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Meet Your RPM Magazine Team EDITOR IN CHIEF: CHRIS BIRO, editor@rpm-mag.com V.P. MARKETING/CUSTOMER RELATIONS: TRISH BIRO, trish@rpm-mag.com DIRECTOR OF ADVERTISING: BRIAN HANSEN, brian@rpm-mag.com SENIOR DRAG RACE EDITOR - IAN RAE ian@rpm-mag.com EVENT MEDIA DIRECTOR - TONY WEBER tony@rpm-mag.com

WANT YOUR CAR IN RPM? RPM Magazine has been a world leader in motorsports publishing for 14 years and has support locations in Ontario, Canada, Alabama, Wisconsin & 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:

EVENT SUBSCRIPTIONS COORDINATOR - SHERRIE WEBER sherrie@rpm-mag.com

editor@rpm-mag.com

Photographic Contribution: IAN RAE, JANIS RAE, TONY WEBER, SCOTT

Submission of an article does not guarantee that it will be published.

SINGLETON, TIM LEWIS, BRIAN HANSEN, PETE “BOOMER” ORES, PAUL SCHMITZ, DALE BOERU, LOGAN WEBER, MARK goDragRacing.org, TOMMY LEE BYRD, www.DragStory.com, TOM OWENSBY, BRIAN TYLER, GEORGE PICH Editorial Contribution: IAN RAE, SCOTT SINGLETON, TONY WEBER, TIM LEWIS, CHUCK SCOTT, TOMMY LEE BYRD, BRIAN HANSEN, ROBERT WEATHERS, BEN STRADER, MARK goDragRacing.org, RAY KNIGHT, BRIAN TYLER, AL HEISLEY, GEORGE PICH Technical Writing Contributions: CHUCK SCOTT, BEN STRADER, SHANE TECKLENBURG, ROBERT WEATHERS, TOMMY LEE BYRD

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www.rpm-mag.com RPM Magazine is a REGISTERED TRADEMARK of RPM Classifieds Inc. RPM Magazine is a worldwide motorsports publication distributed in 33 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 subscirbe to RPM go to www.rpm-mag.com or email Trish Biro at trish@rpm-mag.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 regards to design and power! RPM Magazine does not sell its mailing list or share any of the confidential information regarding its subscribers.

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EDITOR’S RANT -- Through Diverse Content RPM Expands Distribution Yet Again If you’re reading RPM right now you’ve probably either got your subscription copy, picked it up at a speed shop or race shop, at an event, or maybe on one of the many newsstands in USA or Canada where RPM can be found. But no matter how you got your copy, what you do “GET” by now is the RPM revolution! Over 14 years ago RPM created a car magazine dedicated to performance and racing. We promised to keep it diverse in content, including both street and strip machines, but also promised that you would never read articles that you see in other places or on the internet. That you would not be reading about only “the select few” cars, names or events in the industry that seemed to get published everywhere and far too often. Instead, you would read about real wild real world cars, and the people who own them just like you, or the racers from the organizations without the big TV coverage. Those people who have an incredible strip or street machine just waiting to be shown off to the world... that is the RPM revolution! Remember the days when you couldn’t wait to get your car mag on your doorstep and flip through the awesome photos and read interesting, original stories about real people and the grassroots of fast cars... that’s the RPM revolution! Bringing readers a quality magazine with diverse, original content that is current not ancient… that’s the RPM revolution! Content that spans the history, the now, and the future of performance and racing. And we love to throw in a little “this” or little “that” just to shake things up once in a while, after all, IT IS ALL HORSEPOWER right! THAT is the RPM revolution! Where else can you read about a 900hp 64 Fairlane, 900hp A/FX Mopar, 5 & 6second 1/4-mile Pro Mods, incredible real world (and doable) Magazine project cars, a 2009 2,000hp street driven Nissan, an Outlaw 10.5 Camaro from Canada, top-shelf street machines from around the world, a new track being built in Arizona, and maybe pick-up some pointers to improve your “Mental Game” or cool info on how to accessorize your daily driver, and catch the odd Funny Car

ADVERTISER INDEX Advertiser Name Page # Accufab Inc. 33 AEM 81 AJPE - Alan Johnson Perf. 21 ARC - Applied Racing Components 52 ATI Performance Products 70 Autoglym 75 Bad Attitude Engines 39 Baer Brakes 10, 72 BES Racing Engines 26 Bill Mitchell Products 19 Blower Shop 5 Browell Bellhousing 55 BTE Racing 85 Calvert Racing Suspensions 24 C&C Motorsports 49 Clearshot Customs 44 CN Blocks 15 Coan Engineering 82 Crower 45 CVR Products 69 DART 25 Design Engineering 29 DIY Auto Tune 40 Dynotech Engineering 8 Ed Quay Race Cars 19 EFI University 35 Engine Research & Development ERD 49 Fast Eddie Racewear 68 F.A.S.T. - Fuel Air Spark Technology 73 FastMotorsports 9 FORD Racing 51 Frankenstein Racing Heads 82 G Force Racing Transmissions 78 4

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article or story about another unique motorsport, all in the same magazine? As they say... ONLY IN RPM! From the office of the VP — “More big magazine racks and newsstands getting more copies of RPM Magazine means getting grassroots extreme horsepower into the hands of even more people each and every month!” Exclaims RPM VP of Marketing Trish Biro. “RPM has been on magazine racks for over 10 years now in the USA and Canada. Most of the popular bookstore chains and large retailers carried RPM, but we identified some gaps in smaller communities and have once again increased our newsstand numbers with even more Wal-Mart locations carrying RPM!” RPM Magazine is committed to continually spreading the word about fast doorslammer drag racing and extreme street performance worldwide, and what better way to add value for RPM advertisers in an ever changing economic environment than by getting their ad into more new hands each and every month! “We’ve always been a strong proponent of reaching well beyond our own industry, outside of its borders so to speak,” continues Trish. “Reaching out to not only the racers and enthusiasts, but also to the mainstream public, introducing them to these types of cars and racing. This market has changed so dramatically over the past 5-6 years, it is our duty to always be developing new ways to reach new people... as the saying goes, ‘if you do the same thing, you will usually get the same results’. So you have to switch things up, think outside the box. Think about it for a minute, RPM is the only magazine of it’s kind on newsstands, so our feature articles get read by more people from more places, and the advertisements in RPM get seen by so many more potential customers. At RPM we really strive for diversity not only in our content, but distribution as well. Like I said, we want to reach as many people in as many places as possible!” RPM Magazine is now read in 33 countries in print (by subscription alone) and worldwide online at http://rpm-mag.com/rpm-e-mag/ , with thousands more people in the USA and Canada picking up a copy of RPM from their local magazine rack or newsstand, including Wal-Mart! If you can’t find RPM in a store near you simply email trish@rpm-mag.com or circulation@rpm-mag.com with details. Chris Biro, Editor In Chief, RPM MAGAZINE

Gold Living 66 GZ Motorsports 64 Harland Sharp 8 Holcomb Motorsports 14 HoleShot Wheels 50 Holley Ultra Dominator 38 Holley Ultra Double Pumper 10 Holley Ultra Street Avenger 64 Induction Solutions 27 JB’s Power Centre 78 JE Pistons 83 Jesel 16 JET Performance 42 Joe Gibbs Racing Oil 34 K&N Fiiters 88 Leash Electronics 67 Lokar Performance Products 48 LUCAS Oil Products 2, 80 Lunati 84 M&M Transmission 16 Mahle Clevite Inc. 9 Manton Pushrods 86 Meziere Precision Manufacturing 88 Mickey Thompson Tires 7 Midwest Converters 39 Mile High Crankshafts 12 MSD Ignition 35 Neal Chance Converters 13 New Century Performance 53 NOS - Nitrous Oxide Systems 43 OASIS by Corlor 50 Ohsweken Speedway 20 Outlaw 10.5 Racing Association 18 Parts Pro Performance Centers 92 Performance2Way Racing Communications 87 Performance Improvements 42

Performance Plus Connection 38 Powermaster Performance 18 Precision Turbo 23 Proformance Racing Transmissions 26 PROLITE Batteries 79 Pro Systems Carburetors 17 Pro-Werks 86 PRP Racing Products 79 PRW Performance Racing Products 28 Racequip 53 Race Shop Converters 41 Racing Radios 7 Rev-X Oil Products 29, 68 RJ ProFab 89 Ross Racing Pistons 5 RPM MAGAZINE EXTREME EVENTS 22 RPM MAGAZINE SUBSCRIBE NOW! 90 Scotty’s Racing Engines 52 Shafiroff Racing Engines 11 Smith Racecraft 30 Sonny’s Racing Engines 31 Steve Morris Engines 54 Summit Racing Equipment 91 S&W Race Cars 65 Taylor Cable Products 65 Ti64 15 Tom’s Upholstery 12 Toronto Motorsports Park 71 Trailer-Alarms.com 87 Trend Performance 32 Two Guys Garage/Truck U 44 Valvoline 77 VP Racing Fuels 80 WC Enterprises 72 Weldon High Performance 40

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Who’s In This Issue of Often Imitated, Never Duplicated-- RPM Mag IS The ORIGINAL Voice Of Extreme Drag Racing & Wild Street Machines 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! July 2013

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

46 Angela Ray’s Thoroughbred Mare Moving through the male dominated sport of Pro Modified drag racing, Angela Ray is an upcoming sensation since late in 2012 when she officially announced her arrival with the “Magic Racing Team” and the highly distinctive blown injected Shelby Mustang.

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Hawaiian Punch! How about an 8-second quarter-mile, street driven 1969 Chevy Malibu convertible... pretty cool right? What about if we told you that it weighs 3,800 pounds, has a little 406 small block with nitrous under the hood and rides on 8” wheels... now that is badass!

18 Extreme Event #1

Rocks Canadian Long Weekend In Grand Bend

6-second quarter-mile Pro Doorslammers, 5-second Alcohol Funny Cars, an insane Jet Dragster, tons more fast cars and lots and lots of original music... there’s no better way to start the Canadian summer!

24 JUST SAY NO No More “No Bottle” for Ron Rhodes as he puts the world of stock suspension nitrous oxide drag racing on notice with his wicked small block on juice!

PLUS: The Winning State Of Mind

Read COMPLeTe RPM MaGaZINe baCk Issues O N L I N e F R e e a T www.RPM-MaG.COM 6

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RPM Project Green Machine

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The Perspective - Melanie Troxel

66

Gentlemen Start Your Engines

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and more, ONLY In RPM! RPM Magazine, THE Voice Of Fast Cars WORLDWIDE


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“Hawaiian Punch”

Say Aloha To Ward Steinmann’s 1969 Malibu

W

ard Steinmann has always been a small block Chevy guy. Over the years he’s had a bunch of them between the frame rails of his 1969 Chevy Malibu drop-top and would never consider trading in his trusty “Mouse Motor” for a big-block . What started out as a tame, bone stock 307 powered cruiser has been transformed into a stealthy 8-second street brawler that can more than hold its own on the street or strip! During a stint in the military in the mid-eighties as a Motor Pool Mechanic, Ward was stationed at a base in Hawaii and came across this 1969 Malibu convertible sitting under a palm tree with a for sale sign in the window. Having lived the life of luxury on the Hawaiian island of Oahu its entire life, the $2,500 asking price was more than reasonable. After going to the military base credit union he was able to scrape up the cash to make the purchase and then arranged to ship the car back across the ocean to his hometown of Milwaukee, Wisconsin. Story & Photos By Brian Hansen

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Photography By Pete Ores

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Bought in 1986 when Ward was finishing up a stint in the US Army in Hawaii, the blue Malibu looks pretty much like it did when it was first purchased for the sum of $2500. Moving 3,800 lbs of iron is no easy feat when you have only 10.5” of rubber to work with. That, combined with the fact that the un-tubbed Malibu only fits an 8" rim, makes it all the more impressive.

