such. Most guys will run the rear brace bars from the B bar intersection back at a shallow angle to the roofline and then make a turn down and through holes in the package tray to the trunk floor, where the bars are terminated on 6 x 6 plates which are welded to the trunk floor. Now, you know what's going to happen don't you? Some turds from down off the farm are going to hear about this new lax interpretation of the rule from a buddy who didn't tell them about the "one-bend-only" part of the rule and they'll run the rear braces back from the B bar right up against the roof and make a 90 degree turn through the package tray and then another turn to terminate the bars on their plates somewhere on the trunk floor. I can see it coming. Multiple bends in the bars will allow them to kink-up and will render them incapable of preventing the B bar from "lozenging" forward or backward. And the problem will be that there is little or no tech inspection at most drag strips, so they'll get away with it until they get to Firebird and get trailered. Then they'll raise a stink with the front office about how they passed tech at Podunk Dragway and I'll have to write a report supporting my decision. I can just see it coming. In my humble opinion, NHRA should have left the rule as it has been for 50 years. You either have a race car or you have a street car, MAKE A DECISION!!!!!!
J. "Roll bar must be padded anywhere drivers helmet may contact it while in driving position. Adequate padding must have minimum 1/4-inch compression or meet S.F.I. Spec 45.1. All cars running 180-mph or faster, S.F.I. Spec 45.1 mandatory."
Whether you think so or not, seat and shoulder belts stretch when you're flippin' and rollin', so make sure you've covered all your bases here with every possible place your helmet could make contact with the bars.
Here are some thoughts from a me that may provide some insight into what goes on at tech inspection....
It's so long that it will have to be in 4 parts....
Streets offered up this list of questions for me to answer so that you readers might get a better insight into the tech procedure at the drag strip: I currently work part time at Firebird International Raceway in Chandler, Arizona and have been there since May of 1990. My buddy Ken (Mouse 400, NTFDAY) and I started working at the drag strip using one of the landing strips at the old Dahio Airport outside Dayton, Ohio in 1958. Ken and I had started a car club called Viking Customs and had chartered it under the NHRA. All the car clubs in the Dayton area used to gather at Dahio on Sundays to run the drags under the NHRA banner. It has been in my blood ever since.
01. Does your "Psychic Mood" have anything to do with the car being teched?
A. You know, my mood starts when I leave the house to drive to Firebird. I would rather be at the drag strip teching than anywhere else on the planet and you couldn't get the smile off my face with a slide hammer. It's too bad they don't have drags full time. As far as the "psychic" part of it, yes, after you've been doing this for as long as I have, you start to get a feeling about a car/driver as soon as you walk up to greet the racer. I suppose life experience has as much to do with it as tech experience, but you just get a "feeling" about a car from the git-go. For instance, if a car is dirty/greasy, I start looking a little closer at it. If the guy/gal doesn't have enough pride to wash the car and de-grease the wheels/lug nuts and engine bay, then they probably don't pay too much attention to things like tires, brakes and steering either. Nothing sours me on a car like reaching down to tweak the lug nuts to make sure they're tight and coming away with fingers full of grease. Here, I'm talking about the first-timer or the racer who comes out infrequently. The guys who show up at every race know better and their cars are always clean and properly maintained.
02. Do you have a set regimen as to what you check 1st, 2nd, 3rd, etc. on every car?
A. Yes, it's MANDATORY that you establish a certain routine and follow it every time on every car. In this way, you'll train your mind and be looking for the same infractions every time without overlooking anything. On doorslammers, running at the Friday or Saturday night drags, the first thing I do when I approach a car is ask the driver if he brought a helmet with him. If no, then I automatically know the car is limited to 14.00 e.t. because you are required to have a certified helmet at 13.99. and I won't have to waste time looking for other go-fast requirements. A good tech man is looking for equipment required as he goes around the car so that he can come to a conclusion as to the e.t. limit of that car when he's finished teching it. That limit is written on the tech card which goes to the timing tower. If yes on the helmet, I check inside the helmet for certification (Snell or S.F.I.)....... D.O.T. is NOT a certification approved for drag racing. I seldom see a S.F.I. cert in a helmet, most all of them will have a Snell sticker in them, under the padding, pasted to the shock material and usually in the rear or over the left ear. Snell issues new ratings every 5 years and the rating is good for 15 years at the drag strip, although in the last several years, NHRA has allowed a 17 year life to the sticker. Currently, the minimum valid sticker is 1990 and if it goes according to allowances as in the past, these helmets will be good until 2007. 