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V.P. MARKETING/CUSTOMER RELATIONS..........TRISH BIRO trish@rpmmag.com ASSOCIATE EDITOR..............................................TOBY BROOKS toby.brooks@rpmmag.com EVENT MEDIA..........................................events@rpmmag.com EVENT SUBSCRIPTIONS COORDINATOR.....SHERRIE WEBER sherrie@rpmmag.com SPECIAL PROJECTS DIRECTOR...........................TOBY BROOKS toby.brooks@rpmmag.com Photographic Contributions: TONY WEBER, TIM LEWIS, PETE “BOOMER” ORES, MARK goDragRacing.org, TARA BOWKER, GEORGE PICH, TOBY BROOKS, MATT WOODS, TABITHA SIZEMORE, MATT TROMBLEY, LOUIS FRONKIER, and WILL McDOUGLE. Editorial Contributions: TIM LEWIS, CHUCK SCOTT, MARK goDragRacing.org, RAYMOND KNIGHT, TOBY BROOKS, BRIAN WOOD, TABITHA SIZEMORE, JAMES WILLIAMS, TIM BIRO, STAN SMITH, JT, RYK LEE WADDELL, and GEORGE PICH.

MEET THE RPM TEAM

EDITOR-IN-CHIEF.........................................................CHRIS BIRO editor@rpmmag.com

RPM Magazine is a REGISTERED TRADEMARK of Revolution Publishing & Media Inc. RPM Magazine is a worldwide motorsports publication distributed in 34 countries and can be found on popular newsstands in the USA, Canada and select newsstands in the UK. If you cannot find a copy near you please call 519-752-3705 or email circulation@rpmmag.com To subscribe to RPM go to www.rpm-mag.com or email Trish Biro at trish@rpmmag.com, or call 519-752-3705. The focus of RPM is to bring a diverse mix of high performance street and race automobiles to life within its pages including race cars, musclecars, hot rods and street legal machines with an emphasis on the “EXTREME,” including fast doorslammer and outlaw forms of drag racing. Not familiar with these types of cars? They are considered to be the top-shelf of the industry and are on the edge with regard to design, performance, and power! RPM Magazine does not sell its mailing list or share any of the confidential information regarding its subscribers.

WANT YOUR CAR IN RPM?

RPM Magazine has been a world leader in motorsports publishing for 20 years and has support locations in Ontario, Canada, Alabama, Texas, and Virginia, along with contributing writers and photojournalists worldwide. If you have a story that may fit within the focus and scope of RPM Magazine’s coverage, please email our Editor In Chief at editor@ rpmmag.com. Submission of an article does not guarantee that it will be published. Revolution Publishing & Media Inc. (RPM) / RPM Magazine IS NOT responsible for errors or omissions in ANY advertisement or article. Advertisements may be rearranged or altered at the sole discretion of RPM to allow the ad to fit in the space purchased by the advertiser. WE RESERVE THE RIGHT TO REFUSE ANY ADVERTISING WHICH WE CONSIDER TO CONTAIN MISLEADING, OFFENSIVE OR FALSE INFORMATION. REPRODUCTION OF ANY INFORMATION HEREIN IS STRICTLY PROHIBITED WITHOUT PRIOR WRITTEN CONSENT.

Technical Writing Contribution: CHUCK SCOTT, SHANE TECKLENBURG, TOBY BROOKS, and TIM BIRO.

Publication Return/Address Change Information

ADVERTISING SALES

USA RPM MAGAZINE (USPS Periodical #023474) is published monthly 12 times per year by USA Publisher’s Agent, 10387 Main Street, Suite 300, Fairfax, VA 22030.

For advertising information contact

TRISH BIRO ...............519.752.3705.......trish@rpmmag.com

Periodicals postage rate is paid at Fairfax, VA and additional mailing offices.

Art & Graphics Director: Toby Brooks

Postmaster: Send address changes to:

Special Events Manager: Chris Biro events@rpmmag.com Special Events Sales: Trish Biro: 519-752-3705 trish@rpmmag.com Subscriptions/Address Changes: Circulation circulation@rpmmag.com General Inquiries: 519.752.3705 info@rpmmag.com

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EDITOR’S RANT

by

Chris Biro

You made it!

CONGRATULATIONS!

I

t’s safe to say that re-running my CONGRATULATIONS! Editor’s Rant has now become tradition in RPM. This particular instalment has been one of the favorites among readers, so we definitely don’t want to leave it out to start our 20th ANNIVERSARY year. It usually sparks thoughts of “the way things were”, or maybe that getting back to basics or adopting a grassroots approach isn’t such a bad thing sometimes. Or, it might just get a chuckle on a dreary winter day, and that’s ok, too. CONGRATULATIONS! You Made It! Before you read on, just to be clear, I am all for progress, innovation, advances in safety, science, better health and moving forward, however, some things–read “some” things, just might make more sense the way we used to do them. The point is, learning how to deal with responsibility and challenges as well as success and failure at a young can go a long way in life as years pass. With that being said, I hope you enjoy this with the spirit in which it was written. Congratulations! CONGRATULATIONS to all those born in the 1940s, ’50s, ’60s, ’70s and yes, maybe even some born during those crazy ’80s! First, we survived being born to mothers who smoked and/or drank while they carried us and lived in houses full of asbestos. They took aspirin, ate blue cheese, raw egg products, loads of bacon and processed meat, white bread, and tuna from a can. Then, after that trauma, our baby cribs were covered with bright colored lead-based paints. We had no childproofed medicine bottles, doors or cabinets and when we rode our bikes, we had no helmets, not to mention the risks we took hitchhiking! Mom didn’t have to go to work to help dad make ends meet, she worked only if she wanted to. We would ride in cars with no seat belts or air bags, and riding in the back of a pick-up on a warm spring day was always a special treat, not a crime. If someone cut us off while driving we’d flip them the bird, and they would return the favor, without getting out a bat, knife or gun at the next light. We drank water from the garden hose and NOT from a bottle. Take-out food was limited to hot dogs, fish and chips, and pizza. You didn’t line up at the drive-thru for your morning coffee but got up earlier and made it yourself. Even though all the stores closed at 6:00 pm and didn’t open on weekends, somehow we didn’t starve to death. We shared one soft drink with four friends from one bottle and NO ONE actually died from this. We could collect bottles and cash them in at the corner store and buy a whole bag of penny candy, sports cards, bubble gum and some fire crackers. We ate cupcakes, white bread and real butter and drank soft drinks with sugar in them, but we weren’t overweight because... WE WERE ALWAYS OUTSIDE PLAYING! We’d leave home in the morning and play all day, as long as we were back when the streetlights came on. No one was able to reach us, yet we were O.K. We would spend hours building our go-carts out of scraps and then ride down the hill only to find out we forgot the brakes! We’d hop-up our bikes with banana seats

4

and long forks and didn’t need some guy on TV’s reality show of the month to tell us how to do it. We built tree houses and played in river beds with Hot Wheels and Matchbox cars. We did not have any video games at all, and when we did finally get them it was for occasional entertainment with the whole family. No on-demand TV or 200 channels on satellite, no DVD movies, no surround sound, no personal computers, no internet, internet message boards and forums or social media, no cell phones or other handheld devices, and no texting...we did have friends though, and we went outside and found them! We fell out of trees, got cut, broke bones and teeth, and there were no lawsuits. We were given pellet guns, jack knives and slingshots for our 10th birthdays. We played with toy guns that looked like real guns—only because it was cool— not because we wanted to be a gangsta. And every young boy wanted to be a policeman or fireman! At 13 we learned to drive the family car at the empty mall parking lot on Sunday. Christmas was Christmas not Xmas…no really, it was! We rode bikes or walked to a friend’s house and knocked on the door or rang the bell or just yelled out for them. Football, baseball, and hockey had tryouts and not everyone made the team…and those who didn’t had to learn to deal with the disappointment. Imagine that! Getting on the team was a privilege based on ability and merit, and not due to special rules, threats, fear or guilt. There were very few football, hockey, or soccer moms and dads who cared more about their kids becoming the next million-dollar star over just letting them play and have fun. I know this all sounds strange, but it’s true! If a company we bought something from made a mistake, we gave them the benefit of the doubt and simply called them about it—and they either fixed it or they didn’t, and they would live with the word of mouth (good or bad) AFTER we gave them a shot at fixing it. We didn’t go on social media (because there was none) and smear the company’s name first. We did not talk back to our parents or we’d get spanked, and knowing that kept us in line… most of the time. Our teachers used to belt us with rulers or leather straps, and knowing that kept us in line… most of the time. Bullies always ruled the playground at school, until someone stuck up to them. The idea of a mom or dad bailing us out if we broke the law was unheard of. They actually sided with the law! This generation has produced some of the best risk-takers, problem solvers and inventors ever! The past 70 years have been an explosion of innovation and new ideas. We had freedom, failure, success and responsibility, and we LEARNED how to deal with it all! And YOU are one of them! CONGRATULATIONS! You were allowed to grow up as kids, before the lawyers, governments and big businesses regulated our lives “for our own good”. You may want to let your kids read this so they will know how brave their parents truly are. Once again, have a fantastic 2019!

january 2019 | RPM Magazine

ADVERTISER INDEX ACC Performance................... 20 Accufab Inc............................ 37 Aeromotive........................... 10 AFCO..................................... 61 Alan Johnson Performance (AJPE)................................. 47 Alston Race Cars.................... 18 ATI Performance Products..... 45 Auburn Gear.......................... 92 Autoglym.............................. 82 AVAK/Ridgegate Tools........... 48 Baer Brakes......................10, 59 Bear’s Performance............... 12 Be Cool.................................. 88 BES Racing Engines............... 17 Bill Mitchell Products.......12, 80 Blower Shop............................ 5 Borla..................................... 50 BTE Racing............................ 67 C&C MotorSports................... 42 Calvert Racing Suspensions... 46 Canton Racing Products........ 31 CFE Racing Products.............. 66 Chassis Engineering...........8, 22 CN Blocks.............................. 60 CNC Motorsports................... 43 Coan Engineering................ 113 Competition Products......... 107 Crane Cams......................... 103 Crower.................................. 34 CVR Products....................... 110 DART..................................... 20 Design Engineering..........58, 83 Diamond Pistons................. 108 Drive Train Specialists (DTS)... 13 DRIVEN Racing Oil................. 23 Dynocologists........................ 97 Dynomite Dynamometer...... 13 Dynotech Engineering........... 91 Edelbrock.............................. 98 Energy Suspension.....19, 35, 91 Erson Cams............................ 80 FUELAB................................. 38 G Force Racing Transmissions.90 Granatelli Motorsports.......... 93 GRP Connecting Rods............ 30 GZ Motorsports..................... 25 Harland Sharp....................... 25 Harwood............................... 21 HoleShot Wheels................... 42 Holley.................................2, 41 Howard’s Cams...................... 97 Hughes Performance............... 7 Ian Hill Racing....................... 78 Induction Solutions............... 44 Indy Cylinder Head................ 32 Innovate Motorsports.......... 111 JE Pistons.......................53, 102 Jesel...................................... 14 JW Perform. Transmissions.... 11 Kinsler Fuel Injection............. 49 LenTech Automatics.............. 26 LFP Tools............................... 14

