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Messages - Bentwings

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Funny Cars / Re: The way we were
« on: June 05, 2018, 08:40:08 PM »
I think this was 75 or 76 as this was one of the first Monza FC. Bodies.  We had a tough time with tech as it was heavily alterered. The rear wheel wells were stretched and widened, we initially had Lexan covers on the headlight (we lost the argument), the windshield opening was altered, tech claimed the front wheel bumps were too tall, while we didnít stretch the body beyond spec, it was done in the molding. There were other mods to really make it a clean car. Thanks to a couple big name guys that did essentially the same modifications, we were allowed to run.

A side note, notice how far the motor is out compared to other cars of the era. I believe it was 65-66 inches while most were 60 or less.  We did some home work since I was back in engineering school on weight distribution and power application.  I made some assumptions as hard data was not available and data logging was not available back then.

We wanted the car light and strong and to go straight without a weight bar.  I made spring loaded wheelie bars that were adjustable. We had a weight bar that we filled with lead shot ( it was too heavy for tech) but served its purpose to distract tech.  We simply emptied it before we ran. It was polished aluminum. We were not under weight if I drank enough water and didnít sweat too much during the run. With the motor way out there was plenty of weight on the front.  The front spoiler barely passed for height.

Someone has a picture in the lights of the windshield flexing.  It was just 1/8Ē thick.  We found that spilled alcohol would start cracks where ever there were holes drilled or the cutout for the blower was.  You could bring cracked windshields in for free replacement as they were considered window glazing.  Some clown bragged that he spilled alcohol on his racing.  Well that ended the free replacements. They only lasted a month so we had several pre fitted  and a spare in the trailer.  Two for double headers.

These motors were cast iron stock blocks that we updated in the shop I worked at.  The same for the heads.  I ported one set and said never again. They only lasted 15-20 runs tops. So we were constantly on the lookout for heads and blocks.  The aluminum blocks were just coming out and were unavailable to us small guys. Aluminum heads had not arrived yet either. 

Valve springs were the major maintenance item.  10 runs and they were history.  The spring technology wasnít what it is today by a long shot. They were really expensive and hard to get the good ones back then. 
We had the first .750 lift roller cam in the area and only a few west coast alcohol guys had them.  It was a huge gain and the real power adder for this car.  It was hard to keep up with the valve train however. Fortunately I had access to the auto shop for equipment.  It just took a lot of time.

Iím trying to get Tom to come on board as he remembers more details than I.  My job was to get the car down the track and into the next round.  Tom and Eddy took care of most between round stuff. I viewed the starting line, both lanes, any markers, wind, track conditions, Christmas tree position ( they changed track to track) I also spied on the competitors, ( hey no harm in looking), I looked at attitudes, behavior and competitiveness.  When you are the underdog use everything you can get.

Thatís it for tonight

Funny Cars / Re: The way we were
« on: June 04, 2018, 04:34:59 AM »
Dealing with the Nostalgia movement I thought some of you guys and gals would like to hear it from a couple that were there and participated in this madness.

This is a FC a very good friend, Tom Frazier owned.
.  Crew chief was Ed Raba (RIP)  I was designated driver.  Tom originally bought the car from Bill Schifsky as the Cox toy Pinto. Tom repainted it and we ran the Pinto one year as an alcohol car (B.B./FC ) then in the fall we completely rebuilt the chassis to this car and added the Monza body. Again we ran as an alcohol car but with a 500Ē Hemi and a good 8-71 blower and Lenco three speed. I was going to tool and die school and as a class project made a 50% od blower pulley. They werenít available at the time so we were ahead of the game.

Tom and Eddie had worked for me on a top fuel funnycar for two years before so both were well familiar with these things.

We ran with the Chicago based alcohol FC circuit as well as our own match races and a few Nhra races.

These pictures are at Union Grove, Wisconsin on a Memorial Day Show.  Often these events were a double header so we ran the qualifying rounds at the Grove then beat it up north to a track in norther Wisconsin for their evening match race show then made the all night drive back to the Grove for the big show.  It was a good money maker for us if we made all the rounds.

