With this being the fourth in a series, we are getting closer to the racetrack. So far we have taken a bare chassis, installed the Moser rearend, the Bullet Performance Engine, the TCI transmission, and the entire driveline including the 2-inch-diameter driveshaft from FastShafts. The DEI-wrapped Dynatech crossover headers were installed along with their respective piping and muffler. The Jaz fuel cell and all the fuel plumbing has been completed, as well.
In the interior of the Fastruck, the Ultra-Shield seat was mounted, and all the G-Force belts and nets were installed. The Coleman Machine aluminum steering shaft and U-joints were positioned and cut to length. Coleman's throttle linkage and adjustable pedal were also installed and adjusted. The Wilwood dual master cylinders were attached to the floor-mounted pedal with the adjustable balance bar. After the interior tin work was completed, the Longacre gauges were installed. Then the TCI shifter was mounted with a reverse pattern.
The cockpit is almost finished....
The cockpit is almost finished. Look for what is missing. The steering wheel is removed but still has the wire to switch on the Eartec radio communication system.
To completely finish our work in the engine compartment, we need an ignition system and a carburetor. We began with a DUI ignition from Performance Distributors. It started life as a GM HEI unit-at least the casting and the shaft did. All the other parts are new. Performance-wise, the module is a Performance Distributors Dynamod part. This is the "switch" in the unit. The stock OE part does not switch fast enough for high-rpm situations. To feed the switch, a 50,000-volt coil was added. Due to the strength of the voltage, this called for a new rotor cap that is burn-through resistant. Nylon screws are used to hold the rotor in place. These are certainly strong enough, but they must not be overtightened. Metal screws here could allow a spark to go to ground instead of the spark plug. This can happen if a spark plug tip burns away and creates a high resistance. The rotor cap covers the advance mechanism.
Each DUI unit is run on an ignition machine where the advance is tailored to the requirements. Our Fastruck DUI was set for full advance at 2,600 rpm. This gives good response without too much advance on slow starts and restarts. The whole unit is topped off with a DUI cap that has brass connectors instead of the more corrosion-prone aluminum parts found in the OE distributor. Of course, since the caps come in a variety of colors, our driver got to make the selection. She also selected the colors of the LiveWire's fire sleeves. Yellow and purple somewhat match the exterior of the truck.
This shot across the front...
This shot across the front of our Bullet Performance Engine shows the KRC power steering pump on the far right.
I wanted to be sure we were legal as well as fast, so I sent the Holley 4412 carburetor to Sean Murphy Induction for some massaging. A good carburetor does more than deliver additional air. It delivers the air/fuel mixture in the right proportion at all times. This translates to exceptional throttle response. I included a copy of the Fastruck rules with the carburetor, so nothing would be lost in conversation. This is a good idea anytime you send out a carburetor. When it came back and was unpacked, it looked just like it did when I sent it out. I guess that's what it's supposed to look like-stock. That will please the tech man. I'm sure it's not stock on the inside.
A Wilson Manifolds spacer separates and locates the carburetor on the manifold. This is the one Wilson recommended for our application.
The Stewart Development piston-type fuel pump feeds the hungry engine. With this pump, which puts out 50 psi, a bypass is not needed. Using a Holley regulator, the pressure is set to 7 psi maximum, and all works fine. This fuel pump will feed an engine up to 800 hp. Howard Stewart says the regulator works better with a large pressure differential than when the pressure is only slightly higher than needed.
The Sean Murphy Induction...
The Sean Murphy Induction carburetor looks stock-it is supposed to, in order to pass Fastruck inspection.
Wiring the Fastruck was the next part of our project. It is often thought to be a simple job on a race car, but some serious thinking may be necessary to do it right. First, we selected the yellow-top Optima Battery that has 1,125 cold cranking amps and weighs almost 60 pounds. This battery is larger than required; however, we knew we were going to need more left-side weight. This battery gives us that and also extra reserve power-two good things in one.
