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Retro TE 448 FED dragster build tech

Discussion in 'The Hokey Ass Message Board' started by 777, Mar 31, 2011.

  1. 777
    Joined: Jul 17, 2008
    Posts: 196

    777
    Member
    from Pasadena

    Started a new thread b/c a couple friends told me I titled the original thread incorrectly.

    Ford was searching for a project to put their new 412bhp Coyote engine in and I needed a new project to finish for SEMA so I'm building this one for the upcoming SEMA Show but have decided to attempt to address the age old issue of keeping the Chassis Research TE 448 looking old but able to cert to 7.50et.
    The rumored supercharged +650bhp version of the Coyote is what I'm hoping will show up on my doorstep but Ford has since pulled it from their web pages so we'll have to wait and see what they come up with over the next couple of months. Their rep said it should ship late June so more on that later but I did attach a pic of the 412hp version.

    From every thread I've read thus far it, the chassis, probably can't be done safely, and still look like a TE 448 so the gaulet is down and I'll be cutting up my new Keith Tardel car tomorrow morning.

    Since the powerplant is modern the plan is retro so I won't be sourcing 1960 pc parts for this one. Instead it will be a state of the art short wheelbase car with Strange 2-piece rear axle set-up in a fabricated moly housing, Strange bilet SPE steering box and billet spindles with a drilled Super Bell axle up front with a transverse spring and Jake's batwings with M/T Pro 5 drag wheels all around. The body will be a replica of the 1960 Einolander & Candee dragster and I'll work very hard to keep the TE 448 replica looking as it should; although I do like how the E&C car had a different twist for the upper frame rails from the mid-plate forward and I do plan on changing the chassis to that style also.

    Keith does a beautiful job on the chassis and I really have to thank Bobby and Lucky from Old Crow for bringing it down from Keith's to Burbank for me.

    I stared at it all afternoon on the shop floor and just couldn't imagine that I might not be able to cert this car after all the work I'll be putting into her over the next few months. I mulled over the options of floater rear axles and all the SFI periphials that are necessary to run a supercharged engine in a digger and finally decided to load her into the trailer and set her on my coffe table at home this evening with a stack of SFI chassis specs until I figured something out that should satisfy the NHRA tech inspector.

    I'll be removing the two U-bends that form the X in the rear of the chassis and replacing them with a shoulder bar and two similar U- bends. Technically it will have a 6 point cage but really 4 of the 6 will be behind the helmet, could be touch and go there; keeping my fingers crossed on that one, it really is the only sticky point but I could add a pair of uprights to the "candy canes" I just think that would blow the look.
    I will also be relocating the roof bar and adding another forward of it in the vicinity of the front of a helmet. She will also need to be made into 3 compartments by adding uprights and X braces and K members; which is overkill for 7.50 but maybe that will help me get by the prior issue especially since the tubing in the car right now is way over the SFI spec. for 7.50- a good thing I'm hoping. I'll be adding a minimum of 15 major pieces of tubing most all hidden behind the bodywork.
    Suffice to say it is all easier to visalize once it's done but I went over every SFI spec and NHRA rule in an effort to make the cage compliant and astetically pleasing but basically I'm building a mild steel version of a 6.29 and faster chassis with a cage and material I hope will cert 7.50
     

    Attached Files:

    Last edited: Mar 31, 2011
  2. need louvers ?
    Joined: Nov 20, 2008
    Posts: 12,906

    need louvers ?
    Member

    I'm still with ya... Not sure what you did wrong with the first thread!
     
  3. 777
    Joined: Jul 17, 2008
    Posts: 196

    777
    Member
    from Pasadena

    A couple friends told me I should have added the words FED and dragster to the title so I figured I would make the correction while it was an easy fix.

    Anyway woke up this morning and sketched out the plan for the floor and the compartments.
    Still need to define the tubing sizes but did put a call into Strange for the steering box
    {$330.00} since at this point I'll need to know about where the steering box is going and where the pinion will be because those attaching points will define a number of the tubings locations.

    On a side note about SPE style boxes I also looked at the Chassis Shop box which looks like it has a finer worn and sector set but the hardware that holds it all together looked a little low end for a $500 box; they do offer a nice laser cut mounting tab for their box though.
     