Lokar Perf. Products.............. 95 MagnaFuel.............................. 9 Magnuson Superchargers.... 109 MAHLE Clevite Inc............... 101 Manton Pushrods.................. 66 Meziere Precision Mfg............. 8 Mickey Thompson Tires......7, 90 MS3-Pro EFI/DIY Auto Tune... 39 MSD Ignition......................... 28 Neal Chance Converters....29, 65 Nitrous Pro Flow.................... 35 Nitrous Supply...............89, 104 Parts Pro Perf Centers.......... 116 PBM Products........................ 66 Percy’s................................. 100 Performance Engineering..... 28 Performance Improvements.. 85 Perf. Plus Connection.....27, 104 Philadelphia Racing Products (PRP).............................57, 94 Powermaster Performance.... 26 Precision Turbo...................... 87 ProCharger............................ 64 Proform Parts.................77, 106 Pro Systems Carburetors.62,102 PTC........................................ 87 Quick Fuel Technology........... 22 Quik-Latch Products.............. 66 Racecraft............................... 79 Racepak................................ 99 Racequip............................... 51 RAM Clutches........................ 40 Renegade Racing Fuels......... 52 Ross Racing Pistons............5, 30 RPM Events........................... 63 RPM Magazine Subscribe!.114 S&W Race Cars...................... 76 Scorpion Racing Prods............. 9 Shafiroff Racing Engines.. 27,96 Steve Morris Racing Engines. 33 Strange Engineering............. 16 Summit Racing Equip.....24, 115 TCI Automotive...................... 84 Ti64..................................... 100 Tom’s Upholstery................... 86 Trick Flow.............................. 15 TRZ Motorsports.................... 17 Tuned By Shane T.................. 56 12 Strong.............................. 96 VP Racing Fuels.............36, 112 World Products................24, 57


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5


january2019

Be sure to check out our Performance Directory on page 68!

Often Imitated, Never Duplicated—For 20 STRAIGHT YEARS RPM Magazine has been the ORIGINAL Voice Of Wild Street Machines and Extreme Drag Cars WORLDWIDE! Don’t Settle For Less! We DELIVER Insane Fast Cars and Bring You NO POLITICS... JUST ACTION! Your ONLY “Real Time” “Real World” Car Mag...PERIOD!

THE

SO Much Horsepower Packed Into One Place... That Place IS RPM Magazine!

RIDES Professional Grade........................................ 54 Ron Fountain’s well-executed 1968 Camaro is the garage build we can all aspire to!

Work In Progress....................................................... 8 This Mustang has been getting faster ever since 2006, and Chris Damovski isn’t done yet!!

Fast and Loose......................................................... 24 George Rubistello gets wild and crazy in his alcohol-burning ’63 Nova

’Glass Draggin’...................................................... 42 This throwback Corvette funny car is a six-second trip down memory lane

THE

PROJECTS & TECH Shop Talk......................................................................32 Racin’ is Racin’!

TOWTECH

Tow Tech...............................................94 Sometimes you just need a lift

Entropy ............................................................................ 78 Disorder is more probable than order…just don’t look under the hood of this seemingly-deteriorating 1955 GMC truck

Cool Tools......................................................104 Getting our start in machining with the Klutch metal lathe, milling, and drilling machine

Home Again..................................................108 After a 2500-mile round trip, our pro street project car is in our shop. Again. And STILL not painted.

READ COMPLETE ISSUES OF RPM MAG ONLINE AT WWW.RPMMAG.COM 6

january 2019 | RPM Magazine


STANDING ON THE GAS SINCE 1963.

Mickey Thompson was unstoppable. He was the first American to 400+MPH at Bonneville & the manager of Lions Drag Strip. At heart, Mickey was a drag racer, now his DNA lives on in the innovative winning products we build today for drag racers like you. UNCOMPROMISED CONSTRUCTION / UNDISPUTED PERFORMANCE.

www.rpmmag.com | january 2019

7


story by

James Williams

photos by

Rick Kowalcykowski

‘‘M

y first pass

down the track was a blistering 14.85 @90 mph,” said Scarborough, Ontario’s Chris Damovski with a hearty laugh. And fast it wasn’t. But a start, it was. And we all gotta start somewhere, right?

Damovski acquired the car as a hand-medown from his uncle while working in his grandfather’s shop at the tender age of 15. “My uncle had bought the car for $1000, and when it showed up at the shop, it reminded me of my dad’s old ’85 Mustang,” he recalled. “I was probably 7 when he had it and when I found out

he was selling it, I balled my eyes out,” he admitted. After working in the shop all summer, Chris’ uncle stayed true to his word and gave him the car as a roller. With no money, the car sat patiently awaiting its new drivetrain for two years

Chassis Engineering’s Outlaw “TRIPLE” Adjustable Ladder Bars The ultimate ladder bar for heavy, high horsepower race cars. 360 degree housing brackets w/integrated shock mounts. Chromoly construction for strength and lightweight. Includes all rod ends, hardware and brackets.

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january 2019 | RPM Magazine

$499.95 (pr) 36” Outlaw Adj. Ladder Bar Weld-up Kit $474.95 pr

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www.rpmmag.com | january 2019

9


WORK IN PROGRESS

BLOWN The 302 SVO mill features an F1R ProCharger.

10

january 2019 | RPM Magazine


ALL THE RIGHT STUFF A Foxbody Mustang with a cowl hood and beadlocked rear 275 radials is a familiar sight at most dragstrips, but the classic four-eyed varieties are becoming increasingly rare. Damovski’s blown 1985 is an iconic example...and it’s still Ford powered!

when it was eventually treated to a stock replacement motor and a T5 transmission in 2008. That sleepy combo resulted in the previously-mentioned sundial-read ET and two-digit mph that left Chris hungry for more. Upgrades started slowly and affordably and eventually grew over time. First the stock ’86 upper intake and throttle body were swapped to a bit larger ’92 version. The addition of stock springs and a removed factory sway bar improved the time slip to 13.75 @ 100 mph. “The car stayed that way until about 2012 when Paul at PSP built a 306 and I ran a 12.00 @ 113 mph. The car then progressed to 11.80s in 2013 and then in 2014 it went 10.2s with a combination

of my top end on my brother’s short block that we put in my car because his car wasn’t ready,” said. Satisfied with the trend but not with the end result, Damovski decided to completely tear the car apart in 2015, where the bare bones were trucked to JD Auto Collision for a fresh paint job, where it spent the next 8 months undergoing a total metamorphosis. “I started collecting parts for my current setup while the car was in for paint,” Damovski said. The first step in that direction was a Paul Silva Performance-built 336 small block Ford powerplant. Starting with an R302 SVO block, Silva used a Callies Dragon Slayer crank with GRP rods and Diamond pistons.

Trick Flow high-port heads were equipped with Jesel shaft-mount rockers commanded by a PSP custom-grind cam. Induction consists of a ported Edelbrock Super Victor aluminum intake with a Marcella sheet metal elbow and Accufab 105mm throttle body set up to work with a Holley HP EFI system that also triggers an octet of Holley Smart Coils. Entering atmosphere is compressed via a ProCharger F1R supercharger. Backing the blown mill is a 2-speed Powerglide transmission in an all-aluminum case and a Neal Chance two-piece stall converter. Power is then sent back to an 8.8-inch Ford rear end that has been fitted with Moser

www.rpmmag.com | january 2019

11


WORK IN PROGRESS

35-spline axles and a Moser spool. Elsewhere on the build, there’s no full tube chassis here, but rather a less-is-more approach to compliment the factory suspension architecture with a few components

12

to improve traction and enhance rigidity. First, a bolt-in 6-point cage from Wolf Racecraft was installed in the cockpit, while tubular control arms and new K-member were installed up front. Joining them

are Strange single-adjustable struts and a coilover conversion kit and springs. Out back, the Mustang has been beefed up with UPR solid upper and lower control arms and anti-roll bar. Strange single-adjust-

january 2019 | RPM Magazine


THOU SHALT NOT KILL The factory black color was sprayed in 2016 by J.D. Auto Collision, and coupled with the black wheels and fiberglass cowl hood, the sinister look is befitting the car’s nickname, “MURDA GT.”

Damian Pereira photo

www.rpmmag.com | january 2019

13


WORK IN PROGRESS

WHO YA CALLIN’ FOUR EYES? The classic Ford’s lines look great whether standing still or launching at the track. RIGHT: Paul Silva looks on as Damovski drops the hammer for another pass. able shocks were paired with factory springs that have had a single coil removed. Factory disc brakes were retained for stopping duties.

The interior of the car still retains most of the factory pieces, including the full dash, door panels, carpet, and cloth-covered seats. A Holley

Damian Pereira photo

digital dash upgrades the factory gauge cluster, and a Hurst billet pistol grip shifter commands the Powerglide. Rolling stock consists of

THE

ORIGINAL

B ELT D R I V E SYST EM Patented High Torq Drive™ reinforced belt runs dry, spins with less friction than timing chains or gear drives and absorbs harmonics. Kit hardware is all Grade 8 Allen and Torx™ design. Cam timing is externally adjustable. 2 Piece Pulley is infinitely adjustable ±10°. Solid Pulley is adjustable ±8° in 2° increments. Crank Pulley is heat-treated steel and incorporates a High Torq Drive™ tooth configuration. Hard coated Billet Aluminum Upper Pulley features patented High Torq Drive™ tooth configuration. Teflon® coated vacuum cam and crank seals. Accessories available to run distributor drives, fuel pumps or oil pumps off front of cam. For product videos and information, visit us at Jesel.com or call us at 732-901-1800

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january 2019 | RPM Magazine


Win Big.

Trick Flow’s PowerPort ® 365 aluminum cylinder heads were designed and built for you to win races. These extreme performance race heads for big block Chevy engines flow a massive 424 cfm @ .900" lift. The high-strength castings can withstand enormous amounts of compression and RPM. Rectangular-shaped 365cc CNC Competition Ported runners, 119cc heart-shaped chambers, CNC bowl blended valve seat transitions, 24° intake valve angles with 4° side cants, and the highest quality valvetrain components help make PowerPort 365 heads the best choice for your car. Use PowerPort 365 heads on your engine and turn your goal of winning into reality! Dyno Results PowerPort 365

Test Engine: 13.86:1 compression 572 c.i.d. with Trick Flow PowerPort® 365 cylinder heads (TFS-4141T804-C02), solid roller camshaft (285°/298° duration @ .050"; .900"/.828" lift; 114° lobe separation), 1.8/1.7 ratio shaft mount roller rocker arms, Trick Flow R-Series intake manifold (TFS-41400111), Holley Gen 3 Ultra Dominator 1,425 cfm carburetor, Trick Flow by Stainless Works headers (TFS-DBBC238250), 3½" dual exhaust with Flowmaster mufflers, Q16 racing fuel.

1811RPCT

www.rpmmag.com |

2019 15

Some parts are not legal for sale or use on any january pollution-controlled motor vehicles.


