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Latest News from Christophersen Racing

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Good Guys Nostalgia NationalsOctober, 2017

Good Guys Nostalgia Nationals
Beach Bend Raceway Park, Bowling Green, KY

Bowling Green, KY, is an 10 hour drive; a long way to go for a race, especially since we really weren't sure if we could run the 7.0 number we needed to compete. Still, this was the ET Genie Fall Finals for the NDRL, and we wanted to be part of it. It's a great track and a fun race; the last of the NDRL season.

We drove all day in the rain, arriving at the track late Thursday afternoon. Our fellow racers, Glenn and Anne Lever, saved us a nice pit spot right on the fence, which was great. It was cool weather for Bowling Green but it was supposed to be nice on Friday and Saturday. There was rain in the forecast for Sunday, eliminations day, but then weather here is very unpredictable.

My cousin Barb and her husband TomMy cousin Barb and her husband Tom came down from North Carolina to attend our race. This is becoming a family tradition and I love that we get to spend time with them. They stayed in a local hotel and spend the day at the track with us. They hung out with us all Friday and Saturday and not only did they bring lots of lunch fixings, but Barb likes to fill the role of photographer. We get more pictures at this race than any other all season. Thanks Barb.
We only had one qualifying pass scheduled for Friday afternoonWe only had one qualifying pass scheduled for Friday afternoon, but we were able to make a test pass earlier in the day. The car left hard but then just coasted. All I could do was idle down the track. So it was back to the pits to see what happened this time. What we found was a broken throttle cable. The only spare we had was way too long; left in trailer from the days when we ran the dragster. We checked around but, unfortunately, no one had what we needed. Steve had to make do with the longer cable. He just coiled up the extra length and it worked fine. It will get replaced with the right cable before next season.

With that fixed it was time to make tuning adjustments for our 1st qualifying session. Steve and Norm worked out some changes to the tune up and we actually got down the track this time. I ran a 6.92 at 195 mph, too quick but at least it was a full pass. Anything faster than 7.0 seconds puts us near the bottom of the qualifying order so I was number 18 out of 19 in our class.

It was a little down on power but this was good enough to put us 4th in the qualifying order.We were supposed to get two more qualifying runs on Saturday with eliminations starting on Sunday. With rain in the forecast for Sunday, 3rd qualifying session was cancelled and we would be starting eliminations instead. So our 2nd qualifying session was going be our last chance to get it right. As we were hanging out in the staging lanes, Steve received some very valuable advice from one of our fellow 7.0 racers. One thing about this NDRL group, everyone is willing to help each other. There was some clean up on the track which gave us enough time to go back to our pits and make some last minute changes. We were back in line in time to make our pass. The fuel delivery still wasn't set just right. The engine was lopping so bad at idle I had to feather the throttle to keep it from stalling. But, once I got the throttle down it felt sort of like the old car again. It left the starting line like it's supposed to and went right down the track. I ran a 7.06 at 188 mph. It was a little down on power but this was good enough to put us 4th in the qualifying order.

I was set to race Steve Walczak in his green and silver '32 Bantam, no easy opponentWe wished we could have had one qualifying pass, but at least we knew our tune up was pretty close. The eliminations ladder was posted and I was set to race Steve Walczak in his green and silver '32 Bantam, no easy opponent. Of course, that's true about most of the guys in our Pro 7.0 class.

What had actually happened was the parachute came out.It was time for 1st round and both cars did our burnouts and backed up. We have a routine we follow during staging and Steve normally waves me up into the pre-stage beams. I waited but nothing was happening, at least from my perspective. Next thing I know, the starter waved Walczak into the lights and he took off on a single. Then Steve let me know to shut off the car. I thought something must have been leaking so they didn't let me run. What had actually happened was the parachute came out. Both Steve and Norm were behind the car desperately trying to do something to save the run. Unfortunately, there wasn't much they could do at that point and we forfeited the race. To make matters worse, Walczak's motor destroyed itself going down the track so there was a good chance I would have won that round.

Once we recovered from the disappointment, we chilled out, watched some racing and had a nice dinner. We'll make sure that can't happen again and chalk that one up to lessons learned.

