New to drag racing. Need advice.

Mopar Racers Forum

  1. 69DARTWANTED

    69DARTWANTED Well-Known Member

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    I bought a 69 dart late this summer. It wasn't running at the time. Anyway, it's an older drag racing build. I'm trying to squeeze the most out of it that I can. Honestly....I don't know where to start.

    I got the car running just in time to make the last local 300 foot drag. Check out below.....start the video at 30 seconds if you want to get straight to the action.

     
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    • 69DARTWANTED

      69DARTWANTED Well-Known Member

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      My challenge is this: I think my rear suspension is "crap". Here is a close up of trying to get out of the hole in front of my house.
       
    • SLOPAR72

      SLOPAR72 Well-Known Member

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      You pushed through your brakes when the converter started to load. Problem #1......
       
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      • 69DARTWANTED

        69DARTWANTED Well-Known Member

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        I'm looking for any and all advice on where to go from here to get better traction. I'm told a 4-link is the way to go. This was an original 340 swinger, but it's been cut. Mini tub, fender walls cut, hodge podge mods to the uni-body for the front spring mounts.


        I'm looking for honest advice from some of you experienced A body drag guys.

        How do I get the most "bang for the buck" to get this car off the line?

        All information and experience shed here is appreciated.

        I have the technology to weld, modify etc......but I don't want to spend a ton of money to go the wrong direction.

        Here are some pics of the existing rear suspension set up. All comments appreciated.....just don't be an ass. I'm new as a spring daisy to this hobby.

        I'm had plenty of Mopars, but have never focused on trying to make one pull a wheelie!!!!! LOL.

        5.jpg

        6.jpg

        7.jpg

        8.jpg

        9.jpg
         
      • Steven190

        Steven190 FABO Gold Member FABO Gold Member

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        two things, get a track link or go to a 4 link rear suspension.
         
      • 318willrun

        318willrun Stomper 4x4... we kept energizer in business

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        ok, your slicks won't hook unless you get some heat to them. They are intended to get in a water box and haze them. Next, even with heat, you need a prepped track for it to hook. I'm not sure what kind of drag racing that was, but it wasn't prepped for your slicks. For that kind of racing, a DOT drag radial would hook much better.
        Heat the slicks!
        watch the 1st 12 seconds of this video
         
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        • 69DARTWANTED

          69DARTWANTED Well-Known Member

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          Thanks for the input. Driver error?

          There is a line lock on the car.....I've never tried it. Something to try to eliminate "push through"???

          Sorry.....total greenhorn on this end.

          I'm here is Wisconsin where there is salt/snow and ice......obviously tracks are closed for testing anything. I'm excited for spring, and want to be in a better position when it arrives. I'm looking to do some winter projects to get faster......just don't know where to start.
           
        • 69DARTWANTED

          69DARTWANTED Well-Known Member

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          Thanks for the input. In this local 300 foot series, they don't allow "box burn outs". Pull up to the line and run....period. I put brand new rubber on the car. Don't quote me, but the are MT's that are designed...per the ad to have maximum traction with little or no warm up. Basically this series is held on the straight away of a 1/4 mile oval.
           
        • 69DARTWANTED

          69DARTWANTED Well-Known Member

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          I am somewhat familiar with a 4 link. What's a track link?

          Anybody got suggestions on a kit I can buy to put in?

          Again, I'm not looking to break any records....yada, yada. I just want to take this barn find and make it run the best I can.
           
        • crackedback

          crackedback FABO Gold Member FABO Gold Member

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          It doesn't even turn the tire. I think your issues are forward of the rear end...

          The tune up and lag in the engine coming up off the bottom sounds very soft. I don't know where the timing is set at idle or total, those are the first things I'd look at. Maybe converter? I'd get the engine tune correct first before looking at "other" issues. Throw a timing light on it and see where things are set. Map out the curve too. If it's locked out, then the carb might be goofing things up.

          You DO NOT need a 4 link!

          You also need to find what the chassis wants when launching. Some like load on the converter, others not at all. I had one car that wouldn't launch for crap loaded and would stand on the bumper off idle. Find the sweet spot.
           
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          • 318willrun

            318willrun Stomper 4x4... we kept energizer in business

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            Here is the thing. At the strip I go to they encourage a "dry hop" burn out before entering the water box to get anything (like pebbles) from hanging to the tires. Any and every slick turns 'em for that split second with ease. why? No heat on regular pavement.

            I also agree with crackedback - your not spinning as much as you might think you are.
             
          • SLOPAR72

            SLOPAR72 Well-Known Member

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            The good news is there is quite a bit of info about making your car work. A 4 link is great but that's getting the carriage in front of the horse if you are new to getting some good 60fts.... Expect a little raz from a few but all well intended.

            You really need to explain your goals with the car. Specifically what kind of 60ft. are you looking for. 1.6 will easily put air under a tire if that's what your looking for. Those welds look pretty rough on the leaf spring bracing but you said this is an older build so that is sometimes how things were put together...

            JW
             
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            • 70aarcuda

              70aarcuda Master Hoader of SBM FABO Gold Member

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              a set of caltracs bolt on...and probably cost 1/2 the cost of a 4 link.....

              Calvert Racing

              Next question...How fast do you want to go...
               
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              • SLOPAR72

                SLOPAR72 Well-Known Member

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                It sounds so flat a converter doesn't even have a fighting chance. Whomever is suggesting 4 link is watching too many episodes of SO lol....

