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Projects Bad Banana Resurrection - 55 Chevy Gasser

Discussion in 'The Hokey Ass Message Board' started by Bad Banana, Aug 10, 2010.

  1. Bad Banana
    Joined: Jun 20, 2008
    Posts: 772

    Bad Banana
    ALLIANCE MEMBER
    from Oklahoma

    TDWZ28 gave me the hook up on some front wheels. They will work. (Thanks T ;):D) I have found a couple sources for rear wheels but not ready to pull the trigger on them yet.

    Winter priorities are (by order of importance):
    1. Completely revamp the fuel system including 10" stacks and removing the hood scoop.
    2. Disassemble and inspect the trans
    3. Ring and pinion change.
    4. Fix any problems we find while doing normal winter maintainence.

    Wheel and tires for the front will likely occur as well. If money allows, I'll see if I can do something with the rear wheels. I would also like to find someone who can reproduce the pinstriping that was on it back then as well.

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  2. dblgun
    Joined: Oct 24, 2009
    Posts: 348

    dblgun
    Member

    Very cool thread and piece of history, thanks for sharing with all of us.
     
  3. ftroop
    Joined: Sep 22, 2006
    Posts: 343

    ftroop
    Member
    from Detroit

    Rusty,
    I have a guy that can take care of your striping. He did all my funny cars, Tim's Willys, and the Yellow comp coupe that was at Milan. He is located not far from the track.

    Steve
     
  4. MCINK
    Joined: May 26, 2007
    Posts: 887

    MCINK
    Member
    from EASTRIVER

    on the www.classracer.com site, there is a photo of a 66 Chevy wagon drag car called
    "Bad Banana IV" with the name of Ted Hartman on the door. Is this your family, as well,
    or just coincidence? It appears to be out of Michigan also.
     
  5. Bad Banana
    Joined: Jun 20, 2008
    Posts: 772

    Bad Banana
    ALLIANCE MEMBER
    from Oklahoma

     
  6. Bad Banana
    Joined: Jun 20, 2008
    Posts: 772

    Bad Banana
    ALLIANCE MEMBER
    from Oklahoma

    Been picking at the ol' heap over the last couple weeks. Engine and trans are out of the car. I went through the transmission and freshened it. I also made a torque converter change. I had a converter I traded for a while back and after doing some research, I think it will be just what the car needs. I am going to leave the gear alone until I run it again next spring.

    Have the engine apart. I found some copper looking debris in the bottom if the oil filter when I went to clean it up. Nothing in the screen but flakes in the bottom of the filter housing :confused:. I pulled the pan and found bigger flakes in the bottom of the pan:eek:

    Pulled the distributor and realized it was off the bronze dist gear. :D Easy fix. I had used this distributor in a different engine then just threw it in this engine in the rush to get the car going originally. I never took the time to check gear engagement. :eek: Went through and set that today with a new melonized gear before I pulled the engine apart.

    I still want to check all the bearings. I have the cam and valvetrain out of it and now know what I have. It is an Isky solid roller with .683 on the intake and .640 on the exhaust. 106 CL. Technically it is .640 on both intake and exhaust with 1.5 rockers but this engine has 1.6 rockers on the intake ;)

    Found a couple other minor issues with the engine. Another broken rocker nut. I am going to put all new nuts on it. Also found that it did in fact suck an intake gasket (see pics). I know it started this leak the day we accidently left the injector cover on :eek:. I don't think it sucked it clear in like this until the last day we ran it at Milan. Another reason to put the stacks thru the hood and take off the hood scoop. :D

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  7. Lancer
    Joined: Jan 11, 2004
    Posts: 1,222

    Lancer
    Member

    Fantastic thread, keep the updates coming along.
     
  8. Bad Banana
    Joined: Jun 20, 2008
    Posts: 772

    Bad Banana
    ALLIANCE MEMBER
    from Oklahoma

    I havn't updated this in a few weeks so here it is.

    Checked the engine bearings and found I have been starving the mains in the wheelstand. The #2 main had just started to spin in the block. It does not look like it hurt the crank or block but I am taking it back to the guy who originally built it and he is going to go through it, clean and inspect everything and reassemble it.

    The pan does not really have anything in the back to stop the oil from climbing the back of the pan and starving the pick-up on hard launch followed by driving 100 ft at a 45 degree angle. I added a dam/defector on the back wall of the pan and I think that will help alot.

    Also, this engine came with a dipstick and I was using it but it doesn't look it was totally accurate. I believe I may have been running it a bit low. I modified the dipstick and I believe it will now show the proper level for that pan.

    I also tweaked the oil pump pick up a little. I feel it was a bit too close to the bottom of the pan for my liking. So... with all of these tweaks, we should be in much better shape. Sorry, I didn't think to take pics of the pan modifications.