Chassis/Drivetrain Back in the mid-nineties Ward had chassis builder Bob Faestel (Faestel Race Cars) install an Art Morrison ladder-bar suspension under the Malibu without having to modify the inner fender wells. The factory 10bolt was swapped out for a more robust 12-bolt and filled with 4.10 gears. Working with a limited budget Bob decided that they could reuse the original coil springs that came with the car since they were “seasoned” just right and had the correct spring rate that he was looking for. A set of Competition Engineering 3-way adjustable shocks were se-

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lected and seem to work just fine. With a best 60’ of 1.28 this simple suspension amazingly more than gets the job done! Ward’s experience as a Mechanic in the Military has served him well. Besides building his own TH400 transmissions he also builds Powerglide and TH400’s for racers all over the Midwest. The torque converter that is currently in the car is the same Munsinger Torque Converters (Ontario, CA) 9” that he bought back in mid-nineties. With the exception of being freshened a couple of times it has proven to be a bullet-proof converter considering the abuse it is subjected to. Ya’… it’s got a Small Block Even though the 307 badges on the front fenders of the Malibu are a farce this Bowtie still has a small-block powerplant. The current 406 cubic inch combination uses a Dart Iron Eagle block that was machined by NVR Racing (Butler, WI) and assembled by Ward in his garage. An Eagle 3.75” stroke forged crankshaft spins a set of Eagle H-beam connecting rods that are topped off by JE 13.0-1 dome forged pistons. COMP Cams ground up a solid roller lifter camshaft that when asked about lift and duration Ward states, “is smaller than you would think” and smiled, (now that is a refreshingly new answer to the cam spec question!) To feed the hungry small block a Holley 1050 Dominator that Ward bought at a swap meet sits on an Edelbrock 18 degree intake manifold. The power adder of choice comes from an Applied Nitrous Technology fogger system that Jeff Prock built. To fire the C23 VP Racing fuel an MSD billet distributor, crank trigger and 7AL box are employed.

With a displacement of only 406 cubic inches this “Mouse Motor” produced north of 1,000hp with the nitrous flowing. Being a hands-on guy Ward assembled the engine himself and even builds his own transmissions.

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Even though the original 307 small block is long since gone Ward left the fender badges in place anyways. Even with his best poker face on nobody is buying the line that the Malibu has the original 307 between the frame rails, especially when he fires it up and the crisp sound of over 13:1 compression echoes through the air!

Over the 27 years that Ward has owned the car he has tried all kinds of cylinder heads. As he commented, “I really started making some big power with a set of used NASCAR 18 degree heads that I bought in 2003 at Muscle Motorsports in Huntersville, North Carolina. They were relatively inexpensive for what I got and came with a Jesel valve train, solid roller vale springs and even Titanium valves.” Just last year though Ward bought a new set of aluminum heads when it was discovered that the old NASCAR castings has stress cracks. “They could have been welded up,” added Ward, “but with cylinder head technology advancements in the past 10 years, I thought it was time to open the wallet and buy some new heads.” So how much power does this current combination make you ask? Well, if we do the math it would take approximately 1,050 horsepower to propel 3,800 lbs of Chevelle down the quarter-mile in under 9 seconds. The kicker is that even though 8.90’s might seem insane for this small block heavyweight, Ward has hinted that he has not unleashed its full potential yet!

The factory 10 bolt rear end was pitched in favor of the stronger 12 bolt unit. Larger diameter axle tubes were welded in place and a TA Performance differential cover helps to keep the main caps from moving around when Ward launches the heavyweight Malibu. RPM Magazine, THE Voice Of Fast Cars WORLDWIDE

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Photos, from top left: This photo was taken back in the early nineties when the Malibu had a stroker 383 and ran deep in the 10’s, which was damn quick for a street car of the time! Ward considers the Hawaiian license plate a good luck charm so he has no intention of removing it from the location it has called home for over 27 years. During his street days Ward would not pop the hood but rather tell would-be opponents to look under the car to confirm it was a small block. The factory bucket seats and interior are original and in exceptional condition. Even though the bucket seats are extremely heavy Ward wouldn’t think of ditching them in favor of some lightweight racing jobs. Above, Swap out the Weld aluminum wheels for a set of GM Rally wheels and this thing could pass for a stock Malibu convertible at first glance... well maybe a really quick first glance!

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With no parachute hanging off the back of the Malibu Ward Steinmann’s ride might look a little out of place at Gus’s Drive-In cruise night back in 2009, but make no mistake, this small block powered Malibu has run in the 8’s… through the mufflers!

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“Hawaiian” Known simply as the “ Hawaiian”, Ward’s Malibu earned a reputation as a hard charging street brawler back in the early 1990’s. Although he no longer condones street racing, late night drag racing in the industrial parks around the Metro-Milwaukee area used to be a regular pastime in his younger years. As Ward put it, “In its heyday there would be a couple dozen really fast street cars at the places we used to race back in 1990-1991. Most everyone was running slicks and everyone had a nitrous system on their cars. We all used VHT traction compound and I must say that the those street surfaces provided more hook than any drag strip I’ve ever been on.” Ward continued, “I rarely ever lifted the hood on my Malibu when we were negotiating a street race. Everyone knew that I ran small blocks but they’d still ask to look at the engine. To this I would tell them to crawl under the car and look at the oil pan if they really needed to verify that I didn’t have a big-block. A regular participant in RPM Magazines Extreme Event, Ward is seen here cruising down the road with son Justin in the passenger seat on their way to Gus’s Drive-In (east Troy, WI). Of course, it’s race time on Saturday of Extreme Event weekend and with the driver side front tire still off the ground at 100 feet Ward pilots his Malibu down the ¼ mile.

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Then things started getting out of hand when hundreds of spectators started showing up to watch us race on Friday and Saturday nights. They would line the streets on both sides all of the way to ‘halftrack’, and that was just an accident waiting to happen. From then I only raced my car at the track.” Special Thanks: Keeping the same car in your garage for over 27 years is pretty uncommon considering how often some racers change rides. Ward thanks his wife Laura, and son’s Justin and Jason, who have tolerated his “Motorhead” lifestyle over the years. Thanks also go out to friends Jim Truman and Dan Marschke who have helped work on the Chevelle whenever he needed a second set of hands. “Last but not least,” Ward says, “a special thanks goes out to Visa and MasterCard for their help in keeping the Chevelle going!” Ward hangs the hoops on his way to another 8second pass. On the street or strip the Malibu has the looks that kill, and Ward enjoys every minute of being behind the wheel of it.

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2013 EXTREME EVENTS

Blower vs Nitrous as Doug Blowes squares off against Pro Doorslammer newcomer Mike Esipu in his wild Camaro.

First Stop - Grand Bend Motorplex, Ontario, Canada Story & Photos by

Raymond Knight

T

he RPM Magazine/Lucas Oil Products Extreme Events presented by Mickey Thompson made their first stop in Grand Bend, Ontario for the infamous May 2-4 Weekend, the Canadian civic holiday weekend known for wild parties and crazy action. What better way to step it up a notch than by adding racing from the NDRA (National Drag Racing Association) wild Alcohol Funny Cars and insane Pro Doorslammers! This weekend marked the first appearance of door cars as part of the NDRA. Talks over the winter with HURA (Heads Up Racing Association) lead to the HURA Pro Doorslammers joining the NDRA. HURA Founder Dave Earhart summed the transition up best when he simply said, “We felt it was best for the racers and fans�. Knowing the philosophy behind both organizations, we at RPM agree it is a win for both.

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Additional Photos by

Andrew Cruickshank & Jessie Sharpe

The NDRA was formed after the IHRA dropped the Alcohol Funny Car class, and many teams did not have the budget to travel with the NHRA. Likewise, HURA was originally formed to give six second Pro Mods and faster Top Sportsman teams a place to race heads-up style, without requiring the large budgets as when following many other organizations. Both associations provide great entertainment for fans, and a far more relaxed race atmosphere for the competitors. Although moving the Pro Doorslammers into the hands of the NDRA was meant to give Dave Earhart more time to dedicate to racing his 2002 Chevrolet Camaro, he was plagued this weekend with oil pressure problems, and spent Saturday night doing a complete rebuild of his supercharged 526 KB Olds motor. Even with the problem weekend, Dave still managed mid 6-second quarter-mile runs and the fastest Pro Doorslammer pass of the weekend.

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While last year an American took home the win at the Canadian Extreme Event, 2013 saw the Pro Doorslammer Class win go to Canadian Trevor Deeks. He piloted his naturally aspirated 2005 Grand Am to a 6.65 at 212mph win over newcomer Dan Aitken’s black ’95 Mustang. Dan is admittedly the slow car in pack, but showed why “cutting down the tree” in drag racing can get you a long way into the show. With a great holeshot he definitely gave Trevor a run for his money in the final dance, with the cars side by side at half track. Dan had this to say about stepping up to run in the NDRA Pro Doorslammers this season, “They have been a very welcoming group. We’ve been looking for a relaxed atmosphere and having some fun, and this is it”. Doug Blowes, driver of the bright yellow Blowes Racing 53’ Studebaker, echoed those sentiments about the NDRA, stating that he “loved it, and it was a great group of racers”.

Above: Trevor Deeks’ 6.65 at 212mph out of the Sonny’s Racing Engines powered big cubic inch naturally aspirated Grand Am may not have been his best pass of the weekend, but it was good for the win in the Pro Doorslammer finals against Dan Aitken (below) who proved his prowess on the starting line would be enough to take him all the way to the finals.

Favorites in the P/D class seemed to dropping like flies, including Billy Dineen in his blown Ford hot rod and of course Gary Mater in his 37 Chevy coupe, the only turbo entry, which was sidelined by an early transmission porblem. The Brohman family in their blown ‘69 Camaro piloted by Jack Brohman set the pace early on (ending qualifying in #2 spot) but were ousted in the first huge upset during Round 1 eliminations by none other than event runner-up Dan Aitken! Although Jack had the much quicker car, Dan had the “that much quicker” light off the line which gave him the win. Deeks’ win was certainly earned though as he and his team were battling their

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Photos, left: Al Martorino left his 10-71 blown small block Ford at home and came to the fight with a 14-71 blown hemi. Lower left: Dave Earhart had his share of problems but ended up running solid mid-sixes until he redlit and was ousted by Michigan’s Jerry Ransford (below) in the second round big upset. Gary Mater (above) the only turbo entry, was out in qualifying due to a transmission problem.

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own issues with a new set of tires which were resolved when they put on their “pretty much used up” Mickey Thompson tires from last year and slammed down several straight, solid mid 6-second passes on their way to the win... guess they weren’t that used up after all! Although Deeks had runner-up Dan Aitken covered ET wise going into the final, it ended up being a close race to about 900 feet, and Trevor had this to say afterwards, “I knew we had Dan covered but I didn’t want to go red. The NDRA starter can be pretty quick once the cars are ready to go, so I got caught a bit by that, but I know now for next time.” Deeks had Aitken reeled in by about 800-900 feet and then the massive all-motor cubes took over from there as he took the win.

From the left is Trish Biro of RPM Magazine presenting a Mickey Thompson jacket certificate, Pro Doorslammer winner Trevor Deeks, Matt Irvine from Lucas Oil Products presenting the traditional Extreme Bucket of Lucas products and swag and Dale Boeru handing over the winners envelope.

In 2009, when the IHRA dropped their Alcohol Funny Car program, it left a lot of fans and racers from Eastern United States and Canada in dismay. For the teams it meant travelling much further for NHRA races, which is severely cost prohibitive, and for the fans it meant only getting to see the cars on TV. So when Dale Boeru formed the National Drag Racing Association, there was hope that the class would live on. With drivers/teams of the likes of 3-time IHRA World Champion Rob Atchison, multi time IHRA Ironman Winner Paul Noakes, and NHRA National Record holder & returning 2012 NDRA champion Larry Dobbs coming out to events, the NDRA has not only given hope, but seen the association grow in size. This early season outing, while a bit light on cars, was nonetheless a great show. It will take time, but we see a long and prosperous future for the NDRA AF/C class. Larry Dobbs picked up right where he left off last season, piloting his 2002 Firebird to the event win with a 5.89, 246mph pass against Dylan Hache’s 2002 Firebird. It was a very encouraging finish for Dylan as they are still getting to know their car, and each pass is a new learning experience as new data is acquired. Like his fellow competitors, Dylan had this to say about his experience racing with the NDRA, “We are enjoying it a lot! The tracks we run at have some great people. Our competitors are classy guys and Dale and his team are accommodating and professional.” There were also 10 other classes ranging from Top ET to Extreme 32 on tap, and of course the Can/Am Stock Super Stock season opening event was in the house. What can you say about the Can/Am group other than “amazing”! Their wheelstanding wild rides and big cube musclecars always get the fans going. And what would a party weekend be without a RPM Magazine, THE Voice Of Fast Cars WORLDWIDE

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jet powered dragster putting on a show all weekend long. Fans loved the big smoke and burner pops of the California Smokey jet dragster making runs just shy of 300mph! With Grand Bend being located on the East shore of Lake Huron, the weather is well known for being as crazy as the racing, and this weekend was no exception. Jackets at noon on Saturday, and sun tanning by suppertime. Then a quick change in wind direction, and you had another massive change in temperature. It made for a nightmare for race teams trying to set their cars up for the next rounds. So every round win was well earned. Taking all things to the Extreme, for our first Extreme Event of the year, there was a battle of the bands Sunday night. Five bands facing off for the title spot, which was won by Black Frame Spectacle.