1995 Snell stickers will be good until 2012 and 2000 stickers will be good until 2017. If the helmet is good, then I glance into the car and look for the next equipment which will limit the car, a bar or cage. If none, then I know the limit will be between 14.00 and 11.50, so I won't waste my time looking for an aftermarket damper, aftermarket axles, etc., etc. I first go to the left front tire, because I'm right there talking to the driver. I check for a minimum of 1/16" tire tread all the way across the tire, cuts or severe weather cracking and sufficient inflation. Wheels are checked for cracks. A quick twist with my fingers and thumb verify that the lug nuts are tight. The rest of the lug nut routine can be read at the bottom of this page. By the way, snap off or unbolt any covers on the wheel so the inspector can do his job right away and not hold everybody up while you search for a tool to remove them. It's best if you remove them at home and leave them there, so they won't be a loose, dangerous projectile in the car in the event of an "incident" as NHRA calls it. We don't want anything loose in the car anywhere, even in the trunk. If you're gonna bring tools with you, make some arrangement to stow them in a buddies car or some other arrangement while you're racing. You can't have them in the car and we cannot be responsible for them in tech. From there, it's up over the left front fender to check for holes in the firewall where an engine fire could enter the driver's compartment, steering shaft and box, throttle return spring (only 1 required by NHRA no matter what you've been told by other guys), minimum 16 oz. radiator overflow catch container, minimum non-metallic fuel line (12 inches total max from tank to carb), plastic pressure or vacuum lines through firewall for gauges (no-no). You might not think a vacuum line would be a problem, but consider that it's connected to the manifold and you have a backfire. A fiery fuel mixture could be delivered under pressure right to your lap if the nylon or plastic ruptures. The damper is checked for a retainer bolt. Then I drop down on hands and knees to look for steering and front suspension bolts, nuts and cotter pins. Back up top, I'm shaking the battery to make sure it's secured with proper aftermarket or OEM hardware. If it's loose or tied in with a bungee cord, you're trailered until it's fixed. Remember, NOTHING loose on the car. Most guys will say, hey, it's not going anywhere, let me race. That's right, it's probably not going anywhere with the car in the pits, but consider that you're doing 90 mph in the lights and blow a tire. The car flips and rolls, the hood comes off, the trunk lid comes off and more than likely the doors. Can you see that 30 lb. battery hurtling through space at 90 mph???? Whatever stops it will take a pretty good hit, don't you think??? Anyway, next it's on to the right front tire, checking the passenger door for opening so that we have 2 ways to get you out in case of an "incident", right rear wheel and tire, trunk (nothing loose, remember?) EVERYTHING MUST BE BOLTED DOWN. while in the trunk I'm also looking at the fuel cell and/or relocated battery (more on this at the bottom of this page). Then down on hands and knees again to peer from rear to front, looking at the fuel tank and lines, checking suspension for fasteners, wheels cylinders or calipers for leaks, holes in the floor pan, driveshaft loop if required, tranny shield if required, etc., etc. I had a guy ask me one time what I expected to see when looking under the rear of the car....the answer is EVERYTHING I just listed and more. Then left rear tire and wheel and on to the interior of the car where I check for reverse gear lockout, steering play and the brakes and yank on the seat belts to make sure they're secured into the car. Then I get the driver in the car and check the neutral safety switch for proper operation. When we're goin and blowin, we can check all this stuff on a doorslammer in 3-4 minutes. I'm just skimming over the surface with a tech on a .....maybe 14 or 15 second car.....as the car gets quicker, the tech takes longer. On the other hand, teching a fuel car takes on average about 20 minutes or better if you're doing your job right. If I tried to explain the tech procedure on a fuel car, I'd be sitting here typing for weeks!!!
03. Is there something like a "Plus or Minus" degree as to whether or not the car passes?
A. Not if the tech inspector is doing his job properly. It's either legal according to the rule book or it isn't. Of course you have to be a little flexible in the event it's something that can't be fixed easily at the track and wouldn't otherwise represent a real hazard to the racer's life or the life of the racer next to him in the other lane or the spectators. A case in point is the doorslammer guy who's maybe goin' 10's with a roll bar. I always run my hand all the way around the bars to check for weld all the way around the bars and sometimes I'll find a short unwelded part of the bar where the rear diagonal down-bars connect to the main hoop. If you construct the bar in the car rather than welding it outside the car and winding it into the car after welding it up, it's almost impossible to get weld up there next to the roof. NHRA makes allowances for this, allowing a max of 25% of the circumference of the bar to be unwelded if gussets are added to the joint (triangular flat plate or tubular). When I encounter these voids, I instruct the racer how to install the gussets and let him go race at that event (provided everything else on the car is good to go). I make myself a note to check the bars the next time I see it and also advise the other tech inspectors of the situation. If he shows up again without the gussets, he's trailered. In all the years I've been teching, I can count all the cars on one hand where I could find absolutely nothing wrong with the car. Now, I'm talking cars down into the high 7's, the pros are excepted from this observation. Usually, even if the car has all the proper and current SFI equipment, there is something lacking in the overall theme of the build. Maybe the lap belts aren't mounted absolutely textbook at a 45 degree angle or the crotch strap is mounted too far forward or something like that, but like I said, there have only been a handful that I've teched that were perfect. I remember a 10-second '55 Chevy that I went over in tech and found absolutely nothing I could fault. I called the other tech inspectors over to look at the car to use it as an example of perfection in race car engineering. Those cars are few and far between until you get to the pro ranks.
04. Are there different rules for the NHRA "Big Boys" when they are in town at a National Meet as compared to the small weekend struggling drivers that come to the track every week and compete?
