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Projects Kent Fuller Top Fueler Recreated

Discussion in 'The Hokey Ass Message Board' started by riceman, Apr 22, 2011.

  1. riceman
    Joined: Oct 8, 2006
    Posts: 744

    riceman
    Member

    I am still here and have decided to build another Vintage Top Fuel Dragster. Originally built in 1961 by Kent Fuller and has a great history during it's 1/4 mile asphalt assaults from 1961-1967.

    Kent built this car for Ronnie Hampshire and George Boltoff. Jim McLennon of Champion Speed Shop saw this dragster in Fuller's shop and wanted to buy it. Fuller called up Ronnie and told him if he sold the car to Jim, he would build anotherone for Ronnie and George and the deal was done.

    The Champion Speed Shop Top Fueler became a "Killer Car" in Top Fuel with Sammy Hale driving the Blown SBC from South San Francisco, Ca. The McLennon family was growing and running Fremont and Half Moon Bay Drag Strips, the Top Fueler was sold to Sid Masters and Rick Richter.

    When the news got out that Masters & Richter was going to put their 392 Hemi in the Fuller chassis, a writer from one of the drag racing newspapers said in an article, that it would never work and the 392 was too heavy for the chassis.

    Kent Fuller got pissed off. In went the 392 and a few more upright and diagonal tubes ahead of the motor in the 112 inch wheelbased chassis. On it's second pass at Fremont, Masters & Richter with Big Bob Haines driving set a New Track E.T and Speed. Who is smiling now?

    The Masters & Richter Top Fueler from San Leandro, Ca. is the subject of my recreation. I'll be adding to the Story of this Top Fueler as time goes on. The era correct parts have been collecting and continuing to go on.

    Kent Fuller has supplied me with enough parts for the Fuller Torsion Bar and Front Axle assemblies. He flame cut the parts from the original patterns Kent used from the TV Tommy Ivo's Single Buick Nailhead Dragster in 1958 and on every dragster chassis he built up till he built the Magicar.

    The front axle was narrower than usual at 38'' at the Anglia spindle centerline. Kent said he only built 2 dragsters this way out of over 300 cars he built.

    I covered up the Jim Brissette Fueler, cleaned off my work bench and away we go. The front axle, spindles, kingpins and tie rod was up first. After measuring for the kingpin fit, I had to ream out the spindles and axle ends. I got within .002'' of the finished size, assembled the spindles to the axle ends and did the finished size reaming.

    Fuller told me to wipe the kingpin down with Vasoline and all contact surfaces. Don't use black grease, it will bleed out and make a mess. The kingpin fit was good, minimum play at .002'' at the spindle end and the spindles rotate smoothly.

    I then disassemble the all this, cleaned it and rough finished the spindle on a Medium and Fine Scotchbite Wheels. I may not have to chrome them they came out so bitchin.

    The tie rod length was measure with the Jamnut threaded 1/2 way on the Heim Joint ends, threaded into the tube adapters, cut from 3/4 x .058 4130 tubing and preassebled with 3/8 RH Alloy Heim Joints, (not he cheap stuff you can buy at Lowes) and tube adapters. Once the 1/8'' Toe Setting is set, you are not going to move it, you don't have to buy a Lefthand 3/8 NF Tap to retap the tube adapter after welding and Pat Foster said so. Not recommended for the street use.

    The flame cut parts for the torsion bar assembly were all deburred, surfaces were smoothed out, holes drilled and chamfered on the end caps and arms were rough finished on the Beltsander & Scotchbrite wheels.

    The Torsion bar tube is 1.500 x .065 x 18.625'' 4130 and the Fuller tube arm support ends are fitted, pressed on and will be Tig welded later. 5/16 NF, Grade 8 bolts with aircraft washers, and mini steel metal locknuts for hardware.

    The Kent Fuller Torsion Bar Arms are 3/8'' thick 4130 with 4.250'' pivot centerlines. The front axle mounting 3/8'' hole ends are slotted on the arms. Even though the Torsion Bar Arms pivot in parallel, the arms angle out and run parallel with the hairpin radius rods.

    Not only unique and a signiture of a Kent Fuller Chassis, but keeps the front axle in alignment with the chassis, no side movement of the front axle.

    Enough for now. It has been a few rough months without Julie, but she knew this was coming. Thanks !
    Riceman
     

    Attached Files:

  2. riceman
    Joined: Oct 8, 2006
    Posts: 744

    riceman
    Member

    Here is the Hot Rod Magaine Article
     

    Attached Files:

  3. Special Ed
    Joined: Nov 1, 2007
    Posts: 5,485

    Special Ed
    Member

    ...wondered how you were doing....nice to see you keeping busy.:)
     
  4. 18n57
    Joined: Jun 29, 2007
    Posts: 501

    18n57
    Member

    Looks like an awesome start on an historic FED...Good Luck
     
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  5. chevy3755
    Joined: Feb 6, 2006
    Posts: 1,015

    chevy3755
    Member

    nice job.........
     
  6. Beautiful work, and thanks for the back story on the original car.
     
  7. Mazooma1
    Joined: Jun 5, 2007
    Posts: 17,643

    Mazooma1
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

    NICE! You always astound us with your work, Roger...see you in October
     
  8. riceman
    Joined: Oct 8, 2006
    Posts: 744

    riceman
    Member

    Thank you and I can make a MESS TOO !
     

