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Bonneville pipe dream~~~

Discussion in 'The Hokey Ass Message Board' started by Big Mac, Aug 30, 2010.

  1. Big Mac
    Joined: Sep 12, 2007
    Posts: 1,567

    Big Mac
    1. Utah HAMBers

    Me and my dad go to Speedweek every year, and we love it. My dad's an old hot rodder, and he and I work on cars quite a bit. How can speedweek get any better for 2 guys that love to watch the cars go fast? Well, we could go fast.

    I want to build something to run on the salt next year. Neither one of us are very skilled fabricators, we don't have lots of $$, but we have a little time and some determination. We are OK at wrenching on stuff, just not big welder/fabricator guys.

    What would you Bonneville guru's recommend for a father/son/grandson project that could run at the salt? We don't care how fast we go, don't care what class we're in, don't want to spend lots of $, and just want to have fun. It may even turn into a charity fundraiser.

    Thoughts? I'd love to hear some ideas. Can a belly tanker be built for cheap? We have a sbc too, as well as a good TH350. Is it going to break our bank just to meet the safety standards? Any thoughts/ideas would be appreciated.
  2. JAWS
    Joined: Jul 22, 2005
    Posts: 1,846


    I think Lucky may still have one around at the Old Crow shop....he might have sold it.

    Depending on how fast you go, I think determines the safety stuff. I know if you are in a class that has a record of say 175, and your car only goes 120, it still must be built to the standards of 175.

    Best thing I could think of is to get a current rule book if you haven't already.

    I hate to do this, but the best advice I ever got from about a salt car was from an old fella who went all the time. He told me to wait at least 2 weeks after I got back home, before I made any plans. If after that I still wanted to build something, then he said it probably was gonna get done. He was right. I seem to lose the steam after a couple of weeks at home in the grind.

    Maybe your not that way.....Actually I hope you aren't and I hope you go for it!
  3. My advice would be to build something to run in production pickup.

    A 50's F-100 would be a start.... the record for a flathead in a '53 f100 is like 107mph.

    They are cheap, and plentiful.

    Another... maybe even CHEAPER truck to run would be a mid 60's ford that originally came with a 289 or 302. You would then build a de-stroked version or just find an original 260cu-in SBF.

    With a 260... the class record is 126mph.

    With either one of these motors in a PP... the class record are attainable... and more importantly, the safety gear won't be THAT expensive.

    The safety gear... including seat might set you back 2k at the most. That's fire system, driver's suit, seat and seat belts. Sheesh, might even be able to do it cheaper if you find a driver's suit on e-bay... but, by all means, buy the fire system new.

    Using my estimator (judging by a guy who has done it)... you coul dbe into the total deal for around 7k... that's motor, safety gear, engine, trans... truck and all.

    Shit, I bet it could be done cheaper if you are resourceful...

    Find a buddy who does welding... or better yet, take a class and learn how to weld yourself.

    But as far as building a roadster and/or a belly tanker... you can take that dollar figure and multiply it by AT LEAST FIVE and you might have a rolling chassis.

    My guess would be... without at least 10-20k to get started, and another 20-30k to finish it up, you'd probably be looking at your $1000 belly tank mocked up on blocks for a few years before it got sold.

    I am basing this on the fact that you have very little fabrication skills... when I added up all of our hours on our little roadster that was spent fabricating... I came up with a bill of about $300k @ $50 an hour. Granted, our car has a lot of trick home made shit on it... but even if you HACKED it together for someone... you're looking at 50k to build a belly tank before you even get to the motor.

    I don't mean to be an ass hole... I just want you guys to be honest with yourselves and be out there in a year or two actually racing!

    If you are interested in actually following my advice... feel free to PM me and I can help you guys along the way.

  4. Oh yea... another positive with the F-100 is that all the stock suspension can be rebuilt and run as-is... no need to get fancy... just lower it, and go. Brakes? stock. Rear end? Stock... sheesh, they come with 9"ers and different ratios are a junkyard run away!


