Project 10 Update: Getting ready for some 10.90 racing

A little measuring from the instruction sheet that J-W sent, a long metal cutting blades for the Sawzall and some WD-40 to spray on the blade as we cut...BOOM, one 35 year-old trans case cut and ready for the JW Ultra-Bell. The longer front pump bolts were supplied with the Ultra-Bell. We installed new pump bolt washers and very light coat of silicone on the threads of the bolts as we installed. DO NOT OVERTIGHTEN these bolts as the threads in a stock Powerglide case are not that strong. Torque them to the correct spec; if I remember right it is 25 ft/lbs.


Dropped the 415" small-block off at AEM Race Engines and they found an exhaust seat had moved a few thousandths. They reground the seat and the valve was OK after they touched it up. The Cloyes timing chain was "strange". It was extremely stiff with very little flexibility. Curt at AEM has seen thousands of race engines but said this was a very rare parts failure. I called my buddies at Comp Cams and we decided a Comp Cams Belt-Drive timing belt was the best solution. Less friction and harmonics (besides they look cool). I had to space the water pump out about a 1/4" and that was easy to do with a couple water pump spacers I picked up at Performance Bodies, a large stock car parts supplier.


Since I was thinking of some NHRA and IHRA 10.90 racing I need to have a flex-plate shield. The only way to do it was to get a JW Performance Ultra-Bell and while I had the trans out I also decided to get rid of my $59.00 flex-plate and put an SFI-approved JW "Wheel" on it. Cutting the stock trans case was an experiment. I used a Sawzall and with a little grinding it took about an hour to have it cut and ready to install the Ultra-Bell. The instructions were dead-on and with a lot of tape and rags I did not have to take the trans apart. Just take your time to make sure the metal particles do not get into the transmission. Now the "Project-10" is legal.


We got it back together in time for the opening weekend at Cedar Falls Raceway and I was curious how it would run as I was hoping to enter a couple 10.90 Index races this summer. The first few runs were 10.91 and 10.92's. I had taken the QuickFuel 850 off and put it on the Olds and installed the 1050 Dominator on the Project 10 small block. I thought it might simply be too much carburetor. I bumped the ignition timing up to 37 degrees and the next run was 10.82. WOW, a 1/10th of a second in 3 degrees of timing. I went two more degrees to 39 and the car idled better and simply "felt" better. It showed up on the track, as by the end of the weekend I was dialed 10.72.