WORK IN PROGRESS

Billet 3.812 bore case and support / D2002 HD 40 spline lightweight steel spool 10” Pro gear set / U1604 chrome moly 1350 yoke / U1610HD cap kit...... $4,895 Upgrades available 847-663-1701 • Strangeeng.net

16

january 2019 | RPM Magazine


CHRIS DAMOVSKI’S 1985 FORD MUSTANG GT Chassis Type & Mods: Factory subframe with 6-point Wolfe Racecraft bolt-in cage.

Damian Pereira photo

a set of Weld Racing wheels with Mickey Thompson tires. The 275 radial-shod beadlocked rears and the contrasting black and polished finish add just a hint to the car’s true performance potential, with only the 3-inch cowl induction hood and roll bar hoop giving any other clues to the trained eye…at least until the hood is lifted.

Damovski is thankful to the team of talented friends who have helped him turn his dream into reality over the years. “My involvement in the sport really started when I met Paul Silva and his sons. That is when I really started to learn more things about not only cars and helping wrench on my car at the shop, but with racing

Suspension & Brakes: FRONT: UPR K-member and A-arms. Strange single-adjustable struts. QA1 Coilover conversion kit and springs. REAR: UPR solid upper and lower control arms, UPR anti-roll bar, Strange single-adjustable shocks, and stock springs with one coil removed. Factory disc brakes. Body & Paint: Painted factory black in 2016 by J.D. Auto Collision. Engine: R302 SVO block with Trick Flow high port heads built by Paul Silva Performance. Jesel Pro shaft-mount rockers. PSP custom-grind camshaft for supercharged application. Callies Dragon Slayer crankshaft with GRP aluminum rods. Tuned by Ernie Zambri & Chris Damovski. Induction & Fuel Delivery: Edelbrock Super Victor Intake ported by Paul at PSP. Marcella sheet metal elbow and 105mm Accufab throttle body. Power Adder: F1R ProCharger supercharger. Electronics & Ignition: Holley EFI HP ECU, Holley digital dash, and Holley Smart Coils. Transmission & Driveline: 2-speed Powerglide with aluminum case and two-piece Neal Chance converter. Differential: Ford 8.8 rearend with Moser 35-spline axles and Moser spool.

www.rpmmag.com | january 2019

17


STEALTH MODE Unlike many Mustangs, Damovski’s GT doesn’t show any outward signs of its boosted nature, with no tell tale turbo inlet or front-mounted intercooler. But under the hood it’s another story, where the cog-driven F1R ProCharger happily resides.

and how everything worked,” he said. Tragedy led to opportunity in 2017 when Paul’s son suffered from a brain aneurysm and was hospitalized for 4 months. Not being able to return back to work while recovering, Chris was given the opportunity to take on his position at PSP as

18

january 2019 | RPM Magazine

a mechanic, basically helping Paul with whatever he needs. “I now basically work my dream job that I’ve always wanted to do, wrenching on high-performance Mustangs and putting together race cars and street machines being guided by one of the greats that first started


WORK IN PROGRESS IT’S NOT WHAT YOU THINK! The coil-on-plug ignition may lead you to think that this Ford is just another LS-swapped Foxbody, but closer inspection reveals that it is actually a small block Ford with a full Holley ECU and Smart Coil setup. Blue Oval purists can rejoice!

www.rpmmag.com | january 2019

19


REDEFINING PERFORMANCE

SHP LS NEXT PRO • Superior strength 220 BHN Cast Iron • Full skirt design for use with OE type oil pans and windage trays • Standard LS 9.240” deck height • Bore sizes from 4.000” up to 4.185” • Factory oil filter provision • Priority main oiling • 4-bolt Steel main caps with upgraded ARP main studs • 6-bolts per cylinder capability • 8 counterweight machining

PRO1 LS 12° 285cc CNC • LS7 compatible • RMR Cast Aluminum Alloy • High flowing 285cc CNC intake ports • 12° valve angle with 2.200” x 1.625” valve job • 66cc CNC combustion chambers • 6-bolt per cylinder Q U A L I T Y. S T R E N G T H . P E R F O R M A N C E . S I N C E 1 9 8 1 .

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january 2019 | RPM Magazine


WORK IN PROGRESS DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR The Mustang sports a nice mix of factory interior pieces and updates like a 6-point cage, Holley digital dash, and Hurst billet Quarter Stick shifter.

off with Fox Body mustangs in Canada,” he added. Others who have been instrumental include Kieron & Terrell from JD Auto Collision, Ryan,

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1962 - 1965 CHEVY II NOVA 4” COWL INDUCTION HOOD

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Brandon, and Michael Silva at PSP, brother Tommy Damovski, Ernie Zambri for tuning assistance, and Diego Lopes at DCT for dyno time.

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www.rpmmag.comMARCH/2018 | january 2019 RPM

21


WORK IN PROGRESS While Chris is pretty guarded about the kind of performance numbers the foureyed ’Stang is capable of today, there’s a good chance it’s

light years away from the first pass he laid down back in 2006. There’s an equally good chance that it isn’t as fast today as it will be tomorrow.

FAST FRIENDS Damovski (right) and buddy Ryan Silva (left) proudly stand by the Stang. Ryan is making an amazing recovery from a brain aneurysm. Keep it up, Ryan!

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january2019 | RPM Magazine


story by

Toby Brooks

“M

y good friend RJ Miolla said it needed a name,” recalled Lake Peeskill, NY paint and body extraordinaire George Rubistello. After several failed attempts and a

photos by

Neil Zimbaldi, Jr.

few laughs, Miolla (whose own Pro Cameo took the July 2015 cover of RPM) said “Loose Screw,” and that was that. “There couldn’t be a better name for the car,” Rubistello nodded in agreement. We’d have to agree.

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25


FAST AND LOOSE

TUBBED-N-BLOWN The fat Mickey Thompsons, single ‘chute, wheelie bars and fabricated rear wing prove this Nova means business out back, while the fender exit zoomies and blown and injected big block continue the theme up front.

Dave Milcarek

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january2019 | RPM Magazine

photo


After all, the 7-second capable 1963 Nova is a well-executed nod to good old-fashioned horsepower. Devoid of a gaggle of modern gadgets and gizmos, it runs an alcohol-burning 515 cubic-inch blown and injected Rat motor on a relatively short wheelbase, making the likelihood of things getting a bit wild and unpredictable—dare we say downright crazy—a distinct possibility every time Rubistello straps in.

In other words, you might not need a screw or two loose to pilot the little Chevy down the track. But it wouldn’t hurt. The car began as a project in 2004, but some version of it has been running around in Rubistello’s gray matter for the better part of four decades. “I’m 60, and I’ve raced on the track and the street since I was 16,” he said matter-of-factly. “At 9, I would watch the local racers pass my house heading to

the drag strip for Sunday racing,” he added. Frequent trips with his father cemented Rubistello’s love for speed and the machines that make it possible. Rubistello purchased the car after the sad passing of the previous owner and friend, Bob Brazee. At the time, it was red and had been treated to a mild pro street back half and a pair of fat tires. “I couldn’t resist the lure of the track, and not long after I got it, I went

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LOW SLUNG LIGHTWEIGHT The Nova rides on a full chromoly tube chassis and features a removable fiberglass front clip for easy access to the big Rat between rounds.

to Island Dragway in New Jersey where I proceeded to break the axles,” he recalled with a laugh. And like so many of us, a broken race car isn’t always a bad thing. In fact, it’s all the excuse we need to rationalize the time

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january2019 | RPM Magazine

and money needed to do more upgrades. “During the winter of 2005 I disassembled the Nova and really made it a race car,” he added. The first task was to replace the backhalf and tie the factory subframe with a full


FAST AND LOOSE

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FAST AND LOOSE chromoly tube chassis. Strange struts were employed up front, while a custom 4-link with QA1 double-adjustable shocks rides out back. The far more respectable slammed stance helps looks greatly, and the added rigidity and safety were critically important for the plans Rubistello had for the future. A quartet of Strange disc brakes were added to help slow the roll, while a fabricated Ford 9-inch housing was

stuffed full of more Strange goodies including a spool, 35-spline axles, and 4.30 gears before being mounted in place. Power for the Nova comes from the previously mention 515 ci big block Chevy. Rotating assembly consists of a forged crank with GRP rods and Ross blower pistons. A COMP solid roller cam spins thanks to a Jesel belt drive and an MSD ignition lights the fires. Induction consists

HUFFED AND PUFFED The 515 cubic inch big block Chevy sports a 10/71 Blower Shop supercharger with an Enderle mechanical injection system setup for alcohol.

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january2019 | RPM Magazine


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oto D ave

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rek ph

FAST AND LOOSE

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january2019 | RPM Magazine


GEORGE RUBISTELLO’S 1963 CHEVY NOVA DRAG CAR of a polished billet Blower Shop 10/71 supercharger equipped with an Enderle Big-n-Ugly mechanical injection system. George is tight-lipped on the dyno numbers, but there’s no doubt it’s a 4-digit pull. With the heart and skeleton both adequately addressed, Rubistello turned his attention to the car’s 50+ year old skin. Fiberglass components were obtained and fit to replace the front clip, doors, and deck lid while Lexan glass was also selected to get the little Nova down to a more respectable fighting weight. The wild paint is now the second paint job Rubistello has

Chassis Type & Mods: 7.50-certified full chromoly tube chassis. Suspension & Brakes: FRONT: Strange struts with Strange disc brakes. REAR: Custom 4-link with double-adjustable QA1 coil overs and Strange disc brakes. Body & Paint: Custom one-piece removable fiberglass front end, fiberglass doors, fiberglass deck lid, and Lexan glass. Owner-prepped and painted custom two-tone paint with House of Kolors black and PPG Vibrance Yella with custom graphics. Engine: 515 cubic inch big block Chevy. Forged crankshaft, GRP aluminum connecting rods, and Ross blower pistons. COMP solid roller camshaft. Jesel belt drive and MSD crank trigger. Moroso billet oil pump with custom two-piece aluminum oil pan. Induction & Fuel Delivery: Enderle methanol fuel pump and Enderle Big-n-Ugly mechanical injection system. Power Adder: 10/71 billet Blower Shop supercharger. Electronics & Ignition: MSD 7 AL 3 box and MSD Pro Billet distributor. Racepak data system with digital dash. Optima battery. Transmission & Driveline: ATI Powerglide transmission with Pro Torque stall converter. Cheetah electric shifter. Rear Differential: Fabricated 9-inch Ford with Strange spool, Strange 35-spline axles, and Strange 4.30 gears. Tires & Wheels: FRONT: 15 x 3-inch American Racing Torque Thrust wheels with Mickey Thompson 15 x 4-inch ET Front tires. REAR: 15 x 15 Mickey Thompson double beadlocked ET Drag wheels with Mickey Thompson ET Drag slicks. Performance (quarter-mile): 7.70 @ 178 mph.

