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Dirt Newbie

Total posts: 1
posted January 26, 2004 12:44 AM  
For the past 2 years I have raced "trash cars" ($100 stock four bangers with roll bars)there's a ton of contact in these races and I wanted to get in to a more legitimate class. So a buddy and I decide to split cost and driving time and a sportsman class car this year. After looking at a lot of already built race cars we decided to buld our own. I know some of you guys are going to try talking me out of this, but don't, we already have the car and have it stripped. Next year I probably try and talk someone else out of doing it.
The car is an 81 cutlass supreme with a 305 and a turbo 350. Our track has very few modification rules so we will be running against some pretty hot cars. our track is a 3/8 mile clay track with good banks on each end. We will keep the auto trans but probably swap out the 305 to the 350. we have plans to run a 650 cfm carter carb, other than that we are shooting from the hip. Any suggestions we can get in ways of rear end, gears, suspension, etc. would be appreciated. thank you.

Dirt Freak

Total posts: 303
posted January 26, 2004 10:15 AM  
-buy a full face racing helmet, fire suit, racing boots, racing gloves, and nomex underwear..not a motorcycle helmet and go-cart suit or single-layer proban suit
-use a good steel can-fuel cell mounted securely
-make the car light as possible within the rules
-gussett the roll cage joints and fishmouth the tubing...use tubing not pipe
-make your motor/trans as reliable as you can afford..I would go with a manual trans at first because it is easy...get your cooling system figured out don't want to chase this stuff during the season
-use racing wheels only..beadlocks if you can
-use at least one hardened axle on the right rear or a floater rear setup
-use weight jacks if you can
-talk with front runners or chassis builders in this class at your track for starting point setup
-scale your car or have someone scale it to give you an idea where you are starting..modified teams probably started in your class and would be helpful
-do a search on the the dirt forum for "metric" setups..everyone has their own opinion hard to nail it down
-a lot of catalogs have a basic setup for beginning racers in street stocks Speedway, AFCO, JR Motorsports....pick up a chassis book or two....

this could go on and on...good luck!

[This message has been edited by eborcim (edited January 26, 2004).]

Dirt Forum Champ
Total posts: 1019
posted January 26, 2004 10:25 AM  
I would stay away from the Carter/Edelbrock carbs for oval track uses. They are fine for street use and driveability, but do NOT work well in oval track cars. They don't like fuel slosh, and aren't as easily tunable to racing uses.

Just my .02....


Dirt Forum Champ
Total posts: 635
posted January 26, 2004 12:54 PM  
If your track has nearly unlimited rules (super stocks) yo're going to have some work to do. More than likely many will be running 377s, 383s or 406s. A stock 350 will have it's behind handed to by a super stock class car. Do the above safety stuff (the cell, suit, gloves etc are the most important) then spend the money on the heads and a Holley 750 carb. You'll get alot more help from people setting up a Holley than anything else. If the rules allow, look into a set of aftermarket iron racing heads. If not pure race heads, many classes will let the World SR Torquer or ProTopline Torquer heads in the stock classes. A set of these heads with 2.02" and 1.6" valves and good springs can be had brand new for around $800. You can't find a set of double hump heads and get them machined and assembled for that price. Plus, the new heads have smoother castings, flow more (when prepped equally) and haven't been used for 35 years.

Get the compression up. If you're on a budget, run the stock crank and rods but use ARP rod and main bolts. Federal Mogul, Clevite or King HP bearings are a must. Federal Mogul (Speed Pro, Sealed Power..all the same company) Hypereutectic pistons with a .100" or .200" dome will give around 11:1 compression with the smaller chamber heads. Cam in the range of 245-250@.050" and lift as high as you can afford (much over .500" and stock parts become unreliable). Gear it for 6500-6700 and call it a day.

There's quite a few places that sell 9" Fords with all the brackets for a GM. Someone here should have a link. I want to say the housing w/brackets was around $300 and is well worth the money. Find a donor rear in a junk yard for $75 to get a centersection and any other parts that might swap.

Oh... DEEP GROOVE PULLEYS!!! If you can't afford a serpentine setup, get 1:1 deep groove doubly row pulleys. I've seen many people throw belts on stock type pulleys. Ditch the alternator and run a 16V battery. THe 16V charger is a little steep at $200ish but the battery is about the same as a 'race' 12V around $160.

I'm sure there's more... my fingers are just tired.

[This message has been edited by Raz_900 (edited January 26, 2004).]

Dirt Forum Champ
Total posts: 1875
posted January 26, 2004 01:49 PM  
can you change the rear suspension around, wiehgt jacks would be great if you cang run them. good shocks are a must not top ofthe line but dont use the stock shot out ones. a 9 inch ford would be great but if your only running one track i would stick with a gm rearend till after i had most everything else. i ran a stock for years and never had any problems with it and could change gears in about 1 hour-2 hours. we just ran one track week to week so there was no need to get a 9 inch. also get a 3 speed. and a good scattershield. make sure your cage is super strong. also get good springs like afcos not a cheapy bargin of the month deal.
good luck.

Dirt Maniac

Total posts: 136
posted January 26, 2004 06:54 PM  
raz 900

Whats as much lift as you can afford??

Dirt Forum Champ
Total posts: 1875
posted January 26, 2004 07:12 PM  
you dont want as much lift as you cna get, you want to match the cam to motor. i have ran a 355 chevy modified with a .504 lift cam, thats pretty small but it would keep up jsut fine. and i ran the same cam in a street stock and nothing could beat it, i mean prefect powerband. the number one mistake i see at the racetrack is way too much cam.

Dirt Freak

Total posts: 370
posted January 27, 2004 06:47 AM  
The best advice I can give you is to take advantage of the vendors that advertise on this forum there technical advise will be a great help in your situation.....but do some homework first like what your car is gonna weigh what comp. ratio you will have, what rpm you want to turn, length of track, degree of banking and so on.... and usually the ones running up front have done there homework and spent alot of sleepless nights...haha...good luck....towman

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