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Projects New Front Engine Dragster Build

Discussion in 'The Hokey Ass Message Board' started by blender, Jun 16, 2013.

  1. blender
    Joined: Sep 24, 2006
    Posts: 56

    blender
    Member

    Hello everyone today I restarted a new Front Engine Dragster build and pics will be following. I want to make a good record of what I am doing and home it helps others.
    I had started it several months ago and between work and aggravation I stop and gave it a little rest. I was using a 6" I-beam with a cross arm system I made and to tell the truth I spent more time leveling the jig than working on the chassis.. So I did some research and looked at a ton of jig pictures and cut the I-beam into 2 - 8' sections and made some bars to go on the inside and bolted them together. It made it strong and I do not see any twisting in the I-beam. I am welding 3 legs across the bottom of the jig with the center one being under the center of the engine. I am also getting on the milling machine once I cool off (In Louisiana and its hot today) and putting adjusters on the legs so I can level much easier and hopefully spend less time with that in the future. Then I am going to give it a quick sand blasting in the morning and powder coat it (my main business) Some people have ask about it being so short how am I going to build a 160" car on it. My answer is that I am going to build the back half first and I am using a Mark Williams front axle on it so building the front part SHOULD be fairly simple. I am also building the jig a little closer to the ground about 28" that give me a little more comfort when welding and I work alone a lot so picking up and moving the block is easier for me to handle, and yes I have a engine hoist but as my wife reminds me I need to use it more, but I can move it so much faster. I'm stupid like that! I love all the builds I have seen on here but I just haven't seen any real detailed post about Jigs so that is one of the things I am trying to give some ideas on and hope it helps.
    Thanks and input is always welcome!:D[​IMG]
     
  2. Project Paladin
    Joined: Nov 10, 2012
    Posts: 229

    Project Paladin
    BANNED

    Sounds like a cool project. What type of engine are you going to run?
     
  3. blender
    Joined: Sep 24, 2006
    Posts: 56

    blender
    Member

    I have a small block chevy and a big block sitting in the corner, I just cant decide which one I'm going to use. Since the chassis is going to be a big chassis for me 6'7" 260 I am building a wide shoulder hoop so I can drop either one in I will figure that out next week after I get the jig finished.
     
  4. Rattlesnake
    Joined: Jun 16, 2013
    Posts: 21

    Rattlesnake
    Member

    Sounds like a cool project (the dragster). I used to really love drag racing but don't have the time for it. So I'm moving over to hot rods which I can do on my days off. In fact when I get home in 2 weeks I'm putting my RED up for sale to help finance my A sedan project. Best of luck on yours.
     

  5. dragsled
    Joined: May 12, 2011
    Posts: 1,976

    dragsled
    Member
    from Panama IA

    Good to see another dragster build on here, Good luck on the build, Tim Jones
     
  6. blender
    Joined: Sep 24, 2006
    Posts: 56

    blender
    Member

    Well today after the crew went home I put the legs on my jig. I didn't feel like changing mig wire but I got them all tacked. I got my leveling bases made to put on the end of the legs, but didn't get time to weld those on either (It was a Long Day!) I will finish welding it up in the morning and then we have a chevelle chassis to blast for a customer in the morning and we will knock this monster out at the same time. I did put my machinist level on it just to check it out and see how close it was and it was a 1/4 bubble off in all directions so once I put the adjusters on it, it should be very simple to level. I can see right now that it is much more rigid when I put the block in the background on it the bubble didn't move at all, so I am way more confident in it doing a better job at holding the dragster with my large butt on it. Thanks for checking in! jig3.jpg
     
  7. blender
    Joined: Sep 24, 2006
    Posts: 56

    blender
    Member

    I had floater front mounts on rear engine car so I was planning on using them on this project the only thought I had a concern about was if I should put the frame uprights half the distance forward of the small block mount and keep it available if I needed it for a big block.
     
  8. dragsled
    Joined: May 12, 2011
    Posts: 1,976

    dragsled
    Member
    from Panama IA

    Not sure how much longer a big block is compared to a small block ,but there a few Chassis builders on here that you could ask their thoughts on the uprights, maybe one will chime in,,,,, Tim Jones
     
  9. dragsled
    Joined: May 12, 2011
    Posts: 1,976

    dragsled
    Member
    from Panama IA

    Here's 3 of them dreracecar, rooman, and king chassis, all good guys that don't mind offering their opinon or answering questions, all been building chassis for a long time, Tim Jones
     
  10. dreracecar
    Joined: Aug 27, 2009
    Posts: 3,288

    dreracecar
    Member
    from so-cal

    Small block 21 3/4
    Big block 23 1/2
    Really has no effect. I prefer to weld the front motor tabs on anyway
    The last few cars I built I set them up for 426 Chrysler even tho they would be BB Chevy because one would have to move the upright to clear the Mopar oil pump if they decided to change later on.
     