    Attached Files:

    Last edited: Mar 31, 2011
  4. Keith
    Joined: Apr 4, 2001
    Posts: 68

    Keith
    Member

    wild! good luck!
     

  5. 777
    Joined: Jul 17, 2008
    Posts: 196

    777
    Member
    from Pasadena

    Update. Beating my head against the wall. I am running into endless build problems.
    Examples being: Wanted to run an I beam drop axle with modern spindle mount rims:
    can't do it since modern spindle mount rims are either Strange or Anglia dimensions unless I make an attempt at reworking stock type Ford spindles or trying to mill the spindles bosses on an I beam down to 1 3/4-inch either way it would have the look I want to achieve.
    So I began to plan option two which was build my own 2-inch od, round tube 6-inch drop front axle. That dimension would match the 2-inch front crossmember. I'd be adding a set of custom spring behind axle batwings. Then I thought why not just order it from someone like Mark Williams? but of course the old style frames are too wide to be compatible with new style funny car axles widths so back to building my own axle. I ordered a set of Mark Williams spindles with axle bosses, bushings and king pins. Can't use the bosses, they are made for 1 5/8 -inch od axle tubes, could make it work but it would look like crap. so now I'll be turning down some axle bosses. Come to think of it there may not be enough free space between the king pin bosses and the back side of the spindle. which would mean swithcing to an 1 3/4-inch axle tube.

    Speaking of axles. I thought since I'm doing this high tech perhaps I should consider the Williams or Strange Aluminum rear axle housing set up for Ford 9 inch dropouts. Seemed like a great idea until the wide frame issue came up again and those housing are only 16-inches wide to the bell flanges; I would need to run spacer or moly tubes connected to the aluminum housing and that would look like the after thought it is.
    Since I'm on rear ends the bolt patterns for the rims that match the two front runner styles I'm considering either not available in a 5 on 5 or they are too wide because they are made for fuel cars or at the least Pro/Stockers or the center hole is too small for a floater axle. The punches just keep coming.
    Just of few of the insane items that are holding things up at the moment. Hopefully I'll have made some real progress by this time next week.
     
  6. rooman
    Joined: Sep 20, 2006
    Posts: 4,052

    rooman
    Member

    For the rear end use the Strange fab style housing for 3" axle tubes (H1110) and then use the F2210 spindle package which will plug straight into the housing and will allow you to make it wide enough for most front engine cars. That way you don't have to turn the spindles to fit the 3.25" axle tubes.
    MW also makes a spacer package for their modular rear to make it wider and although I have used it in a front motor car it may not be enough with a Scotty Fenn style frame.
    If you want to run a big diameter front axle with the Anglia style spindles why not put the ends of the axle in a press and squeeze them down a hair to suit the king pin bosses which are 2" tall for the Strange ( or Stiletto) spindles. SPE are 1.875 and MW are 1.75" so the Strange would work best despite the fact that you already have the MW stuff.) The other alternative would be to buy a pair of Pro Werks (Chassis Shop) weld on spindles (C42-585-2) and plug them into the early Ford spindles. That way you would get the early look with the Anglia dimension spindle.
    As for the steering box in the Chassis Shop catalog, it is actually a Stiletto unit and is as nice of the rest of Gary's parts. I used to use the SPE unit but due to availability problems I have been using the Strange unit since Jeff came out with it. Flaming River also do a clone of the SPE but it is a little pricey and I am a Strange WD. Pro Werks and McKinney have over and under brackets for the box and Neil and Parks have a nice over as well.

    Roo
     
  7. FiddyFour
    Joined: Dec 31, 2004
    Posts: 9,011

    FiddyFour
    Member

    all you needed to do was edit the title, not start another thread... however, this is a bitchin build thread started here...
     
