Building my first bracket car, Looking for some advice.

Discussion in 'Competition Camaros' started by oneseatnprimer, Jan 5, 2002.

  1. oneseatnprimer

    oneseatnprimer Member

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    My name is Bill and I am addicted to Drag Racing.

    As soon as I figured that out it was time to start building my first bracket car. I purchased a 77 Z28 that one of my friends had been hotrodding for a couple of years. It has a 4 bolt 350 bored .30 over Comp Cams, Roller Rockers, Edelbrock Performer RPM Intake, Edelbrock Carb, Headders, 4:10 Posi Rearend TH350 with a shift kit.

    That is how it was when I bought it. I have sense relocated the battery to the trunk, stripped the interior and put a fiber glass hood on it.

    What I am looking for is advice on some of the things that I need to do to make this a good bracket car. Or just lessons that you learned while building yours.

    I am on a pretty tight budget, and will for the the first halve of the season I will be driving the car to the track.

    Any suggestions that you may have on traction, horsepower, or safty will be greatly appriciated.

    Thanks

    ------------------
    Shinny paint ain't goining to make it go faster.
     
  2. rscamaro73

    rscamaro73 Administrator Staff Member

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    Hmm.....

    * traction - SSM lift bars, subframe connectors, ET Streets, longer wheel studs, skinnies up front, drag shocks (all the way around), drag springs in front & rear.

    * HP - if its bracket racing, screw the numbers of the motor as long as its consistant. In the case of "I NEED MORE", just increase the CR & get a bigger cam and some better heads/exhaust. Forged parts last longer, and a balance job is ESSENTIAL to making the motor last any time. Quality ignition keeps things in check. [​IMG]

    * safety - get a decent helmet (of course), and look at a 6 pt cage to stiffen up the car & add the safety to get you into the 11's (as long as its NHRA legal)

    This could get REALLY long.....I'm moving it to the Competition section.....

    ------------------
    " ALL Camaros are equal, but some Camaros are more equal than others "

    73 LT 454
    " God made some men big and others small. Samuel Colt made all men equal....."

    Marines....We do for fun what others fear more than death...

    mailto:[email protected][email protected]</A> OR
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  3. Mike A

    Mike A New Member

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    Advice:
    Keep the faith that your driving, tuning, and ability to dial the car will improve. You'll lose plenty of rounds in the early going. Try to learn why each round was lost and be happy with small incremental improvements.
    I've found focusing on engine temperature control (launch at 160 degrees each run, for example), launch rpm control, and the ability to be comfortable at the far end of the track help win rounds. I've always liked lotsa ignition advance, small carbs, and a good name brand race converter. They help get off the line in a clean, consistent manner. Don't try to save money on the valvetrain, tires, or converter. Keep it light and have some fun!
     
  4. n2omichael

    n2omichael Veteran Member

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    Its your 1st car, remember this: HAVE FUN!!, too many people in the same boat as yourself, have gone out spent too much money on too many radical parts only to have the car be sold or sit half done in the garage because they either ran outta money, or lost interest.

    Go for anything that makes the car SAFE and consistent, its bracket racing so you dont need the quickest car there, and if you run in a "no box" class you can do pretty well without all the bracket racing "aids" that get real expensive, real quick [delay boxes, throttle stops, etc]

    The 1st few times you go, go on a 'test and tune" day, that way there will be less cars, and hopefully the track won't have a real "pressing" schedule,so, if you mess up staging or doing your burnout there won't be 150 impatient cars behind you [or 4000 people watching] hey, we are ALL human!!.

    Plus you may want to "feel" the car out a little, DONT BE AFRAID to do this, if you want to idle the car downtrack the 1st time you make a pass, go ahead, or if you want to let off at 1/2 track go ahead [Just don't decide to do it at the US Nationals,LOL!!!]

    Talk to racers at the track, find people who are [or have] ran combo's similiar to yours, and ask them what worked, what didn't, etc,etc,.

    Remeber the starter is GOD, follow his orders implicitely, and like I said HAVE FUN!!!, the last thing we want you to do is go to the track your 1st time, have a crappy time and get dis enchanted and not come back.

    Hope this helps!
    Michael

    One final thing, its not just a consistent car that wins rounds, its the driver too, try and stage at the same spot, leave at the same rpm, and do the same routine [once the car is sorted out] until it becomes 2nd nature. Good luck!!!
     
  5. Marv D

    Marv D Veteran Member Lifetime Gold Member

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    With all the good recomendations already posted I can't add much other than to say... If you want to be succesful at ET racing you only have to pay close attention to ONE thing,,, and that 'one' thing is EVERYTHING. Get yourself a log book or make yourself a spread sheet that forces you to track every tiny detail about each and every pass. Air temp, humidity, barrometer, wind speed and direction, track elevation, density altitude, jetting, ignition timing, track surface temp, engine temp at launch, engine temp in the shut down, launch rpm, shift rpm (each gear), tire pressure (front and rear), number of passes on the slicks since you rotated them, length of burnout, brunout rpm,,,,, just to name a few [​IMG]. Consistancy comes in bringing the car to the line under the exact same conditions time after time. Unfortunately Mother Nature doesn't cooperate with that thought very well so it's up to YOU to log how you adjust for mother natures idiosyncrasies, and how the car reacts to the conditions or adjustments.

