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Topics - janjon

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Roo Man's Room / Torsion bar adjustment
« on: May 07, 2021, 02:07:04 PM »
Hello, does anyone have any pics or drawings of the inner workings of the VW torsion tube assembly commonly used on FEDs,
and any suggestions on how best to lock out all travel ?

Front Engine Dragsters / First time back to the track in 7 years
« on: September 30, 2020, 05:03:02 AM »

So, on my small block Chevy / Powerglide FED combination, I just replaced the flexplate. the ring gear teeth had some major damage. Ordered one from Jegs, the previous one was also from Jeg's, apparently identical, to the naked eye. I was able to slide the engine forward on the frame rails enough to swap it without pulling the engine. I noticed that the ring gear teeth were a lot closer to the 1/4" motor plate than they had been on the old flexplate, after installing the flexplate bolts. Having pushed the convertor all the way back into the transmission through this process, when reinstalling the flexplate bolts to the converter mounting pads, I had to pull the convertor about 3/8" forward to install the previous shims of approx. 1/8", and that seemed to be too much to me, possibly losing too much of the engagement of the stator support slots, and the trans pump gear tangs, to drive the trans pump with sufficient engagement.   Any help on how this should be se
t up is greatly appreciated.

Anyone know where a replacement belt can be had? This is probably a commercially-available item if one had a part number.

Matt Shaff's Engine Shop / Valvespring retainer question
« on: April 06, 2015, 06:00:12 PM »
Hello All:
 Please, if you will, see the attached photo. My 840292 head spent a long enough time at a machine shop that the guy lost a spring retainer and keeper set. Long story short, this was a freebie deal involving holes in ports, and now epoxy, but that's a different deal. So anyway I take the spring to my local speed emporium looking to purchase what is missing, the guy there measures the spring set with calipers, doesn't have the parts on the shelf nor are they available as other than complete sets. So, ordered, received, installed as in the photo. The retainer doesn't cover the full top of the spring as we can see. Am I asking for trouble running this as-is? Actual spring od as measured is 1.54, making it nominally a 1.550 spring I suppose. The retainer measures, 1.400. The retainer is Comp Cams 740-16, labelled as "Steel Retainer 1.437".
 Any thoughts???

How much should the converter be pulled forward from bottomed in the front pump?
Mine's a relatively mild combo that I don't think I need to worry about a ballooning converter taking up the end play and then some.
Obviously we want sufficient engagement to drive the pump, but how little is too little?


Matt Shaff's Engine Shop / Teardown surprise
« on: February 23, 2015, 07:11:16 PM »
 I bought my car with a 350 SBC roller motor not knowing many of its particulars other than aluminum rods. It started smoking a bit from #8 zoomie stack and oiling the plug a bit. The car also needed a new flexplate so out came the roller motor and in went a milder 350. Upon removing the intake I find that the intake port wall (340292 head) has a hole where some extremely industrious but hopefully talented individual ground just a little tiny bit too close to the pushrod clearance hole and the intake port was sucking oil from the valley. 'Splains why cranking pressure and leakdown % not real bad. A whole lot of handwork went into these heads, both ports and chambers, in fact, one might say a little TOO much.
 The head is removed and I am shocked to see... FLATTOPS!!! I expected to see domes of some sort.
 So a repair was attempted, (a freebie) but the repair has a similar hole. It has been suggested to me that epoxy in the runner would work to seal the leak. It would have to be in the runner because pushrod clearance to the outside is just about zero. I don't care what restriction that might cause, but am a bit concerned what might happen downstream if it came loose. Anyone have any thoughts on this?

Roo Man's Room / chassis welding question
« on: January 21, 2014, 02:09:56 PM »
Hello Roo and everyone:
 I have seen pictures on build threads that suggest that maybe some folks don't fully weld every chassis joint in place and on the jig.
I am in the learning process of TIG welding, I have been welding up angled and notched joints, but "cheating" by repositioning the weldment to the easiest orientation to avoid awkward out of position welding. At least to this point. Obviously I would like to (and eventually will) become proficient to the extent I can weld anything, anywhere. Ha.
 My question is, would it work to tack everything really well, weld the accessible joints as fully as possible, avoid overhead welding and joint sections that would be really awkward to get at, and remove the structure from the jig and position it to make any uncompleted welds as easy as possible to complete? I would think in that case one would want to pay attention to symmetry of progress, maybe working side to side, and one end to the other, for example, to avoid distorting the structure overall.
 Or would you say don't even attempt a chassis build till you're fully competent to weld it fully on the jig?