  8. 777
    Joined: Jul 17, 2008
    Posts: 196

    777
    Member
    from Pasadena

    Roo,
    I really appreciate someone to bounce ideas off thanks! I had considered the Strange H1110 with the F2210 until one a Ford rep suggested going "more high tech looking" and more or less sort of said the MW modular would look better with a Ford 9-inch dropout. So I contacted MW and they did tell me about the modular spacer bells but I think they look like a compromise, which they are and MW doesn't offer the bolt pattern for the wheels they want on it, again like Strange does.
    I did pitch the Mitler dragster housing with Strange spindles too but I haven't heard back yet.
    As far the front axle you really are a big help there. I assumed they all made them to about the same dimensions. So I may reconsider a beam with the Chassis Shop weld on spindles. I'll keep you posted. One of the other reasons I went MW was because I just happen to like the look of their spindles and arms a little more then Strange units and the bosses were easy to come by instead of having to turn a set out.

    Truthfully I was hoping for an easy toss together project this time, after sourcing pre-war parts for 3 years for the Belond and 5 years, and counting, of buying pre-'50 stuff for the 777. But building a retro dragster is harder then I thought due to all the compatibility issues.

    Lastly how much of a difference or when do you think the 3.250 axle tubes becomes beneficial in something like this. First I heard we just want it for the show and then FRPP got wind and someone over there thought maybe we could put the supercharged 5.4 in it. So I suppose I have no idea where, how or what the future holds for this car; I just know it better look as though it runs by mid November and I better have some progress pics in the next month or so.
    Thanks again, and hope to meet in person one day
     
  9. Deuces
    Joined: Nov 3, 2009
    Posts: 21,948

    Deuces
    Member
    from Michigan

    I'd love to have one of them motors for my Ford.. :D
     
  10. rooman
    Joined: Sep 20, 2006
    Posts: 4,052

    rooman
    Member

    Frank Parks uses the set up that I described for his rear ends and was the one that put me on to it. Jack and Brett Harris' car runs 5.60's with that package so I think that it is strong enough for what you want. By using the long spindles and plugging them into the inboard gusset in the H1110 housing everything is tied together about as well as you can get. Rather than rosette welding the spindles into the axle tubes you get to weld the spindles themselves directly to the housing and that also makes for a better package. With front engine dragster frame mounting brackets being wider spaced than those on a back motor car there is more support for the housing closer to where the load is being applied so a back brace is not really necessary either.
    The other high tech solution is to do it the way that Tom Hanna did with his car. His spacer for the MW modular is also the frame mounting bracket. Lance Osborne and Rob Sterling did the same thing with the car that they built for Larry Gotelli but it is not as elaborate as Tom's deal which started out as a chunk of billet about 2' square and thick enough to move the mounting points out to the width of the frame.
    Do you need something in other than 5" or 5.5" bolt circle for the wheels that you plan to use?

    This is Tom's deal
    [​IMG]

    Of course if you want to get really trick you can make the front and rear motor plates the way that Tom did as well
    [​IMG]

    It is a little hard to see in the photo but the bellhousing is actually rebated into the mid plate.
    [​IMG]

    Roo
     
  11. AA/Fuel34fordpu
    Joined: Mar 15, 2005
    Posts: 1,266

    AA/Fuel34fordpu
    Member

    Nice looking rail!!!!
     
  12. 777
    Joined: Jul 17, 2008
    Posts: 196

    777
    Member
    from Pasadena

    Roo,
    "Do you need something in other than 5" or 5.5" bolt circle for the wheels that you plan to use?" Yes They want to run 10-inch wide M/T Pro 5 and that rim comes in 4.75-inch bolt circle. But I did note that Strange does make hubs with that pattern.

    Lately I've been getting the feeling Ford is planing on sending their new automatic with the 5.0 Coyote so I may be just putting a blanket in the car, I'll know more when the engine shows up.

    I'm pretty familiar with Tom's work and that car is great; so many things that just have you wondering where to being to look; the overall feel, the way every item fits and his attention to detail is I just mind numbing.

    Like I said I was intitially hoping for a toss together that looked everything but that and it really seems that the more I think about it the more a toss together looks just like that a cookie cutter and that isn't what I want to build for them.
     
