Author Topic: Drag Week 2016, Day 5  (Read 15561 times)

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jayb

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Drag Week 2016, Day 5
« on: September 18, 2016, 03:07:39 PM »
I'm writing this after the fact of course, but Day 5 was interesting regardless so I thought I'd put up a quick post.  Right after I made my last post, at around 11:00 AM on Friday morning, Steve and I left the hotel and went out to the car to drive to the track.  I started the car, and heard a definite knocking coming from under the hood.  Crap, another rocker arm?  The engine had sounded perfect when we shut it off on Thursday night.

I decided we couldn't risk a drive to the track, and there was a little shade at the hotel anyway, so I pulled the car up into the shade and pulled the valve covers.  Everything looked fine; what a relief.  I put in new plugs as long as the engine was apart, and then bolted it all back together.  The noise was still there when the engine fired up, but it quieted down by the time we drove to the track; we concluded it was an exhaust leak that was misleading us on the noise.

At the track they had decided to run the street eliminator cars first, so despite being a little late we still had plenty of time to get the car into race trim.  Once it was ready to go I spent some time looking at the other cars, and talking to some of the competitors.  Curt Johnson and I chatted for a while; Curt is now the only six time class winner at Drag Week, after his first place finish in BB/NA this week.  Curt's engine is 15:1 compression, and he runs race fuel between the tracks; he says if he doesn't he blows the rings out of the motor in short order.  Brad Dyer, who finished first in my class, is doing the same thing.  I guess my 13:1 motor is just not cutting edge LOL!

After a while they called the class cars, and I got into the staging lanes.  One local bracket racer that we talked to said that the air at the track was the worst he'd ever seen, and the times seemed to reflect that.  There were also lots of traction issues.  When I finally got to the line I did the normal burnout, and left at 4000 RPM.  The car spun and went hard right off the starting line; it has never done that before.  Then, as I tried to correct, the car quit for some reason.  My first thought was that the fuel pump gremlin that got me at last year's third race was back.  I coasted the car to a stop, put it in park, and it fired right up, so I drove down the track.  I went right around back into the staging lanes, popped the trunk lid, and checked the wires going into the fuel pump controller.  But they were tight; that was definitely not the problem.  After some consideration the only thing I could think of was that when I was cranking the steering wheel around I accidentally hit the trans brake button, and that locked up the trans and engine and shut off the car.  I hope that's not what happened, but it might be.  In any case, though, this time I was worried about how the car would run down the track on the next pass.  Would it quit again?  Would I get some decent traction and be able to make a reasonable pass?  I had a nice cushion on the guy in third place, but I needed to make at least a decent pass to ensure that I held onto second place.

Finally I got around to the starting line again, after a few more delays.  Somebody told me that right after my last pass they had stopped the racing and re-prepped the track, so I was hopeful that the car would hook this time.  After the burnout I rolled into the beams and lit the pre stage and stage lights.  I had decided to keep the trans brake off this time, just in case I had hit the brake last time and caused the car to shut off.  So, I footbraked at the line for the first time at this event, and naturally before the tree came down the car slipped forward out of the beams.  I left as soon as that happened, before the tree came down, so I didn't get a time for the pass.  But the car left straight and shifted normally, so it seemed that the first pass didn't do any damage.

Two passes and no results meant that I had to go back into the staging lanes again.  My third pass was marred again by another screw-up; this time the car left fine, but I still had my hand on the shifter after the 1-2 shift, and it inadvertently slipped into neutral at around 1000 feet.  I pulled it back into second as the engine hit the rev limiter, but that hurt the time a little; I ran 9.22 on that pass.  But, that was clearly going to be good enough for second place, so I pulled back into the pits and called it a Drag Week.  No way I was going to catch Brad Dyer, and the guy in third wasn't going to catch me.

Speaking of Brad, I bumped into him at the timing tower just before handing in my slip and we got a chance to talk for a while.  He has had a really tough year, with back surgery, his best friend moving to Florida, and a divorce.  He really stepped it up this year to get his car to run as fast as it does, and he deserved the win.  I was happy for him, and I hope I get to race with him again next year.

Reading through the messages I noticed a couple of comments about the black smoke from my car when it leaves.  It is just running rich at the starting line before I give it wide open throttle; I haven't got the EFI system dialed in there yet.  I also got a kick out of Hot Rod's coverage of my cam change, where they said I had failed "lifters"; I'd been trying to hunt down Freiburger during the week to give him a hard time about saying that over the PA, and then to my surprise it also showed up on the Hot Rod website!  I guess they are mostly just writers and announcers these days LOL!

