e have only been out four times this year due to weather and lack of special races being scheduled. If you have followed the progress of “Project 4-Link” dragster and the 572 Mopar engine project you are aware of all we have been through over the years. We have had a lot of great wins and the usual amount of disappointing outings as well. It’s just the way things go when you race in a competitive sport.
I thought some updates might interest you. I will tell you how some minor changes on the dragster have really helped the consistency of the entire package. The engine program that Ohio Crankshaft did for us over the winter has been, in one word, amazing.
Here is what we changed and worked on to get the tried and true 2001 Jim Pulliam-built 235” 4-link, mono-shock, dragster back into a consistent groove and going some rounds. First, we sent the AFCO shock back to Eric at the factory. We changed the shock to a softer rating all the way through. Now the stiffest setting is about the softest we had before. That accomplished several things. Right away I noticed the car was much easier to move up and down just by leaning on it. We went to the middle setting and the first run on the car matched our best-ever 60-foot with a 1.058. Three races later we were clicking off 1.047 to 1.051 every pass. The car felt like it was riding on air when it left the line.
The next thing we did that netted us some valuable information was to install the RPM Engineering data recorder we used to run on the “Back-2-Basics” Vega and dragster. We can record 40 runs on the computer and download later. You can download and review each run if you want to, but we always seem too busy at the track.
We learned that the converter we have in the car, a BTE 10” spragless is about as perfect as it can be. We chip it at 4600, it climbs almost instantly on the release of the transbrake to 6000 and steadily climbs to the 6800 rpm shift point. No flat spots and no falling rpm. The converter just pulls steady. We see about 900 rpm drop on the shift and it pulls super smooth to the finish line at about 7200 rpm. The RPM Engineering setup also showed us we are really spiking the fuel injection fuel pressure when we “rip the throttle” at the finish line in eliminations. To sure that we are going to install a pressure relief bypass valve that will take some load off the pump and maybe prevent tossing a belt at an inopportune time (like before the final round!)