Author Topic: Made it to Drag Week 2013!  (Read 29175 times)

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jayb

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Made it to Drag Week 2013!
« on: September 08, 2013, 11:00:18 PM »
I wasn't planning on being here, but tonight I'm sitting in the hotel ready to start racing tomorrow in the event.  Getting here was kind of a strange confluence of circumstances.  Originally when the sign up for DW13 came out I had decided not to attend, because I figured I'd be in the middle of machining intake adapters and I didn't want to interrupt that to make it to the race.  But I had second thoughts almost right away, especially when registration for the event filled up so fast.  There's a lot of great people at this event, and a lot of really cool cars, and I figured I was really going to miss going, just like last year.  After registration for the 250 cars closed, I decided to put my name in on the waiting list.  Turned out I was #73 on the list; I figured I'd never make it with a number like that, so I pretty much gave up on Drag Week 2013 last March.

Fast forward to the beginning of August.  Developing the machining operations for my intake adapter had taken longer than expected, and it did not appear at that point like I would have the first batch of production castings in my hands by the second week in September.  I decided to think more seriously about attending Drag Week.  My Mach 1 was the obvious choice, because it needed the least amount of work to be ready for the event.  Last year, one week before we were going to leave for Drag Week, my pal Joel (aka the Trunk Monkey) was driving the Mach 1 at a local track when the rear end blew out of it.  We scrambled to get a new set of 4.56 pro gears for the car and get them set up in time to reinstall them so it would be ready to go.  But the night before we were going to leave, when we installed the new gears, we found that the transmission had also taken a hit with the gear failure, and it wasn't shifting right or going into park correctly.  So, the Mach 1 was out for Drag Week 2012.  Later that fall I pulled the transmission and acquired a new one from a different builder, but never installed it.  It had been sitting next to the car ever since.

Also at the beginning of August I got an email from Hot Rod, saying that some contestants were starting to drop out, and that the first 11 people on the waiting list had spots.  So I was hopeful that more would drop out and I would get an email saying I was in.  However, the rules for dropping out of the event changed this year; last year you could get a full refund of your entry fee if you dropped out right up to the first day of the event.  This year, only half the entry fee was refundable, and no refunds would be issued after August 15.  The way I read that was that there was little or no motivation for someone who dropped out after August 15 to contact Hot Rod and let them know they weren't coming.  So I really didn't think that there would be a lot of movement on the waiting list after mid August.

Up through the first two weeks of August I continued work on my intake adapters, and finally got one of them on the dyno and ran some tests.  At that point there wasn't much to do except order the first run of production castings and wait for them to be delivered, so I could start machining them.  The foundry said end of September for delivery, so I had some time to start working on the Mach 1.

I had been talking to my pal Joel about attending the event again this year; he had been planning to go himself, but his project car took longer than expected so he was not going to make it.  He volunteered to be trunk monkey again this year if I wanted to go.  Joel figured that given the situation with Hot Rod, there was no way they'd get to my name on the waiting list.  But he also thought that if we just got the car ready and showed up, that we might be able to get in because of some late no-shows.  It kind of made sense to me, too, so we decided by mid-August to go for it.

Working every night on the Mach 1, by the end of August I had the transmission installed and was making some other changes to the car that I hadn't had time for last year, but that it really needed.  These were some modifications to the electrical system to make the EFI system easier to service, some new transmission fluid cooler lines, adding datalogging capabilities to the car, and a change to the cam timing.  Once all this was done I got the car started and running over Labor Day weekend, but when I went for a test drive I found another problem. 

The car has a Peterson wet sump oiling system on it; this is an external pump that looks like a dry sump pump, but it uses a wet sump instead.  It is a three stage pump, with one stage sucking oil from the pan and pressurizing the engine, and the other two stages used as scavenge stages to pull a vacuum on the crankcase.  These two stages come out of the pump and into a catch can where oil vapors are supposed to collect; the can needs to be drained periodically.  However, after my first ten mile cruise in the car on Labor Day weekend, the can completely filled up and overflowed the top, putting a bunch of oil into the engine compartment and making a big mess.

