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why did the nhra ban the bbf from top fuel

Discussion in 'The Hokey Ass Message Board' started by wayne421, Aug 3, 2012.

  1. Do you think a water cooled, sand cast head(Kaase Boss Nine),
    can run with the CNC billet head hemis ?

    Does anyone make an Aluminum block for the Fords ?
  2. wayne421
    Joined: Sep 21, 2011
    Posts: 348


    I doubt the construction will matter it will hold up john builds a quality product we just want to see somthing a little different out there than the hemi and the Chevy. And we arnt necesalry going to run t/f
    wtatman likes this.
  3. Kenneth S
    Joined: Dec 15, 2007
    Posts: 1,527

    Kenneth S

    Typical, NHRA BANS Ford Boss 429 engine<!-- google_ad_section_end -->

    <HR style="BACKGROUND-COLOR: #999999; COLOR: #999999" SIZE=1><!-- / icon and title --><!-- message --><!-- google_ad_section_start -->Boss thrown for loss
    TODD MILLES; The News Tribune

    The excitement in Walt Austin's voice quickly turned to fed-up disgust.

    Austin, of Tacoma, has been one of drag racing's most innovative car builders for a half-century. His son, Pat, is a four-time National Hot Rod Association Alcohol Funny Car champion, and was voted one of the all-time 50 greatest drivers when the NHRA celebrated its 50th anniversary in 2001.

    After nearly a three-year layoff from full-time racing, the Austins were due back for the 2004 season in the NHRA Alcohol Funny Car class, debuting a Ford Mustang Boss 429 as their power source.

    When word of the Austins' new car reached racing circles, the project quickly met resistance - so much, the NHRA passed a new block-specification rule that rendered the Ford engine obsolete.

    Even though the rule does not go into effect until the 2005 racing season, the Austins aborted their plans to return to the sport they have so greatly benefited, both as racers and spokesmen.

    "We were going to upgrade (the Boss 429) with the latest technology with state-of-the-art stuff," Walt Austin said. "Word of what we were doing got out. The NHRA wants to keep a level playing field, and they were nickel and diming us on some of the changes anyway ... but then they came out with this big deal, saying the specs have changed."

    The rule specifically deals with the spacing of cylinders in the engine block. To bore a cylinder is to enlarge it to accommodate a bigger piston, which allows more fuel and air to pass through, thus creating more horsepower.

    In the 429 Boss engine, the spacing between cylinder bores, from center to center, is 4.9 inches, which is what the NHRA has previously regulated as being legal. Since the Austins revealed their designs, the new dimension will be limited to 4.84 inches, starting in 2005.

    The Austins said they have not received a clear explanation why the rule was passed, although many of the association's recent decisions have been to stem rising costs. Attempts to reach officials in the NHRA national technical department this week were unsuccessful.

    What is clear is that two of the sport's primary aims have been affected - innovation and history.

    First of all, the Ford engine has had a place in the sport for a long time.

    Carroll Carter is an engine builder and Ford supplier from Manassass, Va., who has been a consultant on the Austins' project for the past year. He has been involved in the sport for 35 years, and has manufactured the Boss 429 engine and parts since 1995.

    Primarily, racers in the sportsman classes such as Alcohol Funny Car or Comp Eliminator have used the 429 Boss. But so did Bob Glidden, the famed 10-time Pro Stock champion from the 1970s and 1980s whose 85 professional victories rank him No. 3 on the all-time list.

    "Several (drag) racers have been racing it, off and on," Carter said of the Ford engine, which was first raced in NASCAR in the late 1960s. "In the last 1 1/2 years, people have showed (moderate) interest in it, but then Walt really got interested in it. He tested the engine on his dyno in his shop and that is how he got familiar with it. He wanted to do a new project, and got an idea to build a Ford."

    Walt Austin has been experimenting with the engine for three years.

    "We knew it had a lot of potential, but it had a lot of problems," Austin said. "We were going to eliminate the problems. But it wouldn't be something that would be a half-second faster than the (Funny Car) class."

    The Austins had their engine block built by John Rodeck of California, a builder they've used for 15 years. They claim the cylinder spacing of the Boss 429 engine allows for a thicker sleeve to give the block more stability and protection from wear during runs.

    Sure, the bigger block creates more horsepower, but Pat Austin said his car already had more horsepower than the tracks they race on will hold.

    "What we did was take the combination of the 429 Boss and have made it more user-friendly," Pat Austin said. "It is a cosmetic change, really."

