SS3 Race Team
- Spring 2012
Several of the 2011 “Recent Events” include
the words “burnt pistons”. We need to remove those words from all future
event recaps. So over the winter months Steve made some changes to the 477
Arias, with help from Matt Shaff and Paul Francia.
First they closed up the quench – piston to
Second they moved the cam from 5 degrees
advanced to straight up.
Third they repaired all intake rocker arm
stand threads with inserts of our own design.
Fourth they changed the stator in the
convertor per Marty Chance.
We hope these changes stop the damages and
allow the SS3 Race Team to compete in all our scheduled races in 2012.
SS3 Race Team Spring Report – April
Over those long, cold brutal winter months,
Steve put in the “new to us” engine that he purchased from Stanke
Motorsports in the Midwest. This engine is a 477c.i. Arias with Dart 380
Pro II heads that came out of a Front Engine Dragster that ran 6.50. The
Arias has a stronger bottom end and cross bolted main caps, so it will
hold more horsepower – about 2000 HP! For the nostalgia races we only need
the car to run 7.00, but there are some local “Quick 8” races that we
would like to attend, and for that we need to run in the 6.70 area, which
equates to 4.20 in the eight mile. With this engine we should be able to
do that without causing any damage.
Because of the brutal winter we endured (we
got 128 inches of snow, and set a record for the number of consecutive
days below freezing) we started talking about spending some time in
Florida next winter. We could put the hot rod (our ’40 Willys) in the
trailer and drive to Florida, park it in a campground and enjoy the
Florida sun. Well that wasn’t going to work. The living area in that 44’
trailer was fine for three days at the track, but two or more weeks at a
time – I don’t think so. But the thought of getting out of here during the
winter just wouldn’t go away, so Steve started looking at ads for Toter
Homes and Motor Homes.
We ended up buying a 38’ Renegade Motor Home
with a 28’ Renegade Stacker Trailer – add on the tongue length and you
have an overall length of 72’. We bought the rig from a Nitro Harley racer
in Denver CO. On St. Patrick’s Day we flew out to Denver, handed over the
big check, and started the trip home. Everything about this unit is great,
and we won’t have any problem staying in it for two weeks, or even longer.
SS3 Race Team
Spring Report.....April 2010
The new engine is in. We
fired it in the shop to make sure it starts then shut it right off. It
fills the shop with lots of fumes in a very short time. Less than 1
Next we get it into the
trailer for a Saturday trip to Buffalo for an NHRA chassis
recertification. This should be a breeze – it has passed twice before. But
NO – this inspector doesn’t like where the main roll bar loop is located
on the chassis. I review the SFI spec with him and plead my case, but no
go. So I call Randy Jewel @ RJ ProFab and inform him of the problem. I
stop at Randy’s on the way home and he said to leave the car with him. It
is done by Wednesday. I pick it up on Thursday and take it to Bob Jaus for
an IHRA chassis certification. It passes with the changes. Now I’m ok to
test at Empire Dragway – it is an IHRA track. I still need to get it NHRA
tagged before our race May 21-22 at Muncie Dragway.
While all this is going on, I
decide to buy a new to us trailer with Living Quarters. This was after I
just spent a week rearranging our old trailer to better suit us. I go to
New Jersey to pick up the trailer and bring it home and then spend another
week getting it set-up. It will be nice to have the living space and car
space separate. Plus it has a furnace for those cold spring and fall days
and a REAL shower!
Now we are ready to go to Empire Dragway to test. Read about that in the
2010 Recent Event section.
SS3 Race Team
Problems: Early in the year the car just would not run fast and it took us
2 races to find the magneto had gone bad. That is fixed. The other nagging
problem was the 3 torque converter bolts to the flywheel would need
retightening every 2 passes. We went thru 2 flywheels because the holes
would get damaged. The rear end housing cracked and was temporarily
welded. The third member pinion nut came loose. After 1 ˝ years of
running. So I have some issues to fix.
housing: The rear housing is chrome moly fabricated steel. I split a
weld seam, from tire shake, at the bottom of the 3rd member
mount. Now I removed the housing from the chassis for a permanent repair.