  13. oj
    Joined: Jul 27, 2008
    Posts: 6,312

    oj
    Member

    Seems to me you are getting a little too 'high tech' for a traditional TE build, I would locate a '57ish era ford housing and use a Strange nodular cast iron 3rd member and 40 spline axles - can't even have floaters, i don't believe they were being used back then and they would be overkill anyway.
    I'd use the SPE steering box for a funny car, they are self supporting.
    I don't understand the brou-ha-ha about the front spindles as the front axle will be fabricated anyway and you'd put whatever bosses on the axle for teh spindle you want to use.
    This is not going to be a bolt-together DIY kit so you can take most of those catalogs and tossem - they're a handy referance and a source of ideas, but, if you are engineering this contraption by picking '2 items from column A and 1 item from column B' then you are in trouble. You need to build what you want instead of picking out what is available.
     
  14. rooman
    Joined: Sep 20, 2006
    Posts: 4,052

    rooman
    Member

    Go back and read the initial post--it explains the rationale behind the build.

    Roo
     
  15. ChassisResearchKid
    Joined: Feb 18, 2006
    Posts: 764

    ChassisResearchKid
    Member
    from Michigan

  16. 777
    Joined: Jul 17, 2008
    Posts: 196

    777
    Member
    from Pasadena

    With SEMA looming around the corner and the wrong clutch delivered for the Belond roadster I finally have a day or two that I can spend on the dragster.

    So Thursday afternoon I decided to pull down two sticks of 2-inch DOM and tack together the lower frame rails. The crossmembers are also 2-inch DOM .120 wall. The wheelbase will be 120 inches and the center crossmember is just there to keeps things from moving around too much since I'll be building this one on the shop floor.

    I decided to build it from mild steel, all the straight tubing will be DOM and the few tubes that need to be bent will be .134 wall ms to maintain the .118 wall requirement.

    That was quick so I bent up a 1 3/4-inch .134 ms tube for the forward hoop and offset the notcher so the body panels will mount flush with the frame rails and roll bars.
     

    Attached Files:

    Last edited: Sep 3, 2011
  17. need louvers ?
    Joined: Nov 20, 2008
    Posts: 12,906

    need louvers ?
    Member

    Dimensions please? No really, like pretty please?
     
  18. 777
    Joined: Jul 17, 2008
    Posts: 196

    777
    Member
    from Pasadena

    Realizing I need to utilize every hour I have between the two upcoming shows, I made my way to Starbucks and then bent the two main hoops from 1 3/4-inch .134 ms and offset notched the lower two ends that will attach to the rear of the frame.

    A few things have changed in the major compnent that will be used; namely a 5 speed Liberty is now being mounted to the Ford Coyote instead of the Ford trans. That means the body will be about a foot longer then a standard TE448. I kept the height of the roll bars and the front hoop the same. But instead of following the blueprint I'll be "freestyling" the rake angle of the upper tubes and might change the angle of the rear rollbars where they meet the lower frame rails.

    For those new to welding together notched tubes: remember to remove the sharp edges left by the cutter so you'll have a consistent wall thickness to add filler rod too or you'll have a weak chassis.

    This section actually took awhile to get everything squared up; there are quite a few angles and intersection points that need to be right. Depending on how critical you are going to be in regards to acceptable tolerance. My preference is 1/32-inch of error over the entire distance of the chassis; which is admittedly though when you go for building off the floor. The lower frame rails and crossmembers are dead on perfect because I like to use those point for set ups later.
    The front of the roll bars angle was decreased from a standard 448 and once I marked the frame with some basic chasiss components lengths the front hoop was pushed out about a foot further forward then a 120-inch TE448.
     

    Attached Files:

    Last edited: Sep 3, 2011
  19. 777
    Joined: Jul 17, 2008
    Posts: 196

    777
    Member
    from Pasadena

    Got a lot of the critical tubing in tonight and it felt pretty good to go home and know tomorrow the side bars and knee bar should be a breeze.

    I installed the rear axle uprights what felt like a hundred times; every time I set a tire up against the frame I didn't like the balance so I kept moving them forward.

    Again were not looking to light the World on fire with this thing it needs to be a show stopper that can be fun to run and really pleasing to the eye.

    10 hours in and the sun was rising so I set it in the middle of the shop and took a look.
     

