Shop Goin Ons

September 15th – October 15th 2020

Yeah, its been a month for a shop update – because it was a busy one. I’m not sure where I left off, but I’m sure it was way before:

Indy Race

Dallas requalified for his license & raced the Texas Thug, while I raced the Screamin’ Woody.

For about ten years, my son Dallas worked in my race shop and raced with me. Marriage, a job change and children had him give up racing, and let his racing license expire about five years ago. I invited him to take a week off and to come racing with me using my back up car, the Texas Thug, while I raced the Screamin’ Woody. The problem was that he’d let his racing license expire, but we worked that out with Rollie Miller, who let him make his six supervised solo qualifying passes and get the paperwork signed off prior to Eliminations.

There were 78 NSS Racers there, mostly because of the Dave Duell Classic and All Star Race. The first Qualifying pass was also Dallas’ 6th Licensing pass and so he had to make a solo. They had him Qualify 1st in line. I was in the next pair to qualify. As I was doing my burnout I looked up at the scoreboard in his lane to see what he’d done, and it was 9.750 seconds on a 9.75 index. That was a perfect run, and since he was the first to do it, 77 Racers in back of him were immediately bummed that no one else had a chance to Qualify #1. I wound up qualifying #5 of 78.

That also had us into the All Star race, which was the 16 best (based on the Top 5 in points last year, the Top 10 Qualifiers for that week’s main event and the Previous year’s Champ choosing the 16th) NMCA VS. the best 16 Victory Racers. Sadly, we both were out in first round – Dallas because his car was getting slower and we couldn’t figure out why, and I broke out by going too fast.

In the FX Shootout, Dallas was out in the first round and the car was so slow we knew it was broke, suspecting the torque convertor. I went three rounds before a .002 Red Light.

In the Main Event on Sunday – I again went three rounds before taking a 1/2 car too much stripe and did a heart breaking 9.749 on the brakes. My light was a .010.

We loaded up disappointed, yet happy that after five years we’d spent a week racing together.

The below is a small gallery of photos from the week.

12 Cushmans

We drove straight back after leaving track at 6pm Sunday – arriving to the shop Monday night. The very next day at 6am, we were both back on the road in my truck and trailer heading to Chicago, Illinois – arriving there at Midnight. Early the next morning we were loading up 12 Cushman Scooters I’d bought as a lot.

We were done at 10am and back at my shop (40 miles South of Houston) at about 3am.

Figured out what was wrong with the Thug

After a few hours sleep, I unloaded the cars from the stacker and the Scooters from the other trailer. Damon pulled the transmission out of the Thug a removed the pan. It happens that during one of Dallas’ Qualifying passes, he leaked transmission oil at the line, and told to fix it. Checking the car, he found a bolt had worked its way out of the tail shaft of the transmission. He replaced it with a bolt that was 1/4″ longer. It turns out that 1/4″ was long enough to hang up the drum band. It was locked onto the drum and it not only slowed the car down – it wore the band out.

I did have a spare band so the transmission was quickly reassembled and I cleaned and painted. I have a spare converter that ATI had just freshened up that can go in. The one pulled out will need to go back to ATI for a clean and inspection since there was so much metal and band material.

Magnum GT

Earlier in the year, I got my Magnum GT running great, re-dyed the leather and carpet, and had the car scuffed and repainted in a urethane with UV block. The body didn’t need any repairs – it was just the 42 year old factory paint and pinstriping was dull. The paint looked so good that it made the trunk, engine compartment and door jams stand out. So the bumpers and drivetrain was pulled; I clean, scuffed and painted the trunk – but did send the car back to the paint shop for the door jams and under hood to be painted.

The engine were cleaned, resealed, and repainted – and are waiting to be mated up with the body. The bumpers have been rechromed.

Still have a lot of work left, but it will be almost as good as new soon.

The Mailster

If you’ve been following along with the shop updates at DaveSchultz.com or the blog at MoparWeb.com – you’ll know that I bought a 1964 Westcoaster Mailster – which is a three wheeled mail delivery truck that was used prior to the Post Office going to the small Jeeps. Back then, a Mailman could load his leather bag with only 60 pounds. There would be green boxes along his route, where he’d stop to reload his bag for another 50 pounds. The Mailster on the other and could carry 500 pounds. This was a time before UPS, FedEx, Airborne and others package and overnight carriers. Parcels, Media and Special Deliveries were mostly USPS delivered – and these Mailsters played a big part of that in those deliveries.

