Andy puts 'Back-2-Basics
II' into Winner's Circle
By Jok Nicholson
here must be something about getting your "own
car" and winning right away. Son Andy
got to the Winner's Circle at Cedar Falls (IA)
Raceway in only the third week out on the second
version of "Back-2-Basics." It was
a fun night and reminds us all of why we race.
NOTHING BEATS A WIN! It was the Night of Fire
and the stands were packed, the pits were full
and we had about 20 friends hanging out with
us all night. I guess youth can concentrate
better than us "old guys" with all
the distractions going on.
We did a few things to the car the week before
the race that really helped the consistency
and we have a couple more projects to do to
it before the end of the season. We swapped
out on the King Demon 1090 alcohol carb I used
to run on the other dragster, "Project
4-Link." We had to use an adapter to go
from the 4150 style intake manifold to the
King Demon baseplate pattern, but I had a Moroso
spacer lying around so that fit the old budget
pretty well. We also used the old scoop off
my other car and stopped by Number 1 Stops
to get a Goza adapter and scoop mount for the
King Demon. $96.00 later we had a sturdy scoop
mount and hit the track.
The engine loves the bigger carburetor and
responded with some 8.70 e.t.'s. We picked
up about four mph as well, but the tight converter
is still really holding the car back. The GOOD
PART is it is now STEADY as a ROCK. From the
heat of the day to 11:30 at night the car might
move .02 and that is usually because the 60-foot
times move a little.
This is the weight
box Andy made to keep the front wheels
in the lights and put an end to the weird
red-lights he was having. We used .125" thick
steel sheet, welded together and a small
removable lid to pour the shot in. Total
weight is about 23 pounds.
We did run into a small problem the first
race with the King Demon. It gave us a much "cleaner" engine
coming off the chip and the car pulled the
front wheels out of the staging beams a couple
times, giving Andy some .470 red lights and
slower than normal 60-ft times. During the
week he welded up a small box from .125" steel
that would bolt to the front of the chassis
and we filled it with 15 pounds of steel shot.
Total weight added was 23 pounds and it worked
like a champ. The left front tire now comes
off the track about one inch and the right
front stays on the track, so our roll-out is
the same from run to run and this is critical
for consistent reaction times. If you are having
inconsistent reaction times, have someone watch
your front tires real close on the launch --
you may need a little weight up front as well.
Andy was also having a lot of vibration in
the steering and we found the front wheels
were toe-out about a quarter-inch and they
needed balanced. The report is now it is ALMOST
as smooth as the 4-Link at the finish line.
It is mid-season and a good time to take your
wheels off, check the studs and brakes, and
see if the wheel weights are still in place.
Not a bad idea to rebalance everything just
to make sure. The smoother it runs, the easier
it is on all the other parts and fasteners
in the car.
The Painless vertical switch panel we installed
has worked great. We used the toggle switch
version because that is similar to what is
in the other car and makes switching back and
forth easier. We did wire in relays for the
electric water pump and electric fuel pump
to save wear and tear on the switches by putting
the 15 amp load on the relays and not on the
contacts of the switch.