  11. blender
    Joined: Sep 24, 2006
    Posts: 56

    blender
    Member

    Today it was Hot and nasty and after loads of sandblasting I figured I would move on the other things. (Ran out of Sand) Called Dave at Dragster Supply and ordered the rear end brackets and the frame brackets. I also built a really cool adjustable stand for the front of the engine so I could tune the height a bit better and made it so I will stay where I want it to be. Hopefully I will get to powder coat the jig in the morning. I must tell you Dave is a great guy to talk to and get info from. I could really get parts from anywhere but I like this guy. I told him I needed 3 1/4 inch holes in the rearend brackets he said "No Problem" I said I needed the rearend uprights a little longer again "No problem" Just a super guy to work with.

    Thanks
     
  12. Littleman
    Joined: Aug 25, 2004
    Posts: 2,619

    Littleman
    Alliance Member
    from OHIO, USA

    First ,I would think you need to determine how fast you plan to go.....Then purchase the SFI specification your desired E.T. falls into....This spec. will guide you as far as critical tube placement, tube dia. sizes, tube wall thickness allowed ect.........and will make your build alot easier...and more importantly build something that will tech and be safe..You may already know these answers, just threw this out their since I read no mention of your intent or expectations time wise.......It will be a fun build...enjoy and take your time....the only stupid question is the one you do not ask, always better to ask.....Littleman

    The names mentioned in the other post...are outstanding craftsmen and can answer any digger related question.....
     
  13. blender
    Joined: Sep 24, 2006
    Posts: 56

    blender
    Member

    I am building to the SFI 2.4c spec I figured the better the safety req the happier my wife will be. Not plan on going that fast but the way the specs change I figure it will be good for a longer period. Also since I am a big guy and the chassis is going to be wide a little more moly never hurt.
     
  14. blender
    Joined: Sep 24, 2006
    Posts: 56

    blender
    Member

    I was working on the jig today building my rear housing locator bar (what I call it) and I was looking at some different ideas on how I wanted to do it and I saw this picture of a restoration of a old car. Directly under the rearend housing where they have bent the tubing is that a mitered spice they used to make the bend or are my eyes seeing something that is not there. I was planning on putting a set of bends there but can that me mitered with a splice inside of it? Some of the chassis have a straight lower rail and some have a kick up. I am planning on using the kick up to drop the rearend a bit so my legs won't be to high up in the air making it easier for me to get in and out of.
    Just wanted to get some input?

    Not sure how fast they were building it for but is being setup with a Hemi and a blower.

    Thanks,
     

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  15. dreracecar
    Joined: Aug 27, 2009
    Posts: 3,288

    dreracecar
    Member
    from so-cal

    Mitered bend are acceptable if you place an uprite on top of it. In fact Thats the way D.Long did all the back sections of all the rear engine fuelers he built. Small bends even with the best benders crush the tube before the bend and is why there always must be a an uprite to support it
     
  16. blender
    Joined: Sep 24, 2006
    Posts: 56

    blender
    Member

    Mr. Bruce "You are the man" I was hoping you saw this post I didn't want to call and bother you. Thanks
     
  17. blender
    Joined: Sep 24, 2006
    Posts: 56

    blender
    Member

    OK gents I have all my parts in now except for my rear end brackets but they are in the mail. Only thing left is the steering box any ideas or location of where I can get one, Stange and mark williams looks like they have discontinued them? Been looking at all the suggestions, vw, corvair, ross, crossley the only problem I see with most of these is no one can tell me how fast they have run with them and others I just cant find.
     
  18. dragsled
    Joined: May 12, 2011
    Posts: 1,976

    dragsled
    Member
    from Panama IA

  19. dreracecar
    Joined: Aug 27, 2009
    Posts: 3,288

    dreracecar
    Member
    from so-cal

    Since P&S and SPE boxes are not around anymore, Strange is the only ones that the major chassie builders use now. Flaming river made them also but for the price they ask its probably gold.
     