Now I've had to deal with this issue before, and I've called Peterson before about it but basically got the shrugged shoulders and the suggestion to add more baffles in the tubes feeding the vacuum stages of the pump.  I know some people who have run this kind of system on the street with success, so I know it can be done; I just needed to figure out the solution for my car.  So last week I went kind of nuts with the baffles; I welded a 4 inch long tube with two baffles in it on the front of each valve cover, and then welded a third baffle inside the valve cover itself to protect the tube opening.  This took me until Thursday night this week to get done.  Thursday night I went out for another test drive and had the same problem.

(By the way, I have to apologize for the lack of pictures in this post.  I took a bunch of pictures over the last few days with my camera, but here I am in the hotel without the stupid electrical cord to connect the camera to my computer LOL!  Forgot about that one when I packed up Friday night.  I'll try to get a cord tomorrow when we're on the road so I can post some pictures, including some of the engine compartment showing the tubes on the valve covers.)

Well, I didn't relish the idea of driving 1200 miles on Drag Week, stopping every ten miles to drain the catch can.  Thursday night I gave Blair Patrick a call to discuss the situation.  One idea I had already come up with was restricting the oil through the pushrods.  This engine uses pushrod oiling rather than the standard FE oiling to the rocker shafts, because it uses T&D rocker arms.  I had just normal pushrods with the .080" hole in each end, and I knew that Smith Brothers sells pushrods with restrictors built in.  I mentioned to Blair that I was going to go that route and he thought that was a good idea, just in case the valve covers were being flooded with oil and exacerbating the problem with oil in the catch can.  Blair also came up with another good idea; he suggested making the catch can bigger, and putting a drain back tube at the top that fed back down into the dipstick tube in the block.  This way if the catch can tried to overfill on the road, it would just drain the excess oil back into the dipstick tube. 

I had taken Friday this week off of work in order to get packed for the race, but rather than packing I was up at 6:30 AM working on the car.  First I took a second 1 pint catch can, cut the rounded bottom off it, and welded it together to give the can more capacity.  Then I also welded a #8 aluminum fitting bung in the side about an inch from the top, and ran a #8 line down to the oil filter adapter.  Since this setup uses a remote oil filter the adapter is just a plate with pipe threads leading to the holes in the oil filter pad on the block.  The hole in the block that the oil normally comes from with the stock oil pump was unused, of course, because the Peterson pump is external, so rather than using the dipstick tube as a drainback I just took the pipe plug out of the adapter where the oil hole from the stock pump came out of the block, and fed the drain line right into that.  Seemed like a pretty slick deal to me.

By noon I was finished and went out for another test drive.  This time I went longer, but the problem was still there.  When I got back to the shop I tried to figure out what was happening, and concluded that the catch can had not completely filled up, but was still spitting out some oil.  There was an improvement, but not enough.  Friday morning around 10:00 I had taken a break and called Smith Brothers, and ordered another set of pushrods with .020" restrictors in them.  I specified Saturday overnight delivery to the hotel I'd set up in Bowling Green, KY, where Drag Week 2013 was starting.  So, I figured I'd install the pushrods at the track and see if they helped solve this problem.

Joel and I were going to leave on Friday night but with the time I'd spent working on the car, there wasn't enough time to collect all the tools and equipment, spare parts, etc. that I wanted to take with me and hit the road at a reasonable hour.  Joel showed up with the trailer at my place around 8:00 PM, and we spent the time until midnight packing up and getting ready to go.  Saturday morning at 6:00 AM Joel was back, and we hit the road for Bowling Green, KY.

Saturday's trip was basically uneventful, except for some awful roads in Indiana, and we got into the hotel in Bowling Green around 10:00 PM.  Once in Bowling Green we stopped at a gas station to get some 110 octane race gas, and then at a self service car wash to wash the Mach 1 (I hadn't washed it since last year!).  We were crashed in the hotel room by 10:30 after the long drive, with the alarm set at 7:00 to make it to the track early.

