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Author Topic:   Nose heavy Ford
supwitchew
Dirt Maniac

Total posts: 122
posted December 09, 2003 11:39 AM  
I have a 72 Torino with a 400M in it. I'm trying to lighten up the front as much as possible. Our track rules allow for any stock bumper. Can anyone tell me some bumper options that would lighten up the front? Is it even worth doing? Whatever weight I can shed in the front will be added to the back to help with the 47.1 rear percentage I currently have. Thanks in advance.

jay116
Dirt Freak

Total posts: 428
posted December 09, 2003 02:42 PM  
Thanks for the reply. A tube bumper is not legal, although it's tempting. I know I should just toss the 400 and put in a 351W. I think that would save a little weight. I bought this car last year race ready and would like to get another year out of it before switching motors. The motor is very well built and is strong. By the way, how hard would it be to put a plastic nose on a Torino? This will only be my second year so please excuse me if some of my questions seem ignorant. Thanks again!

racer17j
Dirt Forum Champ
Total posts: 5390
posted December 09, 2003 04:32 PM  
if you truly have a 72 torino, that frt bumper is about as light as they get, because after 72 they went to the 5mph bumper and they got ALOT heavier, and yes lose the 400m and get a windsor and you will cut back on more weight than your bumper will ever gain you..........ford5

supwitchew
Dirt Maniac

Total posts: 122
posted December 10, 2003 06:48 AM  
I guess that's what I was wondering. It sure doesn't look like there's much to that bumper. That's why I asked if it would even be worth attempting. Thanks to all for your help.

Drogo99
Dirt Maniac

Total posts: 120
posted December 10, 2003 07:14 AM  
Ditch the 400 and get a 351W you'll lose some weight.......

Raz_900
Dirt Forum Champ
Total posts: 635
posted December 10, 2003 07:58 AM  
On a car that's already super heavy, I don't know saving 150 or so lb from a 400 to 351w swap will be worth the 50-75 HP (conservative)you're gonna lose. The stock 400 heads are as good or better than most of the street-strip aftermarket 351W heads. Stock 400 heads have 2.05"/1.65" valves. The only bad part of the stock 400 motors was a super lame cam (like 180@.050" from the factory) and stock 8:1 CR. Get the comp. up to 9.5 and a 230-240 duration cam and it'll murder any 351W you can build on a budget. Also, stock 400 parts can handle a ton of abuse, just get the block fully remachined (if it hasn't been already). Most of the M series blocks were rushed into service by Ford and not seasoned first. So they bow once they've been run awhile. Align hone it for sure, everyone 1 I did at the engine shop had .002"-.003"+ bow to the main bores. It would be fine on a street motor by just upping the main bearing clearance to .003", but not really the way to do it.

But that's just my $.02.

supwitchew
Dirt Maniac

Total posts: 122
posted December 10, 2003 03:26 PM  
Thanks for sticking up for the ugly stepchild 400M, Raz. The heads on my motor have been worked on (by the way, they are 351 Cleveland heads). It has a 3 angle valve job and all the goodies. My block has been square decked .060. With all the work done, I'm at a little more than 10:1 compression. I also have a good cam in it. My car pulls in the straights and is generally competitive. I just figured I might make it handle a little better by reducing front weight. Races are won in the corners after all. I won ROY year last season. I'd like to build on that. This is a great sport. Good thing my wife is understanding.

Drogo99
Dirt Maniac

Total posts: 120
posted December 11, 2003 08:03 AM  
LOL..."ugly stepchild 400"....Sounds like your 400 is a runner.

I'm just more familiar and have had good results with the 351W so that is why I suggested it.

Either way keep runnin the fords...!!! I can offically be marked as a traitor this year, selling off all the ford stuff and moving to chevy.


Raz_900
Dirt Forum Champ
Total posts: 635
posted December 11, 2003 09:00 AM  
Ya, the 400 doesn't get any respect. It really was a good design, just had a lame stock cam. It doesn't like to rev much above 6000, but can still make good power. Looks like you have a pretty good one. :b

What about setback? Can you move the motor back some? Even 1" could make a noticable difference in %.

Have you hacked out all the stock sheetmetal? We run a Monte (drive Ford's race Chevy's for me) and have hacked everything we could. The hood is basically the top skin with a ridge left around the edge to give it some support. All the underside bracing is gone. The fenders have been totally skinned with just enough of the braces left in the rear to have the 3 bolt holes left. Rad supports gone and a 1" square tube goes across the gcage for the rad support and front fender mounting points.

There's quite a few places to hack metal if you look hard enough.