    Also have been working on the body a bit to fit the longer injector stacks. Finished this up today and did take pics. Austin helped with fitting the new close out for the cowl. Had to cut it back a little more to clear. Folded the bottom of the cowl and then used steel rivits to hold all 3 layers together on the bottom and welded it the rest of the way around. Seems pretty strong and should give ample clearance for the long tubes.

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  9. lorodz
    Joined: Jul 26, 2009
    Posts: 3,728

    lorodz
    Member

    love this car ..keep it up
     
  10. Bad Banana
    Joined: Jun 20, 2008
    Posts: 772

    Bad Banana
    ALLIANCE MEMBER
    from Oklahoma

    One last update before Christmas... :D

    Been working on taller injector stacks (ram tubes as some call them). Checked around and they are not cheap. Most of them run around $30 each for the common ones. Don't you know these happen to be a bastard size. They are made from spun aluminum. I spoke to a couple of folks in the industry and only found one place that would make me what I needed in the length I wanted and they wanted.... gulp... $75.00 EACH!!! :eek:

    So... plan "B". I decide I'll make some adapters and lengthen the ones I have. I was unsure of a couple things. How long I needed to get them thru the hood and how long can I go until the center ones crash into each other. After some careful measuring, I figured I needed about 10" overall length from the bottom of the adapter to the top of the ram tubes I already have. The existing spun aluminum ones are about 5 3/4"

    Next problem I had was what material to make them from. I researched how to make them from spun aluminum but that looks scary and I don't have the equipment available to try that. I did find some schedule 40 aluminum pipe that was about the correct I.D. and thick enough wall to work. Again... this stuff aint cheap (6061 schedule 40 aluminum pipe) but it was less than what just one spun aluminum tube would cost me :rolleyes:

    I ordered enough material to make about 10 of the 8 tubes I needed. I am NOT an experienced machinist and I only have a small 3 in 1 Smithy lathe to make them. I figured if I didn't get extra I was bound to ruin at least one and have to reorder. This way, I had a shot at getting 8 good ones... ;)

    I started by first making a test piece out of schedule 40 plastic from a plumbing store. I machined it up and made sure what I wanted would work plus it gave a chance to practice.

    [​IMG]

    Here below is the practice plastic piece stuck in the manifold and the aluminum pipe as it arrived.

    [​IMG]

    I learned that pipe is NOT like tubing. It is not perfectly round on the inside or the outside and the ends of the pieces were not cut square when I got them. So... it is like starting with a raw casting and trying to machine it. Lots of slow trimming to get it close to centered before you commit to cutting anything. I did not have a lot of extra material to spare on the I.D. but I had about .060" or so on the O.D. to work with.

    [​IMG]

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    After several hours of trial and error, I was able to rough in a couple pieces and one end of the rest of them. See how close the top of the tubes now get as they get longer. I can't really go any longer with the bells I am using.

    [​IMG]

    This afternoon I was able to get all 8 of them roughed in. Still have quite a bit of work left. I need to weld on some bosses on the top of the adapters and slice them to clamp the tubes in. They fit pretty good and I am pleased so far with the outcome. The lathe I am using is old and worn out but I go slow and factor in the slop and they came out pretty good so far. I may try to taper them from the top of the manifold to the bottom of the original tube to take some weight off them. We'll see how it goes.

    [​IMG]

    Anyways... Merry Christmas everyone. I need to go get ready for Santa Clause... :D
     
  11. 1971BB427
    Joined: Mar 6, 2010
    Posts: 5,563

    1971BB427
    Member
    from Oregon

    Looks great, and always better to save money and build stuff yourself! You could make them longer if you stagger the length so the bells don't line up. Used to see that often on old injector systems.
     
  12. Bad Banana
    Joined: Jun 20, 2008
    Posts: 772

    Bad Banana
    ALLIANCE MEMBER
    from Oklahoma

    You see that on Big Block Chevys because the intake ports are unequal length. The small blocks have equal length intake ports so the stacks should be equal.
     
  13. Lancer
    Joined: Jan 11, 2004
    Posts: 1,222

    Lancer
    Member

    Great job, thanks for the updates.
     
  14. Bad Banana
    Joined: Jun 20, 2008
    Posts: 772

    Bad Banana
    ALLIANCE MEMBER
    from Oklahoma

    Tune into speed chanell right now to see our Passtime episode
     
  15. landseaandair
    Joined: Feb 23, 2009
    Posts: 4,386

    landseaandair
    Member
    from phoenix

    Weee, got a little loose there. Nice save.
     
  16. 54 savoy
    Joined: Jan 10, 2009
    Posts: 424

    54 savoy
    Member

    awesome wheel stand! oh and i love this thread,
     
  17. waldo53
    Joined: Jan 26, 2010
    Posts: 838

    waldo53
    Member
    from ID

    Saw the Pass Time episode - wow, talk about a launch!!
     
  18. Muttley
    Joined: Nov 30, 2003
    Posts: 18,375

    Muttley
    Member

  19. Bad Banana
    Joined: Jun 20, 2008
    Posts: 772

    Bad Banana
    ALLIANCE MEMBER
    from Oklahoma

    Pretty much got the intake done this week. Here are the highlights.

