Almost finished with the 15 month project Diet, 93K rebuild and full NHRA Stk. Elim. Updating of my 1984 Dodge Daytona 2.2L /135 ci 99 HP (non-turbo), single point upright Bosch TBI slow sled to bring it back after a 26 year now layoff between racing it....Last raced at the 1997 Atsco Nationals Phoenix, AZ Feb 1997 (class finalist on GF/SA at 110 HP 25.0 lbs. per HP= 2,763 lbs car and driver wt. 17.45 Index Q/ 10.82 index 1/8 Combined. (I was mis-classed at 110 HP for 3 years, and while I was competitive the car wasn't and also had a popping issue at top of each gear (later during the current project we found out why....relatedto the fuel tank vapor recovery system and a cracked vac. line back where it attached to the tank.
So, I requested in writing at the end of the 1995 season a full NHRA review of the car, engine combo and reclassification which was granted. (As the only data they could ever find were every one of my passes over a 3 yr. Period and a historical search, I was the only fool who has ever raced the exact combo of a 1984 Dodge Daytona 2.2L /135 ci single point injection TBI, and factory rated HP was indeed only 99HP on that combo and therefore I was being penalized 11 HP (more than 10 percent @25.0 lbs/HP= 275 lbs-300 lbs heavy.
In Jan/Feb 1996 the combo was reviewed and I was correct 110 was not correct, and reduced to 99HP. (I had to continue running very limited select local events in 1996-1997 at the 2,763 lb wt, could not affird the car diet and changes yet, as expenses from the prior mis-classed 3 yrs. caught up with us. Parked the car but kept it for 25 yrs. (College educations for 3 boys, life, work, etc.
Fast forward to January 2022. New classes in NHRA Stock Eliminator changes ..GF/SA, and FF/SA are gone now, as all are combined higher into EF/S (stick and auto FWD cars are even combined and if stick, must add 100 lbs to final weight to offset).
I decided to begin the car diet 99HP reclassing the original car/engine combo, at 99 HP the advertised curb wt. puts the car solidly in DF/S at 24.75 lbs per HP X 99HP (and you can move to top of original class, 24.00 lbs. Per HP, or up 1 class to EF/S to 25.00 Lbs per HP. And EF/S is closer and at the same indexes that GF/SA used to run at 17.45 -Q or 10.82 -1/8th.
Curb wt is closer to EF/S bottom or min. wt., than DF/F top, and while legally hard to diet the car nearly 300 lbs. (Highly Limited by the Stk. Rules Section 11A as to what can be removed, and what must remain it was possible to get it to required 2,475 lbs. Car/Driver/Helmet (wt. Box empty to adjust wt. due to driver/scales differences, etc.)
My main items in my diet pile right now are the original fuel tank, filler neck, pump, sender, straps. (legally replaced with a 5 gal. Jegs poly cell w/sump, Mounting kit and hdwre., a full 525HP Jegs EFI fuel system w/ Pre-and post filters, ck valve, and maintained also the original stock fuel filter on passenger side inside the frame rail in front of right rear tire, all the original steel lines still required, along with extending them, externally mounted EFI pump, 2 rollover valves (1 inside the cell, in the newly bulkheaded top and bottom Spare tire well, one outside the Spare tire well on cell vent, and return to cell, and grounding wire from poly cell mount brackets to frame.
Power steering pump, ham can res. and pully, lines, hoses, bracket and bolts, removed and converted to manual steering w/a fillable "teed w/cap" loop. About 25 lbs. Of 1/16" magnetic contingency decals that were attached in previous to both sides of the car once used to make the higher wt., all the 100 lbs. of bagged lead shot that was in the 14 lb. Empty steel Combo Wt. Box and Torque strap that is mounted in the stock A/C and Alt. Bracket (Box is on the car, but empty). It sits there, above and in front of and higher than front passenger tire spindle as any added weight balances out driver weight and helps plant R.F. tire. (FWD traction). It also perm. locks down all transverse mounted engine movement (car dies not need solid mounts, so the stock mounts act as rubber isolators, the welded steel box and torque strap mounting to frame w/2 -1/2" bolts (and rubber isolation pad, makes engine movement or rock front to rear impossible save an accident or other damage. Vibrations have been lessened a bunch since the complete engine internal blueprinting & balancing was accomplished.
