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Art & Inspiration How important are the NHRA frame certifications and how do you pass them?

Discussion in 'The Hokey Ass Message Board' started by snoc653, Jul 9, 2024.

  1. partsdawg
    Joined: Feb 12, 2006
    Posts: 3,549

    partsdawg
    ALLIANCE MEMBER
    from Minnesota

    When some friends built a Bonneville car they contacted a SCCA tech who lived relatively close and had him come over to view the car and give guidance.
    Perhaps there is a HNRA tech nearby to do the same. Get the opinion from eyeballs of someone who would be inspecting it. A good discussion could save time and effort.
     
    Unkl Ian likes this.
  2. junkman8888
    Joined: Jan 28, 2009
    Posts: 1,045

    junkman8888
    Member

     
  3. junkman8888
    Joined: Jan 28, 2009
    Posts: 1,045

    junkman8888
    Member

    From what you have posted so far I get the impression you want to change only what you have to to make your plan work. To me this is a dangerous mistake as the golden standard in racing is to always "overbuild" , not see what you can get away with.
     
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  4. Depends on where you run. Some places are serious about your safety.
    Some, are not too concerned, even though they should be.
     
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  5. oldiron 440
    Joined: Dec 12, 2018
    Posts: 3,430

    oldiron 440
    Member

    The thing is you can’t just slap a bunch of bars in a car and then expect it to pas tech at a track. If you’re just building a street car to look like a race car you should be aware of the dangers of having bars in the same area as your head without a helmet on. A simple crash in an intersection could be fatal.
    I agree with building to the rule book and just what you need.
     
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  6. Roothawg
    Joined: Mar 14, 2001
    Posts: 24,883

    Roothawg
    Member

  7. twenty8
    Joined: Apr 8, 2021
    Posts: 2,489

    twenty8
    Member

    Build like your life depends on it............. because, it does.;)
     
  8. snoc653
    Joined: Dec 25, 2023
    Posts: 352

    snoc653
    Member
    from Iowa

    If it gets the off topic front end and electronics, I’ll post for sure in the off topic thread. It already hits 560 tq before the blower. If I set it up to hook hard the trans won’t last. I try to build the parts with the best pieces I can justify. This is why the blower being added was given the green light from the guy helping with the engine and the shop where we spent 10 hrs on the dyno trying to get it to work out as built. Skinny tires were the safety for the original rear end and the 700r4. The tq converter (4000 stall 3 stage) was built to work with my future goals in mind and can handle more than what we’re stepping up to. It also will work in the 4L80. But I hope to keep the car less complicated ( no electronics) and more HAMB compliant.
    Yes the engine will be strapped/chained down. I have motor plates from boat projects that can be modified or used as templates if needed. 275 60R15s from my Skylark clear the springs now (rear end sitting on stands) and are inside the measured fenders. Making sure the will fit and clear with room to go wider if needed is in the plan for the 9 inch.

    To clear things up, I don’t like street cars pretending to be race cars. I do plan to race this car, but I want it to be a street car that races, not a race car driven on the street. Since the car will be in mandatory cage speeds at the track it will get one. I don’t throw things together. I’ll have a cage builder tell me how we can best accommodate my desires (cage shouldn’t be the focal point of the interior) while meeting specs. The point of this thread was to figure out what needs done and hear thoughts on what to consider doing with the frame and other safety concerns. Not to mention how to find out exactly what they expect and will accept. It’s not to get by with the minimums, but it does help me consider how adamant I want to be on things like electronics, extra bars on the cage, boxing or reinforcement of the frame, etc….

    For those offering constructive opinions and advice, I am very appreciative. For people like Jim, who have done what I hope to do, I owe you a beer and look forward to hearing your opinions.
     
  9. Mr48chev
    Joined: Dec 28, 2007
    Posts: 34,364

    Mr48chev
    Member

    I'd say that you are well ahead of the game and thinking it out before you ever decide to take it to a track.
    A buddy of mine had a real sleeper that looked a lot more at home hauling the local big wig in the home town parade rather than making passes on the drag strip well into the 11's but he had the time slips from more than one track to prove it and got booted from more than one track because of it. Funny part was that the track the quickest timeslips were from was the track that he towed his buddie's race car 200 miles to and then unhooked from the trailer and went out and ran quicker than the race car. The engine in the car started out as a 440 Mopar and I think it was original to the car.