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january2019 | RPM Magazine


FAST AND LOOSE PURPOSE BUILT The Nova’s interior isn’t exactly luxurious, but it gets the job done. A Racepak dash relays the critical info, while Racequip safety gear keeps Rubistello secure.

had on the car. The two-tone scheme flaunts a bright PPG Vibrance Yella hue with a sharply contrasting House of Kolors black separated by a multi-colored graphic at and just below the body line. The interior is all business, with a single racing bucket nestled among the tube work. A Racepak digital dash relays all the important numbers while Racequip gear

in the form of belts, nets, and on-board fire containment system keep the pilot safe and sound in the event of the unthinkable. Speaking of sound, there is no audio system necessary thanks to the ear-splitting zoomie headers that dump just ahead of the doors. Since completing the car, Rubistello and wife Karen have logged thousands of miles campaigning the

www.rpmmag.com | january2019

35


FAST AND LOOSE

George and wife Karen enjoy campaigning the Nova across the country, particularly on the east coast. Special thanks to Policastro and Gunther’s Rush Auto for the use of their service station for our photo shoot!

car at tracks all over the country, starting early on in the Pinks All Out series as well as Pass Time, NHRA Unleashed, and Pinks 2.0 at Rockingham in 2015. Most recently, Loose Screw has been a feature act in Brian Bossone’s All Out: Live series (featured in the December 2018 issue of RPM), where local “Joe” racers can call out the travelling “pros” of the series in fun exciting grass-roots drag race action. “Never could I have imagined the moment when Brian Bossone would ask me in a live

broadcast to be part of his street outlaw “Call Out Crew with Ryan Hall’s Team Roxy, Shannon Poole’s Big Dookie and Red Bull, Kenjo Kelly, and Wild Bill Devine as the lone grassroots guy,” Rubistello said. “I’ve been working on the car day and night to be ready with the help of my friends, and I am happy to represent,” he concluded. So locals, consider yourself forewarned. Calling out the Loose Screw might not be the best choice. Some might go so far as to say it’d be crazy.

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january2019 | RPM Magazine


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37


SHOP TALK

RACIN’ isRACIN’ JT

story and photos by

T

he other day, one of my buddies asked why an old friend of ours doesn’t come to the track anymore. I laughed and said, “he’s a street racer now.” My

38

response was immediately met with another question. “Okay, but why can’t he come to the track anymore?” In recent years, I’ve come to learn that some people think that drag racing isn’t drag racing—and that all long and smooth roads are

january 2019 | RPM Magazine

not created equal. I’m not talking about blacktop versus concrete or high-altitude versus sea level. I guess I never received the memo explaining that if you race on the “street” or a no prep surface such as an airstrip that you can’t race at the

track—or vice versa, for that matter. The guy my friends were referring to would only take his car to the track for the longest time. I invited him on multiple occasions to go on road trips with me to street events and always got

the same answer: “No, I’m a track guy!” What’s funny is that his car is registered and insured and he even takes it around town for an occasional cruise. Recently, he started hanging out with a group of “street racers” who’ve convinced him


For those like me, racing is as simple as when someone noses up to a traffic light and tries to get a jump on you. I pride myself that our family 3.4 liter SUV enjoys a winning record during our daily commute. My daughter actually expects it whenever we are the first car at a traffic light. that the track isn’t cool anymore. So now he does all of his testing, tuning, and racing on the streets, which in today’s world seems a bit backwards. In my pursuit to find extreme, high-horsepower, big-tire cars to write about, I’m finding that some guys do not want to use the track for their action shots because they fear that it will hurt their “street cred.” The problem is that it’s nearly impossible to do a high-quality photo shoot on the street. There is simply too much gear to move around—but perhaps more importantly, there’s the risk of getting arrested! As a compromise, I’ve even gone so far as to rent a track and have the owners start past the 60-foot prepped line so that we are using an un-prepped surface. But the fact that it’s still at the track stops guys from coming. On the flip side, I’ve rented airstrips and have had the track guys refuse to come. Now for those of you who aren’t familiar with this dilemma, allow me to dive further into the

minute differences in drag racing. Apparently, not everyone enjoys bracket racing and racing against your dial-in number. I, for one, prefer heads-up racing, but do not have the budget to build a car suitable for a pro NHRA class. I also don’t have the time to drive to the many sanctioned outlaw classes available in other parts of the country. No-time racing offers a driver the opportunity to test their car at the track without sharing its performance with everyone watching. Grudge racing gives a racer an opportunity to do heads-up racing at a track but without performance restraints/ limitations of a class. It’s all about the negotiation. No-prep racing is still held at the track, but the starting line was not prepped for that actual event. Let’s make one thing clear here: the “unprepped” surface is still 100 times more sticky than a street. Plus, it offers the added bonus of safety and the legalities that go along with street racing.

Eighthmile and quarter-mile are offered in most all of these categories. It simply depends on the event and how your car is set up. For example, my car is currently set up for eighth-mile races. The 5.13 gear that I have pulls extremely hard and offers me the most performance for my setup. When I run the quarter-mile with this set-up, I run out of gear around 800 feet and hit the rev limiter. My quarter-mile time does not represent the performance of my car at all. But, as part of the game, I run the quarter-mile from time to time hoping to lure in a potential eighth-mile grudge race. They know by the sound of my car that I’m not sandbagging by getting off the throttle early or getting on the brakes near the traps. Little did they know that all I really wanted was the data from the first 660 feet. The rest of the track—and run for that matter—was simply to get people to pursue a money race with me. I wave no flag when it comes to drag racing.

The dragstrip offers a much safer and legal place to pursue your passion for racing. This picture clearly illustrates the difference between a prepped surface and a non-prepped surface.

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39


SHOP TALK I can agree and get along with both the track and no-prep racers just fine. What I can’t wrap my head around is how sensitive people are to their own mystique and persona, and risk everything to be an “outlaw street racer,” including the lives of innocent people when there are airstrips and private areas available. Let’s go one step further and dare to race on the back eighth-mile of a track. There is absolutely no prep whatsoever down there and you are now a law-abiding citizen. So I leave you with this thought: who cares if you took your 1,000 plus horsepower car to the track? And why should you care what people think in the first place? Who cares if you took your bracket racing monster to an airstrip for a legal grudge race? What’s wrong with going to a closedloop private industrial area like they do on TV? With so many safer and legal options currently available, I just don’t understand the continued appeal of racing on the

40

street. The kicker is, if those legal alternatives continue to disappear due to low use, we won’t even have the choice anymore. In my old-fashioned opinion, racing is racing as long as it doesn’t unnecessarily risk the lives of innocent people. Eighth-mile, quarter-mile, or anything else— heck, I bet it would be fun to race for the best 60-foot times. In our ever-growing world, dragstrips are closing down and private areas are getting harder and harder to find. There might be a day when we simply won’t ever be able to race our cars again. Instead of judging each other, we should compliment one another for the simple fact that we are pursuing our passion. We are using our hardearned money and time to spend endless hours in our shops making our cars ready for Friday night, Saturday, or Sunday afternoon. Racing is racing my friends. When you mash your foot to the floor, it all begins. Until next time, keep wrenching!

What side of the fence do you race on? And more importantly, can you still hang out with your friend on the other side of the fence?

When it comes to drag racing, I don’t believe you have to wave any particular flag. Drag racing is a passion-driven sport and finding someone else who shares your same passion is the foundation of a great relationship. Why limit yourself and wave a particular flag on your hauler? Street racers, noprep racers, grudge racers, bracket racers—can’t we all just get along?

january 2019 | RPM Magazine

Unless you are a full-time professional drag racer, this phrase is absolutely ridiculous. Let’s be honest: to afford your high-horsepower machine, you have a career of some type. Perhaps it is as an accountant, mechanic, contractor, lawyer, or teacher. The point is, you are not a member of some notorious street gang. Taking your car to the local drag strip will most certainly not affect your “street cred.” I have no problem whatsoever taking my beast to car shows, and I trailer it there to top it off. If someone accuses me of having a show car or a trailer queen I consider that the highest compliment. I also end up taking their money the next time we meet at a race.


www.rpmmag.com | january2019

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story by

photos by

Al Heisley

G

eorge Reidnauer was introduced to drag racing by his father in the mid-’70s. His dad, who used to deliver bread for a living, would rush home

42

to pick young George up as soon as he got off work early Sunday mornings and the duo would drive over to Maple Grove Raceway for the day. Of course, the funny cars would be there—and that’s

Carl Skillman

where George first fell in love with the fabulous floppers. Fast forward several years and George had started his own construction business by the age of 25. He got married, helped raise his three kids,

january 2019 | RPM Magazine

and waited until they were out of high school before he purchased his first race car—an alcohol funny car. Reidnauer is a lifelong Al Hoffman fan. One day in 2005 while browsing eBay, he

stumbled across Hoffman’s first race car for sale. The China Syndrome funny car was a slant-nosed Vega that Hoffman had purchased from Radici & Wise. As fortune would have it, George bid on


www.rpmmag.com | january 2019

43


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january 2019 | RPM Magazine


’GLASS DRAGGIN’ it and won. Next thing he knew, he was at Hoffman’s Central Florida home picking it up and preparing for the trip home. “It was probably the worst thing I’ve ever done, because from that

point forward, I’ve been addicted,” he admitted. When Reidnauer unloaded the body at his home in the Philadelphia, PA area, he didn’t have a matching chassis for it. Hoffman thought that it

had been a Plugger chassis, but he had no idea where it was. George, undeterred, decided to move ahead with his project to rebuild the classic fuel coupe as an alky-burner with another chassis.

THE GOOD OLD DAYS Nostalgia cars are fast, but they put on a heck of a show, too. Massive burnouts, dry hops, and throttle whacks are just part of the fun you probably won’t get at a modern race, but all are in ample supply at nostalgia meets.

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’GLASS DRAGGIN’ Sadly, before he was ready to bring it out in 2008, Hoffman passed away. Big Al never got to see his original ride again. While unfortunate and disappointing, Reidnauer was still rightfully proud of what he’d accomplished. As soon as the car was finished, it was displayed at different Hot Rod Reunions. While the show scene was okay for a while, George quickly realized that he wasn’t a display kind of guy. To take things to the next level, in 2009 he bought the Corvette that he has now from the Maroney family in Arizona. It was the old Blind Faith funny car from back in the mid-’70s. Reidnauer went to Doug Foley’s Drag Racing School where he got his Super Comp 7.50 license in one of the school’s dragsters. Once licensed, he jumped in his alcohol funny car and made a few

46

passes while sorting it out. As soon as he started running more competitive numbers, he got his Advanced ET license and has been racing ever since. It goes without saying that the swoopy, low-slung Corvette is not your everyday new-style funny car. Referred to a “laydown car,” the roofline is a measly 46 inches from the racing surface in an early attempt to reduce the aero envelope. The Ken Cox & Ken Veney chassis was originally built in 1975 for a fuel car, so it works very well as an alcohol ride. Only minor updates have been necessary to keep the cert current. Power for the ’Vette consists of a 526 ci Brad Anderson Hemi with BAE fuel heads, a Bryant 4.500 crankshaft, GRP rods, and Arias pistons. Valvetrain consists of an Erson camshaft with Manton pushrods and

