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My Experience Drag Racing
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stevemariott
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Joined: November 09, 2003
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Location: Portland, OR
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PostPosted: Mon Aug 23, 2021 12:42 pm    Post subject: My Experience Drag Racing Reply with quote

After years of reading drag racing threads on the old Cal Look forum, the Shoptalk Forums, and the Samba, I went drag racing for the first time a couple nights ago at the local Late Night Drags. I made 5 passes, with my best time being a 13.74 at 94 mph, which I am super stoked on. Itís not as fast as some of you, and I know the car has more in it, but I feel great considering it was my first time out.

The car is a Manx copy that I have had for 25 years (!). It's a street car, not a race car. But Iíve spent the last couple years setting the car up for occasional dragstrip passes - planning, making body mods for the roll bar, and gathering parts. Itís a real pain in the butt to setup a buggy right to pass tech.

Image may have been reduced in size. Click image to view fullscreen.

Image may have been reduced in size. Click image to view fullscreen.

The engine is a mild 2 liter - combo is as follows:

2028cc, 9.5:1
78.8 x 90.5
Weber 44IDFs, 36mm vents
CB Panchito heads (thanks txoval!)
W125 cam on 1.1s
CB Unitech Rods
1-5/8Ē Tri-Mil
MSD distributor, Mallory 6A / TFI coil

Pan has a welded in midmount, a rear solid mount connected to the roll bar and a truss bar, and recent rubber bushings in the torsion housing. Trans has a HD side cover and an old beef-a-diff with some other mods, along with a 1.48 3rd / 1.04 4th, but still has the 3.80 1st and stock axles, so I canít beat on it too much. Tires are 215/65/15s.

Image may have been reduced in size. Click image to view fullscreen.

I just wanted to share my win of getting out there! Car got lots of attention - the V8 guys couldnít believe how quick it was. The engine is fresh, so Iím not looking to make big changes there, and I know I need way more seat time and tuning, but I appreciate any tips or considerations for bringing my time down further.
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1963 Manx copy
1968 Bus


Last edited by stevemariott on Mon Aug 23, 2021 12:48 pm; edited 1 time in total
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Chip Premium Member
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PostPosted: Mon Aug 23, 2021 12:47 pm    Post subject: Re: My Experience Drag Racing Reply with quote

Nice job! I wish it was a simple thing to enjoy the sport locally here in Utah. They closed our only drag strip 3 years ago. Enjoy it while you can!
Post a time slip. There is lots to learn from the different splits. Slicks are a nice addition to most cars trying to drop their times. Your 13 at 92 sounds pretty right, so you may not be traction limited at the start. If it was a mid 13 at 102, I'd say there would be a lot to gain by adding a set of slicks. Maybe not quite yet in your car. On the flip side, if it's not wheel hopping with the street tires, leave it be, slicks help break things faster.
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jpaull Premium Member
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PostPosted: Mon Aug 23, 2021 12:57 pm    Post subject: Re: My Experience Drag Racing Reply with quote

Nice job man!!! Many kudos to getting out there and running what you have.

Lots of bench racers guessing times by horspower numbers. Alot of guys come up with "wishfull thinking" based upon their dub dyno/Orange County corrected HP. Alot of them would be confronted with much slower timeslips i bet. Yours was VERY respectable.
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madmike
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PostPosted: Mon Aug 23, 2021 1:17 pm    Post subject: Re: My Experience Drag Racing Reply with quote

How many V8 guys ask (the one's that got Beat) 'How much does it way'? Laughing
I got asked that a lot when I ran my tub Wink Great time's for your first Race/Passes Cool
Yea,, post that time slip! that will help us help you
Cheers,Madmike
_________________
65 Baja (sold)
68 VolksRod Coupe(sold)
Porsche/Laser 917(sold)
'Black Ice'Drag Buggy 1915 'Turbo'
Mid-Engine Dragster 2332 w/IDA's(gone)
76 Drag/Street bug 2276 'Turbo' 11:85 @113 mph ,28 mpg pump fuel
70 MicroBus 2110 w/40 IDF's
I build my own Motor's & transmission's
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slayer61
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PostPosted: Mon Aug 23, 2021 2:04 pm    Post subject: Re: My Experience Drag Racing Reply with quote

Congratz on making it to the races! Well done.

Drag/Grudge racing is very addictive and a great way to turn $$$ into noise and plastic trophies.

While still in high school in the '70s, I went undefeated one Wednesday night at OCIR beating another bug, a Chevy Blazer and a pickup truck of some kind. All the pride one could stuff into a bug for the princely sum of $15 or some such thing for an entry fee.