In spite of the long distance and disappointment, we enjoyed being at the track and hanging out with our fellow NDRL racers. We have a lot to be thankful for, starting with Norm Rapson, who's willing to spend his weekends helping us race. We couldn't do it without you. Thanks to the NDRL for giving us a great organization to race with. Also, a special thanks to Jeff Sanborn for steering us in the right direction on tuning this new fat head motor. Last, but not least, to all our sponsors and supporters (see list to the left) who help make it possible for us to go racing. This season has been rough but it's finally behind us and we are already planning on making 2018 our most successful ever.

Susie Q

Pictures from the Pits

Pictures from the Pits Pictures from the Pits Pictures from the Pits
Pictures from the Pits Pictures from the Pits
Pictures from the Pits Pictures from the Pits Pictures from the Pits
Pictures from the Pits Pictures from the Pits Pictures from the Pits
Pictures from the Pits Pictures from the Pits Pictures from the Pits
Pictures from the Pits Pictures from the Pits Pictures from the Pits

September 29, 2017

Nostalgia Drags
Milan Dragway, Milan, MI

It took a lot of effort to get everything done on the car in time to make the Nostalgia Drags at Milan. The pits were already half full by early Friday afternoon, when we arrived at the track. We had no idea how the car would run so we took advantage of the open testing Friday night. Our first shot was only a partial pass; just to be sure everything was hooked up properly and nothing was leaking. The new engine presented some big challenges and we knew there would be a lot of tweaking, but at least it seemed to be running OK. We tried another pass but spun the tires, which we would soon find out was not a one-time problem.

Saturday's weather was sunny and warm with temperatures expected to go up around 90 degrees. The pits were packed race cars and the spectators were filling the stands. Our group of six funny cars was on the schedule for two exhibition passes during the afternoon. They opened the lanes for test and tune around noon so we took advantage of the opportunity. Again, it spun the tires at the launch, started some severe tire shake. Besides not being able to make a full pass, this is really hard on the car, and the driver.

1970 Boss Ford, The Lawman, driven by Bob Pacitto
1970 Boss Ford, The Lawman, driven by Bob Pacitto

We were heading into our afternoon exhibition pass, still not sure what the car would do. I was set to run against the Lawman Funny Car, a 1970 Boss Mustang driven by Bob Pacitto. One of the things I love about nostalgia racing the one-of-a-kind people we get to hang out with, like "Bullet" Bob Pacitto. Click this link for a little drag racing history on our friend Bob. Steve had made some adjustments to the launch rpm hoping it would make the car behave better on the starting line. After we both did our burnouts, there was some confusion with staging lights. Steve had me back up and stage again. Somehow I must have hit the shift button and the car took off in second gear. The good part was it didn't spin the tires and still made a 7.12 second pass. The problem was we still didn't know if we had the launch rpm right.

In the staging lanes with The Road Show ’69 Camaro driven by Bill Anderson’s
In the staging lanes with The Road Show '69 Camaro driven by Bill Anderson's

We had one more shot. We drew Bill Anderson in his 1969 Camaro, The Road Show for our last run of the day. He had made a good pass earlier so we expected to make it a good race. Unfortunately, the tires spun/chattered at the hit and the car shook, lost power and rolled to a stop. It was a helpless feeling, sitting on the track and waiting for the crew to tow me off. Our poor little golf cart could hardly overcome the sticky on the track and it was a long tow back to the pits. All the way back all I could do was wonder just how bad would it be this time. In the staging lanes with The Road Show '69 Camaro driven by Bill Anderson's

We were all discouraged at this point, but still determined to find out what was wrong. The guys put the car up on stands and I climbed in so we could try and start it. Steve cranked the starter motor and I pulled the ignition switch on. Usually this is when the engine comes to life, but absolutely nothing happened. Not good. It was Norm who spotted the problem, a loose coil wire. When the car launched, it must have shook so hard the coil wire fell off. Once that was back on, the car started and everything was fine.