This morning we were out of the hotel by 7:45 and at the track by 8:00.  Along with registration and test and tune for Drag Week, Beech Bend Raceway was running the Holley LS Fest, so there were LOADS of cars everywhere.  First guys we bumped into were Mike Moore and Tom Posthuma; it was good seeing them again.  I have to say that coming to meet up with old friends at Drag Week is a real attraction for me, and one reason why I keep coming to the event.  After getting the car off the trailer and into the tech line we ran into Curt Johnson; he is here with a late model Mustang with BBC power.  Joel and I got to know Curt and his friends from Rockford IL back in 2007 and 2009, when we were running in the same class.  As it happens Curt is also running in the same class as me this year, Big Block Naturally Aspirated Street Race, so we'll be seeing a lot of him.  He is a very strong competitor and it will be a lot of fun racing with him again this year.  Next we bumped into Larry Warpula and his son Clint, who were here running Larry's FE powered 53 Lincoln.  We talked with them for a while, and then ran into Jack Miller and his friend Eugene.  Jack ran his twin Paxton supercharged 68 Mustang at Drag Week in 2007 and took second in the Pro Street Power Adder class, but this year he is running in our class with two 68 Cougars, both with FEs.  Jack is driving one and Eugene is driving the other.  It will be great having those guys in our class too.

We kept seeing more and more old friends as the morning wore on; Keith Turk is the race director and he got me going on what to do to about trying to get into the race, even though I wasn't registered yet.  We talked to his wife Tonya about that, and she said to just stay in the tech line and get through tech, and then come back at 3:00 PM and she would let us know if we got in.  Waiting in the tech line takes FOREVER at Drag Week, and we didn't get all the way through until just after noon, but we got to talk to some more Drag Week competitors like Doc McIntyre and Jeff McConnell, who are running daily driver this year in Doc's other Camaro, and Mike Crow who I think is running his Dart in Small Block Naturally Aspirated Street Race.  The list of old friends went on and on, and despite the heat and humidity at the track the morning went by pretty fast catching up with everybody.

Around 12:30 we finally got through tech, and I pulled the Mustang into some shade at the back of the track, under the Beech trees, to change pushrods (which had arrived as scheduled on Saturday at our hotel), change plugs, and do a few other things to the car.  By 3:00 we were almost done, so we went back up to the Hot Rod tent to see if we would make it into the event.  Turns out they weren't ready to tell us yet; more people were still coming through tech.  But right around 4:00 Tonya Turk called out, "Jay, you're in!"  Boy I was happy about that; I hadn't wanted to have driven all the way down to Bowling Green for nothing.  But our gamble paid off, so Joel and I are running Drag Week 2013.

The class we are in is a big one with about 20 cars and a lot of strong competitors, so we'll see how we do.  But at this point I'm just happy to be here, and hoping for better results than 2011, when we had to bail after the first race with engine problems.  I'll try to post another update tomorrow night after the first race, and hopefully with some pictures.  Wish me luck, fellas!

Jay Brown
- 1969 Mach 1, Drag Week 2005 Winner NA/BB, 511" FE (10.60s @ 129); Drag Week 2007 Runner-Up PA/BB, 490" Supercharged FE (9.35 @ 151)
- 1964 Ford Galaxie, Drag Week 2009 Winner Modified NA (9.50s @ 143), 585" SOHC
- 1969 Shelby Clone, Drag Week 2015 Winner Modified NA (Average 8.98 @ 149), 585" SOHC

   

frankenfords

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Re: Made it to Drag Week 2013!
« Reply #1 on: September 08, 2013, 11:24:40 PM »
Your ambition, and even more so your execution, are an inspiration to us all!! Best of luck to you and the trunk monkey! We'll all be following from this side of our screens to cheer you on!

WConley

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Re: Made it to Drag Week 2013!
« Reply #2 on: September 08, 2013, 11:32:52 PM »
May the Trunk Monkey bring you the luck you deserve!

