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6 Feb 2001
Sorry I have not kept this up to date I have not been slack just busy. Canada Bob's car will be going soon and that will take some pressure off. I'm working off a back log of work here at the shop. Dave and I have been getting out a ton of work.
If you want to have a look at "Canada" Bob Wilson's stuff you can get a sneak peak here.
3 March 2001 Saturday As I check everything to see if leave the shop I
had a thought that I had not looked at the log book to see the expiry date. Guess what!!
It expired three days ago!! Stress!! Now I will have to locate a ANDRA steward when I get
to the track. We get to the track and make our way to the pit spot and unload the car. I
start the car and drive to the scruteneering area while the rest of the guys set up the
trailer and awning. I found an official and gave him the scoop on the log book and they
pass the car and let me go on to race but I must send it in on Monday (which I do). I
drive the car back to the trailer and get ready for first round of qualifying. On our
first qualifying pass the car is lazy and when I get back to the trailer I notice the
trans temp is reading no temperature. I jump out of the car and feel the trans case and it
is quite hot so I feel the trans cooler line and it is not hot???? Bob Shaw removes the
cooler line and I crank the engine over and very black oil trickles out?? Jack it up
and get the trans and converter out. The trans is full of metal and the converter is
rooted. First impression is that the stator shaft had turned in the front pump and blocked
off the cooler lines. This caused a massive build up of pressure and the converter to
balloon and disassemble it self internally. Later we learn the cooler line was blocked but
with converter debris. The stator had not turned.
4 March 2001 Sunday Samantha and I wake at 5:30 am and I get her up and we play together until she gets hungry about 7:00 am I fix her a bottle and feed her and change her nappy then it is 7:30 and I load her in her pram and we go for a walk. We go up to the front gate and get the Sunday paper and then out back around the shed for a quiet stroll. When we get back to the house Tracey is up and Sam and I read the Sunday paper. It is pretty slow this morning so Sam goes back to bed for a nap and I have my shower. We have a barbecue to go to this afternoon at a neighbors. We leave about 1:00 pm and get home about 5:30 which finishes off the day just nicely. Tomorrow is a work day so I hit the sheets early.
5 March 2001 Monday Sam awakes at her normal time of 5:30 and I
give her her bottle and change the nappy but the trucks are running this morning early so
I have to bolt and take care of business. I have to unload the car and get it ready for
Warren to have a look at the transmission. He stops by and we do a start up and check the
line pressure and he concludes the front pump is dead. We start a assembly run of steering
wheel quick releases hubs today. The machine work has been done for a while and we just
got them back from the annodizer last week. We will have nearly a hundred units in stock
as we have already sold nearly a dozen.
6 March 2001 Tuesday
Clutch linkage, brake lever and master cylinder are mounted in Adam Burgess Rotary car and the throttle pedal is done as well. Ashley Everding has dropped off his dragster for some hardware update. He wants one of our shifters and we have to put in a foot brake as well. He says his engine is almost done and the Powerglide is done as well so he is getting close to going racing.
7 March 2001 Wednesday Today in the shop we start a production run of
small block Chevy blower crank hubs. We are out of stock so we decide to make 50 of them.
I have the wheel (16.5's) loaded in the back of the truck to take them to get the tires
taken off the rims. I contact the powder coaters and they will sand blast them and give
them a new fresh durable coating. After I get the tires off the rims I drop the rims off
at the powder coaters and hope it doesn't take too long. I take the two front tires off
the truck and put them on the extra empty rims for spares for the Chappy. Now we have good
tires on the Chappy plus three good spares and we will have all new tires on the truck and
a brand new spare.
8 March 2001 Thursday Finished fuel pump testing and shipped a bunch of pumps back to the customers. Converter came back from Jeff and Warren dropped off the fresh Powerglide. Now we are ready to put the car back together. Big storm this afternoon. The electrify kept blinking off so I called Steve Betts (South East Queensland Division Director) to let him know I would miss the Division Council meeting tonight. I felt uncomfortable leaving Samantha in a house with no power and no way to heat her bottle. It is complicated by the fact since we are on tank water out here in the country when we have no electricity, the water pump does not work.