A. Nope, same rule book applies to everyone, whether your name is John Force or Bobby Nobody. You'll seldom find anything wrong with a car on a pro team because these guys race for a living, so they are aware of the rules and what it takes to pass tech.
05. How much leeway do you have when a certain spec on a car is "Marginal" and it wouldn't disqualify someone if they won? Say something like the rule book doesn't address as to whether you can have it on your car or NOT?
A. It's funny you would ask this. Us tech guys have sat around after the races and talked about it. Let's say a guy shows up with a doorslammer and has mounted a 12-element wing to the top of his car. It's the width of the car and the wings extend from the front to the rear bumper and 30 feet into the air above the car. As long as it's mounted to the frame of the car and properly braced, it's legal. It would be stupid, but legal.
06. What do you usually eat for breakfast and during the day on the day of a big National NHRA meet?
A. I'm pretty sure the guys reading this have no interest in what I eat, but o.k., bacon and eggs for breakfast and some fried chicken for lunch.
07. How many people try to get away with something they know is illegal and hope you don't catch it?
A. Just as you'd expect if you study human nature long enough, these are the same guys with a dirty/greasy car. A good friend of mine has a saying that may apply here, "Poor people have poor ways". Some of the more memorable infractions are lug nuts glued on (I found a lug nut stuck on with bubble gum one night). Another time, a fellow showed up with a full size Impala with Moon spun aluminum discs that were screwed onto the wheels. I asked him to remove the discs so I could check the lug nuts and he threw a fit, insisting that he wasn't going to remove the discs. I said, well either that or you can leave and get your money back. He relented and when he unscrewed the left front, 3 lug nuts fell out onto the pavement. That big boat had only 2 nuts holding the front wheel on. Then there was the guy with his seat belts pushed down into the fold of the seat without being mounted to the car. After that is when I started YANKING HARD on everyone's belts. I still do it, every car, every time. When I was checking the neutral safety switch on a car one night, the fellow reached down under the seat. I asked what he was doing under there, he didn't want to say, so I looked for myself. He had his cutout switch mounted under there instead of wiring it into the shifter like it should be. Of course he was using it as an anti-theft device, but the point is, the car would start in gear if the switch was absent-mindedly left in the "on" position and that's what I try to prevent. We have had at least 2 accidents in the staging lanes that I can remember that could be attributed to faulty neutral safety switches. They worked when teched, but not in the lanes. The racers get in a hurry and shut the car off in gear to run to the bathroom before the next round, then get back in the car and fire it up, BAM, they're into the rear of the car in front of them.
Last edited by techinspector1; 11-09-2005 at 02:40 AM.
08. Who is responsible IF something happens to the car on the track if it's involved in a mishap and found out to have been caused by an Illegal part on the car? The Techs or the Driver/CrewChief?
A. No matter if a tech is super-human, no tech guy is going to find EVERYTHING on any one car that's illegal. It's just human nature. One good thing about a racer showing up repeatedly and getting a different tech guy each time is that sooner or later, all of us have had a shot at the car. Each tech guy has his little pet-peeves that he looks for on every car and by the time all of us have looked at the car, it's pretty much good to go on any dragstrip in the country. At Firebird, we have a reputation with the racers, even the ones who come in from other areas or other states that you had better have your "sheets" together when you go to Firebird to race, 'cause we have the toughest tech you've ever encountered. If a car will pass at Firebird, it'll more than likely pass anywhere. Anyway, back to your question. When you come into the gate, you sign a waiver releasing Firebird of responsibility. Another waiver has to be signed at the waiver table at tech and a third one on the back of the tech card. In spite of all this, if an "incident" ends up in court or even in pre-trial litigation, the racetrack is usually found responsible. You know the routine, if a woman can be awarded a 7-figure settlement for spilling hot coffee in her lap at McDonalds, you know that a "large, profitable corporation" like Firebird will be found responsible for personal injury at the track. Of course the facility has insurance to cover these incidents, but in my opinion, that is what will eventually kill racing, the cost of doing business will become so great that nobody will want to pay the high entry costs to get in. Just a couple of months ago, a fellow fell in the spectator stands and broke his leg. In spite of having signed releases of liability, he was awarded a 6-figure settlement by the court and his wife was also awarded 6 figures due to the mental pain and suffering that she'd have to endure over her husband's broken leg!!!!!!!!!!!!! Like Shakespeare said, first, we need to kill all the lawyers.
09. Who is your most favorite AA/FC Funnycar "Pilot" of all time?
A. Hands down, Mr. John Force (heavy on the Mr. in my opinion). He is a gentleman in every sense of the word and is most accomodating in his efforts to make our job easier. I've never seen him get "out of sorts" for any reason like some others I could mention. And I've never found any SFI parts out of date or anything else questionable on any of his cars. First class all the way.
10. Who is your most favorite T/F Dragster "Pilot" of all time?
A. Kenny Bernstein, for the same reasons as Mr. Force above. They say the apple doesn't fall far from the tree, and Kenny's son Brandon bears that out. He is a most excellent young man, the spittin' image of his dad.