Dylan Hache with his For Wheels Racing Firebird faced 2012 AFC Champion Larry Dobbs in the finals. Larry took the win with a 5.81 at 241mph in his Sportz Tent Trans Am. Below, from the left is Trish Biro of RPM presenting a Mickey Thompson jacket certificate, Alcohol Funny Car winner Larry Dobbs, Matt Irvine from Lucas Oil Products presenting the traditional Extreme Bucket of Lucas products and swag and Dale Boeru handing over the winners envelope.

After persevering through a long winter, we took our first Event, our first race day, and first long weekend of the Spring/Summer to the Extreme. Thanks to Lucas Oil Products, Mickey Thompson, Grand Bend Motorplex and the NDRA for helping make it all happen. The NDRA is proudly supported by Ohsweken Speedway, Essroc Ready Mix, Fast Entertainment Inc., Sousa Concrete, Trackless Vehicles Ltd, Xylotek Solutions Inc. Cambridge Concrete Pumping, Shellbourne Fuels, ClearShot Customs, InSight Graphics & Design, Pegasus Glass, Carmen’s Banquet Centre and Canadian Drag Racer Magazine.

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JUST SAY NO

No More “No Bottle” For Ron Rhodes As He Rocks The World Of Stock Suspension Nitrous Oxide Drag Racing

Story & Photos by

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Tim Lewis

RPM Magazine, THE Voice Of Fast Cars WORLDWIDE


JUST SAY NO

No More “No Bottle” For Ron Rhodes As He Rocks The World Of Stock Suspension Nitrous Oxide Drag Racing The 1967 to 1969 Camaro may very well be one of the most modified and raced cars in history! In drag racing, they range all the way from ultra fast 5-second 250 mph Pro Mods to 14-second street drivers on a test and tune night. For Townsend, Delaware racer Ron Rhodes the 1968 model Camaro was his car of choice. After 27 years of racing this is the very car he started out with when he was just 16 years old. Ron says, “When I first got the car completed it was my daily driver to high school”. With a mild small block and some test n tune nights at the track Ron was running low 13’s and having the time of his life. “It didn’t take long for me to loose my license!” Ron exclaims. He was raised around cars as his father (Larry Rhodes) was always into working on them and building hot rods. Like so many, Ron fell in love with horsepower and the feeling of racing on the street. But eventually as most of us have, Ron learned that the track is the best place to race. “I loved racing on the street and hearing the high rpm’s while banging through the gears and being door handle to door handle with the other car,” says Ron, “But it was time to take all this power and love for speed to the track full time and stay off the streets.” The Camaro kept getting improvement after improvement to go faster and faster, and while racing with the hardcore all-motor fanatics in the RAM series, the lure of going even faster was too much to resist and it was time for Ron to make a serious change. By now Ron was clocking some serious 9.17 quarter-mile runs at over 149 mph with a 406 23 degree small block Chevy with Dart 220 heads, 14:1 compression and a single carb riding on stock suspension and Mickey Thompson ET Streets. Sounds good, but Ron had his sights set for something much quicker and faster. A call was made to long time engine builder and big power maker Tony Bischoff of BES racing engines (Guilford, IN) to build a new bullet. Starting out with a Dart block Tony did his magic using a crankshaft from Callies along with rods from the folks at GRP and pistons from Ross. On a pair of All Pro 245 cylinder heads Bischoff used a full Jesel valve train. A custom grind was put to a Comp camshaft and a Dart intake with a Steve Johnson Induction Solutions single fogger system was tapped into the intake runners. That’s right, Rhodes was now running nitrous oxide! The new build was topped

Look close at the tag. Good till 2015. Ron has had this tag for a long time and says he will always keep the “NO BOTL” plate there, even if it is a “no” no bottle symbol now! RPM Magazine, THE Voice Of Fast Cars WORLDWIDE

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off with a Pro Systems Dominator style carb and the total cubic inches of the new 23 degree small block comes in at 414. Next came time to put together a bulletproof transmission and a Hutch powerglide was the choice. The fine folks at PTC came through with a custom converter, and out back a custom 9 inch rear along with Moser 40 spline axles gets the power to the ground. Building all this power was not the toughest part of the equation, getting it to work off the starting line was. John Calvert of Calvert racing was called upon and a set of Cal Trac bars and leaf springs were bolted in place for the task at hand at the rear of the Camaro. Up front, a Smith Racecraft bolt-on front end was used along with parts from the fine folks at TRZ. The custom built Rhodes Custom Auto Works 25.5 chassis not only keeps Ron safe inside the car but helps in getting the small block monster down the track every pass. For tires, Mickey Thompson 26 inch front runners handle things up front and 275 Drag Radials take care of business out back. Go on any web forum for drag racing and you will quickly see that all the guys running fast have their share of haters, which pretty much goes with the territory in any sport. But as we say in drag racing, the numbers speak louder than the keyboard! And Ron Rhodes’ numbers spoke volumes when he went 4.68 (in the eighth-mile) in competition, and 4.65 in testing! Oh, and the 60-foot times on this car have been nothing short of crazy with leaf springs! 1.10 seconds in the 60 with a leaf spring car is getting it done no matter how you slice it! While that may not be the record in X275, when you compare

The BES built 23 degree killer! Some have called it the quickest 23 degree nitrous stock suspension car in the world! With small cubes this engine makes lots of power and gets the job done. The Steve Johnson single stage fogger nitrous system is one major key to getting Ron’s Camaro to run the numbers it does.

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SIDEBAR: The Ron Rhodes Nitrous Set-up We had the chance to talk with Steve Johnson about the Induction Solutions nitrous system that is being used on Ron’s engine. RPM: Steve, tell the readers about your new X275 specific nitrous system. Steve Johnson: This is our X275 specific kit. It is similar to our normal plumb kits but it comes with an upgraded solenoid that is machined to a .125 orifice, black insulated nitrous and fuel lines and hoses, as well as black and red B-nuts. It is a performance upgrade as well as an aesthetic upgrade. It will show the competition that you aren’t at the track to be a runner-up, you’re there to win! RPM: What type of engine combo is best suited for this system? Steve Johnson: This kit is for the guy that wants max HP as well as max control in a single stage nitrous system. These systems are capable of over 850 HP!! RPM: So what’s the inside details of Ron’s system? Is this a one off or off the shelf? Steve Johnson: Ron’s system is really not a one off system. It is the same thing anyone that wants our X 275 package will get. He did opt for the lightweight solenoid upgrade as well as we machined some unneeded weight off his manifold. These are upgrades we have done for several of our customers. RPM: Talk about flowing systems and mapping out the jets for your many customers. Steve Johnson: One of the more critical things we provide when doing a system for a racer is the blueprint and flow work we do to the system. Making sure the parts are all the best they can be (without going into specifics) as well as flowing the system to get the nitrous to fuel ratio’s we know a system needs to have to run great and be safe as well. One thing I commonly tell a guy that asks what the flowing is all about... It’s somewhat like dynoing the nitrous system. It helps us know there are no leaks in the system, voltage/amperage is checked, fuel flow in pounds per hour as well as nitrous flow in pounds per hour are checked, this in the end helps us set the proper nitrous to fuel ratios as well as helps us determine the proper nitrous and fuel jetting, and also the fuel pressures we are going to run the system at. RPM: Lets talk about the Sledge Hammer system for customers that are limited to plate systems only. Steve Johnson: Our Sledge Hammer plate system is the industry leader for single stage plate system customers looking for high HP potential as well as great cylinder to cylinder distribution. One of the keys to this set up is our Trash Can nitrous solenoid and it’s extreme flow capabilities. The jet mapping we provide with this system is all flow tested as well, giving this system an unparalleled performance. This is the plate system that’s setting more plate class records and winning more races than any others. This plate holds the Ultimate Street ET record, even over the boosted cars, at a 5.041 currently. RPM Magazine, THE Voice Of Fast Cars WORLDWIDE

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Ron with twin daughters Dana & Julie, son Ronny and little Kylee. Right- Ronny puts his dad in the beams for another wild 4.60 pass.

this car to the record holding car, they are night and day. With a best speed of 151.70 mph I think the little small block with a single nitrous system is making a statement, one that is a testament to the hard work Ron and crew have put into getting the car where it is now.

in the 5-teens. Unfortunately though, late in 2012 Larry had a very hard hit with the wall at Cecil County. He walked away from the crash and the car will be seeing duty on the strip once again soon, only this time Larry’s grandson will be behind the controls while Ron also helps out.

Ron’s father Larry (part of Ron’s crew) is also a bad man when it comes to small block powered cars. Larry is still a diehard all-motor guy though and tried his hand at the Ultra Street class with his Camaro. These naturally aspirated class racers have all the weight saving tricks and are flying, but that’s another whole story. The all-motor 420ci runs

With his family and the likes of Steve Johnson in his corner, Ron may very well get the car into the 4.50’s! But as we all know, the numbers talk and with the 60-foot numbers this Camaro is throwing down, I think it can get there. Only time (and more testing) will tell if we see another nitrous car enter into the 4.50 zone. Remember, there was a

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This is what stock suspension cars should look like. A leaf spring car that works like this car does has the 4-bar guys wondering what they are doing wrong. With 1.10 60 foot! John Calvert and his CalTrac bars have sent leaf spring cars to levels that were once thought far out of reach! The mixture inside of factory Camaro with race stuff is killer! The crew can handle anything from simple roll bars to all out 25.2 certs. Plus, the show car paint and body work is all handled in the same building. The addition of the carbon wing has helped make this car a little more stable and get closer and closer to the X275 nitrous record.

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time in drag racing where those apparently “in the know” said that dragsters would never run over 150 mph! Ron would like to thank the people who have helped him get where he is at today with his racing including: Ron at Santhuff, Steve at Induction Solutions, John at Calvert Racing, Mike & Todd at TRZ, Bruce & Josh at HHP Performance, Tony at BES Race Engines, Spaghetti Menders, and the most important, his family! “I want to thank my kids for always coming with me and always helping out. It really means a lot to me that they

want to come and they enjoy it as much as I do. My son Ronny helps me work on the car and line me up. My twin daughters Dana & Julie help out as well, and my little girl Kylee helps keep everything in perspective with just being a cute little princess! I also want to thank my close friends who come and help out.”

Left: Ron heats the new M/T 275 Pros at the MIR Door Wars race in April 2013. This car has done its share of bumper dragging wheelstands, but that gets you nowhere. It now leaves like a Pro Stocker with the wheels down, which is the quickest way to the finish line. Right: Ron’s father Larry behind the wheel of his Camaro. The man knows his way around an all-motor combination that’s for sure! Larry’s well known Camaro has been through hell and back and will be out to battle in the Ultra Street class again soon.

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O

SUPER STOPPERS! Baer Brake SS4+

Story By Brian Hansen Images supplied by subjects

ver the past few years we’ve seen street style door cars achieve truly remarkable levels of performance. Unlike their lightweight dragster brethren these cars often weigh well over 3,000 pounds and many of the brake systems on the market are simply not adequate for stopping these heavyweight haulers. Steve Morris (Owner of Steve Morris Engines in Muskegon, Michigan) is one of those racers who just wasn’t comfortable with the brake system on his 1993 Caprice “Boost Master” station wagon, so he called on Baer Brakes for some help. As Steve explains, ”A few years back I put the current disc brakes on the car and was never happy with their performance. After having many people tell me “that’s what chutes are for” I became accustomed to brakes that didn’t do a very good job at stopping my big old station wagon.” Steve continued, “My car is pretty heavy and weighs 3600 lbs, is going 167mph in the 1/8th and I know it will go over 200 in the 1/4, so I have been a little hesitant to run it out the back door. Before each pass I double check the dual chutes because I know that if they don’t open I am not stopping at the end of the track! Then one day I was testing one of my customer’s cars at the track (Steve Ayesh’s 1972 Mach 1 Mustang that weighs 3700 lbs) and made an easy pass at 180mph, pulled the chutes and nothing happened. I pulled the lever a half-dozen more times and nothing! Before panicking I pushed down hard on the brake pedal and the car started slowing down so quickly that I was able to make a normal easy exit off the track just as though the chute had come out. The kicker was when I got out of the car and did not even smell hot brakes! When I went around the back of the Mach 1 and realized that I had not pulled the pins on the parachutes, so there was no way that they could have ever deployed…oops. Anyway, I determined right then and there I was going to have Baer brakes on my car for this season. Now that I have the SS4+ brake system installed, I’m confident my car can stop at speeds over 200mph without a problem.”

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All of the components needed for the installation of Baer Brakes Street Strip-4Plus braking system on Steve’s Boost Master wagon (below) are available as a kit that includes the rotors, pre-assembled hubs, the proper “Banjo” fittings, hardware and brake pads.

