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Author Topic:   New guy here with some questions...
dode
Member
posted February 26, 2002 09:16 AM
Hey, I just wanted to say to you guys that this seems like a great place. I am just getting into dirt track racing, and helping a friend build his car. I have very little experience building GM's or racing oval track, so I have a few questions. First of all, I think the shop that built the engine is so full of poo poo. The rules at our track say you can't run 305 heads on a 350, and you must run cast iron intake. What does the shop do? They put 82 305 heads with small valves on along with an aluminum intake. My friend seems to think this is ok because the engine builder says it is. He doesn't seem to think that he is going to get tech inspected. The heads that they put on the car are 14022601 casting number with 58 cc combustion chambers and 1.84/1.5 valves. This is also running with flat top pistons. After the shop did this, the shop gave my friend $150 for the double hump heads that he took in there to have put on the car, saying that they were not good heads for racing, and that they would take too much work to put on the car. This is in lieu of the fact that the 305 heads required valve guide knurling (cheesy fix if you ask me), a valve job, and milling. What shop would give $150 for a set of heads that needed more work than that? I think I smell a rat here. What do you guys think? My friend has spent over $1300 at this shop in addition to the $150 for the heads, and all he has gotten is a freshened motor with no new parts except for a cam (the 305 heads were his too).

I don't think too much of this guy as an engine builder either. I mean, these 305 heads are far from performance heads. I was playing around with desktop dyno and just changing from 11:1 compression and 1.84/1.50 valves to 9:1 compression with 1.94/1.60 valves only lost about 7 hp from 3000 rpm to 6000 rpm. This is with the cast iron intake. Am I totally wrong in thinking that he is totally out of his mind for even considering blatantly breaking the rules? From my experience, good racers take advantage of the gray areas in the rule book, not blatantly ignoring black and white rules.

On the heads, if we do swap the heads out, are the 882's a decent casting? I have heard they are prone to cracking, but otherwise pretty decent. Is that true? If not, what is a fairly common head that I should look for? I thought those heads we took in (the double humps) were supposed to be pretty good heads.

Sorry for the long post. I really hope someone can help me out. Thanks, and great site.

John

mitch
Member
posted February 26, 2002 10:41 AM
Did you get A kiss !!!!!!!


dode
Member
posted February 26, 2002 10:45 AM
Well, it wasn't my money...this was mostly done before I got involved. I seriously think he got reamed, but I haven't priced out a lot of work lately. I am of the notion of with most things if you need something done, learn how to do it yourself. That idea has earned me a lot of money over the past few years when people need work done

John

jdukes74
Member
posted February 26, 2002 10:59 AM
I'd at least want dinner and a movie first.


dode
Member
posted February 26, 2002 11:23 AM
Ok...general consensus is that yes, he got bent over. I already knew that, but this confirmed it. I could see maybe if he was building a real motor, but this is a stocker for gosh sakes. I remember one thing in particular. He got charged almost $160 for a mild hydraulic cam. That is like double what it should cost from what I have seen. They also charged him $400 to disassemble and reassemble the block!! Seems VERY excessive to me. Sheesh.

John

racer17j
Member
posted February 26, 2002 12:15 PM
i agree with you if you can do it yourself do it yes 882's are a good head if you have to run a copm rule thats all i use i'm bound to a 360 cid 9-1 comp rule. as for the cam every catalog that is worth a crap has them got 75-90 bucks for a good one. sounds like it's an exspenceive lesson but maybe he will learn next time maybe there is always gonna be suckers out there and always somebody who realy like to find them


dode
Member
posted February 26, 2002 01:13 PM
Yes, we have the same rules, 360 max CID (365 for mopar) and 9:1 max. How well that is enforced, I don't know, but it isn't hard to measure. Would you mind telling me how much power you make on a 350 with those heads? What cam do you run? I am very new with Chevy's, so I am still trying to figure a few things out.

Luckily it wasn't my money that was used in this costly lesson, though I still feel bad all the same.

Thanks for your input guys. Racer17j, I would really like some input from you about what you run. Thanks!!

John

snowman
Member
posted February 26, 2002 03:11 PM
Dode, About the rules,as you have mentioned, racers have been known to expand the grey area,seems to be a universal constant.

There are written rules and then there are the real rules,that is,whatever is actually being run at the track.

For example, there is a track around here with the rules that state stock GM heads,stock pistons,stock clutch,etc..
What they actually run are dart heads,dome pistons, and a mini clutch.
It's hard to outrun these guys if you're using stock equipment.

It's a sorry state of afairs,but thats the way it is.

If you wish to have a competitive engine at the start,You need to know what the competition is. Usually, one method for finding out is to talk with the local engine builder,but I can't reccomend it in your case.

