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First time on track at Thunder Valley outside OKC

This is a discussion on First time on track at Thunder Valley outside OKC within the Drag Racing forums, part of the Racing Forums category; I got my new clutch broke in and took her to the track for the first time Friday night. It ...

  1. #1
    Member werewolf's Avatar
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    First time on track at Thunder Valley outside OKC

    I got my new clutch broke in and took her to the track for the first time Friday night. It is an 01 Z28 6SP 1SC hardtop with a K&N FIPK as the only engine mod and three point subframe connectors, UMI adjustable control arms, and Panhard bar with Z rated all seasons. Yes I know that is the big kick in the gonads as my 60 ft was no better than just under 2.4 and my best time of the night was a 14.02 at 104. The car weighs 3400 lbs with a near empty tank. The engine was pretty warm showing about 200 each run. As mentioned this was the first time with the car on the track so from you experienced track guys I have a couple questions to up my knowledge.

    1. being a basically stock engine should I shift near redline or not?
    2. with street tires what prep should I do? I did not do burnouts Friday but should I have?
    3. should I have lowered the rear tire pressure from the street pressure?
    4. would it be better to have some wheel spin or bog the engine off the line with the street tires?

    I really need/want to get her into the mid low 13s as is and I know the biggest mod needed right now is the driver mod but since I am said driver I need to get my working knowledge on what experiments to work on next. Thanks for any advice.

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    Congrats on running her at the track!


    There are a couple of things that you can do -- getting you 60' time down is where you'll make it into the 13's. Inflate the front tires to around 40 psi, drop the pressure in the rear tires to around 20 psi, pull any excess weight out of the car (spare tire, jack, floor mats, and such), between runs allow the engine to cool and minimize your time in the staging lanes idling, and work on your launch and shift points.

  3. #3
    Moderator 35th-ANV-SS's Avatar
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    You should be shifting around 6250-6300RPM; right before your rev limiter hits.

    With practice, you should be able to get your 60' time down into the 1.9X or 2.0X with street tires. I would suggest coming out of the gate like you are taking off from a light quickly. You do not have enough tire to "launch" the car. Try around 2500RPMs and go from there.

    Also, are you dumping the clutch or feathering it out on your takeoff? I would suggest feathering it out with street tires.

    Lastly, you're probably losing some time with shifting. Just keep practicing. You'll get there.

    As reference, every .10 seconds you cut off your 60', it cuts off .20 seconds on your ET. So, going from 2.4 to 2.0 already will get you into the mid to low 13's.
    It's on jackstands.

  4. #4
    Member werewolf's Avatar
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    I would say dumping the clutch. Not slipping it but not side stepping it either. I will adjust tire pressures next time and hopefully get a tune up as the plugs are due.

    Thanks for the advice and I hope to get another Friday night off soon.

  5. #5
    Moderator Firebirdjones's Avatar
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    You can cut sub 2.0 60 foot times on the stock rubber with a little practice and technique. It's actually fairly easy with the wide footprint these cars have.

    With bone stock suspension I cut 1.9 60 foot times without too much difficulty, not always consistent however as I will run 2.0's once in a while. I found what works best for me with the 4th gens is to run air pressures about 45 in the front and 40 in the rear, basically pretty close to how I drive it right in, just pump up the front a few psi and go. On the stock radial tires though, I drive around the water, do a short dry hop for 5 or so feet to clean the back tires off, and stage the car. Anything else on an all season radial tire is just a show.

    On stock rubber with an old 70 firebird I have running reproduction F70-14 goodyear bias plys, and a few legal suspension tweaks I've gone 1.8 60's in that car. These tires also like alot of air pressure and ironically they like alot of heat as well, so a decent smokey burnout helps on these tires. Simple things like loosening the front sway bar, adjusting pinion angle, and loose oil filled shocks to help with weight transfer all contribute in this car.

    Another trick I use is to have weight in the trunk. Alot of people prefer to pull weight out, but on stock rubber you want weight in the rear. Carrying that extra weight down track isn't of any consequence because what you gain in 60 foot time will far outweigh any weight penalty that you pull down track. In the firebird since we aren't technically allowed to add "visible" weight, I run water inside the spare tire.
    While testing and tuning the 4th gens at the track on a fun run night, I leave the cooler in the back packed with ice and drinks

    With your trap speed of 104 mph, 13's are a piece of cake on stock rubber. Just have to work on that 60. From there it's a matter of whether you can work that 6 speed efficiently
    Last edited by Firebirdjones; 04-13-2014 at 11:48 AM.

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    Moderator 35th-ANV-SS's Avatar
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    That was the other thing I didn't mention but was going to; shifting of the car. You really have to shift quickly and efficiently to do well with a stick shift going down the track. That isn't something that is easily done with a T56 and its inherent issues combined with the problems of the hydraulic system in these cars.

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    Member werewolf's Avatar
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    The good news is I have the tick mc already. I need to put a good shifter in with stops so I don't jamb the shift forks. Assuming I am understanding how that works lol. I will try fiddling with the airpressure next time.

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    FBJ -- why so much air in the rear tires?

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    Moderator 35th-ANV-SS's Avatar
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    Tick MC fixes a lot of the issues. Now you just need to worry about breaking your synchronizer keys or bending your 3-4 fork

    Pro 5.0, Hurst Billet and MGW shifter are all great aftermarket shifters with built in stops. However, I recently learned the T56, according to the manual, actually has stops built in already.

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    Member werewolf's Avatar
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    So with my car having the Hurst factory shifter do I need the upgrade for added protection or will I risk that damage regardless?

  11. #11
    Moderator 35th-ANV-SS's Avatar
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    The factory Hurst shifter does not have internal solid stops, it is just shorter than the standard stick and comes with the Hurst knob. In my opinion, an aftermarket shifter that's shorter yet is the way to go.

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    Moderator Firebirdjones's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by pajeff02 View Post
    FBJ -- why so much air in the rear tires?
    That's just what seemed to work on the 4th gens I've had. The factory tire is so wide the center of the tire folds in with low air pressures. May not work for some though. I typically run about 40 psi in them all the time, it gives me the best tire wear.

  13. #13
    Former Mopar Man 2002ssslp's Avatar
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    I have the same problem with my60' times. You just have to work on your launch and the rest will fall into place. I would put on a decent exhaust system with LTH and a good chassis dyno tune. Good luck.
    My ride is a 2002 Camaro SS SLP #3296 with 30k, LTH, 3" Y, CME, Frost tune, K&N, ported TB, Blackwing lid, Bellows, MSD, Denso Iridium, and 85mm MAF, Bilsteins, Eibach springs, SLP strut brace, Adj. Panhard, TA Girdle, UMI, Pro 5.0, Nitto NT555
    My wife has a 2004 GTO with the rare SAP, 18" wheels, K&N Cold Air System, MSD, Ported TB, Frost tune, Denso Iridium, Flowmaster cat-back, 3200 Yank, 75k

  14. #14
    Member werewolf's Avatar
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    yea I am thinking hard on a full exhaust once I get my house in SC sold or rented. Until then I am having to go cheap on my spending.

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