9 March 2001 Friday We are almost ready to start Bob W's car. More on that later. You will see the first pictures and info here
10 March 2001 Saturday Dave, Bob Wilson and I spent the day
cleaning the store room (and my office) at the shop. Some parts of it we had to use a
The second start up gave us some more info and more questions. Bob purchased the fuel
system from Davenport and I was skeptical about the stage and idle environment with a 12
nozzle system. I'm pretty impressed so far as the engine is smoother at stage than I
expected. We don't have EGT's (Exhaust Gas Temperatures) yet as Bob is having trouble with
the Racepack data logger, but it is not hosing fuel so I will have to wait to pass final
judgement on the stage environment. We have the manifold fitted for a 20 nozzle deal if we
need it. The fuel system is a three step fuel system similar to the one I had on my TAD
car in '86 but it is a bit more refined.
13 March 2001 Tuesday Hectic day today! Organizing the Drag Race School session coming up. Scheduling the track rental for Bob's car. Working on the DRS car for the Street Meet this weekend. Just finished a batch run of 50 small block Chevy crank hubs. We are getting very well stocked for parts on the shelf. Welded up wheel for third spare for Chappy. More web page updates to do so I had better run.
14 March 2001 Wednesday We made a two piece coupler for the DRS car so we can remove the trans with out removing the diff or moving the engine forward. Bob left for the Nationals this morning.
15 March 2001 Thursday I had to use the bulldozer to pull out a 10 ton (load) truck which was loaded to the brim. It almost went over the embankment but we saved it. Worked on Bob's TAD - it is getting very close. More and more items are falling off the check list.
16 March 2001 Friday Load up the crew cab and get some
diesel (for the bulldozer) and fill the LP tank for this weekend. Run to BOC and get some
gas (argon, acetylene and oxygen).
17 March 2001 Saturday Our plan was to start the DRS car check it out and load the car and have plenty of time to finish cleaning the shop parts room. We started the car with the new driveshaft (now we do not have to move the engine or remove the diff to remove the trans). It is a two piece unit and had a small leak our through the center. Remove the trans to fix that leak. Install the trans and do a "stage test" on the start up stand in the shop. On the first start up we found the pressure a little low (100psi at idle) so while we had the trans out we raised the system pressure in the trans. Now we have 235 psi. I raise the engine rpm to stage rpm and the trans lets the wheels rotate forward (reverse is slipping). We drop the pan to find reverse clutch material in the pan. Out comes the trans again. Complete disassembly, clean everything. Warren Sichter and I stay and clean everything up and Dave and Mike go to Ashmore to pick up some new disks plus some extras. While we have it apart I decide to cut the reverse piston and add another disk and steel to the clutch pack (6 now) and we drop the system pressure 1/2 turn. Reassembly and reinstall and the pressure is down to 220 psi and we have a pan leak so while the pan was off we back it out another 1/4 turn and now we have 200 psi line pressure at 3000 rpm - now I am happy. The problem is that it is 3:30pm (gates opened at 2:00pm) and we are an hour away from the track. We get the car loaded and pull out the driveway at 4:10 pm stop and grab a drink from the corner store and head for Willowbank. While on the Logan Highway just past the second toll both we blow a front tire on the truck. I still had the old tires and wheels off the other Chevy truck(single cab) on the Crew Cab while I was getting the new tires fitted for the Crew Cab truck. The are back at the shop because I did not have time to put them on. Change the tire and we are back on the road. Rob Thompson stopped to see if we needed help. We get to the track at 5:30 unload and drive the car by sign in and proceed to staging. I get a pass 8.90. I am puzzled because this converter was supposed to be the same as the 8.43 converter we ran last race meeting. The air is 2200 foot corrected so I figure we are a little rich and drop .005 on the main. This gives us a 8.95 - whoops back in goes the .105 main jet. I dial in a 8.85 and cut a .430 light (to his .580 light) and the car feels pretty good (too good) I just get around him and give the brake pedal a firm tap. I have 40 miles per hour on him at the finish and go by him like a shot. On this pass on the brake the car runs a 8.65?!@$%- where did this come from.? Down load the computer and the starting line looks like the old deal while the two prior runs the stall was off by 500 rpm?? Funny thing is the pinion graph looked smoother on the first two runs. The last run the pinion graph was showing slipping the tires a lot. This means more testing to figure out what is going on. Burger on the way home. Dave drives so I drop off for a bit. We never did get to clean up the parts room.