The hook is set. Good luck!
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txoval
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PostPosted: Mon Aug 23, 2021 3:09 pm    Post subject: Re: My Experience Drag Racing Reply with quote

Awesome job and glad you had a good time.
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NJ John
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PostPosted: Mon Aug 23, 2021 4:01 pm    Post subject: Re: My Experience Drag Racing Reply with quote

Nice job! And a respectable time slip. Been trying, little by little, to get back on the strip. It will happen!
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1973 standard, yellow, lowered, 3Ē narrowed front, 1600 w/ICTís(current combo)
11.41 et buggy. Long gone

http://www.cafepress.com/bugracing "MY OTHER CAR IS A DUNE BUGGY" stickers & more..
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buguy
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PostPosted: Mon Aug 23, 2021 6:41 pm    Post subject: Re: My Experience Drag Racing Reply with quote

Looks fast sitting still!
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67rustavenger Premium Member
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PostPosted: Mon Aug 23, 2021 7:09 pm    Post subject: Re: My Experience Drag Racing Reply with quote

Nice going! Drag racing get's under your skin.
This was the Friday night drags at PIR?

I ran my first drag race 2 years ago at the NW Bug Run. 14.4 @ 91.73MPH.
That was in a full bodied 67 sedan with all the interior bits in place.
I think the best part of the race is picking up the time slip. Only then do you know how well or poorly you did on your run.

I'll look for ya at some of the races in the future.
Have fun and be careful.
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BOLO,
Stolen, ZenithBlau 67 Beetle in the PNW. License # 9-S8115. Taken 11/16/2021.
Somewhere in Washington County Oregon.

There's never enough time to do it right the first time. But there's always enough time to do it thrice.
GFY's Xevin and VW_Jimbo! Smile
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CR MAD MAX BUGGY
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PostPosted: Mon Aug 23, 2021 8:53 pm    Post subject: Re: My Experience Drag Racing Reply with quote

I feel very identified with this post, I am also preparing my street buggy to enjoy it on the track but right now the local track is closed so Ive been working on it... i plan on taking the buggy to another city to test it but it wont be soon.

I have no experience in Drag racing but I can transmit all the advices people have given me as we both have similar setups.

- Engine: Leave it like that, you have a decent engine size enought to have fun, turn heads, kick some a$$ and the most important, learn learn and learn.
- Tires: Stay away from slicks or torsions... they will break your axles and or transmission and that will tack out the fun you are expiriencing.
- Launching the car: Very important to learn how to load the gearbox to prevent it from braeking the diff. Use your hand brake or a line lock. I put a line lock on my front tires and it is easier and work great to load the gears.
- Gear ratios: You have what you need, maybe later on change the 1 gear mainshaft for a super beetle one 3,78 as it is stronger and put a super diff if you dont have one.
- Dont do burn outs with street tires, they dont need it and you can fry your clutch or break the gears.
- Have fun and tack care of your car.

Those are the best recommendations I have recieved and I think they are good ones and a Must to start on this sport.

Let me know at what gear did you crossed the finish line? 3 or 4 and do you know your RPMs?
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stevemariott
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PostPosted: Mon Aug 23, 2021 11:35 pm    Post subject: Re: My Experience Drag Racing Reply with quote

Thanks for the kind words everyone! I appreciate it.

Chip B., thanks for your thoughts on running slicks. Jpaull, your ď1/4 mile results with a mild strokerĒ post and engine build thread was truly inspirational.

Madmike, people definitely asked me how much it weighed! Truth is, Iím not sure - it was 1400 lbs. a few years ago, but Iíve changed the car a lot since then.

Slayer61, it seems super addictive and fun! I definitely plan on heading back out there soon. Thanks txoval, the heads are great! Thanks NJ John and buguy!

67rustavenger, it was in fact the Friday / Saturday night drags at PIR. I agree, the time slip is the best part! There were a few dozen cars out there - imports, V8 muscle, Corvettes, a dragster or two and at least one Tesla, but I was the only aircooled VW. I invited another aircooled guy but he couldnít make it - you should come on out!

CR MAD MAX BUGGY, thanks for the words - I'm right with you. More trans upgrades are in the future, but I'm going to run this setup for now. I was in 4th at the finish line, but I don't know what my RPMs were when I was crossing it.

My first two passes were a 14.72 and a 13.80. For my third pass, I drove a little more aggressively and ran a 13.79:

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For my fourth, I wound it out further and ran a 13.78:

Image may have been reduced in size. Click image to view fullscreen.

For my fifth pass, I continued wringing it out and ran a 13.74:

Image may have been reduced in size. Click image to view fullscreen.

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1968 Bus
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madmike
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PostPosted: Tue Aug 24, 2021 3:45 am    Post subject: Re: My Experience Drag Racing Reply with quote

You need to work on getting that 60 foot time down to 1.6 or better, and do I suggest a new 1st gear someday Wink Slicks and be sure to 'PRE-LOAD'
I have quit a collection of time slips Laughing
Image may have been reduced in size. Click image to view fullscreen.