    I like the idea of not having all the fancy electronic stuff except for what it needs to accomplish the task. Let old school driver skill and tuning skills do the deed.
     
  10. Roothawg
    Joined: Mar 14, 2001
    Posts: 24,883

    Roothawg
    Member

    For a street car with just an occasional visit to the track, I would go with a roll bar instead of a full on cage. Just my opinion.
     
    Unkl Ian likes this.

  11. How quick can you go, with just a roll bar ? 10sec ?
     
  12. Roothawg
    Joined: Mar 14, 2001
    Posts: 24,883

    Roothawg
    Member

    Yes sir.

    EDIT#10.99 if memory serves. Rules change all the time. I haven't looked at a current NHRA rulebook in a long time.
     
    Last edited: Jul 11, 2024
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  13. squirrel
    Joined: Sep 23, 2004
    Posts: 56,638

    squirrel
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

    ...although it depends on some other things...such as having a stock original floor and firewall in the car
     
  14. Marty Strode
    Joined: Apr 28, 2011
    Posts: 9,246

    Marty Strode
    Member

    Unkl Ian likes this.
  15. big duece
    Joined: Jul 28, 2008
    Posts: 6,843

    big duece
    Member
    from kansas

    When we build our super gas/comp chassis the frame requirements were 1 5/8" tubing and a minimum of .120 wall for mild steel. We opted for .134 wall, NHRA tech might sonic test on the bends, when the tubing could be a bit thinner. There is .120 wall tubing for chassis's but if checked on a bend it could be under .120 and it won't pass.
     
    THE FRENCHTOWN FLYER likes this.
  16. 11.49 and quicker a 5 or 6 point bar is required but I would do the cage just to help stiffen the chassis up. If a race shop is any good they should be able to tuck the cage up enough that you really don't see it. Also anything with an aftermarket power adder running faster than 13.99 needs an SFI rated fire jacket. A 3/2A.1 is the minimum, but I would recommend getting a 3/2A.5 jacket /pants etc. even if you race occasionally. Helmets need to be a snell M 2015 or SA 2015 or newer.You can usually find deals on safety equipment at Speedway Motors or UPracing in their garage sale sections. A few others have given some good advice, don't skimp on things or just do the minimal to get by at the track,what ever track you run. Build it so that if something happens you can walk away from it.
     
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  17. snoc653
    Joined: Dec 25, 2023
    Posts: 352

    snoc653
    Member
    from Iowa

    Especially air in all your tires. He launched with a flat tire. It could have gone down while staging. Someone outside of the car should have stopped the run. So what does that have to do with frame certification? His car was destroyed and he wasn’t. He must have done something right. It was a wicked crash.
     
  18. Marty Strode
    Joined: Apr 28, 2011
    Posts: 9,246

    Marty Strode
    Member

    Did you notice he was thrown out?
     
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  19. snoc653
    Joined: Dec 25, 2023
    Posts: 352

    snoc653
    Member
    from Iowa

    I have fire suits and current helmet and Hans. Just need to take them out of the truck. It’s finding that good shop, before the interior is done. I need to see if it all will fit with the stock factory interior Also need to figure out how the 5 pt will work with factory seats. You don’t want the seat back moving forward and folding you over while strapped in. And racing harnesses aren’t recommended for street driving. A regular 3 pt lap/shoulder belt should be used off track.
     
  20. Safety Third.
     
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  21. snoc653
    Joined: Dec 25, 2023
    Posts: 352

    snoc653
    Member
    from Iowa

    Yes. Still searching for the report on what failed and why. Thrown out is never the plan, but sometimes it is what saves them. How fast was he running? Was his car certified and inspected? Was he driving faster than he was certified to? Other than the flat tire, what wasn’t correct with the car?
     
