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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.

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