Victory valves. A Littlefield Hi-Helix 14/71 blower sits atop the engine with an Enderle buzzard catcher mechanical injection hat. An MSD mag and wires send fire to the NGK plugs. Transmission duties are handled through a 3-disc Boninfante centrifugal clutch with a B&J 3-speed transmission. The B&J was selected over a Lenco because the Lenco puts the reverser under the seat and because the car sits so low, it just won’t fit. A Lakewood bellhousing mates the engine and trans together while protecting the driver in the event of a clutch frag. A 9-inch rear housing has been solidly mounted to the chassis after being fit with a Moser center section and Summer Brothers axles. Beefy 36-inch Goodyear slicks fill most of the space save for the driver in rear, while matching

january 2019 | RPM Magazine


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刀嘀䐀ⴀ㄀ 㨀 唀瀀 琀漀 ㄀⼀㐀ᴠ 爀椀瘀攀琀猀 刀一䐀ⴀ㄀ ⴀ嬀匀⼀䴀崀㨀 唀瀀 琀漀 ㌀⼀㠀ᴠ 漀爀 䴀㄀  爀椀瘀攀琀 渀甀琀猀

刀一䐀ⴀ㄀ 

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刀䤀䐀䜀䔀䜀䄀吀䔀 吀伀伀䰀匀 ☀ 吀䔀䌀䠀

january 2019 | RPM Magazine

WILD ’OL FLOPPER The low-slung Corvette body is swoopy and cool even in raw fiberglass, but the insane Chuck Buckler graphics push it over the edge into legendary status. The design harkens back to a time when cars were adorned with actual artist-applied artwork and cool car names rather than corporate sponsorship wraps. Goodyear front runners roll fore. Safety is critically important in any drag car, and Excalibur is no different, sporting a host of equipment from Taylor Motorsports Products and DJ Safety Equipment. The unique paint and graphics on the car make it a standout wherever it runs, but Reidnauer admits that naming the car was one of his most difficult decisions on the build. Legendary drag artist Chuck Buckler from Maryland— perhaps best known for his wild creations on the Oakley fuel funny cars of Scotty Cannon and Gary Scelzi of the late ’90s and early 2000s as well as the equally awesome schemes of

Jim Head over the years—was responsible for air brushing the entire car. The team is using the same basic combination they always have but have steadily improved for predictable and repeatable performance. From the day it was initially put together until now, they have actually beat some nitro funny cars. An example of this was the recent Chris Graves Funny Car Chaos meet held at the Central Illinois Dragway. “It was a ‘run what you brung’ deal with an A field and a B field,” said Reidnauer. “The A field consisted of the eight fastest qualifiers and the B field consisted of the next eight fastest quali-


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49


’GLASS DRAGGIN’ fiers,” he added. Reidnauer and fellow alky-burner Steve Timoszyk cracked into the A field with six other nitro funny cars. The B field also consisted of a few nitro funny cars to give you an idea of the competition. “It was a tricky track and we had our share of problems, but we were able to put down a half decent qualifying lap to get into the A group and we went to the semi-finals. We were very happy,” he concluded. Reidnauer is quick to credit his team, a skilled and capable bunch

50

that he counts as good personal friends. For example, Bill and Pam Hardy crew the car everywhere it competes, with Bill serving as crew chief. “Bill has done a phenomenal job on the fuel system especially. That’s one reason why we run so well,” he said. When George’s wife isn’t available, Bill’s wife, Pam, a.k.a. ‘Jungle Pam’, will back him up. Andrew Jones takes care of the top end and many other tasks in getting the car ready for each run. Mike Hall and his soon-tobe wife, Gayleen

Mack make up the rest of the crew. Reidnauer is also thankful to Lou Sgro who took him under his wing when he was starting out. He tuned the car and got a good baseline. Others who have helped a lot are Bruce Larson and Nick Boninfante. All have added their experience and knowledge to George’s racing. While George is proud of his family, the experienced building contractor admits that his wife of thirty-one years, two grown sons, and grown daughter aren’t really into the whole

january 2019 | RPM Magazine

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’GLASS DRAGGIN’ drag racing scene. However, he says that despite their differing interests, his family is fully supportive of his pursuits, encouraging dear old hubby/dad to run down his passions at full throttle. And for Reidnauer, that probably results in yet another low 6-second pass at over 220 miles per hour.

L to R: George Reidnauer, Mike Hall, and Gayleen Hall.

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january 2019 | RPM Magazine

LEFT: George Reidnauer straps in for another pass. ABOVE: Mike & Gayleen Hall crew the car between rounds. BELOW: (L to R): Torri Hall, Gayleen Mack-Hall, Mike Hall, Andrew Jones, George Reidnauer, Jungle Pam Hardy, Bill Hodgson.


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january 2019 | RPM Magazine

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www.rpmmag.com | january2019

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PROFESSIONAL...

S

evern, Ontario’s Ron Fountain was tired of the hassle. Fed up with the fight. Weary of the war. With a 9-second capable but non-caged 1970 Nova that he had street raced for years, every time he went to the track he’d get scolded for having a car that lacked the necessary safety equipment for its speed. Compounding the problem was the fact that the street racing scene had all but dried up and the nearest track was three hours away. “So going for one or two passes (before being shut down by track safety personnel) was

no fun.” He needed a better solution. “I decided that it was time to build a car I could take to the track, meet all the rules, and as a bonus keep me safe,” he said. “I’d always loved first-gen Camaros, so I started looking for a small tire/stock suspension car that I could race in a lot of different classes,” he added. That search ended when a clean, bare metal basket case located some 7 hours away popped up on the internet one day. Every inch of the car had been stripped to bare metal and it was super clean—a particularly rare occurrence in that

STANCETASTIC

56

The Camaro’s lowslung stance is the result of a factory front stub that has been updated with components from QA1 and a rear setup with leaf springs and an RJ Race Cars antiroll bar. Other than a mini-tub, everything out back is stock configuration, but the Chevy still rocks a nicely raked in-theweeds look.

january 2019 | RPM Magazine

part of the world. “The ad had only been up for a few minutes, but I called the guy and by the end of the day I had plans to pick the car up that weekend,” Fountain said with a laugh. The 14-hour round trip provided plenty of time to plot and plan the build, and Fountain

had formulated his next steps by the time he returned home with the classic Chevy in tow. Drivetrain would be donated by the Nova. And nearly everything would be handled inhouse in Fountain’s garage. That potent powertrain started as an owner-built 427 ci


www.rpmmag.com | january2019

57


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january 2019 | RPM Magazine

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...GRADE BLACKED OUT

The Camaro features deep tinted glass and a stealth set of matte black Weld Racing wheels wrapped in Mickey Thompson hides.

small block Chevy initially pieced together about a decade ago that was assembled with the goal of 800 horse of streetable power. Starting with a Dart standard deck height block, Fountain added an Eagle crank and Eagle H-beam

rods swinging boost-friendly 9.5:1 compression Wiseco pistons. A custom ground Lunati roller cam was partnered with Crower severe duty roller lifters and COMP Cams chromoly pushrods. CNC-ported AFR 227 aluminum

heads were fit with Crower 1.6 ratio roller rockers and PAC springs before being torqued into place using Cometic head gaskets and ARP hardware. A Moroso pan and Melling HV pump keep the internals happily lubricated.

www.rpmmag.com | january2019

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PROFESSIONAL...

60

january 2019 | RPM Magazine

WHOA NELLY

The fabricated aluminum pro stock-style rear wing adds top end stability, while a single Simpson chute hangs off a custom mount to slow the Chevy after another pass of non-disclosed speed and ET.


Induction consists of a Wilson Manifolds CNCported Edelbrock Super Victor aluminum intake with an 850 cfm CSU carb crowned with an Extreme Velocity carb hat. A ProCharger F1R supercharger is spun via a cog drive with an RCD Engineering crankshaft support and blows up to 22 psi through a 3,000 hp-capable ProCharger intercooler. Backing the engine is a TH400 built by neighbor and friend Tony Juhasz. The trans features an Ultra Bell case, Atco clutch packs and a pro mod intermediate sprag. Other fortified internals include an oversized intermediate piston, a beefy 300m input shaft, and a billet forward clutch hub. Juhasz built the custom trans brake himself and a bulletproof Neal Chance 9.0-inch bolt-together 5,500 stall converter helps ensure reliable launches.

www.rpmmag.com | january2019

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january 2019 | RPM Magazine


...GRADE

NO TRAILER QUEEN HERE

The burnt rubber adorning both quarters is proof positive this Camaro gets flogged hard. Whether it’s a nasty burnout or another pass down the track, Fountain isn’t afraid to smash the loud pedal and let her eat.

Andrew Radiotis photo

Further downstream, an owner-built 3.5inch chromoly driveshaft sends power to the beefed-up Ford 9-inch rear. A Yukon aluminum center section has

been equipped with US Gear 3.50 street gears and Moser 40-spline gun drilled axles and spool ensure that the rear end is not the weak link in this—or most any—pow-

ertrain. Chassis and suspension modifications are limited but effective. Factory mounting locations and geometries have been maintained throughout. Up

front, the factory subframe has been outfitted with tubular control arms and QA1 coilovers. Out back, a DSE minitub kit makes way for beefier tires, but

www.rpmmag.com | january2019

63


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january 2019 | RPM Magazine

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BIG LITTLE SMALL BLOCK

The ProCharged 427 ci small block Chevy has been stuffed full of internals from Eagle and Lunati and is good for more than 800 horsepower.

factory leafs have been partnered with an RJ Race Cars anti-roll bar and QA1 single-adjustable rear shocks for simple but effective hook. Neighbor Juhasz again pitched in on the construction of the clean cagework, including a funny car-style hoop to protect Fountain in the event of catastrophe. Paint and body might appear to be

the work of a pro, but like most everything else on the car were handled in a modest home garage by Fountain and friends. Factory roof and rockers were retained and original GM replacement doors, fenders, and quarters were used to replace any rot (a lightweight fiberglass cowl hood is the only non-factory piece on the body). The

slippery-smooth owner-applied basecoat/clearcoat metallic charcoal hue works well with deep tinted glass and black powder coated wheels to give the car a sinister look suitable for any villain. Body mods were held to a minimum, with factory trim retained throughout. No flash graphics or wild wraps here—only a fabricated alumi-

www.rpmmag.com | january2019

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RICK FOUNTAIN’S 1968 CHEVY CAMARO Chassis Type & Mods: Factory front subframe. DSE mini-tubs in rear. Custom Tony Juhasz 12-point cage with funny car bars. Suspension: FRONT: Stock-style suspension with QA1 tubular control arms and QA1 coil overs. REAR: Stock suspension mounting locations with leaf springs. RJ Race Cars anti-roll bar and QA1 single-adjustable coil overs. Body & Paint: All steel except fiberglass hood. GM replacement doors and fenders with factory roof and rockers. Custom fabricated aluminum rear wing. All body and paint work by owner in home garage. Engine: Owner-built 427 ci small block Chevy. Dart standard deck height block with 4.000-inch stroke. 9.5:1 compression pistons with Eagle crank and Eagle H-beam rods. Lunati custom roller camshaft (264/272 @ 0.50) with Crower severe duty lifters, COMP chromoly pushrods, and 1.6 Crower roller rockers. AFR CNC ported cylinder heads with PAC springs and Cometic head gaskets and ARP hardware throughout. Induction & Fuel Delivery: Edelbrock Super Victor aluminum intake manifold (CNC ported by Wilson Manifolds). CSU 850 cfm carb with dual needle and seat bowls. Extreme velocity carb hat. ProCharger 3,000 hp air-to-water intercooler mounted under the dash with trunk-mounted ice water tank/pump. Power Adder: ProCharger F1R supercharger. Electronics & Ignition: MSD 7531 ignition with MSD coil, wires, and distributor. Powermaster alternator. Car has all working lights, turn signals, etc. Transmission & Driveline: TH400 with Ultra Bell “built by my neighbor (Tony Juhasz) in his garage.” Atco clutch packs, oversized intermediate piston, promod intermediate sprag, 300m input shaft, and billet forward clutch hub. Neal Chance bolt-together 9.0-inch 5,500 RPM stall converter. Custom trans brake. Differential: Braced Ford 9-inch with 3.5-inch axle tubes built by owner. Yukon aluminum center section, US Gear 3.50 street gears, and 10-bolt aluminum pinion support. 40-spline gun drilled Moser axles with Moser spool and Moser 5/8-inch studs. Custom 3.5-inch chromoly driveshaft built by owner.

