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V.P. MARKETING/CUSTOMER RELATIONS..........TRISH BIRO trish@rpm-mag.com E-MAGAZINE ASSOCIATE EDITOR.................TOBY BROOKS toby.brooks@rpm-mag.com EVENT MEDIA..........................................events@rpm-mag.com EVENT SUBSCRIPTIONS COORDINATOR.....SHERRIE WEBER sherrie@rpm-mag.com SPECIAL PROJECTS DIRECTOR...........................TOBY BROOKS toby.brooks@rpm-mag.com Photographic Contributions: TONY WEBER, TIM LEWIS, PETE “BOOMER” ORES, MARK goDragRacing.org, TARA BOWKER, GEORGE PICH, TOBY BROOKS, MATT WOODS, TABITHA SIZEMORE, 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, and GEORGE PICH.

MEET THE RPM TEAM

EDITOR IN CHIEF.........................................................CHRIS BIRO editor@rpm-mag.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@rpm-mag.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 19 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@ rpm-mag.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.

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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.

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EDITOR’S RANT

by

Chris Biro

Sadly, these days you’ve just...

GOT TO KEEP YOUR GUARD UP

Y

es, we’re in a global market, but it doesn’t take a slippery slimeball from halfway around the world to rip you off. We’ve seen a lot here at RPM and our best advice is to choose the people and companies you are dealing with carefully, and do as much due diligence as possible. None of us want to be that person with their guard constantly up, but it doesn’t hurt to practice some good old fashioned caution before we enter into any kind of deal. When we started RPM 19 years ago, most of the time, people bought and sold their used parts fairly locally or within a driving distance, albeit sometimes several hours’ drive. You would have the opportunity to talk with someone on the phone and then meet face to face and get a pretty decent feel for them along with what they were selling you. Then, with the explosion of classified ads online, our selection grew and grew—but so did our chances of getting ripped off. Before long, we could purchase or sell something half a world away, but that made us somewhat vulnerable, and the scammers amped up their efforts. Don’t get me wrong, shysters were around back when we drove to pick up our parts, too. Sometimes you made the right the call on a person and sometimes you didn’t. And if they ripped you off, you called or showed up at their door the next day and tried to set things right. If that didn’t work, you were forced to call the police or take the matter to court. The point is, there was some type of accountability. Nowadays it is pretty tough to get that “read” on people when you don’t even know who they really are, or for that matter where they are! You can be ripped off from next door or across an ocean and not even know it happened. Several years back, when RPM had classifieds in the mag, we got a call from someone who shipped an engine and was paid with a phony bank draft. The scammer was so slick that he had the engine picked up by what appeared to be a legit courier driver who gave the seller what appeared to be a legit certified bank draft. By the time the seller made it to the bank and discovered the payment note was a fake, the scammer was long gone, with the engine. And it doesn’t stop there. The scams have made their way into our personal lives, too, and they can be pretty large. We had a tradesman doing work for us not too long ago, and as we got chatting, he explained how he lost over $90,000 to a woman he met online and developed a relationship with. This guy was not stupid, not easily duped, and definitely not desperate for companionship. He was just a nice guy who thought he stumbled across his soul mate. He explained how everything was going along well and they got to know one another over quite a long period of time. There was mutual trust growing, so he didn’t bat an eye when she asked on occasion for some money here and there. Well before he knew what happened, she drained him dry. There used to almost always be some known course of action, whether it be legal or otherwise, that you could take if you were ripped off, but

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may 2018 | RPM Magazine

now, with scammers hiding behind computers with an intricate web of anti-tracking techniques in place, phone numbers obtained with false information, fake names and addresses, etc., there is little chance of even locating the perpetrator, let alone bringing them to justice. Like we said, it is just best to always use caution and not rush into anything. What about services? We’ve all heard nightmares of people getting ripped off by a shop, and quite frankly, we’ve had our share of less than favorable results with certain shops, as well. Again though, a little caution goes a long way, but it doesn’t totally protect you from being ripped off. A few key steps can help lessen the risk, though. Step 1 if you’re contracting work to be done is to get references first and be sure to call them all. Once again, be sure to call them all! Once a deal is struck it is imperative to get everything detailed and in writing, signed and dated by all parties. If you add or take away something make sure there is a dated email, text, or note confirming that both parties agree. This is just good business, and good protection for BOTH parties. Google searching companies and individual’s names as much as possible helps, but at the same time don’t let the review of one bad customer turn you away. Remember: there are always two sides to every story. Look for a pattern of bad reviews and then go back to step 1. There is, however, a saving grace with this new world of buying and selling, and it’s called feedback...it is instant and worldwide. You can hurt a person or company pretty badly just by using the various web forums, scammer report websites, and social media to tell your story. The thing is, make sure that you have truly been done a wrong, have the evidence to back it up, and have exhausted all other avenues before creating a harmful web campaign against somebody or their business, as it can ruin an entire livelihood, on either side of the deal. That’s right: they could come back after you if your story is loose and lacks the proper evidence. Truth be told, I’m writing this because I’m still a bit raw from getting pinched myself. With my past tour of duty in the insurance investigation field, I thought I had a solid method of separating the good from bad when it comes to character and integrity. Recently though, a few slipped through my radar and thought they could stroke me for some extra money. I display a kind and trusting nature (most of the time) but never, ever, mistake kindness for weakness. In the end I did get them, but not until after they got me and I spent time and money to set things right. Remember, if you have been legitimately scammed and you have evidence to back it, you can never get in trouble for telling as many people as possible the truth! Word of mouth is the best advertising right...and it works both ways, wink wink! So go out and build your car, buy and sell lots of parts new and used, deal with great shops to help make your dream reality and meet lots of people doing it. Chances are 99% of them will be good, honest folks doing the same thing as you, but for that 1%, please, keep your guard up!

ADVERTISER INDEX ACC Performance................... 21 Accufab Inc............................ 83 Aeromotive........................... 90 AFCO................................... 101 Alan Johnson Performance (AJPE)................................. 61 Alston Race Cars.................... 18 Applied Racing Components (ARC).................................. 33 ATI Performance Products... 102 Auburn Gear.......................... 30 Autoglym.............................. 87 AVAK/Ridgegate Tools........... 47 Baer Brakes......................17, 59 Bear’s Performance............... 37 Be Cool.................................. 91 BES Racing Engines............... 20 Bill Mitchell Products.......12, 36 Blower Shop............................ 5 Borla..................................... 98 BTE Racing............................ 84 C&C MotorSports................... 44 Calvert Racing Suspensions... 50 Canton Racing Products........ 29 CFE Racing Products.............. 14 Chassis Engineering...........8, 81 CN Blocks.............................. 10 CNC Motorsports................... 49 Coan Engineering.................. 62 Competition Products......... 108 Covered Wagon Trailers....... 100 Crane Cams........................... 93 Crower.................................. 32 CVR Products....................... 104 DART..................................... 20 Design Engineering..........48, 85 Diamond Pistons................... 78 DIY Auto Tune/MS3-Pro EFI... 61 Dream Machines, Ltd............. 40 Drive Train Specialists (DTS)... 13 DRIVEN Racing Oil................. 28 Dynocologists........................ 23 Dynomite Dynamometer...... 13 Dynotech Engineering........... 96 Ed Quay Race Cars................. 26 Edelbrock.............................. 64 Energy Suspension.........46, 106 FUELAB................................. 76 G Force Racing Transmissions.81 Granatelli Motorsports.......... 19 GZ Motorsports..................... 79 Harland Sharp....................... 23 Harwood............................... 92 HoleShot Wheels................... 40 Holley.................................2, 45 Howard’s Cams...................... 25 Hughes Performance............... 7 Induction Solutions............... 42 Indy Cylinder Head................ 89 Innovate Motorsports.......... 112 JE Pistons.........................33, 99 Jesel...................................... 14 Justice League....................... 95 JW Perform. Transmissions.... 94

Kinsler Fuel Injection........... 109 LenTech Automatics.............. 44 Lokar Perf. Products............ 110 MagnaFuel.............................. 9 Magnuson Superchargers...... 99 MAHLE Clevite Inc................. 77 Manton Pushrods.................. 95 Meziere Precision Mfg............. 8 Mickey Thompson Tires......7, 12 Miska Trailer Sales................. 67 Mr. Cool................................. 96 MSD Ignition......................... 26 Neal Chance Converters....27, 65 Nitrous Pro Flow.................... 33 Nitrous Supply...................... 80 Ontario Grudge Wars............. 95 Parts Pro Perf Centers.......... 116 Performance Improvements.... 4 Perf. Plus Connection.......25, 90 Philadelphia Racing Products (PRP).............................57, 63 Powermaster Performance.... 24 Precision Turbo...................... 53 ProCharger............................ 43 Proform Parts...................... 113 Pro Systems Carburetors... 21,97 PTC........................................ 79 Quick Fuel Technology........... 36 Quik-Latch Products............ 106 Racecraft............................. 105 Racepak................................ 38 Racequip............................... 51 RAM Clutches........................ 41 Renegade Racing Fuels......... 52 Ross Racing Pistons............5, 37 RPM Magazine Subscribe!.114 S&W Race Cars.................... 111 Scorpion Racing Prods............. 9 Shafiroff Racing Engines..11, 82 Shameless S8...................... 100 Smith Racecraft..................... 88 Steve Morris Racing Engines. 31 Strange Engineering............. 16 Summit Racing Equip.....22, 115 Taylor Cable Products.......... 103 TCI Automotive...................... 39 Ti64..................................... 107 Tom’s Upholstery................... 11 Trick Flow.............................. 15 TRZ Motorsports.................... 17 Tuned By Shane T.................. 56 12 Strong............................ 109 VP Racing Fuels...............34, 86 World Products..................... 22


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may2018

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

HOT

Often Imitated, Never Duplicated—For 19 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!

EVENTS

THE

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

RIDES ...Come Out to Play......................................40 The Warriors Drag Racing Team is ready to break out with their

ThunderBird................................................ 54

high-power, high-energy brand of race action!

Kevin Slyfield’s 2,500-plus horsepower methanol-gulping championship bird of prey is no myth!

Strange Stang................................................................8

Corn-Fed Cool........................................................ 78 Terry Ciesla’s incredible blown 1955 Chevy is an E-85-fueled

Feeling Strange? This wicked nitroused Fox Body will help!

