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Discussion in 'The Hokey Ass Message Board' started by venturesomerite, Jun 17, 2017.

  1. I'd like to make a collection of knowledge and know how here so it doesn't get lost to time and get get passed on. Also this will serve as a launching point of "common mods" for a period correct dragster.
    List any and all old school tricks, tips and know how here. Little things, big things, ideas, schools of thought you name it. This can range from professional drag racing, to stop light action on a Friday night. hot rod, gasser, dedicated drag car. These may or may not be things that people still do. If you happen to know say when these were common. Or if you did it yourself, you can say "In about 64, we were always doing XXXX to the cars" This first hand experience will help put a chronological order to the mods too.


    I'll start off with two examples

    - Screwing the tires to the rim to avoid slipping on launch.
    - Running a coil of fuel line through an insulated Ice box to cool the fuel down.

    Let's see what you you've got.
  2. 1961 Poncho
    Joined: Feb 19, 2017
    Posts: 134

    1961 Poncho
    from Las Vegas

    Roll up all windows before launch.

    Sent from my iPhone using H.A.M.B.
    XXL__, kidcampbell71 and loudbang like this.
  3. Colin HD
    Joined: Sep 14, 2008
    Posts: 238

    Colin HD

  4. RmK57
    Joined: Dec 31, 2008
    Posts: 1,363


    Removing the nuts on your front shocks, leaving out the rubber grommet and replacing it with a lock nut. Gives you an extra couple inches of travel for weight transfer.
    UK Slingshot, Mtn Goat and loudbang like this.
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    Joined: Dec 29, 2016
    Posts: 154


  6. Load the driveline before launce to take up slack. foot on brake, let out clutch a bit. Step back down on clutch. Launch when ready.
    UK Slingshot and Mtn Goat like this.
  7. hemiboy
    Joined: Apr 21, 2005
    Posts: 249


    At the end of the run, Clutch in then chute.
    30dodgeboy, loudbang and deadbeat like this.
  8. 56sedandelivery
    Joined: Nov 21, 2006
    Posts: 6,128


    Most drag races are won or lost, right on the starting line; mostly though what is called "reaction time" (the combined amount of time it takes for a driver to cut a clean light, and for the car to react accordingly). ANYTHING you can do to reduce reaction time gives you an advantage. Cross staging (angled), offset front axle, reworking the spindles so one knuckle is in front of the stock position, and the other side behind (stagger), gives you more roll out. Larger diameter front tires, or lower front tire pressure also gives you more roll out. Then there are a thousand other things, besides reaction time, that make for a winning combination. One of the biggest, is practice, practice, practice! Then practice some more. I am Butch/56sedandelivery.
  9. c-10 simplex
    Joined: Aug 24, 2009
    Posts: 1,331

    c-10 simplex

    "Take care of the money first."

    Kenny Bernstein
  10. squirrel
    Joined: Sep 23, 2004
    Posts: 45,220


    used to be (in the 70s) guys would run a taller/stiffer right rear spring. Something about how the car pulls that side of the rear end up when launching. When I built my Chevy II, one of the rear springs had more arch, not sure why, and I put it on the right side. Then the car sat crooked. so I played with the front leafs, to level it, there's one more leaf in the opposite corner.

    I never seem to hear about guys running a stiffer spring on the right rear, any more.
    UK Slingshot and Mtn Goat like this.
    Joined: Feb 27, 2017
    Posts: 31


    Need a helping hand to pack that Chute? I have a quick pin so I can yank the mount off fast--have a stool with hole cut in top--lay pack on stool top now you have a work bench and can do it by yourself--works like a charm.
    Never saw this before--figured it out myself we pop the chute every pass for show--needed a better way CHUTE 001.JPG CHUTE 003.JPG
  12. Qn the rear we would add the front half of a spring on the right side. a old Dodge-Plymouth Super Stock trick
    loudbang likes this.
  13. lostone
    Joined: Oct 13, 2013
    Posts: 1,074

    from kansas

    Yeah adding a couple extra spring half to the front always seemed to help but then add a u clamp with an extra bar and springs to the rear of the spring pack. By tightening or loosening it you could control how much the rear of the springs separated during launch. In essence your making the spring almost solid.
    Mtn Goat, loudbang and olscrounger like this.
  14. AHotRod
    Joined: Jul 27, 2001
    Posts: 10,406


    #1 advantage on the street back in the day .... Power-to-weight ratio.

    Fenderless Coupes and T-Buckets with nearly stock small blocks of any brand would clean house on Big Block '40 Fords and 55 Chevy's, Hemi Belevidere, 409 Impalas, etc.
    And a set of 7" or 8" wide slicks was also a greater advantage.
    loudbang likes this.
  15. Coil spring cars with Air Lift bags in them..About 30 psi in the right one, 5-10 on the left.
    Even them back up for street driving.
    Mtn Goat, loudbang and olscrounger like this.
  16. Cheat.....well what Squirrel/Jim said....if you look at a stock performance mopar from the sixties....there will be an extra small leaf on the right side....just saying....
  17. studebaker eric
    Joined: May 9, 2008
    Posts: 1,509

    studebaker eric
    from Diablo Ca.