We sure didn't put on much of a show that day but fortunately others did. The race to watch was the finals between Steve Timoszyk in his Detroit Tiger Monza and Nick Tilly in the Shyster Corvette. Tilly made a good pass but came up short as Steve ran his personal best, a 6.38 at 212 mph. Congratulations to Steve Timoszyk and his team. The target is on YOUR back now.

September 20, 2017

Susie Q Recovery Project

The old saying "no news is good news" isn't necessarily true. It's been a while and some of our fans have been asking for an update. Well, we finally have something to report so here it is.

After our engine failure at the end of July, Steve started shopping for parts. Being mid-season, there just wasn't a lot for sale. What we did find, was a complete engine for sale out in Utah. It was way more than we wanted to spend and no way to personally check it out. This made it a difficult decision. However, after some negotiations and the fact that Steve knew who put the engine together, we decided to bite the bullet, I mean buy the bullet, and try to save what we could of our race season.

We knew we would miss all our races in August, which was a huge disappointment, but we'd hope to make our two races in September. Unfortunately, the engine didn't ship as quickly as we hoped and there was no way for us to make the first one at US 131, so we missed yet another of our NDRL races this season. We still had the race at Milan at the end of the month to try for.

With so much to do, Steve didn't just sit idly by while waiting for our engine to arrive. The heads on the replacement engine would be a completely different configuration from what we had, requiring a whole new set of headers. The funny car body on Susie Q is wider than most, so these had to be custom built. Steve was able to get the correct port configuration and thanks to Dave Bruford at OPUSMACH for the design and CNC machining, they were able to make the special flanges. By using a mock-up engine he could start fitting the pipes and tacking them in place.

The engine finally arrived on Monday, Sept 18th. Now with the engine sitting in the car he could check the final fit and start welding the headers. Thank goodness our #1 crew guy, Norm, has been able to come over and give us a hand. Norm and Steve have both spent hours welding and grinding but they're done. They are now at QC Coatings for ceramic coating before final installation.

This is a whole new set up and a lot to get done if we are going to make our race this weekend. Just to get this new engine sitting between the rails, new brackets had to be made. We couldn't use the blower that came on the engine, as much as we'd like too; it's just too big to fit under the doghouse of the funny car body. It was less work to make the modifications necessary to mount our old Kobelco blower onto the intake. Another big job was getting bell housing and Lencodrive aligned. Then it's a matter of getting all the oil lines, fuel lines, cables, wires, etc. all connected and in the right place.

Here's a breakdown our very badass 493 ci Blown Alcohol Hemi. It's a Keith Black-10 short deck block with 4.375 bore, Brand Anderson-5 alcohol heads, Bryant 4.100 stroke crank, and a BAE intake manifold. We're using our Moroso oil pan and dry sump pump from our old engine, as well as the same Kobelco blower, Kinsler fuel system, and MSD ignition.

As of this writing, the engine installation is complete. We pushed the car out of the shop and fired it up. It started up just like it was supposed to and sounded GOOD. It still needs some tweaking to get it tuned in, but at least we know its running. There's still plenty to do before we put the body back on and put it in the trailer, but we will be ready to roll for this coming weekend. We will be putting this new set up to the test at the Nostalgia Drags this Saturday September 23, at Milan Dragway. Hope to see you there.

Susie Q

Fabricating the new headers
Fabricating the new headers
Engine arrived from Utah on Sept 18th.
Engine arrived from Utah on Sept 18th.

Out of the crate
Out of the crate -
- onto the table -
- onto the table -
- into the car.
- into the car.

Exactly one week later we are able to fire it up and it sounds awesome. Nothing to it!
Exactly one week later we are able to fire it up and it sounds awesome. Nothing to it!

July 29, 2017

Kickin’ It Old School
Milan Dragway, Milan, MI

A Bad Day for Susie Q

"Kickin' it Old School" is a fun one day event at Milan, right in the middle of the summer schedule. This race features nostalgia race cars, gassers, funny cars, a car show, swap meet, and even a pin up girl contest. The weather was good and we were looking forward to some fast passes with our fellow funny car friends.

