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Front Engine Dragster How To Build One

Discussion in 'The Hokey Ass Message Board' started by KING CHASSIS, Mar 4, 2010.

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  1. Tank
    Joined: Nov 8, 2002
    Posts: 749


    Hey, Hey. I got plans to build me one of these! It is tech week again, so good add!
    Joined: May 13, 2003
    Posts: 797


    I just put the call out to my hommies to round up a clutch can, I have my block and crank along with a good set of heads and my Hilborn's. The basic Chassis table is built and ready in the shop as we speak..... I can't believe I have been without a car for so long..... Last time I pulled the chute was 5 years ago..... The damn fire suit has actually been stuffed in the attic the whole time... How sad is that?


    Robert M.
  3. Yeah Lippy, I'm back on the straight and narrow and making progress. :) I thought I'd work toword firing the hemi on a 4bbl today but instead made some significant changes to the cockpit. I'm a lot happier with it now. No guages in the cockpit, steering wheel moved, shifter in place, and all is fine.
  4. Parts Man
    Joined: Feb 27, 2010
    Posts: 53

    Parts Man

    I got my SFI 2.6 Specs yesterday. Looks like i am either running 10.00 flat or building another chassis for my parts to go on. My car would NEVER pass. I am surprised it passed back in '95 when the previous owner raced it....Stay tuned!!!
  5. lippy
    Joined: Sep 27, 2006
    Posts: 4,150

    from Ks

    Tank, good on ya! Robert, You old dog, I thought you were joking about building another car!:D Kerry, remember it's a dragster. You need ONE guage and thats oil pressure. You don't have time to read a tach or worry about silly temp guages and stuff. Trust me, you'll see. Run it dry on alky. These cars need one wire, thats the kill for the mag.:p Did you get your cables? Lippy
  6. lippy
    Joined: Sep 27, 2006
    Posts: 4,150

    from Ks

    Kerry, how come firing on a carb? Put it together and we'll fire it on alky blown. Lippy
  7. lippy
    Joined: Sep 27, 2006
    Posts: 4,150

    from Ks

    Parts man. If you like your chassis, build a copy and update it here and there. You'll be glad you did, for peace of mind if nothing else. Lippy
  8. I couldn't afford a roller cam and all the goodies that go with it. Gotta break in the hydraulic cam.

    I keep flipping back and forth between this and WDIFL. I guess I'm hooked.
  9. Candy-Man
    Joined: Mar 21, 2006
    Posts: 1,704


    Kool post, nice....
  10. c-10 simplex
    Joined: Aug 24, 2009
    Posts: 1,331

    c-10 simplex

    RE: #4, #7:

    1) #4, i've always wondered how you make sure the rear axle is squared to the chassis? It is solidly mounted in the chassis and there is no adjustment. Do you just make sure the chassis is perfectly square and make two (or 4 whatever the case may be) identical mounting tabs, therefore everything will be square?

    2) #7, How do determine what the finished ride height is going to be before the tabs of the front susp are attached? What i'm trying to say is without weight put on the spring(s), you can't determine where/how the car will sit, but you can't put weight on the springs without welding up tabs and trying it out first----sort of like the whole chicken vs. eggs thing.

    i want to put double a-arms on my next altered project and probably use coilovers, but i don't want to weld, cut then re-weld over and over on a trial basis because i think it will weaken the tubes if i do this. Perhaps i could use aircraft clamps and saddle joint type setup until i get the desired ride height and then finally weld the tabs in?

    3) Now, as far as the whole "slower than 10.00" thing: When i brought my first altered to the track (this was a used funnycar chassis from 72ish) all they looked at was my fuel line(couldn't have more than 10" of rubber if i remember correctly) and how the engine and battery were grounded. They didn't give a shit about the frame or any of the tubes. i don't think (but can't fully remember) if they asked how fast it would run; i couldn't get it to run faster than 9.99 anyways as i was running a bone stock SBC on gas. This was/is an NHRA sanctioned track.

    So, i guess it fully depends on the track as to how stringent they're going to be as far as inspection.
    Joined: Aug 28, 2005
    Posts: 1,864


    Yes you make shure that the rearend is square. Just measure everything.

    On question 2. The front torsion is adjustable.
    Joined: Aug 28, 2005
    Posts: 1,864


    To better answer your questions about ride height and squareing up the rearend.

    As to the rearend.

    The pinion is centered in the chassis. And held there by the alignment bar. To make shure this is square and the pinion is in the middle while using a saddle mount on the jig. Drop a plumb bob from the pinion center down to the center of the line on the jig.
    So now it is centered but is it square and level. To make shure it is square measure out from the center of the pinion to a spot on the axle tube a distance that you pick. The further out the better. And place a dot with a sharpie. And do the samething on the other side. Now measure from the dot on each side to the center of the jig at the front. Do this on both sides. The motor will be in the way. So you can use a carpenters square on the front of the jig to raise the height of where your measuring to . Make shure this number is the same. If not the saddle mount might need to be notched alittle more on one side to make it move alittle more.

    Now make shure it is level. So if the rear differential is level and square and centered , you are set.

    The saddle mount is a way to go if you dont know what back space wheels you are gonna use. If you know that ahead of time you can narrow the rearend before hand and make pucks where the wheel bearings will be with a hole in the center and that simplifies things .

