Garlits talks tire shake…

Garlits talks tire shake…

with Prudhomme and Austin Coil By Sam Logan: “In my heyday, to deliver the perfect drag racing run we raced a very fine line,” asserts Don Garlits. “If you had the exact right size tire for the weight of the vehicle and the clutch set exactly right for the horsepower of the vehicle and a track surface compatible with the combination, you could make a perfect run. But if the tire is too big it will shake. If the tire is too small it will spin. If the clutch is set too tight, it can shake. If the clutch is set too loose, it will over-rev the engine. If engine power is excessive it will spin the tires. If engine power is insufficient it will shake the tires. If the vehicle is too light it will spin the tires. If it is too heavy it will shake the tires.” What if you had a little more wheel speed than ground speed? “A tiny bit of tire spin used to be okay. In my day we had access to 3,500 to 4,000hp but today if you go out and spin the tires you lose the race. Back then it was okay to see a little puff of blue at about 300 or 400ft because you knew the clutch had locked up and that little bit of blue told you the tires had caught up with you and you were now one-to-one. On this formula, the 392 engine worked the best. When we saw it pop a little blue out there at 400 or 500ft that son-of-a-gun was on song!” Where...
Ian Tocher on the catastrophic events of his last race meet

Ian Tocher on the catastrophic events of his last race meet

By Martha Maglone:   The abruptness of Ronnie Davis’ crash and subsequent death will live with Ian Tocher forever. Tocher, the most delightful of men, has survived horrendous injuries, but happily, his appetite for life remains undiminished. The noted scribe and photographer for the acclaimed magazine Drag Illustrated says, “It was ironic that of the 150 racecars at Rockingham that weekend, the one I wrote press releases for is the one that hits me!” Davis, 66, was an experienced race driver, a five-time IHRA and reigning PDRA Top Sportsman champion, who would normally have qualified among the top runners. But that weekend in April he had not yet qualified because his 1963 Corvette was not running up to potential and, not surprisingly, it was on his last qualifying run that the catastrophic accident occurred. “The car shook immediately, meaning Ronnie’s run was likely ruined in the first 60ft,” Ian says. “But he tried to salvage it, which turned out to be a fatal error for him and catastrophic for me.” Clearly it was more than an unfortunate accident and remains mysterious for several reasons. “It was a perfect storm,” recalls Ian, “everything that could go wrong, did go wrong.” When the car crossed the one-eighth mile under full power it didn’t appear to slow, according to observers. If the throttle had jammed you might have expected the ignition to be switched off, yet it seemed to remain under full power until it crashed. Also, activating the parachutes is a proven practice that stabilizes the car but they weren’t deployed either. Was he incapacitated in some way on that fatal...
Racing valve springs: Sound rules to remember

Racing valve springs: Sound rules to remember

By Archie Bosman: Before starting this valve spring story, I thought I had a grasp of its mechanics, but then as it developed it became ever more complicated until it reached a point where I doubted if I had any intuitive understanding of how valve springs and their attendant valve gear function! Conveniently, the accumulated reams of research data were simplified when Dick Boyer entered the picture. Here, courtesy of Erson Cams, are several sound rules to remember. It’s a brief insight developed for those interested in high-performance engine technology that explains the severity of the environment in which the valve spring operates, and some of its relationships with the various functions of the valve train. Erson suggests that the primary factors considered when selecting valve springs in a racing engine are, first, the amount of valve lift and, second, engine speeds. As engine speed increases so does inertia, which refers to valve train resistance to changes in speed and direction.   With regard to the valve when fully open—at maximum valve lift—most engine builders desire the valve spring to be almost coil bound. Usually, the spring’s top and bottom coils will be touching with a few coils in the middle presenting a tiny gap that cumulatively amounts to 0.050in to 0.060in. This almost coil-bound condition returns the coil spring to a uniform, stable shape on every closing cycle. If not, the spring exhibits excessive space between the coils and it never relaxes—it constantly shakes and wiggles. Therefore, it could be argued that a valve spring operating at moderate lift that doesn’t close properly is more inclined to ail with...
Welcome to ididit’s Car Show & Open House

Welcome to ididit’s Car Show & Open House

The 2016 ididit Car Show & Open House will be held on Saturday, October 1st and it’s gonna be big! Pre-register by September 23rd or register the day of the show (registration closes at noon.) Ididit will have loads in store this year to help celebrate their 30th Anniversary:  a special Michigan vendor area with some of the best names in the industry, from Classic Instruments to Woodward Fab and many more! The crew from Masters Entertainment will be on location shooting an episode of the “Dustless Blasting Car Show” which will air on MAVTV & REV’N networks. Plus the State of Michigan’s shop local campaign “Buy Nearby” is holding their yearly weekend celebration with great deals at some of our unique downtown Tecumseh shops. And once again the Lenawee Humane Society will be raffling off a custom golf cart and will announce the winner at the car show (during the ididit Awards Presentation.) You can purchase your raffle tickets in ididit’s showroom or at the Lenawee Humane Society. Tickets are $5 each, 5 for $20, and 15 for $40. 100% of the proceeds benefit the Lenawee Humane Society. While you’re there, be sure to tour the charming little town of Tecumseh. Indulge in shopping, antiquing, dining, and whatever else tickles your fancy. For further information and directions contact: ididit LLC Tecumseh, Michigan (517) 424-0577...
Wilwood Disc Brakes Releases New GS Compact Master Cylinders

Wilwood Disc Brakes Releases New GS Compact Master Cylinders

  Wilwood’s newly designed GS model compact master cylinders have been fully retooled using advanced high pressure die-casting processes to create a lightweight body design with consistent internal grain structure and cross-sectional wall thickness. An all new rebuildable internal piston and return spring assembly creates a quick and positive release for improved durability and extended service life.   These new die-cast aluminum bodies feature a protective e-coat finish, and are individually laser engraved for easy identification of the bore sizes and threaded connections. The remote reservoir model lineup has been expanded to include .50” and .81” bore sizes. Integral reservoir model twist-on caps have been upgraded with a positive seal, pressure balancing bellows-type gasket to keep fluid in and moisture out. The new GS series comes attractively packaged for retail display in a visible window cover box with all new eye-catching graphics. MSRP for remote fill model is $70.19 or $72.35 for integral reservoir unit.     Source: Wilwood Engineering 4700 Calle Bolero Camarillo, CA 93012...