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Up front, hubs come with SKF Bearings, Hawk Pads and ARP wheel studs. Baer SS4+ rotors are also directionally vaned which adds more stability and mass to the rotor. Directionally vaned rotors act like a centrifugal pump, when spinning it will pull air into the center (eye) of the rotor and pump air out the outer edges. Brakes are a big heat sink, the more accurately heat can be dissipated the better the braking capability will be. Rear brakes - Baer’s Dual Caliper “Staging” Brakes lock tight so that drivers do not accidentally roll through the timing beams and red-light. SS4+ rear systems utilize a 2-piece 11” diameter hat that is 1” thick. For racers who may want to upgrade from a single to dual caliper setup it’s a snap since the rear bracket is the same for both kits. Designed to hold back 2,000+ horsepower, Baer Brakes’ Dual caliper “Staging” packages perform as well as they look. Baer Brakes are manufactured in their Phoenix, Arizona factory and offer braking solutions for a variety of domestic and import cars and trucks.

Baer Brakes’ Rick Elam commented, “When Steve contacted us about some new brakes for his Caprice wagon I immediately suggested our SS4+ Drag Spec brakes for the front and rear. The SS4+ brakes are designed specifically to safely, and repeatedly, stop the fastest and heaviest door cars.” Rick continued, “Since staging a car like Steve’s Caprice Wagon requires extra rear braking capabilities we specified our Dual Caliper “Staging” package that was designed, tested and proven to lock tight with 2,000+ horsepower. Since weight and fitment are often issues for drag racers we made our 11” Drag Spec Rotors 1” thick, yet the complete rear rotor assembly only weighs 12.7 pounds and are small enough in outside diameter to fit in most 15” bead lock wheels.”

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Sources:

Baer Brakes Phoenix, AZ Ph: 602-233-1411 www.baer.com Steve Morris Engines Muskegon, MI Ph: 231-747-7520 www.stevemorrisengines.com

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The Winning State Of Mind The Drag Racer’s Mental Game By Dr. John W. O’Connor, Ph.D. – Your Mental Game Expert

I

n my years of helping athletes in a variety of sports, achieving that state of mind one needs to be a champion can seem as elusive to those trying to get that first time win as it is for someone who is trying to repeat their last year’s stellar performance. Take John Force, who owns the most successful team in drag racing history. In years he did not take home the national title, he admitted his mental game was not 100% where it should be for various reasons, such as enjoying family obligations, or even his recovery time from his accident. If even the most successful drag racing champion has run into life situations where winning didn’t come automatically, it might seem an insurmountable task for a drag racer to get even that first win. For drag racers, their entire career starts not just with their actions behind the wheel, or how well their car is tuned. There is that missing piece that is like chasing unicorns and dragons, that mental and emotional state that enables a racer to win over and over again until that final race. What is that emotional and mental state? A clear mind, a clear emotional state, being that calm in the middle of the storm. How does one achieve it? That answer is what challenges every single drag racer, because the answer is different for everyone. There isn’t a set formula for everyone to follow. If it were that easy, then everyone could do it. The good news is, there are certain tasks drivers and their team members can perform to get themselves as ready as they can be to win that Championship. Mental preparation should not be skipped. It is as important as fine tuning the car. The man or woman behind the wheel has to fine tune their mental game and get their frame of 36

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mind dialed into success. The suggestions in this article are based upon my years of experience in working one on one with athletes, and are suggested starting points for racers to follow in their path to the winner’s circle.

so far ahead in points, for the last couple of races, all he had to do was qualify. Before that race, it was anyone’s game. He sealed his fate for 2011 when he kept the frame of mind he needed to win that crucial race.

Practice Mental Techniques

Believe You Can Win

Relaxation

Racers should have racing cars, not racing minds. A racing mind is the result of distractions and stress. Developing the ability to relax is paramount in any sport. Drag racers cannot do without this skill because of the high probability that something unpredictable will happen, ranging from accidents, to mechanical failure, and track conditions. Practicing mental relaxation and keeping a clear mind takes practice, just like going down the track. I have worked with many athletes who have tried to bypass this important step. I am usually met with all sorts of reasons, such as I am too hyper to sit and meditate, or I’m a doer, not a thinker. No matter what the reasons, they all usually center around a lack of understanding about meditation and relaxation techniques, their benefits, and a lack of experience with this practice. In working with Darren Morgan last year when he won the Andra Pro Series Top Fuel Championship, we performed a relaxation technique at the beginning of an especially crucial race. Both racers’ cars blew up. Darren stated to me after the race with the problems his car was having, he shouldn’t have made it to the finish line. Getting him into a relaxed state of mind helped him cope the best he possibly could with mechanical failure. That day, he coped with it better than his competitor, and was

This might seem like a statement that is too obvious when one thinks upon it. If every drag racer believed this at all times, then it would be anyone’s game at any time. As a trained clinician and having decades of experience in my clinical practice, I have been trained to catch those little statements or phrases, no matter how big or small, reflecting self-defeating behaviors. For instance, if one listens to top level winning racers, many will state in their interview at the beginning of a race that they are confident in their team, and confident in their car, and confident that they have as good a chance as anyone they will win. When you listen to drivers who went out during qualifying or the first round and had a short day, unfortunately, they are asked about the problems they had for the day and the reasons why they failed. Then there are drivers who interview before the race, and they seem a bit intimidated by a strong competitor. When I catch this type of statement, I know the driver’s mental game isn’t there, and we will have our work cut out for us in helping the driver develop an unbeatable mental game.

Work On Your Issues What thoughts are in your head before and after a race? Are they fraught with anxiety and admonishing? Do you remain positive before and after a race? Do you believe that

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even a poor performance or mistake will not sully the rest of your racing season? Negative and unproductive thought patterns are insidious. They pollute a person’s character, emotional state, and mental game. After two decades of clinical experience, there is one thing I do know. People would rather rush into a burning building to save a puppy rather than talk about their feelings, especially emotions that bring up an unhappy time or memory in their lives. These feelings don’t go away, though. They’re still rumbling around in your head, working behind the scenes. If these thoughts and feelings are unproductive, unconstructive, unhappy, and negative, they actually work against you and all the efforts you put forth to be a success in your field and in your life. Examining one’s thoughts, being aware of every thought before, after, and even in between races, is a crucial step towards the winner’s circle. It also happens to be the most challenging aspect of anyone’s mental game, whether it’s an athlete, a business person, anyone seeking enlightenment, or anyone performing anything anywhere. If you are human and seeking to be the best at what you do, this is a challenge that cannot be glossed over with just a bunch of positive affirmations, canned, overused statements such as getting out of one’s own way, or manifesting. It takes hard work to be the best. Working on being the best person you can possibly be will have overspill effects into your career. Interpersonal issues are the most troubling in anyone’s career, and can spell trouble for athletes who are expected to perform in a span of a few seconds. You need your car’s motor to run clean. You need to have your mental motor running clean as well, and work out any “mechanical” mental issues so you can be your best behind the wheel.

even care to know anything about what his mechanics experience. He thinks if there is a failure, it’s all his pit crew’s fault that they aren’t giving him the best car out there. Racing isn’t all about the driver. Erica Enders gets it. Her team is the first thing she lists when she states what she has confidence in. As a result of the racer’s attitude, it filters down to the entire racing team. If you take that drag racer I spoke with, his record is less than stellar. I also saw his team of people. There was a bunch of standing around and talking, and no sense of urgency about their jobs. When my son, John Jr. interviewed John Force, it was like night and day. The pit crew was working so fast and furiously, even though their racing was done for the day. It’s not enough for a driver to have talent, know how, experience, and a mental game. When you are working with a team supporting you, you have to take into account the entire team’s mental game. Each mechanic should have a mental game, and the team should be focused on one goal.

Clarify Your Goals Within Yourself and With Your Team “I want to win” is not an example of goal clarification. Everyone wants to win. That is a desire. “I will win by working with my crew to work on any mechanical and drivers issues to get my car/motorcycle working as trouble free as possible.” “I will win three championships in a row, now that all my team, mechanical, and interpersonal issues are worked out and the car is dialed in. I will continue to work on my reaction time at the line. I will work on keeping a clear mind even when things go wrong.” Those are examples of clarified goals.

Choose the Right Professional To Help You Have A Great Working Relationship With Your Team This is something that is special when it comes to any racing sport. When you are the team crew and the driver, it’s a simple relationship for most. However, many race car drivers have an entire team of people working with them who are responsible for making the car run smoothly and trouble free. I spoke with one drag racer who thinks he doesn’t even need to talk or have a relationship with his pit crew. He stated to me that he just shows up, drives the car, and that’s his job. He didn’t

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There are a lot of people who claim they have the secret to the winning mental game. I don’t have any secrets to share with you, and I wouldn’t make come ons like this. Or someone who claims to have secret techniques to improve your game, someone who claims you can just work on manifestation techniques and bypass any hard work you must do (what I call the “magic pill” formula), and someone who doesn’t have any clinical experience in at least helping people in a range of functions and positions with a variety of interpersonal issues. The secret to your mental game is

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inside of you. My role is to help you discover what you need to do for you to develop your indomitable mental game. The professional you choose should have the education and experience, at the very least, to help you on your quest. More specifically, you want a well-rounded individual who specializes in working with teams, groups, and organizations, and is equally as strong in working one-on-one with each person of the team. What you don’t want is someone who does not have any education in the field of psychology. The voice in your head that either takes you to the winners circle or completely shuts you down at the starting line is called your subconscious. Too many so called experts claim it does not exist, or it has no function. In order to help you remove issues preventing you from performing at a elite level and winning one needs to have the right professional who understands and is well versed on Freudian theories. Even most psychologists are not qualified to do the type of work it takes to achieve positive results in athletic performance. It takes much more than working in a job or private practice for several years. The professional should be a well-rounded individual who has worked in a variety of positions with all sorts of populations. Athletes are people too, and no where will a psychologist work with so many issues all at once than in the athletic field. Moreover, most psychologists, thanks to the constraints of managed health care, only work with the conscious mind, the here and now, and will not even take the past or childhood issues into account. This is our modern day travesty, because this leaves even licensed individuals undertrained and undereducated to tackle the real issues that are responsible for interfering with athletic performance and realization of a person’s happiness in their personal life. I am classically trained in Freudian and psychotherapy techniques. It’s how I was trained in my very first job when I was just a teenager. I was lucky enough to have a doctor who was classically

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trained, who taught me to take every single aspect of the person and the person’s life, including how the person subconsciously translates all of his or her life’s experiences and affects attitude, character, thought patterns, and behavior patterns. Devote Yourself to the Practice of Mastering Your Mental Game Like anything else in life, anything worth having doesn’t come easy. The reason why the NHRA Wally (often considered drag racing’s most prestigious award) is so highly valued for first time and multiple time winners is because you really have to face a lot of other talent competing for that same thing time and again. Devoting yourself to building a complete, detailed mental game might not be an easy road, but if it will lead to you that winner’s circle, it is well worth the effort. Who knows, maybe you could challenge John Force’s record!

Contact Information: Dr. John W. O’Connor Ph.D., Sports Psychologist Mental Game Expert President - The American Emotional Wellness Organization Kirsten G. O’Connor, M. S. Mental Health Couselor Vice President – The American Emotional Wellness Organization Website: http://oconnor-consulting.net Phone: 276 346 3625 Email: drjohnoconnorphd@gmail.com LinkedIn.com : http://linkedin.com/in/drjohnoconnorphd

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RPM PROJECT

GREEN MACHINE

PART IV

Staying, And Looking, Cool Story & Photos By Brian Hansen Additional photos by Manufacturers

Project Green Machine Needs To Stay Cool, And Look The Part, For Lots Of Hot Summer Driving!

The Work Continues... Over the past few weeks we’ve been busy working on the Green Machine’s cooling system. With summer cruising on the agenda we installed a PRW aluminum radiator and electric water pump to keep the Big Block Brawler running cool, even during the hottest dog days of summer. To get the Bel Air ready for street duty a set of OEM 1966 turn signals had to also be installed in the fiberglass lower valance panel. What was initially thought to be a “small” project turned into an all-day ordeal. Since there were no provisions for turn signals we had to cut out openings for them and then fabricate brackets to hold the turn signals in place. Next came the body work which consisted of sanding, priming and painting the valance panel until it looked factory fresh. This is one more thing that we’re really happy to mark off the project list!

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GREEN MACHINE

Ron Wesley at Clocks Off Race Cars has also been busy welding up our 2 ¼” Stainless Works headers, and they are almost finished. This gave us an opportunity to work on our cooling system and lower valance, and tie up some other smaller details on Green Machine. Once the headers are completed, we’ll be shipping them over to NitroPlate for ceramic coating that is capable of withstanding a blistering 1300 degrees. We’re also in the process of installing a Weldon Pump fuel system including one of their DB-2025A Fuel Pumps (rated for up to 1600hp), Regulators for both the Nitrous and Carburetor, Fuel Pump Controller and Fuel Filters. Since we’ll be incorporating a “return-style” regulator in the system, a -8an braided line also had to be installed so we will run it through the frame rail along with the existing -10an fuel line. We’ll be sure to get you some more details on our headers and fuel system in a future installment of Project Green Machine.