11. Who is your most favorite Pro-Stock Driver of all time?
A. You know, I've never spent enough time around the Pro Stock cars to form an opinion. When the hot dogs come to town, I'm always doin' the alcohol and fuel cars, so I haven't teched Pro Stock much.
12. Do you come into verbal contact with the driver/crew chief while you're techin' their cars?
A. Oh sure, those are the first 2 guys I want to see when I go around the pits doin' "house calls". You see, all the pro cars rate being teched in their pit, we don't ask them to drag the cars out to a tech line like we do the doorslammers, so a visit to a pro pit is called a house call. I guess it's a term left over from when doctors used to make house calls on ill patients instead of making the patient come to the doctor's office. Usually, I'll ask the driver to get all his apparel and lay it out, along with his license. That will take him a little while usually to get everything out, so in the meanwhile, the crew chief and I go over the car.
13. How many BIG name cars have you rejected for a rule/safety infringement in the past 5 years?
A. I can only think of 3. I won't name names, but 1 was a Top Fuel car and the other 2 were Jet cars. The fuel car had outdated blower restraint belts and one of the jets had an outdated driver restraint system (belts). The other jet had a groove cut into the front tire that you could lay your little finger into that went down past the cord. During transport, the car was cinched down to eyebolts mounted in the floor of the trailer and the constant bouncing of the tire against that eybolt had just about cut a hole in the tire. I trailered the car for the tire and the driver was incredulous at my decision. He nearly threw a tantrum, insisting that the tire would be o.k. I calmly informed him that I wouldn't drive to the grocery store on that tire, much less go 300 mph on it. Well, this was on a Saturday, so everything was open and he found a tire somewhere and went racing. I felt pretty good about catching the blower belts on the fuel car because it had just been teched by a NHRA Gold-certified tech inspector 3 days before that. I used to be Silver-certified when I worked for NHRA part-time, but you had to work for them full-time to be Gold-certified.
14. Do the car owners/drivers/crew like you?
A. The first rule of drag racing is "Don't p*** off the tech inspector" and everybody pretty much understands that, so it makes my job easier because people are just more friendly to you when they know it is your decision as to whether they race at that event or they don't. Of course, I have a good attitude too as I approach the car and don't allow my "power" to go to my head. I'm always respectful to the racers and crew. Whether they like me or not, I don't know, with the exception of many of the racers with whom I've developed a personal friendship over the many years I've been doing this. Sometimes a new racer will start right off being beligerant with me. Maybe he's had a bad day at work or a fight with his significant other, so I try to go easy and work with him at first. If he just won't cooperate in spite of trying to be nice to him, I just hand him his tech card back and advise him that another tech guy will be along in a little while to help him, then I go on to the car behind him, leaving him to stew in his own juice. It usually doesn't take too long for him to get the message. I never argue with a racer. Never. I don't have to.
15. What do you do when the final eliminations start, I know ya can't go home until the meet is over, so whatta ya do in the meantime?
A. One thing I do when we have the pro teams is to re-tech in the staging lanes. These guys tear these cars apart between rounds and they're in one heck of a hurry to get ready for the next round, so sometimes they forget things. I'm a bolt-and-nut guy at heart. I like to check the cars over for bolts/nuts and other fasteners. Not often, but once in a while, I'll find loose or missing fasteners and bring them to the attention of the crew chief. More than once I've found loose fasteners on the wing strut or clutch can. They always have a tool box on the tailgate of the tow vehicle, so it's no big deal to tighten 'em up. I figure that if the car stays screwed together, they've got a pretty good chance of makin' it through the "eyes". I also look for all belts secured. Not so much in the pro ranks, but some of the Super Gas and Super Comp drivers don't like wearing a crotch strap, so I convince 'em to belt-up. Otherwise, I hang out in the lanes and help to direct traffic and keep the cars in the proper lanes so it won't be such a hassle for the Stager to figure out who's who. I also pair up the cars when they're laddered. By the way, the Stager and the Starter are doin' double duty too, visually teching the cars as they come up. You don't know what some of these guys are gonna do in the pits once they have passed tech initially. If it's a pro event and everything us under control in the lanes, I might go down to the "big end" and roll chutes. It's a courtesy thing we do for the teams, rolling the chutes and placing the rolled-up bundle on the car so the tow vehicle can snag the car and go. There's a method to this. You have to keep all the shroud lines straightened out as you roll the pack up or the crew chief will have one "7734" of a time packing the chute when they get back to their pit. If we roll it up properly, the chute can be re-packed in 5 minutes, if the lines are tangled, it turns into a 30 minute job. We'll ask the Funny Car pilots if they want us to raise the body for them to get out of the car. Some want us to and some don't, preferring to come out through the roof.