    As to ride height. I use the bottom of my 3" tall jig as a reference for the ground. So the rear is a no brainer with a solid mounted rear. Just make shure your tires are really the diameater that they are advertised as. And remember that tires bulge when weight is sittin on them.

    On the front with a torsion bar suspension is what I know. I dont deal with A arm dragsters. But with the torsion bar make it point to the ground at about 4 o'clock. Then when weight is on the car it will level out. This can always be tuned with adjustment in the torsion bar.

    Hope this helps. Sorry for the short answer before. I was just real busy and should have made the time to answer in more detail.
  13. N8B
    Joined: Sep 28, 2009
    Posts: 478


    I think I love you....

    Thanks for the tech.
    We have four club brothers building and or restoring these right now as we speak.
    Great timing.
  14. bogart62
    Joined: Dec 20, 2006
    Posts: 180


    Wow! Thanks for posting, really enjoyed the post.
  15. Lippy said :D Once you drive one of these you will NEVER crawl in a car with doors again.
    I am afraid that is true. even though my little FED is a shorty and was more about trying the snowmobile carbs than anything else I am now addicted to FEDs. I used to run a big ol Charger , a Hemi Dart and a few other slammers but nothing gets me as wound as a couple of passes on the SR dragster. The thought of running a slammer now does not appeal to me. I would like one of my slammer engines though in a FED. Probaby though i would be too scared to give er. Anyway with spring almost here I have been working on the little Sr dragster getting ready to make a few more passes.
    Meanwhile in the back of the shop a longer slimmer rail is taking shape.

    Attached Files:

    Last edited: Mar 9, 2010
  16. voxnut
    Joined: Oct 30, 2008
    Posts: 205

    from sacramento

    Joined: Aug 28, 2005
    Posts: 1,864


  18. HemiRambler
    Joined: Aug 26, 2005
    Posts: 4,140


    c-10 simplex, I know King Chassis answered your question and I'm not second guessing him - I'm just gonna give another method of squaring the rear end. In my case I made a bushing for my rear end fixture that housed a laser. The fixture was true to the mounting surface, but in reality doesn't have to be, it just makes it alot easier to use if it is. The laser itself is rotated 360 deg - to ensure it is actually calibrated square to the fixture - if it is "off" no worries - just use the center of the "circle". I project the laser dot to the front axle centerline - adjust rear until it's dead on. You can remount(rotate) fixture in rear end housing to ensure it's accuracy - again if it's off - use the center of the "circle".

    BTW I have no idea how the PRO's do this - but it worked for me.

    King - you rock!!
  19. H.G. Wells
    Joined: Mar 11, 2006
    Posts: 386

    H.G. Wells

    You tell em Lippy. I did put a shift light in mine just in case I did not hear so good, ran it off the little dry cell for the trans break. When I added a battery because my crew bitched about having to tote one on the starting line, I added a memory tach under the cowl. You are right about not having time to watch anything but the oil.

    Parts man, there is no shame in a 10 second car. Last season when I coughed and sputtered with a bad cam and ran a 10.50 the crowd still loved my car. Collect the pieces you need and run the shit out of it.
    Then when you want to go faster either step up with a better chassis or build one.

    Mine will run this Sunday for the first time this year. my sticker is already pecking out.
  20. bigd4xman
    Joined: Feb 4, 2007
    Posts: 740


    The first time I ever saw one of these run was at the HAMB drags, it was Zorbas Ghost, I had to clean my shorts! Looks like a shitload of fun! I'm aiming to start on a HA/GR when my trucks are running. Maybe the future holds a rail, I can dream.
  21. HemiRambler
    Joined: Aug 26, 2005
    Posts: 4,140


    H.G.Wells I don't even watch the oil!!! My buddy checks the oil pressure on the line - I can't even see the gauge on the back of the motor. I do see the shift light though :)
  22. Toner283
    Joined: Feb 13, 2008
    Posts: 1,315


    Joined: Aug 28, 2005
    Posts: 1,864


    HemiRambler is right . There is alot of ways to skin a cat. And he has the high tech way. And these days if you have access to the high tech stuff. Do it. Just dont let your car look hi tech. Long live these front motor dragsters. brian
    Swamp Rat 4 likes this.
  24. I'm doing my best to keep my car low tech. I keep wanting to add sysetms and make it more complicated than it has to be.

    Got the chute pack mounted last night. :)
  25. Dan
    Joined: Mar 13, 2001
    Posts: 2,362


    Dude, your welding in your pajamas... :)
  26. dabirdguy
    Joined: Jun 23, 2005
    Posts: 2,404

    Member Emeritus

  27. cool thread...
  28. I already have planned to install an oil pressure and temp. gauge in mine but I have noticed a lot of guys don't have any gauges. I geuss once you are going it doesn't matter if something is gonna blo it's gonna blo. :p
    Last edited: Mar 11, 2010
  29. 150J/F
    Joined: Jan 2, 2010
    Posts: 236


    This is a great post. Hope it inspires some guys to give it a try. I have a simple
    table...just something to hold parts while you are building stuff. Works fine. 7.50
    spec. is not difficult. Bends can be purchased many places. All parts are available.
    Just get out there.
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