_________________
65 Baja (sold)
68 VolksRod Coupe(sold)
Porsche/Laser 917(sold)
'Black Ice'Drag Buggy 1915 'Turbo'
Mid-Engine Dragster 2332 w/IDA's(gone)
76 Drag/Street bug 2276 'Turbo' 11:85 @113 mph ,28 mpg pump fuel
70 MicroBus 2110 w/40 IDF's
I build my own Motor's & transmission's
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jeff68
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PostPosted: Tue Aug 24, 2021 4:45 am    Post subject: Re: My Experience Drag Racing Reply with quote

Thanks for posting this! Great Dune Buggy, Nice job building it and setting it up to race as well, Love it!
Keep at it and have fun!
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mark tucker
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PostPosted: Tue Aug 24, 2021 7:18 am    Post subject: Re: My Experience Drag Racing Reply with quote

looks like fun,also like 1.34 rockers and more CR....would be a lot funner.and the valve guides would thank you if they could.
my 2028 that was in my bug when I sold it ran 10.4cr for over 80000 miles fun hard zingger miles...and I sold it a few years back.I talked to the guy who bought it yesterday,(he wants my 356 so I have to make room to get it out for him and make room for another car in the garage) he said he hasent lost a "race" yet.loves blowing away stangs & stuff.
have fun with your buggy but dont forget to go over the entire car real good on a ragular basis . when racing things dont always break...witch means..they may the next time. and that hurts.
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frenchroast
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PostPosted: Tue Aug 24, 2021 7:40 am    Post subject: Re: My Experience Drag Racing Reply with quote

Image may have been reduced in size. Click image to view fullscreen.

Looks great especially with those centerlines! I'm going to try to get out there one of these Fridays. Hmm maybe I'll bring the bug. Wonder if it could run under a minute?
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Dauz
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PostPosted: Tue Aug 24, 2021 9:12 am    Post subject: Re: My Experience Drag Racing Reply with quote

Nice work!

My very first trip down the track pretty much ruined everyone's day. I overboosted in a 4G63 20G (Starion) and cracked the ring landings on three pistons causing massive blowby. To everyone's horror, oil all the way up to the 660 mark and pooling where I had stopped to the side and shut the motor.

RIP Carlsbad raceway.
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tommiebsmith
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PostPosted: Tue Aug 24, 2021 12:37 pm    Post subject: Re: My Experience Drag Racing Reply with quote

Super COOL!
I love the track or the idea of it.. but had never been able to get there.. I have a 66 cal look that I have been playing with.. started getting ready to make events at the track and started breaking things one after the other..
Finally after a lot of replacing this or that.. I made it down the track 5 times myself.. super exciting! 8.59 was my best of the night as we are only racing 8th mile here in Texas.. I do know there is more to squeeze out of it.. but INDEED ! So much fun ..

Glad you are having fun!
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richierich
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PostPosted: Tue Aug 24, 2021 1:43 pm    Post subject: Re: My Experience Drag Racing Reply with quote

Good job! Very, very respectable times too. It is damn good fun.
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74 Thing
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PostPosted: Tue Aug 24, 2021 3:47 pm    Post subject: Re: My Experience Drag Racing Reply with quote

Great job!

Were there any special safety requirements with no top?

What did you set your rear tire pressure at?
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stevemariott
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PostPosted: Tue Aug 24, 2021 11:41 pm    Post subject: Re: My Experience Drag Racing Reply with quote

Thanks Madmike - a 3.78 first (and along with other mods) is on my ďto doĒ list. I appreciate your real world experience!!

Thank you jeff68, Dauz, and richierich! Thanks tommiebsmith, glad to hear youíre getting out there!

mark, thanks for your words. In June I had found some pitted lifters and ovalíd lifter bores, and I ended up sending the case down to Brothers to have bronze sleeves installed. I had considered swapping to an FK8 with ratio rockers, but I was wayyy over budget at that point, so I just went with the W125 so I could run the 1.1 rockers I had around.

Thanks frenchroast! Come on our - the more the merrier!

Thanks 74 Thing! Having a ďdune buggy type vehicleĒ per the NHRA rulebook means having a roll bar, 5 point harnesses, Snell-spec helmet, SFI jacket, SFI neck collar, SFI gloves, and arm restraints. An appropriate rollbar should have rear struts that attach to the chassis. A wide open fiberglass buggy likely means needing a battery box, which means having a push/pull master disconnect switch - itís a lot of work to do it all the right way.

My tire pressure was 22 lbs., but I plan on dropping it down the next time I head out.
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