If you post the name of the track, maybe one of the guys on the Fourm can help with some rules "interpetations"


One more thing,it's not the end of the world if a rookies engine is not the most competitive one on the track. There is something to be said for a low buck engine while a guys learning to drive.


dode
Member
posted February 26, 2002 03:26 PM
Yes, I am well aware of the "gray areas" of racing. I have been in various forms of racing (mainly offroad, but some drag), and you have have to know how to exploit those gray areas to win. I totally understand that aspect. I am of the notion though that you should stick to the explicitly stated rules, i.e. no 305 heads on 350 block, stock cast iron heads only, smallest valve size available for head, etc.

I am from Kansas City, KS, and we are planning on racing at Lakeside Speedway.

Also, our track has a claim rule, which is basically the short block plus the heads for $300 I think. If I think someone is running that much more power, then heck, I wouldn't hesitate to claim it. Heck, I could part the thing out for more than that, and use it to build a new LEGAL motor for myself. I know it may be frowned upon by a lot of people, but hey, that is my opinion. I think I would be an idiot not too.

Thanks again for the input. This has been quite informative.

John

DirtDobber
Member
posted February 26, 2002 06:22 PM
Be careful jumping out htere claiming! Part of this thang called racing is to figure out where you fit in the grey area. If you get caught - then start a new game. If not the money is yours. If you say come on down south I have seen many a man go to bed with bruised bruises. Loud cars can hide your screams! Your friend was a victim you can't change that but you could turn him on to this forum and maybe he could find some information worth taking with him to the next machine shop.


dode
Member
posted February 26, 2002 06:53 PM
I didn't mean I was going to go claim an engine the first race. I know know it is an unwritten rule that you don't claim motors, and I would never do that in an upper class unless things were totally out of hand. I understand that completely. If things get out of hand though, someone is going to claim it. I know of a couple of times that engines tried to be claimed at our track, and they refused and got kicked out of the track. Pretty obvious that they had souped up motors.

Yeah, I don't want to get into any of that. Generally that type of thing doesn't go on around here, and I am big enough to take care of myself, but I still don't want that happening. Thanks for the words of advice though.

John

snowman
Member
posted February 26, 2002 08:28 PM
John, I mean this in the nicest possible way,This is a racers forum(the best on the planet,I might add), You will find few friends if you advocate claiming.

About the rules again, I hope your track isn't like the one I have described. It didn't happen overnight.Racers being racers,kept pushing the "grey area" a little bit at a time,eventually they ended up with a pretty tough and expensive package.

The track,not wanting to lose racers to some other nearby tracks,allow these cars to run knowing they were illegal.But the rules remain the same.

The inspectors are accopmlished racers and or car builders. These guys know. I've heard some of the new racers brag about fooling the tech inspectors,but they are mistaken.
The tech guys know,but the track owners won't let them do anything about it.

This is bad for the track in the long run. As the racers build expensive engines,fewer people can aford to race.As the expensive engines blow,fewer racers can aford to replace them. Adds up to lower car count,=fewer fan count= fewer people swilling overpriced beer= renting movies for entertainment on saturday night cause the track is closed. Excuse me,I seem to have digressed....


If you come to this track,you will pay the same entry fee as anyone else.Ideally,if you have built your car to the rules,it will be a contest between drivers. But thats not the way it works.

If you go by the written rules,you will be beat like a drum. I say again,people are not fooling the inspectors. There are the written rules and the actual rules.

Good Luck

sideways
Member
posted February 26, 2002 08:50 PM
I know claiming isn't highly looked upon. I would rather not even think of anything like that. I guess I am just used to racing where the rules are followed to the T, so this is a little different. Why does it seem that this is not the case in dirt track racing? Is it because everything is about getting people in the stands, and if the rules are too strict, no one will race? Maybe I am missing something somewhere. I guessing following the rules is the engineer coming out in me. Maybe I need to learn to leave that at work? Thanks for all your help.

John

Flatlander
Member
posted February 26, 2002 10:37 PM
With those 305 heads going by compression calculator in the tool box that would put you at around 10 to 1. The double humps that your friend got the shaft on would put you at a lower compression ratio but with more flow and more power. Double humps are the best head when you have a oem rule that prohibits bow ties or vortecs.
P.S. I sure hope that machine shop gave him some preperation h to help him recover


racer17j
Member
posted February 27, 2002 02:50 AM
do you run under imcas rules or simular like we do are you planning on running a solid or hydrolic cam


dode
Member
posted February 27, 2002 08:10 AM
Ok...we have to run hydraulic cams only. It sounds like we run under very similar rules. I am not expecting him to win every race, but it would be nice to be competitive. I have been competitive in every level of racing I have ever been in, so I would rather not start hanging at the back of the pack now.

As for this calculator, how did you figure that out? From everything I found, the compression would be closer to 11:1. I have found a couple of different calculators online, but how do I know which one is right? Thanks again for all your help guys.