This is a refurbished 1966 Westcoaster, which recently sold for $3500

Earlier in the year (again check this sites I listed if you want to see the work done prior to this update) I bought a Mailster, from the Hill Country for $500. It hadn’t run since the early 80s. I bought it back to my shop and we were able to get it running pretty good. Then decided to refurbish and we started the complete disassembly of it.

After body was separated from Chassis – but before disassembled to bare a bare chassis

I asked my Shop Rat to blast the bare Chassis to bare metal and hit with Primer while I was racing at Indy. However I wasn’t happy with his work – and redid it.

I taped up prior to doing the job over again
I sprayed with 6 coats (1 gallon) of “Fillable & Sandable” primer

Chassis needs a little metal work, the primer needs to be wet sanded with 400 grit, and then hit with a few coats of gloss black. I’ll then turn my attention to detailing the motor and transmission, and start the assembly for a running Chassis.

I still have not decided what to do with this. My inclination is to theme it as something very crazy. I’ll have time for the best idea to hit me before I need to turn my attention towards the body.

Coach and stacker Damage

Leaving the Indy race, I jack-knifed the motorhome and stacker to where they touched each other at the toolbox on the trailer’s tongue. The coach had minor scratches that I was able to quickly repair, but I couldn’t hammer out the box to my satisfaction – so I removed.

I drew up a plan for a nicer one that is taller, which also has a top compartment for more storage. My neighbor at the lake has a metal fabrication shop, and I’m having him make it for me. I’ll attach to the stacker when he’s done.

Cushman Series 60 Frame is Ready

Cushman Series 60 Frame with roller wheels and Eagle rear fender

As I write this, of the lot of 12 Scooters I bought – I’ve only had the time to sell one Eagle project (well they all are projects has none have been started in last 30 years) for $1100. Yesterday the Montgomery Pony Cycle I had on eBay sold for $3000 – but I’ve not yet paid for it or received a reply. Other than that, all I’ve been able to do so far is to wash, label, photo and do a little research – except a Series 60 frame.

I crush glass blasted it to bare metal and sprayed it with a gallon of high build sandable primer. I’ve put it aside for now and listed for sale pretty cheap. If it sells, great! If not I’ll get around to building something incredibly stupid on it. I’m thinking a 28hp electric start Vanguard motor, 10″ wheels and a Kustom made Rear cover/seat with a fin from a 60 Plymouth.

Prepared 3 Axles for Sale

I made three axles that had been in the shed for decades ready to sell. This as part of my reducing the amount of crap I have. I’ve listed two of them on eBay and on Old Hippies Ads.

Race Car Loose Ballast

The loose ballast I run in the weight boxes are dumbells that I lopped off their handles. Over the last few years they’ve gotten nasty from rattling around in the weight boxes in the trunk or the storage box in the stacker. Every time I picked up a weight, my hands become dirty black. I had my shop rat clean and paint them with 2 coats of Por15. I then weighed, marked with a junkyard paint pen and hit with three coats of clear. Hopefully, it will last a couple of years.

Coach & Stacker

I just had to take a bunch of photos of the coach and stacker to change my insurance company. So I thought I’d share as a gallery. You have to click the thumbnail to see that larger photo – if you’re interested.

That’s all I can remember for the last month. There was plenty more that I did at the shop, but I also spent a lot of time doing accounting and other business with Bloomin’ Blinds in the last month.

Until next month…..

Save NSS

For me personally, I have always leaned to more of a purest to the original intent of NSS (Nostalgia Super Stock Drag Racing), which was early 60s mid-size and larger stock appearing cars with the equipment available for that car at the time – except some safety upgrades like disc brakes (and not rack & Pinion Steering!).

In the quest to go faster, the camel got its nose under the tent with Indy and other heavily modified intakes, AVS and Holley carbs, clutchless transmissions, Pony cars, digital ignitions, transbrakes (promised not to be used), belt driven distributors, belt driven timing sets, turbo looking exhaust holes cut into fenders … That in my opinion really wasn’t keeping with the spirit of NSS – and its doubtful any of that will ever be reversed.

