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Injected Nitro Dragster Question

Discussion in 'The Hokey Ass Message Board' started by owen_64, Nov 2, 2010.

  1. owen_64
    Joined: Apr 27, 2009
    Posts: 58

    owen_64
    Member

    I am currently researching injected nitro motors. I am attending an automotive racing school to try to get onto a funny car team. I though it'd benefit me to at least get some experience with nitromethane even if it's just a small block chevy. I also would like to run a clutch to learn how to somewhat tune that, once again, hands on experience. My question is though, direct drive or 2 speed lenco. I heard someone talk about their JR Fuel dragster back in the day, they said once they launched it was "High Gear Only". Why would one get a Lenco to just run high gear? Do you need the low gear at the hit of the throttle to get it going or? The motor would be around 350-380 ci, 461x heads with Jesel Shaft and all that good stuff, and around 90%. If I had to guess a power estimate, it would be around 700-800. If the wheelbase and weight matter, it's 150" and 1240 with out driver and 1440 with driver. Another question, slipper clutch or pedal clutch? Do they make a pedal slipper clutch? My guess is that the slipper would be for a direct drive and the normal for the Lenco? If you have a set up that worked good for you and would care to share to someone who has the desire to learn, I would deeply appreciate it.
    Thank you for your time.
    Randy
     
  2. davidwilson
    Joined: Oct 8, 2008
    Posts: 597

    davidwilson
    Member
    from Tennessee

    you take the bite out of a clutch by shimming the pressure plate away from the flywheel - it will soften the hit
     
  3. deucerails
    Joined: Mar 19, 2008
    Posts: 45

    deucerails
    Member
    from Manitoba

    I have very limited experience with an A/fuel car and i am learning as a crew member when i get the chance to go. here are a few things i have tried to pick up along the way (if i'm off base and there are better answers out there, please correct me) this small amount of info is for a BAE hemi. not sure if it would relate to jr fuel.

    -in an A/fuel car the lenco is only a reverser
    -at the starting line the clutch is let out before staging
    -the hand brake holds the dragster in place with the engine idleing at around 1600rpm
    -the rear end ratio is around 2.95 to 1
    -Nitromethane requires load to make power
    -slipper clutch is the transmission it is there to control the amount of power applied to the starting line of the track, i think it locks up by the 330ft mark
    -the engine at the top end of the track is around 6200 rpm

    my answer to you're question is i would run a "slipper" clutch and direct drive

    if you're in South Dakota, try the Brainerd national event or division 5 points meets. and talk to some crews.

    I would also p.m. someone like riceman or whitepunkonnitro for better answers. Some where on the hamb is an article written by whitepunkonnitro about nitro
     
    Last edited: Nov 2, 2010
  4. 408 AA/D
    Joined: Jun 15, 2008
    Posts: 177

    408 AA/D
    Member


    If you run an injected small block Chevy on pop, run can label and lid............not 90%
    Back in the day, all J/F cars were high gear only and were ran on the can........100%

    What you are referring to as a slipper clutch is a Crowerglide. (centrifigal) Won't work behind a injected S/B on pop.

    The pedal clucth you refer to, can also be a slipper or a lock-up clutch.

    You can run either a centrifigal setup or a pedal clutch with a Lenco, B&J etc.

    Hope this helps.

    408 AA/D
     
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  5. owen_64
    Joined: Apr 27, 2009
    Posts: 58

    owen_64
    Member

    Ok, so I think I'm missing something here. While I thank you all for taking the time to post, I am still confused about not being able to run a direct drive centrifugal clutch. The J/F cars ran high gear only, so why have a transmission behind the clutch? If someone had a direct drive pedal centrifugal clutch, wouldn't that be the same as a transmission in high gear? With the transmission, do you launch in low then go to high right away? I apologize for my ignorance in this subject, and would like to thank you all for posting to help me understand this. Being only 20 years old and not knowing anyone with this type of experience makes it extremely difficult to get any information, so thank you.
    Randy
     