Shoebox full of awesome

THE

PROJECTS & TECH Finally In Sync....................................................90 We install the long-awaited new MSD cam sync plug

Fulfillment.................................................................... 22 After 20 years, Roland O’Haran was finally able to see his ’67 Camaro complete

Shop Talk...................................................................36 Why Cars? I did my part educating an uninformed, misguided soul into the gearhead lifestyle

Driven by Precision...........................................100 We upgrade the RPM Mag mule with the ultimate in cam control thanks to our friends at Jesel

TOWTECH

Slow Down and Cool Off................ 112 Our F250 tow rig gets an auxiliary trans cooler from Perma-Cool and smart trailer brake control from Tekonsha

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

may 2018 | RPM Magazine


www.rpm-mag.com | may 2018

7


story and photos by

Mark at goDragRacing.org

S

ince its inception, quarter-mile index racing has been steadily growing. However, over the last eight

or so years it has become that shining example of grassroots family-style racing in much of the Northeast. Longtime supporters and competitors

Fonse Performance have been patriarchs in the most popular and always heavily contested 8.50 index category for quite some time. Since 2008, the crew from

Fonse have campaigned three different cars winning multiple races and championships with all three in this high energy heads-up style category and

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may 2018 | RPM Magazine

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STRANGE STANG

10

IT ISN’T VAPING The Strange Stang is ready to make a pass as Al Jr. inches forward into the beams. The nitrous helps little 451 cube Ford to get right into the 8.50 ET zone.

their current 8.50 Index Mustang is a stocktype suspension small tire car typical of what the class was designed around. RPM Magazine caught up with driver Al Fonse, Jr. to gain some insight on the car, their racing, and how they came about teaming up with Strange Engineering, the main sponsors of the monthly Index Series at Cecil County Dragway in Maryland; The Strange Engineering Street Car Shootout. Al Jr., the young wheelman of the Strange Stang (as it has become known) received his lifelong experience in fast cars and racing from his parents,

may 2018 | RPM Magazine

Al Fonse, Sr. and Denise who started Fonse Performance in 1975. Al Sr. was a Super Gas racer and campaigned regularly for years in the Northeast but retired from the seat to focus on their business. Al Jr. was born into drag racing and today oversees and runs the family’s 43-year engine building and dyno tuning business in New Jersey. “I was never able to actually race with my father because I was too young back then,” tells Al Jr. “In early 2007 my mother Denise was diagnosed with ovarian cancer. I told my mother, ‘Mom, I’m going to buy a car and race with dad and bring everyone

out of retirement.’ She was so glad and knew we would be a success. My mother succumbed to cancer in 2009 and was able to be a part of our race team for just a short time. However, I was so grateful for that time”. During that time, Fonse Performance campaigned a 632 ci, electronic fuel injected, all motor fourth-gen Camaro in the early stages of index racing. “We had one hell of a learning curve but we stuck with it,” said Fonse. And that sticking to it paid off when they won their first 8.50 Index race in 2009 at Cecil County Dragway. Fast forward to the 2016 Cecil County Strange


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11


STRANGE STANG

GIDDYUP, HORSEY Lots of Fonse Performance muscle behind this crowd-pleaser launch. The K&S Performance chassis works well with the array of Strange Engineering products. The Rage Wraps graphics are an amazing representation of imagination of the Strange Engineering group. It sets the Mustang off, and apart from the many other Fox Bodies at any given event.

RULE THE

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may 2018 | RPM Magazine

STRIP


Engineering Outlaw Street Car Shootout 8.50 index and the Fonse team were able to place second at Atco Raceway and Englishtown Raceway Park. “From there we never looked back,” added Al Jr. A four-year campaign with the fourth-gen Camaro ended when Fonse suffered a horrific crash in 2013 during competition on the top-end of the

quarter-mile at Atco Raceway, eventually ending up on the roof. The Camaro was deemed a complete loss and would have to be redone from front to back. At the time, Team Fonse was sitting at number two in the heavily contested points championship in the Northeast and needed a car quickly. They acquired a turn-key 565 ci, carbureted, nitrous-assisted 1980

Camaro from a fellow racer, Ken Bird. With very little testing they had the car in the winner’s circle a mere two weeks later and returned the car when the season ended, a testament to their skill at working with all types of combinations. The next big question was how to replace the fourthgen and continue index racing? And this is when the Strange

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STRANGE STANG IT’S NOT WEIRD. IT’S STRANGE. The “Strange Stang” sits with the performance stance of a thoroughbred. It’s all business underneath and out back. Reaching for the numbers, the strong 60-foot acceleration gets the little Mustang moving to its 8.50 goal rather quickly.

Stang would gallop into the Fonse Performance stable. The car, purchased by Steve Poserina of K&S Race Cars would be the platform for the Fonses to continue towards a bright future in 8.50 Index action. “Steve (Poserina) approached me and said he had a plan,” told Al Jr. “That plan was to build a Mustang

THE

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may 2018 | RPM Magazine

from the ground up. It would be built as a family and as a team since Steve is like a brother to me, he’s one of a kind. I’m honored to drive and maintain the Strange Stang as we have nothing but fun together with this,” he added. The approach was simple: build everything in-house using K&S Race Cars 20-plus years

of chassis building and fabrication skills in addition to Fonse Performances impressive 43-plus years as a race engine building and dyno tuning facility. This experience combined with state-of-the-art equipment at both facilities would see a clean slate approach to the build, and it wasn’t long before the Mustang


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www.rpm-mag.com | may 2018

15

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


STRANGE STANG

FAST BY FONSE. AYYYYYYY. The beating heart of the Strange Stang is a Fonse Performance built 451ci Ford Windsor. The combo makes a solid 840 HP on motor at a reasonable 8,000 rpm. That’s Fonse. Not Fonzie.

was gutted of every single wire, nut, and bolt. The suspension and steering were completely replaced and even the existing roll cage was scrapped in favor of starting fresh. Index racing is all about consistency, and you need a good solid, tunable platform if you want to be in the top of the competition. Index racers, unlike

16

bracket racers, stick to just the hybrid heads-up Indexes that are run off a pro tree. The Strange Stang is a stock style suspension race car with chassis work completed by K&S Race Cars including the 25.3-spec certified roll cage and chassis bars to make it 8.50 ET legal. With the solid base complete, nothing

may 2018 | RPM Magazine

but the best would do, and as you might have guessed, Strange Engineering components are found everywhere. A complete Strange Engineering 9-inch rear and double-adjustable coilover shocks are kept in check by a K&S Race Cars Severe Duty anti-roll bar with their custom upper and lower rear control arms.

Up front, there is a complete TRZ Pro K-member with Stiletto rack. Frontend suspension tuning is done with Strange Engineering double-adjustable struts. The Strange Stang is reined-in at the top end by a full complement of Strange brakes on all four corners. The beating heart of the formidable Fox Body

is a Fonse Performance built 451 ci Ford Windsor based small block featuring a Callies magnum crank, Oliver billet rods, Diamond pistons, a COMP Cams custom cam and severe duty lifters. A Stef’s external oil pump and custom aluminum oil pan and Jesel belt drive were also used. Heads are Roush/Yates C3s


www.rpm-mag.com | may 2018

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BARRED FOR ACTION The 25.3 certified roll cage was built by car owner K&S Race Cars Steve Poserina.

with Manley titanium valves, Manley springs, Jesel shaft rockers, and Diamond tool steel pushrods. An Edelbrock intake converted to EFI for the FAST fuel injection system was used. Aeromotive supplies the fuel while

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may 2018 | RPM Magazine

an MSD Digital 7 controls the spark and a set of custom K&S Race Cars 2-inch headers with 4-inch collectors expel spent gasses. The combination makes a solid 840 HP on the motor at a very reasonable 8,000 RPM. “This combination

has performed flawlessly for us as we get 250+ passes per season while also spraying anywhere from 75-175 HP of nitrous oxide to get to that 8.50 seconds and 155 MPH+ at differing tracks and air situations,� said Fonse. All these ponies run through a PTC Nitrous Converter

into a Joey Depasqale Probuilt Powerglide transmission, while a set of Mickey Thompson 28x10.5w slicks put the hook into the equation. With such stout power and all the parts to back it up, one of the more frequent questions asked of Fonse is, why run the index?


STRANGE STANG

This may seem close, but ultimately an 8.50 flat is the target number. Instead, why not run the quicker and faster pure heads-up Ultra 275/Ultra Street classes which are eighthmile? The Fonses are adamant that they are dedicated to sticking to their class and giving it all they have to perfection. The Index series has become increasingly competitive as it’s evolved, said the Fonses, and has turned them into a level of tuners and drivers that they never thought possible, always looking to be more consistent. “We constantly manage air and track conditions throughout the day, datalogging everything and building our database of information to run that number,” says Al Jr. “The art of predicting these very fast and quick machines is a daunting task.” Renowned X275 Drag Radial racer Ron Rhodes may have put it best when he said to Al, “I don’t know how you guys do it, you’re slowing your stuff down and were trying to blow ours

Just your typical Fonse Performance crew outing. It’s like this at every race, the support this team earns is enormous, they treat racing as your typical family outing, and everyone is welcome.

up.” That pretty much defines the differences between the Outlaw style classes versus the more sportsman style indexes. With the Mustang completed in mid-2014 the team made their debut and were approached by Jeff Stange, CEO of Strange Engineering and Strange Marketing Chief Crystal Bailey at the 2014 Yellow Bullet Nationals. “Jeff and Crystal shared with us their interest in the Index racing series,” says Al Jr. “They enjoyed the downto-earth, grassroots, family style of racing they had witnessed over the years and wanted to be a bigger part of this growing evolution of no politics, easy to manage rules, and racers having a good time racing.” And a few months later, during a meeting at the Performance Racing Industry show in Indianapolis, they ironed out the details on becoming a full-blown Strange Engineering-sponsored 8.50 index team. “Jeff (Stange) is a really down-to-earth guy, and has taught me a lot,” said Al Jr. “We couldn’t be more thankful that

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may 2018 | RPM Magazine


STRANGE STANG

THANKS TO:

STRANGE BREW The Strange braced 9-inch rear housing is filled with everything Strange, and even hangs from Strange coilovers. Strange double adjustable struts take command up front while Strange brakes on all four corners provide the whoa.

“None of this and where we are now would be possible without my father Al Fonse Sr., wife Amy, my sons Al Fonse III and Anthony along with our TEAM, Steve and Kelly Poserina, Crew Chief Dave Godfrey, Neal Mcgreory, Jim Czajkowski, Jeff Stange, Crystal Bailey and countless friends and family that always help as we are truly a racing family that races and wins together”. #RaceStrange

Jeff believed in us enough to choose our car to fly the Strange banner (by Rage Wraps) on the sides of the Mustang. All the years of hard work and dedication running the 8.50 Index had paid off”. Fellow racers couldn’t be happier for the Fonses as they appreciate not only what they bring to the sport as competitors, but also what having a company such as Strange Engineering supporting a program at this level brings to it. Here, the rules are the rules and easily followed—no weight penalties, no politics— just fit your car into

the rules for each class, run it, and have some fun. Fonse Performance is proud to have several cars running their engine programs across all the Index classes. “It’s great to be trackside with our customers, every race is like a family and friends party… at least until the helmets go on of course!” laughed Al Jr. Currently, the Strange Stang and Team Fonse Performance race at four different tracks, around 26 races each year,

and support ALL the Index classes at Cecil County Dragway, Atco Raceway, Maple Grove Raceway, and Englishtown Raceway Park. You can bet that running the engine building and dyno tuning business plus racing a full schedule can be tough. But for Team Fonse, the blood, sweat, and tears along with significant sacrifices have been worth it. “It’s an honor to showcase our work in this competition with our clients,” Fonse added.

www.rpm-mag.com | may 2018

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I

story by

photos by

also that there is still time—and the time my friends, is now! Heavily involved in the automotive industry since a child, Mechanicsville, Maryland’s Roland

O’Haran spent his life working on cars in the collision industry. A second-generation bodyman, to him it was a trade—an art—and he grew up learning all of his

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was recently told, “life is short man, enjoy what you want now as later may never come.” If we could all have a buck or two for every

time somebody said that to us, we’d have a bit more to spend on our cars. We will all walk away from this article understanding just how true that statement is, but

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may2018 | RPM Magazine

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www.rpm-mag.com | may2018

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FULFILLMENT

FLAWLESS FINISH Front to back and top to bottom, Roland O’Haran built his ‘67 Camaro exactly the way he wanted it. A second-generation bodyman by trade, O’Haran made sure the Camaro was arrow-straight before applying the slick Magic Blue Pearl from House of Kolor with PPG clear.