16. What are some of the insane things that people have tried to get away with in the tech line?
A. I think I've already used up most of my examples in the answers above.
I'll add a few things of my own that racers should be aware of. One of the biggest infractions we encounter in doorslammers (other than loose batteries) is wheel studs and nuts. Here's the rule from the book: "The thread engagement on all wheel studs to the lug nut must be equal to or greater than the diameter of the stud. Length of the stud does not determine permissibility; length of the engagement between the stud and hex portion of the lug determines permissibility. (Example: A 7/16-inch stud must be thoroughly engaged through the threads in the lug a minimum of 7/16-inch.)" Now, I don't know about you, but telling a racer this is equivalent to reading him the Theory of Relativity. Let me try to make it easy for you. When cars are built at the factory, studs of the proper length to project out beyond the wheel surface and engage the lug nuts are installed, whether the vehicle is fitted with conventional steel wheels or factory mags. Our problem arises when a steel wheel (which is very thin) is replaced with a much thicker-section aftermarket mag wheel. Now, the stud is back inside the wheel and does not project beyond the wheel surface. The aftermarket manufacturers addressed that by manufacturing "tube-type" nuts with a long cylinder that fits back into the stud hole. The cylinder is threaded in its I.D. so that the thin cylinder engages the stud and the wheel is held on by the shoulder of the tube-hex nut junction. There are a couple of problems with this design from a drag race standpoint. First, the stud does not project into the hex portion of the nut as required by the rule. Secondly, the tube/nut arrangement has a tendency to break at the tube/nut junction and with nothing now holding the wheel on, the wheel and tire passes you in the other lane. Now you're probably thinking, well if I simply install longer studs, I'm covered! BZZZZZT. Wrong. Problem is, most of the tube-type nuts are NOT threaded in the hex portion of the nut. Some are, but most are not. Your new, longer studs could be engaging AIR. Even with longer studs, the nut can still break at the tube/nut junction and zowie, there goes your tire and wheel (and maybe also your new shiny paint job and that NOS fender it took you 6 months to find). Again, the savvy racers have it figured out. They install longer studs and open-ended nuts so the tech inspector can see at a glance that the stud engages the hex portion of the nut by at least the diameter of the stud. They usually leave a couple of threads of the stud stickin' out past the end of the nut and it looks real nice. Just as nice or nicer than blind nuts in my opinion. Of course, I may be looking at it with a jaundiced eye because I have a real appreciatation for good, safe engineering. We keep a 4-way lug wrench at tech and the driver must remove at least 1 nut from each wheel if using "blind" nuts so we can verify that there are threads in the hex portion of the nut and that the stud engages the threads by a length at least equal to the diameter of the stud. The racers who show up all the time got tired of this routine, so they just installed open-ended nuts so they won't have to pull nuts each time they show up. All the rule is saying is that if you have 7/16" studs, then the stud needs to engage the hex, threaded portion of the nut by a length of at least 7/16". If the stud is 1/2" diameter, the stud needs to engage the hex, threaded portion of the nut by a length of at least 1/2".
First of all, why would you want to move the battery from its stock location? Well, in the case of a ricer, you may need the room for an aftermarket intake pipe or in the case of a rear-drive car, you may want to improve the front/rear weight distribution and put more weight on the rear tires. Now, a front motor, rear drive car twists the frame under acceleration in such a manner that the left front gets lighter, the right front gets heavier, the left rear gets heavier and the right rear gets lighter. That's why you see so many worn-out right rear tires on a car with a one-legger (open, non-posi) differential and the driver "peelin' rubber" at every opportunity. The left rear bites because it has more weight on it and the lightly-loaded right tire spins. Even if you have a posi or a spool, doesn't it make sense to try to equalize the weight on both rear tires so the system can work more efficiently? So if you're going to move the battery, it makes sense to mount it in the extreme right rear corner of the car, no matter if the diff is open, posi or spool.
Now that the new position is nailed down, let's address some of the NHRA requirements to make it work by the rules. The main things we're concerned with in an incident is keeping battery acid off the driver and also making certain the battery stays secured in the car. Here, I'll quote the rule on batteries from Section 8:1 under General Regulations in the 2005 NHRA Rulebook:
All batteries must be securely mounted. Batteries may not be relocated into the driver or passenger compartments. Rear firewall of 0.024" steel or 0.032" aluminum (including package tray) required when battery is relocated in trunk. In lieu of a rear firewall, battery may be located in a sealed 0.024" steel or 0.032" aluminum or NHRA-accepted poly box. If sealed box is used in lieu of rear firewall, box may not be used to secure battery and must be vented outside of body. Relocated battery(s) must be fastened to frame or frame structure with a minimum of two 3/8-inch diameter bolts. (J-hooks prohibited or must have open end welded shut.) Metal battery hold-down straps mandatory. Strapping tape prohibited. A maximum of two automobile batteries, or 150 pounds combined maximum weight (unless otherwise specified in Class Requirements), is permitted. Maximums may vary according to class requirements.
Let's examine the rule.
A. Batteries must be securely mounted. No question there.
B. No battery in driver's compartment. What about a hatchback car? Well, technically, the rear of the car on the inside is a package compartment, not a driver's compartment. We pass cars all the time with batteries in this location, but we're pretty darned picky about everything being properly engineered. You can construct a metal bulkhead in one of these cars if you're bull-headed, but it's a lot easier and cleaner to mount the battery in a sealed box in the right rear corner. The one exception to the battery in the driver's compartment is the early VW bug with the OEM battery under the rear bottom seat cushion. If it's a stock bug, I don't say anything about it other than to make sure it's secured, but if the seat cushions are removed and the battery is visibly open to the driver, we've got to start talking sealed box.