    Last I left off, I had just roughed in the tubes on both ends. I wanted to lengthen the tubes without modifying them in case I ever wanted to go back to the original set up. These extensions I made stack up like dixie cups (one fits inside the other). So I wanted to clamp the original tubes just like the manifold did. I used round stock and milled each side to make two flats then used a ball mill that was close to the radius of the tube on the back side.

    [​IMG]

    Once I made all 8, I drilled a through hole for the clamping bolt. I figured it would be easier to do in the drill press at this point rather than once it is welded to the tube. I must confess I did not do the welding. I had a good friend of mine who is an awesome aluminum welder weld them on. I don't have much experience welding aluminum and was afraid to muck them up since I had so much work into them at this point. :eek:

    [​IMG]

    I marked them then used a small recipricating saw to slice them. Then tapped them and drilled through half of the boss to the split line. Pic below shows the first one that I ground the weld smooth then sandblasted the whole tube on the right.

    [​IMG]

    After all 8 were ground smooth and sandblasted I powdercoated them to match the intake manifold.

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    Here is the final product.

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    I mocked it up to see what it looks like on the car. This is a bit higher than it will end up I believe. I like it!! :D

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Jan 12, 2013
  20. Rich1028
    Joined: Jul 12, 2008
    Posts: 222

    Rich1028
    Member

  21. edweird
    Joined: Jan 4, 2009
    Posts: 3,188

    edweird
    Member

    You are a damn good driver!
     
  22. brian55lvr
    Joined: Oct 24, 2010
    Posts: 603

    brian55lvr
    Member
    from ma

  23. Baron
    Joined: Aug 13, 2004
    Posts: 3,393

    Baron
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

    And fearless. I watched a few of the other runs.... you could rename it the Bad Banana Peel :D All the videos are great. Thanks !
     
  24. deuceman54
    Joined: Mar 22, 2011
    Posts: 2

    deuceman54
    Member

    Rusty, this has indeed been an awesome thread. It is about more than the restoration of a car; it is the essence of what our "sport" is about. I had to give up drag racing many years ago, but it remains in my blood. You know. To see you put this fantastic old school 55 back together, and to be involved in it with you, through pics and posts... is totally amazing. Thank you. That alone would be enough. But to know the story behind it, that it was your dad's car, and that you are doing this as much for him as for yourself, and also your stepson; is just exhilarating. And it is what separates this sport, or hobby or pursuit, whatever you want to call it; from any other. Will be at Milan this year to see the car in person, and get some pics. Mark
     
  25. maplefrm
    Joined: Aug 15, 2010
    Posts: 515

    maplefrm
    Member
    from Central IL

    Saw you on Pass Time a couple of days ago. Fun to watch and then see the thread come up on the H.A.M.B
     
  26. 1971BB427
    Joined: Mar 6, 2010
    Posts: 5,563

    1971BB427
    Member
    from Oregon

    What effect does the tube length make on the engine? Does a longer tube create more lowend or topend power, Or does the tube length affect torque?
     
  27. Bad Banana
    Joined: Jun 20, 2008
    Posts: 772

    Bad Banana
    ALLIANCE MEMBER
    from Oklahoma

    Wow... thank you very much for that. Make sure you find me personally if you come to Milan. Don't just take pics from a distance. :D

    I am not sure yet but we are going to find out. I made those adapters in a way that I can test back to back by just removing them. I have been told both ways from different folks. In my opinion, (and I am wrong a LOT), I don't think it will change much because it is above the throttle blade but we'll find out for sure in the spring. ;)
     
  28. Bad Banana
    Joined: Jun 20, 2008
    Posts: 772

    Bad Banana
    ALLIANCE MEMBER
    from Oklahoma

    Not a whole lot to update. I did get the front wheels and tires done and on. :D

    [​IMG]

    The engine should be back in March then put the engine/trans back in. Still up in the air on the rear wheels. Chrome reverse is pretty much out due to weight and I don't want to use taper seat lug nuts on the rear. I want a shank style lug nut holding the rear wheels on this thing. I have a couple options I am still working on. I am also thinking about powder coating the ones I have black. They would look like a black painted stock wheel kinda like this. Would solve a lot of issues..

    [​IMG]

    Also... if anyone has any of the windshield wiper arm trim bezels that go around the wiper stem I would like a pair. Don't need the nuts or really care what shape they are in as long as they are not broken. I want to use them to help hold the windshield trim on and close out the holes at the base of the windshield. PM me if you have something you want to let go of. I think 55 and 56 work ..
     
  29. I really like this thread too. The first post from you on page one nailed it for me. The steelies are great looking. The aluminum wheels never bothered me at all, the car and it's story made the old wheels insignificant.
     
  30. TDWZ28
    Joined: Sep 18, 2007
    Posts: 152

    TDWZ28
    Member
    from Michigan

    Front wheels look good. Are they my old ones?
     

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