Dead On – A lot of things going on and stuff that drives me nuts

A lot of things going on and stuff that drives me nuts

I have a lot of "stuff” on my plate right now and I am sure most of you feel the same way. Racing in the Midwest is coming to an end (I always hate it when a season is over). I am frustrated by the way our local track is handling events and customers. The sport I have enjoyed for four decades is in decline in most areas. Those of you who are fortunate enough to have promoters like Bill Bader, Royce Miller and others who have put together both local bracket programs and feature events that create excitement and growth for their tracks, are the lucky ones.

Let's start with my newest project car: Project 10-The Hard Way. It was originally planned to be a 10-second bracket car that I could run in Super Pro, Pro and 10.90 classes such as S/Street or Hot Rod. So as to not make this a long, drawn out story here is the short version: you can now call it "Project Accomplished." Yes, I went over the $10,000 but I did it with a couple of personal factors involved. If I had bought one of the several used engines I found I would have spent about $9,000 on the entire car. I decided I wanted to make this my ‘last race car" so I upgraded in a few areas.

Where a good used engine would have been about $2,000. Instead, I built a brand new 415" small block Chevy. The goal wasn't to get more power, it was to improve longevity and reduce maintenance. I wanted an engine that could go 700-1,000 runs with very little maintenance required outside of oil changes, oil analysis, and watching the valve train for any problems.

The rear end was always going to be a 9" Ford but, instead of a used iron center section, I found a used Strange aluminum center and 4.10:1 gear. I also decided it would be worth the extra money to put new axles and rear brakes on for both safety and durability. The Strange Engineering S/S Series products were a perfect answer.

I want to thank the companies that have helped make my last Project Car a reality: Competition Products, Dart Machinery, Comp Cams, Moroso, MSD, Quick Fuel, Strange, QA1, Weld Wheels, Schaeffer Oils, Holley, Hedman Husler Hedders, Performance Bodies, Collector Cable, AEM machine and dyno, and BTE. I also used the hell out of eBay and ThirdGen Forums to find the many small body parts I needed. Without them helping out Project 10-The Hard Way would still be a plan not a winning reality! Thanks, guys!

I left the body about 95% stock. No rear wheel tubs, no cutting parts out of it and factory glass with power windows are still intact. The biggest change I decided on for the body, later on into the "Project 10" was to upgrade the suspension from the stock control arms/struts and springs to the QA1 front strut coil-over bolt-in kit and their tubular lower control arms. Again, it was basically for safety, stability and reliability at 125 mph. I also tossed out the rear coil springs and used a QA1 rear coil-over kit that bolted in to the stock shock mounts. Primary reason for the change was to get adjustability to the rear shocks and be able to change rear spring rates for under $100.

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