Author Topic: Seeking FED Wisdom  (Read 477 times)

Offline Mike Lawless

  • Newbie
  • *
  • Posts: 7
    • View Profile
  • Your Best Time: 9.70
  • Your Engine: Turbocharged air cooled VW
  • Your Track: Famoso
  • Your Vehicle: Door car now. FED in planning
  • General Location: Central California
Seeking FED Wisdom
« on: March 12, 2019, 05:20:06 PM »
Howdy everyone. New to the site. I've been drag racing for nearly 45 years, so I am no newcomer. I've raced door cars all that time. Recently, the time has come to hang up my driving suit, and crew for my son. We are in the research phase of building a dragster using my existing turbo charged methanol burning air cooled VW engine with the goal of running NE2. The motor is a proven performer and makes just shy of 500hp with fairly low boost (15psi). We will probably run in NE3 at first to get the kinks out, although the motor has run the door car to 9.70. So NE3 could be achievable with ridiculously low boost

We have challenges to overcome to be certain. I am a hobbyist machinist and more than capable of custom fabbing odd-ball parts, and I am an accomplished welder.

Some my initial idears make sense to me, but I may be off base. One such idear is to use a turbo 350 trans rather than a PG. The VW doesn't make the bucket load of torque than a V8 does, but enough to get a 2000lb door car into the mid 1.30 60 foot range....with a stick trans and 7000rpm launch.

So, the first question, since the build will center around the drivetrain, is a turbo 350 a hair brained idear?

Offline wideopen231

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 1403
    • View Profile
  • Your Best Time: 1/8 3.70@ 198 1/4 5.78@245
  • Your Engine: Hemi 526 ci alcohol
  • Your Track: Piedmont
  • Your Vehicle: 225 CMC FED
  • General Location: NORTH CAROLINA
Re: Seeking FED Wisdom
« Reply #1 on: March 13, 2019, 06:21:55 AM »
 IMO 350 is not best choice.May work well with 500 hp. Limited on parts choice and no wear near the parts developed for it as a PG or turbo 400. My lile brother runs aPG behind a turbo VR6 VW engine although not air cooled version. He was making about 700 before new build ao not really apple to apple comparison. He has run 4.90's 1/8 mile in a door car,but it only weight 1730#.  In a fed you should be really lite. I can see you being close to 1100# or less with minimal cost. Use bare minimum spec tubing's and watch every piece weight wise and I think you will find a glide will work great. Get a lower gear and few up grade parts and you should be golden. A plus is if PG don't work for you a 350 or 400 is simple bolt up with different length driveshaft. Plus with your power level will not have a ton in a transmission. I ran a basic PG with,valve body and clutches upgrade for 2 years behind a alky injected 454 before I started braking stuff and then a better input was biggest change.

Good luck and enjoy .Should be fun project and your machinist skills will come in handy. Different is lot more work,but thats what makes it fun and cool.
Relecting obama is like shooting right foot because it did not hurt enough when you shot left foot

Offline Curly1

  • Full Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 171
    • View Profile
    • AireTex Compressors
  • Your Best Time: 7.95 @ 167 1/4 mile
  • Your Track: Texas Motorplex
  • Your Vehicle: 125" Altered
Re: Seeking FED Wisdom
« Reply #2 on: March 13, 2019, 08:26:04 AM »
My opinion for what it is worth is the 350 would be a better choice than a powerglide for your car because of low first gear and three speeds. Also you may want to look into the Metric 200? Transmission. I think that is what a lot of the Super Stock racers are using and they work well. But those are probably expensive and they may be using them because of class restrictions?

As you know torque converter with that motor is going to make a huge difference. Too tight and it will not get out of the hole. If you are not sure go to the looser side.

Offline Mike Lawless

  • Newbie
  • *
  • Posts: 7
    • View Profile
  • Your Best Time: 9.70
  • Your Engine: Turbocharged air cooled VW
  • Your Track: Famoso
  • Your Vehicle: Door car now. FED in planning
  • General Location: Central California
Re: Seeking FED Wisdom
« Reply #3 on: March 13, 2019, 09:11:25 AM »
Thanks guys.

Curly, the lower first gear was why the T350 is being considered. Not only is the low end torque a factor, but also the ability to move on a .4 pro tree. I've never had the motor dynoed to see where it makes peak torque, but based on the way I run it in my door car, I think the rpm is up there comparatively high. Maybe as high as 6000rpm.