18 March 2001 Sunday - Up early and take the car to Parklands to promote the School. No rest for the wicked is there?
19 March 2001 Monday - Clean up all the details that I did not get
done over the weekend. Fire up the lawn mower and cut some grass.
22 March 2001 Thursday Early this morning we took Bob Wilson's TAD car to Willowbank for testing. We loaded his car on the open trailer of ours and towed it with my Commodore wagon. We took the Dooley and Chap for the support vehicle (tools, air compressor, awning
and the like) This was mostly to test Bob in the car. Bob passed the test with flying
colors but the car blew a intake manifold gasket in two places on the first hop. This was
not our design and now we have to remake the intake manifold to solve the problem. We got
back to the shop and unloaded the car and stripped it down. Dave and I took the DRS car
out of the Chappy and pulled the trans out to install the "School" converter.
Big day again tomorrow. DRS car back together and rework Bob's manifold. We are going back
to Willowbank on Saturday for more testing.
23 March 2001 Friday - Made the adapter plates for Bob's manifold to
convert it to oring seals.
24 March 2001 Saturday Early start to finish the manifold rework,
assemble the engine and load the car. We get to Willowbank about 2:30 pm. Unload and warm
the TAD car.
Between the third and fourth passes of the TAD car the engine had to cool so I took the DRS car to the start line and did a hop. The car was chipped for 3600 rpm launch and a 5000 gear change into high with the "tight" converter. The car ran a 8.79 which is still too fast for the school. I'll have to put the mufflers in and richen the car up as well.
Tonight is over. (We thought) We are all hot and sweaty and hungry. Now we load everything up and stop at the servo to get a hamburger. We get on the Logan between the toll booths and blow a tire on the trailer - a new one!!! Jack up the trailer and install a new tire. We finally get home at 11:30 pm and the butt head neighbors are partying at top song and yelling abuse over the fence. They have awakened Samantha several times and when asked to keep it down they yell abuse over the fence. 99.9% of the Aussies are a great bunch of people who would do anything to assist their fellow man. These people are the .01% making up the butt head factor. Their party roars on until 4:30am - maybe I can get some sleep on Sunday.
25 March 2001 Sunday - Rest!!! Spend the day with Sam at home. I get
some sleep in the aircon during the middle of the day. After last night I sure need it.
26 March 2001 Monday - Unload and get ready for the school this week.
27 March 2001 Tuesday - Final prep for school session. Load trailer and get all the work books and student handbooks together.
28 March 2001 Wednesday - First day of the school - the class goes very smoothly and we get the stand runs done.
DRS Class of March 2001
29 March 2001 Thursday - Everyone got to drive the car today. We made
18 passes and some of the students got to the 660' today.
30 March 2001 Friday - The third day at the Drag Race School.Yesterday
we worked our way through everyone in the class logging 18 laps in the car. Today some
drivers have to make their full passes and some still have to finish the incrementals.
Everyone does very well. Some of the drivers have some fears to overcome and by the end of
the day we have a complete class of successes. Sandra Harvey impressed us all the most.
Struggling at first she almost decided to not to follow through but after some coercion on
Ken's part and encouragement from the rest of the class she accomplished all her goals.
31 March 2001 Saturday - We had a couple of passes to finish at the
school on Friday but rain cut some of it short. We put the car in the scruteneering shed
at Willowbank for the night so we could work on it the car. I wanted to change converters
and maintenance the car after all the passes it had made over the last few days. Renee
Everett and Katie Harker stop by with the entry forms for the race in Mackay on the 21
1 April 2001 Sunday - When you have a 8 month old girl you don't get to sleep in. I don't mind as I get to get her out of bed every morning change the diaper and give her a bottle. By that time Tracey is up and she finishes the solid food as I have my shower and get dressed. It is Sunday so I spend some time playing with Samantha before the pressures of work get to me and I have to bolt to the shed. I have been gone for four days and the elves did not get any work done while I was gone. I answer emails, take messages of the answering machine and organize the work for next week. We have a few rain shower every hour or so and I wanted to get some yard work done today. Sam's christening is on 8 April and we will have a small party here afterwards so I have to get the yard tidy. Monday I have to get stuck into the fuel systems I have here to complete for customers. I think I will have Dave make the hex shafts for the quick release steering hubs we have in stock now.