C. Rear firewall (car with a trunk). If you're going to start cutting up sheet metal for a firewall, the easiest way is to make a template from heavy construction paper, butcher's paper or light cardboard and transfer the pattern to your sheet metal to be cut. This firewall has to be water tight (package tray too). The material can be secured to the "X" braces with pop rivets or sheet metal screws. These firewalls are tested by one guy shining a flashlight from the trunk of the car and another guy looking into the interior of the car to determine if any light is coming through. The best thing to do is to go to church before you start this project. Again, the common sense thing to do is put the battery in a sealed box and be done with it.
D. Box may not be used to secure battery and must be vented to outside. You want to secure the battery to the car, then cover the battery with the box and secure the box to the car. Run a vent line (a small rubber hose will do) from inside the box to outside the car (through the floor) so there is no buildup of hydrogen gas in the box from the battery being charged.
E. Battery fastened to frame or frame structure. Now, this is ME talking and not the NHRA, but I don't enforce this rule until the car is quick enough to require a roll bar (11.49). Slower than that, it is my opinion that if the battery is properly secured to the floor with the procedure that I'll explain shortly, it's not goin' anywhere. Most of the kids who show up with these slower cars don't have the welding/fabricating skills or tools to do it themselves or the money to pay a pro shop to fabricate the pieces necessary to mount the battery to the frame or frame structure. On the other hand, if he has the wherewithall/expertise to install a roll bar, then he certainly has the means to mount the battery(s) according to the rules.
Here's my logic for fudgin' a little and givin' these youngsters a break...
1. When the battery was in the original position, it wasn't mounted to the frame, it was in a tray which was spot-welded to the firewall or fenderwell sheet metal.
2. NHRA allows a 5-point roll bar in a unibody car to be welded to 6" x 6" plates which are then either welded or bolted to the sheetmetal of the floor. 5 of these plates have a total surface area of 180 square inches. In a 3,000 lb. car, that's a load of about 17 lbs/sq in. if the car is on its lid. Using the same math, a 50 lb. battery would need slightly less than 3 sq in of support on the floor.
F. Minimum of two 3/8-inch diameter bolts. What I suggest using is 3/8" allthread. You can pick up a 2 or 3 ft. stick of it at the hardware for less than 5 bucks and cut it to the length you need. It's easier than trying to locate 3/8" bolts of the proper length. Don't even think about using J-hooks, they are the cheeziest of the cheezy. I do not agree with rule that allows J-hooks if the ends are welded shut. Even at that, the only thing holding the battery in the vehicle is two thin slivers of sheet metal on the tray where the J-hooks go through. Position your battery where you want it and drill a 3/8" hole through the floor on each side. CAUTION: THERE MIGHT BE A GAS TANK UNDER WHERE YOU'RE DRILLING . You'll need 2 locknuts and 2 nice big flat washers at least 1/8" thick under the floor (like fender washers except thicker, or use several fender washers and stack them so they're good and strong and won't "cup-up" and pull through the floor). Use 2 lock nuts with the same large diameter flat washers on top of the floor, tightened to "sandwich" the floor and keep the allthread in place. Using 2 washers of 2" O.D. will give over 6 sq. in. of anti-pull-through material holding the battery in place and will calculate to a load of just over 8 lbs/sq. in. with a 50 lb. battery, less than half the loading on the floor of the roll bar plates. Make a metal hold-down strap from a piece of 1/8" thick x 3/4" or 1" wide steel strap material. There's no spec on this piece, but you want it to be stout. Like the rule says, no strapping tape or other cheezy material like plumber's tape. Drill a 3/8" hole in each end of the strap and use 2 lock nuts and flat washers on the studs to snug the battery down and you're bulletproof.
As far as the battery box goes, you're free to make your own (sealed) box as outlined in the rule. Those cheezy plastic marine boxes won't make it here. Use rubber grommets in the side or end of the box to run your cables through and remember to run the cables through the grommets and slide your heat shrink tubing on the cable before you install your cable ends . What I'd do is run the cables through the side or end of the box and bend up a nice, bolt-down, removeable top for the box so I could check the water level in the battery. A seal to go between the lid and box can be cut from an old tire innertube. Drill a small hole in the box that'll fit your vent tube. There is only one commercially available plastic box that's NHRA certified, made by Moroso. Summit part # MOR-74050 for $96.95. Taylor makes a real nice aluminum box that's certified under Summit # TAY-48100 for $83.39. Seal the box to the floor and secure it with bolts or sheet metal screws and you're golden. Just a couple of additional side-notes here. Gel-cell or other semi-liquid or dry-cell batteries are NOT excluded from this rule. If you're going to relocate the battery, no matter what type of battery it is, you're going to have to meet the rule with a rear firewall or box. The other thing is, a pickup truck with the battery relocated to the bed does not require a box, only the 3/8" studs/bolts and a metal retainer strap. The rear of the cab serves as a rear firewall to keep acid off the driver.