Great to hear you snuck into the event.  Wifey and I were lamenting your expected lack of participation, so now I get to give her some good news.

Give 'em hell Jay!

- Mr. Bill
A careful study of failure will yield the ingredients for success.

runthatjunk

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Re: Made it to Drag Week 2013!
« Reply #3 on: September 08, 2013, 11:43:20 PM »
That's great news and thanks for taking the time on the writeups.

Good luck
1965 390 Galaxie 4 Speed
1966 428 Thunderbird

plovett

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Re: Made it to Drag Week 2013!
« Reply #4 on: September 09, 2013, 12:27:53 AM »
you're a farkin' nut, Jay.  That's a compliment by the way.  Go get 'em!

paulie

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Re: Made it to Drag Week 2013!
« Reply #5 on: September 09, 2013, 02:06:49 AM »
I swear, with all your projects, if it wasn't for Drag Week, you'd never get anything done on your cars.
Geez, and I don't have my intake adapter yet. I hope this doesn't turn into a "Coon" chase  ;D

(all the above is obviously meant as humor)
Good Luck, Jay!! Regardless, this will always be interesting reading.
And good luck to Jack and all the other FE contenders out there.
Doug Smith


'69 R-code Mach 1, '65 427 MR, 2x4, 4-spd, 4.30 Locker
1965 Galaxie 390
1970 F-350 390

ToddK

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Re: Made it to Drag Week 2013!
« Reply #6 on: September 09, 2013, 04:30:21 AM »
Great to read you made it in. I've been hanging out to read about some Drag Week adventures, and what better than to follow the progress of Team Brown. Best of luck Jay.

machoneman

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Re: Made it to Drag Week 2013!
« Reply #7 on: September 09, 2013, 06:12:43 AM »
Go Jay! Great news indeed....slay those Chevies!
Bob Maag

Qikbbstang

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Re: Made it to Drag Week 2013!
« Reply #8 on: September 09, 2013, 11:41:21 AM »
Go Go Go Jay  great to read you made it ---Just hope to see you run on line!

RJP

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Re: Made it to Drag Week 2013!
« Reply #9 on: September 09, 2013, 12:02:27 PM »
Good luck to you and the trunk monkey...You've made all the FE freaks through out the world very proud.

thatdarncat

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Re: Made it to Drag Week 2013!
« Reply #10 on: September 09, 2013, 12:16:09 PM »
Good Luck guys, looking forward to hearing about the adventure.
Kevin Rolph

1967 Cougar Drag Car ( under constuction )
1966 7 litre Galaxie
1966 Country Squire 390
1966 Cyclone GT 390
1968 Torino GT 390
1972 Gran Torino wagon
1978 Lincoln Mk V

bluef100fe

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Re: Made it to Drag Week 2013!
« Reply #11 on: September 09, 2013, 01:41:59 PM »
Good luck guys... I hope I get to take my truck to the event some year... its on my bucket list for sure.


<a href="https://servimg.com/view/14375057/64" target="_blank" ><img  src="https://i58.servimg.com/u/f58/14/37/50/57/img_2013.jpg" border="0" alt="Image hosted by servimg.com" /></a>

Cody Ladowski
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390 C6 9 inch
1.56 sixty ft.
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11.79 @ 111.5

mlcraven

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Re: Made it to Drag Week 2013!
« Reply #12 on: September 09, 2013, 02:22:38 PM »
Best of luck Jay...it was your exploits with the Galaxie a couple/few years back that put Drag Week on the map for me.
Michael

Heo

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Re: Made it to Drag Week 2013!
« Reply #13 on: September 09, 2013, 03:08:04 PM »
good luck



The defenition of a Gentleman, is a man that can play the accordion.But dont do it

Mistral_427TP

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Re: Made it to Drag Week 2013!
« Reply #14 on: September 09, 2013, 03:17:45 PM »
Go Jay and Good Luck
-Johnex Cobra Replicar