  22. snoc653
    Joined: Dec 25, 2023
    Posts: 352

    snoc653
    Member
    from Iowa

    Go troll somewhere else.
     
  23. tomcat11
    Joined: Mar 31, 2010
    Posts: 936

    tomcat11
    Member

    That crash was a long time ago. Guys got away with some real sketchy stuff back then and is why we have the rules and requirements we have today. A 12.30 e.t. car does not need certification. It was not a flat tire that caused the crash. It was the driver. He hit the gas pedal again after he had already lifted. in the other lane no less. By accident or on purpose, only he knows. His seat and belts were not mounted properly. By the grace of god he made it out alive.
     
    Last edited: Jul 11, 2024
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  24. twenty8
    Joined: Apr 8, 2021
    Posts: 2,489

    twenty8
    Member

    A real advert for doing things right. His outcome could so easily have been very different.
    I wonder if he is now known as "Lucky" Donny Renfrow......
     
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  25. adam401
    Joined: Dec 27, 2007
    Posts: 2,895

    adam401
    Member

    I’m a pretty new drag racer but a few things I’ve learned.
    Have the rule book for where you intend to run open WHILE building the car. Don’t try to retrofit later if at all possible. Don’t rely on talking to people or Internet forums. The rule book is key.

    The minute they see a supercharger bolted to your car it gets looked at very closely. I run a very low horsepower car but it’s blown with a little 471. Trust me haha.

    Races are won by the chassis, the driver and horsepower. A big engine gets you about a third of the way and in some ways is the easiest part of the equation.
    Drag racing is awesome and once I started 5 years ago I was immediately hooked! Have fun, be safe!
     
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  26. pnevells
    Joined: Sep 5, 2008
    Posts: 551

    pnevells
    Member

    Lots of good information and misinformation here, try to contact your local nostalgia drag racing club and visit a track with them see similar cars to yours . Download the rule book at NHRARACER.com . With regard to chassis cert ( needed for 9.99 or quicker) , in Div 1 where I live you can have the NHRA chassis inspector come to your house (about $80 extra) but it beats hauling semi finished car to the track.
     
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  27. squirrel
    Joined: Sep 23, 2004
    Posts: 56,638

    squirrel
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

    there's a rule about the seat back needing to be supported by the cross bar on the roll bar/cage.

    maybe...maybe not....don't count on any tech inspection to be thorough, you are responsible for your own safety.

    one thing I've noticed is that each tech inspector has his own "thing" that he is real picky about. I guess that's how people are.
     
  28. snoc653
    Joined: Dec 25, 2023
    Posts: 352

    snoc653
    Member
    from Iowa

    There were several factors that contributed to the crash. Him getting back in it was just one. The low/flat tire was another. The timer showed mid 10s on the video. There have been safety inspections for those speeds since I raced in the 70s. And the belts pulled out of the floor. That wasn’t the only tri5 car to have that happen. As a trained accident investigator, I can assure you that no single fault caused the accident. Accidents take a chain of events to happen. Break the chain and there is no accident. I’m probably one of the most safety conscious people around. Thus the build stops to figure out this cert stuff. It’s not a build it and fanangle it to squeak by. There is a chassis inspector in the state now and I buy parts from the shop where he works. I’ll reach out to him and see what he says.
     
  29. tomcat11
    Joined: Mar 31, 2010
    Posts: 936

    tomcat11
    Member

    FYI, 10-12 psi for that size Drag Slick is/was not uncommon. The times you see displayed on the timing boards in the video are the dial in (top) and e.t. (bottom) from the run before. They used the old Chrondek timing system there during that period and it often malfunctioned or did not get reset in time for the next run. Don's 12.30 dial in is clearly written on his windshield in shoe polish. The cage/chassis cert is straight forward. The rule book is pretty clear on what you will need. Have fun and keep us updated on your build. :D
     
  30. RmK57
    Joined: Dec 31, 2008
    Posts: 2,789

    RmK57
    Member

    You can go 10.00 with a basic 5-point bar IF you have the stock firewall and floor. 11.50 is the fastest with no roll bar.
     
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