Looking at this picture of our Stainless Works header kit you can see that even though a lot the hard work has been done we still will have our hands full making headers for Project Green Machine... I sure am glad we have a lot of room under the hood!

A Weldon DB 2025-A fuel pump (rated at 140-180 GPH) will provide more than enough fuel for both the Pro Systems SV1 carburetor and Nitrous Supply Annular-Discharge Nitrous Plate. Watch for more info and pics on the Green Machine fuel system to come next issue.

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GREEN MACHINE

PQX™ Aluminum Racing Radiators are the perfect fit for racing, street rod, classic, muscle, exotic or late model cars and trucks. These radiators feature MIG/TIG welding and an all-aluminum construction which gives them the perfect combination of durability and reduced weight. There are 8 threaded mounting bungs for easy installation and customization with different accessories. 20AN “O” Ring Smooth Hose Adapters make it a snap to adapt to any configuration of hose diameters. Initially we kicked around the idea of running a mechanical water pump on the Big Block Brawler. After coming to our senses we contacted our friends at PRW for one of their high-flow electric racing water pumps. When you look at the advantages of running an electric pump, instead of one that is belt driven off of the crankshaft, it’s a no brainer. Electric water pumps free up horsepower, allow cooling of the engine between rounds at the track and coolant flow is consistent no matter what the engine RPM is.

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The newly installed PRW radiator and electric water pump look right at home on the Green Machine and it’s stout 489BBC. With free flow capacity of 35 gallons per minute, the electric water pump is a suitable choice for Street or Strip applications. Under normal use the pump only draws 6-7 amps and has a life expectancy of 2500-3000 hours. When it is time to be rebuilt, a kit is available from PRW that will make the pump like brand new again.

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GREEN MACHINE With Dremel Tool in hand we carefully cut out the openings for the turn signals. After trying a number of different paint/ clear coat combinations we finally found the correct factory shade of silver.

What’s next? In the next issue we’ll unveil the Stainless Works headers and cover the installation of the Weldon fuel system that will provide more than enough fuel for both the Pro Systems SV1 carburetor and Nitrous Supply Annular-Discharge Nitrous Plate. Stay tuned, we’re getting close to firing up Project Green Machine, making sure everything is good to go, and then putting some serious street and strip mileage on it!

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9:20 @ 145 mph 2010 Ford Mustang, driven by Gary Richard

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Angela Ray’s Thoroughbred Mare Story & Photos by Mark

at goDragRacing.org


Angela Ray focused and ready as Co-Crew Chief Darrin Tibbits waits until their opposition finishes their burnout before he even starts the blown Hemi Shelby GT 500 Pro Mod on David Ray’s order. RPM Magazine, THE Voice Of Fast Cars WORLDWIDE

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Angela Ray’s Thoroughbred Mare Story & Photos by Mark at goDragRacing.org

M

oving through the male dominated sport of Pro Modified drag racing, Angela Ray is an upcoming sensation since she announced her arrival officially with their own team, “Magic Racing Team” and the highly distinctive Shelby Mustang at the 10th Annual Shakedown Nationals (2012), we’ll get into why it’s so different later, but first we’ll take a look at this young lady’s upbringing, and what it took to get her into one of the most powerful sports in the world. This is no “Danica Patrick” deal, this is a family who from day one has been in racing and Angela has been along for the ride, following in her father’s footsteps “David Ray”, owner of a custom exhaust and hot rod shop “Skip’s Garage” in Plaistow, HN. David is a former Top Alcohol Funny Car driver whose career was led with the Jay Blake “Follow A Dream” car that Todd Veney drives today. In Plaistow, NH. Angela has had many opportunities to shine as a driver, building a career portfolio of

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exceptional notations from IHRA and NHRA Division 1 wins, including a Top Sportsman Championship and Rookie of the Year for the North East Outlaw Pro Mod Association in 2012. Angela tells us that it seemed to be her destiny to be in the driver’s seat of something fast, given her father’s past Alcohol Funny Car experience, early bracket racing and street racing. In fact, the Shelby she drives now is a clone of her fathers cherished Shelby GT500 right down to the color and stripes, the one he raced back in his late 20’s at New England Dragway, back when the New Hampshire area had many race tracks within local driving distances. Angela participated early in Jr. Dragsters, coincidentally with her now boyfriend Jared Kinson. Jared is New England Dragway’s reigning King of the Track champion in his ’68 Camaro, and is now at Angela’s side as Co-Crew-Chief and Tuner.

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Once you meet Angela, you’ll recognize her easygoing way, her bubbly personality, and drive to become better with each pass. Underneath this young lady’s strawberry blonde, freckle faced exterior she’s a driver through and through, but do not mistake her for easy prey in rounds. She has the mental state to keep pace with veteran drivers and the crew to back her up. Angela is on her way with personal goals also. She is now a 7 th grade mathematics teacher and working towards her masters degree at the moment. Two

Associate’s from the University of New Hampshire: Civil Technology: Architecture and in Applied Business Management along with a Bachelor’s, cum laude, in Secondary Education: Business from Grand Canyon University. Her summers are spent, where else but in the driver’s seat focused on winning. One of my first questions for Angela was how she felt in this so far male inclusive Northeast Outlaw Pro Mod Association / NEOPMA Series? She didn’t waver and immediately stated, “It’s very close, the racers treat me as I have always been there and John Mazzorana makes sure we are completely ready before, during and after the race, it’s a very personal touch from this group. I love the amount of publicity and press we can find on the events and how the team at NEOPMA gets us ‘Out There’ to our fans.” Angela feels that so far NHRA has yet to become the force in Pro Modified to compare to the Outlaw series she is running with (NEOPMA), it being more affordable, pay-downs are exceptional and coverage is much more available. Though Angela is from New Hampshire, she has now been to many tracks and feels she can call Royce Millers MIR “Maryland International Raceway” her home track. Although it is an 11 hour ride, they will gladly travel for the quality of the track’s surface. As noted, Team Magic Racing relies on “Affordability” when they can, there really isn’t an affordable Pro Mod, but with her father’s experience finding what is needed combined with their own skills, they have built an imposing combination… and a competitive one at that. The car is a home brewed mix of finding the best you can get and great deals, beginning with what makes this car run. Nothing short of a Hemi would do, so an Anderson 526 “Square Block” 4 3/8 bore & stroke is filled with strong components. Although in a humble voice Team owner and Crew Chief David Ray would

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Magic Racing Team Owner, Crew Chief (and Angela’s dad) David Ray guides the GT500 back after a serious burnout positioning Angela with only hand signals. David then gives final instructions, as you can see his final order is pointing down track, just before this though, his other gesture is pointing at Angela, this is something they have between them as their only connection. David then walks away as he leaves it all in Angela’s hands. He will step back now and analyze her run and confirm her feedback once back in the pits.

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say it was piecemeal bolt-together since their budget is limited, but knowing it would only take a few modifications to bring it to a higher level. A Bryant crankshaft spins GRP rods, on Clevite “D Groove” bearings and pumps the Diamond pistons to the top to around 11.3 to 1 compression. The block is a vintage 10 year old that has shown its strength as it was taken from Arthur Galants A/FD. It is living by way of a Luger dry sump oil system holding about 18 quarts in the tank. The top end of the motor has a budget Kobelco 14:71 Hi Helix blower off a tractor pulling engine and a recently added Mike Janis Racing Carbon Fiber injector hat replacing the older aluminum three hole bug catcher version. The supercharger is overdriven to the max, as Crew Chief David Ray states he makes use of the NEOPMA rules allowing 30% and runs it at 29.9% overdrive, and does so on Alcohol of course. It all flows through a “CC” corrected set of Brad Anderson “5” heads,

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The blown injected Hemi sits ready to go as the second race of the 2013 NEOPMA series came to a raining halt when overcast skies let loose and drenched the race weekend. The Shelby GT500 saw only one qualifier but placed number 4 which adds points toward building a top position in the teams stats. The Hemi is always a menacing piece of aluminum alloy, bolt a blower to it and it gets better, the detail shows the fuel system, ignition and blower drive with the new Mike Janis Carbon Fiber hat. Between rounds, maintenance on the Brad5 Hemi is relatively straightforward, pulling plugs, leaking down and cooling of the motor. Sometimes a top-end or total teardown is required to make sure everything is in order. Right: Angela’s seating area is small and confined with a poured in seat, and safety measures including the titanium guard wrapping the middle of the funny car cage. Her Racepak dash is all she needs in the way of gauges, and close to her right is her shifter to bang through the gears of the air shifted Lenco.

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yes, really, Brad fives! Which is where they believe they have the most power to make when able to upgrade. For now though, the power is there, but again “Affordable Racing” is what they are after. The heads are filled with your standard Hemi fare, Victory Magnesium valves, retainers and lash caps, with Pac valve springs actuated by Snyder rocker arms. Manley provides the lifters and pushrods, and a Crane Cam grind puts it all into motion through the RCB gear drive. The fuel makes its way through the system via an Enderle cam driven fuel pump, pushing close to four gallons in a quarter-mile with an eight gallon holding tank. Down through your standard magnesium blower manifold where the MSD 44 mag takes charge of the spark through MSD wires. NGK plugs spark the compressed fuel that exits through the homemade zoomies by David Ray, and all functions are monitored through a Racepak computer. Everything runs through a recently acquired from Parise Racing, Lenco / Bruno 3spd air shifted combination with a Neal Chance MX series torque converter passing the horsepower through a Mark Williams steel driveshaft back to the Mark Williams 9 ½ inch Modular Pro Mod rear differential. All this hardware is wrapped in a 2008 Dan Page Race Cars double frame rail chrome moly Chassis that is 25.1 E spec’d. Strange Engineering struts are used up front with Weld spindle mounts and Hoosier rubber shoes, and out back resides a set of Afco shocks and Hoosier 16X17X34.5 slicks bead locked to Weld Racing wheels. The trailer is sparse in how much spare equipment they work with, a minimal parts bin is at hand, usually just a set of rods, pistons rings and spare gaskets are on board with the ability to repair a burnt head but not much more, this team is still trying to gain the sponsor dollars to keep in the rounds and stay within their budget. What you see on the exterior of this steed is the quite different look of a Shelby GT500 front end, the only one in existence made by David Ray. He was not happy with the front

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He’s ready! With primer fuel bottle in hand, Co-Crew Chief and boyfriend Jared Kinson gets ready for a semifinal pass as Angela’s mom Irene waits patiently in the background. Magic Racing Team rides on Hoosier tires and most of the time they are used a little too much. Racers give them leftovers when possible. Tires are extremely important for this car to perform. David Ray states that it’s a big budget problem and they are actively seeking a tire sponsor. The massive Mark Williams modular rear is crammed between the frame rails of this machine. Right: Angela comes off the two-step hard, focus is down track and many things are going through her head, mainly getting from point A to point B cleanly with a “W” in her column of the time slip.

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ends on the market so he created his own, and has the molds to someday have it redone in carbon fiber. So weight is a bit high as this front end is all fiberglass as is the body that’s been heavily modified to make it more of a Shelby, since this was an “internet purchase” body. The team was able to procure the carbon fiber doors though for some savings on pounds. A 24-inch plus aluminum wing extends from behind the car for maximum down force. Two Stroud chutes are spring launched from under the wing while a 102-inch single wheelie bar keeps the car on all fours and transfers the power properly. Two key safety features

include the traditional shutoff and a special “Fire” button to launch the system from outside the car by first responders. To further add weight savings the car is painted in the lightest single stage white with blue GT500 stripes and it still added 42 pounds to the body. The car has an awesome look to it in the lanes and at speed. Taking the Thoroughbred Mare Through Its Paces In And Out Of The Stall: The team is quite comfortable in all situations, everyone’s job has a title and the emphasis is on safety and winning respectively. The team knows well what is going on through Angela’s responses after a pass and even though she’s relatively new at speeds around 235mph and more, she has already learned to report her findings, the Racepak is monitored by Darrin Tibbits, another Co Crew Chief who relays his message out to David and then CONTINUED ON PAGE 64

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prepares for the next pass using one of their more exotic tools, a very good weather station, which helps him decide barrel valve size and more as they come to the line. Meanwhile, work is being done with their “all over man” Bob Beam who is in charge of just about everything and anything you could think of. David Rays wife Irene is Team Owner also, but mainly she does the safety checks and helps Angela prepare for the run, she is also the chef as the team mascot Lacey, a three year old Lab, watches her masters work. It comes down to almost a mathematical handling of information similar to handicapping. The key to success is coming up with the right formula that leads to the winner’s circle, which is where Angela is destined to be very soon as we now follow her down the quarter-mile on a pass with the team.