For the years we ran this car we only lost one round due to breakage and I donít recall ever smoking the tires off the line.  We werenít the fastest but I had pretty good reflexes and we often won it on the line.  We were a killer in 1/8 mile tracks.

Iíll post up some more stories or see if I can get Tom to boost my dim memory.  He has many more pictures too.


Sent from my iPad

Funny Cars / The way we were
« on: June 04, 2018, 04:26:17 AM »
The first installment is being processed. Just hold on.

Funny Cars / Re: Another new FC. about ready
« on: March 14, 2018, 04:35:29 AM »
Glen, Thanks for helping with the pictures.  Perfect.

My son moved to a new shop so there is a lot more room for the funnycar.  They are waiting for the local tracks to open so they can test and get ready for the Ď18 season.

It has an Arrow body for now.


Front Engine Dragsters / Re: Newbie in need....
« on: February 18, 2018, 07:31:36 AM »
Welcome to this board.
Fist you need to join NHRA (National Hot Rod Association) and Get the rule book. Even though you are planning
on a fun trip,  you need to play by the rules for everyoneís safety.  Also it will help you learn to ďtalk the talk.Ē LOL

Your car most likely will require an inspection by an NHRA inspector. He will look for safety items on the chassis and point out any changes you have to make.  Just looking at the picture it looks pretty up to date so depending on how   quick and fast you plan to go will determine the level of inspection.  It will also help you pick the level of personal safety equipment required. 

Next Iíd take the car to a CAT scale and have it weighed.  Most likely this scale wonít give you a front and rear weights but total is what you are looking for.  You can weigh the front on a home scale.

Iíd use a digital camera or iPad and take pictures of everything as it is.  You canít have too many pictures.  I donít like iPhone pictures for reference but if you are comfortable with it, ok.

Now you need to get mechanical.  Star by removing the motor and transmission.  Mount the motor on an engine stand.  Pictures, pictures.  Take the motor apart recording everything.  Look for numbers and identification of everything.  Even bolts and studs.  ARP is a very well know manufacture of hotrod fasteners.  Some items have rule book quality specifications.  Grade 8 bolts for example.  Some parts will have SFI tags, do not destroy or remove these.  You have to have these parts certified periodically. 

The trans can probably be left alon for now. It will have a blanket and or shield as well as the belhousing. The flex plate and converter will also have tags so be careful of these.

You need to determine the cubic inches of the motor, compression ratio, camshaft brand and specifications. Cam specs are usually located on the ends of the cam.  Be sure to keep the lifter in positional order. Pictures, pictures.
Cylinder heads need to be checked for condition, valves, springs, rocker arms, pushrod guide plates and pushrods.
In short every detail.  This will help the tuners here guide you on preparing the motor.
Try to keep everything clean as you go. 

Then you can go over the rest of the car.  It looks nice so Iíd guess itís been well done.  My rule is all fasteners need to be grade 8 or better.  Washers on all rod ends, nylon nuts on most everything.

You probably will want a tool tray.  Most guys either build one or purchase something.  Any special tools are always stored in the tool tray and not used for fixing the kitchen sink. LOL  They are race car tools only even if you could use them on your gets its own special tools.  For example I have 6 sparkplug sockets  4 are custom modified 2 are standard but different length for my two Streetrods, they reside in their respective cars.  I have two more in my general tool box. 

For now this is enough.  Others can help out too.  Iíd catalog the pictures for easy reference. 


Funny Cars / Re: Another new FC. about ready
« on: January 30, 2018, 06:08:46 PM »
Sorry I didnít get back. I have only one picture from the day of the new startup.
Their road trip for testing fell through due to the weather closing in.  End of summer and fall. Itís been cold and rainy then snow and even colder.  Last week we had 14Ē of snow.  Blizzard. Worst in about ten years.

My son said his new body is just starting being molded.  Itís a Monza from Rossetti.  He is going to make it a tribute car to the guy I drove for back in the 70ís. 