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skills from his dad. Back then, it wasn’t a “remove and replace” world when it came to repairing damage. Instead, it was a “fix it and fix it right” time in the evolution of the automobile. As time passed and O’Haran got his own set of wheels, he would often spend weekends street racing with

may2018 | RPM Magazine

his brother-in-law. Back then, it was apparent that Roland would be a lifelong Chevrolet man, as he owned a ’66 Chevelle, followed by a ’70 Nova and his first Camaro, which was a ’69. Girls and soon a family crept into O’Haran’s life and although he left behind his four-wheeled horsepower for

a while, he found interest in motocross with his oldest child. They raced dirt bikes for a while, but by 2004 the call of the muscle cars he enjoyed growing up was just too strong to ignore and he got back into the car scene. In 2005 he opened up his own body shop, G and R Collision Center in Waldorf,


SMOOTHING THE BUMPS The factory front subframe was used with tubular control arms and coilover shocks. Meanwhile, the rear of the car was treated to an S&W Race Cars back-half to cram the big Hoosiers deep into the massive tubs, helping to stick the 8-second ride to the asphalt.

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SITTIN’ PRETTY Whether it is the miles-deep HOK/PPG paint, the perfect stance, or the perfectly fit Weld Racing & Hoosier tire & wheel combo, the Camaro looks awesome from any angle! The Chute is necessary for the strip but just flat-out cool on the street. Maryland, that is still in operation today. Soon, he would direct his focus back to a little something he bought way back in 1993, a 1967 Camaro. Roland would work on the car a little bit here and there and eventually

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may2018 | RPM Magazine

his father and brother in law started to help to get the project well on its way. By 2011, the body work on the all-steel Camaro was completed and it was in primer, ready for paint, which would be laid down in 2013.


FULFILLMENT

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may2018 | RPM Magazine


FULFILLMENT

RAT AU NATURALE A naturally-aspirated big block Chevy mill with Callies crank and rods, JE pistons, and Sonny’s heads is one serious contender. The towering Brodix Sonny’s intake was topped by an alcohol-prepped APD Dominator carb.

Being in the trade, not just any old paint job would do and Roland chose Magic Blue Pearl from House of Kolor with PPG clear to give the Camaro that special look he was after. Once painted it was time to address the interior, then trim, glass, and driveline. Finally, the Camaro was finished after 20 long years. The build consisted of more than just making the ’67 into a pretty show car. Instead, Roland wanted to have a killer, eye grab-

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FULFILLMENT

STREET? STRIP? YES. Comfy leather seats may not be the best for the track but they sure do make the street driving more enjoyable. Roland’s vision of mixing street with strip use is evident inside the Camaro, although the car evolved into more of a drag car as the build progressed. All essential race equipment is at easy access for the driver.

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may2018 | RPM Magazine


ROLAND O’HARAN, SR.’S STREET/STRIP 1967 CHEVY CAMARO Chassis: Owner-built from the ground up including sheet metal replacement, body work, paint, and chassis fabrication. Stock front sub-frame with stock front floors. Back-half tubbed rear chassis. Suspension: FRONT: Stock sub-frame with tubular upper and lower control arms. QA1 coil over shocks. Rack and pinion steering. REAR: Ladder bar rear suspension and frame rails by S&W Race Cars. Rear anti-roll bar. QA1 adjustable coilover shocks. Body & Paint: All steel body with exception of fiberglass hood. Smoothed firewall. All factory working glass. Paint is Magic Blue Pearl from House of Kolor with PPG clear. All emblems are air brushed. Engine: 598 ci big block Chevy built locally. Tall deck block, Callies 4.5 stroke crank, 6.7-inch Callies rods and JE pistons. Brodix Sonny’s intake and heads, APD alcohol carburetor. Lemon’s ceramic coated headers. Electronics: MSD ignition. Biondo Mega Delay box. MSD crank trigger. Powermaster starter. Autometer gauges. Transmission: TCI 2-speed Powerglide with upgraded case. Pro tree trans brake with reverse valve body. Rear Differential: Ford 9-inch housing with 4.56 gears, Strange axles and aluminum center section. Performance: 8.94 @ 156mph (quarter-mile). Special Thanks: Todd Nebel (driver), Jaycee Largent (tuning), Wayne Campbell (engine builder), Charles Link (wiring/electronics), Steven Weber, Roland Jr., Mark Campbell, Mike Campbell, and Rick, Dave, and Danny of Capital Auto Glass (glass install).

bing Camaro that could bang off 8-second ET’s on any given Saturday night. Soon however, it became apparent that Roland’s need for speed would see the car prepared more for strip duty than street. First, the chassis would definitely need to be overhauled and

the car was back-halved and tubbed using a ladder bar rear suspension and frame rails by S&W Race Cars. An anti-roll bar was also installed and QA1 adjustable coilover shocks are bolted to a Ford 9-inch with 4.56 gears, Strange axles, and Strange aluminum center sec-

tion. The stock front subframe was used and tubular upper and lower control arms and coilover shocks were installed. Power would come via a naturally aspirated 598-inch big block Chevy. A tall deck Dart block houses a Callies 4.5-inch stroke crank and

www.rpm-mag.com | may2018

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may2018 | RPM Magazine


FULFILLMENT

BACK-HALF BRAWLER Out back resides a beefy 9-inch filled with Strange axles and center section and 4.56 gears. The clean trunk is stuffed with tubs, a fabricated aluminum fuel cell, and an Optima Red Top.

6.7-inch rods that swing JE pistons. A set of Brodix Sonny’s heads were studded in place and a Sonny’s intake is topped with an APD alcohol carburetor. A TCI 2-speed Powerglide trans with upgraded case, Pro Tree trans brake and reverse manual valve body carry the power rearwards to the

9-inch where Hoosier slicks provide the hook. After the build was complete, Roland got a few good 9-second runs right off the trailer. It was summer of 2017 when Roland’s son-in-law, Kyle Goad, approached RPM about the cool 8-second Camaro that O’Haran had spent the last 20

www.rpm-mag.com | may2018

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FULFILLMENT years of his life laboring over to make just right. The car was clean and very well done, definitely RPM feature quality. Then Kyle gave us the bad news. In December of 2015, O’Haran was diagnosed with stage-4 cancer. “He only got to race it a few times before the diagnosis,” said Goad. “After that, the car sat for about a year but thanks to friends and family, we got it back out and started doing some testing at the track. We ended up pulling the motor back out and doing some changes.” The motor was reinstalled and switched to an alcohol fuel and the Camaro would eventually log a best quarter-mile ET of 8.94

at 156 mph. Sadly though, in October last year Roland, at just 54 years of age, succumbed to his disease. He made sure to pass his legacy on into caring hands, though, and his daughter Jennifer (Kyle’s wife) now holds the title to her dad’s pride and joy. “We plan to continue racing the car this season,” said Kyle. “And in the future, I plan on building a healthy pump gas motor so Jenn can drive it on the street and do the occasional burn down the track.”

Not a show car, but still a show quality car. Roland (center) won awards at shows for the quality of the car. Here, at a cancer benefit show last fall he shows off the bling with his daughter Jennifer and son-in-law Kyle. Unfortunately Roland was not up to making the trip to our shoot location, however, Kyle (right) handled it like a pro. The car has most of its street equipment intact and Roland’s daughter Jennifer intends to street drive the Camaro with a milder pump gas motor and maybe do the odd hit on the strip on Saturday night.

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may2018 | RPM Magazine


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SHOP TALK

WHYCARS? JT

story and photos by

I

do my best to cover a wide variety of topics here in Shop Talk. As I’ve written before, these topics are born from actual conversations that have taken place in

36

my shop. I recently had a new client hire me to perform some electrical magic on his camper. He roamed around the shop while I worked on his RV and admired my race car and all of the awards displayed. After taking it all

may 2018 | RPM Magazine

in, he came over to watch me work. He then asked a question I quite frankly have never been asked. He was extremely polite and soft spoken, and asked, “So why cars? What is it? Do you like the adrenaline rush, or what?”

I didn’t know how to take him. My internal dialogue was, “doesn’t everyone love cars and a good adrenaline rush?” Realizing this was more than one question and one that needed a complete explanation, I pulled myself out from

under the dash and gave him my full attention. I looked at him, and in a curious tone said, “Why cars?” He replied, “Yes, you obviously have a lot of time and money invested in your car, and I noticed how detailed your car


1

1: I am usually too busy to enjoy other cars when I am at the dragstrip. Which is why I absolutely love going to car shows with or without my own car. There are so many talented people out there who showcase their gifts inside their ride. I could spend hours just looking and talking with other gearheads.

hauler was and how it’s like a mobile workshop. And the great number of signs and memorabilia you have hanging in your shop must have taken a long time to collect.” So he obviously wasn’t a car guy and needed to be educated on why we are so fanatical with our obsession for cars. I felt like maybe I should ask my wife to make us some popcorn and grab a few beers, because this was going to take a while. I explained to him how my dad was an absolute genius master mechanic/ craftsman and gave me a slave-labor apprenticeship. I went on to explain that I grew up just down the road from the world-famous Englishtown Raceway Park, how my older brother Mike

was into drag racing, and how much I idolized him growing up. I told him I was literally born into this lifestyle and immersed into this crazy world of cars. My dad couldn’t just simply drive his car forward whenever a traffic light turned green. It became an all-out attempt to annihilate the person next to us, even if they were driving a family station wagon. The clutch dumping, high-revving, smoky burnout became a part of my daily existence growing up. As early as 12 years old, I remember my dad pulling over on a country road and switching seats with me. I learned how to drive a car with a clutch and a 3-speed on the column, manual steering and manual

2: Who doesn’t love the roar of eight angry pistons firing 112-octane race gas? Who doesn’t love the tire melting madness of the water box burnout? Who doesn’t love to let go of the clutch or trans brake and feel the g-forces pushing you hard into the seat? I know I do!

2 brakes. Ahh, the good old days. Dad encouraged my motorsports education by making my go-karts and dirt bikes faster than all of my friends. His only rule was that I had to do all of the work while he guided me through the process. This was a priceless education, and one that I am both grateful for and miss dearly since his passing in 2007. We began building my first race car when I was 14 years old, and that 1964 Oldsmobile F-85 Cutlass became my first love and started my obsession with cars. In an attempt to spare this man a six-hour lecture and a beer buzz, I shortened the story by beginning to answer his second question, “is it about the

adrenaline rush?” Sure, everyone loves a good adrenaline rush, (probably why I also became a full-contact kickboxer), but dumping the clutch or letting go of a trans brake goes far beyond an adrenaline rush for me. It’s the ultimate test of my mechanical skills. It’s the sound of angry pistons, and the smell of 112-octane race fuel. It’s about massive tire carnage and the “oh shit!” of a wheels up 60-foot launch. It’s hitting 2nd gear at the precise moment and truly feeling the G-forces pulling. He started to smile as he engaged in my passion and said, “I get it!, It’s the sport of it!” I had to offer him another beer because he only absorbed a small portion of why I

am obsessed with cars. I explained how I also love to take my car to car shows, trade shows, and exhibitions. I’m a “people person” and enjoy sitting in a chair and talking about cars with other fellow gearheads. I get asked many questions when people look at Big Red and begin to notice all of her details. It’s extremely rewarding when someone fully appreciates the hard work, engineering, and sacrifice that went into building her. So once again he smiled and said, “You have a lot of pride in your skills and this is how you show it off and get rewarded.” I quickly offered him another beer, because I wasn’t quite done yet. At these same shows, I spend more time walking

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www.rpm-mag.com | may 2018

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SHOP TALK

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3: Why cars? This poor guy asked the wrong person this question. He deserved a nearthree-hour lecture on why all of the gearheads in the world love cars so much.

