Sunday, June 03, 2012

Atomic Six

Its been a long winter, ever so busy, not so much with the posting ( sorry ) but busy none the less. I'm not sure what possessed me but I'm blaming some beautiful light metallic blue paint. Playing body man once again. The original plan involved refreshing the interior, painting the dash etc, then I got the bright idea to paint the door jambs, which meant getting the body colour paint, which like I said is gorgeous. So here we are,

after a little patching, too many hours of sanding filler and several more of sanding primer I'm a little less sane ( believe it or not ) but she looks a million times better. That one primer door has been pushing my buttons for too long. Pretty impressive, especially being an original 66 Plymouth colour, outside anyway. You may recognize the dash color from El Chupacabra II, but for its chronicles you'll have to check out , Pat'll tell Ya'll all about it.

More to come,


Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Hot Wagon on Wagon Action

Ok, maybe not hot but at least way warmer than it is outside. As of this post there is a fresh skim of snow on the ground and its about 5 degrees below freezing. Good time to be indoors, I'm sure Malbotia and her evil twin Demonica are enjoying the warmth stacked double decker with my newest aquisition, ie a slightly used 30 year old 4 post lift. Its the only real answer when you discover you have more projects on the go than parking spaces indoors. With El Chupacabra II finally in paint and back at Pat's place for final reassembly, we've gotten down to business stuffing the back shop for the long cold winter ahead of us.
Plans include freshening up the ol race mill with some fresh bearings. This was actually planned for last winter but somehow building the altered wheelbase ate up all the time available, so we opted to run "one more season" on the old bearings. All well and good until you, oh I don't know, say, seize up an oil pump. That minor catastrophe removed what little resistance was left I'm guessing as we did post a record ET afterward.
So besides overdue maintenance there are little plans for the big black car. Our evil minds are still concocting plans. We are however busy with a few other irons in the fire. The mighty Atomic 6 is one bay over from the black beauties for a minimum of interior work, and probably paint and the much awaited turbo upgrade. My all but forgotten Coronet will flank them on the other side and finally continue moving forward, disc brake install being next on the list before suspension and powertrain mockup. Not to mention our 56 Chevy sedan delivery and the old man's duramax tow rig project. I have a feeling we'll run out of winter before we run out of things to keep us busy.
Now to put the plow truck back together and watch the snow fall. Project updates to come.


Monday, September 05, 2011

MMMM, Racing

Best dressed crew at Thunder Mountain...gnawing on turkey legs like animals. Barbaric? Yes. Perfect? Yes as well. A good time was had by all. Demonica was back to her old self, going fast with no major problems, our fastest pass yet at thunder mountain. 7.55 if you're keeping notes. Since we weren't busy fixing stuff there was some time to relax hang out at the Smoked truck and do what we do best.

We can't thank the volunteers enough, especially Jim here, he's responsible for applying copious amounts of VHT traction compound to the track, after adjusting our new Caltracs adjustable shocks and some wicked smoky burnouts the ol girl produced a demonic 1.666 second 60 foot time and improved from there, punishing the 10.5" Mickey Thompson ET Drag slicks so generously supplied by Kal Tire.
Then everything turned tragic when I accidentally backed over Pat. Just kidding.
I did it on purpose. Still kidding, he's actually adjusting the shocks. Don't be shocked, he actually does this kind of thing pretty often, its just poorly documented. I say, More Photos Of Pat's Feet!

Oh and just a note from last time, apparently almost no one watched Iddiocracy recently enough to get all my jokes. Sigh.... Better luck next time.
So maybe watch some movies, perhaps The Simpsons, and check out the El Chupacabra page soon, I've been sanding and filling like a madman. Later.

Thursday, August 25, 2011


Do you know why there's 2 Ds? Not Sure? How about a double dose of awesome! I once heard a wise fictional character say that the chinese use the same word for crisis as they do for opertunity. I'm not sure if that's true or if crisitunity is a real word but I do like bolting on shiny new parts from china. As well as shiny old parts from Creston but thats a the second dose of awesome. Seen above is the shiny new driver's door we recently aquired in trade from our good buddy Handsome Paul. We quickly prepped 'er shot a fresh coat of black and bolted 'er on, minus about 40lbs of extra weight of course. All you BC/DC fans need not worry, their sponsor cheque cleared, we're just waiting for shiny new decals for the new door.

The big story this week is our all new oiling system including new oil pump, drive, pick-up and shiny chinese pan from I was ever so happy to see 80 psi on the gauge last night after assembling the new package. If you were a squirrel running into the woods behind my house you might see this pretty new pan, as seen above. Better that than seeing Jo-Jo, my newest rescue dog, as seen below. ( She Hates Squirrels ).

Heading for Thunder Mountain Raceway tomorrow, All the makings of a really good show are in place, hope to see you there!


Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Fix, Race, Break, Repeat

Sooo, remember when we fixed those broken rocker arms a few weeks back? And then proceeded to kick ass? Well last race weekend didn't quite unfold that way.
Pictured above is a sheared off oil pump drive. From a 440 mopar. In a 1967 Monaco. Named Demonica. And apparently all the good intentions and kick ass sponsors can't help you when your oil pump sucks up a needle bearing from a previously broken roller rocker and subsequently stops turning. Which means no oil pressure, which means the ol race motor is on borrowed seconds.
So lets focus on Graham's 330. Seems our junkyard 440 temporary transplant paid off, as the old girl drove 4 hours to the track, pulled off multiple 10 second passes ( that's 2 seconds faster than the poly 318 did ) and still drove home. Driving to the track, swapping on some slicks, racing and still driving home afterward is a solid goal for any street machine and the 330 came thru with shining colours. Just wait 'til we get the badass motor together again, I can't wait.
Deciding to take the high road and have a look at the bearings in Demonica before running her again we had a nice quiet night at thunder mountain. Quiet by thunder standards anyway, the campfire in the "PARTY PITS" was attended well into the wee hours. There were smores and tube meat just in case anyone was concerned.
Big thanks to Bill for dragging our drag car onto the trailer with the track tow truck before racing began on sunday. You'll all be glad to here that the bearings aren't showing any copper and we have a bunch of oiling system upgrade goodies on order. Even an oil pan without dents!! Crazy, I know. Should be back rattling windows by the end of the week. Unless it takes til thursday night before our next race weekend. Wouldn't wanna speculate either way. Keep yer fingers crossed.