MASTER ELECTRICAL CUTOFF SWITCH:
I've saved all the wiring info to put under this section. If the battery is relocated, no matter WHERE in the car it's relocated, a master cutoff switch is required. Most everybody uses a switch distributed by Moroso and available from Summit under part # MOR-74102 for $59.88. I know that's a pretty hefty price to pay for a switch and you've probably seen switches such as this for much less money, but keep in mind that the Moroso unit is rated at 300 amps continuous duty and 2,000 amps intermittent duty. It's bulletproof.
Not only must the switch kill the battery power, but must also kill the motor. On most cars, even with the battery killed, the motor will continue to run because current being generated by the alternator can back-flow through the exciter wire back to the ignition switch and be picked up by the +coil wire. I'll quote the rule first:
8:4 MASTER CUTOFF:
"Mandatory when battery is relocated, or as outlined in Class Requirements. An electrical power cutoff switch (one only) must be installed on the rearmost part of each vehicle and be easily accessible from outside the car body. This cutoff switch must be connected to the POSITIVE side of the electrical system and must stop all electrical functions including magneto ignition. The off position must be clearly indicated with the word "OFF". If the switch is "push/pull" type, "push" must be the action for shutting off the electrical system, "pull" to turn it on. Any rods or cables used to activate the switch must be minimum 1/8-inch diameter. Plastic or keyed switches prohibited. Switches and/or controls must be located behind rear wheels on rear-engine dragsters."
O.K., let's examine the rule:
A. ....rearmost part of the car....
This does not mean on the side of the car toward the rear or on the trunk lid near the rear of the car, it means the REARMOST part of the car. Think about it this way. If you backed the car up against a wall, the switch handle or activation rod should be the first part of the car that touches the wall. When a crew member or track safety official approaches the car to kill the electrical functions in an emergency situation, they shouldn't have to look all over the car for the switch. You guys with dragsters sometimes mount the switch at the top of the differential in front of or beside the 'chute pack. You need to consider the worst possible scenario and that is the car off the end of the track in the dirt, upside down and on fire. If the switch is mounted toward the topside of the car and in front of or beside the chute pack, then when the car is upside down, the switch will be buried in the dirt and the safety crew can't get to it. One more time.....REARMOST PART OF THE CAR....
B. ...switch connected to the positive side of the battery...
I've had racers try to argue with me that the switch should be connected to the negative. Well, if you're an electrical engineer, you may know more than the tech guys at NHRA who write these rules, but the fact remains that the book says POSITIVE side, so that's the rule I'm going to enforce.
Rather than mounting the switch/handle to the outside of the car through a rather large hole, some guys prefer to mount the switch further into the interior of the car (like the trunk floor) and extend a rod with handle through a small hole in the sheet metal or a taillight lens at the back of the car. You can drill a hole in the switch handle and use jam nuts on the threaded end of the rod to sandwich the switch handle, thereby changing the operation of the switch from rotary to push/pull. I believe Painless Wiring (Painless Performance Products) has a new push-button switch, but I haven't seen it. You street guys who have a restored classic and don't want holes in the back of the car can build a mount for the switch off a bumper bracket or other suitable component at the rear, running the + cable through a hole/grommet in the trunk floor and again, remembering to run the bare cable end through the grommet and sliding your shrink tubing onto the cable before attaching the cable end/lug . If you were creative, you might even use a gate hinge from the hardware store to hinge the switch up and out of sight for the street. Spring-loading it would make it rattle-proof and some clevis pin or other arrangement could lock it in the down position for racing.
O.K., we have the switch mounted. Now, let's wire the whole mess.
First off, trying to save money on the cable and wiring by using offshore junk is not the hot tip. Use components from a reliable source such as Painless Wiring instead of that cheap stuff from your local auto parts house or use welding cable from your local welding supply or an online welding supply source. Welding cable is far superior to other types of high-amp cabling you'll find. The finer strands have a greater current-carrying capacity, the covers are made to withstand harsh abuse and it is more flexible than standard automotive cable. Jack Brewer, electronics tech at Painless, recommends #1 AWG cable, whether using their cable or welding cable. Their #1 AWG is a 133-strand cable, so it's good stuff. You can buy their battery relocation kit which has one 3 ft. length of #1 AWG black cable with terminals for the ground cable and one 15 ft. length of #1 AWG red cable with terminals for the hot line through summit under part # PRF-40100 for $69.95. Cut a piece off the red cable to run from the + side of the battery to the "battery" side of the master cutoff switch and use the rest of the red cable to connect to the "load" side of the master cutoff switch and to run to the front of the car. The switch is just a SPST switch, so it doesn't care which side is used for which. Remember to "clock" or properly orient the cable end that bolts to the switch before soldering the mounting lug to the cable so you won't have to twist the cable to make it lay on the mounting stud of the switch . Here are solder lugs from Welding Depot:
http://store.weldingdepot.com/cgi/weldingdepot/RLx.html . I've found that NAPA also has a good selection of terminals and lugs.