You are right on the converter. It will be a very important decision for certain. It's been a LONG time since I raced in a car with an auto trans and converter, so I am certain the technology has changed a bunch. The early VW dragster guys had problems. But maybe there are enough small motor combos (2.2liter) out there these days that a basic formula has been figured out?

At any rate, I'm thinking that drivetrain decisions will need to be made before a single stick of tube is put in position. Tire diameter, trans housing, motor plate thickness (since we need to adapt a flex plate to the back of a VW crank AND allow for converter snout register) fore/aft motor position....not to mention how we're gonna hang a starter on it.

Makes me ask what the heck I'm getting myself into!

Offline rooman

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 531
    • View Profile
  • Your Best Time: 6.200/222.05 (1/4 mile--NT/F)
Re: Seeking FED Wisdom
« Reply #4 on: March 13, 2019, 01:21:06 PM »
Loading the motor against the converter should help it make boost early as opposed to revving it up and dumping a clutch. I would go with the powerglide. As already mentioned it is lighter and has much more in the way of parts available both new and used.

Roo
Yeah, I am from the south--any further south and I would have been a bloody penguin.

Offline dreracecar

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 1566
    • View Profile
  • Your Track: Bakersfield
  • Your Vehicle: 7-0 pro dragster
Re: Seeking FED Wisdom
« Reply #5 on: March 13, 2019, 05:05:10 PM »
Its been done a lot, the only concerning issue is how you mount the starter to the motorplate, just make sure you allow room for it

Offline THE FRENCHTOWN FLYER

  • Full Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 150
    • View Profile
  • Your Best Time: 8.28@168 door; 9.00@147 6-cyl alt; 8.53@160 RED
  • Your Engine: 300 Ford six NA w/ crossflow and prod. heads
  • Your Track: Milan, Thompson
  • Your Vehicle: Advanced Chassis altered , The Last Logghe altered, '30 RPU
  • General Location: North Coast
Re: Seeking FED Wisdom
« Reply #6 on: March 13, 2019, 05:59:44 PM »
I too would go with the PG. I use Coan in my six cylinders and like their customer service. Plus, they have run a K/A four cylinder Comp car so they have history with that combo. One thing I would do is put the motor plate far enough out so that if you ever want to try a 3-speed you won't have to tear up the basic chassis. ight car you'll probably want it pretty far out anyway to control wheelstands. Some Comp racers with smaller engines are using a 3-speed based on the 904 Mopar. Good luck

Offline Mike Lawless

  • Newbie
  • *
  • Posts: 7
    • View Profile
  • Your Best Time: 9.70
  • Your Engine: Turbocharged air cooled VW
  • Your Track: Famoso
  • Your Vehicle: Door car now. FED in planning
  • General Location: Central California
Re: Seeking FED Wisdom
« Reply #7 on: March 13, 2019, 06:40:30 PM »
I too would go with the PG. I use Coan in my six cylinders and like their customer service. Plus, they have run a K/A four cylinder Comp car so they have history with that combo. One thing I would do is put the motor plate far enough out so that if you ever want to try a 3-speed you won't have to tear up the basic chassis. ight car you'll probably want it pretty far out anyway to control wheelstands. Some Comp racers with smaller engines are using a 3-speed based on the 904 Mopar. Good luck

I appreciate the input guys. Definitely a lot to think about. A PG would be a lot easier from a build perspective. My main concern is getting it moving quickly enough on a pro tree. On my door car, I made the mistake of allowing myself to go with a higher ratio first gear than what I wanted. "The turbo needs a load," they said. Well, maybe they do if one is chasing ET and ET only. But as you all know, in index racing, it is imperative that the car reacts quickly to driver input. At any rate, some of that initial movement was lost compared to my previous NA combo. That sucker would go red on a .4 tree if I was aggressive with it. Now, the reactions are somewhere around .05 if I'm on the ball. So you can see why I'm concerned about having enough low gear. I believe the lowest first gear for a PG is 1.98?

Since the ultimate goal of this project is to win races, I need to make the right decision on this early on.

dreracecar....since your home track is Famoso in Bakersfield as mine is, if you run ANRA events or the March Meet, you may have seen my blue Karmann Ghia

Offline dreracecar

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 1566
    • View Profile
  • Your Track: Bakersfield
  • Your Vehicle: 7-0 pro dragster
Re: Seeking FED Wisdom
« Reply #8 on: March 13, 2019, 07:11:08 PM »
Been awhile since I dealt with VW's,  I was at the MM this year (briefly) but hung around the T/F pits because a customer had an issue. I did do a VW RE dragster with a PG for Mike Ballard a few years ago, you can google him and see his "Scorpion" dragster