2 April 2001 Monday - Swamped at work
14 April 2001 Saturday - Renee Everett drives the car at the "Tin Tip's". First pass on the new converter we installed after the last school session. This converter went quick for us earlier but a front bushing got hot and failed. We put the school converter in to do the school and then changed it back to this converter after we got it back. First pass the car ran a 8.48, I was a little disappointed as the car should have run quicker than that. I was expecting a high 8.30 as the air was around 700 foot corrected. Next qualifying session the car smoked the tires - now where did that come from? We drop the tire pressure as everything else should be ok. For first round we change lanes and smoke the tires again. Not right on the start line but about 50 foot out!!! What is causing this as other people are getting down the track??
15 April 2001 Sunday - Spend the day with the family on Easter Sunday
16 April 2001 Monday - Everyone else in Australia is off on the Easter
Holiday but us racers are hard at work. We unload the car pull the trans and converter
19 April 2001 Thursday - Get the car ready for the race. Fix a couple of oil leaks. We make a full belly pan for the car to go under the engine and trans to eliminate all but the worst leaks getting to the race track. If a T/F or a TAD car is dripping oil it is OK but if a Modified car drops one drop of liquid they will through you out. Now our tray will catch it. We service the truck and trailer changing oil and filters and checking everything for the trip.
20 April 2001 Friday Up at 4:15am leave at 5:08am for Mackay. Dave and
I each drive a tankfull (4 hours) each. First stop is Maryborough for a tank full of LP
and breakfast. Dave drives until Rockhampton where we refuel again. (4 hours). About 200
k's out of Mackay we lose a tire on the right front of the trailer. Change tires and back
on the road. No telephone reception out here as there is nothing between Rocky and Mackay
and it is nearly 400 k's. This is the populated eastern strip of the coast of Australia.
We get to Mackay at 6:08 pm exactly 13 hours from the work shop. We meet Renee Everett
(the driver) at the start of town and she takes us to her house where we can drop off the
bags and freshen up. Then we head out to the track for a test session. First pass netted
big tire smoke off the line. We were assured the track was not prepped fully and tomorrow
would be better. We load the car for the night and Renee and Katie Harker, Dave and I all
hop in the car and head back to the house. Renee fixes spaghetti for a late dinner.
Tomorrow is race day and rest is now necessary.
3 May 2001 Thursday - DC meeting
5 May 2001 Saturday - T&T today - we don't go because we have so much work to do to get ready for the Winternationals coming up.
11 May 2001 Friday - Rushing around working on customer stuff and getting car 58 closer to the race track. Have to get car 50 (DRS1) ready tonight for the race tomorrow - why wait until the very last minute?
19 May 2001 Saturday - We have a one day school for a customer but while we are on the way to the track he calls and cancels. We turn around and go back to the shop to get some work done.
20 May 2001 Sunday - All day on the new DRS car (car #2)
12 May 2001 Saturday - ProAm Open at Willowbank. We are ready to race but no one has a car rented and we feel the time is better spent getting the new car ready for the Winternats.
13 May 2001 Sunday - All day on the new car.
26 May 2001 Saturday - We do a one day school with Jodanna Pullen and do the street meet that night. Jodanna's first pass in the school car and the "box" is tuned off. Track is slippery and a .590 light doesn't help. That's the end of our night. Jodanna did well though and we are looking forward to her driving at the Winternationals
27 May 2001 Sunday - SPDRA club car show with the DRS car.
30 May 2001 Wednesday - Bob W arrives from Canada for the Wnats.
2 June 2001 Saturday - Wnats test and tune with new car and Bob's TAD The new DRS car goes well runs a 8.90 150.0 on its first pass. No drips or leaks and everything works according to plan. Put it in the trailer and help Bob on his TAD. Bob got there late and by the time he is ready the test session is over. Sunday he will make a few passes.
3 June 2001 Sunday - On Bob's first pass the rocker stands pull out of the cyl head and cause a bit of damage. The rest of the day is spent fixing everything in hopes of making another pass but the clock runs out. Back to the shop. Tear the engine down to the block to find a damaged rod and pin. Turns out one cylinder hydrauliced. Out come the spares. Division Director says license is OK for Winternationals so the car is prepped for the Wnats. Set up is on Thursday.
The Winternationals have come and gone and the diary is way behind. I'll have to try to
get it up to date but since we are to the middle of the year I will have to start another
page. Click here for the last half of 2001 and the
Winternationals coverage and a small update of the last month.