Also remember to slide the heat shrink tubing onto the cable before soldering the lug on . Make certain that you remove all paint or other contaminants from the spot where you attach your ground cable. You'll probably be grounding the cable to the body, so you'll have to remember to run a piece of #1 AWG cable from the engine block to the body and also from the frame to the body up front. Installing the negative battery cable to ground in the trunk, I like to use a bolt/lock nut, installing it where I can get to both the bolt head and the other end where the nut is so I can cover both of them thoroughly with RTV silicone to prevent air and/or water from oxidizing the connection. In my opinion, you can never have too many good grounds on the car. Now, drill a hole in the trunk floor, install a grommet and run your long length of red #1 AWG cable through it (you didn't put an end on the cable yet did you? ) to go to the starter or solenoid at the front of the car. You'll want to support the cable along its length with insulated Adel clamps (also called loom clamps) about every 12 inches which can be nailed to the under-car sheet metal with sheet metal screws. Here are the loom clamps that Jack at Painless recommended. There are 5 pages of them, from 1/4" to 3", so there's a size for every application.
There are at least 2 ways to kill the motor with the switch. If you have a multi-wire alternator with connections on the back side, you can either interrupt the exciter wire (usually labeled #1 on a Delco alternator, you'll have to consult a wiring diagram on other units) and run it through a solenoid or you can interrupt the alternator current output with a Painless shutdown relay kit #50105. There may be another option, if you're electrically savvy and that is to install a diode in the exciter wire so that the current can only go from the ignition switch to the alternator, not feed back the other way to energize the + side of the coil. I have no idea about the spec on the diode or whether or not it would work, it's just another idea. If interrupting the exciter wire and running it through a solenoid (relay), don't use one of those cheezy Ford units. They are not rated for continuous duty and will probably lay down on you at the worst possible place and time. Use the relay from Painless, kit # 50105, available at Summit under part # PRF-50105 for $69.88. It's rated at 250 amps continuous duty and includes some 8 gauge wire which is probably overkill for this application, but they don't sell their relay by itself. I'd mount the relay close to the alternator, cut the exciter wire, attach an end to each of the feed/output lugs ( the big studs) of the relay, one on each side, ground one side of the activation/energizer circuit (small studs) and run the other side back to the cutoff switch "load" terminal. In doing some research on this, I found another relay that might work. It grounds through the mounting tabs so it just has one small stud where you mount the hot 12v line to energize it and is rated at 85 amps continuous. http://www.delcity.net/delcity/servl...=743393&page=1 .
Now, if you're using a one-wire alternator or just want a bulletproof way to shut the motor without fooling with the exciter wire on your multi-wire alternator, use the Painless 50105 kit. Here are the installation instructions which Jack Brewer provided:
1. Mount relay (solenoid) assembly in desired location using mounting tabs with sheet metal screws or bolts/nuts. Attach the black ground wire with one of the mounting screws/bolts to ground at the relay mounting tab, connecting the other end of this wire to one of the energizer posts (small stud) on the Painless relay. The relay doesn't care which small stud you use first. IMPORTANT; THE BLACK GROUND WIRE MUST MAKE A GOOD GROUND OR THE SHUTDOWN RELAY WILL NOT OPERATE PROPERLY. NOTE; LOCATING THE RELAY FORWARD OF, OR NEAR THE FRONT OF THE ENGINE WILL HELP REDUCE VIBRATION TO THE RELAY.
2. Remove and discard existing output wire from alternator to battery.
3. Run and attach (cutting off any excess wire) one of the large red 8 gauge wires supplied in the kit to the "battery" side of the master cutoff switch using the ring terminal provided in the kit, connecting the other end of this wire to either one of the output/feed lugs (large stud) on the Painless relay. The relay doesn't care which large stud you use first.
4. Run and attach (cutting off any excess wire) the other large red 8 gauge wire to the output post on the back of the alternator (may be marked "Batt") using the terminal provided in the kit, connecting the other end of this wire to the other output/feed lug (large stud) on the Painless relay.
5. Run and attach (cutting off any excess wire) the small red/white 18 gauge wire to the "load" side of the master cutoff switch, connecting the other end of this wire to the remaining energizer lug (small stud) on the Painless relay.
All that's left to do is label your "OFF" position if you're using the master cutoff switch in a rotary on-off application or label your push/pull rod with "PUSH OFF".
O.K., she's done. Turn the master cutoff switch on and fire the motor. Now turn the switch off. All electrical functions should stop and the motor should die. If not, go back over your wiring and correct your error.
Are you done already!!!!!!!!!
Maybe you could coe to my track and teach something to those guy's.
This is the kind of inspection that I was accustomed to..I wonder if Firebird ever does any pre-tech inspections to provide guidance to the owners if they desire??
I always thought that was a good idea to have that.
One thing for the fabricators is to take a mike wit when buying tubing as we are seeing some of it come through undersize..The wall thickness is a bit on the thin side..Just another thing to check..
I have tried most all of it and now do what is known to work..
Print this post and let 'em read it
Thanks for the vote of confidence.
"This is the kind of inspection that I was accustomed to..I wonder if Firebird ever does any pre-tech inspections to provide guidance to the owners if they desire??"
This information is too valuable to let die in cyberland. Sorry to awake the dead, but the poster put alot of good info out there.
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