We Were Busy
Toward the End of the Season
By Jok Nicholson
The end of the race season reached us last
weekend and we got to end the season in an
upbeat manner. Andy took the “Back-2-Basics” dragster
to runner-up in Top at the last event of
2004. He has been struggling and I have to
take the blame. I kept changing things on
the car trying to get it better and we finally
did. The problem was I was changing launch
characteristics, rear tire sizes, we had
engine problems I will discuss later and
then we changed the entire fuel system trying
to make it a more consistent car.
Here is a "classic" picture
of a real "Back 2 Basics" car.
No fancy weight boxes here. Just a big
old chunk of 2" square bar stock
cut and welded to fit under the nose.
60 pounds is what we needed.
start off where a lot of you guys that race
usually do. You get the car out, in this case
we got a used car out, had some early success
and went rounds. Then it would not repeat and
started running very inconsistent. The first
thing we found was a broken valve spring and
with some help at the track we got it changed.
When we got back home we looked closer and
found another broken spring and when we took
it off it took very little pressure to get
it compressed. OK, it was time to pull the
heads and see what we had here. Everything
went to Roeder Performance Machine in Waverly
and he told me about everything that was either
worn out, cracked or should be replaced. One
of those things with a used car I guess. We
had him freshen the heads and thanks to Isky
Cams we got great service on the parts we needed.
||If you are looking
to improve your valve spring package, consider
the Isky Tool Room valve springs, they
are as good as they get
Cams came through with a set of their Tool
Room valve springs, set of titanium 10-degree
retainers and a set of 3/8” pushrods.
The valve springs all checked within 5 pounds
and Roeder was impressed with the quality of
everything. We also decided to go with a set
of Isky roller rocker arms as two of ours had
been beat up pretty bad when the valve springs
Isky Cams roller
rockers, the Tool Room Valve Springs,
titanium retainers on our cast iron heads.
We decided to put a new
set of ARP 7/16” studs
in the heads as we had no idea how old the
ones were that were in the heads. That took
care of the heads and after a Roeder Performance
valve job the heads were ready. During this
time I took a look at the lifters and the camshaft.
WOW! I was lucky we decided to take stuff apart.
The cam was scored on a couple of lobes but
the main problem was we found a lifter that
was only a couple runs away from a catastrophic
lifter failure. The wheel was completely scored
and the bearings on the roller wheel were all
broken and some were “missing”.
Needless to say we got on the phone to Isky
Cams and they set us up with their finest roller
lifter, the Isky Red-Zone Roller Lifters, part
#272-96-RH. Super nice quality and special
alloys assure us of years of trouble-free racing.