[This message has been edited by Raz_900 (edited December 11, 2003).]

supwitchew
Dirt Maniac

Total posts: 122
posted December 11, 2003 11:04 AM  
We can't set the motor back any. Pretty much anything that can be removed is gone. The fenders and hood are gutted. I'm running out of options, huh?

racer351c
Dirt Roller

Total posts: 16
posted December 12, 2003 07:38 PM  
Hey Bud,
B4 u start trying to 2nd guess yourself concerning front end weight, realize that what RAZ_900 said earlier is true. What u would lose in weight by "dropping" to a Windsor isn't really worth the loss in HP. I am running a 71 Torino with a 351C 4 bbl and have had the same experience as you concerning the push in the turns. The best fix that I have come up with is to learn how to drive the turns different ( i.e. sliding the corners). We changed to running w/o a RF brake to help the rear kick out, and after a couple of weeks of getting used to it, we were able to gain a little over a second on total lap times. It appears that the chassis on these early Torinos are already front heavy w/o the motor and tranny factored in, as these chassis were designed more for Sat. nite drags than for the circle track, but this problem can be overcome with a few changes in driving habits, and a few Stagger tweaks.
My home track is 1/2 mile with long chutes and tight turns. My stagger is set at 2 3/4" across the front, and 2" across the back. Myabe u can try this set-up to start with and see if it helps.

Holler back if yoiu need more info.

[This message has been edited by racer351c (edited December 12, 2003).]

supwitchew
Dirt Maniac

Total posts: 122
posted December 14, 2003 11:42 AM  
All 4 brakes must be functional at all times in our rules. Otherwise, I would have liked to try it without the RF brake. We are also not allowed racing shocks or springs of any kind. I did try messing with stagger. I guess I should have told you guys that most of my handling problems come during qualifying heats when the track is still wet and a little slick. If I didn't use enough stagger, it would push. If I used any more than 2" of stagger, I had a hard time with the rearend wanting to kick out on the straights. My car runs very well when there is a higher line. A high line doesn't exist here until feature time. The best that I qualified in last year was 12th. Other than that, I didn't qualify any better than 16th any other night. I finish the feature well, but it would be nice to start closer to the front so I can avoid some of the slower cars that seem to be a little accident prone. I'm sure part of the problem is the driver. I'm still learning. It's easier to blame the car though.

bryanb30
Dirt Freak

Total posts: 243
posted December 15, 2003 07:57 PM  
you can cut some material off of the brake pad on the rf so it wont grab as good maybe like take half of it off, then you have a working brake on that side just not as good!!

Raz_900
Dirt Forum Champ
Total posts: 635
posted December 16, 2003 11:54 AM  
I was thinking the same thing as Bryan. Take a cut of wheel and cut some grooves through the RF brake pad.

And although this isn't the best option, it might help. Try adding some weight to the back of the car. I wouldn't add much, but if you can get it way back in the car (like in the frame horns in front of the rear bumper, in the bumper or in the rear cage bars) it will serve a double purpose. If it's behind the rear axle, it'll add XX lbs to the rear plus it'll 'lever' weight off the front. We had a problem where our LF was too heavy and the RR was too light. We'd tried moving stuff around but it just kept burning the right rear off. Added about 40 lbs behind the axle on the right side and it took 20 off the LF 5 or so off the RF and added 60 to the RR and 5 or so the LR.

Given, adding more weight will slow you down some on the straights, but you win in the turns.

[This message has been edited by Raz_900 (edited December 16, 2003).]

supwitchew
Dirt Maniac

Total posts: 122
posted December 16, 2003 03:37 PM  
I'll try that with the RF brake pad. I also have a few blocks of lead. I was told by somebody here that sometimes it doesn't take much weight to make a difference. He said the same thing Raz is saying. Put the weight as far back as possible. That weight will loosen the car up by acting kind of like a pendulum. At least that's what I got from the conversation. We'll see.

GO 24
Dirt Freak

Total posts: 366
posted December 17, 2003 12:22 PM  
Pinch the rf brake line in a place where they can't see it and that'll slow that pressure down. At least here anyway, anyone who's running out front is doing it with only 3 brakes.

24s52
Dirt Maniac

Total posts: 122
posted December 17, 2003 03:20 PM  
Some guys I know have been known to pinch off both rear brakes altogether. Then use stagger and front air pressure to help the car turn. A guy has to be extra careful on a wet track though. Loop-de-loop!!

CAGEMAN
Dirt Full Roller

Total posts: 48
posted December 24, 2003 04:05 PM  
use a camaro front bumper, like a 75 or something, a buddy did that and saved a ton on his torino, and it looked stock.

Elmo
Dirt Forum Racer

Total posts: 79
posted December 26, 2003 07:19 PM  
Other than switching to a Cleveland block in the future - saving some of your investment using most of your existing pieces in the changover. This will save you a few pounds of Block wieght. Sliding the engine back an inch or maybe 1.5, usually you can get by tech with a smidgen of a fudge.
Ok, these have already been mentioned. Moving on. To help the car in the heats with existing numbers (assuming you have some ballast at all). Move the lead up higher in the back of the car for heats. Throw on more stagger in the heats. Move the lead back down for the feature and go with less stagger. Not taking into account a shock change and even spring changes between heats and features. If your going to basically keep the car the same - Nose Heavy, your going to have to come up with things to help. The higher ballast will help the car roll over when the track is wet-tacky increasing side bite. The added stagger also helps in the wet-tacky. Experiment by using the most stagger in the heat without getting the loose condition down the straights to the point you loose forward bite. I'll also mention, with all that torque, you can not put your foot all the way down in the heats if theres any surface at all. It's all about momentum and bite at the same time. When the track dries out some then you can use more of those ponies. Nothing will take the place of rear ballast though, a car set up at 3600 pounds will be faster then a nose heavy 3300 any night.

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