The Dave Pletcher chassis provided a mount behind the driver and under the bed. The positive lead 2-gauge wire from the battery was routed to the 3.1hp Summit mini-starter solenoid. Overkill, maybe? When you spin out and come to a stop sideways on the track looking at oncoming traffic, you want the engine to start-now. The negative lead from the battery was routed to the master disconnect switch. I have been reminded that some sanctioning organizations require the master disconnect on the negative or ground side of the battery. This is a good idea whether required or not. Some local tracks don't require a master disconnect, but it's still a good idea to have one.
We used the complete DUI ignition....
We used the complete DUI ignition. This HEI-based unit has an adjustment knob for setting the timing.
Ryan Bennett took on the job of wiring the truck. A terminal block was mounted on the top of the engine-side foot box. A 10-gauge wire was run from the starter solenoid to a pair of 30-amp breakers. The 10-gauge wire was attached to both breakers. Then a 10-gauge wire was run from each breaker to the terminal block. This double wiring to the breakers will allow one breaker to fail without shutting down the truck accidentally.
Each electrical item in the Fastruck is wired from this terminal block. A Longacre ignition switch panel was mounted to the left of the driver. It contains the starter button, a toggle switch for the ignition, and another toggle switch for the accessories. The Flex-a-Lite electric fan (3,300 cfm) is the only thing wired to the accessory switch. It pulls enough amps that we didn't want it to come on while starting. You do need to remember to turn on the fan once the engine is running. Wired this way, the fan can be used to cool the engine after shutdown. It wasn't needed to cool the engine after a run; the water temp reached only 200 degrees.
Wiring from the terminal block went to the prewired Longacre gauge panel. This activated the lighted gauges for racing when the sun doesn't shine along with warning lights for those times when you are concentrating on the track and need to be reminded of a potential problem. Our panel consists of a mechanical temperature gauge, a mechanical oil pressure gauge, an electrical oil temperature gauge, and a tach. The oil temp gauge is helpful to know when the engine is warm enough to run hard. Additionally, it can forewarn you of trouble inside the engine.
At the front of the engine, the KRC power steering unit with all the pulleys and brackets for the serpentine belt were bolted up. Everything aligned correctly, just like KRC said it would. The KRC kit included the company's high-flow water pump so that no restrictor was necessary at the water neck on the manifold. The power steering pump has several easily replaceable valves to change the steering feel to the driver's preference. Changing these valves can adjust the steering feel for large, small, or rough tracks. I must tell you, I was surprised the first time I installed a KRC pump and kit on a race car. The steering feel and response over the OE pumps I had been using was well worth the cost.
Another item I firmly believe in is an accumulator, even when using a good circle track oil pan. We selected a Canton 3-quart Accusump accumulator. What is an accumulator? It's a chamber that stores engine oil at engine oil pressure. When-not if-the oil pump momentarily fails to pick up oil in high g-force conditions, the accumulator feeds its pressurized oil back to the engine. It then is repressurized after the pump is supplying the needed oil to the engine. This is oil that would usually be fed into the pump bypass. The Canton accumulator's single line is plumbed into a threaded hole in the block just above the filter.
To complete the cooling system, the Summit 31-inch aluminum radiator was dropped into the chassis mounts provided. Two simple straps attached to and located the top of the radiator. To be on the safe side, all the water hose connections were double clamped. We also used a Summit overflow bottle so that coolant is not spilled on the track. The bottle's overflow line was routed to the base of the windshield on the right-hand side.
The Flex-a-Lite 3,300-cfm fan mounted directly to the radiator. Flex-a-Lite's brackets needed only to have some holes drilled to hold the fan unit in place. This fan has no problem cooling the engine.
Ryan added a Bump and Run front air duct from Five Star Bodies. This is a flexible duct of a tough Kevlar type material. It is pop-riveted to aluminum brackets at the radiator and at the nose of the car. This duct can be bent or flexed in a close encounter and still not lose its ability to feed fresh air to the radiator.
Next month we will mount the Five Star body. If you have never mounted an aftermarket body, we will walk you through the process.
Ryan Bennett holds the piston-type...
Ryan Bennett holds the piston-type Stewart Development fuel pump.
The Canton Accusump is good...
The Canton Accusump is good insurance no matter what oil pan you use.
At the front, we opted to...
At the front, we opted to install the Five Star Bodies Bump and Run duct.