Visit The Dirt Forum for More Information

Author Topic:   a mish mash of newbie questions
Dirt Newbie

Total posts: 1
posted September 04, 2005 12:24 PM  
I am new to racing and had such a lousy first year I am going to post some questions in hopes it will get me headed in the right direction. Every time I went out a $3.00 part broke or didn't work and I had to go home. I hope over the winter to give it a 'tune up' since I think I have the bugs worked out.
---How much will I gain by changing from a fluidampr to a lightweight balancer?
---How much will I gain by changing from stock flywheel and clutch to either a lightweight version or a flexplate and 3 disc combo?
---What jetting would you start with on a 350cid Holley 2bbl carb? Track is at 1100ft.
---Where should I set my initial timing? My distributor doesn't have a vacuum advance, is there an advance built in? It is an Accel Billitech race.
---I am using a saginaw 3 speed. I didn't have any trouble with it. Is there anything inside that is worth looking at over the winter? I would gladly have a tranny shop look it over if it will keep me on the track next year.
I know these are questions I should know but I have very little knowlege at this point. Thanks for reading and a bigger thanks for answering some or all of the question.

Dirt Forum Champ
Total posts: 5390
posted September 04, 2005 03:54 PM  
Being very detailed in weekly inspections on every bolt, nut, rivet, etc. Be on top of your fluid levels, and never take any slight leak for granted. When you have contact with other cars, especially when your wheels are hit, it would be a good idea to pop the pumpkin cover, and check gears. This happened to me, and it marred the first month and a half of my season, and killed any chance of running for a championship. The little things will get you. Jetting is determined by so many variables that the best thing is to have a kit ready with replacement jets at a practice session. Warm the car up to at least 180 degrees, if it shoots up to 200, that's fine. Run a few pace laps at 3/4 speed, and eye the temp, if the temps goes more than 20 degrees up from 200 in just a few laps, then you might be lean. The best determination of a lean condition is at W.O.T.(wide open throttle), if you reach in a higher rpm, and popping lightly at the end of the straight, it is lacking fuel. I usually start with a 77 to a 79 holley size jet for starters. Use a good reputable balancer, your valvesprings, crank, rods, etc will appreciate it, especially if you have a healthy motor that will reach up over the 6,500 rpm mark. Initial timing setting should be 30-34 degrees. Where ever you can lighten up rotating mass in the driveline helps, but remember the motto: to win a race first, you must first finish a race. I have an awesome motor, and a car that handles decent, but handling is paramount if you want to succeed, so work with that, and put good brand parts in your motor.

Dirt Maniac

Total posts: 120
posted September 06, 2005 10:24 AM  
I definately would NOT s**** the fluidamper for one of the lightweight pieces. Looking at several broken cranks at our track, I've noticed a common theme among all of them - small, lightweight balancer.

Lock the advance mechanism in your HEI. Do a search on here for the exact instructions. A buddy was running hot in practice this weekend. Since he was running a borrowed motor that we loaned him, I went over to check the timing for him. The timing looked pretty good up until about 3000 rpm, but after that it went crazy - advanced another 10 or 12 degrees and then rapidly retarded. I removed his DUI distributor and stuck my spare locked unit in. The motor was instantly smoother and ran cooler. Proof enough for me.

Dirt Forum Champ
Total posts: 569
posted September 06, 2005 03:19 PM  
My 2 hundreths of a dollar-

1. No clue, probably not worth the risk.

2. You will gain a lot by switching to a triple disc. New ones are pricey, but look for NASCAR cast offs. I spent $165 for a complete set up (minus the hydraulic throw-out bearing) that had been used once for a test - not even raced.

3. Clueless, we can run holleys. But be careful, leaning out a motor is the most efficient way to blow it up quickly. Don't ask me how I know that one.

4. On my 383, timing is locked at 36 degrees. The weights are gone, the vauum is connected to nothing and the distributor advance plate is lightly welded to the base. You just weld it and set the timing like you would set the initial timiming if you had vacuum and mechanical advance.

5. I've run a bone stock 3 speed for 3 years without doing anything but putting grease in it.

Good luck, it takes time figure how to make these things fininsh races, once you do that, the fun begins.

Dirt Forum Racer

Total posts: 94
posted September 06, 2005 04:44 PM  
I should have added that with a higher compression motor, it's better to be fat on the jet, then jet down . I run a 9.5to1 / 360 cube class, so our motors are a litlle less prone to detonation, and the fuel requirements are different. What rules do you run at your track, homer.....even they have a site with the rules posted.

Dirt Freak

Total posts: 333
posted September 07, 2005 08:21 AM  
Best advice? Take heed to all who have posted here.

AND: take a walk in your pits and start talking with the guys and girls who are running consistently near the front. Be honest and tell them you are looking for clues and advice on how to improve. Trust me, no racer wants someone on the track racing with them if they are not doing well (ie ill handling cars are rather dangerous to all on the track). Most race car drivers and their crews are extremely good people and will help you out. We are a breed unlike any other and almost always are willing to help out a fellow racer.

Don't be shy.

Hang in there and it will get better!

Race on.

if it ain't fun, then don't run


Back to the Archives