4 4: My explanation of why I love cars needed much more than words. I had to offer him a beer or two and take a load off while getting his education in car addiction.

5: Being born into a gearhead family may have left me with no choice, but for as long as I could remember cars consumed my thoughts and dreams. I feel sorry for the people who simply use a car as a means of transportation.

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around and admiring the skills of others and how they parlayed that into their cars. I’m the consummate student and absolutely love learning about new technologies and breakthroughs in the automotive industry. I enjoy the back story of hardship, sacrifice, commitment, and passion behind every car, perhaps even more than the car itself. Case in point, be sure to check out the February 2018 issue of RPM about a very special 1969 Chevelle. The

back story about that car literally brought me to tears and compelled me to share it with the world. I went on to explain that I could actually have just as much fun, if not more, if I left my car at home. It takes the stress away from me “OCDing” about my own car getting damaged. I also love going to the track and helping my friends dial in their cars. I get immense pleasure from watching them succeed and sharing that moment

with them is priceless. I told him how I completely enjoy and take pleasure in repairing anything automotive. It’s one of the only times my mind slows down and allows me to completely focus. It’s also when I feel the closest to my dad and hear his voice guiding me every step of the way. So, why cars you may ask? The short version…it’s one of the most pure, wholesome, blue collar, family, mom’s apple pie hobbies you could ever be


6 6 6: Pride? Sure we have pride in our cars! Why else would we squander our children’s college funds on it? Why else do we spend endless hours wrenching and cleaning? Why else do we store it in a dust free, climate controlled, germ-free sealed bubble of solitude? 7: I certainly did my part educating an uninformed, misguided soul into the gearhead lifestyle. If I was fishing, he would have ended up in the boat.

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8 8: My Dad gave me this car when I was 14 years old. We spent the next three years making it street and strip ready. I learned so many lessons building this car. I also learned that sense of pride in building something with your own hands. I am so grateful for the education I received from my dad while growing up. I wish I could have shared the years it took to build my pro street Camaro with him. The more I think about it, the more I realize he was with me every step of the way. fortunate enough to get addicted to. I of course left out the part about how I squandered my daughter’s college fund and any possible retirement fund that ever existed.

I kept it all positive and truly believe that if I was in a pond fishing at that very moment, I would have hooked another fish in the boat. That one-hour wiring job ended up turning

into a three-hour, three-beer, shop talk with a customer that I hooked for life. Until next time – keep wrenching!

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www.rpm-mag.com | may 2018

39


RPM EXCLUSIVES 1

story and photos by

1: The Warriors Racing Team 2017 Champion Brian Weddle powering out a burnout with his biginch nitrous combination. Weddle was on his game last year and has the target on his back for 2018.

...COME OUT TO PLAY!

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>>The Warriors Drag Racing Team is ready to break out with their high power, high energy brand of race action!

T

he title of this article may not mean much to those readers under 40, but to those who have passed that milestone, it brings back a 1979 movie that created a buzz around

the world due to its somewhat romanticized depiction of gang life in New York City. It had interesting, diverse characters and was gritty, violent, and action packed—much like an Outlaw drag race event

with the diversity of drivers and crew, violence of big-horsepower combinations as they struggle to get from point A to point B before their rivals, and the action-packed part— well, that’s a given.

But behind the scenes of drag racing, generations of competition and good people have been the glue that binds racers. Although the violence and power of the cars gets an instant adrenaline rush

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may 2018 | RPM Magazine


2

3: Doug, Kimberly and son Creighton Sones are behind this fan favorite. The 1967 Chevy Corvette topped off with a 14/71 supercharger powers out wheelies at will, but at the final race of the season, the wheelie bars broke past the 60-foot mark and the car flipped on its roof—pretty much destroying the body along with much more damage. The Warriors team pulled together and within a week, team member Billy Ahlas was delivering Doug a body to replace his. The Sones were more than grateful.

2: Who says girls can’t play with the boys? Joann Feliciano put a big hurt on the points championship when she took out the leader and opened it up for anyone. Joann and her husband Ralph are in this together pursuing the belt again this year with a nitrous powered big block Chevy Nova.

3

www.rpm-mag.com | may 2018

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4 4 & 5: It’s a street car, no it’s a show car, no it’s a race car. Buddy Buser will tell you the supercharged second-gen Camaro is all three, and it definitely is! The stunning paint and build of this car along with the fact that it can be driven, raced, or shown at any time make it a favorite. Big wheels-up launches don’t hurt either! from fans and participants alike, it is undoubtedly a family sport with camaraderie and friendly rivalries that endure most boundaries. As with any sport, the more “Outlaw” things get, the more action it can provide, but as the vicious

cycle of more power/more money sets in, it often becomes out of reach for many. We seem to have come to a point in drag racing where some of the most popular street style classes like Outlaw 10.5 and X275 Drag Radial have almost priced racers

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may 2018 | RPM Magazine


WARRIORS

6 out of participating in the heads-up style competition they thirst for. Rest easy friends. Men like Larry Mack of the Warriors Drag Racing Team have a plan to keep us entertained. It seems the “Team” is on its way to a breakout year in 2018, as after several years of exclusivity at Capitol Raceway in Maryland, the group is branching out to a few more tracks for a full

eight race schedule—most notably, the Atomizer Injectors 10th Annual “Door Wars” at Maryland International Raceway in April and the “Yellow Bullet Nationals” at Cecil County Dragway Labor Day Weekend. The Warriors are somewhat different than a standard organization. It started somewhere around eight years ago with an idea to “invite” certain racers

with cars of similar ETs to compete and race for a cause, the Special Operations Warrior Foundation (SOWF). Larry is adamant about his involvement with this organization as their mission statement is quoted “The Warriors Outlaw Race Team is proud to promote and help raise awareness for the Special Operations Warrior Foundation. The SOWF provides full scholarships to

6: Ralph Hardesty, one of the prime members of the Warriors has been a stand out competitor and has also been seen in the pages of RPM Magazine as a feature. The Procharger-equipped 1967 Chevy II is by far the cleanest and straightest you will ever see. Ralph owns Superior Auto Body, a sponsor of the Warriors. surviving children of fallen Army, Navy, Air Force and Marines. The scholarship funding includes tuition, books, fees and room / board. SOWF also provides immediate financial assistance to special operations personnel severely wounded in the global war on terror”. Eight years back Mack, along with James Houston (also a racer that has never missed a race in seven years)

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WARRIORS

7 & 8: Jason Abee comes into the Warriors ready for battle. Jason owns 1320 Fabrications, a premier chassis and fabrication shop in the area. His entire family is involved in racing—his daughter Ellyse drives a junior dragster and keeps them busy between rounds. The ProCharger-equipped Grand Prix has undergone huge chassis mods at 1320 Fabrication as have many other Warriors’ cars. Look out for Jason this year. Note the cool 1320 Fab-built upper fender exit zoomies!

7

8 and Dave Tolly were forming their new group just as classes like Outlaw 10.5 and X275 had begun the transition to high-dollar Outlaw racing. Those who had competitive cars prior to the shift just could not make that type of financial commitment and either opted out of racing as

44

a whole or went on to try and find a more affordable niche class— which can be difficult when you already have a purpose built car sitting in the garage. Many of the Warriors Drag Racing Team invitees gained momentum and more and more racers found themselves

may 2018 | RPM Magazine

wanting to be a part of the group. The Warriors have a very simple set of rules built specifically to promote diversity. They are a grassroots race team/ organization made up of over 30 vehicles including Ford, Mopar, and GM with even a few off-brands and imports in the mix.

Engines range from small blocks, big blocks to 4 and 6 cylinders and power adders can include nitrous oxide, blowers or turbos. The variety of cars and combinations quenches everyone’s thirst for “street appearing” insanely fast eighth-mile drag racing. Big wheels-up

launches, long, smoky burnouts across the starting line along with loud, intense, and volatile action brings back much of that fan appeal of the older backhalved cars of the original street classes. Several cars running with the group


www.rpm-mag.com | may 2018

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WARRIORS have been featured right here in RPM Magazine, including Tony Oliveira’s purple all-Pontiac supercharged GTO and Ralph Hardesty’s impeccable supercharged Chevy II. This year, the rules have opened up to allow imports and some of the smaller tires over the conventional 10.5w standard. This is heads-up racing, but more of a hybrid of it, putting certain limits in place to ensure everyone has a decent shot at winning without one or two teams running away with it. One such limit is the two-tenth rule. No one may be .200 or faster than the #4 qualifying time. As an example, if the number 4 qualifying time is 4.82 then any run faster than a 4.62 will be disallowed. With that said, the cars were loosely restricted to the low

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five-second range in the early days, however, it didn’t take long to realize that technology, tires, and track preparation were making huge leaps in performance gains, and numbers were falling quickly. The unique part is that these cars getting quicker does not spell smaller car counts which all too often leads to the end of the class. Instead, it is the exact opposite. The slightly quicker times have a growth affect as they are attainable, with a reasonable investment, by most every racer within the group and if not, they have a place to race as well. Larry took progress as a sign of a new way to keep the racers involved by having three fields of racing combined in one race. If 16 or more cars show up, there is usually a second “slower” field with the same style of

may 2018 | RPM Magazine

eliminations as the main attraction. The fans love this side-by-side racing and seemingly endless fast doorcar match-ups throughout the day which turns into a great race. Fair and balanced is one of the top priorities along with putting on a great show. Some weekends find upwards of three separate winners due to high car counts. Of course the group’s sponsors bring some money into the picture but most of all the racers chase the points and the “championship belt”; which looks just like a professional boxer’s belt. Larry and his wife Diana work alongside their daughter Kristen and son Jason to keep the Warriors wheels turning. The group has definitely made some headway to inform the masses through their website and of course, the Official Warriors Drag


刀椀瘀攀琀 ⬀ 刀椀瘀攀琀 一甀琀 ⬀ 刀椀瘀攀琀 匀琀甀搀

9

9: Here is one of the most talked about cars of 2018 and it hasn’t even been seen since it upgrades over the winter at Precision Chassis. Last year the fans went wild over Michael Naumann’s nitrous injected Chevy Nova, now it’s bigger, badder and better with tons of chassis work and titanium. And it’s gorgeous as well as fast!