  5. Excellent advice from a guy who knows. Thanks, Sam.
  6. Tman
    Joined: Mar 2, 2001
    Posts: 34,431


    In my best Glenn Beck character voice......................."well ya but I can build a $800 hotrawd!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! ya know!?":rolleyes::D

    Thanks for the reality check, it is up to each reader to read between the lines and see where their skills lie.
  7. WZ JUNK
    Joined: Apr 20, 2001
    Posts: 1,730

    from Neosho, MO

    When I first went to Bonneville as a spectator, I had no idea what I was getting in to. It has been the experience of a life time but very expensive too. When you race a faster car it takes a lot of work, time, and money. There is the expensive of the car, getting it entered, getting the car and everything you need for the pit to the salt, and your accomodations while you are there.

    In general there is a lot going on that the average spectator does not know about. Some efforts are more complex than others. For instance most motorcycles require much less support than a car.

    I think Sam has some good thoughts. There are classes that are affordable but you need to look at the rule book closely as some easily obtained records are disappearing.

  8. Anything you put together for an SCTA-BNI class will not be inexpensive, regardless of class or speed. I would suggest you look at the USFRA 130MPH class. It's for street legal vehicles (car/bike) and is probably the least expensive way to put the peddle to the metal on the Salt. Heres' a link to their info:
  9. pitman
    Joined: May 14, 2006
    Posts: 5,078


    Sure do appreciate Sam's perspective here. Anyone offer advice on tire quality/choices, for a given class or speed? I'd hate to see one give out after a careful build to meet all the safety req.s
  10. RichFox
    Joined: Dec 3, 2006
    Posts: 10,020


    It's for sure that if you don't want to do much fab work, a tank is out. They are all fab. Unless you buy a turn key racer. Subscribe to the Bonneville Racing News and maybe you can find something for sale in there that will get you started.
  11. Dreamweaver
    Joined: Feb 26, 2003
    Posts: 1,017


    All depends upon $$ and how fast you want to go.

    As Rich said the 130/150 clubs are going to be the most bang for the buck and get you on the salt with your family.

    If you want to go faster and have more money to spend, this is a great deal on a car less engine/trans,4704.0.html

    think he is now asking $15k for the roller. Browse the for sale ads.
  12. Flipper
    Joined: May 10, 2003
    Posts: 3,334

    from Kentucky

    Study the rulebook/existing class records before you start ordering parts.

    Chances are that something with a 350 chevy in it is in a class with a fairly high record.

    I'm sure it would be considerably cheaper to build a car in a 120 mph class versus a 220 mph class.
    Last edited: Aug 31, 2010
  13. Tim McNees
    Joined: Feb 2, 2008
    Posts: 29

    Tim McNees

    the record is now 112.5, Old Bones
  14. Big Mac
    Joined: Sep 12, 2007
    Posts: 1,567

    Big Mac
    1. Utah HAMBers

    Thanks SamIyam. Great input. We don't really care how fast we go, or even if we get a record for now. We just want to participate. Can't help it, it just looks so damn fun!!!
  15. Buick59
    Joined: Mar 3, 2001
    Posts: 1,994

    from in a house

    I think that record is up to 112 now.
  16. 112mph with a flatty in an early Ford pickup?

    Probably easier to do the mid 60's F100 with the 260 then... or, maybe look to run one of the other classes with a smaller motor.

    But seriously guys... it ain't rocket science.

    Come to think if it, maybe that's why I don't think it's all that hard... our team is made up of guys who built rockets. :D

    My advice is the same as many... join the SCTA/BNI... get a rule book... and comb over it to find something you guys can build.

    Come up with a plan... and stick to it.

    Don't get in over your head with grandiose ideas about running 200mph in a belly tank or roadster.

    Be honest with yourself about your finances and your abilities.

    Build it, race it and have FUN!


    p.s. another "hidden cost" is the HANS device that is required for all new cars...

    about $700... ouch.

    BUT, look towards borrowing one.

    They are specific to the type of seat you are going to run.

    What we did? We put our feelers out... and borrowed one.

    Keep me posted!