  6. davidwilson
    Joined: Oct 8, 2008
    Posts: 597

    davidwilson
    Member
    from Tennessee

    high gear only j/f cars ran a coupler - no trans
     
  7. fearnoevo
    Joined: Nov 28, 2009
    Posts: 218

    fearnoevo
    Member
    from Iowa

    Not sure about dragsters, but my Nitro bike(P/D) uses a jackshaft. High gear only. We are carbureted and run a single stage slipper clutch. We adjust the "stall" speed by adding or taking away weights. How hard it hits is adjusted via air gap.

    Our biggest problem being carbureted is being able to run the full 1/4 mile. It always goes fat around 1000 feet. To help curb that, we run a dump can and pour a shit ton more fuel to it at the hit. The other option is a leanout, but I don't like those and the explosions they create.

    You won't have that trouble with injection though. The only reason I can think of to have a tranny at all in a car is for the reverse feature. Unless you are using a B&J, 2 speeds on injection would be nice. My crew chief pushes me back on the fuel bike.

    There is a great thread about tuning nitro in bikes on stripbike.com.
     
  8. owen_64
    Joined: Apr 27, 2009
    Posts: 58

    owen_64
    Member

    Mr. Wilson, you seem to know much about the J/F class. If I could ask that you tell me the rules to that class when it was injected nitro and not methanol, I would appreciate it. I would like to build my motor to those rules. I know that class is not what it used to be, but this motor will be making single test passes and the occasional bracket race and maybe one of the Nostalgia Eliminator classes. This motor would be build to learn to how use the hydrometer, tune nitromethane, and tune the clutch. As stated, I wish to work on a pro nitro team and any experience is better than no experience I figure. I would like to run a centrifugal clutch and coupler and no transmission to better learn direct drives.
    Thank you,
    Randy
     
  9. Vandy
    Joined: Nov 15, 2009
    Posts: 368

    Vandy
    Member
    from L.A. Ca

    The power level with your motor on 90 % is going to be in the 1,200 HP range. The old school Junior fuel, front motor cars were not competitive in A/F most ran B/F and were in the 7.0 et range. These cars were at least 400 pounds lighter than what you can run today with an iron motor. Even the A/F car I bought from Gene Adams which was national record holder for a long time at 6.73 and 201 had a B&J 2 speed. You will need a real aggressive clutch program to run direct drive starting with a 4 disc clutch. It would be much easier on the clutch and your learning curve to run a 2 speed and a 3 disc. an old 10 inch Crowerglide will do fine to learn with. Another bit of advice is try to get the basic info you seek from Gene Adams. Not many will disagree with that.
     
  10. owen_64
    Joined: Apr 27, 2009
    Posts: 58

    owen_64
    Member

    Vandy, thank you for the information. I know that Lenco and B&J make transmission, are there any other manufactures out there? Also how would one go about trying to get in touch with Mr. Adams?
    Thank you,
    Randy
     
  11. Vandy
    Joined: Nov 15, 2009
    Posts: 368

    Vandy
    Member
    from L.A. Ca

    Randy try Fuel Injection Engineering AKA Hilborn, ask for Don Enrecies (sp) and he will get you in touch with Gene. Google will help you
    Van
     
  12. owen_64
    Joined: Apr 27, 2009
    Posts: 58

    owen_64
    Member

    When did the J/F class stop racing? Was it after 1974? I found an NHRA rule book from then on email and if that class is in there, I will build my motor to those "rules". Thanks, Randy
     
  13. owen_64
    Joined: Apr 27, 2009
    Posts: 58

    owen_64
    Member

    On ebay, not email. Forgot to proof-read.
     