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Carnage A Plenty

How many wagons in our fleet can simultaneously fail? 1, 2, maybe 3? All but 1 seems to be the way its been going. Remember when I said there's been all kinds of carnage, details to come, here's some details.

Pretty ain't it? Graham's 413 max wedge clone, right at home in her freshly painted and detailed engine bay cross ram and hi-flow exhaust manifold equiped. Just Installed thus spring with many a late night and early morning to make it happen. So we get er running, tuned relatively well and decide a few passes down the strip are a perfect plan. The Boys from Vashon (the original Wagons of Steel in case you didn't know), are racing in Spokane for one of their division 6 stock eliminator races, so we figure some friday night test and tune passes are the perfect plan.

Oh plans, how they elude us sometimes. Poor Graham gets just south of our local border crossing at Nelway and that ever so pretty 413, well, lets just say, fails to procede. Squeaked to a halt one might say. Later surgery would reveal a spun rod bearing. Bummer.

So Pat and I spring into action as is customary, load up his 67 Polara (as in Polara Pat) and take off to the rescue.

Almost. Head gaskets let go in Pats trusty 440. Luckily as we coasted off the side of the road we stopped next to a beautiful mountain stream. So we filled the rad back up with glacier fresh water and limped back home.

Lets recap, 1 413, and 1 440 down, did I mention that we weren't racing Demonica at this particular event because of that lil bent valve issue? So 3 big blocks down, we switch to plan D and swap all our gear into the mighty Atomic 6. Equiped with the leaning tower of power 225 slant 6 she makes a hell of a grocery getter, dog hauler, highway unit. Maybe not the best drag racer (Yet He He) but running counts for a lot at this stage of the game.

The ol Atomic did well for us however, made it to Spokane and back drama free and delivered some spectacular fuel ecomomy.

So why are we pushing the Atomic into my shop? Seems once Demonica was race ready it was time for some Atomic carnage. The morning before we left for race 1 at Thunder mountain a rogue boulder bounced up off the highway and met up with the ol girl`s soft white (black, whatever) underbelly and made about 6 really solid collisions with multiple metal parts, the most critical being when it broke the transmission case.

Lots of mopar tranny practice in the last while, but who doesn`t enjoy being elbow deep in a tranny I ask? Three A-904 automatics became one that morning before we left to kick as in kelowna. Been running like a top ever since.

As for Graham, we got him back on the road with a spare stock 440 stuffed between the hi-flows for temps with a single 4 barrel. Looks like a Nascar option. Functional for the moment at least. Pat's Polara has a fresh set of gaskets installed and all appears to be well there. Perfect.

Of course Demonica just decided not to back up. Every bidy cross your fingers and hope its just another broken band strut. Thank you.


Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Triumph Over Adversity, or #2 was #2 then We were #2

Where to begin? Lets spin back the clock to october to begin this saga, Osoyoos season closer. After once again performing as only Demonica can and completing our race day the ol girl decides not too back off the trailer. No worries got all season to fix the tranny right. Well as these things usually go I found myself elbow deep in Trick Shift ATF a week before Cactus Jalopies in Osoyoos (June 10-12), expecting a simple repair I was sorry to discover that the rear band in the ol 727 was trying to escape thru the top of the transmission case, bad news.

Luckily we keep our feathers numbered...No wait, I mean we keep 2 race transmissions on hand for such occsasions. Of course the spare tranny had the low roller blown apart mid season and someone hadn't gotten to fixing it although the parts were on hand. So after a quick overhaul and replacement the trans was ready to rock, quick dose of fresh Penzoil 5w50 synthetic and off to the track. Right?
7.53, 7.54 followed by 8.20? WTF!? Seven Cylinders my friends, first engine problem in the better half of a decade. Seems the #2 intake rocker rejected its roller tip and sent the valve dropping into the cylinder where, we learned later, it ever so gently kissed the piston and bent into a bit of an S shape.

Just one bent valve and 13 of 16 rockers failed won't stop us. Polara Pat, Graham and I had her ship shape in no time and off to race 1 at Thunder Mountain in Kelowna. The plan was; I run saturday in the King of the Hill cash race and Pat runs Sunday in Race 1.

A good plan only counts til the action starts. After only 1 qualifying pass on saturday the day was called on account of rain. Did that dampen our spirits? Of course not we're seasoned veterans and know why they call it "THUNDER" Mountain.

Our new friends at "SMOKED" who had the food truck duties for the weekend however, were brand new to the scene. No worries we showed em the ropes, always make friends with purveyors of succulent pork, I always say.

Sunday came along with everyone hungry for racing action and after some blistering qualifying passes, including a WOSN record at thunder mountain of 7.56 at over 89 mph, Pat piloted the wagon to the finals. This included a semi final bye run (balls out of course) thanks to a razor sharp .020 reaction time in the previous round.

Unfortunately you can only balance on the razor`s edge for so long and our day ended with a .007 second red light in the finals against a perfect 7.85 on a 7.85 dial by our competitor in his 440 powered Dart. All 440 Mopar final though, and the prize money covered our fuel for the weekend. Sweet. There you have it, from number 2 to number 2. Gotta love racing.