Angela didn’t have lane choice at MIR in the North East Outlaw 2013 season opener against Jeff Miller with Steve King as Crew Chief. The lane had gone awayand as you can see Angela is scrubbing what’s left of the final round surface clean, tire shake ended her day. From behind, the Mustang gets a little squirrely on a cold track during a burnout. The look of the car with the slicks enlarged is reminiscent of the early Funny Cars.

In the lanes, preparation is complete, last year when Angela made headlines at Raceway Park’s Shakedown Nationals, she was highlighting her career best 6.121 @ 233.56mph when her 2012 racing season ended. This year, she came out of the gate pulling for the homestretch with a confident stride. Her team had all they needed to begin her new legacy at MIR’s opening day at the Pro Mod Door Warz yearly event. Team Magic Racing doesn’t have the two way radio gear, all is done with hand signals in a very strict procedure. From burnout to

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staging it’s the team, once it goes green it’s all Angela inside the sparse cockpit of this Pro Mod. Only the Racepak, her Simpson Racing suit, helmet, gloves and boots, plus a special titanium safety wall behind her seat is with her. Since her father was the next in line after Eric Medlen’s crash, they felt the titanium wall was needed dare any object come from the rear. The interior is finished in carbon fiber panels, made in the shop first from aluminum and those patterns all transformed by Dan Page Race Cars to carbon fiber. The car leaves at a soft 3,800 to 4,000 RPM off the two step and gear changes are made quite low at 8,800 RPM with final trap RPM varying from track to track, average 60fts are in the .988’s. Angela has already knocked down some better ET’s starting out of the paddock, moving into the runner-up spot at the season opener with a 6.07 @ 231mph. Race two led to a number two spot in qualifying but was finished off by rain. Then on to the Capitol Raceway Door Warz where she came in late yet qualified only to be ousted in the first round, with only one decent qualifying pass. This is a working team where everyone relies on a full time job and it was surely felt after missing a full day of test hits. Had they made another pass, we all know Angela was going to set the Mustang on a thoroughbred pace! The team is continually looking for sponsors (www.magicracingteam.com) and continues to perform for the ones they have on their list already. They appreciate all who help. Skip’s Garage Inc., East Coast Metalworks Co., Paintworks Unlimited LLC, Dan Page Race Cars, Kelly Graphics and Complete RV. Photos: Angela in deep focus goes through the run in her head many times over, you will probably never see her looking anywhere but down track once in the car. No radio communications are used, Angela is on her own at this point. Angela pulls the chutes as the car is just past the finish line. Notice the distinctive front end is solid and in shape at 230+MPH.

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The Perspective Melanie Troxel Talks Drag Racing & More Article By Al Heisley

Images supplied by subject

O

ne of drag racing’s most popular Top Fuel Funny Car and Pro Mod drivers, Melanie Troxel, recently returned to Colorado after spending 10-months in her motorhome, traveling back and forth across the country developing sponsorship opportunities, helping other teams at races and visiting friends. After her trek, feeling worn out Melanie decided to move back to Colorado where she grew-up. Back to where her family and friends are, to give herself time to rest, get her batteries recharged and make decisions on what direction to take from here. While enjoying life in a permanent location, you can bet that she’s still busy working on her drag racing program. “I’m trying to come at the sponsorship challenge from a different angle, so while I don’t have anything pinned down just yet, I am working on it,” explained Melanie. In the near term however, she was excited to be have been invited to drive in the Toyota Grand Prix Celebrity Charity Race at Long Beach (California) on Saturday April 20. The race was 10laps around the Grand Prix course and drivers were in identically prepared Scions. Melanie finished in 12th position. Her next appearance is on Saturday August 24, when Melanie will drive Bruce Litton’s Top Fuel dragster at the 60th O’Reilly Auto Parts World Series of Drag Racing at Cordova Dragway Park in Cordova, Illinois. There she’ll go up against Bruce Litton in his other car, Cruz and Tony Pedregon, Tim Wilkerson and others. Despite the fact that it has been awhile since she’s piloted a fuel dragster, she’s confident that her driving skills are intact. After all, Photos: Melanie has piloted both blown and turbocharged Pro Modifieds.

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Troxel’s greatest successes have come in Top Fuel where she’s been to 23 final rounds.

Sponsorship In Drag Racing “Sponsorships are still hard to get but things seem to be getting better,” Melanie continues. “The economy is still up and down so this is a weird time for sponsors, especially for those that are potentially open to sponsoring drag cars and teams, but are not ready to commit right now. I think it’s important for the media, and sponsors, to take a harder look at drag racing and all of the diversity and related success within the sport.” She goes on to say, “it doesn’t matter if that diversity is race, religion, sex or in a few cases whether a driver/rider is handicapped, we have it all at all levels.” “What’s confusing to me is why Danica (Patrick) gets so much press, especially when she’s under-performing compared to her NASCAR competitors. Then you have drag racing where women are winning events and even championships. I would love to see our sport getting that kind of attention. Having said that, I know there is a balance to using the diversity angle but still having the focus be on racing. You can’t focus too much on being female; you also have to be a good race car driver. In my case, I happened to be born a girl. I can’t help that. What I did have control over was becoming a good race car driver. I think I’ve done that. Now I need a sponsor, a team and a car to drive.” Troxel would also like to see more mainstream sponsors for female drivers. And for their female fans as well. After all, many women who are drag racing fans still do the shopping and make the majority of those decisions for their families.

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Melanie enjoys her first Pro Modified win in 2010 at Charlotte North Carolina. This gave her NHRA national event wins in four different classes; Pro Mod, Funny Car, Top Fuel and Top Alcohol Dragster.

RPM Magazine, THE Voice Of Fast Cars WORLDWIDE


She wonders why GE, Nabisco, Proctor & Gamble and similar companies haven’t found their way into drag racing, yet. “I think drag racing is a great value when you are looking at motorsports. We give our fans access to our locker room basically; that’s something you can’t get in NASCAR or Indy Car. Our sponsors benefit from one-on-one interaction with the fans. Sponsors are able to offer their guests a hospitality experience like no other, just a few feet from the team while they completely tear down and rebuild

the car after every pass. Drag Racing is the ultimate sensory experience; if we can get the decision-makers out to an event they will be able to see for themselves and understand what is so special about our sport.”

Melanie Troxel, A Natural Melanie has a natural mechanical talent, an intuitiveness that she was born with. Smiling while reflecting, she explained, “my mother helped my father work on airplanes. And she also did all of the cylinder head maintenance on the family race cars. My dad was a fabricator and machinist. He built many of his own cars from the ground up all the way through paint. It just seemed natural for me to work on cars.” The daughter of 1988 NHRA Alcohol Dragster world champion Mike Troxel, Melanie grew up at the races. While still in high school, she reMelanie presenting her $6,400 donation to Speedway Charities in Las Vegas. Speedway Children’s Charities (founded in 1982) states their mission: “To care for children in educational, financial, social and medical need in order to help them lead productive lives.” Through the years SCC has grown to funding thousands of organizations nationwide that help children directly with everything from educational support to the basic need of a coat or a simple meal.

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ceived class credit for rebuilding the engine she would use in her first race car. In addition to working in her dads machine shops, Melanie owned and operated a company that manufactured tools for the performance automotive industry. “I made a pneumatic valve spring compressor and a torque spark plug wrench. Early on, with the income I generated from my tool company, it allowed me the freedom and time to build a successful racing career. And still have an income until I was able to make a living driving a race car. I sold the company about 4 years ago to focus on racing fulltime.� Coming up through the ranks, she competed in 5 different NHRA sportsman classes. Her amateur career culminated in a number 2 finish in the NHRA national points standings for the Top Alcohol Dragster class with numerous event wins and track titles.

Top Fuel By The Numbers And focus Melanie has. In fact, in the past year she worked very hard on getting a sponsor, or sponsors. Either a major full ride sponsor or associate sponsors. As Photos: Melanie has seen great sucess behind the wheel of a Nitro Funny Car. Here, in 2011, she drives the IN-N-OUT Burger sponsored Toyota. While the Pro Modified doorslammer cars she drives put out in the area of 3,000 horsepower, the Nitro floppers kick it up to over 8,000HP each, and are definitely the fan favorite!

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she explained it, a $2,000,000 backer would let her be fairly competitive. But that would leave her without many extras. If she had $3,500,000 she would not only be competitive but she would have a shot at the championship. With $5,000,000 she’d be a definite contender for the championship. Funding can come from two or more sponsors. And yes, there’s much more to explain to interested parties, so if you are one of them, contact Melanie at: Melanie@MelanieTroxel.com or visit http:/ /www.melanietroxel.com

Melanie’s Winning Ways • 9 wins and 25 final round appearances • 1 of only 14 drivers ever to win in both the Top Fuel and Funny Car classes • The only driver to win in TF, FC and Pro Mod • Current national record holder for elapsed time and speed in the Pro Mod class • Led the Top Fuel points for over half of the 2006 season • Nominated for 2 ESPY awards in 2006, Best Driver, Female Athlete • Driver of The Year, 1st Quarter • Women’s Sports Foundation “Sportswoman of The Year” 2006 • Career best elapsed time and MPH

Melanie testing in Las Vegas behind the wheel of the Dodge bodied IN-N-OUT Burger Nitro Funny Car.

4.042 seconds ET in 1000 ft - 313 MPH 4.45 seconds ET in 1320 ft - 332 MPH

• Owned MTI, inc., Manufacturer of tools for the racing industry • Won AAA’s Road to The Future award 2000 • Finalist for Rookie of The Year award 2000 • Racer Magazine’s most promising new driver 2000 • 2nd Place finish in Alcohol Dragster Championship 1999 • Division 6 Champion 1999 • Eight time NHRA Alcohol Dragster event winner • Multiple track records held • Lyn St’ James Driver Development graduate • ESPN color commentator and pit reporter • Competed in NASCAR late model stock car series • Skip Barber racing school graduate

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SOURCES: Melanie Troxel w w w.MelanieTroxel.com

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Trick Out Your Truck By George Pich

Transform Your Pick-Up Into A Versatile Machine Ready Take On Anything You Throw At It... Work or Play!

O

K, as car guys and girls it’s just natural, we take pride in our rides! Whether it is our race car or street machine, our daily driver, or even the pick-up we haul ‘em with, we just seem to wanna have them look good, sound good and turn heads. With summer here, we’re going to throw some cool new products, and of course some bling, on a 1/2 ton hauler and see if we can squeeze a bit more versatility and looks out of it. With the economic challenges over the past number of years it’s pretty safe to say that we are all looking to get more out of our purchases, especially the major ones like cars and trucks. We here at RPM are willing to bet that over 90% of our readers got a slick pick-up sitting in their driveway ready at their beck and call to take on any job from towing the race or show car, to hauling your RV, dirt bikes, quads, or maybe loading up the family for drive to the lake, or the boyz for a road trip to the nearest drag race. The bottom line, no matter how you slice it, the pickup truck has become an American icon and a staple for everyone from the automotive enthusiast to the office worker, and to each of us our pick-up makes a bold statement about who we are. For us, trucks are work vehicles, so we gotta work them, but that doesn’t mean they can’t look good too! Our rigs will be haulin 9,000lbs worth of race car and trailer this weekend, then next weekend be heading out with the RV in tow, then loading up the gear for a race or car show, and once in a while even serve as sleeping quarters during a short stay at a truck stop on a long cross-country drive. So isn’t it great that we have a world of products to choose from that can make all of this just a little easier? It used to be that we needed a 3/4 or 1 ton pick-up to tow anything over 5,000lbs, but with today’s technology and advancements, in many cases, you can safely (and comfortably) tow in the area of 9,500lbs with your stock 1/2 ton gas powered 4x4, and get some pretty good fuel mileage doing it! Add in the right driveline with some type of extra nasty tow package, and you can get up over 11,000lbs! In this particular series of articles we’re not going to be looking at horsepower just yet, but rather we’ll be exploring ways of getting the most out of our pick-up, and looking good doing it. So functionality, product quality and yes, a bit of wow factor, will be our main criteria for these upgrades.