    Early in the year, word of the Austins' project spread. The NHRA asked to review the blueprints, Walt Austin said.

    In late March, several racers, including the Austins, were sent a letter by the NHRA stating that engine specifications for the Alcohol Funny Car class had been changed.

    "I'm not angry at anybody," Pat Austin said. "It's their playground, and they make the rules."

    The Austins are not the only ones affected by the rule change. Greg Hunter, a native of Canada who now lives in Sheridan, Wyo., was planning on racing in NHRA divisional competition full-time this year with the Boss 429 engine in the Alcohol Funny Car class.

    Hunter tested his car in Las Vegas, got mixed results (6-second range on a quarter-mile track) but was pleased enough to start scheduling divisional races.

    That is, until the NHRA stepped in.

    "It blindsided me. I've been putting my Ford combination together for two years," Hunter said. "When I first heard it, I thought there was no way they could do that ... to completely outlaw the Ford engine."

    The first weekend of April, Hunter went to the NHRA stop in Las Vegas, circulated a petition of protest among the drivers and even tried to talk to NHRA officials about the rule change.

    "They haven't given me a reason whatsoever," Hunter said. "I went to one (tech official) to ask, and he turned his back on me. It was sort of like, 'Oh my God, what's going on here?'

    "I even talked to Bernie Fedderly (pro driver John Force's co-crew chief with Austin Coil) just to see if somebody from Ford would help me on this. Bernie said their crew was doing the same sort of (testing), putting parts on the car that would handle the force and make them run better ... but that the NHRA stopped them as well."

    Hunter, 33, went to the crew of another prominent engine builder in the sport who told the racer what the Austins were building would make everything else "obsolete" and dominate the sportsman class.

    "I don't know how (the NHRA) can base their input on what somebody else is saying," Hunter said. "We have a ways to go."

    The rule change has affected all parties involved. Carter said his business has declined - drivers who were going to purchase his engines and parts now don't need to, and the builder has a garage full of Ford engines.

    Walt and Pat Austin still plan on racing, but not under the NHRA umbrella. Instead, they will enter some open events for match racing.

    The NHRA? The motor sports association is losing one of its best drivers ever - a driver who does not expect the differences to be reconciled anytime soon.

    "When you take innovation out of the sport, it is just not appealing to us," Pat Austin said.
  4. Mooseman
    Joined: Apr 4, 2007
    Posts: 309


    The hemi was the engine of choice for the majority of teams well before the nhra started restricting things, the restrictions and rules of what can and cant be used came once everyone was consistantly running 4 seconds over 300mph.

    I think in the beginning it came down to what worked the best to get the best results, people used what they new would give them the best chance of winning. When its like that eventually everyone is going to run a similar piece.
  5. I Drag
    Joined: Apr 11, 2007
    Posts: 884

    I Drag

    Half you guys are talking about current NHRA TF and half of you are talking about vintage TF. Two different things.

    Even with a 500" limit, bore spacing gets specified to keep guys from making bigger bore, short stroke motors. Bigger bores allow bigger valves, or unshroud valves if theyre limited in size.
  6. Mooseman
    Joined: Apr 4, 2007
    Posts: 309


    The other thing is that the hemi even the early ones and the 426 was so popular for use in nitro racing that parts development was huge for those engines and eventually the engines became purposely developed for nitro racing.
  7. poprockcrusher
    Joined: May 17, 2009
    Posts: 123


    wasn't this in the news a few decades ago ?
  8. Capt Crash
    Joined: Jan 21, 2008
    Posts: 108

    Capt Crash
    from Colorado

    I know what you mean. I have only been around the top fuel engines that make 8000 horses each. I cant wait until I find the ones that make 15,000 each:D
  9. Kenneth S
    Joined: Dec 15, 2007
    Posts: 1,527

    Kenneth S

    Only if you consider 2004 (8 years ago a few decades) then no. Chuck Seyler had a Boss 429 powered T/F car from 1985-1991, and it ran best of 5.51 @ 255 with a limited amount of $$$. He used the same block, and heads (then made by Nick Arias. and Alan Root for Ford) that Bob Glidden ran when he was dominating P/S in the mid 1980's, thru the mid 1990's.
  10. moefuzz
    Joined: Jul 16, 2005
    Posts: 4,950


    Over the years, General Motors has forced sanctioning comitte(s) to change the rules in order to block the usage of certain Ford and Mopar engines.
    This was done for the simple fact that General Motors had nothing that could or would compete with the new and up and coming products from their competitors. (1960's up)

    General Motors stated that the rules be changed or GM would retaliate by pulling ad revenue from those sanctioning bodies.