Also in diet pile, all Washer/Wiper motors, brackets, arms, hardware, lines, etc. Electrical plugs still there, all holes have custom cut painted, drilled blocker plates attached with plastic trim buttons.
All Related Charcoal filter system components for the fuel tank vapor rec. system deleted save the selenoids that are still attached to car, plugged in to keep ECM from throwing or registering codes, but all ports on both selenoids are capped, and no vacuum tubes are attached or routed to them at all.
8/10th of the K-mart Kraco radio/cassette deck are cut away, the face is there in the dash console tower, the light bulb still lights up the face, but radio is only 1" skin deep, the Heat and A/C underdash box is completely out, some below dash ducting remains up in the dash as I have not yet fully removed the dash yet from the car, so some is in diet pile, (controls and vents must remain according to Stk. Category rules, but need not be hooked up. It still lights up, but it is not hooked up to anything), rear speakers and wiring removed. 4 floor mats removed. And allA/C lines & heater hoses and valving removed from engine bay, all holes in firewall I added custom cut Alum. blocking plates, bolts and washers, no unnecessary holes, and all painted.
Full exhaust system from the Ramcharger Hooker header all the way back to the rear Left bumper exhaust tip and hangers removed and in the diet pile (save 1 mid car rubber hanger), to hang a new straight through FlowMonster muffler and straight pipe w/short left and down turnout, at sound controlled inner city tracks. Am running straight open header otherwise, but at any time they can do a decibel test, and require muffler installed if you fail or exceed.....it does not restrict, just moves the sound further back, out and away. The car is much louder now with the installed Reed Cam, open header or muffler sounds acts exactly the same. (A tiny bit richer through the added muffler and 3.5' of stainless pipe, not enough to matter, plugs on a run are perfect ash gray and that is at 3,500 ft bad air elevation). They read and blacken up a bit idling or running in my garage at 3,800 ft., but 1 pass under power and they were nice at the electrode.
Pretty much it on the diet pile. (Will know tonight total weight car, driver, helmet and required items I normally carry in the car, plus a half cell of race gas, and corner weights on the car , scales coming at 5PM.
(Jan 10, 2022), Engine short block pulling, disassembly, rebuild began. Just under 93K on the engine (head had only been off once during a mock teardown in 1995, never had even a valve job, used same gasket and bolts to replace it), fired it up after cks. of 13 year old Sunoco 110 Standard or purple, still had about a gal and a half of originally 10 gals when car last moved, ckd injector, no junk in screen, pumped out a gal in clear milk jug, no sediment, smelled right, was a bit more red than purple, but clear, so fired up, and heated block to normal temp, to make bolts removals easier, ran fine immediately and shut it off, began the long block teardown and removal process, measuring each item compared to book rebuild specs down to bare block. Everything went well, bearings, crank mains rod bearings looked great, like new all but normal thrust bearing side wear, a piston #1 had all 3 ring gaps aligned, told by machinist and Ed at Ross Piston it is normal as they do rotate in cyls over time, that they can be clocked right upon install but from time to time they can and do line up occasionally. For 93K it was still healthy, but need a min. 20 thou overbore and final bore and finish hone ended up 28 thou over to fit the new chosen NHRA accepted Ross replaplacement forged flat tops pistons and Tital Seal Ring package w/double spiral locks, used the stock pins and floated em on the stock rods that came out, added ARP Rod bolts, resized rod ends, crank, each piston, rod assembly balanced fully and carefully on the rotating assembly to perfection as the original factory bal. was awful according to our pre- build measures.
Sent the head off in Feb 2022 to Turbo Dodge Parts.com in Peachtree, GA for its first machining since factory build in Dec 84 (3rd week build). Car dealer purchased by my Mom Feb 4th 1985 as daily driver brand new, we got it from her w/27K on odometer mid 1993 well dealer maintained, zero accidents, and then driven and drag raced E T. And Stk. ELIM. all over the Western US in 1993, 94, and on full NHRA tour in 1995 Nat. And Div. Plus E.T. Bracket racing every chance I got, driving the car loaded w/ over a thousand pounds of tools, equip, fluids, gaskets, clothes, personal items and necessary teardown stuff, track to track, coast to coast from AZ to FL, to N.H., and back and all points in between. Too many tracks to list, then raced in 1996-97 locally Div. and Nat. Events plus some more E.T. Bracket racing out west then in Feb 1997 after Atsco Nats in Phx, AZ parked it until later in life when diet and rebuild could be financially accomplished to make it truly competitive in NHRA Stk. Elim.
