Drivetrain Rookie here! I need your Bracket car advice, tips and 2 cents worth.

MachUno

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Nov 18, 2019
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I just got a bracket car. I've built many street rods over the years but racing is new for me. I'm reading everything I can find on Drag racing (to not look like too big an a** next spring)
This is what I'm starting with...
1990 hatch back. 460/C6. D1VE Block and C8VE heads. Victor intake, 950xp carb, full length headers, MSD ignition 6al box. electric water pump. GM 1 wire alt.
I pulled the valve covers and found fresh 1.78 Rollers, guide plates, springs etc. The C6 has a reverse manual valve body.
The chassis seems to be set up ok? Striped down. Tubular K member & tubular control arms with strange coil overs. Manual rack and brakes with front line lock. Full cage with thru-floor connectors. Fuel cell, rear batt. and a freaking huge fuel pump out back. Scott Fab dash, door panels and rear seat delete. Racing seats & harness, net.
8.8 axle with a spool and 4:11 gears. The control arms are aftermarket.
The stock springs are gone and coil-overs are run straight up and down from the back of the axle up to a cross bar that is part of the cage.
The seller didn't know anything about the motor/C6 So all I know is what is bolted on and what's under the valve covers..
The deal was just too cheap to pass up so I've got all winter and a little cash left over.

So...where do I go from here?
I don't like not knowing more about the engine but I'm not really excited about the idea of tearing down a fresh engine with only a few, if any runs on it.
What would you all do? I can set it up for 1/8 or 1/4. I've got both tracks nearby. Is this set up better for one over the other?
Thanks for any and all advice.
 
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MachUno

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Nov 18, 2019
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It Seems to me that a 950 cfm is a little big for a mild engine? I also wonder if a 4800 stall is too high?
 

CarMichael Angelo

Nobody appreciates me..I'm gonna cut my ear off
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Nov 29, 1999
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Meh......leave it alone and don't sweat the small stuff. If the car is complete and running, then all you have to do is run it. If there is something not right with the combo, then it'll show itself soon enough. The converter stall is high for a 460, since that engine will be out of its torque curve shortly after that. How do you know it has a converter rated to that stall speed, if the PO couldn't tell you about the engine or trans?
If that guy built that car and didn't know anything about the engine, I'd be concerned but I wouldn't tear it down because of that.
Two ways to determine engine health is to look at the oil and cut apart the filter if it's been on the engine for awhile. Do a cylinder leak down test. ( not a compression ck). A leak down test will tell you how well the engine is sealed, and if not, where compression is leaking. ( I.e. Past the rings into the crank case, or past the valves into the intake/exhaust, or past the head gasket into the cooling system)
If you get none of that, and/or if the leakage is contained to an acceptable percentage getting by the rings into the crankcase, then run it.

It's a bracket car..as long as the thing moves under its own power, you have all you need to compete.
 

MachUno

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Nov 18, 2019
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Thanks for the reply. The PO “thinks” it is an 8” converter from API. He also gave me a new Broader performance reverse manual valve body with trans brake. I may pull the trans to install it just so I can check the converter out. My leak down is stayin in the green with about a 6% drop. I’m thinking that’s ok? I hadn’t thought about cutting the filter. That’s a great idea. I’m also thinking about buying a scope to hopefully get a look thru a spk. plug hole and oil pan drain plug hole. I may be able to catch a glimpse of the rod bolts.
 

CarMichael Angelo

Nobody appreciates me..I'm gonna cut my ear off
SN Certified Technician
Nov 29, 1999
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Thanks for the reply. The PO “thinks” it is an 8” converter from API. He also gave me a new Broader performance reverse manual valve body with trans brake. I may pull the trans to install it just so I can check the converter out. My leak down is stayin in the green with about a 6% drop. I’m thinking that’s ok? I hadn’t thought about cutting the filter. That’s a great idea. I’m also thinking about buying a scope to hopefully get a look thru a spk. plug hole and oil pan drain plug hole. I may be able to catch a glimpse of the rod bolts.
Absolutely no reason to look in the cylinder if you have leaked the engine down and it passes...why?
I don't know about your seller...I can tell you what is/ has been on every build I've done for the last 3 cars over the last 12 years. If I bought it, and I installed it..I don't have to " think" about what's on my car.
 

MachUno

New Member
Nov 18, 2019
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Absolutely no reason to look in the cylinder if you have leaked the engine down and it passes...why?
I don't know about your seller...I can tell you what is/ has been on every build I've done for the last 3 cars over the last 12 years. If I bought it, and I installed it..I don't have to " think" about what's on my car.
Absolutely no reason to look in the cylinder if you have leaked the engine down and it passes...why?
I don't know about your seller...I can tell you what is/ has been on every build I've done for the last 3 cars over the last 12 years. If I bought it, and I installed it..I don't have to " think" about what's on my car.
 

MachUno

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Nov 18, 2019
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Right! He obviously bought the engine already built. The motor is a clean build & sounds good and tight. Everything I read on the 460’s talks about cast, dished pistons and weak rod bolts. So I really want to know what is inside to help me get the most power out of it. That’s about the best I can over the winter months to get ready. I’d hate to sit on this car till spring and then find out the build is all wrong.
 

General karthief

wonder how much it would cost to ship you a pair
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Aug 25, 2016
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Did not go back and read this thread from the beginning. I have limited time in a bracket car and that was a long time ago. So to get this going lets start with launch technique, do you have much seat time at the strip? I found that knowing how to launch you car is the best starting point.
 

MachUno

New Member
Nov 18, 2019
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Thanks! I haven’t been on a track in years. I’m spending all of my spare time reading and watching everything I can on-line about suspension set up & tuning a fox body. I also picked up a practice tree to work On my reaction time. I’m concerned about the car being able to hook up With a BBF. I’ve got all winter to get ready. The last thing I want to do is sit around until March and then find out my set up sucks.