Hard to believe I'm more than halfway through my 4th(!!!!!) season with the Vega and I haven't been "blogging" like I have in previous years. I guess that is a result of being busy.
As usual, I didn't get much done over the winter, so the car is still ugly in flat black primer, and with only a few minor upgrades like new slicks, new front tires, an Accusump oil accumulator and a CO2 powered throttle stop getting installed in a mad thrash a few weeks before racing started. The weather here in Atlantic Canada has been terrible this summer, with almost every race weekend losing one day or more to rain; a lot of hours sitting in the hauler looking skyward hopefully, waiting for the sun to come out.
I managed to get the throttle stop figured out and adjusted to slow the car to 9.90 when required for Super Rod, and I won a few rounds here and there both with the throttle stop and without. But things then got interesting; At the second event, I was staged for a solo pass in the first round of Super Rod, and when I went up on the converter, the tree didn't start. It should have started automatically within 1.4 seconds, but someone in the tower "forgot" to tell the timing computer that my opponent was not there. Doesn't sound like too big a deal, but 6 or 7 seconds with the engine at full power and the car not moving can destroy a torque converter. I guess politics got in the way. Without going into great detail, I apparently was punished for speaking my mind about the way things were being run at this track.
The next weekend, the car just didn't "feel right"; it was down a tenth or two, I couldn't get a good burnout and it wasn't launching hard. I suspected transmission trouble, so I did a stall test with the RPM limiter disconnected while holding the trans brake button and found my 4600 converter was now slipping at anything under 6000 RPM. When I pulled the converter out, there was large shrapnel in it, and small lots of smaller particles in the trans pan. Before the previous weekend's incident at the starting line, I had experienced zero trans problems, but I had my spare 'Glide with me, so with another big race the very next weekend, I managed to borrow a 5500 converter(what I had been thinking about buying anyway) and changed everything.
Now I discover that I should have bought a looser converter long ago; the car really likes the 5500 stall. The 60ft times are falling, and the car is very consistent; at one event I made 10 passes between 9.61 and 9.67, and at another 5 in a row with almost identical MPH numbers on either 141.06 or 141.07. All this in a place where the air can change very quickly; the density altitude can vary 500ft/hr.
At the last race, I had a pass where I was dialed 9.52 and my opponent had fuel delivery problems, so I was far enough ahead that I let off quite early, slowing to a 9.74 at only 116. Good thing I didn't stay in it until the finish line, as the 1/8 numbers indicated that I would have gone WAAAAY under, possibly a quickest ever in the low 9.40's.
I've got a few weekend off now, and won't be racing again until August 28th. when I go on a two race swing, staying at my cottage in between for some R'n'R.
I'm in the process of ordering a similar converter to the one I'm presently using, and the good folks a FTI Converters say the car should get quicker after I get my new one.
77 Vega Estate wagon- project(someday)will have TPI305/T-5, S-10 spindles/axles
72 Vega HB Drag Car -383/'Glide/9"(firstname.lastname@example.org)(email@example.com 1/8th)
76 Vega GT- 400/4spd/9" retired from active duty(rusty)
03 Silverado 2WD ex.cab (work truck/parts hauler)
04 Silverado 2WD ex.cab (retired)
06 Haulin' 20ft enclosed car transporter
93 Suburban- 350/4L60(retired)
00 Saturn SW2- wife's car
01 Saturn SC2- younger son's project
00 Saturn SL2- daughter's car
98 Saturn SW2- spare
and 3 more Saturn "parts cars"
Note- the very act of listing all of these has made me realize I have some kind of problem.....