䴀甀氀琀椀ⴀ䘀甀渀挀琀椀漀渀愀氀 唀渀氀椀洀椀琀攀搀 倀漀猀猀椀戀椀氀椀琀椀攀猀 䄀嘀䄀䬀 䴀愀砀䐀甀琀礀 䘀氀攀砀 吀漀漀氀 䬀椀琀 ∠ ㌀ⴀ椀渀ⴀ㨀 刀椀瘀攀琀Ⰰ 刀椀瘀攀琀 一甀琀 ⬀ 刀椀瘀攀琀 匀琀甀搀 ∠ 䘀氀攀砀椀戀氀攀 栀愀渀搀氀攀猀 昀漀爀 攀愀猀礀 猀琀漀爀愀最攀      眀椀琀栀漀甀琀 氀漀漀猀椀渀最 愀渀礀 氀攀瘀攀爀愀最攀⸀  ∠ 唀渀椀焀甀攀 儀甀椀挀欀匀眀椀琀挀栀 昀攀愀琀甀爀攀 昀漀爀    爀愀瀀椀搀 昀甀渀挀琀椀漀渀愀氀 挀栀愀渀最攀 ∠ 䠀攀愀瘀礀 搀甀琀礀 猀甀瀀瀀漀爀琀椀渀最 猀琀愀椀渀氀攀猀猀    昀愀猀琀攀渀攀爀猀 愀渀搀 猀琀爀甀挀琀甀爀愀氀 昀愀猀琀攀渀攀爀猀   昀愀猀

刀椀瘀攀琀 ㄀⼀㐀ᴠ ⠀㘀⸀㐀洀洀⤀ 刀椀瘀攀琀 一甀琀 ㄀⼀㈀ᴠ  ⼀ 䴀㄀㈀ 刀椀瘀攀琀 匀琀甀搀 㔀⼀㄀㘀ᴠ ⼀ 䴀㠀 

10: Bobby DeMilt’s insane wheels-up launches and his number two standing in points earns him lots of fan praise, the mighty Chevy powered Mustang just loves hard launches.

10

刀椀瘀攀琀⼀刀椀瘀攀琀 一甀琀 䐀爀椀氀氀 䄀搀愀瀀琀攀爀猀

䔀û漀爀琀氀攀猀猀 愀渀搀 䔀ϻ挀椀攀渀琀 䜀攀琀 琀栀攀 樀漀戀 搀漀渀攀 昀愀猀琀 䄀嘀䄀䬀 刀嘀䐀 愀渀搀 刀一䐀 䐀爀椀氀氀 䄀搀愀瀀琀攀爀猀 ∠ 䰀攀瘀攀爀愀最攀 琀栀攀 瀀漀眀攀爀 漀昀 瀀漀眀攀爀 琀漀漀氀    昀漀爀 攀û漀爀琀氀攀猀猀 爀椀瘀攀琀椀渀最 ∠ 唀瀀 琀漀 ㈀砀 愀猀 昀愀猀琀 愀猀 洀愀渀甀愀氀 琀漀漀氀猀 ∠ 匀洀愀氀氀 瀀爀漀漀氀攀 昀漀爀 攀砀琀爀攀洀攀 瀀漀爀琀愀戀椀氀椀琀礀 ∠ 唀猀攀 礀漀甀爀 搀爀椀氀氀 昀漀爀 搀爀椀氀氀椀渀最 愀渀搀 爀椀瘀攀琀椀渀最⸀    一漀琀 漀渀攀 漀爀 琀栀攀 漀琀栀攀爀⸀ 䴀漀搀攀氀猀

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

11

11: Another steadfast of the Warriors family, Donna and Billy Ahlas. These folks bring so much fun and easygoing attitudes with them you just can’t deny they are as cool as their car; a Procharger boosted big block Chevy II, with a stunning flamed paint job!

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刀䤀䐀䜀䔀䜀䄀吀䔀 吀伀伀䰀匀 ☀ 吀䔀䌀䠀

www.rpm-mag.com | may 2018

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12

13 13: Mike Gerber brings this nasty nitrous-sniffing big block-powered S-10 to the Warriors Team. Did we forget to mention it’s absolutely stunning with the magnificent green paint? Now you know.

Racing Team Facebook page with over 6,500 fans and growing. The page is run by Larry and the sub crew of the Warriors, Billy Carpenter, and official Warriors team photographer Steve Reese (Edge Of Speed Photography). They keep everyone updated and provide so many outlets for sharing with their videos and photos. The success of the Warriors Drag Racing Team as a whole can be summed up as unique within the world of Outlaw-style drag racing.

12: James Houston could just about be the poster child for this Team’s origin. His mighty all motor Ford T-bolt is truly a competitor. James is one of the founding members of the Warriors Drag Racing Team.

More cars are joining in at almost every outing, fans are grabbing onto the group’s brand of action and tracks and promoters have seen the fruits of the team’s efforts through much of their fan base and are offering more places for them to race this year. It seems that, just as the 1979 Warriors film became a huge cult classic, these Warriors just keep getting better with age. The Warriors Drag Racing Team would like to thank their sponsors and tracks as without their

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may 2018 | RPM Magazine

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WARRIORS 14

14: You may not recognize the car, but readers of RPM Magazine will remember the driver James Smith from the RPM Magazine cover of the Yellow Bullet Nationals in his silver Pro Stick ’79 Camaro. James now drives this incredibly nice Mustang, another stick car. He and his wife Crystal Smith run JSC Carbon and Fabrication. What a great couple to watch run.

15 15: Big Jack Boer is owner of this fabulous and well known former Big Tire world champion ride. Yet another car that epitomizes the look and feel of what this class should be. Wheelman Mitch George can be seen pumping out the HUGE nitrous flames on his wild passes!

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www.rpm-mag.com | may 2018

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WARRIORS 18: Dan Whetstine is one of the “crossovers”— he can run with the Warriors or jump right back into X275 as he pleases. The ProCharger winded Mustang is one of the cleanest you’ll see. Dan is always helped by well known Outlaw 10.5 racer and good friend Tim Essick.

16

16: Another example of finding a new place to race is Craig and Ali Buscio’s big block nitrous Chevy II. This car has some serious history and was once a dominant 8.50 Index car, just under the ET for quick 8s of the time. Now has a home with the Warriors and has seen the winners circle many times! 17: This gorgeous example of sheer Warriors muscle belongs to Tink Litrap. The old school 1967 Chevelle opening up the big nitrous-powered Fulton big block always has fans wanting more. Chewey’s Performance & Automotive, AJO Milling, Bevard and Son Auto, Napa Auto Parts, Marty Brown Race Engines, Speed Unlimited, Butler Tire Service, BTM Racing, SKJ Racing, Capitol Raceway, Maryland International Raceway, Maple Grove Raceway, and Cecil County Dragway.

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may 2018 | RPM Magazine

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WARRIORS 2319: Always in the running, the wild launch antics of Erik Vandrew caused by the vicious power of his supercharged Chevy in the split bumper Camaro is always the rage. Vandrew met with some bad luck at the end of the year as he crashed the Camaro, but word on the street is it’s being rebuilt as we write this.

19

continued on page 88

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may 2018 | RPM Magazine


www.rpm-mag.com | february2018

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story by

S tan S mith

photos by

M att Woods


THUNDERBIRD

A

lthough disputed by the Cowboys of Arizona and Texas in the late 1800s who had claimed to have found the “Thunderbird,” the existence of the massive winged warrior with alligator-like armor is considered to be a myth. Kevin Slyfield’s 2,500-plus horsepower methanol gulping championship bird of prey, however, is completely real. Right from the very roots of his interest in horsepower, Hampshire, UK’s Kevin Slyfield has been into American cars. “I owned a ’67 Charger, a ’69 Charger, and several other American cars over the years,” he said. “But my favorite was my Plymouth Belvedere.”

He started drag racing with the Belvedere in 2003 in Sportsman ET and would not only become hooked on the sport itself, but would also win the championship that year. Soon, he would add nitrous and be running in the 10-second quarter-mile zone in Pro ET. However, after three good years in the car he sold it to a buyer in Germany. Shortly after, he found a Willys in Norway to run in the Super Pro class, however, the MSA (Motor Sports Association) of the UK changed their allegiance from Top Methanol to Pro Mod leaving Kevin racing in the Pro Mod Class with the Willys, which he did for six years. Due to the bodystyle and chassis design of that particular car, though, Kevin admits that

WINGED WONDER

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may2018 | RPM Magazine

The large wing of Slyfield’s Thunderbird provides function, and looks damn good, too. From the front, this ’Bird has many of the factory attributes, however, turn to the side view and while the car still resembles it’s OEM counterpart you immediately see the stretch, height changes and other alterations made for aerodynamics.


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PADDED ROOM FOR ONE Inside the car there is absolutely no resemblance to an original Thunderbird. This is a Pro Mod and the interior is meant to first and foremost, keep the driver safe and secondly, command and monitor all functions while going as quick from point A to point B as possible. The cage, seat and surrounding padding/equipment is all designed to minimize jarring impacts that have been shown to cause and increase the severity of injuries in a crash.

FLAWLESS EXECUTION

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may2018 | RPM Magazine

A Racepak dash displays vital signs and information obtained from various sensors placed throughout all areas of the car. The chromoly Andy Robinson Race Cars chassis is a work of art not to mention the additional fabrication work throughout the entire build. A twin bottle DJ Safety Coldfire fire suppression system is a must in any race car.


THUNDERBIRD

it was quite a handful. The 1957 Thunderbird pro mod that Slyfield would eventually own was actually first owned by Andy Chilton who was building it for himself. Andy had

crewed for Kevin for a couple of years and the pair always talked about the car and the stages it was at during the build. Kevin knew that once completed it would be a nice car

and thought many times to himself how would be interested in owning it. Chilton’s circumstances changed and he decided to swap the T-bird for Andy Robinson’s Studebaker,

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59


THUNDERBIRD

ALL IN THE DETAILS Little touches throughout the car such as lookalike bumpers, authentic emblems and side vent trim, these fully functioning taillights and, of course, the side “opera” window bring the theme of “old school luxury car meets big horsepower drag racer” home!

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may2018 | RPM Magazine


and Robinson (Andy Robinson Race Cars) took the car on from there. By this time, Kevin was at the stage with the Willys where he felt he had done everything he could and that he had reached the car’s limits within the Pro Mod class. The opportunity came up for him to purchase the

T-bird from Robinson and he commissioned Andy to complete the car. Once Robinson worked their magic to make the car right for Kevin, Slyfield transferred the engine and transmission he still had from the Willys, over to the T-Bird. It took 6-months

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THUNDERBIRD KEVIN SLYFIELD’S 1957 FORD THUNDERBIRD PRO MOD Chassis Type & Mods: Custom built 4130 chrome moly twin rail SFI 25.1E Pro Mod chassis by Andy Robinson Race Cars. Suspension & Brakes: FRONT: Strange double-adjustable coil overs. REAR: Penske double-adjustable gas shocks. Body & Paint: Suncoast fiberglass body modified by Andy Robinson. Paint by Nick Curtis of AJS Bodyworks. Engine: 521ci Brad Anderson Aluminum Hemi block, 4.4675 bore. Brad Anderson stage 5 heads. Bryant crankshaft 4.15-inch stroke, GRP aluminum rods, Diamond pistons with Total Seal piston rings. Bullet camshaft. Induction & Fuel Delivery: Mike Janis 14/71 roots supercharger on methanol fuel. Waterman fuel pump, manual fuel injection. Fuel system by Les Davenport. Electronics & Ignition: MSD 44 Pro Mag, MSD crank trigger, MSD ignition timing control (programmable), Racepak datalogger. Transmission & Clutch: Bruno converter drive, Neal Chance bolttogether converter, Lenco 3-speed gearbox. Differential: Mark Williams modular rear axle, Strange 9” Ultra case 3rd member with 4.29:1 pro gears. Performance: 6.11 sec @ 229mph (quarter-mile). Thanks to: Elaine Slyfield (wife), Andy Robinson, Luke Robinson, James Woodsford, Brian Cooper (brother-in-law), Angie Cooper (wife’s twin sister), Clive Phayer, Bert Nutland, Tony Underhill, Paul Morton, Nick Curtis (painter). Kevin added that he is always looking for sponsors for his unique and proven program, and he can be contacted at manddtooling@aol.com.