Roo Man's Room / roll cage question
« on: December 12, 2013, 07:03:03 PM »
Hello Roo and all:
Got a question concerning  the secondary roll bar on my car. If you can see in the photo I'm trying like xxxx to attach, the left and right sides of the secondary roll bar extend to the back braces, up from the shoulder hoop, but between the back braces, the secondary roll bar does not exist. I have seen this in the past on other cars, if memory serves. What would be the reason for this, if indeed there is one, and is this kosher according to the rules as published? And would it represent best practices? It would seem that this would allow for a bit of "crush", but I'm not sure I see that as a good thing... helmet fit being pretty tight as-is. Any thoughts?

Spud Miller's Cave / Mechanical fuel injection
« on: September 20, 2013, 12:30:02 PM »
Hello Spud!
I'm considering changing to an old-school injector setup on my SBC FED, and wondering if you or anyone else is aware of a good source for used stuff including pumps, valves, and the like.  Your business seems oriented towards flowing and setup on customer-owned equipment, and not selling used stuff. I see on your site the EFI setup you're introducing, and it looks awesome, but I'm wanting to go the mechanical route for the challenge, and hopefully not turn the nearly-broken bank into the severely-broken bank. Any recommendations are appreciated.
 My car has a 350, solid lifter, glide, etc.

Spud Miller's Cave / Alternator question
« on: August 07, 2013, 08:36:22 PM »
Related to previous MSD question. I'm running a total-loss system, SBC with electric fuel pump and electric water pump drive and radiator fan. And Powerfire distributor / ignition. Self-contained. OEM alternator pulley sizes spin the alternator a good bit faster than crankshaft RPM, being much smaller than the crank pulley. Over-sized, "deep-groove" pulleys of the past were much larger and would spin the alternator much closer to 1-to-1 with crank speed. My question is, is that slower speed enough to provide adequate power to the battery and the electrics and electronics???

Spud Miller's Cave / MSD question
« on: June 24, 2013, 06:49:53 PM »
So I bought an MSD Pro-Billet distributor with the intent of running it with a Blaster 2 coil and no box. The installation instructions show how to hook it up to a 6 or 7 AL but not without a control box. This is a two-wire setup. The box the distributor came in states that most MSD distributors require a box. It also mentions "ready-to-run" distributors that have three wires. Anybody have any idea whether the two-wire setup can work, and how?
I will call tech support tomorrow, but I'm posting this on the off chance somebody might tell me what I want to hear tonight, in which case we might yet piss off the neighbors this evening.
Thanks for any comments,

Roo Man's Room / Wheelie bar, second-guessing myself a bit here..
« on: June 03, 2013, 08:10:32 PM »
So, single wheel, one lower, two upper tubes. 1" x .094 MS DOM tubing. 5 feet out from the mounting tabs on a 150" WB FED. 1/2"-20 threaded rod ends at the ends of the upper tubes, one end right-hand thread, the other left-hand. This to be able to center the wheel in the tracks of the more forward tires and adjust height also. So the uppers need to be able to be turned independently and together to do this. The single lower bar similarly has the same right-hand rod end mounted to tabs at the front. Problem is, set up like this, you can grab the caster and tweak it a bit one way and the other. And looks like to me, if the car launched a little bit crooked, this steering input would be a bad thing, not a good thing. There has been mention of tying the upper bars together (somehow), and using a McKinney adjuster on the lower bar for height adjustment only, but I still don't have a clear picture of how that whole setup would look. Please see the attached picture, and anyone's thoughts and opinions are welcome.
Thanks, John.
Well he;;, the pic.s too big, try to snedit tomorrow.

Anyway, putting the FED back together, paying more attention during reassembly, evidently, I notice that the converter will slide something like 3/8" behind where it will pull up to the flexplate to bolt it up, and can see from wear marks that the converter nose has been run not very far engaged into the transmission pump inner gear. It looks to me like some spacers between the converter drive pads and the flexplate surface might be in order to sufficiently engage the inner gear of the trans pump with the slots in the converter nose. There is 1/4" thick motor plate between the block and trans, I'm thinking that 1/4" or so of spacer should put the converter just about where it should be. Any thoughts???
SBC, shorty glide, if that makes any difference...

Roo Man's Room / TIG welder
« on: May 12, 2013, 12:03:52 PM »
I have a little experience with stick and wire-feed welding. I have not and do not weld often enough to call myself proficient. Lately, in the course of some modifications and upgrades to my FED, I have need to get tabs and such welded on, and have had to  load the chassis onto the trailer and take it to someone to have those things done for me. I'm also considering building a new chassis. Looking at welding machines, and learning to TIG weld. Any suggestion as to the right machine to get? $500 Harbor Freight or $1800 Lincoln? I would rather any limitations be on the part of the weldor rather than the welder. Any equipment advice or recommendations are welcomed and appreciated.

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