    It worked, Ford and Mopar engines were dissallowed with a simple rule change and this allowed GM to become the new champion through threats to sanctioning bodies.

    General Motors used this ploy several times to insure that their engines/cars dominated the winners circle.

    Today: General Motors vehicles/Engines are placed on a (dishonest) ''high pedestal' simply because GM engines won races AFTER Ford and Mopar were banned.

    A more recent example is in how GM threats allowed for drivers like Dale Earnhardt to continually bump the lead driver into the wall on the final lap of almost every race he/GM ever won.

    This of course set Dale Earnhardt/GM as the one of the most winning-est drivers/cars out there simply by threatening to withdraw advertizing funds.

    -During 60's NASCAR racing, GM forced NASCAR to dissallow both Mopar and Ford Hemi engines.
    This resulted in Mopar boycotting racing/ad revenue all together and Ford drastically cut back their funding/racing ad revenue during that time period.
    -"Research on the 1963 DOHC Mopar Hemi was well underway and the DOHC Hemi was tested and even run under its own power. Research stopped in 1964 when NASCAR banned the SOHC Ford 427 and Chrysler's own race Hemi".

    Ironically this left General Motors (along with cigarettes and booze) as the top revenue generators for yet another form of racing.

    Handily, with General Motors supplying the bulk of NASCAR ad/racing revenue it became even easier for GM to have rules change to suit their needs and insure that GM engines/cars would become dominant in racing history.

    Call it what you want I call it cheating but don't at all find this a surprise given General Motors inherently dishonest past and history.

    Last edited: Aug 5, 2012
  11. Vandy
    Joined: Nov 15, 2009
    Posts: 368

    from L.A. Ca

    This is not entirely true, in fact only the first sentence is correct. The heads were made by Billy Frontuto & finished machined and assembled by me. In fact I made the first test runs on the heads in my car. And the new block was a Nick Arias only block that replaced the Root block, I received block #2 after rejecting #1 as not suitable for use.
  12. Vandy
    Joined: Nov 15, 2009
    Posts: 368

    from L.A. Ca

    You must have been asleep for a long time !! We made billet boss heads for the 385 Ford over 24 years ago & billet blocks have been made for at least 15 years. Both cast aluminum blocks and heads are made as well as the billet.
  13. Instead of asking for a bunch of opinions of people here, many who have little knowledge of nostalgia Top Fuel rules and procedures, I suggest you contact them directly.
    If you tallk to them and present your point, you may be able to get the engine permitted. Just because something is in writing, does not mean it cannot be changed.
    On the practical side, I doubt anyone in the upper echelons running N T/F is afraid on your 385 Ford. They would probably be happy to have another car wanting to enter into the class. Having a diverse power plant cannot hurt crowd appeal either for N T/F and that is a good thing for everyone.
    If you are serious and want to run Top Fuel, spend some time talking to them and some of the better known teams in the class.

    I did the same thing a dozen years back when I wanted to put together a Pontiac to run in the same class, Nostalgia Top Fuel.


    The rules back then said early hemi, ford or chevy engines. No mention of a Pontiac. Of course, no one had wanted to do such a thing in 35 years. I presented my case to them and they opened up the rules for me and I was in. They even allowed and entered Pontiac cylinder heads of my choosing, including my exotic M/T HEMI heads, right into the rules.

    You can probably do the same thing. Have you really tried?


    my biggest issue ended up keeping up with expenses,. It takes stupid money to run blown fuel. You have the be the deepest of a nutjob gear head ( like me ), or wealthy, to do this.
    I know everyone cries at times about how much things cost but, until you run blown nitro, you do not know what you are talking about. Crazy amounts of money for a 'normal' income person. It is hard to comprehend, nothing comes close.
    But, oh, what a stiffy you get when you see all 8 pipes light up and that ancient 389 running down the track. It is coolest thing! I am grateful to the Lord to the opportunity to do this ( when I can afford to ).