Our first pass down the track didn't go so well, but we had another chance later in the day. On the second pass, the car in the other lane shut off after the burn out, so I ended up on a single. It seemed like a normal pass until I let off the throttle. That's when I heard noises I'd never heard before. My first thought was the engine had a very bad misfire. By the time I coasted around the corner and rolled to a stop, there was so much smoke coming out the car it looked like I was on fire. I got out as quick as I could and the safety crew was right there to check it out. Once we determined all the smoke was coming out of the header pipe and we didn't leave any oil on the track, there was nothing else to do but wait for my crew. I didn't have any idea what happened, but I knew it wasn't good.

Once we got home, we unloaded the car, backed it into the shop and began to take things apart. What we found was the titanium intake valve in #8 cylinder broke at the keeper groove and dropped into the cylinder. Based on the data we collected, it must have happened several seconds into the run. It tore up the head, #8 piston, the rod and cylinder sleeve, along with putting shrapnel in the rest of the motor. We found the intake valve in the opposite head, and the exhaust valve in the bottom of the intake manifold.

Here's what we know so far. The aluminum head, which is a very old top fuel head, is not really repairable. The block needs two new sleeves, all cylinders honed, new pistons and rings and the list goes on. There just aren't parts on the shelf that we can buy to replace what we have, or had, I should say.

That leaves us with only a few options. Steve has decided he really doesn't want to run any more old engine stuff. Instead, he's shopping for a good late model engine combination that will fit into our car, which isn't anything standard either.

He has been on the computer and making phone calls all week, reaching out to everyone he can think of to find what's available and if it can work for our program. By the way, for those who are not in this racing circuit, it just happens to be a bad time to be shopping for this sort of stuff. Mid-season, people are racing their engines, not trying to sell them. Hate to think we will have to wait until the season is over to find what we need.

We're not giving up. There is always the possibility that we'll find what we're looking for, but it is way more work and $$$$$ than we had hoped. One good thing is that the car is still in one piece and no one got hurt. We will be missing the next few events on our schedule, but just maybe, with lots of luck, we will make some of our races in September. Check back in a few weeks and we'll keep you posted.

Steve and Susie Q

Demolition Photo Gallery

We knew #8 cylinder was our problem, first because that is where the oil/smoke was coming from, and the plug wouldn't come out. This was what it looked like when we finally did get it out.
We knew #8 cylinder was our problem
Inside the head, things sure look beat up. Inside the head, things sure look beat up.
What's the intake valve doing way over here? What's the intake valve doing way over here?
These valves look like they have been through a tumbler These valves look like they have been through a tumbler
Looks like we found the internal oil leak. Looks like we found the internal oil leak.
Rod and piston still pivot on the pin like nothing happened! Rod and piston still pivot on the pin like nothing happened!

AkzoNobel BLUE SUEDE CRUISE Summit Motorsports Park, Norwalk, OHJuly, 2017

AkzoNobel BLUE SUEDE CRUISE
Summit Motorsports Park, Norwalk, OH

We are home from the AkzoNobel Blue Suede Cruise which took place July 14-16 at Summit Motorsports Park in Norwalk Ohio. This was our first NDRL race this season, but the third in their Championship Series. Both sides of the track were filled with venders, show cars and campers on one side and probably over 200 racers on the other. The NDRL had over 120 racers competing in four separate classes, plus there other nostalgia racer and gassers running all weekend.

We couldn't have asked for better weather; once the rain cleared up on Thursday, the temperatures stayed between the high 70's and low 80's all weekend. Our schedule was for two qualifying runs on Friday, two on Saturday and eliminations on Sunday. We struggled with qualifying on Friday, first spinning the tires at the launch, then running .004 under, a little too fast for the 7.0 we were hoping for. We tried both lanes and after making two more passes on Saturday, never really had a great run. We ended up with a pass of 7.05 seconds being our best. Normally that might be good for a top half qualifying position, but this Pro 7.0 class is TOUGH. Out of 21 cars trying to qualify, I ended up 12th.