Billet

in total to do the swap but that’s because he and his crew added a substantial amount extras into the mix to help reach new levels within the UK’s very competitive Pro Modified class. In fact, so anxious to get in the seat of the new

car, Kevin didn’t even worry about painting it and instead debuted it in flat black. With seat time in the new ride, Slyfield knew he was onto a different experience than the Willys could have ever offered, and in 2015 he won the

MSA Pro Mod Class Championship with the T-Bird. Just as in North America, a Thunderbird in Pro Mod is a rare sight, let alone seeing one take a championship. The chassis is a twin-rail chromoly pro mod piece that

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THUNDERBIRD ARRC built for Kevin. Front suspension was also scratch-built by ARRC using Strange Ultra struts with ARRC adjustable strut top mounts and Stiletto rack and pinion steering. Out back resides an ARRC Max Adjust 4-link system, ARRC pushrod/rocker arm rear suspension with Penske 8300 coilovers and Mark Williams 3-inch anti-roll bar that suspends a Mark Williams modular axle with ARRC axle 4-link plates, Strange Ultra case, and 4.29 Pro gears. The body is no lightweight carbon piece, but rather a fiberglass body from Suncoast Race Cars that was modified by Andy Robinson Race

Cars. After the flat black look, Slyfield added the Candy Red color in 2016 which was applied by Nick Curtis at AJS Bodyworks in Bournemouth, UK. To give the car a bit more style, the proper factory chrome body side faux vents were added along with Thunderbird emblems. Replicas of the side “opera” windows and factory taillights are special finishing touches that a factory car would have. Inside, the Thunderbird is all race and very uncomplicated with a Racepack dash sitting front and center and most of the associated electronics fastened under the dash to the right of Kevin. Most nota-

548 cubic inch big-block ario, California dyno tested a Vrbancic Brothers Racing in Ont ched with an Edelbrock mat ds or 24° CNC cylinder hea Chevy with Edelbrock/Musi Vict over 1,550 horsepower . This combination resulted in 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. for up to .880” lift. They are ava springs and titanium retainers 270 tor intake manifold #29 The Edelbrock Super Vic e larg tch ma the ports to features a 3/4”radius in ds. hea er ind cyl t por oval CNC’d for a variety of custom This manifold is suitable er, ow sep hor h hig n der for mo cylinder heads required HP. + 950 g kin ma s ine large displacment eng FOLLOW US ON:

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may2018 | RPM Magazine

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PACKIN’ A PACHYDERM A mechanical injected 521-inch BAE Hemi sits between the rails of T-bird. A Mike Janis 14/71 blower and injection hat were used, and plumbing the fuel system was a task within itself.

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THUNDERBIRD bly is the Lenco 3-speed Bruno converter drive transmission that runs through the middle of the cockpit. For power, this winged warrior depends on a BAE 521-inch aluminum Hemi with Stage 5 heads and Mike Janis 14/71 Roots supercharger and mechanical fuel injection. Inside the mill, a Bryant crank swings GRP

aluminum rods and Diamond slugs. Methanol fuel is delivered via a Waterman pump and the fuel system is the work of Les Davenport. To date, Slyfield has piloted the T-bird to a 6.11 second quarter-mile hit at over 229 mph, and has logged a number of wins along with that 2015 Championship. So does the continued on page 77

SHIFTY BUSINESS An air-shifted Bruno converter drive Lenco 3-speed trans with Neal Chance bolt-together converter sits to the right of Slyfied.

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Incl. Ignitions, Control Systems, Parts & Service


THE BIRD TAKES FLIGHT The T-bird gets a good hold of the Santa Pod surface.

RAINY DAYS Kevin suits up in the lanes after a short rainfall, a common occurrence in the UK, being surrounded by water.

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THUNDERBIRD THE SUN NEVER SETS? As the sun sets at Santa Pod Kevin and crew line up for one last shot with the Thunderbird.

elusive, and until-now supposed mythical, Thunderbird really exist? Sure does, and you can find it running the pro modified race scene of the MSA at tracks like Santa Pod, about an 8-hour drive due south of a place called Loch Ness.

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story and photos by

Toby Brooks

With Pro Line Racing Engines and Diamond pistons, Q80 Racing team resets quarter-mile doorslammer record at 5.46 seconds and 272mph “Diamond’s contributions have been invaluable.” Doug Patton, Pro Line Racing Engines

Diamond’s turbo pistons make big power and combat heat and pressure. • Forged from 2618 aluminum with Herculean pin bosses that accomodate tough TP-1 or H13 tool steel piston pins • Lower skirt rigidity maintained by full-circumference designs that boast the strongest-known stiffening ribs • Hard-coat anodizing, ceramic crowns, and moly skirt coatings available • Fastest turnaround time on custom pistons Questions? Knowledgeable Tech Support: M-F, 9AM-5PM EST

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may 2018 | RPM Magazine

Call today: 586.792.6620 or visit diamondracing.net


I

t was one of those experiences you just don’t forget. We were cruising the Du Quoin State Fairgrounds on our trusty loaner golf cart at the Street Machine Nationals. It was a picture-perfect lateJune day in Southern Illinois. As we neared the facility’s iconic marquee, first we heard it.

Whooomp. Whooomp. Whooomp. Whooomp. What. Is. THAT? Then we saw it. A gorgeous, gleaming, screaming yellow bucket of badness just five cars back in the cruise lane. We immediately pulled our cart to the side and hopped off to snap some pics. It took a grand total of about three seconds

to decide that we had found another feature car for RPM’s Street Scene series. The guy behind the creation in its current state is Terry Ciesla, a thickly-built shop manager from New Lenox, Illinois. Ciesla isn’t just interested in building his biceps, though. He likes plenty of muscle in his garage, as well. “Ever since I was a

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CORN FED COOL kid, I have been interested in engines and what makes things tick,” Ciesla said. “My mom used to say I was always fixing things, from go-carts to mini bikes and pedal bikes. As I got older it changed to snowmobiles, dirt bikes, and finally cars,” he added. At 16 years old, Ciesla’s first car was a ’57 Chevy. After selling that first ride, he purchased a’68 Cougar that he had built as

a driver and a show car. The Cougar went to the Street Nats from 1985-1994. Following an ’86 Mustang SVO and a 1996 Corvette, Ciesla decided it was time to return to his roots. He traded the Vette for the ’55 twodoor post in 2000 and set out to build it to his liking over the course of the next decade. “The car had been treated to a complete frame-off restoration by a premier local

ONE SLICK BOX Hard to believe as it may be, the car was actually painted in 2000, but you could never tell that the flawless Penzoil Yellow is going on 20 years old just by looking at it. Fit and finish is exquisite, but the screaming yellow hue with just enough chrome—and a BDS scoop poking through the hood—is plenty to tell you that this ride is no boring concours-stock resto...but rather a cool pro street cruiser!

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DRAWING A CROWD The classic Chevy was a crowd favorite at the Nats, gorgeously whining and surging its way around the DuQuoin State Fairgrounds all weekend. Believe it or not, it is as sweet to the ears as it is to the eyes!

MILDLY TUBBED The 29x12.5 Mickey Thompson rear tires fill the wheel openings nicely, while the polished wheels look awesome with the factory chrome.

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MIGHTY MOUSE The 383 ci Chevy small block has been topped with a polished 8/71 BDS supercharger and a pair of E-85 Holley HP carbs. THe E-85 allows Ciesla to turn up the boost while keeping underhood temps under control.

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body shop,” Ciesla continued. “It had a pair of race buckets and a roll bar inside, and a basically stock small block under the hood. It was beautiful, but I needed to change it to my liking,” he said. Bump & Grind Autobody had sprayed the classic Chevy with a flawless DuPont Chromabase paintjob. After replacing all damaged and corroded parts and pieces and lovingly massaging the nearly half-century old GM steel back to better-than-new, the car was slathered in gallons of custom-mixed Penzoil Yellow. With the exception of a shaved fuel filler door and a rear-mounted battery disconnect, the body is otherwise stock. The perfect stance on the car is credited

may 2018 | RPM Magazine

to a Fat Man front suspension with a two-inch drop and QA1 coilovers. Out back, a narrowed Dana 60 rear was equipped with Strange 35-spline axles and a Richmond 3.73 gearset before being suspended via custom ladder bars and QA1 adjustable coilovers. The “BLONBOX” rides on a set of Johnny Rods Legacy wheels with Mickey Thompson tires, giving it a perfect hint of sparkling oldschool cool. Narrow 15x6 wheels with 28x7.515 tires roll up front, with 15x10s fitted with 29x12.5-15s in back. A pair of custom steel tubs and well-executed steel sheetmetal work out back finishes off the back half along with a neatly tucked six-point cage to stiffen the chassis.

Stopping chores are managed by GM discs with 11-inch rotors up front and Ford 12-inch discs in rear. A custom Wilwood dual chamber master cylinder pressurizes the calipers through custom stainless hard lines and Russell braided flex hoses. With the fit, finish, and fatness out back all handled, Ciesla turned his attention to the Chevy’s powertrain. Taking care of the engine build himself, Ciesla started with a cast iron 4-bolt 350 Chevy block and fitted it with a Lunati stroker crank, Lunati Pro Mod Rods, and Lunati 8.5:1 compression flat top pistons. The resultant 383 ci mouse was then treated to a Lunati mechanical roller cam spun via a Roll Master double roller timing chain. The


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CORN FED COOL

INSIDE THE BOX The Chevy’s interior is a tasteful mix of beige tweed and vinyl. The six-point cage adds safety while the Caddy seats add comfort.

cam was spec’d to 0.600 lift/308 duration on the intake side and 0.618 lift/318 duration on the exhaust, providing that wicked and unmistakable lope. A Moroso high-volume oil pump and Milodon 8-quart pan serve to keep the inter-

nals adequately lubricated, while DART aluminum heads were treated to Pro 1 custom CNC work by Ted Borowski before being torqued in place via ARP studs. COMP super roller lifters articulate with a set of Manley swedged end 5/16-inch 4130 pushrods that sub-

sequently send the valvetrain signals to Crane race roller rockers. Up top, a custom-welded BDS aluminum blower intake mates to a polished 8/71 BDS supercharger with Teflon-stripped rotors. The big huffer has been spun at 5% over, pushing around 15 pounds of com-

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may 2018 | RPM Magazine


pressed atmosphere into the combustion chambers. A pair of custom E-85 Holley HP supercharger carbs have been mated to a BDS Hilborn-style scoop that pokes perfectly through the aerated hood. A Barry Grant 400-2 electric pump and an Aeromotive regulator manage fuel pressurization and management duties respectively. “The engine was originally set up at 5 pounds of boost on pump gas, but I decided that I wanted to create more power and use the motor to its fullest potential,” Cies-

la said. The conversion to ethanol-blended fuel made a massive difference, helping the car stay plenty cool during slow summer cruising—not to mention producing far more power than the old-school traditional pump gas setup. Assisting the corn-fuel blend in keeping the temps down is an Edelbrock high flow aluminum water pump along with a custom built aluminum radiator and B&M SuperCooler polished external trans cooler. A Power Master chrome alternator keeps the trunk-mounted battery

charged, while an MSD Pro Billet distributor and 6AL box handle the ignition chores. That incredible exhaust note is courtesy of a pair of custom-built 1 7/8-inch 4-into-1 AlumiCoated headers. Aft the collectors is 3-inch tubing and a pair of Flowmaster Stage 2 mufflers. The engine combo was good for 653 hp prior to the boost and fuel upgrades and an

The modestly narrowed Dana 60 rearend has been hung via ladder bars and coilovers, while the finished trunk matches the interior and houses a poly fuel cell and billet battery box.

