Dead on 

One last run at the Big Bucks Bracket Pros

Old Guys Last Stand

With 47 years of drag racing behind me, I have a National Event win, several LODRS wins in Stock Eliminator and Super Comp along with four Track Championships, some Big Bucks bracket race wins over $5,000 (small potatoes when compared to today’s prize money) and, of course, several local and regional bracket wins.


I (actually ‘we’ since my wife, Barb, never misses a race) have decided to make an “Old Guy’s Last Stand” along with support from my favorite drag racing magazine that I have written the “Dead-On” column for 20 years and use the rear-engine dragster we have been racing and writing tech articles about for 17 years, “Project 4-Link”. This dragster (we now refer to it as RED) is the most written about and read about magazine tech-featured car in history. From building the entire car from the tubing to its National Event win with a variety of Mopar engines until we switched to BB Chevy power eight years ago.


A couple years of running some LODRS/Top Dragster was fun but eventually that class was simply “crazy expensive” to race for a $2,000 purse and have to run at least 7.30s and hope you qualified.


Here is our plan for “Old Guys Last Stand”. We are prepping the car with the best and most consistent parts that we have found over the past 20 years of big bucks and local racing. We currently have a very consistent 565” engine but with 300 runs it is ready for some “rest” and will be our back-up engine. We are building another 565” BB Chevy as it seems to simply be a “happy engine combination”. We will be switching to a George Rupert-built alcohol carb to accomplish a couple things for us. Naturally, it will keep the engine cooler and we feel that RED will stay a little more consistent as weather changes during a race day. It will reduce our initial fuel costs as we can get high quality methanol for about $165 for a 54-gallon drum for a cost of about $3 per gallon.


Almost all tracks are now carrying methanol so if we run low using their fuel is fine and prices are usually about $5 per gallon. Methanol is pretty much the same no matter the source as far as performance. The Race Fuel (gasoline) we used before was VP X15 or Sunoco Maximal and drum costs were in the $700 range, and if a track has that fuel we expected to pay about $12-$15 a gallon. Methanol will be our choice on fuel with some Klotz Top Lube blended in.


Machine work and assembly will begin soon so we can finish the Old Guys Last Stand “Engine-building Tech Story”. All machine work, assembly and dyno work will take place at Roeder Performance and Machine, in Nashua, IA. This tech story will be a series of assembly tips, picking the best parts you can afford and why, (I always wondered why some guys bought such expensive parts they either can’t get the engine finished or can’t afford a car to go with the “perfect engine??”, most everyone has a budget, just set your goals so you can afford it) and how to go about using a dyno to get the most consistent bracket engine and more.


This isn’t some “magic formula” for success. It’s just an OLD RED dragster with a Chevy in it, nothing more, nothing less. It should be a good tool for what I like best…Competition. It can be golf, racing, whatever. Actually, most of a racer’s (or golfer’s) success is MENTAL. Most of us bring good equipment to the event. If you can keep your focus you increase your chance of winning. If you worry about every little detail, have negative thoughts about “how I am going to lose this round”, “why is that guy staging so slow”, etc and you will probably be at the Buy-Back window. Stay positive and stick to your plan. Don’t let the racer in the other lane dictate what you do.


Back to the shop as the Race Season is bout here for us upper Midwest racers. Hope to see some of you at the tracks and remember….take it easy on us OLD GUYS ;-)


More detailed Tech is coming as we actually get started with the engine work but here is a short list of the components we are working with and the companies that supported our “Final Season”.


Molnar Technologies: 4.25” stroke crankshaft with center counterweights. We will also use a set of his connecting rods. These are absolute top quality components at very reasonable prices. Look into his work at his website. www.molnartechnologies.com


Comp Cams: 55mm roller camshaft; 7/4 firing order swap, 283/298 @ .050 and lift of .843/.860. We are also using their .904 Sportsman bushed roller lifters with a Rollmaster timing set. www.compcams.com


Profiler Performance: We have decided on the Sniper Jr intake. We feel the slightly smaller plenum and port size will help keep the velocity up in the intake and keep the methanol in vapor form better. www.profilerperformance.com

Oil system: We are still in the “decision-making mode” here. It will be a wet-sump and it looks like either a Canton Oil Pan and pump or a Moroso pan and pump. Either way we are going with the billet Moroso oil pump and a Canton billet oil filter and the Canton Accu-Sump (shown).


There is the “short story” and I hope you stay tuned to DRO as we start the tech series on the 565” bracket engine build. 


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