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Author Topic:   TONS of metric questions...
Dirt Full Roller

Total posts: 29
posted April 12, 2005 02:39 PM  
I am looking at getting a '78 cutlass to race pure stock at our local track (Billings MT, 3/8 dirt oval with 15% corners and 7% straights) The car is a complete racecar minus engine and tranny and I have a ton of different setup questions, please help with any and all if you can, I have never raced before and this will be my first car I actually compete with:
bodywork - this car needs literally all the panels replaced, do you guys use the factory mounts or rivets, etc? I imagine it needs to be easily removed to pound out dents? I understand bondo / lots of slide hammers holes would not be good for doors and 1/4s because they are always gonna have a few dings, but what about the roof? Would it be safe to use alittle filler on the roof? That SHOULDNT get bent up except in the case of roll??
Are there any stock spindles, A-arms etc. that would be better than the stock ones on the '78?
Sway bars, yes or no?
What shocks (rules state no racing shocks)
What springs would be a good baseline setup for this car, they must also be stock springs.
Upper A arms can be reinfored, how do I do that?
What gears should I run in the rear?
Any reason to use solid or poly. engine and tranny mounts as opposed to rubber?
Is there any other stock proporioning valve that will fit? Can I "gut" my stock so I dont have to monkey around with the fittings (eliminating the pro. valve gives the rear brakes more "bite", isnt that the advantage)??
Any stock steering box can be used in the stock location, would any other stock box fit the cutlass that would be an improvement over the stock one?
Tie rods can be reinforced, how do I do that?
Any stock appearing claimer oil pan can be used, would it be worthwhile to use s****er and windage tray? Would adding remote oil filter and using larger filters be an okay way to increase oil capacity (would I even want to increase oil capacity?)
I can run any engine, .060, a SBC would be my best choice (economy wise) wouldn't it? I can run any displacement (no strokers though) a 350 would be the best choice (as opposed to like a 400, 327, 455 olds) based on longevity and price?
If I use an auto tranny; powerglide, 350 or 400? What torque converter? If I use a manual, 3 or 4 speed (whichever tranny must retain all gears) no aluminum flywheel, is any stock flywheel any better than another? I must use a stock clutch pedal in stock location (doesnt say anything about master cylinder) who makes a stock hydraulic clutch setup I could use if I go manual (didnt the S10's)
I can chain the motor, do I want / need to?

I have a BUNCH more but I have to leave right now, more later. Thanks!

Dirt Maniac

Total posts: 165
posted April 12, 2005 02:51 PM  
Were gonna have to write a book on this one to get all thouse questions answered. I will post back with a few pointers when I have enough free time to compose Chapter 1

Dirt Forum Champ
Total posts: 968
posted April 12, 2005 05:19 PM  
Hey Dan, up in the left corner of your spring there is a green "MENU" click on it and spend the next couple of nights reading...just about all your questions have been discussed, and some very knowledgable folks have contributed. Then climb back into the typing seat and clear up any loose ends!

Dirt Forum Champ
Total posts: 5390
posted April 12, 2005 05:52 PM  
Hey Dan I race at Billings also, so i'll see if I can answer a few questions, throw the sway bar away, if you are running pure stock you will have to use the stock rear end so get 373 gears and run a powerglide, use solid motor mounts, and get the claimer pan, Do you know where DRW performance is, this will be your best place to learn right know and get all the parts you need, for wheel offsets you should run 4" on the lf and lr
2" on the rf and 3" on the lr if you have any more questions just send me a private message

Dirt Forum Racer

Total posts: 94
posted April 14, 2005 08:04 AM  
hear goes
1-body- i cut the shell off the car remove every piece of metal that the rules say you dont have to have weld the cage. then hang the roof with angle and pop rivits i use 3/4" x .083 angles about 4" long located along the main hoop and halo. i use about 10-15. a trick is to cleko the angles to the roof then posistion it the way you want it and then spot weld the angles take the clekos loose then finish the welds. on the sides of the car i use a hammer and get them close. these cars are not show cars the are racecars they will get bent. if you can use a saw zaw to open up your fender wells some.
2-spindles- the 78's had a different bearing than the other models so rememeber that. there are other posts on using other spindles than stock do a search( located in the upper right of the screen)
3-same thing do a search- stock configuration is bad for dirt.
4- shocks-dont know i cheat
5-springs- consider buying stock appearing race springs. rates depend on many factors
6-gears- first ask someone what gears they run at your track. then assuming they didn't lie you can get to it two ways. either run the tranny in second with a street gear in the rear to get the ratio you need or buy the tall gear. if you run a stock metric rearend you probubly will have to use the trany in second.
7-engine mount- i use solid fronts and rubber tranny- solid makes the car more rigid- but if you use all solid and dont have rear motor mounts as well then it will bind and snap something(tranycase/bell housing/block)
8-pro valve- i took it off my old car and it worked ok. my new car has it off with and adjustable valve under the car.
9-steering- many fit- do a search plenty of talk on the subject.
10-tie rods- dont know
11-dont worry about the capacity at this time just make shore you have a good pump. and get a pan with the traps.
12-engine- 400 small block is the best but $$, 350 pre 86 is the best for budget, avoid bigblocks (weight)and you will find fewer parts for non chevy engines.
13- i use standard, look for an old (50's truck tranny 3spd. cheep and reliable i bought 3 and never gave more than $50 each. use a camaro fly wheel they are lighter. rotating weight kills go light. yes the s10's did i have been thinking of switching to there system.
13-use solid mounts instead- the chain is incase the motor mount breaks.

have fun- you will loose your mind

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