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www.rpm-mag.com | may 2018

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CORN FED COOL

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Terry Ciesla proudly stands behind his clean, classic Chevy.

estimated 850 horses after. Backing the potent powerplant is a custom-built Turbo 400 three-speed trans with a reverse manual valve body and trans brake. A TCI 4,000 RPM stall converter has been mated to a PRW flexplate, and a custom aluminum driveshaft sends power rearward. Other than beefing up the car’s power production, Ciesla also tricked out the classic Chevy’s interior—a task he tackled not just to add good looks and comfort but to accommodate his growing family. “After a few years we needed to make room for our second daughter, so I decided to upgrade the interior. I moved the rear roll cage bars and installed a custom bench seat with belts in back,” he said. At the same time, the car was treated to a pair of low back buckets pulled from a Cadillac Catera to improve front row comfort, too. AutoMeter gauges provide the data acquisition and display, while a B & M shifter has been mounted in the custom-built center console.

Rounding out the other trick touches inside is a Billet Specialties steering wheel and yards of beige tweed and vinyl. Custom door panels and cage wraps lend a street rod feel that has been carried over into to the fully finished and detailed trunk. A Rockford Fosgate sound system provides the tunes whenever the lurching and whining of the blown small block isn’t entertainment enough. “Lots of times people ask me how we can put our daughters in this type of car,” he said with a smile. “There have been lots of times my daughters and wife have helped clean and repair the car. I wouldn’t trade those memories for the world,” he concluded. While it may not sport the insane cubic inches and 1,000+ horsepower of many of the features you’ll find in the pages of RPM, there’s no denying the simple reality: this corn-fed shoebox is so cool. It’s almost enough to make us go vegetarian.


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WARRIORS

continued from page 52

20 22

23 20: Just your average grocery getter that can put it on the bumper at will or drive to the shore with the whole family. Frank Saponaro’s amazing combination of classic metal and turbocharged mayhem will smoke the best of them! It’s known all through the country and was easily the most famous wagon last year. 21: Rick Holland’s patriotic Plymouth Belvedere flies the Mopar banner along with the stars and stripes. Rick keeps it all Mopar and ProCharged to boot… the wheels-up launches and awesome burnouts from the very cool nostalgic ride are a fan favorite.

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21 23: Another long time Warriors Team Member, Keith Brandt, keeps a big following with his insane Camaro powered by a big block Chevy and lots of nitrous.


22: Another crossover type ride is “The Modfather” Ronnie Diaz. His strong-running turbo powered Mustang can easily run many other classes and earned him enough round points to find himself at the number 12 spot in the championship ladder last year.

24

24: Not long ago this near perfect GTO was featured in the pages of RPM Magazine. Owner Tony Oliveira brings this show-and-go GOAT to the fans with screaming burnouts and hard launches. The stunning purple paint with polished everything isn’t a deterrent to beating the snot out of the ProCharged Pontiac mill. The social media expert of the Warriors Team “Billy Carpenter” is always making sure the car is prepared for a Warriors race. You can visit the Warriors at www.warriorsraceteam.com and on Facebook, and can also follow them on Instagram at www.instagram.com/ warriorsoutlaw/

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RPM PROJECT CAR

TURE A E F E L DOUB H C E T L SPECIA

FINALLY IN SYNC story and photos by

Chuck Scott

>>We install the long-awaited new MSD cam sync plug

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Y

ou may recall back during our Holley Dominator EFI install series, we made a 351W cam sync using a 3.8L Ford Windstar sync with an adapter sleeve

may 2018 | RPM Magazine

that I had machined from aluminum. After a couple attempted passes, it ate the bronze distributor gear. I felt that the tall adapter sleeve was allowing the sync to get in a bind at high RPM due to the distributor

No, not *NSYNC

tie down being so high up with a long hold down bolt. After that early failure, I made a new cam sync plug by the common 5.0L Ford Explorer cam sync body with a shaft from a 3.8L Windstar sync. This got

rid of the tall adapter sleeve and jacked up distributor hold down but the 5.0L sync body fit loose in the 351W block. I tried to remedy this with a fatter O-ring. It seemed to help and I ran the


1: Compared to my Frankenstein Ford cam sync, the MSD is a nice precisionmade billet body that fits the 351W block perfect with zero slop.

car successfully for several outings. Finally at the last race of the year, it ate another bronze gear on the shakedown pass. After talking to some other Ford guys, I found that it was a common problem with high RPM

1

engines with high volume oil pumps and obviously the sloppy makeshift cam syncs were not helping the situation. I was advised to drill a small hole in an oil galley plug behind the gear as a remedy for a poorly oiled gear.

The oiling modification should help but I really wanted a direct fit cam sync plug that fit the block without oversized o-rings or adapter sleeves. I was about to just use a distributor with a cam sync output when MSD

2: After pressing off the included steel gear, the new MSD cam sync plug was left in a freezer overnight. This slightly shrinks the metal. Then the new bronze gear is warmed with a propane torch causing it to slightly expand. The total temporary change in the two metals may make .001” or less total but it is enough to allow the gear to be installed with the correct position on the shaft with a socket against the gear lightly tapped with a rubber mallet.

2

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RPM PROJECT CAR 3

3: Don’t forget to slide on the included O-ring seal to the sync body. The MSD sync has such tight tolerances, only a thin O-ring is needed for a good seal.

released their new line of cam sync plugs at the end of 2017. Now EFI users could benefit from a solid performing, direct-fit cam sync plug with MSD reliability. So I put in my order and waited

my turn in the frenzy of other people that had been wanting the same thing. Follow along as we show you how to install this trick and functional new piece from MSD.

4: Looking at the distributor gear location in the Dart block ,you will see the windowed section to the right of the camshaft retainer plate where the distributor passes through and engages the gear on the cam. You can see the hole at the bottom of the window where the bottom of the distributor shaft goes. With the Ford design, the distributor gear only gets splash oil. The hex drive galley plug seen in the picture is the one we will drill to supply oil to the gear.

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may 2018 | RPM Magazine

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www.rpm-mag.com | may 2018

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5

5: I removed the oil galley plug and drilled over halfway through with a .070-inch drill bit and then finished the hole with the more fragile .030-inch bit. Bits that small are easy to snap off if they get stuck at the end of the drilling. Using a larger bit most of the way through makes for less chance of binding on the smaller bit.

7: MSD supplied a packet of the good stuff. The Lucas break-in lube is the best. It is really thick, sticky and stays where you put it. I got some on my bare steel bench top and you can’t just wipe it off. It takes some strong degreaser to get it off.

8

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may 2018 | RPM Magazine


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6: Some fresh ARP thread sealer is applied to the galley plug (circled in red) and it is re-installed into the block ready to shower the new bronze gear with black gold, Texas tea—oil that is.

7

It’s not a secret anymore!

8: With the MSD cam sync plug stabbed in, you can now see the relation between the newly drilled oiling hole and the gear location. It will squirt directly on the shaft right above the gear and keep the bronze gear bathed in oil.

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www.mantonpushrods.com www.rpm-mag.com | may 2018

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RPM PROJECT CAR 9 10

11 9: The very last part on the RPM mule’s engine actually manufactured by Ford. This one has been with me for 17 years and rode the top of several motors. I’d hate to give up on it now and run off with a new younger hotter billet hold down. I value more than just a pretty finish on my hold downs.

96

10, 11, & 12: If you have an unmolested Holley ignition harness, the new MSD cam sync plug is ready to connect with no wiring changes. I had cut off the Holley connector and replace it with a Ford pigtail that plugged into the Ford 3-wire Hall-effect sensors. Luckily MSD included a Metripack connector in the box that matches the one on the new cam sync. The Ford connector was cut off and the 3-pin Metripack connector is terminated in its place.

may 2018 | RPM Magazine

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RPM PROJECT CAR 13

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14

13 & 14: One of the coolest things about the new MSD sync is the LED signal indicator. When the LED is on, the sensor is not picking up the magnet. When the LED is off and the cam sync has power, the sensor is picking up the magnet. For the sensor to pick up the magnet, it has to be within 20 degrees of the sensor. This makes finding the falling or rising edge of the Hall-effect signal easy as falling on ice-covered steps in dress shoes. With a solid, directfit cam sync and the oiling modification, hopefully we are MSD Performance in for a trouble-free season and www.msdperformance.com can just change out the gear as 888.258.3835 yearly maintenance instead of a failure repair.

SOURCE

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

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RPM PROJECT CAR 1

TURE A E F E L DOUB H C E T L SPECIA

DRIVENBY PRECISION story and photos by

Chuck Scott

>>We upgrade the RPM Mag mule with the ultimate in cam control thanks to our friends at Jesel

100

B

ack when we originally built the little small block for Project 4 Lug Thug, we used a standard double-roller timing chain set due to our plans to put a bunch

may 2018 | RPM Magazine

of street miles on it between track outings. The original thought was that an enclosed chain would be better for road debris and dirt and grime associated with a heavily street driven car. I had actually got a front

motor plate specifically designed to be used with a Jesel belt drive and was going to make a cover to protect it. At the last minute, we just threw on a timing chain and made a block-off plate to seal the motor

plate to the OEM Ford timing cover. Like a lot of builds, things end up escalating to a different universe. Now that the car would likely get us a life sentence for equipment violations on the street, there is


no reason not to enjoy the superior cam timing and quick adjustments of the Jesel belt drive, not to mention reduced transferred harmonics from the crank, killer looks and race car status. Jesel is the originator of the belt drive timing set conversion. Dan Jesel made the first one back in 1982 when I was 7. Before then, you had to deal with weak chain drives or noisy, harmonic offending, power

1: The Jesel Valvetrain Innovation Belt Drive comes complete with everything you need down to the bolts. The only thing not included in the kit is a timing cover gasket and a tube of RTV sealant. I also ordered the optional roller bearing cam retainer plate for the full package.

thieving gear drives. The introduction of the innovative Jesel belt drive opened giant doors of opportunity for those wanting to make power with big aggressive cams. Now Jesel belt drives are on serious engines in drag racing, land speed and circle track around the world. During the 2017 season we struggled with new car bugs that were more like new car pterodactyls. Before we even got in a full pass, the car ate a distrib-

2

2: Usually a new install like this would be done on an engine stand but when your entire front end comes off and the radiator can come out in a few minutes, it’s no problem to do the belt drive install with the motor in the car. Even if you don’t have the freedom to remove everything from the front of the motor, it can still be done with just the radiator removed for room.

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RPM PROJECT CAR utor gear then at the last outing of the season it chewed up another. I was given advice to drill a small hole in the oil galley plug behind the distributor gear to allow oil to squirt onto the gear. To do that, I had to tear down the front of the motor and remove the timing set (SEE OUR “Finally In Sync” article also in this issue of RPM). I figured if I was going to do that, I was going to finally install a Jesel belt drive timing set. Follow along as we install this cool and functional piece on the Ol’ Thug.

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3: Before removing the crank trigger wheel, it’s a good idea to mark it so you can reinstall it clocked the same way. With two alternate ways it can bolt back up, a quick mark can save you some time later.

