Just another day at the track


El Presidente
Staff member
Paid Member
I took the Blue Flame out for a track rental at the Mason Dixon Dragway this past Saturday. :cool:

I had just picked the car up from Rodeheavers Hot Rot Shop where they installed a spanking new torque converter, one of the myriad of problems I've been dealing with as of late. I replaced the DirtyDog Performance converter with one from Circle D - a 4200 stall Stage 3 Multi-disc lockup converter. I basically planned on continuing the track tuning process from where I left off last fall. With the MTF dialed in it was time to concentrate on turning up the timing to see where the peak power would come in.

I had high hopes but left somewhat disappointed. I started with the timing where it was last fall for a baseline. I had the chip pre-programmed with zero degrees added, then plus 2 degrees, plus 4 degrees and plus 6 degrees. The adjustments were not global but only added at high load and the upper rpms... right where the car runs WOT going down the track.

The first pass confirmed the new torque converter was indeed now locking. The datalog showed the trap rpms were several hundred rpms below what had previously been when crossing the beams at the end of the 1/4 mile strip. Good news for once.

Engine temperatures remained well controlled, so no apparent worries with the cooling system. Engine temps peaked at high 180s at the end of the run and quickly returned to the mid 170s when off the throttle.

The new alternator was sustaining over 13 volts throughout the run which was an improvement over the previous alternator which would drop down in the 12.3 to 12.9 volt range.

After the initial base runs I returned to the pits and reviewed the datalogs. I then switched the tune to the +4 degrees and returned to the staging lanes. I ran a couple passes showing some MPH gain in the traps. Another pit stop, switch to the +6 degrees tune and finished out the day looking for more.

I basically felt the car was definitely pulling harder with the added timing but despite picking up a couple MPH in the traps, the best ET I could muster was a 13.462. My highest MPH was 102.59.

The bog at the launch was still present and the best sixty foot time was a disappointing 1.994. With the new converter, I had to be even more careful at the tree so as not to push through the staging lights.

So, at the end of the day we had 11 more passes under our belt but still remain lost as where to go next. I am running out of ideas and even more so, running out of excuses. I could tweak the 2-3 shift point up a few hundred rpms and play with the converter lockup timing but I don't see that netting any huge gains. My gains are going to have to come from the first 60 feet.

I still need to dissect the timeslips and study the datalogs, but when I looked at the datalogs I found an oddity. The "Fuel Source" was logged as "1". According the the SCT software, Fuel Source 1 is "Cylinder cutout - Stabilized - Short Term Fuel Trim at lean stability limit." :confused:

I plan to pull the plugs for close examination of any detonation and do a compression test. I have a gut feeling the car is running these numbers on 7 cylinders. :confused: