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2,524 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
I was going to skip this one but just too many others that make this happen they deserve the acknowledgement. My write ups are always long winded but I refuse to not share what it takes to do what we do. No way is this not a sacrifice by a long list of others. Been a crazy year this year with several changes and progressions along the way. Ill give a run down of what happened at NMCA and this last VMP since Ive kinda been quiet.

Year started with the TH400 swap, missed Darlington but it came out pretty strong at VMP in April. Here is the thread on that if you have a spare 45 mins, lmfao.

It was the maiden voyage for the 2 stage 600 shot as well, lots of fun was had there. Managed a new best and nitrous record of 9.18 @ 150 mph with a lot of spark issues that we figured out late. Probably had an 8 if we knew what was going on earlier. I fought it but AJ insisted I get the motor refreshed like he wanted to do over the winter.

Yanked the motor and realized that we had a blown head gasket, kinda bummed as now we had to figure out what to do to prevent it from happening again. Decided on motor plates and o-ringing the block while they had it down at Arrington for the refresh. Gaskets became an adventure and basically just ran out of time to get the car back together for LX & Beyond. NMCA was not going to be missed, love that event.

Rotating assembly was in mint condition when they tore it apart at Arrington, not a mark on anything to include the bearings. Guess the tune up wasnt that far off after all, not bad considering how much we beat on it and how much it fought us at VMP in April. Motor goes on the engine dyno down at Arrington all freshened up and o-ringed. AJ gets it up to 700 hp, most he has ever gotten out of a 426 on their dyno. Pretty stoked, already thinking of beating the 10.3 n/a pass I managed at VMP. Heck AJ keeps kidding with me that the car has a 9 on motor if we set the n/a tune on kill. Not sure wtf he is waiting on there, lmfao.

AJ calls to tell me the motor is coming off the dyno and will be shipped out the next day, woo hoo, NMCA is 2 weeks away. Literally an hour later AJ calls me back, "we have a problem". Not a big fan of hearing those words but I brace myself. When they drain the oil from the motor it pulls coolant, omg. Turns out the block is split in two cylinders if I am not mistaken, its all a blur for the most part, lol. How the hell did that puppy manage 700 hp while split, hehe. No doubt it was split after VMP and explains the coolant in the oil then. What we thought was solely from a head gasket was the worst. I remember clearly seeing where the head gasket was compromised so probably was hanging on if not blown there too. So here we are 2 weeks out from NMCA, sucks the wang chung.

Well I ran my car at NMCA, how the heck did that happen you ask? Well Arrington kicked much ass thats how, lol. They yanked my rotating assembly and other goodies in record time and put another shortblock together for me in a few days. Once again its a blur but I believe we had the car running just a day or two before leaving for NMCA. Biggest downside was all the o-ring work was lost as there was no time to o-ring another block. Right back where I was but what a save to have caught all this before it got real bad. Glad Dr. Safety convinced me to refresh the motor :)

In the mean time back at the ranch, Jimmy and Brian from True Street were working their asses off to get my car ready for the motor to include the motor plate stuff that Hellbent Race Cars had just setup using their 5.7 mockup block. Midplate went in great (did require some fancy stuff to happen which Ill act like was no big deal :) ) and we had to pass on the front plate as it is very complex and we just didint have time. Got the car to NMCA and ran 10.5 on motor and a lone 9.4 pass on a 300 shot. Rest of my nitrous passes were off, couldnt really figure out what was going on but we hadnt planned on going hardcore as this wasnt a heads up event besides the fastest hemi runs. Figured Id lose in the finals to Jimmy as 9.9 wasnt going to cut it against his 9.5's. Well lucky me Jimmy hit limp mode on our runoff and I was able to nip him at the stripe with another 9.9, lol. Wheels were turning, something is wrong but what? Erik and Jimmy think I have a misfire and the loss of 5 tenths and 7 mph seems to add up to a cylinder or two just not firing. All the runs were exactly the same so the car didnt seem to be eating itself, lol.

So I drag the car back to True Street Performance and force them to throw it on one of their lifts for ver. 6.2c, lol. Jimmy and Brian have grown to hate my giving them lists of stuff to do which all sounds easy enough but all require more time than is available. This was no exception. Here is the list the best I can remember it.

1. Leakdown and other diagnositics to get the ball rolling
2. Swap out valve seals as I have a few that have backed out
3. Swap out DR's
4. Swap out harness as mine has been hacked a few times, like 10x or so :)
5. Install Vacuum pump kit from HHP as Nitro Dave insists on it prior to us going big again.
6. Install Remote Meziere Electric Water pump as the Vac Pump kit requires it with its mounting location.
7. Swap gears as I was out of gear on the 600 shot and on the lone 9.4 pass at NMCA I was close to being out of gear.
8. Replace my true trac as mine was trashed when the gear swap was initiated.