Sunday eliminations were set for noon with our Pro 7.0 starting things off first. The ladder was set with Susie Q paired with Jeffrey Sanborn in his one of a kind blue Fiat altered. Many racers will confess that first round is stressful, and perhaps when they feel the most anxious all weekend. I was managing this really well and felt confident that we had a winning package. My reaction times had been quick and I trusted that Steve and Norm had the turn up we needed for a win. Things went as planned up until the launch. When it was time to go, instead of the car rolling forward the rear tires simply stuck and lifted the front end straight up out of the beams. I turned on the red light, giving Sanborn the first round win. We figured out later what caused this but unfortunately our race was over.

In spite of our disappointment, we enjoyed the weekend. Getting to see so many of our NDRL friends and hanging out at Summit Motorsports Park is always a good time. Our grandsons were with us and got in on the action for a couple of days as well. Besides, indulging in the infamous one pound of ice cream for just $1 makes even a bad day seem better. (Sorry, the ice cream was gone before I could take pictures).

Final Qualifying results
Final Qualifying results
Ready to tow up for another pass
Ready to tow up for another pass
   
Waiting in staging lanes for 1st round of Eliminations
Waiting in staging lanes for 1st round of Eliminations
On the starting line.
On the starting line.

Pictures from the Pits

Team spirit with family and crew
Team spirit with family and crew
Get your Uncle Earls and Susie Q T-shirts here
Get your Uncle Earls and Susie Q T-shirts here

loyal Susie Q fans and every year we come to Norwalk, they come to see us  

their little brother got to come along

they took turns getting dressed up in my fire suit

     

If you've followed our race updates in the past, you've seen these young ladies before. They are loyal Susie Q fans and every year we come to Norwalk, they come to see us. They camp out at the track with their Grandma and this year their little brother got to come along. We had a blast hanging out and they took turns getting dressed up in my fire suit. They thought it was "really hot" in there; imagine that.

Part of the weekend activities included live oldies music provided by the Van-Dells followed by the Bader Family signature fireworks display. How cool is this; these girls dressed up in their Susie Q shirts for the evening. One of these days I am going to win this race for them.

Another local fan, Richard, stopped by to say hello and get his picture taken.

Another local fan, Richard, stopped by to say hello

Our next race is this Saturday, July 29, a fun one day event called Kickin' it Old School at Milan Dargway. Hope to see you there.

Susie Q

 

live oldies music provided by the Van-Dells

 

May 2017

Off to a Slow Start

Spring is always an anxious time as we get ready for race season to begin. Steve put the finishing touches on the car and we fired it up at home, making sure the timing was set and there were no leaks. We then loaded the car in the trailer and waited for a chance to go testing. Our first race was scheduled for May 12-13, 500 miles away in St. Louis. The plan was to make a couple of passes down the track, just to be sure everything was good to go. Unfortunately, it was a cold and rainy spring and we simply ran out of time. The last opportunity was on Wednesday, the night before we were to leave for our race. So it was decided, we would pack up and drive to Milan to test. If all went well, we would leave in the morning from the track and head on to St. Louis.

Well, all didn't go well. As we were warming up the car in the pits before our first run, the oil pump let go and suddenly we had oil pouring out everywhere. We use a diaper and pan to catch leaks but when the oil is under 120 lbs of pressure and it pushes the O-rings out of the pump, well, let's just say we had a mess to clean up. There was 18 qts of oil filling the pan and overflowing on the ground.

At this point the only choice we had was to head for home and order new parts. Steve could put everything back together once he had the parts, but by then the race would be over. This was not Steve's fault at all. The pump had been sent out for a rebuild and the nuts holding it together just gave up. This is why testing is so important. It's a good thing we didn't drive all that way to St. Louis just to have this happen when we got there. I can't help but be grateful it happened on the warm up, and not a little later while I was under power and going down the track.

cleaning up the car and the pits cleaning up the car and the pits cleaning up the car and the pits
After cleaning up the car and the pits, we were glad we had Uncle Earls along to get our hands clean.