Ok, 15 months later, car is nearing completion, short block back after a full year at TNT Automotive Machine Shop (Ross pistons took a while, block was not bored until pistons were in hand, lots of blueprinting, tips and tricks from Donovan'sDodgeGarage.com learned & instituted, other knowledge gained, and they did everything I asked, and it is fantastic cleaner than it was the day it was cast (I admired that shiny short block for 24 hrs and hated even masking and painting that pretty 2 cubic feet of shiny cast iron, but painted it stock black, using the same rattle can Dupli-Color Caliper Enamel w/Ceramic Ii used on the engine bay. Nice hardened stuff and withstands 500 degree F. Intermittent temps. Accented many items w/same paint in red to match the top exterior color on car (that was painted by Chris' Auto body here in 1996, Dupont 3 Viper colors Red, over White wrap around stripe, over fine Metalic Blue Lower). In red/blk are the new Turbo valve cover that now reads T B I after customizing it, front belt pulley, Intermediate shaft seal housing, and distro body, and TBI air induction hose. Plug boots protectors, Moroso wire separators etc, and a few other items like the painless wiring breaker, STP oil filter has Red writing. Etc.
Ok, short block is back April 28, 2023 finally, bal. Of my parts and pcs are back, oil pump still off, oil pan still off, head all prepped and cleaned, the Reed cam I purchased here (a former National Record setting slider cam in the 1990s in EF/S), measured up perfectly (my max lift specs allowed are .448/.448), and the Reed cam at the retainer with a set of Moroso lightweight checking springs installed, a D.C. solid adjustable lash adj. In place of my new shimmed P. T. Lash adj. In place....is .446E/.432I, there is a ton of overlap, a ton of duration, and a 106 degree centerline (no cam card, but the math is easy with a degree wheel), this thing is not only class legal for my head and engine combo, but ground for power production even if it is old school and not new, the head cc was double checked by TDP.com in GA, then again here, avg is 50.1cc to 50.2cc (my min is 48cc, but will leave it for future decking purposes). ...Reed knew what he was doing and this cam should produce. (On first start up it was evident as cam be, A formerly low lope sounding Bop, bop, bop, bwooop, bop now had a Thunderstick installed that made it crackle and cackle like a V-8 was installed back into it instead of a 2L 4 banger......It actually turned a lot of heads, at the very first local event as listed in the title here and nobody could walk by or within earshot could keep from asking what the heck engine is in that lil' car anyway....it garnered a lot of attention which was not surprising to me, it is relatable to the average car person, even when surrounded by a ton of very fast cars, and it was usually the owners of very fast cars asking me the question.
When I would open the hood many were dumbfounded and some asked me before hand do you have a big block in that and converted to RWD....some scratched their heads and just looked at me when they were staring at a tiny 2.2L non-turbo single point naturally aspirated ("all that cackle and crackle is coming from that?" Standing there with big eyes, and almost all over a 3 day period would say, that engine sounds mean...)...I would explain the amount of overlap, duration on that lil thunderstick is a ton, and I thought the same exact thing the first time I fired it up installed, and that a little over a year ago, it sounded nothing like that. And that I own 4 other fairly stock slider cams, and not a 1 sounds or acts like that cam does...(side note, the Lunati cam he also sold me is a custom ground cam, does fit my head, is more lift than I can use legally for NHRA Stock Elim., is avail. for purchase, is for sale cheap, I have a number on the original box, but it does not have a cam card with it, I have called Lunati, and tech cannot tell me anything about it (unless they have the cam in hand to machine measure it, so they can create a custom cam card),as they moved over since to an automated system, it definitely has a custom grind job number on the cam box (he knew that much), but that number is not anywhere in their published catalogs as it was a secret sauce cam ground specifically for someone to attempt a record run with. And if he had the specs, he could not tell me anything about it from just tge number, as I wasn't the customer it was ground for.