Those types of rule morphing did make the cars faster and easier to tune/drive – but in my opinion can’t be used as a legitimate excuse to bringing more cars into the sport. It more pissed off many of those in the Class. It worries me that the camel has gone from the nose under the tent to half of its body in the tent.

On the other hand, NSS does have the big problem of age. More than half of us are over the age of 65, and our time left in racing is limited. Ten years ago, I was a young guy in the class. We all can name at least ten (Skippy, Midle, Charlie, Barry, Artis, Lonigan…) formerly active Racers who are now forever gone. The number of young guys to take their place is minimal. In the next five years NSS will most likely lose the greatest number of Racers to date, and it will be even worse five years after that. For the class to survive it needs to bring in new blood faster than it currently losing old blood.

It may be time to for us real old guys to stop worrying so much about what we want the class to be – and think about the legacy of the class’ survival. My personal opinion is that NSS needs to start thinking about being a little more flexible to attract new blood — but not so flexible with modern equipment on old cars. Maybe the class should open up to a few more cars that were Super Stock cars in their day, racing with old school equipment from the day. I know many will cringe when I say that – because I’m cringing – but the Pandora’s Box was opened the day NSS opened up to Compacts and Pony Cars like the Big Block Barracudas, Darts, and AMXs. Again I cringe saying this, but those with Big Block Camaros, Javelins, Mustangs, Cougars, SCramblers, The Machine, Challengers Cudas, and Novas (prior to 1972) asked why not them? Why is a Dart OK – but not a 396 Nova? Why a Barracuda and AMX but not the 396/427 Camaro or 390/428 Mustangs? When the Barracudas, Darts and AMXs came in – the Camel got pretty far into the tent.

Opening up the year to through 71 also has pretty cool Intermediates like Chargers, Super Bees, Road Runners, Coronet R/Ts, 442s, Grand Sports, GTOs, Torino GTs, Montego Cyclones and other mid-size cars just a couple years newer (but still 50 years old) than what we race. Actually, many of those cars are actually older than the Darts, Barracudas and AMXs. While maybe not the Spirit of the Class when it was created in the 80s – neither was some of the rule changes and cars now in NSS This is 30-40 years later – maybe we should think about letting in another 5 years. Fact is that many younger people own more of these cars than the 63-65 B-Bodies that use to be the majority in NSS. Fact is that while most of us prefer the early 60s Intermediates representing the standard, those 10 years younger than us own and race the late 60s Intermediates, Compacts and Pony Cars. Fact also is that those were the Super Stock cars of the late 60s. Younger people just don’t have the attraction to 1965 and older B-Bodies, and never will.

Should we be selfish and let the class die with us – or see that it has an acceptable future? I propose that for the class to continue to survive five and ten years from now when many of us will be gone – that we maybe hold our nose and open it up a little for the pre-72 big block cars that did race Super Stock in the late 60s – rather than any more of these modifying allowances of existing old cars with modern equipment. Stick with the stock interior rule that is the spirit of NSS. Stick with must run the type of big block engine available with the car and style of scoop ran then. Keep the rule for heads, intake and carbs that came with the car in the era. Stop and reverse the digital electronics, exhaust running through fenders, belt driven distributors, carbs not available at time cars were built – and focus on keeping the under hood (actually the whole car in and out) appearance nostalgic.

To bring in new blood, I’d much rather open it up a little to the cars that really ran Super Stock in the 60s than allowing the old cars morph with modern with digital boxes, 5-speeds, clutchless, belt drives and other non-safety Speed and convenience equipment.

Drag Race Calendar

I’ve added the NSS races for NMCA, TDRA and HRR at MoparWeb dot com. If you have a favorite race you want to add to the calendar – it is super easy.

Bradenton, FL Race Report

Since the motor in the wagon had been untested, I first put the Texas Thug on the Lift of the stacker trailer, and the Screamin’ Woody under it. If the wagon couldn’t make the call, then I would have raced the Thug. 1100 miles is too far to go with an untested car unless you have a backup.

So Deb and I; Smiff and Wesson (our Toy Schnauzers); and our two new 9-week old Black Lab puppies – Ole Black Bettie and Billie Sue left Sunday early and got as far as the NASA rest area in Mississippi. Monday night we arrived at the track, and spent the night outside the gate. Tuesday we got onto the track and set up the pits.