We decided to install a BedRug on a 2013 Ford FX4 ½ ton 4x4 long box, however first we’ll explore some of the facts about the product itself: - It really does look great! Your BedRug is custom made for your make and model, right down to a separate part # for tailgate step equipped models (such as ours). - Each BedRug is molded to fit your truck bed like a glove, and it does. And it installs quickly with simple hand tools. - The waterproof/chemical resistant foam-like underlay provides impact protection and the waterproof/chemical resistant top layer looks and feels like carpet, but it’s not! - Make no mistake, it is tough! But how can it look so good, be so “cushy” and be so tough? It’s all in the R&D! BedRugs are constructed from closed cell ultra-tough 100% polypropylene, which is, well, one tough plastic! So, not only will it protect from impact damage, BedRug says, “it will stand up to the most harsh conditions you can throw at it: from gravel to battery acid, while still protecting your precious cargo, and your knees!” - It does NOT absorb water (like many people think), will not mold or mildew, and dries in a snap (about 20 minutes). The BedRug is also fade and UV resistant. - Made in the USA, (Old Hickory, Tennessee) by an environmentally responsible company, BedRug products are manufactured from a recyclable TPO/polypropylene composite. - Easily cleaned? Yep, you bet! A vacuum, broom, brush or compressed air can be used to remove most anything from your BedRug, and, because water will not harm the BedRug, you can even use your pressure washer to clean it! CONTINUED ON PAGE 76

PART I - The BEDRUG Alright, most of us have seen pick-ups with vinyl mats, pieces of rubber or carpet sort of “cut up” to fit the bed. Most times they absorb water, chemicals and dirt from the loads we carry or end up flying down the highway at 60mph when the 2-way tape “sticky” fails. Or maybe we’ve gone one up and opted for the dropin plastic bedliner which definitely protects the bed of the truck and are pretty easy to clean, but not so pretty to look at. And then there is the spray-on bedliner. These are tough but permanent. But what if we could get something that would protect the bed of our truck, look amazing, be comfortable enough sleep on (we’ll get to that in a later article), almost indestructible, and easy to clean? Well we can! Like they say, “An educated consumer is the best customer…” I’ll admit, we’ve seen the BedRug before, but we really didn’t look close enough or research into the what, why, and hows of the product and educate ourselves enough to know that it was more than just a pretty carpet for a pickup… well it is more than that, much, much more! And don’t worry, if you think you need a non-permanent bed protection that goes a step beyond in toughness, BedRug also offers the BedTred Pro Series. But for us, we want the slick look, feel and versatility of the BedRug. 74

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Step 1, back our proud recipient into the RPM install facility and bolt on an RPM tag! This Ford FX4 4x4 Off Road long box comes from the factory ready to work or play, but we’ll spruce it up to be just that much better! This rig didn’t even have 20 miles on it before we started poking and proding at it. RPM Magazine, THE Voice Of Fast Cars WORLDWIDE


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What do you get? We guarantee the first thing you say when you pull the BedRug from the box is, “wow, this is cool!” 1 - The BedRug itself is 3 zippered pieces. The front (or bulkhead) of the BedRug is permanently attached to the bed side pieces (shown in the background), and zippers to the floor portion. The floor portion (foreground) comes zippered to your tailgate section. 2 - Hook & loop fasteners and install instructions. For our application separate instructions were included for the tailgate.

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3 - Factory look, yuk! 4 - First, we zip the sides and front section to the floor section. This is easier to do with the floor section bottom facing up. 5 - We now detach (unzip) our tailgate section and attach the hook & loop fasteners as per our instructions. 6 - We then simply turn the assembled sides and floor right-side-in and set it in the bed of the truck, making sure it is all the way to the front of the bed. Note, on photo #5 above, there are long hook & loop strips (shown with red tape still on the adhesive backing) on the floor section bottom, one on each side nearest to the front of the bed. These are our first installation points. Once lined up and in place, simply roll one side of the BedRug to expose the floor mounting strip. Clean the area where the strip will attach to the bed floor with the proper cleaner to ensure the adhesive will stick properly. Peel the red adhesive backing off, and carefully roll the BedRug floor and sidewall back into place ensuring that the adhesive strip contacts the truck bed as per your intructions. Then repeat the same steps for the other side of the floor. Next, fit the front or “bulkhead” of the BedRug by using the same steps; locate the adhesive strip contact points, clean the surfaces and attach the hook & loop adhesive strips. (Note: we played with our bulkhead to get it level before final attachment, but remember that the hook & loop fastener system allows adjustments for this anyway)

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7 - Remember, if you have cargo tiedown hooks or equipment remove them now, with the side in place but NOT fastened. Then locate the tiedown holes with an awl so you can re-install them on top of the BedRug afterwards. Now basically repeat the install steps for each side of the BedRug, re-install your factory cargo tiedowns and the hard part is done... it’s that simple! 8 - For the tailgate, first remove the factory plastic tailgate protector fasteners. 9 - For a step equipped tailgate like ours, extend the handle then slip the tailgate BedRug onto it. There are factory slits in the BedRug to allow this. 10 - Line the tailgate BedRug up to match the factory fastener holes. Be sure the leading edge of the BedRug is folded around the factory plastic tailgate cover so that the factory fastening bolt is lined up with both holes as shown. This takes some patience, and a bit of muscling the factory plastic cover. Now re-install the factory fasteners by hand (as on the Ford they are shouldered bolt and strip easily). Simply zip the tailgate BedRug section to the floor section and WOW, there you have it, what a difference... and we can’t wait to put the BedRug through some serious work and play!

For further information visit BedRug Inc. at www.bedrug.com or call 800-462-8435 76

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Gentlemen Start Your Engines! PROJECT THUG ENGINE GETS A GOOD GOING OVER By Chuck Scott

What To Know About Firing Up Your New Engine For The Very First Time

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lthough we’re sure a good number of RPM readers have fired fresh engines and new builds many times, a few of you may be doing it for the first time this summer. Even for the veteran, this can be an exciting but nerve-wracking experience. After finishing the RPM Magazine project Thug car, we had to tidy up some loose ends and run out to the local parts store for a few forgotten items. It had been a while since I fired a fresh bullet, so I had to think for a minute about all the things I needed to do before inviting over the usual witnesses. I figured now would be a great time to document those common steps and checklists for those who may be doing this themselves for the first time, or even those of us enjoying a “firstfire” after a hiatus from the excitement.

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Some folks pay the extra bucks to have their engine dyno tested by their engine builder. This is always worth the money and can save a ton of headaches once you drop it in the car. On the dyno, the builder can seat the rings and check everything in a controlled open environment. If there is a leak or an issue, it can be handled before you take possession of the motor and spend the time fitting it into the car. As Thug is a project directed more at the hardcore fast street car enthusiast or weekend warrior, we definitely had to experience this procedure ourselves so that we could accurately pass it on to you. Still, we felt that calling on the Pros who do this for a living couldn’t hurt, if for no other reason than to keep us in line! I asked Todd Hoerner of Sonny’s Racing Engines a few questions about their procedure with a new start up. Sonny’s is the legendary engine builder that boasts many championships and records in the highest ranks of drag racing, and also the builder of the world’s largest automotive V8 engine (a 1005 cubic inch, 2150hp naturally aspirated V8).

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RPM - When you fire a new motor what is your procedure? Todd - For the dyno, we always start the engine, check timing, put a few light loads on the engine to help seat the rings, shut the engine off and check valve lash. Then we will make a full short pulls on the dyno and recheck the valves. We repeat that procedure, eventually adding timing and adjusting the engine as the test session proceeds.

RPM - Do you have any different procedure for different type motors? (naturally aspirated, nitrous or forced induction motors) Todd - We pretty much do the same procedure on the variety of engines we build here, although we use a different oil on our nitrous applications.

RPM - Do you prime the oil system first?

RPM - Should you be easy on a fresh motor for a pass of two before hammering on it?

Todd - We always preheat the oil and always prime the engine on the initial fire up.

Todd - No, once an engine has been dyno tested here, it’s ready for normal use.

RPM - How long do you let it run on the first fire?

RPM - What is some advice you give a new customer who is picking up a new motor and will be making a first pass in a brand new car?

Todd - About 3 to 5 minutes. RPM - Do you use different break-in oil than the oil that the motor will be raced on? Todd - Yes, we use a break-in oil for the first time RPM - How soon do you change the break in oil? Todd - We make approximately 3-5 dyno pulls before changing to the regular the race oil.

Todd - Double check timing when you first put it in your car, because ignition boxes can vary. SOURCE: Sonny’s Racing Engines 352 Training Center Rd. Lynchburg, VA Phone: 434-239-1009 www.sonnysracingengines.com

Not everyone will always take advantage of having the builder dyno and get their motors ready for action. Some people just pick up their engines unfired or even build them at home. For them, I’ve put together a little checklist of what I like to do before, during and after that first time you fire up your new engine. 1. Make sure everything is hooked up and tight. This might sound like a no-brainer but mistakes happen all the time. Even the most thorough person can leave a fitting loose. It is a good idea to just go over each fitting, making sure everything is snug so you don’t have to shut the motor right back off as soon as it fires. 2. Fill all your fluids. This includes oil, water, fuel and transmission fluid. I don’t fill the transmission to capacity yet. I just put a little short of what it is supposed to be until I can check the level while it’s running at the correct temperature. If you have an electric water pump you can run the pump with the engine off to completely fill the system. It will likely be necessary to burp the cooling system to get out any air pockets once the car can be idled. Leave the radiator cap off for the initial start up and have a few jugs of distilled water ready to add to the system as it runs. Once it stops taking more water you can put the cap on.

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Even in a non-flat tappet engine, it is important to use a break in oil for the first fire. We used 20W-50 Lucas High Zinc Engine Break-In Oil for the 4-Lug Thug. It comes in five different size containers, from single quarts up to 55 gallon drums. I like the 2.5 gallon jug since I have an additional 3 quart capacity with the oil accumulator. I will leave this oil in until it’s ready to go to the track. 3. Make sure all your electrical connections are made and your batteries are charged. Nothing will ruin your starting party like a low charge. This is especially important if you aren’t running an alternator. You need enough battery charge to start the car several times and keep it running long enough to check timing, adjust the carburetor or fuel injection, burp the cooling system, check the transmission fluid, etc.

Lucas Oil Products’ High Zinc 20W-50 Racing Oil is our oil of choice for Project Thug.

4. Check your valve lash. This is most likely already done to a “cold spec” by the builder but you will need to verify this before attempting to start your bullet for the first time.

Check every fitting and electrical connection to ensure a good start-up experience. The last thing you want are surprises caused by leakage or a no-start from poor electrical connections. Right - Always check valve lash before start-up, you will be checking again after the engine has been warmed up.

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5. Prime the oiling system (shown above). If you have a regular wet sump set-up like we do, it’s time to break out the drill. Most chain auto parts retailers have the oil primer for rent as a loaner tool. The one down the street from me had one for a $25 refundable deposit. To use it, just pull out the distributor and slide the tool down over the oil pump drive shaft. Spin it with the drill in reverse. If a prime tool isn’t available, you can also use an old distributor shaft. For an engine with an external oil pump, take the belt off the pump pulley and spin the pump with a drill and a socket driver. In both cases remove a valve cover and turn the oil pump until you see pressure on the gauge and oil coming up to the rockers. On an engine with an over-the-crank style oil pump like the GM LS engine family, the procedure is completely different. There are special oil primer kits that are basically a tank you fill with oil and pressurize with shop air. You hook a line to the oil pressure port on the engine and turn a valve allowing the pressurized tank to push oil through the engine. While it’s pushing oil it is a good idea to rotate the engine by hand. In the Q&A with Sonny’s Racing Engines, Todd mentioned warming the engine oil before the initial start up. This is great if you have a way to do this. Retailers like Summit Racing and Holcomb Motorsports offer several external heating pads that can be put on your oil pan or tank and plugged into a 110 household outlet. Once the oil is warmed up, the heating pad can be removed and stored for another day. A small electric bathroom space heater under the car pointed at the oil pan with adequate clearance is better than nothing and would be a minimum on a cold day. 6. Turn on any electric fuel pumps and water pumps. With your fuel pump and water pump on, check for leaks and set your fuel pressure. With some systems you may have to adjust fuel pressure again once the car is running, when fuel isn’t dead heading and voltage is up. This will also help by filling the carburetor bowls or fuel rails. 7. Get timing as close as possible before starting. This is easy with a crank trigger. First rotate the engine by hand (ratchet on the crank bolt) with the #1 spark plug removed and your finger over the hole until you feel air being pushed out past your finger. Continue turning the engine a few more degrees until you get the timing pointer to the desired advance mark on the balancer. Adjust the crank trigger pickup to line-up with a magnet on the wheel. With the cap off the distributor make sure the rotor button is pointing at the #1 cylinder contact. Without a crank trigger you do the same except without the crank trigger adjustment, and the distributor part is more critical. This won’t likely be dead-on, but it should be close RPM Magazine, THE Voice Of Fast Cars WORLDWIDE