  14. 408 AA/D
    Joined: Jun 15, 2008
    Posts: 177

    408 AA/D
    Member

    If I remember correctly the weight to cu. in. ratio was 3 pounds, so any cu. in was allowed, as long as you stayed within that limit. My first injected fuel car weighed 760 pounds wet with out me in it. The engine was a 327 block with a 283 crank (302) The car with me in it had to weigh 906 pounds. Any auto manufactured engine block and heads were allowed as long as you adhered to the weight to cu. in. ratio. Any engine modifications were also allowed. The class was really pretty wide open.
     
  15. owen_64
    Joined: Apr 27, 2009
    Posts: 58

    owen_64
    Member

    Thank you 408 AA/D. I think I might be changing my mind about building to those specs. Being as my motor will be a small block chevy, (I have heads already and an injection already) and the maximum cubic inch would be 480 for my weight. Nonetheless thanks to all who have taken the time to help me out.
    Randy
     
  16. gas pumper
    Joined: Aug 13, 2007
    Posts: 2,787

    gas pumper
    Member

    I know that you have an idea and a dream and want to pursue that, but. Have you thought about volunteering on a nostalgia fuel dragster or funny car and getting your feet wet that way? You can see what goes on, pay attention and watch someone else spend money. Ask a lot of questions and see what works and don't. Then go on to your own deal.

    And you are going to have to be able to reverse the car, back-up, after the burnout.

    Frank

    (Spellcheck wants dragster replaced with drugstore)
     
  17. owen_64
    Joined: Apr 27, 2009
    Posts: 58

    owen_64
    Member

    Yes I have tried to volunteer on a nostalgia team and helped out a guy at a nostalgia drag race in San Antonio, TX. Wasn't running nitro, but a few of the guys he was racing used to race it. I did know about the reverser, but thank you for making sure. Does anyone have any idea of what Lencos or B&Js cost new with reverser. I would call, but since I'm just in the saving money stage, I don't want to waste their time. I saw a 2 speed Lenco with reverser for sale online for $3,500, supposedly never even had gear lube in it. Hopefully it's not a case of never had gear lube in it and now now needs all new internals!
     
  18. You need to do alot more research. I quit in 96 so I don't know the latest is but there is more than 1 reverser and there is many different models on trans. As far as "is there any other trans"?. The answer is no. none of the rest are strong enough to do the job. Good logic is buy the right part the first time. The reason he said not to try a chevy with direct drive is many but start with engine design and strength of parts. I respect your desire but unless you have at least thousands per year to burn up, don't try this. Keep hunting until you find someone that will let you be a "trainee" so you can learn and not be bankrupt. Good luck with your quest.
     
  19. tad626
    Joined: Feb 25, 2007
    Posts: 49

    tad626
    Member

    These cars were under 310 cubic inches. Very light. Some had every other spoke removed. Some had .049 tubing. No trans and not to much of a slider clutch. The tracks were not glued, then, just a clean broom. Can it be done? I think so. They were short wheelbase cars, maybe 120 inch, max. You can leave out the reverser, just avoid the water box and no burnouts. Small rear tires, they were 7" back then.
    If you build one, as they were, you would have no class to run them in, unless you ran one of the NE classes, and I am not sure thier feelings on nitro.
    Good Luck!!!
    Art
     
  20. LZ
    Joined: Sep 9, 2007
    Posts: 612

    LZ
    Member

    Howdy Randy:
    Nice to hear what your up to..
    FWIW talking to Spud Miller would do you some good.

    http://www.onehotchilipepper.com/

    Runs a SB on the Can. has a great service also for Mags,injection, parts..

    http://www.fuelinjectionenterprises.com/

    A friend of mine has a Lenco for sale. There has been different configs Glides, pedal clutch, 2 speeds , automatic ,direct drive.... There have been different pursuits to keep the motor loaded. You will hear a different story from each person. Not that its bad info or the person does not know whats going on. Its what did or did not work for them. Its important to disseminate the correct advice to help your tune up and combination. What worked for someone might not work for you and your budget. Its real hard to write what is going through the brain but you have to have confidence in someones advice and or tune up.
    Dont be wishy washy about using a little advice from each person or you will have a lot of broken pcs. Does this make sense.
    There is another site that would be of great help to you .