  17. firingorder1
    Joined: Dec 15, 2006
    Posts: 2,147


    Get a motorcycle. Life becomes a lot easier. A Snell 2005 or better helmet. Leathers and you're ready to run. Better still get a sidecar outfit. You don't have to hold them up while waiting in line :- )
  18. Kevin Lee
    Joined: Nov 12, 2001
    Posts: 7,440

    Kevin Lee
    Super Moderator
    Staff Member

    Awesome - As I read the initial post this is exactly what I was thinking.
  19. Big Mac
    Joined: Sep 12, 2007
    Posts: 1,567

    Big Mac
    1. Utah HAMBers

    So I found a '66 Ford F-100, fairly straight, no major body damage, w/newly rebuilt engine for $1000 obo. I'm going to go check it out.
  20. Bearing Burner
    Joined: Mar 2, 2009
    Posts: 924

    Bearing Burner
    from W. MA

    GET a rule book and check records for varrious classes. Any Class with a recvord over 200MPH will cost a bunch of bucks for safety equipment.You have to build to current record NOT what your vehicle can go.
  21. Buick59
    Joined: Mar 3, 2001
    Posts: 1,994

    from in a house


    853 XF/MP Ken Cook old record 111.719 new record 112.128
    Ken Cook

    A shot from last year

    Last edited by a moderator: Jun 1, 2014
  22. Relic Stew
    Joined: Apr 17, 2005
    Posts: 1,141

    Relic Stew
    from Wisconsin

    A guy I work with runs at Bonneville with some motorcycles. His teenage son set a record at 35mph on a Whizzer a few years back. They were planning mods to double the speed, but I haven't kept up on how they've done recently.

    Edit: I found this under 100cc motorcycle here This must be their team. 100 cc production vintage
    P-PV Prairie Drifters Whizzer 8/07 34.820

    Last edited: Sep 1, 2010
  23. The new record for E/PP at Bonneville is now 128+ and you will be hard pressed to build an E/PP truck for less than $10k, I know. But it's still "relatively" cheep fun! ;)

    Last edited: Sep 1, 2010
  24. Big Mac
    Joined: Sep 12, 2007
    Posts: 1,567

    Big Mac
    1. Utah HAMBers

    What does "E/PP" stand for? That's the stuff I need to learn. I know nothing about all the different classes running out there.
  25. E = 184-260ci PP = Production pickup go to the SCTA web site and get a rule book, that is where you start.

    <object width="480" height="385"><param name="movie" value=";hl=en_US"></param><param name="allowFullScreen" value="true"></param><param name="allowscriptaccess" value="always"></param><embed src=";hl=en_US" type="application/x-shockwave-flash" allowscriptaccess="always" allowfullscreen="true" width="480" height="385"></embed></object>
  26. Buick59
    Joined: Mar 3, 2001
    Posts: 1,994

    from in a house

    That was just a cool video. too bad the engine didn't want to wind any higher.
  27. Sounds like a start...

    I was also going to mention... shooting for a slower class means fewer safety requirements which translates to few $$ being spent to get out there and race.

    Also, don't let the thought of having to spend big $$ to get out and get a record scare you away.

    Sure it might take more than 10k to build just a motor to run in Production Pickup against a 128mph record... but nothing says you can't throw a bunch of throw aways from a local roundy rounder's claimer motor (if you're totally on a shoe string) to put someting together for a fraction of the cost to go out and run 115 on a 128 record.

    The rush of going down the track will be worth it...

    Have you found a local fabricator that can weld your cage up for you?

    I also need to mention... on the cage... for a pickup is pretty simple. The halo bar and the main hoop (total of four bends) can be done by anyone with a 1 5/8" or 1 3/4" bender. You just need a measuring tape to tell the guy what size to bend them up to.

    A trained monkey can notch tubing... get the main hoop in, the halo, and then work on all the down tubes and diagonals... PM me for a better explanation... but if you buy a cheap 110 mig, you can fit and tack all the tubes in yourself and save BIG $$$

  28. Oh yea... buy a fleet side for sure... and a long bed if you want to save $$ and possible go a tic faster... I think it might give you an edge over the competition. :)

  29. 1/2done
    Joined: Oct 29, 2006
    Posts: 619

    from Ohio

    I have the same set up. I changed mine around recently out of boredom and removed the fenders and paint.
    I never thought of running my Whizzer at Bonneville. Did he sleeve the motor to run 100cc class? Stock they're 138cc.
  30. Relic Stew
    Joined: Apr 17, 2005
    Posts: 1,141

    Relic Stew
    from Wisconsin

    He said something about getting a displacement break because it's a flathead. I guess a rulebook check would would be the first step.

    He said the salt built up between the rear tire and fender, which slowed it, but not sure if fenderless would make it "modified".

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