June, 2017

8th Annual Detroit Dragway Reunion
Milan Dragway, Milan, MI

Fast forward a month to our second scheduled race, the Detroit Dragway Reunion on June 10th. It was an almost perfect day with clear skies and plenty of sunshine. Hundreds of cars and thousands of spectators came out to enjoy one of Milan Dragway's biggest events of the year. The lineup included a full field of bracket racers plus gassers, old style dragsters and altereds, alcohol funny cars, and even a couple of nitro funny cars. The racing started early and ran all day, treating the fans to smoky burnouts, high speed action, and even a few 200 mph passes.

8th Annual Detroit Dragway Reunion 8th Annual Detroit Dragway Reunion 8th Annual Detroit Dragway Reunion

Photo credits to Tom Turrill and Mike Grosso.

Susie Q was just one of six Nostalgia Alcohol Funny Cars

Susie Q was just one of six Nostalgia Alcohol Funny Cars there for the show. The others included Bill Hallet with his Red Barn Cuda, Nick Tilley in the Shyster Corvette, Monty Stotz in the Blue Thunder Camaro, Gordy Veal in his Motor City Charger, and Steve Timoszyk driving his Detroit Tiger Monza. It was about noon when we made our first pass. It was a sunny 85 degrees with a corrected altitude around 3000 feet. Right off the starting line, I spun the tires a little, then shifted early, but still made a pretty good pass, 7.08 seconds at 197 mph. Our next pass was around 4:30 in the afternoon. Conditions were about the same and this time I went a little quicker, 6.94 seconds but only 192 mph. It should have been a little quicker but I lifted just a little early. Still, it was quick enough be in the top two and qualify for Chicago style finals. I would be racing against Steve Timoszyk in his beautifully restored Detroit Tiger funny car

This would be a rematch of last year's race. We faced each other in the finals and I won. This was going to be a good race. I knew Timoszyk really want to win this one and he had been making some good passes. We lined up in the staging lanes around 7:30 and had us as the last pair of funny cars to run. Temperatures had cooled a little and the track had been pretty good all day. It should have been a great race but for whatever reason, I was not at my best. He got a head start right at the hit, and then when I reached for the button to shift, I accidently bumped the trans brake button. That put an abrupt end to my race and Timoszyk went on to make an amazing pass at 6.73 seconds and 201 mph.

Over all, it was a good weekendOver all, it was a good weekend, in spite of the transmission problems. Thanks to Steve and Norm, we still ended up with the runner–up Trophy.

We were able to meet up with lots of longtime friends and make some new ones. Once we were home Steve was able to access the damage. It was a lot of work but far less repair than was expected. The transmission is back together with a new clutch pack and everything is good to go for our next race.

Pictures from the Pits

Della Woods, a famous local Funny Car Driver
Della Woods, a famous local Funny Car Driver, and someone I've admired for years stopped by to say hello.
spacer This is Brooklyn
This is Brooklyn, granddaughter of Terry Suetterlin, a friend and competitor from our bracket racing days. Terry is one of the true alumni of the old Detroit Dragway.
spacer Another Detroit Dragway alumni, George DeLorean
Another Detroit Dragway alumni, George DeLorean, has been friend for many years and it's always a treat when he comes by to visit.

I had a chance to try on a real vintage fire suit
I had a chance to try on a real vintage fire suit
I had a chance to try on a real vintage fire suit

Courtesy of a special race fan and collector, I had a chance to try on a real vintage fire suit that would have been worn in the very early years of drag racing. This was an original, made by Simpson back in the 60's. Boots, gloves, face mask, goggles, and Bell Helmet, all designed to protect the driver in case of a fire. It looks impressive, but it was stiff, rather uncomfortable and my vision was limited. It was fun to get dressed up but thankfully fire suits have come a long way since then. Big thanks to Mike Grosso for taking for a little photo shoot.

Our next stop is with the NDRL at the Blue Suede Cruise at Summit Motorsports Park in Norwalk, OH, July 14-16, 2017. Come on out and see us.

Susie Q

May, 2017 - Pre-Season Update

Sponsor News

Uncle Earl's Hand Healing SoapGreat News! Uncle Earl's Hand Healing Soap is on board once again as a major sponsor for the 2017 season. They've been with us since we first started racing the Susie Q Funny Car in 2011. Not only do we appreciate their continued support, but we love using their products and enjoy being their ambassadors.