When I removed the 3rd member I noticed the bottom section of
the mounting flange was distorted. So I removed the studs, straightened
the flange and welded a support inside. Now it is all together with a new
3rd member and back in the chassis.
The transmission has been in the car since I switched to the
supercharged BBC engine. (3 years). The case and bell have built in safety
shields and are SFI approved. The SFI approval is good for 3 years so ours
is due. The trans. has to be disassembled to send the case and bell back
to the manufacturer for re-inspection and re-certification. I was worried
the bell wouldn’t pass re-certification because of three cracks (next part
of report). So the trans went to Lyndon Rutland Transmissions in Houston
Texas for rebuilding and he sends the parts out for re-certification and I
was right the bell failed…..time for a new one. The trans. Is now back.
Torque converter and flywheel: All year we had trouble
keeping the 3 torque
converter bolts tight for more than 2 runs. The last race of the year I
broke one bolt and it damaged the bell housing. Cracking it in 3 places.
To solve that issue we are going to a 6 bolt/pad converter and a billet
steel flywheel. The pads are threaded so the bolts now go thru the
flywheel into the threaded pads on the converter, loctited & tightened,
and a nut is threaded on the bolt as a jam nut to keep everything tight.
chassis will get checked front to back, top to bottom. Every weld, tube,
bracket and bolt looked at. It is also due for SFI re-cert.
for the big change! I’m a racer and can’t leave anything alone. The
540 cu.in. has 119 runs on the aluminum rods. The rods are good for
120-130 runs, so it is time to stop running them. The engine will get new
rods and then be the back up to the new 572 cu.in. Keith Black Aluminum
engine. It has new Venolia rods and pistons. I’m degreeing the cam now and
then checking piston to valve clearance with the cam “straight up” and at
8 degrees advanced and 8 degrees retarded. That data will allow me to make
cam timing changes, if needed, after testing. Cam timing changes where the
engine makes power during the run.
When that is
done the focus will be on getting the 540 out and the 572 in. Then the
trans and drive. Then the plumbing, wiring and hardware…..then fuel and
SS3 Tech Talk
the long winter months Steve made a few changes to the 32 Bantam – nothing
major just a few new things and regular maintenance.
Altronics data recorder has been replaced with a “new to us” RPM Data
Logger. The fire system was upgraded to a 20# system. Steve replaced the
Main & Rod bearings, moved the oil pressure gauge, made the fuel tank
larger by 1 ˝ gallons, got rid of those pesky relays for the trans brake
and shift, installed a new mag shutoff, and put on new front tires.
went back to a 14/71 Littlefield hi helix supercharger, (this one has been
freshened and re stripped) so we are ready to go back to Pro Comp I.
we just need a couple of test sessions before heading to Gateway
International Raceway in Madison IL for our first race.
SS3 Tech Talk Update
Over the winter Steve made some changes to the
Bantam. These were not necessary changes – nothing was broken or worn, but
we all know that Steve just can’t leave it alone.
The Bantam looks a little different with new 16”
diameter Beadlock rear wheels and new Hoosier slicks. It also has an
Enderle Birdcatcher style injector instead of the Enderle Upright style we
have had the past two years.
Steve also moved the Supercharger back 2” to try
to balance the air to each cylinder.
He probably would have made more changes but I
kept him pretty busy working on my 1966 Mustang. After driving it for 15
summers the car was ready for an overhaul. Chip Foose hadn’t called, so
Steve got the job. The Mustang got new rear quarter panels, headers and
exhaust system, new chrome pieces and new paint. It will be going to Brian
“The Brush” Briskie in a few weeks for some pinstripe flames. When that is
complete I will post pictures on the “Other Cars” section of this site –
so check back mid May or so.