Offline Mike Lawless

  • Newbie
  • *
  • Posts: 7
    • View Profile
  • Your Best Time: 9.70
  • Your Engine: Turbocharged air cooled VW
  • Your Track: Famoso
  • Your Vehicle: Door car now. FED in planning
  • General Location: Central California
Re: Seeking FED Wisdom
« Reply #9 on: March 13, 2019, 09:29:56 PM »
Been awhile since I dealt with VW's,  I was at the MM this year (briefly) but hung around the T/F pits because a customer had an issue. I did do a VW RE dragster with a PG for Mike Ballard a few years ago, you can google him and see his "Scorpion" dragster

Yeah, I know that car. Bigger motor than mine at 3 liters. Mine is 2.2. He runs a procharger too. I haven't seen it run for a while, not since they were trying to sort things out.

Offline retroboy

  • Full Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 191
    • View Profile
  • Your Track: Whyalla
  • Your Vehicle: FED
Re: Seeking FED Wisdom
« Reply #10 on: March 14, 2019, 03:16:36 AM »
Mate of mine ran a RE Dragster 30 years ago with a 4/71 on a VW flat four. I'm not 100 % sure but thank that was a 3 speed. Part of me thinks it was a 904 TF.  They have a 2.45 first gear 1.45 second. He's passed on now so I can't ask him but I'll see what I can dig up. 
Cheers

Offline masracingtd1167

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 1039
  • bill masiello Shelton Ct.
    • View Profile
  • Your Best Time: 7.40's at 181 on motor 6.94 at 192 nitrous
  • Your Engine: 394 chevy
  • Your Track: Lebanon Valley Dragway
  • Your Vehicle: 2003 Neil and Parks
Re: Seeking FED Wisdom
« Reply #11 on: March 14, 2019, 07:51:28 AM »
I think that what you might gain with the 3 speed you will lose because of the weight overall and the rotating weight of the internal components of both the th 350 and the 904 ! You can get a low gear set for a glide and even get away with a six cylinder carrier ! 

Offline wideopen231

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 1403
    • View Profile
  • Your Best Time: 1/8 3.70@ 198 1/4 5.78@245
  • Your Engine: Hemi 526 ci alcohol
  • Your Track: Piedmont
  • Your Vehicle: 225 CMC FED
  • General Location: NORTH CAROLINA
Re: Seeking FED Wisdom
« Reply #12 on: March 14, 2019, 01:04:44 PM »
 I think you can get  a 1.9_ lw for glide. Remember that you will be a lot lighter and getting it moving will not need as much push.  Low 1st ,with right rear gear,converter thats good match and super lite car I don't see how you would any problem getting it moving out of hole.
Relecting obama is like shooting right foot because it did not hurt enough when you shot left foot

Offline retroboy

  • Full Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 191
    • View Profile
  • Your Track: Whyalla
  • Your Vehicle: FED
Re: Seeking FED Wisdom
« Reply #13 on: March 14, 2019, 01:59:41 PM »
Mate of mine ran a RE Dragster 30 years ago with a 4/71 on a VW flat four. I'm not 100 % sure but thank that was a 3 speed. Part of me thinks it was a 904 TF.  They have a 2.45 first gear 1.45 second. He's passed on now so I can't ask him but I'll see what I can dig up. 
Cheers

As much as I hate 2 speed taxi cab transmissions I said I'd find out and it was a stock PG witj a shift kit.
Cheers

Offline Mike Lawless

  • Newbie
  • *
  • Posts: 7
    • View Profile
  • Your Best Time: 9.70
  • Your Engine: Turbocharged air cooled VW
  • Your Track: Famoso
  • Your Vehicle: Door car now. FED in planning
  • General Location: Central California
Re: Seeking FED Wisdom
« Reply #14 on: March 14, 2019, 02:45:52 PM »
As much as I hate 2 speed taxi cab transmissions I said I'd find out and it was a stock PG witj a shift kit.
Cheers

Thanks for taking the time to look it up. Mucho appreciated!

I think you can get  a 1.9_ lw for glide. Remember that you will be a lot lighter and getting it moving will not need as much push.  Low 1st ,with right rear gear,converter thats good match and super lite car I don't see how you would any problem getting it moving out of hole.

I think that what you might gain with the 3 speed you will lose because of the weight overall and the rotating weight of the internal components of both the th 350 and the 904 ! You can get a low gear set for a glide and even get away with a six cylinder carrier ! 

Most of the guys here seem to be on the same page. That does simplify things tremendously. I reckon if all else fails.....mo' boost!

Thanks guys!