He said, if someone shipped it to them (proving they owned it by simple posession of it now, they would simply measure it, and create a cam card if return shipping was pre-paid by the owner. (I could not get it a full 360 degree revolution in my 4323287 head without full compressing my springs and crashing it into my valve seals,...about 3/4 of the way to get an accurate measurement but it appears to have a lift somewhere about .512 to .515 somewhere in there, and is a slider cam, label on the Lunati box end specifically states 30000, then: SP1-310 (he said it denotes a Special grind job-310 108 is offset to right on that line (108 degree centerline), said that was a sponsored customer number & job number), then next line: Mopar 2.2L, and last line: 01ST 634 (internal Lunati cam blank and grind job data).
So, I can assume that is another secret sauce cam, specially ground to create power, that box with the cam in it (which was brand new, never used, only installed once to check it in my freshly done head, was out of and beyond the max. lift I can legally use, wrapped back up still with fresh black moly lube back into the plastic bag, reinsert into the box that is and was missing one end, and taped up securely to keep out dust and humidity. So if someone thinks they can use it, want to buy it contact me please, and Lunati can and will help you create a cam card and can save you a bit, as you can buy it, I can ship it to them, you can pay them the return shipping to you after measuring, and that saves a bit (a one way shipping charge at least), or I can ship it straight to you...your choice, but if it can be used, you just may end up as surprised as I was with the results.
Ok, on to the event, my first 3 passes on the newly rebuilt and improved NHRA Stock Legal 1984 Daytona Project, first passes since Feb 1997 (26 years drag racing layoff, last 15 months were the diet and rebuild, and improvements project....Annually, usually in Octover each year, here in Kingman, AZ just 3 miles from my house on Route 66 (between mile markers 52-53 Andy Devine Ave. They spend 9 days with Rt. 66 closed down, and actually build an 1/8th mile drag strip, see www.kingmanrt66streetdrags.com
website for info. ..and hokd a 10 class 3 day event. I went to the website last Wednesday, saw the last event was in October 2022, thought ok I will he at Famoso in Bakersfield this October at a double Div. Race w/class racing.
Next day Thursday grabbed the newspaper to sit on the can...lol, community events section says the street drags start tomorrow! Later my wife told me they have been building the track on 66 for a week, Just 3 miles away from my front door, my left front axle was still on the work bench, I had just rebooted freshly the CV axle, the new axle seal was right there, only waiting on the grease dust boot for the outer tie rod and that was due in by end of day UPS delivery by 8PM, and I got online, and they are limited to 300 Car/Driver entries for these street drags $200.00 Car/Driver/1 crew member registration for the 3 day event (registration pays for the track building only), there are 10 classes you can register for from Jr. DRAGSTER, Small Tire, Big tire, True street, through Grudge, NA 10.5, many others (and many paid $500 additional an entry to race for all the money back plus local business sponsorship class dollars added, plus 10 champ trophies, etc...I don't fit any of the street drags classes as most are heads up fast, but I can shake the car down here, just 3 mikes away, fix any issues I experience, seat tge new rings and pistons under power, and not haul it all the way to Vegas, if I have issues, my home based garage shop is a 3 Mile drive away...perfect!
They still had entries avail., I was online at 1 am registering, had a paid entry, on phone reserving a u-haul truck and trailer....tow vehicle situation nit fully resolved yet, as just finishing up the car project....Got them both for at least 2 days Friday and Saturday...Started packing up everything I would/could need to shake the car down, and got tge axle seal, axle in, boot arrived, had to put passenger door latch and handle back in, clips for the rods will not be in until Saturday or Minday but reinstalled it and it was working after dipping it and regressing. Car is flat ready after a last 24 hr thrash ....Friday at 9:00 AM U-Haul I'm Golden Valley picked up 15' box truck, over back to Kingman U-Haul location on Stockton Hill to pick up the trailer, back home to load it all up,cget car on trailer over to event location, get set up in pits, car unloaded, and over to registration got credentials, car to tech, 5th in line, and by the time I got back tech inspectors had gone to dinner, and bad news is they never returned, so no passes Friday, so did a few last min things on the car, will tech Saturday AM.