    Best to you.
    Last edited: Aug 5, 2012
  14. Vandy
    Joined: Nov 15, 2009
    Posts: 368

    from L.A. Ca

    In the NHRA big show classes all motors must be approved 426 Hemi based only
    In Nostalgia NHRA had nothing to do with the rules until the Big Heritage take over, NHRA claimed Eminent Domain over all nostalgia racing on NHRA sanctioned tracks & overnight changed the rules to toss the Ford, There is only 3 automotive motors outlawed #1 Packard #2 Cadillac #3 385 Ford At this time I'm fully convinced they were not afraid of Caddy's or Packard's. What are you afraid of ? the truth ?
  15. So make some billet "Boss Nine" heads, scaled to fit a Hemi block.
  16. Vandy
    Joined: Nov 15, 2009
    Posts: 368

    from L.A. Ca

    I didn't start this thread so I can't speak for him. I have ran my 385 Ford on blown fuel & have used up many drums of Nitro learning how to make my Ford run & run well. Everything you have said was true but no longer is even remotely correct. Yes I have tried to talk to NHRA rules makers, they refused to even discuss the Ford ban. They referred me to follow the rules and make a written request. I made the written request & mailed it to the required person = Registered mail. NHRA has not and most likely never will reply.
  17. Vandy
    Joined: Nov 15, 2009
    Posts: 368

    from L.A. Ca

    Please understand that NHRA put a lot of thought into this Ford ban. By using a scaled down bore center block you would violate the + or - .015 rule. The same thing would occur by off set boring a Ford block to a lesser bore center. The people at Ford sold their soul to NHRA & even now are quietly eliminating the 385 from all it's programs.
  18. Kenneth S
    Joined: Dec 15, 2007
    Posts: 1,527

    Kenneth S

    All Ford is worried about now is their "modular" engine, I hate those things.

  19. Either way, fuck the NHRA.
  20. Phil1934
    Joined: Jun 24, 2001
    Posts: 2,717


    They have a 6.2 SOHC from new Super Duty trucks doing good in a Mustang now.
  21. Truckedup
    Joined: Jul 25, 2006
    Posts: 3,974


    Moefuzz, your anti Chevy attitude makes interesting. reading..But..correct me if I'm wrong,but wasn't Chevy a non factor in Nascar during the 60's when Ford and Mopar dominated the races? Then how did the supposed ban by GM do them any good? When the Hemi was banned in the late 60's do you think it was GM behind that or perhaps Ford because they were being beaten by Mopars not by Chevys? Or was Nascar just trying to get more brand names in the winners circle? Like the Toyota brand name today.
    Up till about the mid 80's,Nascar engines were based on production block and heads.The Chevy SBC required a lot of work to be competitive,it was not a slam dunk.I'm no Nascacr fan but the engine is just one part of the winning formula,the biggest part is the crew and suspension tuning.
    Last edited: Aug 6, 2012
  22. Vandy!
    I have to agree about the obscene cost of running a blower on nitro. It killed the four of us back in the 70's with a cast iron '92 and four hole Hilborns! I can't imagine what it would be like now. But when my friends ask me what it was like, all I can do is smile and say "you had to have been there". You just can't describe it. Mike
  23. They don't that's why they are fighting with them. :rolleyes:

    Better stay back mines got a leetle sward lookin' thangy on it and I aint afeert ta use it. :D
  24. Mr48chev
    Joined: Dec 28, 2007
    Posts: 28,531


    The Key there is your last sentence: As Kaletta did in the LATE 60's The rules for the nostalgia drags usually stipulate engines available before a certain date in certain classes.

    As old as they are cars and engines from 1969 fit into the "new" car/engine category for a lot of people.

    A car set up as it would have been in 1969 would be one hell of a big hit at Street Machine events though.
  25. Vandy
    Joined: Nov 15, 2009
    Posts: 368

    from L.A. Ca

    The name of this thread is

    Read the rules on engines as posted earlier in this thread and try to find anything remotely close to what you are talking about. There is no stipulated, certain date.
    Just imagine all 350 Chevys being banned because they were first made in 1968, same year as the 385 Ford
  26. Gasser1961
    Joined: Nov 25, 2008
    Posts: 1,104


    Anyone know what the IHRA rules say about BBF's in TF or other classes. I know they run AA/FA's at the Nitro Jams. Would you be able to build a Ford AA/FA? NHRA has the AA/FA classified as exhibition, that why they are not required to run front brakes or CF brakes.
  27. Fenders
    Joined: Sep 8, 2007
    Posts: 3,922


    ....Earnhardt is forced into the wall as Ken Schrader makes contact in Turn 3.....

    Payback's a bitch, huh Dale?
  28. oj
    Joined: Jul 27, 2008
    Posts: 6,257


    I believe this statement is uncalled for, off topic and offensive.
  29. Larry T
    Joined: Nov 24, 2004
    Posts: 7,661

    Larry T

    I agree.
  30. poprockcrusher
    Joined: May 17, 2009
    Posts: 123


    well , is it legal for IHRA ?

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