Wednesday you could rent the track for $250, which I did and got three hits in. The first run, off the trailer was a very slow 10.1, breaking up a little as I crossed the line. I turn up the fuel pressure a little and made a 9.89 pass without breaking up. I and a couple Buds started looking around to see what was wrong – and found the timing was set at 30 degrees. Set it to 36 and I went up for a third hit. The car wouldn’t start, despite my volt gauge saying 17 volts. I got towed back to the pits and thrashed on the car – swapping the newer pair of 16V batteries from the Thug to the wagon. It was a time consuming process as the wagon was set up wrong – having the batteries hidden behind the weight boxes. It took about 2 hours before I could get back in line just as last call was made. I managed a 9.69 @ 139MPH.

Thursday, there was another Test & Tune, but I didn’t take part in it, as I felt my car was where I needed it. I instead spent the day polishing the car, cleaning up the trailer and playing with puppies.

Friday we were given a time trial and two Qualifying hits. On the Time Trial I was feeling pretty confident when I did my burnout and staged. When the lights went Yellow I launched, and then the car fell flat on its face. I pulled to the wall and looked at oil pressure, it was good so I looked in mirror. I saw no smoke nor did I see a trail of liquid, so I continued idling along the wall. I had no accelerator response and looked at fuel pressure and it was a steady 3psi (when I run 7psi) – so I continued to move up track, trying to get off without the tow of shame. At about the 660′ the fuel pressure went to 1 and I shut the car off. The track’s 4-wheeler with a slick roller pushed me off the track. I tried to start the car, it started, I had fuel pressure, and I drove back to my pit.

In my pit I checked all electrical connections. I couldn’t find any loose connections, or duplicate the problem.

The next run was the first Qualifying. I loaded up with a ton of weight. The car launched with a Monster Wheel Stand and ran great until a few feet before the finish line, where it broke up just before I lifted. Below is the time slip.

As was making the turn off the track, I noticed my fuel pressure was a steady 3psi. I pulled over, shut the car off, restarted and was back to my 7psi.

Back in the pits I changed the fuel regulator, thinking I had some scumotes in it, which would backwash when I turned off power.

In the early evening I loaded up the maximum weight, as I was too fast in the first Qualifying. In the Staging Lanes, I showed 0 Fuel Pressure when I started the car to move into the Burnout Box. I shut car off and restarted and I was good. That weight had me doing a giant wheelstand and the car ran good down the track.

Done for the night, but obviously having an issue still, I changed the relay switch and disassembled the new filters to inspect and clean. They looked as clean as a whistle, so I doubt they were the issue.

This is where I need to give a shout out to Fuelab. In 2013, the year before I won the Championship, they sponsored me with product. I’ve used about every brand of fuel system and Fuelab was the best I’ve ever used. After winning the Championship I had a couple of bad years because of health, motor problems, and both of my in-laws (who we were taking care of) dying. You have to win to keep sponsors, and understandably, I lost the few I had, including Fuelab. That said, I bought and continued to use Fuelab rather than seeking sponsorship elsewhere. So while I was having these Fuel issues, Josh was following me on Facebook and reached out to offer any help he could give – and I really appreciate that. While I’m now convinced that my problem was the electric relay, Josh has invited me to send my regulator and fuel pump to him for testing – just make sure. I’ve just bought a spare as I’ve always (until the last few years) carried a spare – regardless of brand.

Feeling confident that I had my problem fixed, I put the car away for the night. Saturday morning Q3 was very early and a cold 45 degrees. I had the maximum weight in the car and the weather station said I’d be a 1/4 second too fast. The car didn’t pick up the wheels as high as Normal, but sounded and felt good going down the track. However, the time skip told a different story with me a 1/4 second too slow and a horrible 60′.

Back in the pits, the timing was rechecked and fine. Everything I could think of was checked, and I couldn’t find a problem. I wrote it off as being one of those unexplainable mystery runs – like tire spinning.

Saturday night was my final qualify hit. Again the launch sucked, as did my time slip and 60′.