  20. rooman
    Joined: Sep 20, 2006
    Posts: 4,052

    rooman
    Member

    Stiletto also make a nice box but I am not sure of the current availability. Gary Wood sold the steering box business to Stu Spears of Chassis Shop/ Pro Werks and the last time that I checked with them they were not yet producing new product.

    Roo
     
  21. Ricci32
    Joined: Jul 30, 2010
    Posts: 416

    Ricci32
    Member

    David at Dragster supply is a great guy i now own two FED's that he has built we have become good friend. Custom orders no problem. He can help make your dragster dreams come true. Good luck Blender.
     
  22. tylercrawford
    Joined: Jan 30, 2011
    Posts: 726

    tylercrawford
    Member
    from Buford, GA
    1. S.F.C.C.

    I bought a SPE off ebay for like $200 shipped back when I was looking for one.

    Check out over there or some the funny car/dragster forums if you want to save a couple hundred.
     
  23. blender
    Joined: Sep 24, 2006
    Posts: 56

    blender
    Member

    Well after a heavy work load and some really crappy weather I did not sand blast and powder coat the jig because I have to many items ahead of my stuff so it will have to wait. Today is my time off so I went ahead and set the motor and trans with the motor plate up on the jig for a test run. I am in the process of finishing up by rearend supports but I wanted to get something posted. I am proud to announce that the little yellow bird who had a nest in my rearend housing has taken her 5 babies and flew the coupe. 1 was a little slow so I tried to teach him how to fly and after that failed the mother took over and I guess she was a better teacher than me! On a side note I called to find out why my brackets were not here yet and would like to send my condolences to David Beard and his family for there loss.

    My prayers are with you!

    Blender
     

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  24. dreracecar
    Joined: Aug 27, 2009
    Posts: 3,288

    dreracecar
    Member
    from so-cal

    You need to get a line up bar in the motor.
    With a ford 9" and a long glide its 39" from the back of the engine block to the center of the axle tubes.
     
  25. bcowanwheels
    Joined: Feb 22, 2010
    Posts: 321

    bcowanwheels
    Member

    A car is only as good as the jig its made on and do not powder coat the jig........ And when did spe go out of business ?
     
  26. blender
    Joined: Sep 24, 2006
    Posts: 56

    blender
    Member

    Hi Mr. Bruce I am hooking it all up live. Putting the center section together and I have my coupler for the transmission. The reason I am doing it this way for now is because of my size and I really want to see were everything is going to shake out, But never fear if you look in the very back of that first picture you will see my lineup bar there and I machined it into a center section and made Spacers for the bearings out of some stainless tubing and turned them down to fit and cut a little gap in them to close when I torque them.
     
    Last edited: Jun 29, 2013
  27. blender
    Joined: Sep 24, 2006
    Posts: 56

    blender
    Member

    So far today I installed my rear end setup mount and slotted the holes on it so I can move in and out as I need it. I squared it up several different ways to check and make sure it was square. I checked it front to rear on the jig. Then again from the motor plate and had exact same measurements every where. ( Its square) I made a pinch fixture that I welded a piece of 1/4 plate on so it would sit a little more level and offset the taper in the I beam so the weight would displace a little more even and not cause it to push one way as I was snugging it up. I checked my measurements again to make sure it didn't shift any. I am now heading back to the milling machine to finish the mounts.
     

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  28. dreracecar
    Joined: Aug 27, 2009
    Posts: 3,288

    dreracecar
    Member
    from so-cal

    Call me tomorow so I can yell at you

    And to the Moderators ,I say this in jest and is not a threat.

    SPE lasted about a year after Ken Cox's death. Kerry tried to keep it running but with having to job-shop all the machine work there just wasnt enough money left to keep it going without raising the prices.
     
    Last edited: Jun 30, 2013
  29. dreracecar
    Joined: Aug 27, 2009
    Posts: 3,288

    dreracecar
    Member
    from so-cal

    *ATTENTION*

    Just got off the phone with Strange and they are still making the Funnycar/dragster steering boxes. New part no. S3441 and they come in 3 shaft lenghts.
    The person involved with the online catolog "discontinued" the SPE brand boxes (due to the obvious) but never bothered to install their brand of boxes or just remove the SPE name since the boxes are so simular in looks. Hopefully they will get on this and change the catologe soon. Call them up and give them the new part # if you need a box.
     

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