    http://hre.com/

    Its a pay site but for what your talking it would be worth every penny.
    Sorry not trying to sound like a Dad...:p Its your money be careful.
    Keep us posted and good luck
    Luke
     
  21. owen_64
    Joined: Apr 27, 2009
    Posts: 58

    owen_64
    Member

    Well the thing is, I don't have enough money to go heads-up racing and be competitive. So I'm just going to build it to put on a show. As for the NE classes they actually do allow nitromethane. They don't list a maximum percentage either. I'm actually looking to basically use someone's whole set up, if someone is willing to let that information go.
    Thanks,
    Randy
     
  22. davidwilson
    Joined: Oct 8, 2008
    Posts: 597

    davidwilson
    Member
    from Tennessee

  23. Gasser1961
    Joined: Nov 25, 2008
    Posts: 1,106

    Gasser1961
    BANNED

    I've looked into running a true JR car in todays world of NHRA. It's just not able to be done. In order to meet the SFI and NHRA reqs your looking at around $30,000 to do it right and be safe. I know there are guys here who will build anything out of old crap but at around 200 mph with a nitro engine in front of you thats not smart. There are guys out West here running injected sbc on fuel with a good pg. The bottom line is NITRO = LOTS OF MONEY
     
  24. Roger O'Dell
    Joined: Jan 21, 2008
    Posts: 587

    Roger O'Dell
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

    I read all the answers to this guys answer, and I think it may be the best. I wasn't going to respond, but it got the best of me. To be competive it will cost you a lot of money. Go to the races and try to form friendships with some of the racers. Most of them are on limited budgets and will welcome help at away from home tracks. Good Luck It can be the greatest of times and the most depressing. It goes with winning and loseing. Roger
     
  25. Rex Schimmer
    Joined: Nov 17, 2006
    Posts: 732

    Rex Schimmer
    Member
    from Fulton, CA

    I think that the origin of the "Junior Fuel" class was from the LIONS drag strip in Long Beach back in the early to mid 60s. The basic rule was 310 cu. in. max every thing else was open. The 310 engines were ran pretty much on 98% and high gear only. The combo worked because the tires would spin, and smoke, and this would keep the engine on power and most of the cars didn't weigh over 900 pounds. With todays tires and drag strips the tires don't spin so the clutch has to slip. It was not uncommon to see 25-30 Jr. fuelers at LIONS on a good night and they would run in the 7s at right at around 200. Between LIONS, Irwindale, San Fernando, Fontana and Orange County there was always a good Jr. Fuel show some place. In the late 60s they started working with slipper clutches, pretty crude and tire technology and drag strip preparation got better and they went to two speed trannys. Once LIONS closed I think Jr. Fuel started to fade away. Sure were fun to watch!

    Rex
     
  26. I don't mean to sidetrack the thread, but I wonder.......

    each time a "nostalgia dragster on a modern track" question comes up, it pretty much always goes back to "ya can't run the old setups the old way because of track and tire tech changes"

    competetiveness aside, how far off would a nostalgia junior fueler be from "the day" by simply avoiding a burnout (they didn't do 'em back then anyway) and running some fairly hard piecrusts like Hursts? If the thing grabs too much, run a skinnier tire, or add pressure?

    or, do ya just shitcan ALL the old stuff and go to modern slicks, burnouts, and Powerglides?
     
  27. Sounds like the OP could do a lot worse than following Spud's formula...

    Two things from the OHCP site that might help Randy's understanding of all this trans/clutch stuff... Spud runs a Powerglide, and his new fuel tune is killing it, and is going to keep killing it... He also mentioned tire shake, which is the main reason to run a clutch. If the motor bogs at the hit (or just doesn't have enough power), the car won't get "up on the tires". It will "trip" over the rear tires, wadding them up and causing shake. On a VERY light car (old style, as noted above), the tires were too small and hard, and/or the car was too light for this to be a big problem.