Back in the pit, Doug Duell sprayed foaming window cleaner on each of my header tubes as the car ran, and found #8 hole dead. I replaced the wire, retested and found that it now had fire in the hole.

My crappy #11 Qualifying matched me up with Barry Dorn in the first round. I was convinced that the car was fixed, but again it was so cold that I was bagging a 1/2 second faster than my index. He too was fast as he was the last qualifier, because of breaking out on all four Qualifying passes. My strategy was to figure out if I wanted the Stripe or give it away when I got there. However, the car ran like it was stuck in mud, off more than 1/2 second too slow. As I was loading the car onto the trailer, we again sprayed foaming window cleaner on the header tubes and now #4 hole was dead.

We loaded up and was off the track by noon – driving about 600 miles to spend the night at a sketchy Walmart in Mississippi. Monday we finished the final 500 miles arriving home in the early evening. Tuesday, the car was unloaded and valve covers removed. It was found that the intake rocker number 4 backed off and the push rod went between the rockers – tearing push rod and rockers up. I ordered a new pair of rockers

While it would have been nice to have had things go smoother for first race of the year, this is both a new (rebuilt from ground up last year) car and motor. These things happen when you don’t have time to test locally.

Shop Goin’ Ons Late Januaryn2020

Time for my bi-monthly shop update.

Screaming Woody

The new motor is in the Screamin’ Woody and I took it for a blast down my nasty rural road. Appears to be fine, but I didn’t take it above 4500 RPM as we’ve had a lot of rain and the 35mph road is pretty rough. Changed the preload a little to help it launch straighter – but haven’t test that. I’ll come to Bradenton a day early and try to work out the wrinkles.

Back at the shop I put it on the rack. Changed the breakin oil for racing oil, cleaned the underside, and found a crimp in the fuel line making a 90 degree turn – so it was cut out and replaced with a couple 45 degree hose ends and a m/m fitting. Polished the wheels, put it back on the ground to clean under the hood, interior and exterior.

She’s ready to go into the Stacker when I finish out-fitting it.

The Thug

Because the Screamin’ Woody will be untested before the race in Bradenton, FL in early March, I’m gonna throw the Thug on the Lift as a backup, in case there’s an issue with the Screamin’ Woody. So it too had its oil changed, wheels polished and a through detailing.

Tool Time with Jake

In the above photo, you see Grandson #2 – Jake. He and his twin sister Elwood spent a few days with Deb and I, as their mother was having a medical procedure. Jake spent a 1/2 day in the shop learning a little about tools and cars.

He naturally wanted to grab a seat (including back seat) in the three cars in Shop 1 – where most of the work is done. Afterwards, he learned how to mark a 1/2″ impact wrench holster level on the Stacker door, drill through one panel while stopping before going through the outside skin, and riveting the holster on the door.

As I was trying to show him how to mount and wire up a 9000# winch in the Stacker, I found that a 5-year-old boy’s 1st tool-time (keep in mind I have two sons and three handy daughters – so this isn’t my first rodeo) has limited patience. To get him to stop rummaging through the tool drawers in the Stacker, I used the “Ole Tape Measure Trick” and had him measure some stuff.

After he got bored of that, he decided Tool-Time was over and decided to play on the playground I built in front of my house a couple of years ago.

Stacker

So speaking of the new Stacker, I need to finish out-fitting it so I can load the cars up. Check a couple of previous posts to update yourself where I’d gotten by mid last month. Most is done, but the winch (to get the cars in and out of the trailer) was not.

When I ordered the Stacker built to what I’ve learned about trailers over the years, I had them build an in-floor compartment for a winch with 1/2″ platting. There’s a door that covers it to make for a flat floor. I test fitted the winch and drilled some 1/2″ holes through the plate. The winch was then mounted by bolting in from the under the trailer, using Grade 8 hardware.

Once bolted in, it became obvious that Intech didn’t make the well deep enough for the relay box that sits on top. I took it apart to remove the mount, and the only place it would fit was in back of the winch – only if I removed the lower mounting rod off the winch.

Even then, I only had about 1/2″ clearance from the now neatly rolled spool. Since we all know this will be the last time the spool will be neat – that wasn’t going to work. I removed the relay and rolled under the trailer with it and a mount I had made from aluminum bar stock. After tearing out a clump of hair caught in the creeper’s wheel, I remembered that now that my hair is again Long – that I have to have hoodie up when on a creeper.

