Tigges Talk - Atco New Jersey Regional - July 2019

Discussion in 'Pit Buzz' started by MaineAlkyFan, Aug 7, 2019.

  1. MaineAlkyFan

    MaineAlkyFan Active Member

    Oct 8, 2006
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    After our last outing at Lebanon Valley, we discovered some carnage that had occurred after the final pass in the shutdown area. The engine oiling system had been compromised, leading to two spun bearings, a thrown rod, and considerable collateral damage of the expensive stuff.[​IMG]
    In addition to making required repairs, the engine oil and venting systems were improved, and the engine got new rings & a new FIE ignition coil.

    We have been suspect of the coil for a while now, as the car has not been performing as expected. Coils are one of those items that can appear to work fine but dynamically function at 98% instead of 100%. In drag racing, that 2% differential is huge. That 5.62 pass could be a 5.50 pass. Like the oiling system, several seemingly small deficiencies can add up to unwanted results, in performance, pocketbook & passage of time.

    In any case, the final parts got bolted back onto the car Tuesday & Wednesday morning Fred, Claire, Mark, Eddie, Rick & I all drove away from the plant in Holbrook heading out to the steamy flats of southern New Jersey with expectations of seeing some or all of that missing 2%. Other than the speeding blue van crashing into two cars just ahead of Fred coming off the Tappan Zee Bridge, intermittent thunderstorms & the normal 'it took two hours to go 35 miles' highway traffic, the trip was uneventful. We pulled into Atco at 8:02 PM, got parked in the pits & decided to get the awning up in the relative 88 degree cool of the evening. Dave & Keith would be rolling in Thursday, so we would have a full crew for the weekend.

    Thursday's plan was pretty minimal. Fill the oil system with a known volume of oil, fire the car & set the static ignition timing, then do a mini-teardown to check that all systems & newly installed parts were working as expected. The day went off pretty much as planned. We fired the car several times, got a full five gallons of Cleanboost 70W into the oiling system, and confirmed that the between race improvements done at the shop were working. By the end of the hot overcast day, we were one of six funny cars ready to qualify on Friday. Pitted to our right was Florida runner Aryan Rochon's colorful Camaro,[​IMG]
    to our left the dragster of Duane Shields. After Mark grilled up a killer meal of sausage, onion & peppers with cut potatoes on the side, we spent the evening with a mix of racing talk spanning the 1950's to the future.


    Friday we woke to flat overcast skies & mercifully lower temperatures. Our first qualifying pass brought much higher temperatures, specifically in cylinder #2, which had a port nozzle blow off during the run. Mark saw the death aluminum mist coming out of the headers during the pass, and said 'the heads are coming off' on the way back to the truck. We needed the full crew for the work ahead. Over the next four hours, in addition to the normal servicing, the engine was torn down to the block and crank, with all of the rods & pistons removed, inspected and replaced as required. The lean condition caused by the blown nozzle had sunk the #2 piston, burning hot enough to turn the steel rings into spray weld ruining not just the piston but also the rod, bearings & cylinder sleeve.

    Neighbor Aryan had a spare sleeve for us to use, and we all worked hard to get all the parts checked, serviced, honed & reassembled in time to tow up for the third qualifying session, where we spotted our best pass of the weekend, a 5.70 at just 256 MPH. The 2% we were looking for was in the wrong direction, but the hot, sticky air of the weekend was an equalizer, landing us in the #3 qualifying spot with lane choice going into Saturday eliminations.

    Eliminations were scheduled to start at 2 PM, but slipped closer to 4:30 due to intermittent rain showers and turkeys on the track. Yup, you read that correctly, turkeys on the track. Dave smirked 'do they have wristbands?' We raced Josh Haskett, with Fred doing a great driving job to overcome late tire shake and nip Josh's 6.21 with a 5.98. We ran an extended service to prepare for round 2, checking select main & rod bearings before towing up to face DJ Cox just past 7 PM. In a round where both drivers saw tire shake, DJ put us on the trailer to advance to the final.

    The final saw Matt Gill dominate the right lane with a great 5.48 at 270 MPH for the win, while Troy Coughlin took the dragster win in a scary match with Josh Hart, who had runaway throttle problems and did a great job reeling in the car, which smoked the tires all they way down the track at over 200 MPH before being brought to a safe stop at the top end. After packing all the small stuff away, we turned the trailer into a motel, with Dave, Rich & me sleeping on air mattresses. Sunday the awning came down early, under dry conditions, the car was loaded in and strapped down, and we towed out for the trip home.

    The weekend was a good learning experience. We got some good data from the runs, the new coil worked well & we expect to be ready for our hometrack event, the Regional at New England Dragway on September 6 & 7. Come on out to the races & say hello!

    Chris Saulnier - Team Tigges
    Mechanic Falls, Maine
  2. Jagger

    Jagger Member

    Dec 18, 2005
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    Thanks, great post!

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