They moved to a new shop that is much bigger so the FC will have its own area. Much easier to work on.  I think he said they already had nitro, oil and new tires.  The new shop has a paint booth so my grandson Who is  a body man will paint and trim it.

I just got a new picture resized so Iíll try and reduce some.


When we ran dragster back in the early ‘60’s, we used a manual trans from ‘50’s Pontiac. These were selector trans in that a selector lever determined 1-R or 2-3. It was easy to just block them into 2-3 position. Thet had pretty rugged syncros although we had every other tooth ground off so you could really ‘ speed shift” them.  They were very bullet proof.  Many of these had torque tube drive so had to be converted to open drive.  If I’m not mistaken I think the output shaft was pretty short and did not have to be machined. Just a bearing plate.

I do like the idea of the shorty PG.  These can be built so you will never break them with your motor.

The Olds rear end is tough. Not much in the line of gears however. If you go to the larger Olds there are aftermarket gears and posi or spools available.  Today you will be able to get narrowed Adele’s that are bullet proof.  A common way to make your own that was often done was to cut the axel shaft off at the bearing. Then bore a hole in the flange. The axel was machined for a press fit. Then assembled. Then a pair of dowel holes were drilled in the hole circle half in the axel, half in the flange.  Dowels were pressed in then the Sean was TIG welded.  Surprisingly this held up for quite a while. Untill forged axels became available.

If you are going to run the car be sure to build a substantial drive shaft cover. Don’t underestimate the damage a broken drive shaft can cause.  I don’t think I’d run a conventional u joint drive shaft. Couplers and splined shafts are available from several places and don’t cost much more than a heavy duty drive shaft.  Lots safer.

Tow Vehicles / Re: Box behind cab on 70s era funny car truck
« on: November 10, 2017, 07:26:47 PM »
The DOT requires 8' or 8' 6"" for a sleeper.  We used to make these back in the early 70's. Also a 125 gallon gas tank underneath them.  You could crawl up and sleep in them but they really weren't very comfortable. They were insulated but it was still either too cold or too warm  in them.  They usually wound up being a storage area for about anything. They squeeked  and leaked too even with the big donut that someone came up with.

A crew cab with four or five guys riding got pretty ripe after a race.  The trailers then got longer for small living quarters. Mostly for a shower and potty.  Them that became a problem to keep clean and emptied.

The evolution continued to the semi tractor and 53 foot trailer with a lounge.

So the beat goes on and now you have multiple car and equipment tractor/ trailers with a special hospitality trailer.  The crews rides or flys and stays in a motel when on the road.

Funny Cars / Another new FC. about ready
« on: October 21, 2017, 06:03:01 PM »
Today my son got his new project FC running. He had it all spotlessly cleaned and prepped when I arrived.  We all chatted a bit then it was time to put the " gas in" and light the fire.  The hi tech on board tach shorted out so a bit of checking things quickly discovered it and it was eliminated from the circuit. Then the motor started right up.

It sounded pretty strong and if the scent of nitro means anything it smelled very good. Only one small leak that was quickly fixed.  The clutch seemed to set very well and Rapid Randy operated the clutch pedal to check its operation. Looks good. All the other systems worked perfect.  Very good oil pressure and header temp was pretty even.

They started it twice more and the big noisy motor ran great.

The weather is starting to close in so a road trip is planed shortly for some test runs.

Overall congrats Bob and Robbie on a job well done.


Tow Vehicles / Re: 1974 Chapparal trailer
« on: August 24, 2017, 02:33:20 AM »
I had a 34 foot for a number of years but sold it Nov last year.  Loaded with most of my tools. It was a good deal for the new owner as he didn't have much in the line of tools. I got more for my tools than I ever would have otherwise.

I bought the trailer restored. It had new boxes and stainless doors.  The back door had garage door booster spring so it was easier to operate.  Mine was about a 74 vintage. Ex funnycar trailer. These were 8' wide so be aware of the door width and fender well clearance.  As noted newer trucks have deeper beds and are much higher.  It's possible to add an adjustable hitch with 2 1/2, ball. More standard. Mine had the clam shell hitch. It worked great but was tough to back into as I couldn't see it. I used a magnetic antenna thing with a tennis ball on it. HF item. 