Uncle Earl's can clean the dirtiest hands better than anything we've tried. It was developed for machinists and mechanics so it's made to clean up even the toughest dirt. It comes in bar, liquid and foam; made with all-natural ingredients that penetrates deep into the skin, moisturizing and healing cracked damaged hands. We use it every day, in the shop, at home, and especially at the race track. Find us at the races and you'll find Uncle Earl's.

Susie Q T-shirts. New! On Sale Now!

We recently took delivery of brand new T-shirts from Shirt Works, located in Gaylord, MI. They gave us an awesome design and print job and we can't wait to share these with all our fans. Shirts are available in both black and white, in men's, ladies V-neck, and kids sizes. Stop by our pits at any of our events this summer to get one of these awesome T-Shirts.

t-shrit back
Back
t-shrit front
Front

Shop News: It's a Race Against Time

Long before a team ever gets to the track for the first event of the season, another race is underway. In the Christophersen race shop, the off season involves a complete tear down of the motor and transmission, analyzing wear and tear on parts and deciding what can be reused and what needs to be replaced.

So much goes into this effort that it's impossible to document it all. So just for those who are interested, I've tried to capture a few of the steps involved in getting the powertrain ready for another season of racing.

Checking torque converter internal end play.
Checking torque converter internal end play.
Lencodrive ready to go.
Lencodrive ready to go.

Although we had no issues with the Lencodrive last summer, it still went on the bench for a thorough inspection. All it needed was some new bearings, new clutches and steels to be ready for another race season.

We'd been running the same Diamond pistons for three years so it was time for a refresh. The motor got a hone job, new Diamond Pistons and new rings from Total Seal.
We'd been running the same Diamond pistons for three years so it was time for a refresh. The motor got a hone job, new Diamond Pistons and new rings from Total Seal.
The heads went to Total Flow to have the valves and seats tuned up.
The heads went to Total Flow to have the valves and seats tuned up.
Checking valve timing
Checking valve timing
Measuring bell housing run out
Measuring bell housing run out

Everything was going back together just fine until Steve ran into this one little problem. Last winter, when disassembling the engine, Steve discovered a broken main cap. There just aren't many parts on the shelf for this vintage JP-1 block and he ended up having to find someone to make it. Pro-Gram Engineering helped us out, but a new main cap meant the block had to be line bored and honed. All this was done a while ago and it wasn't until he tried to put the front cover on and turn the motor over that he discovered the problem. When the engine was line bored, it changed the geometry between the crank, the cam and the idler gear just enough to cause things to bind. It took buying several extra parts, waiting for delivery from the west coast, and some fancy machine work by Mr. Fix It (Steve) to finally get things right. Unfortunately, that ordeal put us about two weeks behind schedule.

The 8-71 Kobelco Blower went to Fowler Engines in Columbus, OH

The 8-71 Kobelco Blower went to Fowler Engines in Columbus, OH, for service over the winter and is sitting back atop our blown alcohol Hemi.

The ignition went to Bob Wyman at System 1 Pro Ignition It has been checked and serviced and ready to install.

Susie Q's new designer shoes – from Hoosier. Susie Q's new designer shoes – from Hoosier. It's best to start the season with fresh tires, even if the old ones aren't completely worn out. Each tire has to get mounted and balanced before they go back on the car.
As for the trailer, getting it ready for another season was more involved than expected. As for the trailer, getting it ready for another season was more involved than expected. Besides the normal service to the wheel bearing and brakes, Steve had to make some repairs the frame. It seems the many miles and rough roads we travel have taken their toll.

Thank goodness for Steve's many talents, ingenuity and determination. I help where I can, but Steve does most all of the work. I can't begin to measure all the hours he spends and how much work it is, just so we can go really fast for just a few seconds. Thank you Steve.

If all goes as planned, we should be able to fire the motor this week. Now if Mother Nature will just cooperate maybe we will have at least one day at the track for testing before we leave for our first race. It's our first points race with the NDRL, May 12-13, at Gateway Motorsports Park. Check back for race updates in a few weeks. Wish us luck and thanks for following.

Susie Q

 
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