Preparation for 2004 starts NOW
just wanted to remind some racers that get all
carried with the Holiday seasons and silly things
like your job, that there is a lot to do before
the race cars can really "rest" for the Winter.
Here is a quick checklist I try to follow and
I hope it might remind you of something you
forgot to do. After this I will get into the
first steps of getting "Project 4-Link" out
of the 8.90 Super class wars and into Top Dragster
and Quick 16 events.
1. Drain the
fuel out of EVERYTHING. I start with my portable
generators all the way through the fuel cell
on the racecars. I mix five gallons of unleaded
gas with a pint of Sta-bil. I then fill up the
small engines with this mixture and run them
for about 15 minutes. The racecar is drained
(methanol in my cars) and I discard the old
fuel into a waste barrel. I drain and blow the
lines as dry as I can get them. The race carb
and fuel pump get drained and sprayed inside
and out with WD-40. Use caution when draining
fuel especially if you have a portable heater
2. Unhook the
battery cables on everything. Clean them and
the battery posts. I have my batteries hooked
up to a Battery Tender all winter.
3. I pull the
spark plugs and crank the engine over while
spraying a LOT of WD-40 into the intake to coat
the cylinders and valves to prevent rust over
the winter months. I then back off the rocker
arms so the valves are all shut.
4. I raise the
car and put it on jack stands so the suspension
is hanging and the springs are unloaded. If
you do not have a heated garage I would take
the slicks into the basement to keep them a
5. Drain the
coolant or check the anti-freeze if your climate
requires it. Even with a furnace be prepared
in case the furnace fails. A cracked cylinder
is a lot more expensive than a couple gallons
of good antifreeze.
6. The most important
thing to do right now is to take a good close
look at everything. Brakes, brake lines, door
hinges and latches, rod ends, are the shocks
leaking? Are the steering components tight?
Look for any cracked welds or loose bolts. What
about those rod ends on the ladder bars or four-link?
Check them close, if the ball is loose or pitted,
replace it. It is the only thing between you
and the guardrail.
7. Trailer: All
I do is go through the trailer and look for
stuff that needs to be replaced or fixed for
the next season. I always park the trailer on
wood planks and cover the tires with tire covers
to protect them from our nasty climate. That
is about it from the list. It takes me about
two weekends to get everything done right. I
rest easier knowing when it hits -25 degrees
here none of my race stuff will break!
Now a little about the updates we are planning for Project 4-Link over the winter. This is a major project and I know it. The first thing Andy and I did was to remove the engine and transmission and start cleaning the chassis and looking for any problem areas. Jim Pulliam built me a top-notch dragster. It has about 900 runs on it and the frame is still perfect. All we need to do is get the new helmet bars welded in so we can get certified. If you have a dragster and do not have the 1" helmet bars welded around your roll cage you NEED to get it done. You cannot certify without them anymore.
Our first real project was the engine. I took
it to good friend and horsepower guru, Jay Roeder.
His shop, Roeder Performance and Machine, in
Waverly, IA, has built top quality race engines
for a few years and his engines are known for
longevity and high horsepower. We delivered
it with the heads removed and everything else