                JW
                 
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                • crackedback

                  crackedback FABO Gold Member FABO Gold Member

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                  The clamps on the rear sections of the springs, if SS springs, are no bueno in most EVERY case.

                  Tune first, get it so it snaps off idle then worry about the rest of it.

                  Those inboard boxes look like a chicken shitting molten metal installed them... :)
                  That's easy to fix as you have the tools. That car could be capable of 10's chassis wise. Spending money is not the approach I would take.
                   
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                  • 69DARTWANTED

                    69DARTWANTED Well-Known Member

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                    That Sir, sounds like great advice! I'm just chomping at the "bit" to make improvements with no way of testing/tuning in Wisconsin Winter. Ugh!!
                     
                  • 69DARTWANTED

                    69DARTWANTED Well-Known Member

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                    Unfortunately, I don't have history on the build. I basically found the car in a barn. I bought it from a guy that was planning to take it back to a street machine. In my opinion....it's past that point. Stripped interior....cut, etc, etc.

                    I could not agree more, I think the spring shackles are unsightly, a safety concern and I also agree with what someone said earlier....."a chicken shitting molten metal"......or something of that nature.

                    What do I want out of the car? Good question. I'm just looking to have fun, and not spend a million dollars doing it.

                    I guess for now, I'd like to run at this local 300 foot drag and have a fair shot at winning. In my only attempt I was far from embarrassed. I am just looking for a way to do better, and burn some winter fat off working on the car.

                    I've got 456 gears now, but wouldn't mind changing that up and trying a 1/4 mile and running in the 10's at some point???? But that is for another post. For now.....I want to get out of the hole,
                    with cold tires, run 300 feet and do the best I can to beat the guy next to me.

                    Any and all comments welcome.....(just be nice....I'm new to this game)
                     
                  • 69DARTWANTED

                    69DARTWANTED Well-Known Member

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                    I really appreciate your advice. So....tuning before traction. Damn these Wisconsin winters!!!

                    I've never been a fan of "throwing money at a problem", and I thank you for your honesty.

                    After looking at the launch video closer, it's not like I'm burning rubber and turning out of my intended line.
                     
                  • Mopar-Mitch

                    Mopar-Mitch Well-Known Member

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                    Do you have an adjustible pinion snubber? They are the greatest on a leaf spring Mopar.
                     
                  • SLOPAR72

                    SLOPAR72 Well-Known Member

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                    Well to give you an idea of what can be gotten on the cheap I had little to no money in the late 80's and got my A Body down to 11.70's and it was a no frills build with a small block. I did it with stock springs, drilled out front shocks, no sway bar, pinion snubber, longer length rear shocks, and a set of slicks. Herb Mccandless helped me along and the major money spent outside of the motor was a good converter. There are members on here that have done well beyond that but it was a shoestring budget for sure. It's just an example of what you can do if your looking to spend your money wisely....

                    But if I had to make a purchase today based off my needs it would be Caltracs....

                    JW
                     
                  • rumblefish360

                    rumblefish360 so close yet so far away

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                    Are those super stock springs?
                    If so, can you find the part number on them?
                    The rear shocks, are they drag shocks? The more adjustable they are the better you can dial them in.
                    Your tortion bars, how thick are they? Skinnier bars up front allowmorenand quicker weight transfer to the rear. Front shocks should also be adjustable.

                    I would also jump on board about the welding done from the previous owner. Re do that nicely. Same with the subframe connectors. Double check and reweld.

                    If you move away from the S/S springs, CalTracs would be very good to use in there place with there split mono spring. CalTrac also has there own line of shocks that work well.

                    You can also use a Slide a Link on the rear of the leaf springs. They replace the shackles for a plate to weld in the frame and there is a bolt that goes into the spring and through the sliding link. It helps free up the spring movement. It maybe one step more than needed but this is what I would do and consider.

                    Once the above is done, going further is more money and racey. That will be your call to move away from basic race prepped parts that should work very well.
                     
                  • 440 Mike

                    440 Mike Well-Known Member

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                    I couldn't tell from the pictures if you have subframe connectors or not.

                    Anyway, rear suspension options from least to most expensive:
                    1. SS springs, long shocks, and adjustable pinion snubber.
                    2. CalTrac bars, Calvert split mono-leaf springs, and adjustable shocks.
                    3. Reilly Motorsports Street-Lynx system.
                    4. Classic 4-link.
                     
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                    • Jadaharabi

                      Jadaharabi FABO Gold Member FABO Gold Member

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                      Personally at this point I would put an adjustable pinion snubber on it. Adjust it up against the floor.
                      Had good luck doing this on the street along with some Joey Chitwood L60- 14 tires. They would hook.

                      Here is a link on how to make your own caltracs.

                      How to Build Modern Traction Bars
                       
                    • Jadaharabi

                      Jadaharabi FABO Gold Member FABO Gold Member

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                      .
                      I think you are crossing two parts names up. A slide a link is a traction bar like a caltrac.

                      s-l400 (1).jpg

                      What you are referring to I believe is the leaf spring slider.


                      Leaf Spring Slider for 2-1/2" Wide Chrysler Style Leaf Springs #1067 | eBay

                      s-l400 (2).jpg
                       
                    • rumblefish360

                      rumblefish360 so close yet so far away

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                      Yes, thanks, the bottom picture is the slide a link thing I was thinking of. It is used on S/S spring to free up and quicken the springs movement. But it isn’t called a slide a link. My bad!


                      Can this be used with Cal Tracs? I don’t see why not but if you know better, I’ll sit and be schooled,. No worries here.
                       
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