John

ryan
Member
posted February 27, 2002 11:24 AM
You have to add cc's to the heads to make up for the valve releifs in the piston. it puts it at 10.2 to 1


dode
Member
posted February 27, 2002 11:27 AM
Hmmm...never thought of that. I thought that those were figured in as I have never seen a piston with no valve reliefs. How many cc's are the valve reliefs? I have a couple of spare pistons and probably a burette somewhere, but someone can surely tell me. Thanks.

John

DirtDobber
Member
posted February 27, 2002 11:42 AM
The calcs at the top of this page are some of the best I have found. I have collected several from the past in a notebook and have run the calcs against the ones here - fellow engineer over here. One thing I thought of pondering this discussion is everyone has their own style, and stories of success. The best place to here these stories and compare for result is in the pits. The machine shop usually knows the combinations that come through and base their recommendations based on that. So what does that mean? NOT taking up for the *&^% machine shop here but they may have given bad advice but, good based on the work coming through their shop. So if good shops give good advice they must be in the "click" with the good racers and know their good combinations. The rest go to the cheaper shops that have families to feed and try to make a buck any way they can. My combinations work with 305 heads in this class. The difference is I have not sold my double humps; I will save those for the special races. As for the engineer in ya you will struggle with you conscience and loose. Me I traded that for a quart of 20w-50. Boy did that guy get the shaft on that deal!! LOL!


racer17j
Member
posted February 27, 2002 11:45 AM
check your pm dode i sent you the specs on the cam we run as far as what you can run under these rules you can run a 76 cc head your 882 are and a flat top piston that will put you in the 8.7-9.1 area you could play with shaving some off the heads or block but not a whole lot. like i said before tho i try to keep it simple doing all kinds of figuring and racking your brain for no reason will drive you nuts. if you want to be competitive don't work on getting every little bit you can out of a pretty much stock engine and consintrate on getting the car to handle and being smooth on the track i used to run a stock 307 and kept up just fine because my car was set up right . yes i was under power and it showed on a tacky track but if it was greasie or dry slick i had no probs because i didn't spin the tires as much all the power in the world does you no good if you can't put it to the ground and carry good speed in the corners


dode
Member
posted February 27, 2002 12:03 PM
Boy, you guys are great. Yeah, I like the engineer comment. Picture three hardcore engineers (2 mechanical and 1 electrical) working on this car. I think you get my drift. I will work on that swap thing...maybe I could get a couple of quarts for mine.

Ok...is the comment about the valve reliefs in flat top pistons true? I really don't believe that the car we have as it sits now is running just over 10:1 compression. The thing barely turns over with a stock starter, and I can barely turn it with a half inch rachet on the crank. Something just doesn't seem kosher, but I know the motor runs because it has since it is been rebuilt.

Thanks for the PM. There was some good info in there. There is one other question I have been meening to ask. On the stock rocker arms, are they 1.5, 1.6, or what? What do cams use to calculate lift? Sheesh, the more I get into this, the dumber I seem. Maybe I should just stick to fords.

Thanks as always guys.

John

ryan
Member
posted February 27, 2002 12:52 PM
If memory serves me you have to add 4 or 5 cc's for four valve releif f/top pistons. I also used .040 for the head gasket thickness
Read the top of the page in the calculator area under where it says TIP it tells you what you gotta do.
1.5 is the stock ratio. I beleive if your cam is over 500 lift you need to use the long slot 1.5 rockers. Correct me if I'm wrong guys.

[This message has been edited by ryan (edited February 27, 2002).]

racer17j
Member
posted February 27, 2002 01:24 PM
not sure if you have to but i do run 1.6 long slots on mine you can look in the tool box dode and see what changes it makes that cam is speced for 1.5


dode
Member
posted February 27, 2002 01:38 PM
Are all stock chevy rockers 1.5? How do I know what I have? Measure?

John

DirtDobber
Member
posted February 27, 2002 05:37 PM
Pull one of the rockers off and rub it on the mossy side of an old oak tree. If some of the oil rubs onto the tree and some of the moss and bark adhere to the rocker then it is a 1.5! Sorry just poking fun! 99% of the production Chevy had 1.5 rockers. The rest were special orders and HP police.


racer17j
Member
posted February 28, 2002 02:05 AM
well i'll giveyou some more advise if you wanna run 1.6 get them from a parts catalog not your buddy the engine builder lol i got mine @ midwest motorsports i think they where about 50-60


GatorRacing
Member
posted February 28, 2002 07:08 PM
Hey Dode....Rules are there for a reason!! The engine builder might say "they wont look"! But think about this....If they dont Tech, than why is there Tech rules"? GOOD POINT RIGHT?

To be safe, and not be called a "GREYER" stick to the rules...


uforacing51
Member
posted March 08, 2002 02:04 PM
Welcome to the wide open world of racing... LOL


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