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january 2019 | RPM Magazine


...GRADE

num pro stock-style rear spoiler and single chute out back hint at the car’s low some-second (he’s a grudge racer, after all) ET capability. The interior is straight to the point and designed with

purpose in mind. A single black racing bucket with an RJS harness keep fountain secured in place, while the black door panels, factory dash, headliner, and carpet have all been continued on page 76

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Page 68

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Page 75

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RPM FEATURE CAR SPECIAL THANKS:

“Tony Juhasz did an awesome job on the chassis work in the car. He also built the transmission and is always at the track with me helping make the car go faster. My wife Ashley is a huge help getting the car ready between rounds and helping at the starting line. My friend Justin Rich from Orillia Tool and CNC did all the custom machined parts on the car for me. Lee Spear and Chris Thompson are always there to help with anything I need on the car and helping out at the track. The car wouldn’t be what it is today without the help of these great friends.”

76

january 2019 | RPM Magazine


QUALITY THROUGHOUT

Every inch of the car shows attention to detail. From trick billet parts like the CNC volute (left) to the custom front suspension (top middle) and the cleanly detailed trunk (bottom middle), the “SS” could stand for “Super Sano.” BELOW: (Left to right) Dad Ron Fountain, owner/ builder Ron Fountain, and mom Nancy Fountain.

retained. A collection of Auto Meter gauges relay important data, while the intercooler occupies the space where a friend might have once ridden. The end result is exactly what Fountain was looking for: namely a punishing yet well-built creation that is docile enough to effortlessly idle and cruise but fast—and safe—enough to hurt feelings and win at the track. And all for pennies on the dollar of what it would have cost to have done at a professional shop. “I’ve always been a street racer and never had much to do with track racing until I built this car,” Fountain said. “I take a lot of pride in doing most of the work on the car myself and I enjoy learning new skills along the way,” he concluded. And when the results are this spectacular, why wouldn’t you, Ron? It’s professional grade!

www.rpmmag.com | january2019

77


“L

78

ack of order or predictability. Gradual decline into disorder.” Entropy isn’t a suggestion. It isn’t a probability. It is a scientific law. In short, it is the natural order of things to decline, decay, and become less organized—unless energy is added to the system. Take Kevin Amar’s unassuming 1955 GMC 3100 pickup. At first glance, it would appear to be a straight—although well-weathered—classic GM truck. The rusty exterior would seem to suggest that

the natural order of things is in full swing. Specifically, that the 60+-year-old sheet metal is well on its way to oxidizing back into the elements from which it was created decades ago. From the crusty front bumper down to the subtle steelie hub caps, it looks just like a sleepy farm truck that has probably spent its days hauling hay bales around the back forty ever since the Eisenhower administration—and has the worn paint and miles to prove it. But one peek under the hood is all it takes to reveal that any assumptions of

january 2019 | RPM Magazine

passive decay are not just misplaced but patently false. “Kenny’s Rod Shop built this truck for me from the ground up,” said owner Kevin Amar. The Meridian, Idaho native wanted a true sleeper build with all the bells and whistles hidden away amidst an unassuming classic pickup wrapper. Kenny’s started with a relatively clean and straight all-original shell that had already started down the project car path. “When I purchased the truck, the cab had been primered and prepped for paint, while the rest of the

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www.rpmmag.com | january 2019

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ENTROPY

body had a weathered look that I loved,� Amar said. So in the spirit of entropy, the KRS staff worked to bring the prepped cab up (down?) to par with the rest of the body, and with the help of Ron Wolfe, created the perfect patina finish that was then sealed under a few coats of PPG satin clear. Absolutely no bod mods, re-pop parts, or fiberglass replacement panels were

80

used. The end result was the well-worn shell Amar wanted to house a plethora of chassis and drivetrain upgrades. While the exterior sheet metal looks untouched, the stance of the classic GMC has obviously been dramatically altered. Up front, a TCI Mustang

january 2019 | RPM Magazine


ROTTEN EYED JOE?

Sure, it looks like a crusty old farm truck you might find leaking its fluids under a shade tree somewhere in middle America...but the large diameter steelie look-alike wheels and low profile tires hint at some possible sleeper shenanigans going on here.

www.rpmmag.com | january 2019

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ENTROPY

LOWERED EXPECTATIONS

The GMC sits atop a modified chassis with a custom 2x4 backhalf and a sweet slammed stance. The Mustang II front suspension is complemented by 2-inch drop spindles and big disc brakes. II suspension was grafted onto the factory framerails. A pair of 2-inch dropped spindles further enhance the slam and a pair of Wilwood Big Brakes provide plenty of whoa. A power rack and pinion steering system also enhances cruising comfort. Out back, a custom-fabricated 2x4inch back half chassis was constructed by KRS to make way for a 4-link suspended fabbed 9-inch housing. The sheetmetal housing was equipped with shortened 35-spline axles and Dutchman center section with a posi unit and 3.90 gears. Another pair

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With so many different components doing different things, how do I know which sleeve to use?

DEI offers over a dozen affordable and highly effective cable, hose and line protection solutions. From insulating to reflecting damaging heat, there are several effective options that feature

flexibility, different temperature ratings and are light weight. Protection for spark plug wires to prevent burning and cracking Installation is easy with What kind of DEI products sleeving that simply wraps around wiring, would you recommend? secures with hook and loop closure or Choose from the popular selling DEI Heat slides over. Sheath™, the highly abrasion-resistant EXO™ How do they work? Series Sleeve with its stainless-steel outer Utilizing different types of braided glass covering, the new Vapor Block™ fuel line and basalt base material, the various styles sleeve or the extremely light-weight, racing of DEI sleeves/shrouds protect components application, Ultra 47™ Sheath. such as wiring, cables, hoses, fuel/oil/brake/ DEI has the correct wire, cable, hose and transmission lines-even speedometer cables. line solution to protect you from potential They work by reflecting heat away or insuunder-hood, heat-related problems later, lating from heat, in turn, protecting critical when you least expect them. components from thermal damage. Depending on your needs, some sleeves can protect up to 1800°F direct heat and 2500°F radiant. These coverings also protect from cold, moisture, oil, dirt, road and track grime.

Available at

www.rpmmag.com | january 2019

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ENTROPY

To Run Like A Pro... Use The Best

THE TRUTH IS IN THERE

Peeking underneath the GMC, you’ll see a custom fabricated and narrowed Ford 9-inch rearend on a custom 4-link. While it may be rusty on the topside, it’s parts and pieces like this that reveal the true nature of this sleeper.

$% ' ''( #$, ))   . '+)'# ()*% !+'(  ,### +#) # $) %'$'"# #*'!)-$#))' /'$, '! '#("(($#( ' *!) $"%!)!- #, ,) #")'!(#$#)#$+' -'($ . ',###(*((# #$,$, $ %'(!- ") ) %!)( $ ) / $,'! '#("(($#(  . !($ $'(  $" %!) !# $ %'"*" )$'&* $#+')'( ! )$ #!     $'(%$,'   %%!)$#( )( ()'#) $#+')'( #  *()$" *!) $'  !$  $' "!! !$  ##( ,)"*!)%!()($%$,''(

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january 2019 | RPM Magazine

of Wilwood discs rounds out the braking system, while powder coated steel wheels with chrome baby moon discs add just a touch of old school cool. Judging by the exterior, one might expect a dilapidated and grimy 248 ci inline six under the hood, but that’s where the real fun begins. That factory offering—all 125 horsepower of it—is long gone. In its place

is a warmed-over GM LS2 powerplant that features a factory bottom end with an upgraded cam. What the current engine lacks for internal upgrades, it makes up for with induction and power adder. A Holley high ram injection setup with a Dominator ECU handles the fuel delivery chores, while a Vortech centrifugal supercharger


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ENTROPY adds some additional pressure to the incoming atmosphere. An All-American front runner serpentine belt drive adds style and function. The tune by KRS

resulted in a modest and highly streetable 750 horses that have allowed Amar to easily log over 40,000 miles on the truck since completion…not to mention the ability to

boil the tires off on a whim. Backing the modern next-gen Chevy engine is a 4L65E automatic transmission with a 2,800 rpm stall converter.

KEVIN AMAR’S 1955 GMC 3100 PICKUP Chassis Type & Mods: Custom 2x4 back-half chassis. Suspension: FRONT: 2-inch drop spindles, TCI Mustang II suspension with power rack and Wilwood Big Brakes. REAR: Raised and narrowed Ford 9-inch with 4-link, wishbone, and coil overs designed and built by Kenny’s Rod Shop (KRS). Body & Paint: Patina finish prepped and painted with satin clear by Kenny’s Rod Shop. Truck cab had originally been primed and readied for paint while rest of truck was weathered and patinaed. Cab reworked to match that exiting patina. Engine: LS2 engine with stock bottom end and upgraded cam. Induction & Fuel Delivery: Holley throttle body and high ram manifold with Holley EFI system. Power Adder: Vortech supercharger with custom air-to-air intercooler by Throttle Works. Electronics & Ignition: Holley Dominator EFI ECU and wiring. Tuned by KRS. Transmission & Driveline: 4L65E with 2,800 RPM stall converter. Differential: Fabricated Ford 9-inch with Dutchman axles and third member. 3.90 gear with posi.

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REPLACE WITH NEW COPY

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ENTROPY The cockpit of the cool cruiser has been outfitted with a dishful of trick redfaced Classic Instruments gauges residing behind a billet split grip steering wheel on a polished tilt column. Rich retro leather covers the door panels and seat-

Competition Series Racing Module Assemblies are designed for drag racing. Scirocco–Style Modules are engineered and designed for the Professional and Sportsman racer alike. Featherweight Racing Module Assemblies are built for Sportsman and Bracket racers using a super lightweight radiator that features a 1� core.

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Nitrous Power Buy Factory Direct! Nitrous Supply, the company headed by Mike Thermos (founder of NOS) is a primary resource of components used by many popular brands. The company now offers compete nitrous oxide kits for racing and street applications.