Overall I was pretty happy with the reliability of the car this year.  Last year at Drag Week I had to replace a starter, wiring for the water pump and a crank sensor, an O-ring for the fuel injectors, a fuel pump, and a rocker arm.  This year the rocker and cam swap was the only issue, and I was able to do that at the track, which is a heck of a lot easier than trying to do it at the side of the road.  My electronics box, which cleaned up the rats nest of wiring under the dash of the car, seemed to perform flawlessly.  The RobbMc starter, which was one of two that gave up on me last year, performed perfectly all week, despite start after start in the staging lanes; the new stronger sprag in those starters seems to have solved their reliability problems.  The big issue on the SOHC remains the rocker arms, and as long as you treat them like the old roller lifters, before the pin oiling feature became available, I think they are fine.  But if you have to deal with an extended idling time, like I did during the drive on Tuesday, where those needle bearings don't get oil splash, I think you are asking for trouble with those rockers.  (By the way, I also was asked at the track why I don't use some kind of spray bar on the needle bearings to keep them lubed during idling time.  I suppose that may be possible, but there isn't a direct shot where you can spray oil on the needles, because of the design of those rockers.  So I think an internal EDM hole, like the pin-oiled roller lifters use, would be a much better solution.)  I was planning a higher ratio version of those rockers a few years ago, and I need to get that project on the front burner, and add the pin oiling feature to help those needle bearings in the roller wheel live.

The big disappointment this year was how the car left the starting line.  The change from 4.29 to 4.11 gears really seemed to hurt the car.  It did what I wanted from a MPH perspective, because MPH was up 2-3 this year, and I was only running 7400 RPM through the lights.  But my 60 foot times were up by a half tenth, and the car just didn't feel as strong as last year.  I need to go back to deeper gears, and either add the Gear Vendors overdrive back into the driveline, or change to a 3 speed transmission. 

One other comment is that as Drag Weeks go, the start and finish at National Trail was not a good thing, and the registration line on Sunday was the worst I'd ever seen.  That, plus the truly bad directions on the Monday drive, made this year's Drag Week feel less well organized than it was in the past.  But it was still worth the trip, and I'm still going back next year  ;D

Here's a picture of the guys in our group at the end of the day Friday.  Left to right is Steve, me, Jeff, Joel, and Kevin.  We sure had a fun week, and thanks to everyone on the forum for following along and supporting our effort!

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

   

Cyclone03

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Re: Drag Week 2016, Day 5
« Reply #1 on: September 18, 2016, 04:34:45 PM »
Congrats Jay, as usual a great result for the effort. It seems you lit a fire under your class competition and they stepped it up.

You hit 1k HP at last and Dyer seems to have 1100 LOL. Thats racing,I guess.

Of course the car looks great.

The "lifter" comment is funny because I think they did the same thing in 2013 or (maybe and) 2014.

I was the one here that mentioned oil sprayers,on thinking about it after your long idle comment just an oil gallery in the cam cover spraying at the contact area of the rocker to cam,heck just flood it for the drive,then close it off for racing. For fear of summoning BB, NASCAR guys have the answers to long term rocker/cam (ah hm) lifter life , maybe some better ideas from that world? How about lash? How close to .000 can you run? Maybe the big ramps are pounding the needle bearings?

Lets hope tear down brings no surprises and you can work on this issue AND make some more power.
Lance H

WConley

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Re: Drag Week 2016, Day 5
« Reply #2 on: September 18, 2016, 04:39:32 PM »
Great showing Jay!  Like others have mentioned, my productivity suffered a bit this past week due to the live feed. 

Based upon everything that I know, I think you're spot-on with the low rpm lack of oil being a problem for the lifters  ;).  It would be worthwhile to investigate a remedy.  Hopefully when you get into the engine the rest will be all good!

- Bill
« Last Edit: September 18, 2016, 05:24:51 PM by WConley »
A careful study of failure will yield the ingredients for success.

Cyclone Joe

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Re: Drag Week 2016, Day 5
« Reply #3 on: September 18, 2016, 04:45:34 PM »
Congrats Jay on another well done race campaign.  So what do you think you'll need to do to challenge the winner from this year?

I'll also be interested to hear how the connecting rods look when you get home and get a chance tear it down.

