By Jok Nicholson
It has been almost two complete seasons that I have been racing my
four-link dragster. I have had memorable days, like wining the IHRA
National Event at Cordova Dragway Park in May, 2002, the IHRA Pro-Am
race at Cedar Falls and several bracket races. There have been frustrating
times as well. I went through a six-race stretch where I did not get
past second round and during that time I never lost by more than .006
of a second. Don't tell me there isn't luck involved!
All of this would not be possible without the support of a bunch of
great companies that have supported Project 4- Link. Examples of this
support have been in the torque converter area. We all know they are
critical to fast and consistent racing but I am just now getting a real
"feel" for just how important. When I used to race my Dart
with a torqueflite you pretty much bolted in a Turbo-Action "J"
converter and went racing. They lasted about 500 runs and I NEVER tested
anything really different. Smart? NO WAY!
I started out Project 4-Link with 9-inch converters from Mike's Transmission
in Lancaster, CA and Hughes Performance in Phoenix, AZ. If you read
my first race stories you know they came to me way too tight. Neither
would flash higher than 4400-4800 coming off the transbrake. Both companies
took them back and changed the fin angles to loosen them up about 400
to 600 RPM. I then took delivery of a BTE converter to test with as
I was looking to improve on my Quick Rod (Super Comp 8.90 racing). I
have outlined what each converter did for the car and my racing. All
three are 9-inch converters, now with very similar flash stall speeds.
Mike's Transmission converter:
These are actually built by Continental Converters to Mike's specs
and are a super quality piece. I have 187 runs on this converter after
they loosened it up for me. It has run a best of 8.09 at 166.58. When
I bracket raced it had 1.15 to 1.16 60-foot times and was excellent
in round robin racing as it stayed at about 190 - 200 degrees maximum
temperature. I was leaving the start line at 4400 on the chip and finish
line RPM was 6850 every time. I never could go red on a Pro-Tree with
this converter and we decided it was just too tight. I will send it
in this Fall to be inspected and loosened up about 400 RPM more and
hopefully still keep the finish line RPM down.