After drivers meeting Sat. Morning teched the car, passed flying colors a full NHRA Tech session on the new project. And am just shaking it down, seating the rings, break in and figure out repair any issues found, we had an occasional rain shower mid afternoon but everyone got at least 2- 1/8th mile passes. I ran 1 on street tires, 1 on my 20" tall MT/E.T. Slicks, short shifting a car/engine that in the past (had never turned over 5,600 RPM shift points), before at what I knew by the pull, was very early in the power band, at 6,400 RPM's from 1-2nd, just before the 660' finish line and it wanted to eat....figuring the car eventually (after a lil break in please under power), will probably be shifting in the area of 7,300 RPM, but I am still using the stock dash tach 6k-7k orange, and no pin, but no markings either between 7K and zero again.
I arranged for a flat bed rolloff ride 3 miles home for the car and I on Sunday so we could take the tools and stuff hone, and the Truck/trailer all back on Saturday night, switched it back to the street tires after the 2 baseline 6,400 rpm short shifted passes
(slicks ran 2.5 10ths faster, street tires get 1 mph more in the 8th mile). Car has a big thunderstick issue that is very common with high overlap cams, produces zero vacuum under 1,100 RPM, checked with a vacuum gauge, that explains my doesn't want to idle issue except within 2 degrees 8-10 basic timing. (Has after 1,100 5", at 2K it has 15", at 3K it has 25"), hmmmm, ok, that is why my power brakes are not hold really well in a dry hop or in the water....or is it? While the brake drums and pads have not been resurfaced yet, they were looking better and better after each pass, but the brakes just are not as tight as they were back in 1997, and will not footbrake and allow the much higher flash/stall speed, though this cam has certainly tightened up the converter a bunch, something vacuum related is not right.
Ok, Sunday I was comfortable enough with the car, zero leaks, not used a drop of fluids, engine is stronger than heck, not missing a single heartbeat, we took all tools home except a towel, paper towels, a pr of gloves, a tire gauge, a bottle of shoe polish, and my racers log nook and a pen. Yes, that comfortable with this car and an engine with only 2 passes on the 15 month project! The beast wants to eat big, and I am saying from starting line to finish line, just a shake down event, break the rings in properly under power, don't beat it up! Lol.
Ok, it rained again Sunday just as they called my class, poured at our end, but I and 6 other answered tge call and drove to front of tge staging lanes where as we reached there, they announced a rain delay, and my wife drove my lunch she just arrived with at my pit, on down to me a mile away and handed it over the fence, I ate, then dried the car off while they dried the track.
They called us, and the others paired up, I would be running last and alone on a bye, nice, gonna find the top of the power band in first gear and see where it stops pulling as tgey must complete the other 9 classes racing for money today, I realized this will no doubt be my 3rd and last pass of tge event...So, I rolled my windows down a quarter inch only to hear just my car/engine run all alone, and hammered the tree, hand away from the shifter in low, but ready, it is rising fast and smooth but is early In the power band and it is eating, and approaching the finish line fast, and at 2 feet past the 660' ft (1/8th mile), finish line it is still in 1st gear and the tach is perfectly at 7,000 RPM (max on the factory tach), without missing a single heartbeat, but nowhere even neared any plateau, it was still really pulling hard.... I was forced am in a short shutdown area. ...Shifted and then lifted.
Looks like a little bit more frustrating and curious, suspense filled period is again in the works, as finding out where that fresh rebuilt, balanced baby, will pull to, must wait until I go to a full quarter mile dragstrip in Las Vegas a hundred miles away to find out unless I take it to a dyno... but, I need to relic. at an NHRA member track anyway, so that is where I am at at this point. Car got the safe ride home, drove it on and off his flatbed rolloff and back home into the garage, up on skates now, and a friend will be over within the hour with Automotive Scales to get corner and total weights, see exactly how close to 2,475 we got it....oh, and that last pass..ma 10.82 at 64.78, right on the EF/S 1/8th mile Index.
Later thinking about my brake issues I actually think I have a leaking vacuum ck valve, or Vacuum Brake Booster. May need to fix that, will disconnect the Booster and cap it at the manifold vac. source, and if it idles right, then I know to ck the other 2 items...It may eventually need a vacuum pump, may not...we shall see...but, that is why I spent 200 bucks to shake the car down!
I am a happy boy though so far, was the slowest Stocker, not anymore! It flat wants to be a faster slow sled, and that engine now wants to eat!