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t of Am This complete ki es: ud cl in components lb. bottle (blue) 0 1 um in lief • Alum ve with safety re al v • Hi-Flo 660 ts • Bottle bracke s) . bottle (fits 10 and 15 lb eel line (14 ft.) st s es nl ai Get everything st d de • Brai you need to olenoids l s ue F plumb a manifo nd ts ke • Nitrous a as g ld yourself; ith w te la p us stainless steel l • Thin 5/8” nitro s (4) ines, ud st b no ar zzles, fittings, e • Longer c itches tc. er and arming sw el • Throttle trigg fu d an s ou itr r n fo gs in • Filter fitt 50, 200 Similar systems also available • Jets for 100, 1 ts for EFI applications at $379.95 and 250 HP sho

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Upgrade your system or build a new one with the latest in solenoids from Nitrous Supply. They range from small solenoids that can support 175HP to high capacity 800 HP-rated models, including “Trash Can” and “Dragon” styles. Nobody has more experience with nitrous than our staff…call for personalized tech assistance.

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Everything you need to build a new system, or refurbish an existing NOS, N/X, Zex, Edelbrock or other nitrous kit is available from Nitrous Supply. This includes lines, fittings, distribution blocks, jets, solenoids and other parts that will enable you to increase power.

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The NS tech team includes Mike Thermos, the nitrous pioneer who founded NOS over 40 years ago and “Pro Mod Wad” Haman, who has been working with the world’s quickest nitrous racers for over 30 years. Nobody has more experience in nitrous than the NS team!

www.rpmmag.com | december 2018

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RULE THE

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STRIP


ENTROPY

NO PATINA INSIDE

The interior of the truck looks fresh pressed with slick charcoal metallic paint, plush leather wrapped seats, an octect of red-faced Classic Instruments, and lots of polished billet pieces. You probably wouldn’t expect to find touches like a Vintage Air A/C system or dual cup holders, either, but this rig is all about shattering expectations!

ing areas, while a slick metallic charcoal hue hints at what might have been had Amar opted for paint rather than patina. Other creature comforts like cup holders and air conditioning make the cruises cooler, while trick billet pieces like pedals and door handles add to the appeal.

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ENTROPY NO, IT DOESN’T NEED NEW RINGS

Normally if you saw a rusty old truck smoking its way down the road, you’d just expect it to be burning oil due to blowby. Not this GMC, though. Instead, it is the blown LS2 engine nestled deeply within the doghouse that is roasting the radials and hazing the atmosphere!

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Kevin Amar and his cool GMC cruiser.

Amar is thrilled with the end result, and loves cruising his truck, nicknamed “The Gentle Giant” wherever and whenever he can. In fact, he recently purchased a similar truck for another KRS-led build for his son—

only this time he’s looking for even more horsepower. And unlike entropy, it won’t just happen. As it turns out, it takes hard work to make something look like it is tending toward disorder!

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RPM EXCLUSIVE 1

H C E T TOW story and photos by

JT

>> Sometimes you need a lift!

Y

es, I am guilty of it. If you consider yourself a gearhead then you are probably guilty of it as well. What am I accusing you of? Gearheads like having toys and usually don’t have enough money

1. Even with the hauler fully loaded for a three day event and the canopy installed, there is zero squat at a mere 15psi. I could not be any happier. Read on and we will show you how it was done.

to buy something new or something that is the “best” in its class—mostly because we can fix them or actually build them ourselves. This dilemma has motivated me to write this month’s Tow Tech article and will hopefully help some of you save

Billet

a ton of money in the process. As is the case with all of the stories covered in my Shop Talk articles, I was working in my shop and the topic of towing came up. One of our buddies has a 3500 diesel dually with a gooseneck

hitch and it’s truly awesome on the long rides to various tracks. Of course, the haters had to weigh in on the subject and show their disgust towards how wide the duallies are and how the gooseneck reduces the space in the truck bed and limits additional

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january 2019 | RPM Magazine

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2. I told you she squatted really bad. Here is the old girl practically pulling a wheelie at the famous Englishtown Raceway Park.

2

cargo hauling. For the record, I have complete truck envy over this guy and wish I had the income to buy something as awesome as a diesel dually. I went on to explain until they understood my point or simply got tired of arguing with me. This standoff, however, opened up a whole new

discussion with my friends on when was I going to buy a new pickup truck for towing my hauler. Let me kick it into reverse for a minute: when I first purchased my 2013 GMC Sierra 1500, I had an open deck trailer for our race car, a small landscaping-type trailer for

3

3. I knew we had a problem, but when the truck tried to keep going straight when I attempted to turn a corner, I knew it was time to find a solution. As with any modification,we have to do our homework and analyze all of the possible solutions and find the one that works best for us and our budget. For me, with a new truck out of the question, I decided to try a pair of load assist air bags from Air Lift. ©2018 Lokar Inc.

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TOW TECH 4

4. I admit it: I have complete truck envy over my buddy and his diesel dually. With no budget to get my own, I needed to improve and make the old GMC 1500 a bit more stable in the rear.

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5. Even my own friends expressed their hatred toward duallies and on a more personal note, MY TRUCK! No worries, though. After installing some load levelling bags, I wouldn’t be the laughing stock of the shop anymore.


our 4-wheelers and dirt bikes, and a very small duck boat. All of these trailers were light enough for even my 4-wheeler to move them around the yard and position into their resting place. My GMC did an amazing job towing all of our toys, even though I had a six inch lift and 35-inch tires on it. The half-ton chassis and 5.7 liter engine were more than enough to keep up with my hobbies. Then it happened: the gearhead bug that we so often write about here in RPM bit me, and I soon needed a small

tractor with a loader and backhoe. Well this started a chain reaction, as my landscape trailer was too small for the new tractor. So to solve the problem, I purchased a larger trailer, and might I add, at the time I was very happy with it as I drove it off the dealer lot. This love affair was short lived, though, because as soon as I tried to unhook the trailer from my truck, I discovered I was not strong enough to lift the tongue by myself. It was so heavy that it actually lifted the front tires off the ground on my

4-wheeler. So much for moving my new trailer around the yard with ease. To add further insult to injury, when I loaded my tractor on it for the first time I noticed it made my truck squat a little. Not enough for concern, but just enough for me to notice. Then out of the blue, a used enclosed car hauler popped up that I just had to buy. I had been in the market for a new lightweight aluminum enclosed trailer for a while, but had absolute sticker shock over the price. As luck would

5

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TOW TECH 6. I was pleasantly surprised that the entire kit came in a rather small box. Absolutely zero intimidation factor here. They thought of everything and had the best instruction manual I have ever seen. But….I tend to not look at any instructions. So don’t take my word on that.

6

TOWTECH

548 cubic inch big-block ario, California dyno tested a Vrbancic Brothers Racing in Ont ched with an Edelbrock or 24° CNC cylinder heads mat Chevy with Edelbrock/Musi Vict r 1,550 horsepower ove in . This combination resulted Super Victor II intake manifold and 1,100 ft-lbs. of torque! Manley dual-spring valve ds feature an extra thick deck, Edelbrock/Musi Victor 24° hea ilable bare or complete. ava are y The for up to .880” lift. springs and titanium retainers 270 tor intake manifold #29 The Edelbrock Super Vic e larg tch ma to ts por the features a 3/4”radius in oval port cylinder heads. CNC’d for a variety of custom This manifold is suitable er, ow sep hor for modern high cylinder heads required HP. + 950 g s makin large displacment engine FOLLOW US ON:

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ALL PARTS FOR USE ON RACING VEHICLES ONLY.


7. Prior to install, I assembled the bags onto the spacers and the upper mount on the work bench and readied them to be bolted in place.

have it, a friend of mine was forced to sell his practically new enclosed steel hauler and gave me a price that was impossible to pass up. When I first went

to pick it up, it made my truck squat a lot – and it was empty! After building a workbench, installing a winch and battery, hanging storage cabinets,

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TOW TECH adding a generator, toolbox, and loading my car, it was dangerously low. I say dangerous because my wife and I were on our way back from a car show that was a few hours away and it started to rain. At one point, I needed to slow down to approach a sharp turn and my truck did not turn, it simply continued going straight despite the wheels being turned and my foot on the brake. By the grace of God we made it home safe and vowed to never drive the hauler in the rain again. We also agreed we’d call our buddy, who is the GM at a GMC dealership, and get some prices on a new 2500 size truck. However, the sticker shock blew us away and immediately stopped all aspirations of getting a new truck. I moved to Plan B and started researching load levelers and stabilizer bars for car haulers, but the reviews on their effectiveness were mixed. I also wanted/needed my truck to be able to han-

dle a bigger payload when I wasn’t towing something. For instance, a load of top soil or stone that could fit in the bed. Now we can fast forward back to my friends wanting to know when I was going to buy a new truck. I laughed and told them we just didn’t have the funds, but I was looking for ways to upgrade my truck so it would work for me. Load leveling and stabilizer bars worked for some of my friends, but they were expensive and did not help make the truck any stronger without towing something. One of my buddies recommended I remove my leaf springs and install a new air bag set up. I knew I needed to do something, and since a new truck was out of the question, I decided to look into his suggestion. After much research, I learned this was technically a great way to fix my problem, but it was also a lot of work and very expensive. Then I happened to stumble across the

REPLACE WITH NEW COPY

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Airlift website and noticed they had new air assist bags rated at 5000 pounds. I gave them a call and talked with an extremely friendly and knowledgeable tech specialist who assured me this was the solution I was seeking. For all of my gearhead friends who currently have a 1500 pickup truck and tow your race car, show car, mud truck, or other addiction, this will help you sink more money into toys and not your truck. When the box from Airlift first arrived, I was surprised how small it was. Besides the airbags, it came with all of the brackets and mounting hardware, including braided air lines. For my particular install, mine came with 6-inch angled spacers for each side to accommodate my lift. Having never done this type of install before, I freed up an entire morning and jumped into the project head first. I was pleasantly surprised at how detailed


8. This is what the axle and leaf spring looked like before the install.

8

9 9. This is what it looked like with the air assist bag installed.

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101


TOW TECH the instruction manual was and I greatly appreciated the large color photos that accompanied each step. Airlift could not have made things any easier. After installing the spacers to the airbags and threading the air line fittings in my shop, all I had to do was move a few brackets and remove the rubber leaf spring bump stops. The air bag assembly installs rather easily. I jacked up the back of the frame and removed the lower shock bolt to allow more room to place the assembly on top of the leaf spring. After securing the airbag assembly, I opted to use the included braided lines instead of the plastic compression lines. I ran the air lines along the frame rail making sure nothing would ever make

JE_BBC_RPM_2015_Layout 1 8/11/15 2:29 PM Page 1

contact with them and terminated them on the back bumper with the included Schrader valves on each side of my rear license plate. I performed the leak test as per the instructions and everything worked fine. I dropped the air pressure down to the minimum 5 psi and could not wait to hook the trailer up. Much to my dismay I had to wait over a week for this to happen due to bad weather on any free day I had. During this waiting time, I did notice that my truck felt a lot smoother while driving around town running errands. The stock leaf springs not only couldn’t handle towing my trailers, they bounced my truck around a lot whenever I hit a bump. The airbags deflated to the mini-

mum recommended pressure took that away and made a huge difference in a way I never planned it would. The day of judgement finally came and I backed my truck up to the hauler for its first true test. When I lowered the hauler onto the hitch, I immediately noticed the truck did not squat, even with the minimum 5 psi in the bags. Even after loading the car into the hauler, it didn’t squat as much as it used to without the bags. I experimented with various air pressure settings and found that a mere 15 psi was all that I needed to have my truck sit level. My first road test was a two-hour, fully-loaded trip to attend a show at Maple Grove

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10 Raceway. I was elated how much of a difference the airbags made, not just in leveling the ride and fixing the squat, but in braking, cornering, and simply going straight. Once I arrived at the track, my friends were mad that they couldn’t make fun of my truck anymore. Little did they know that my trans temps were scaring me going up those hills of Pennsylvania. It’s time to

find a cheap cure like maybe a larger cooler or adding a fan. Only time will tell what I come up with, but as always, I will share it with all of you. Do yourself and your smaller pickup truck a huge favor and look into this easy, affordable fix. The money you will save can make whatever toy you own go a lot faster!