    A modern "heavy" FED on modern tires just can't hit the tires hard enough to slip them a little and get them turning. One solution is more power but, if you're already running the can you're pretty much out of options there... A second route would be direct drive with more rear gear, but then you're out of rpm at the big end. The other option is a trans. Low gear to get the car up on the tires, high gear to grunt the motor with a taller gear and let it make power all the way to the lights.

    BTW, B&J and Lenco 2 speeds are really just a Powerglide with everything you don't need left out...
     
  28. owen_64
    Joined: Apr 27, 2009
    Posts: 58

    owen_64
    Member

    Another question, what's a standard compression ratio for straight nitro? I read the nitro notes on the FIE website and he said he was running about 13.2 on 50% and 11 something on 75?%. While helping out an alcohol injected dragster, I was talking to someone who ran the old J/F class and ran 98% with 10 and said they should have been at 12. Anyone have any advice on this?
    Thanks, Randy
     

  29. I own a nostalgia Top Fuel car out of the Phoenix area. We are alyways looking for sincere people who wish to help out and crew. No experience is needed just a willingness to listen and to learn.

    [​IMG]

    Blow nitro cars typically run 6 to 7 compression

    Comparing 6O's era jr fuelers to the modern nostalgia jr fuelers is difficult at the combo is not the same. Todays Jrs run alky

    You asked about clutches.
    Yes, there are pedal/slipper clutches and they are primarily used in alky combos. A few nitro guys run them but, they have not been real competitive because a ture slipper/'glide clutch makes it easier for the driver and the crew chief to control tire spin.
    Either set up can be used with a Lenco type trans or with just a reverser. Using a clutch in your fast race car adds considerable expense and considerable maintenence too between rounds. That is why toru converters are so popular. Not as quick but, much less work and demand.

    hope this helps you.

    If anyone may be seriously interested in crewing with us here in the Phoenix area, contact me. Much of the work is off track getting the car ready.
    steve@pontiacheaven.org
     
  30. Randy:
    Advice is best when it comes from people that have PAID for the experience.
    This web site and HRE.com have people that have had experience with Jr.fuel cars.
    Let me share with you my experience's and my opinions.
    I was a crew guy on big show nitro funny cars in the 1990's and gained great respect for the guys I worked with that tuned nitro. [Rob Flynn, Dennis Whitestone and Tom Anderson] I also learned about attention to detail.
    I own an engine machine shop so engine work on these cars was second nature.
    Where I enjoyed working the most was when I was able to do the clutch.
    The modern day AFT 18 lever 5 disk clutch still operates off the basic principles of the 6 lever Crowerglide.
    We now run a family and friends operated modern FED.
    Its a little removed from the average bracket car but we didn't build it to run Super Pro anyway.
    We race a 460 FORD engine with a Crower hat injector on a tunnel ram and a Supermag V on alcohol.
    The bellhousing has a 2 disk Crowerglide inside and a two speed Lenco.
    It loads the engine pretty hard but its a good way to learn the Crowerglide.
    This has been a great way to use the knowledge learned when crewing to apply it to my own car. We can make a pass and service the clutch and cool the motor and be ready for another run in 30 minutes.
    The next step is building a new engine and run 50% nitro.
    My opinion is to gain some knowledge like I did by working on someone elses car.
    If that opportunity does not happen, spend more time reading on web sites and hang out at the track and ask questions.
    >>>>Get to Bakersfield in March !!<<<<
    When you get your own car start out with alcohol and a Crowerglide and a Lenco.
    This will give you working knowledge of your parts.
    It will make the transition to Nitro smoother.
    In the business I'm in I see people trying to run before they can crawl and the are out of racing as quick as they got in.
    Its VERY expensive to just get to the track and you want to be able to have fun and don't want to go broke on your first weekend.

    This is just my opinion and I hope it helps.
    ;)
    Matt Shaff
     

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    Last edited: Nov 10, 2010

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