    Tighter valve lash for a little more top end, a little looser to help you on the bottom. Remove your rear seat springs and put foam in place to remove weight and appear stock. Run worn out shocks. The old hot rod mags have tons of tricks for the JR. Stock class racers.
    loudbang, olscrounger and deadbeat like this.
  18. deadbeat
    Joined: May 3, 2006
    Posts: 518


    That's a great idea,,cheers
  19. s55mercury66
    Joined: Jul 6, 2009
    Posts: 3,981

    from SW Wyoming

    There was a local guy with a street roadster who swore by smaller front wheel/tire combos for less aerodynamic drag.
  20. loudbang
    Joined: Jul 23, 2013
    Posts: 27,329


    Leave on the last yellow bulb.

    Install a switch in your field circuit to open the circuit (no current flow) to reduce drag from alternator or Generator.

    Run fan belt loose again to reduce drag.

    With 2 barrels jet RICH and install washers under carb so it's one huge vacuum leak.

    Pump up front tires to 50 lbs to reduce rolling resistance.

    Un-clip the rear half of leaf springs the front half will act like lift bars.
    (sorry for OT car)


    Remove front sway bar for less weight and faster front end rise. Or if you have to keep it ream the bushings so they are very loose.

    Get to the pit lane after watching who you will end up running during eliminations (wait for the fastest guy to get inline first and somebody ELSE get paired with him.)

    Use garden water sprayer to cool radiator.
  21. studebaker eric
    Joined: May 9, 2008
    Posts: 1,509

    studebaker eric
    from Diablo Ca.

    Back off your brake adjustment on drum brakes to reduce drag.
    slack and loudbang like this.
  22. Interesting thread.

    Was told by an old drag racer from the late '60s - early '70s that he used to pack his wheel bearings with STP oil treatment instead of grease for less rolling resistance. Don't think I would ever try that, but, he claimed it helped!
    stillrunners and loudbang like this.
  23. RidgeRunner
    Joined: Feb 9, 2007
    Posts: 836

    from Western MA

    IIRC the Ramchargers reportedly oiled their front wheel bearings regularly instead of packing them with grease. A bit high maintenance in my opinion but hey, they got good time slips!

    stillrunners and loudbang like this.
  24. TA DAD
    Joined: Mar 2, 2014
    Posts: 168

    TA DAD
    from NC

    Some basic stuff was drilling a hole in the front shocks to let the oil out so they would react faster, as mentioned clamping the front half of the leaf spring together to control wheel hop, many a GM racer put Chrysler Super Stock springs under their car because of how well they worked, a pinion snubber was a pretty standard add on for a stick car, then you would have to re enforce the floor where it would tear a hole in it. As mentioned removing front and rear sway bars, you wanted as much front end travel as possible. Brake adjustment was a big factor, later model Chrysler disc were bad for not releasing so guys would add springs between the pads to keep them pushed off the rotors. I had a Dart that ran mid tens in the 1/4 back in the 80's with drums and for me that was about the limit for stopping ability, but there was no rolling resistance. Putting the battery in the right rear of the trunk was pretty standard also. I know of one car the guy went so far as to alter the mounting points of the front wheels to increase roll out.
    270dodge and loudbang like this.
  25. boo
    Joined: Jul 6, 2005
    Posts: 543

    from stuart,fl.

    a friend told me that in 50's he had a flt/hd 32 rdstr., hopped up, but another guy in town had one full race and a lot faster than his. the guy kept wanting to race so he agreed, on the start he left on 2, instead of 3 and he won, the other guy was fuminging, weeks later they had another match and friend took off on 2 again and won. later they did again, this time friend figured guy would also leave on 2, so that time he left on 1 and won again.. was last time guy wanted to race...HaHa
  26. wait...didn't you SBC guys block off the oil line to the canister.....fill the oil canister full of concrete to past tech....then screw on a empty one.....on yer Jr fuel car's ?
    Pete L. and loudbang like this.
  27. studebaker eric
    Joined: May 9, 2008
    Posts: 1,509

    studebaker eric
    from Diablo Ca.

    lead is safer on the engine
    loudbang likes this.
  28. 302GMC
    Joined: Dec 15, 2005
    Posts: 6,019

    from Idaho

    Windshield washer bottle full of methanol, "T" fitting in vacuum hose feeds the manifold when you hit the washers.
    Handful of mothballs in the gas tank before the big race.
    Boring every cylinder out to max except #1.
    RonaldR and loudbang like this.
  29. southcross2631
    Joined: Jan 20, 2013
    Posts: 3,510


    Toggle switch on the shifter to kill one set of points when you shifted to high for more mph.
    Stock drag cars ran way too rich at idle but had the linkage rigged to lift the back of the carb slightly for more cfm.
    Nitrous bottle disguised to look like fire suppression system under the hood. Sprayed the front of the carb.
    loudbang and venturesomerite like this.
  30. edfueler
    Joined: Oct 16, 2009
    Posts: 104


    I'm loving the sneaky ones.
    Pete L. and loudbang like this.

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