    Attached Files:

    Last edited: Sep 3, 2011
  20. 777
    Joined: Jul 17, 2008
    Posts: 196

    777
    Member
    from Pasadena

    Friday afternoon and still no clutch, so back to the JMR notcher and I'll start fitting the side bars. Again these are 1 3/4-inch DOM; I'll be playing with the side bars angle, balancing the rulebook's suggested location and the most aesthetically appealing.

    Put another 4 hours in and ended up getting the side bars, the knee bar and fitting one of the tubes that will be need for the inside roll bars. Those will be easier to visialize once the rest of the cage is installed. I like it so far though and I'm glad I decided to build my own instead of rehashing an old car, or cutting Keith's replica to pieces for this project.
     

    Attached Files:

    Last edited: Sep 4, 2011
  21. big duece
    Joined: Jul 28, 2008
    Posts: 6,374

    big duece
    Member
    from kansas

    I LOVE the pics of the chassis IN the living room ON the coffee table! If I did that at home, OMG.
     
    TheTumbleweeds likes this.
  22. 777
    Joined: Jul 17, 2008
    Posts: 196

    777
    Member
    from Pasadena

    There's a ton of changes so far; not really sure which dims you are interested in. If you are still interested once it gets to the point where you can figure out if you like where it is going I'm sure I'll do a blueprint and I'd be happy to get one to you.
     
  23. 777
    Joined: Jul 17, 2008
    Posts: 196

    777
    Member
    from Pasadena

    Bummer, no 1 1/4-inch tubing on hand so I'm sitting around watching football until after the holiday.

    With the extended rollcage section it will need to become a multi compartment car so look for those updates next Wednesday. Hopefully the clutch will be here by then or the roadster might not make Trump show.
     
  24. Lucky77
    Joined: Mar 27, 2006
    Posts: 2,492

    Lucky77
    Member

    I though I was cool having my 750 Triumph in the livingroom. But I think a FED on the coffee table beats it.
     
    TheTumbleweeds likes this.
  25. Excellent work!!!!!!!!!!! Keep the update coming, when you have time!

    Allen in PA :)
     
  26. Where do you purchase your bright finish Nascar type DOM?

    Allen in PA,
     
  27. Cool build! One to watch for me.
     
  28. 777
    Joined: Jul 17, 2008
    Posts: 196

    777
    Member
    from Pasadena

    Split the compartments today because they were longer than the SFI spec of 28-inches in the lower rails. Actually the rear compartment wasn't but I need to install seat upright anyway so I split that section too.

    All the secondary uprights are 1 1/4-inch DOM .120 wall, I know it seems overbuilt to me too but that is the mild steel spec SFI mandates. I opted for diagonals as opposed to X or K members because truthfully I hate fitting K members and X braces unless they really have a legitament reason to be there in the build and in this car I can run 1-inch diagonals which are lighter then 3/4-inch X braces or K members given the same location, remember every tube must maintain a min wall of .118 when dealing with mild steel. This isn't like a moly car where you can juggle tube od and wall dims to get a lighter and even possible stronger package; with these cars the more tubes the heavier it will become.

    All in all got 9 tubes fitted and tacked in about 4 hours, and that is moving pretty quick for those who haven't done this type of stuff before.
    I added the last pic of the fitting scrapes from today just to give you an idea of how many times you'll be going back and forth if you ever decide to fit up a cage or start building chassis. Remember that's 4 hours of work which was probably at the least 6 cuts on each end of every tube after they were already roughed in close to within a quater in or so.
     

    Attached Files:

    Last edited: Sep 7, 2011
  29. Deuces
    Joined: Nov 3, 2009
    Posts: 21,948

    Deuces
    Member
    from Michigan

    Yep!.. The wife would have tore me a new ass.. :eek: Yikes!
     
  30. 777
    Joined: Jul 17, 2008
    Posts: 196

    777
    Member
    from Pasadena

    A place called Tidden Tubing, it very near the old Irwindale Drag Strip I just found them today. They deal in DOM, Stainless, Steel and Moly tubing and you would not believe the saving. I paid about $2 a foot for DOM. As oppossed to $6 at the place I used to source from.
     

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