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4: We unbuckled the DJ Safety engine diaper and pulled it to the center so we could drain the oil and support the front of the engine with a piece of 2x4 and a jack. This will keep the midplate from having to hold all the weight once the front motor plate is removed.. 5: When it came time to pull the ATI balancer, I quickly found the common universal harmonic balancer puller wasn’t up to the task. With the small block Ford’s 4 bolt balancer, the universal puller can only use 2 bolts. That proved to not be enough with a double keyway and several years to bond spiritually. The puller body bent along with the 2 bolts and the washers were mutilated. I was going to need a grown man puller to do this job.

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6: Looking through the metal scrap pile, I found an 8.8 rear end pinion flange that wasn’t busy doing anything. I slotted out the 4 evenly spaced holes and found a big flange nut that fit perfectly into the center splined opening. I cranked up the Alpha TIG and they became one.

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RPM PROJECT CAR 7

7 & 8: The big bolt that would have the duty of being the pusher and a shorter version of the crank snout bolt were rounded and smoothed to reduce friction when they get up close and personal with each other. Some high pressure lube will also go between the two and on the threads of the pusher bolt. Now that we had a much stouter puller and can engage the balancer with four bolts instead of two, the balancer came right off without further fuss.

9: With the balancer removed and the engine supported, we can now finish removing the accessories and the front motor plate. You can see here that our motor plate was actually intended for use with a Jesel belt drive timing set. The piece of 1/4-inch aluminum place was used to seal the water pump holes in the stock Ford timing cover to the different shaped round holes in the motor plate.

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10 10: Now that the motor plate is gone, the stock timing cover can come off revealing the common double roller timing chain gear set. Until now, there were only two parts on ol 4 Lug’s engine that were manufactured by Ford. The stock timing cover and the distributor hold down. Now it’s just the distributor hold down. We will keep that so we can still claim it’s a Ford.

11: Next, we test fit the Jesel rear cover to make sure there are no clearance issues. A little tightening of a galley plug and we were ready to go. It’s a good idea to test fit the lower pulley as well, before going too far.

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RPM PROJECT CAR 12

14: Jesel includes a spanner wrench tool that bolts to the cam adapter that allows you to turn or keep from turning the camshaft. To torque the camshaft’s center bolt to Jesel’s specs, you simply let the spanner stop on the crank snout before clicking it down the integral keyway (white stripe) on the cam adapter pointing up.

13 12: Now that we are ready to start bolting on the Jesel parts we added a thin coat of RTV to the back of the cam adapter. This is the part that goes up to the end of the camshaft. You will use one of the two holes to line up onto the camshaft dowel pin. 13: The cam adapter slides into the cam retainer plate and up to the end of the camshaft. The camshaft’s dowel pin should be at the bottom with the integral keyway (white stripe) on the cam adapter pointing up.

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15: Instead of utilizing a standard timing cover gasket, we just used Ultra Black RTV. A moderate coat on the engine sealing surface along with a thin coat on the mating surface of then Jesel cover/ backing plate is used. A good fat bead is applied at the oil pan gasket surface. I like to bolt them together just finger tight and allow them to start to dry a little before tightening all the way (a technique that has always worked well for me). There is definitely nothing wrong with just using a good gasket though, and Jesel recommends to do so in their instructions.

18: Before installing the lower pulley, apply a thin coat of RTV to the backside crankshaft mating surface and the chamfered portion right inside it. The outer neck of the pulley will seal up by the lower seal in the Jesel cover/back plate. The RTV against the crankshaft will keep oil from finding its way outdoors by way of the keyway slots. 19: To install the lower pulley, we used short sections of 1 3/4-inch mild steel tubing and the thick washer with a long bolt to press it onto the crankshaft snout. You definitely don’t want to beat it on with a hammer or block.

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RPM PROJECT CAR 20

21: The upper pulley retainer washer is bolted to the cam adapter which secures the upper pulley. These three bolts are torqued to 12 LBS-FT. Now it’s time to break out the degree wheel and degree the cam. I won’t bore you with that procedure since every cam manufacturer has a video on how to do it on YouTube. With the Jesel belt drive you can just loosen the nuts on the upper pulley and advance or retard the cam in seconds. I went ahead and set ours two degrees advanced like it was before.

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21 20: Before you get the lower pulley all the way on, stop about 3/8-inch - 1/2-inch short and get the upper pulley and belt started onto the cam adapter, lining the notch in the pulley with the white keyway on the cam adapter. The dot on the upper pulley should be pointing down at perfect 6:00 position and the dot on the lower pulley should be pointing up at 12:00. Then the lower pulley can be pressed the rest of the way through the crankshaft seal until it contacts the base of the crankshaft snout.

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22 & 23: Before bolting the front motor plate back on, be sure to install the O-rings at the water ports to seal against the motor plate. Our motor plate finally looks right with the correct timing set getting snuggled. The Meziere -12AN water pump adapters go on using the hex drive bolts supplied by Jesel in the kit.


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24: We had to slightly clearance the motor plate and ensure that all the accessory drive components lined up. All that’s left is to cut the front motor plate frame mounts off and move them back or make some aluminum spacers. Then the BeCool Jesel Performance radiator can go back in and we can www.jesel.com go destroy tires, hopes and dreams.

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TOW T

ECH

RPM TOW TECH

SLOW DOWN story and photos by

Chuck Scott >Our F250 tow rig gets an auxiliary trans cooler from Perma-Cool and smart trailer brake control from Tekonsha

P

AND

COOL OFF

ulling a loaded enclosed race car trailer is serious business. Hopefully you have been following along a few issues back as we went through some equipment we picked up for our

custom Mopar hauler, along with some dos and don’ts for towing safety. This month we’ll tackle some issues with one of the senior members of our tow staff by adding a few fairly simple goodies that can make the world of difference.

Pulling at slow speeds and short distances will conceal all the things that can go wrong on the highway. Even then, a steady smooth pace will inspire confidence that can get you in trouble when things get serious in the blink of an eye.

You have to remain alert and aware of your surroundings, keep a good distance from the cars ahead of you and look as far ahead as possible for potential dangers. Over the years we have learned to never get too comfortable with 12,000 pounds

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1 1: After tiptoeing up every big hill and sweating the hot days on the highway, we finally broke down and ordered the King Kong transmission cooler. The Perma-Cool 13182 HD trans cooler/electric fan kit is the nip-it-in-the-bud solution to a boiling transmission in a heavy duty diesel application. This thing is almost as big as the radiator in the 4 Lug Thug. Perma-Cool lists it as intended for extreme heavy duty use up to 30,000 GVW. The Perma-Cool 13182 HD is available at Summit Racing for $285. behind us and 7,000 pounds under us. Always take more than one spare trailer tire and a floor jack in the trailer. Keep road flares or battery-powered warning lights in case you end up with a problem on the road. Always get fuel when you

have the opportunity at an easy access station. Nothing is worse than getting dangerously low on fuel in the middle of nowhere with no diesel or only small stations that you can’t get a rig into. Two big problems we ran into last season were

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2: The cooler has 1/2-inch NPT inlet and outlets so you can use AN fitting and hose. We opted for hose barb adapters and standard rubber transmission hose for this install. You could just remove the tiny OEM cooler and replace it with the new Perma-Cool unit but we just added it into the circuit, leaving the stock cooler in place. That way all we needed to do is cut a cooler line at the OEM cooler and use barb unions to patch the new big boy Perma-Cool’s lines in. poor trailer brake control and a transmission that boiled on long-grade pulls. On two separate occasions the Edge Evolution display showed transmission fluid temps at 250 degrees Fahrenheit with nowhere to pull over and cool down.

3: After surveying possible mounting locations, we decided to use the bumper bolts that hold up the Innovative Creations Magnum front bumper. The Magnum has a bunch of room inside since it was designed to conceal a large winch. We picked up some flat stock aluminum from the local home improvement store to make some simple brackets to secure the new cooler.

On both of those occasions when we finally got to a place that we could get off the highway, the transmission puked fluid all over the ground. Then, on a hot day just going to a local track 45 minutes up the road on a pretty good climb in

elevation, the temps crept up over 230 degrees and left a small trail of fluid when we finally slowed down. Something had to be done soon, before there was some serious damage done. At the same time, we came to the conclusion that

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RPM TOW TECH 4

6 5

7

the 15 year old trailer brake controller installed in the F250 was inadequate, or possibly even defective. Like most cheap standard controllers, the gain required constant adjusting at different road speeds and constant turning down to keep the brakes from grabbing when backing the trailer. Even worse were the times

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we had to reach down and pull the slide control when it felt like the trailer wasn’t braking enough and was pushing the truck. Then, on the way to the track one day as we popped over a hill running about 65mph, we found ourselves 50 yards from stopped traffic. Of course the brakes didn’t seem to do much of anything

may 2018 | RPM Magazine

4, 5, & 6: The big, heavy Innovative Creations bumper has enough room inside to install the big cooler with room to spare and plenty of space around it for adequate airflow. The nuts on the bumper bolts were removed one side at a time and the simple aluminum brackets were sandwiched under the nuts and washers.

7: The max size Perma-Cool unit was tapped into the stock cooler circuit and the fan was wired up with a 40-amp relay controlled by a switch on the dash. We made another trip to the same racetrack climbing the same long mountain pass right after the install. It was actually 95 degrees Fahrenheit that day, almost 10 degrees warmer than the previous trip where the fluid went over 230 and left a trail into the track entry road. This time it never got over 210 degrees without even turning on the fan. We decided to flip the fan switch just to see what it would do, and in mere minutes the fluid dropped under 200. We’ll call that one problem solved!


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RPM TOW TECH 8 9 9: The T3 was mounted and we set it up in minutes using the easy to navigate display. You just scroll though with the arrow buttons on the left side and select with the lower right button. The upper right button is the boost button that lets you dial in levels of output boost if you need to quickly adjust while driving.

8: Now on to the squirrely out of control trailer problem. After some research trying to find the best trailer brake controller, I landed on the Tekonsha T3. Sold at around $130, it is a serious no brainer. If you didn’t have one and pull a trailer, get one tomorrow. It is hands down the best investment you will make for a tow rig that does not have a newer integrated factory brake control. The T3 is a true proportional braking controller. The T3 has an internal inertia sensor that automatically adjusts the braking power by how fast you are going and how hard you are slowing. You adjust the output voltage by your preference and load and the T3 will take it from there. The Tekonsha also saves you money if you tow with different vehicles. You can buy a second harness and “holster” bracket and it saves up to 5 presets for different vehicles or towing needs.

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10: Want to match your truck’s dash lighting? Chances are the T3 has a color pretty close with its 9 color options in the menu. and we went into a skid and swerve maneuver to keep the trailer behind us and our front bumper out of somebody’s back

10 11: The first time towing with the Tekonsha T3 was like a dream come true. It seems to have artificial intelligence and can actually be left alone on a trip that includes city and interstate towing. seat. It was at that time that we made the decision that this truck wasn’t towing again until the trailer brake controller was updated.

SOURCES PermaCool www.shop.perma-cool.com 951.352.COOL

Tekonsha www.tekonsha.com 800.632.3290

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115


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May 2018  

The Rides Thunderbird - Kevin Slyfield's 2,500 plus horsepower methanol gulping championship bird of prey is no myth! Strange Stang - Feeli...

May 2018  

The Rides Thunderbird - Kevin Slyfield's 2,500 plus horsepower methanol gulping championship bird of prey is no myth! Strange Stang - Feeli...