I then drilled a 2″ hole through the 1/2″ plate, almost breaking my wrist many times when the broch stopped moving but my big Dewalt drill still wanted to turn.

It would only be Natural that after taking two shots of mounting the relay box under the trailer that the cables to the winch would all be 1″ too short. So work stopped on the winch while I placed an order for 4Ga copper cable butt connectors and a couple options on 2″ hole grommets.

However, there was other work to be done.

Like a couple door baskets, disposable glove holder, magnetic bars for wrenches, and a couple Velcro straps to hold a yoga mat for me to lay on when under the car.

Mounted power tools, batteries and charger on bench splash board, and an oil pan holder on the wall under the oil rack. I should have the Stacker finished and the cars loaded in by the end of next week.

The Old Aluminum Trailer

If you’ve been following along, you’ll know that I have a 25 year old aluminum trailer I’m making new again. A few posts back I showed how the inside and outside was stripped and painted, new LED tail and marker lights, reflective Red/White/Blue stripes, Texas Flag painted on door, and about half of the out-fitting done. Since then:

I cut a 1″ square 3/16″ steel plate into four 6″x6″ plates, punched 1/2″ holes in them, primed and painted White to match the trailer. They’ll be backing plates to the Puck lock, to spread the stress on the inside and outside of the door, inside and outside of the trailer. I’ll be mounting the Puck lock next week.

At the rear of the trailer I mounted a jack pouch, spare tire, and blower on the curb side. On the street side – I mounted a strap holder with a cut down yoga mat as a wall protector. A broom holder and a holder for my director’s chair – in the black bag. Also hung a couple cord holders. I mounted some small D-Rings for bungee cords – to keep stuff from flopping or falling onto my car – as this is a very narrow trailer. I also secured the basket holding the jacks with bungee cords and D-Rings. That’s for in case the car gets too close winching out and I need to get them out of the way. The plan is to be able to quickly get to the spare, two bottle jacks and tire spinner by just opening the rear door – and not having to climb over stuff. I have much experience with flats as I drive fast, for long periods of time, on hot southern roads.

Moving to the front curbside of the trailer, I have a door cabinet with drop down table top, wrench/oil rack, fire bottle holder and a disposable glove holder on the door. On the side of the cabinet, I have rubber hands to hold the Weather station pole that extends above the trailer. Outside the door I have a White Board to leave and receive messages when I’m not in my pit. Inside next to the door is a strap rack with a yoga mat protector.

On the front street side:

I have hangers for my power tools, racks for papers and my log book, double helmet rack with stereo under and speakers to the side, a couple magnetic bars and some hand tools mounted. I still have to wire in two batteries, an inverter, a charger, the roof fan, the stereo, a pair of charging lugs and other incidentals. I also need a cover for the radio and plumb for compressed air receptacles under door and rear of trailer.

The Petty Tribute

The gas sending unit in tank was swapped so the gas gauge now works. The shifter was hitting the steering wheel in 1st and second, so a spacer was made to fix that. The retro tach still doesn’t work, so I need to deal with that. The car was cleaned up.

I dug up three old 15″ Mopar wheels for the front, and spare. I took them down to Discount for my bud Gregg to dismount the rotted tires. They were cleaned up, prepped and I hit with rust colored primer. Next week I’ll play around with cream paint and primer to make look rusty like the back wheels and then take to Discount for some new Goodrich T/As to get mounted. Then the car is done.

Ginger, my Magnum XE

The Gear Vendors overdrive is in the car, just waiting for the Driveshaft from Victory. It arrived yesterday, and that car should be back on the road next week.

The Skipper – My Magnum GT

The engine and Transmission was pulled.

All of the under hood parts were pulled.

Under the hood will get cleaned, wire brushed and scuffed before receiving a fresh coat of urethane to match the exterior. The engine will cleaned resealed and painted – as will the transmission. Then gets stabbed back in. The AC compressor cleaned and painted. The wiring cleaned – maybe replaced if I can find new authentic. Power steering pump replaced, hard lines either made to look new or replaced. I want under the hood to look as new as the exterior.

So I think that catches me up on the shop reporting. Next report in about two weeks.