Cyclone Joe

jayb

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Re: Drag Week 2016, Day 5
« Reply #4 on: September 18, 2016, 04:56:47 PM »
Joe, I'll be in touch soon, I want to send you the rod with the crack in it, for analysis - Jay
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

   

AlanCasida

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Re: Drag Week 2016, Day 5
« Reply #5 on: September 18, 2016, 05:59:46 PM »
Well done, Jay. It was nice hanging out with you guys this week. Hope to see you again next year. :)

cjshaker

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Re: Drag Week 2016, Day 5
« Reply #6 on: September 18, 2016, 06:02:44 PM »
The lifter comment struck me as funny also. But then again on day 1 of Drag Week they announced my car as a '61 Mustang with what they wondered might be a stroker 427 Windsor! Grrrr >:(  And that was Freiburger!

Regardless, I agree that Brad had an excellent car, and I congratulated him on his strong showing and class win. He did an excellent job. And your car seemed to be much more reliable this year. Here's to hoping that there aren't any issues on teardown. Congrats, Jay, on a good showing this year.
Doug Smith


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

millerptl

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Re: Drag Week 2016, Day 5
« Reply #7 on: September 18, 2016, 06:08:55 PM »
Great job Jay. You make Drag Week   drag week in my book. I know I don't talk much mostly because I'm the student among FE greats like yourself and my dad. I certainly enjoy learning from you all. I'll keep tweeking on the cougar and I know you will do the same to that great mustang and will see you next year. Scott.

turbohunter

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Re: Drag Week 2016, Day 5
« Reply #8 on: September 18, 2016, 06:14:42 PM »
Welcome Scott
I see its your first post.
Fantastic showing for you too. Congrats.
Hope to see you around these parts more and more.
Would love to see some pics of how you put your car together.
Really envy your set up.
Marc
'61 F100 292Y
'67 Fairlane build underway.
'66 Mustang Injected 428
'66 Q code Country Squire wagon


machoneman

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Re: Drag Week 2016, Day 5
« Reply #9 on: September 18, 2016, 06:17:30 PM »
Nice job Jay!  :)
Bob Maag

Qikbbstang

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Re: Drag Week 2016, Day 5
« Reply #10 on: September 18, 2016, 06:26:16 PM »
   The statement: "Joe, I'll be in touch soon, I want to send you the rod with the crack in it, for analysis - Jay"   confuses me

 As Drag Week approached this year reading this thread, I kind of was wondering about the durability of particular though un-named parts as the miles/runs of Drag Week accumulate and what parts/components get kept or replaced based upon I presume the ri$k of failure.  I guess on Jay's car there are now numerous parts that have gone two plus years of Drag Week.. I'm kind of a novice but Jay's stating 7,400 rpm visits gets me cringing my teeth ---- it sure isn't some 5 litre sewing machine there with light pistons and 3.5 inch stroke --- it's the biggest SOHC known to man.

    BTW Jay do any of the competitors run titanium valves/

cammerfe

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Re: Drag Week 2016, Day 5
« Reply #11 on: September 18, 2016, 07:00:35 PM »
In regard to rockers, I've been doing some 'bench-racing' in that area. Adjusting lash with lash-caps and re-doing the pedestals for the rocker mounts so as to make a significant ratio-change possible are both areas we've visited. Pressure oiling and going to bushings instead of needles are also under consideration. This is a long-range program. Whudja think?

KS

machoneman

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Re: Drag Week 2016, Day 5
« Reply #12 on: September 18, 2016, 07:32:23 PM »
Not Jay here or course Bill but...if Jay goes the bushing route and coincidentally gets to increases the quite limited SOHC rocker ratio, wow! That is a big improvement in my book. 
Bob Maag

machoneman

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Re: Drag Week 2016, Day 5
« Reply #13 on: September 18, 2016, 07:32:43 PM »
Can you clue us in on the ratio idea btw?

Bob Maag

jayb

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Re: Drag Week 2016, Day 5
« Reply #14 on: September 18, 2016, 08:32:52 PM »
Great job Jay. You make Drag Week   drag week in my book. I know I don't talk much mostly because I'm the student among FE greats like yourself and my dad. I certainly enjoy learning from you all. I'll keep tweeking on the cougar and I know you will do the same to that great mustang and will see you next year. Scott.

Scott, welcome to the board and congrats on a great week with the Cougar.  That thing really hauls the mail, and impresses the heck out of me, and everybody else for that matter.  You are up against a very, very tough competitor in that class in Curt Johnson, but you hung right with him for most of the week, with a car that is 10% heavier.  Keep up the great work, and say hi to your Dad for me.  Seeing you guys at Drag Week is a real highlight for me - Jay
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