    Attached Files:

  9. ChassisResearchKid
    Joined: Feb 18, 2006
    Posts: 762

    ChassisResearchKid
    Member
    from Michigan

    This has always been my favorite fueler. Can't wait to see this come together. As always you'll do a bitchin job and make everyone envious. Todd.
     
  10. rd martin
    Joined: Nov 14, 2006
    Posts: 1,657

    rd martin
    Member
    from indiana

    nice work riceman, looking foward to seeing that car!
     
  11. Very cool, thanks for the details!
     
  12. Gary Reynolds
    Joined: Mar 18, 2008
    Posts: 15,541

    Gary Reynolds
    Member

    Looking forward to it. I've been a fan since your brass dragster modeling days. Will you be at the CHRR?
     
  13. voxnut
    Joined: Oct 30, 2008
    Posts: 205

    voxnut
    Member
    from sacramento

    The M&R car has hands down been my favorite fueler of all time. To me that car takes the concept of a hot rod to its logical conclusion. Purposeful, but with a little style- but not so much to distract from its purpose. Looking forward to seeing the progress!
     
  14. Ya picked a good one to do. Looking foward to this project.
     
  15. bobwop
    Joined: Jan 13, 2008
    Posts: 5,881

    bobwop
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

  16. c-10 simplex
    Joined: Aug 24, 2009
    Posts: 1,281

    c-10 simplex
    Member

    Brother rice you are a magician as far as i am concerned. Would you consider doing contract work?


    2) What was the reason for the relatively "narrow" 38" front track as compared to most other diggers?
     
  17. riceman
    Joined: Oct 8, 2006
    Posts: 744

    riceman
    Member

    I am building for my pleasure and enjoyment. Sorry no contract work.

    Kent Fuller told me that the tubing was leftovers of 1.500 x .125 4130. He use to order random lengths for a cheaper price on the tubing.
     
  18. c-10 simplex
    Joined: Aug 24, 2009
    Posts: 1,281

    c-10 simplex
    Member

    Ok, so no aerodynamic or stability reasons for this---just random/economics reasons?
     
  19. riceman
    Joined: Oct 8, 2006
    Posts: 744

    riceman
    Member

    The modeling days continue at a larger scale and budget.

    The CHRR will not be missed !
     
  20. riceman
    Joined: Oct 8, 2006
    Posts: 744

    riceman
    Member

    Sounds like it to me. Kent Fuller is a very sharp thinker and if you can "read" him the answers are simple.

    I asked Kent how he figured the motor angle aka '' Motor Dump " ? Assemble the driveline, front pulley to the rearend and put a 2 x 4 under the crankshaft pulley. Done deal figured out.
     
  21. Looking good Roger!
     
  22. philly the greek
    Joined: Feb 15, 2009
    Posts: 1,720

    philly the greek
    Member
    from so . cal.

    that car brings back a lot of great memories of my many Sat.nights at Irwindale . Thanks ,and looking forward to following this thread .
     
  23. Tom davison
    Joined: Mar 15, 2008
    Posts: 4,419

    Tom davison
    Member
    from Phoenix AZ

    So it was Kent's first car in this configuration?
     
  24. fenderless
    Joined: Mar 31, 2006
    Posts: 1,245

    fenderless
    Member
    from Norway

    Really cool project Riceman, looking foward to seeing this FED!

    ..........................
    Taildragger&fenderless
    <!-- / message -->
     
  25. HemiRambler
    Joined: Aug 26, 2005
    Posts: 4,014

    HemiRambler
    Member

  26. Bored&Stroked
    Joined: Jan 14, 2005
    Posts: 3,824

    Bored&Stroked
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

    Really cool stuff Riceman! I wish I was in your neighborhood, would volunteer to help make parts, do work . . . whatever it takes. Keep us posted and I'm glad to see you have your heart and head into some projects -- is good for the soul!
     
  27. Saxon
    Joined: Aug 9, 2008
    Posts: 2,107

    Saxon
    Member
    from MN

    I started a 3D version of this car, engines a little oversized. I think yours will be more fun when done. :D
     
  28. riceman
    Joined: Oct 8, 2006
    Posts: 744

    riceman
    Member

    This was one of Kent's early chassis designs. He was always trying to make the cars safer by design and body shapes that were pleasing to eye, but looked fast sitting still.

    Every chassis that Kent built was different. Kent's ideas like the 3 point rollbars, mounting a plate at 4 points on the chassis to the motor, Third member front support and torsion bar front assembly all became standards on Front Engine Dragsters.
     
  29. riceman
    Joined: Oct 8, 2006
    Posts: 744

    riceman
    Member

    Today I will make the Motorplate using some 1/4'' 6061-T6 aluminum plate after I clean off the bench again and put tools away. Film later today. Let the FUN begin !
     
  30. The37Kid
    Joined: Apr 30, 2004
    Posts: 21,743

    The37Kid
    Member

    This looks like a great project! Is the original car still around or lost to history? What issue of Hot Rod was it featured in, raining here, I have time to find my copy. I could work on the ALGON for my Lyndwood too.
     

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