The trailer was heavy, right at 6000 empty.  With my Willys streetrod and tools it weighed 9700 the last time I traveled with it.  I have a '99 Dodge Dually diesel with 5 spd manual. It pulled this trailer very well mpg was around 15-17 flat roads. Minus a couple in the mountains. 

As noted the axels are pretty primitive by today's standard. I work part time in a custom trailer shop. We used to build a similar trailer back in the day.  I'd replace them with more up to date ones.  If you use a spring type, carry a spare spring and equipment to change it. Mine had a hydraulic landing gear Jack that could lift the truck and trailer together.  If your trailer has one do not run the motor longer than necessary to raise the trailer. These will quickly drain the battery.

Be sure you have an operating breakaway system and larger SAFTEY chains.  Check your state regulations and FED DOT.  They do stop you for about anything. Generally if the trailer is under 10k loaded and titled you are ok.  Towing these with single rear wheel is very questionable.  Be sure your truck and trailer tires can carry the weight.  If you are over weight you can be parked until you get someone with acceptable capacity to move it. 

What ever you do do not advertise anything on your truck or trailer unless you have a CDL. Then everything needs to be according to FED DOT. REGS. And you need a log book.  Be very careful that your rig and your license meets requirements.  Many will tell you not to worry about it but my advice is do your home work. 


Front Engine Dragsters / Re: price to chrome steering parts
« on: January 29, 2017, 04:54:53 PM »
Something to be aware of regarding chrome of critical parts.  Hydrogen imbrittlement.  The chroming process causes hydrogen to be trapped in the pores of the metal.  The chemical process is quite complex but be assured it happens.  There is a lot of controversity about how to remove it or prevent it.   Generally it is believed that if the parts are baked within about 45 minutes for a given time the imbrittlement can be relieved.  However not all authorities believe this.  Certainly not all shops go to the extra effort.

I think NHRA tech prohibits chrome suspension parts. Do some checking.

Years past the established chrome shops did everything they could to,prevent this but now......??

One of the local funny cars had all new front end pars chromed at a new chrome shop. About 6-8 runs into the new season a spindle broke off the a arm assemble in a burn out. Lucky for everyone only some Fiberglas got bent up.  It didn't take a magnifying glass to see the brittle fracture.

Just a heads up

Drag Racing / Newby with a question
« on: October 27, 2016, 06:12:07 PM »
I thought this might be the best place to post an introduction.  I was around and ran in the Top Gas  bracket until NHRA killed it. I went into Funnycars then for about 8 years. My avatar has the last one on its last day in the nitro match races.  Of late I mounted the body and did the tin work on the Tom Hoover Showtime car the Doc Haliday of Telstar owns. Then I mounted the body and tin work on the Beartown Shaker a nostalgia fuel FC tribute car to Bill Schifsky for whom I worked for early on. I went back to engineering school, did 30 years hard labor HaHa then retired.

Today I cruise in my 41 Willys with a blown sbc. It's got 20+k miles so it gets around.

Now here is the question....there is some serious steak eating to be done by the winner as a bet.  As long as I can remember there were no single engine dragsters that ran a 6.99 or better before NHRA killed the class for 1972. There were a couple shortly after in procomp but they don't count.  There were some of the twins that did run a 6 and many ran 200+ but no single ran either or both. Can anyone show me a ligitmate 6 by a single engine TopGas dragster??

I've searched and scoured everywhere and I can't find any info to refute this that can prove it.  We ran ok at 7.50 190 occasionally as a single but we weren't the best.  As I recall 7.40 was getting it on and any thing over 190 was making tracks but alas no 6's and no 200's. I even asked Dennis Friend one of the instigators of 2 to go twin engine dragster site. He pointed me to a huge list OD runs but no 6 and no 200.

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