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enough to get the engine to start. Once it is fired, use a timing light to verify and adjust timing. 8. Equip your area. Put a fan or two in front of the car to provide some airflow and open all windows and doors. If possible push it outside or run some flex pipe from your exhaust to the outside. The first start up and break in can take a little while. You don’t want to breath the exhaust fumes unless multitasking for you means starting a new car and suicide. Make sure your shop fire extinguishers are serviced and ready for a possible fire. 9. Let her rip. Give everything another look over and fire it up. It is a good idea to have a few friends over to help keep an eye out for leaks or other problems. If you are overly excited, it might be a good idea to assign one person to just watching your gauges and keep it running. Have your timing light hooked up and ready to check timing and keep topping off the water. Listen for any unusual sounds and be ready to give the kill switch command if things go wrong. If everything sounds and looks OK, let in run until it gets up to operating temperature then shut it down. If you have a flat tappet non-roller camshaft, you will need to modify the initial start up procedure. A flat tappet camshaft engine must immediately be brought up to 2000rpm and held there for 2530 minutes allowing the cam and lifters to mate up. Occasionally raise the RPM to 2500 for a minute or two during that half hour. It cannot be allowed to idle for at least 20-25 minutes or the cam lobes can be wiped out or damaged. There isn’t enough oil volume getting to the valvetrain at the lower RPM required during break in. Once the break in is performed you are good to let it idle all you want. If there is a problem when it is

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With the #1 cylinder plug wire removed, I made a little pointer from some foil tape stuck to the base of the distributor lined up with the #1 terminal on the cap. This will make finding #1 easier once the cap is off. As you can see we are off a bit from #1, so if turning the distributor housing won’t make it we’ll pull it and rotate it a bit. Once the engine was running I put the timing light on it to ensure timing is where we need it to be.

first started like overheating or a leak, you have to shut it off at 2000rpm without letting it idle down. Once the problem is fixed, the break in process must be started over. 10. After the first fire, pull the valve covers and go through the valves again while the motor is still hot and set the lash by the cam manufacturer’s “hot spec”. Look over everything on the car to make sure all areas are still good to go. Make sure nothing leaked, got hot and melted or burned and nothing vibrated loose. That first rumble will often remind you what bolt was left loose or what tool was left somewhere in your car. 11. Fire it up again and let it run a bit, continue to keep an eye on your gauges and you can now take in the awesomeness of your internal combustion music and start the tuning process. Shut it down and check those valves again. Then it’s time to go apologize to all your neighbors for a 2-mile radius.

RPM Magazine, THE Voice Of Fast Cars WORLDWIDE


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Getting Back on Track By Blake Robinson

GEARING UP

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o matter how much power our Getting Back on Track Camaro makes, it’s a must that we put that power to the ground. In previous articles the car was back halved, we upgraded our suspension (both front and rear), and have assembled our powerglide transmission using the best parts available to make it as close to bulletproof as possible. With our Chris Alston’s Chassisworks Fab9 rear end housing sitting under the car with dummy axles installed, it’s time that we move forward and complete our rear end build. It was no accident that we chose the Ford 9” platform for our rear end. The Ford 9” has become the universal choice in performance applications due to it being widely available for a reasonable price, plus, you can build a 9” to take most anything you can throw at it. It was produced from the 50’s through the 80’s and installed in chassis ranging from Mustangs to big trucks. A broad variety of aftermarket parts are offered that allow for custom built rear ends to meet just about any budget or power level. When it came to building our third member, we contacted the 9” Ford specialist at Danny Miller’s Rear Gears.

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Danny started drag racing when he started driving in the late 50’s. He honed his craft both as a driver and a mechanic/crew chief throughout the 60’s working with some of the legends of the sport. After taking a break from racing to raise a family, he got back into racing in 1997 when he launched Danny Miller’s Rear Gears. While custom built Ford 9” rear ends for any application are available, Rear Gears’ primary focus is on the drag racing market. After losing Danny to cancer in September, Kevin Biggers (owner) continues to produce quality built, bulletproof Ford 9” rear ends. Kevin looks forward to carrying on Danny’s passion and love for racing long into the future. Kevin started off our build by installing the pinion pilot bearing in the case. Every Ford 9” third member starts with the case. While there are many manufacturers out there that make good cases, the old adage of you get what you pay for is true. Kevin stresses that you should stick with a brand you recognize and are comfortable with. The premier builders have done

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their homework on the design, material selection, and have made significant improvements even over the Ford manufactured Nodular “N” case. Kevin chose an aftermarket Nodular iron case for our application because it just made sense. With our Getting Back on Track Camaro being a high horsepower, heavy car, he felt the lightweight aluminum case wouldn’t hold up. One caution if attempting a build at home is to always mark the caps. The caps should be returned to their original position as the adjustment threads are machined with the caps installed. They are not interchangeable. Before we move forward with the build we would like to talk about the gears we will be using. First, Kevin would like to dispel a common myth about the gears known as Pro Gears. These are gears marketed by several gear manufacturers as “drag race only – not for street use” that are made from 9310 steel instead of 8620. The 9310 gears are softer than the 8620, though many people believe the 9310 is harder and more prone to shattering, this is not the case. The softer gear is achieved during the heat treatment and provides a gear that is more resistant to sudden failure. The material is tougher and more resistant to cracking, but the trade off is the loss of surface hardness that fights wear and galling.

Installing the pilot bearing in the case is accomplished with a purpose-built bearing driver. Some of the premium cases utilize a snap ring retainer for the pilot bearing versus a press-in retainer, the snap ring can be seen here. Installing the ring gear on the traction device is accomplished by tightening each ring gear bolt a little bit as you move around the bolt pattern. This allows us to snug the ring gear down evenly on the traction device.

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After all the bolts are good and snug, each ring gear bolt gets torqued to 75-80 ft-lbs. Before installing any bearing in the case, on the traction device, or the pinion, generously lubricate the inside of the bearing. It is important to always press on bearings with appropriate tools that fit the bearing precisely. If your driver is too large it may not allow for the bearing to seat properly or it may even damage the bearing. Just as when installing your bearings, before installing the traction device/ring gear assembly, it is vitally important to generously lubricate the bearings and work the oil into the bearings. Do this on both sides of the traction device before it is placed in the case.

(commonly found in metal surfaces that are in sliding contact with each other). The 9310 gears are suitable for our application, but we opted to use an 8620 street gear for two reasons. First; Our Getting Back on Track Camaro is a turbocharged car and doesn’t get as hard a jolt at the line as a supercharged or nitrous car would. Second; since we have no data on the car yet, the gear selection is an educated guess. The 4.10 street gears will be used to dial in the gear ratio at a much more affordable price. Once the proper gear is determined, Pro Gears will be installed.

to the fact that any time a bolt is properly torqued, it stretches. Reuse of a bolt could lead to stripped threads or broken bolts. The new ring gear bolts were installed and torqued to 75-80 ft-lbs.

Kevin moved forward with our build by installing the ring gear on the traction device. For a purpose-built drag race car there really is only one choice, and that is a spool. (a single piece that mounts the ring gear and locks the two axles together). We elected to use a 35 spline spool to pick up the added strength the larger axle offers. Kevin stresses to always use new grade 8 or better bolts when installing the ring gear. This tip is cheap insurance due

The bearing caps were removed from the case after the manufacturers marks were identified. Remember to mark the caps and case if there are not any present. The traction device was installed in the case, then the adjustment caps, followed by the bearing caps, and then the bearing cap bolts were tightened until snug. The adjustment caps should still be easily moved. Tighten the adjustment caps to achieve preload in the traction device.

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Using a generous amount of oil, the bearings were pressed on our traction device and Kevin checked them to be sure they were seated fully. Any errors on the bearing installation will cause issues down the road. With the bearings in place, the races were installed and the bearings were lubricated. All the preload measurements should be taken utilizing well lubricated bearings.

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The bearing caps are not interchangeable. The caps need to be marked prior to their removal. Most quality cases will be marked from the factory. Even if you are positive you won’t get them mixed up, mark them. On our case both the cap and the side of the case were marked, one side was marked with a 1, the other a 2. Pressing the head bearing onto the pinion shaft, Kevin stresses that using the properly sized tool to press just the inner race is important. The use of the solid pinion spacer is by far the best way to ensure that the pinion bearing preload remains constant over the life of the gear set. Here, we are “facing” the spacer so that it is the correct length.

When assembling the pinion, a generous amount of oil was used while pressing the bearing on and it was checked to be fully seated. If you are building a third member at home and your rebuild kit came with a crush sleeve, Kevin suggest that you throw it out and spend the money on a solid pinion spacer with shims. Kevin does not even like using shims and will machine a spacer to the correct length to achieve proper preload. The use of a solid pinion spacer allows for trouble free yoke changes if needed and will maintain its shape even with repeated applications of torque. (unlike a crush sleeve) The spacer should be installed on the pinion and then placed in the pinion support. We are using a Daytona pinion support in our application. This support utilizes a much larger rear bearing than the stock support and can accommodate high horsepower applications such as ours. The preload was adjusted between 18-28 in-lbs of torque for the new bearings. With our preload now set, Kevin installed the pinion seal, followed by our new 1350 yoke, and pinion nut. Kevin added the 1350 forged steel yoke to allow us to

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use the 1350 u-joint. This upgrade will make sure we do not have an unexpected failure in this critical area. He chose the forged yoke over a billet yoke because it is actually stronger than its billet counterpart. Kevin explained that the forging process changes the orientation of the material and aligns the grain structure with the direction of material movement. This directional grain structure makes the forging stronger than if it was machined out of a billet or block of steel. The pinion nut was torqued to 100 ft-lbs, the pinion was then rotated about 20 revolutions, and than re-torqued to 120 ft-lbs. With a new o-ring installed, the pinion assembly is ready to be installed in the case. The rest of our build is a little tricky and having the right parts available is a must. With every assembly being different, Kevin explains the steps in completing not only our build, but the steps you can take to properly complete yours as well. Between the pinion assembly and the case, there is a pinion depth shim. If

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Photos, from left: The bearing and solid pinion spacer shown installed on the pinion shaft. Before installing, ensure that both the inside diameter and the outside diameter of the spacer are free from burrs. Any burrs will not allow the bearings to seat properly. After the tail bearing is pressed on, the preload needs to be checked. Here Kevin is using a torque wrench to verify the proper preload is set. After the preload has been verified, the oil seal is installed using the proper seal/bearing driver.

Right: When installing the pinion assembly, a pinion depth shim must be between the case and the pinion support. Adjust the carrier bearing adjusters until the correct backlash is established between the ring gear and pinion.

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Kevin painted several gear teeth on both sides of the ring gear with marking compound. This compound allows him to see the pattern left by the teeth on the pinion gear. A dial indicator was used to verify the backlash was between 0.009 – 0.013. This is the term used to describe the “clearance” between the ring & pinion gears and is usually measured in thousandths-of-aninch. On the right Kevin is working the marked gear’s teeth through the mesh to see where the pattern is.

In this photo (lower left) the pattern is way to close to the toe of the gear, (The inner side). This tells us that the pinion depth shim needs to be adjusted. Center - After making an adjustment, the pattern is now in the correct location on the drive side of the gear. The drive side of the ring gear is the side of the tooth that is contacted when the car is accelerating. On the riaght, the pattern is in the correct location on the coast side of the gear. The coast side of the ring gear is the side of the tooth that is contacted when the car is decelerating.

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Here, Kevin is locking down the carrier adjustment rings with the locking tabs. With all our clearances correct, Kevin torqued the cap bolts to the correct torque, completing our third member assembly. Below is our completed third member. What are the black containers behind it? Rear Gears ships all of their third members in Jaz Products storage containers to insure the assembly arrives in a clean and ready to install condition.

you are building an existing third member, the old shim is a good starting point. If you are assembling a new third member for the first time, Kevin recommends starting out with a .020 shim. Start by bolting the pinion assembly to the case. Kevin stresses that if your support has a new seal and o-ring there is no need for silicone. The use of silicone only makes the rest of the set up a sticky mess. (Remember, if you used the suggested solid pinion spacer and down the road your oil seal starts to leak, pull the yoke, install the new seal, and simply torque your new pinion nut.) Adjust the backlash of the ring gear to about .010 by moving the adjustment caps. Paint several of the ring gear teeth with gear marking compound and work the ring and pinion together. Examine the pattern and make the necessary adjustments by changing the pinion depth shims. Once the pattern and backlash are correct, install the adjustment cap retaining clips and torque the cap bolts to 80 ft-lbs. With our third member assembled, we are now ready to complete our rear end build. Join us next time for the installation of our third member, axles, and upgraded rear disc brakes. Sources: Chris Alston’s Chassisworks www.cachassisworks.com 1-888-388-0297

Danny Miller’s Rear Gears www.rear-gears.com 1-636-861-3900


RPM Magazine July Issue 2013  
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