    As far as 'building' the car. No more sound advice I can think of than to tell you to join NHRA and GET A RULE BOOK! Look at the requirements for the ET you are expecting and then build the car for AT LEAST 1 to 2 seconds quicker. That faster faster faster addiction will jump up and bite you in the ass somewhere down the road. Building for it NOW is a lot cheaper than cutting the car apart to 'rebuild' down the road.
     
  6. wwest

    wwest Veteran Member

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  7. hhott71

    hhott71 R.I.P 11/19/18 Lifetime Gold Member

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    You have the motor
    the trans
    the rear gears
    Now work on maximum traction.
    Use as big of a slick as you can fit under the car.
    10.5x28.0x15 should clear with out any problems.
    Subframe connecters,welded in
    at least a 6 point cage to tie the car together.
    Decent tranction bars.
    If you have traction, It is one less thing to worry about.
    Some sites to bookmark
    http://www.draglist.com/
    http://www.performancetrends.com/download.htm
    http://www.grapeaperacing.com/GrapeApeRacing/
    http://www.staginglight.com/
    http://www.prestage.com/carmath/
     
  8. oneseatnprimer

    oneseatnprimer Member

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    Thanks for all the advice, I really apreciate it. I ran a 89 IROC last year in the street class and was actually pretty succesfull.

    The car is actually coming along pretty good and under budget (so far). I pulled the dash out of it because it was just nasty, I am working on a cardboard template for the alluminum one that I will be building, any body have any good advice on dash building or cockpit setup.

    I currently have a fuel cell, electric fuel pump, MSD 6AL Ignition, and a 8 point roll cage on order. (It rocks to have your wife work the counter at the local race shop).

    I am kind of hesitant about the MSD ignition, does anybody have anything to say about them.

    Thanks
    Bill

    ------------------
    Shinny paint ain't goining to make it go faster.
     
  9. n2omichael

    n2omichael Veteran Member

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    Sounds like its coming together!, as for a dash, do what your doing, make up a nice cardboard template, then transfer it to aluminum, this is both tedious and time consuming, but, it really has to be done right or it will look terrible, another option is to use your [or another] existing dash and make and alum "insert" that can bolt or dzus in place of the stock gauge assembly, that way you don't have the MAJOR undertaking of fabricating an entire dash, dash mounts, etc, you can use your existing stuff and use a hole saw to put holes in for the aftermarket gauges you want to use, I have done this and had plenty of room for gauges, this is just my opinion, and others may disagree, but, I have found that often people make the dash TOO busy by installing alot of gauges, I have found tach, oil press. water temp, trans temp and brake press [if applicable] are really all you need, if you stuff 13 gauges and 1/2 a dozen lights in the dash, you will never be able to look at them all anyway, If you place the tach in the dash, make sure you put a shift lite somewhere that you can see it, without having to "look" for it. I install mine on a small piece of tube off the cage bar on the "A" pillar, its unobtrusive, yet very visible. Again, some of this is personal ergonomics, so, I am sure others will have there own idea's.

    Nothing wrong with the MSD stuff in my opinion, they make a good product, I have had good luck with there tech people, and they support racing and racers, can't beat that, make sure you run a heavy power wire, and a good ground, like any wiring, make sure you use the proper relays or fuses [where applicable] and proper gauge of wire.

    Same thing for the dash, leave a little slack in the wires for the tach, gauge lites etc, tie the slack up with "zip ties" but, leave a little extra, there is nothing more frustrating then having a gauge light burn out, or a tach malfunction, and when you try to remove the gauge realize that you cut the wires SO short that its nearly impossible to get the gauge out, without dis assembling the the entire dash, I usually run all gauge lites and wires to a common molex or Weather pak, so, its easier to disconnect and remove. [the electrcial stuff anyway].

    Hope this helps
    Michael
     
  10. Marv D

    Marv D Veteran Member Lifetime Gold Member

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    At the risk of building a fire,,,, before you commit to the MSD check out the Mallory digital Hyfire VI. Everyone has their preference, everyone has their horror stories,,, myself I just hate buying packets of chips and add on modules when you can have the WHOLE thing in a 100% programable digital box for $210. Just my preference.

    Again just my preference is the dash question. I don't want to guide the car down the track with my perferial(sp?) vision while I'm searching for reports from the guages. Put the guages dead in front of you ON TOP of the dash or on the cowl so it's a easy glance. A nice trick is to orient the guages so the 'normal' position is straight up. Makes it easy to spot something 'out of the normal'. Besides, in bracket racing you are pretty busy just doing your job as a driver and watching your opponent to decide if you are going to dump him in the traps. I guess all I'm getting at is watching where your opponents fender is, where your lane is, where the finish line is,,, doesn't leave much time to search the dash for guages. If they are dead ahead and straight up a quick glance for ALL guages to be straight up let's you get back to the task at hand quicker.
     

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