Not a horrible list or so I thought, lol. True Street has been slammed with business and they couldnt get to my car til the Monday before VMP. WHAT???? Are you kidding me you say, lol. Jimmy and Brain worked on my car for 4 straight days working til very late and after 43 trips to SK Speed for AN fittings, they got it started at around 7pm on Thursday night. 2 days before VMP and the day before I was going down for Bills rental. Holy cow is right, lol. We still arent sure at this point if any of the stuff that was done will fix the car being "off" at NMCA. Nothing was really found to be wrong other than trying to address a possible lack of spark with the new harness. I kinda breezed through this but Jimmy and Brian really worked their rears off getting my car done in time. All custom stuff, call it a kit but its not even close to being a bolt on. I spent easily $1000 on fittings and lines and brackets after the kits.

I leave for VMP at 345 am on Friday, 8 or so hours after my car was fired up for the first time with all the new mods and about 3 hours after I had gone to bed having washed my car in the dark, lol. We get to the track at around noon and kinda just look at it wondering what we about to see, hehe. My dad has been in town since Wednesday and saw the mad dash to get it to VA on Friday. We are both tired but anxious to run. A little nervous with the new cooling and vacuum system. Last thing I wanted was to have something come apart and cause me to have a little meeting with the track wall. So much is custom and obviously hasnt been tested.

Go to load up motor tune, crap, forgot AJ had tweaked my tune at NMCA and there was only a 300 shot tuneup on the trinity. I test out the car in the parking lot with some short WOT blasts just trying to test the cooling system and vacuum pump making sure the belts are working correctly to include the little belt that runs only my alternator now and the baby cog belt that runs the vac pump. Everything seems to be great, no leaks and all lines up. Screw it, Brian and Robagd help me swap out plugs to put my n/a plugs in for some test runs. We'll just make a pass on the 300 shot tune n/a. Runs 11.4 at like 3 mph, hehe, to be expected but just doing it to verify the install is sound since it hasnt been tested.

Ok, lets put the cold plugs back in and run a 300 shot since thats the tuneup I have. Skip ahead, wtf, run a 9.9 again. I try not to throw up and step back from the ledge for a second. Plugs look pretty good for afr but couple of them are wet, covered in fuel. By this time I get my motor tune via email from AJ. Takes Jimmy awhile to find a connection but he was patient enough to get that stuff on the tool. Swap back to n/a plugs and go out and do a motor pass, 10.5, THANK GOD. The motor is okay, we are right were we are at before all this mess. Must be something in the nitrous setup.

After calling the two know it all's, AJ and Nitro Dave, they are both asking wtf I am doing running the brisk 10's on a 300 shot. Im like thats what I have and I dont plan on running a 300 shot, I plan on going bigger today. Plus whats the big deal, I ran a 9.4 with these plugs at NMCA. Uhhhhhhhhhhhhh, what?

Ok so you are saying these plugs are too cold, really could it be that simple even though it has ran a 9.4 on this setup? Ok well I have 400 shot pills here, wanna try it? I screw up one of my fittings during jets swap and go to my other stage, lucky I had that to fall back on. lol, no tune on the trinity for it so I just pull timing manually with the tool and go do my half track run to see how the plugs look. OMG, Im like 5 mph faster to the 1/8th than the crappy 9.9 pass, way more than you should get from adding 100 hp. I think we have something. Day is over, I proceed to drink with the boys with the thought we got it all sorted for tomorrow.

After Dave and Aj see the plugs I pull after the half track 400 shot pass, we decide its real close, just add 1 degree of timing from what I did via the trinity. Do my normal pre-event stuff, busy busy busy. Find a spare moment to go make a quick pass during open runs. Bam, 9.06 @ 149 with a 1.33 60 foot. Oh its game on now ladies :)

The rest doesnt really pan out as the event is rain shortened but I did manage to trouble shoot some other stuff but wow, finally we are coming together. Vacuum pump, electric water pump and gears have made me quicker with a 400 shot than I was on a 600 shot. With the decrease in crank case pressure, we might be willing to try out the 600 shot again real soon.

Well I knew this was going to be a long one but I just had to share how hard my friends work on my car. Ill forget some but in no particular order I would like to thank these people:

Jimmy Koutsoubis from True Street Performance
Brian DeMartino from True Street Performance
AJ Berge from A&A Motorsports and Arrington
Whole Arrington Team
Marc from HellBent Race Cars
David Vasser from Nitrous Outlet
Josh, Don and Bruce from HHP
Dan from Long Island Drive Shaft
Joe from Pro Torque
Bill Schurr from Paramount Performance
JC from ATI
Nick from American Racing Headers
Jason aka jsjahonda
Rob Hoover aka RobAGD
Deadhemis crew
Garry VanHorn aka my dad

and last but not least, my wife for not looking at the credit card bill yet :)

See you at ATCO!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Super Moderator
10,992 Posts
Good read. Thanks for telling it.

Sent from a place

2,524 Posts
Discussion Starter #7
Glad to share and hope it puts in perspective what some of the top dogs have to go through to get that elusive number.

I cant believe I got this many of you to read through my post ;) See you at ATCO.

Daily Driver..........
1,837 Posts
Love reading your write ups Dan.

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