10. To make it easy on me and make a clean install, I ran the braided air lines to the rear bumper and mounted the Shrader ports next to my license plate. For those of you who have deeper pockets than me, they offer an optional on-board air compressor.


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RPM EXCLUSIVES 1

story and photos by

Toby Brooks

>>Getting our start in machining with the Klutch metal lathe, milling, and drilling machine

104

O

utfitting your shop or garage with tools is usually a slow steady process where funds, space, skill, and opportunities often dictate what you have, what you need, and what you want. We have steadily been equipping our workspace with more substantial tools including an Eastwood motorized bead roller and most recently a Klutch

january 2019 | RPM Magazine

48-inch box and pan brake and a Klutch 52-inch slip roll. But we have really been looking for a mill and a lathe for quite some time with very little luck. For many, a mill and lathe represent two of the most coveted but difficult to obtain pieces of equipment that only the most serious do-ityourselfers tend to have. Part of the reason is that

the size and weight most industrial-grade mills and lathes tend to be. Often weighing thousands of pounds, taking significant floor space, and requiring less common 220v three phase power, a big Bridgeport mill or a powerful metal lathe are incredibly versa-

tile but difficult to justify for most of us. They are also usually very expensive. A new industrial mill and lathe would probably cost anywhere from $12,000-$20,000+ and most likely need to be professionally in-


2

3

4

1: The Klutch #49564 metal lathe, milling, and drilling machine provides a compact and versatile tool that is perfect for small do-it-yourself machining tasks, especially for those just getting started turning or milling parts. The 110v 1/2-horsepower motor is powerful enough for the small 6061 billet pieces we plan to make and unlike larger mills or lathes does not require three phase 220v power. 2 & 3: Although it is a far cry from the 2,000+ pounds weight of many large industrial lathes or mills, the Klutch features a cast iron frame and the unit weighs in at nearly 400 pounds. Rather than risk injury, we unloaded ours from the bed of our pickup using an engine hoist. The unit comes nearly fully assembled with only the adjustment control wheels needed to be bolted in place. 4: The included accessory kit includes everything you need except tooling in order to get started. 5: The mill spindle speed can be selected by moving the belts found in the head with five speeds between 430-2,000 RPM.

5 stalled by riggers and an electrician. While used units can be found at a much more affordable price point, there’s no guarantee those Craigslist finds aren’t already used up. Plus, install in your workspace is still a challenge. After unsuccessfully searching for a used mill or lathe locally for over a year, we finally started considering other options. Knowing that our needs were minimal due to the fact we plan to machine small pieces

from relatively soft T-6061 billet aluminum (it isn’t chromoly or titanium, after all) and that we are just starting out to learning machining skills, investing a heap of cash and eating up acres of floor space seemed like a pretty dumb idea. That’s when we discovered the Klutch #49564 metal lathe, milling, and drilling machine. While the 49564 is no lightweight, tipping the scales at 387 pounds, it takes a fraction of the space an industrial

machine would require. At the same time, the 110v 1/2-horse motor is simple enough to just plug into a standard outlet without the need for special electrical service. Our unit was shipped to our door by Northern Tool + Equipment and we promptly unpacked it from its substantial wooden crate. The unit comes shipped with a three-jaw chuck and wrench, a drilling chuck, drill taper stock, dead center #2 & #3 Morse taper, and a handful of

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RPM COOL TOOLS other accessories. Although it does not come with any milling or turning tooling, we ordered a few items from eBay so that we could try our hand at turning a few small parts. Having no real basis for comparison, we can say that the Klutch feels like a solid piece. The manual feed has very little slop in the X and Y directions, and the spindle has virtually none in the Z axis. The swing away head of the mill is handy when you are performing lathe operations.

For turning, the unit features a 14-inch swing over bed and is rated to turn up to 1 1/2-inch carbon steel. The tail stock features a #2 Morse taper and an included dead center. We ordered a live center off the web for $16. The mill/drill function also features a #2 Morse taper and an included drill stock for holding mill tooling. If you’re concerned about runout issues due to the drill stock, #2 tool holders are widely availble for less than $40. The bed accomodates a 6

6: With the #2 Morse drill taper stock and drilling chuck inserted in the spindle and a piece of billet aluminum secured in the vise, a 1/2-inch end mill makes quick work of a billet aluminum bar stock.

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7 & 8: The three-jaw chuck features a 0.79-inch spindle bore and can safely hold small stock with no problem. A tail stock with a dead center is also provided.

8

x 8 inch travel and the head will accomodate up to a 1/2-inch end mill. In short, we really haven’t had enough practice with our unit to provide an in-depth analysis of its full feature set, but so far, so good. For the small parts we will be needing, it should perform perfectly, and at a retail price of

$1,579, it will do what we need at a fraction of the cost of even a used traditional mill and/or lathe. If you are in the market for a small, full featured combo tool that won’t devour your shop space and your wallet, give the Klutch #49564 metal lathe, milling, and drilling machine a look!

SOURCE Northern Tool + Equipment

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www.northerntool.com 800.838.0516

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RPM PROJECT CAR 1

1: It’s back. Despite a 2,500 mile round trip, 5 months time, and more money spent than we care to disclose, the car that refuses to be built is still light years away from being paint ready. To say the recent turn of events is another discouraging chapter in a story that rivals the deepest Greek tragedy would be an understatement.

PART 46 >> After a 2500-mile round trip, our pro street project car is in our shop. Again. And STILL not painted.

1

HOMEAGAIN L

ast month we updated RPM readers on our progress on our project 2006 pro street Mustang. Since then, we made the tough decision to go get the car and bring it back to our shop in Texas. After over 45 hours on the road, we are happy to say it is finally home and we are regrouping for what-

ever is next. The initial plan was for the car to be prepped, painted, have graphics applied, and get color sanded and polished at the same shop. Unfortunately, after five months of work, the car still isn’t anywhere near paint ready and our budget is long gone. Upon closer inspection, the car is still light years away

from being ready for paint. The good news is that there is a full understructure and the headlights, front fascia, and lower splitter all bolt in place. The bad news is that the fenders need serious help. And the hood is even worse. When the nose was installed, it was discovered that it had previously been mounted

story by

Toby Brooks

“tipped backward” and the splitter didn’t sit level. Once that was corrected, the upper edge of the fascia tipped forward about two inches from its previous position. No big deal, right? Except the Harwood fiberglass hood had been built to match the previous dimensions. So now it is two inches too short.

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2 & 3: The fenders are rough and will require hours more work. Ideally, the planishing hammer and English wheel would help, however, they’ve already been fully welded in place.

2

3

4 4 & 5: On the positive side, the car does now have a full understructure built from 3/4-inch steel tubing. With some grinding and finishing, it should clean up nicely.

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RPM PROJECT CAR

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6: A pair of receivers were welded on each side of the chassis to allow the nose to quick pin in place. The nose has a total of four rear pins that slip into these Delrin-bushed receivers to allow the body gaps to be adjusted slightly, while two additional tubes up front telescope into place to support the front bumper. The design took lots of trial and error but the end result is a clean and functional design.

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7 & 8: This hood is the problem that just refuses to go away. Now that the nose is mounted in proper position, the leading edge of the hood was basically tipped forward away from the firewall in the process, meaning the hood that had already been stretched and finished is now about two inches too short. We havent decided how to tackle this problem yet, but have considered building a filler cowl panel rather than trying to stretch the hood all over again. It is stuff like this that adds untold time, expense, and exasperation to a build, as hour upon hour was already spent making the hood fit the car. Then suddenly it doesn’t and you are back to the drawing board.

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We’d love to sugarcoat the whole thing and tell you that this is a magazine project car with a limitless budget and a staff of dozens working on it around the clock, but the reality is that at this point the car is sitting in the shop lucky to get an hour or two of attention at the end of a long day and our task list at this moment consists entirely of things that we either already

9 & 10: This is what the hood looked like when we got the car back. The leading edge has been doctored and left until we come up with a plan (and budget on how to deal with the hood. When you run into challenges like this in a build and end up pulling the plug suddenly on specific areas, tasks like this can be stopped midstream, and they tend to have a rippling effect to other areas of the project.

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RPM PROJECT CAR

11

have the parts for, will require little to no cash outlay for, or preferrably both. That’s the bad news. The good news is that there is no shortage of those tasks to do. First up, we will fabricate a mounting tree for the dash so that we can get the Zada Tech digital dash, Clarion DVD/navigation, and Rockford Fosgate audio system properly mounted. There’s also plenty of tinwork that needs to either be mounted, made, remade, or in some cases all of the above. With some patience and our trusty Eastwood motorized beadroller, we are hopefull that we can knock the majority of that out.

11: Not only does the hood no longer fit front-toback/lengthwise, it is now too wide for the fender opening, too. The body gaps between the fenders and hood are an absolute nightmare and it will take someone more skilled than me to finally tackle this problem and successfully complete it. Project cars are supposed to be fun and enjoyable to work on, but it is problems like this that can suck the joy out of it. With time, money, and effort, we are hopeful that this hurdle can be overcome sometime soon.

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RPM PROJECT CAR In short, it has been another exercise in project car setbacks. We made headway in some areas, but took two steps back in others. While it’s difficult to farm out work, there are some things that you just can’t complete in-house. During this particular build,

which is much more of a one-off custom than others we’ve undertaken in the past, we’ve learned several important lessons, the least of which is “do it right, do it once,”—something that becomes far more difficult to achieve when your project leaves the warm safe

confines of your own garage.If nothing else, you can rest easy in knowing we give it to you straight—warts and all—in the hopes that your project goes smoother than this one has. Stay tuned...all we can do is keep chipping away!

12: The fiberglass replica dash from Hairy Glass needs a proper understructure tree, and we will get it mounted up and start in on the woodworking necessary to craft a mounting solution for the speakers, in-dash DVD navigation, and Zada Tech gauges soon.

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Profile for RPM Magazine

RPM Magazine January 2019  

THE RIDES Professional Grade...Ron Fountain's well-executed 1968 Camaro is the garage build we can all aspire to! Work In Progress...This...

RPM Magazine January 2019  

THE RIDES Professional Grade...Ron Fountain's well-executed 1968 Camaro is the garage build we can all aspire to! Work In Progress...This...

Profile for rpmmag