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1st gear and launching a stick car
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DRR Trophy
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For the last 14 years we have been running my fathers 1967 Chevelle. We hit the track at most of the nostalgia / muscle car type races. Currently we have a 4.56 rear, 29” tall tire, and 3.25 1st gear.

We built a new engine this year. My guess was the likely 10 MPH we would gain in power would fit well with the current gear. The cam puts the power about 700 RPM higher then the old engine. So the math is in the ball park.

We only got a few weekends in before the season ended. After some trials and tribulations we got some good runs in. The car pulled some destructive wheelies causing us to squish the oil pan and starve the oil pump.

Now I have all winter to ponder if I have the right gearing in the car. Right now we can wind out 1st gear before the front wheels come down. I think “waiting” to shift is killing the E.T. I’m sure I can keep the front end down with shocks and travel limiters. Or should I do it with a different 1st gear? This is the million dollar question.

SO I’m looking to hear how others have solved similar issues.
3350# with driver
500” BBC (4.600 X 3.766 6.535 rod)
5 speed
9.20 @ 147 so far…..
 
Posts: 193 | Location: ny | Registered: June 08, 2006Reply With QuoteReport This Post
DRR Top Comp
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Wheelspeed for the shift and wheely would be my approach. Sounds like fun too BTW. I haven't driven a clutch car with power since I grenade'd my neighbors sbc in his 68 Camaro back in the 70's, missing 3rd gear!!
 
Posts: 9398 | Location: Madeira Beach Fl. | Registered: June 12, 2018Reply With QuoteReport This Post
DRR Elite
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Changing your 1st gear will not take you off the path of breakage and destruction that you have chosen to go down. Unless you change paths the destruction and breakage will continue.
 
Posts: 13522 | Location: NJ | Registered: August 20, 2000Reply With QuoteReport This Post
DRR Pro
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quote:
Originally posted by Stickshifter_55:
For the last 14 years we have been running my fathers 1967 Chevelle. We hit the track at most of the nostalgia / muscle car type races. Currently we have a 4.56 rear, 29” tall tire, and 3.25 1st gear.

We built a new engine this year. My guess was the likely 10 MPH we would gain in power would fit well with the current gear. The cam puts the power about 700 RPM higher then the old engine. So the math is in the ball park.

We only got a few weekends in before the season ended. After some trials and tribulations we got some good runs in. The car pulled some destructive wheelies causing us to squish the oil pan and starve the oil pump.

Now I have all winter to ponder if I have the right gearing in the car. Right now we can wind out 1st gear before the front wheels come down. I think “waiting” to shift is killing the E.T. I’m sure I can keep the front end down with shocks and travel limiters. Or should I do it with a different 1st gear? This is the million dollar question.

SO I’m looking to hear how others have solved similar issues.
3350# with driver
500” BBC (4.600 X 3.766 6.535 rod)
5 speed
9.20 @ 147 so far…..


I like it & wouldn't care for the destructive wheelies either. There's no mention of a clutch management system for the ride? This is where I would start, along with using shocks & as a last resort limiters.


1980 Camaro
Taking the Best Working Small Tire Shyt Box & making it Greater Than Before!
3000 lbs.
Pump Gas 436
 
Posts: 2582 | Location: NV. | Registered: October 20, 2006Reply With QuoteReport This Post
DRR Pro
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On the "Class Racer" website, some fellows race successfully with a stick. Those racers will most likely help you.


Larry Woodfin



 
Posts: 1838 | Location: Kilgore TX | Registered: March 12, 2004Reply With QuoteReport This Post
DRR Trophy
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I would not change first gear, I don't know what rpm you are leaving at, but if it is pretty high, like 6 or above, lower your start rpm. It sure will slow you 60 down, but make the the motor pull. Also try to limit you front end travel. So what rpm are you leaving at, and what brand/type clutch do you have in it
 
Posts: 20 | Location: 46060 | Registered: October 03, 2013Reply With QuoteReport This Post
DRR Trophy
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Good Afternoon, Here are my thoughts on your ride.

1. 513 Gear. Getting to your max rpm quicker and not have having to wind first gear out with the 456 gear.
2. Leave at lower rpm. Less hit on the small tire. Thank goodness for rpm chips.
3. You want to get up on that small tire as quick as possible
4. Front weight becomes rear when the tires are in the air.
Hope some of this helps.
AKA the Patriot.
 
Posts: 10 | Location: Tallahassee, Fla. | Registered: January 16, 2016Reply With QuoteReport This Post



DRR Trophy
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quote:
I like it & wouldn't care for the destructive wheelies either. There's no mention of a clutch management system for the ride? This is where I would start, along with using shocks & as a last resort limiters.


We have a Ram adjustable clutch that I converted to a counter weighted clutch. My opinion on what the car is doing "evolves" over time. At first it seemed the car had a bog mid wheelie. This was @5400 launch. We tried 5600 launch but the car would hike the front wheels then spin. Then I decided it was too much clutch so we took out some counter weight AND some static AND some launch RPM. Our last day at the track we launched @5200 with oil pan crushing results. We also got our best 60' 1.318!

We have run this car a long time. We are not lost looking for help. The car is very close. I know I can take more static out of the clutch as well as some counter weight. That may be all we need. BUT, we do run a lot of 1st gear. The new engine looks to have some torque down low. More than I was expecting.

Thank you for the reply B King.

PS Thank you Ed for your 1st hand experience.
 
Posts: 193 | Location: ny | Registered: June 08, 2006Reply With QuoteReport This Post
DRR Elite
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The fact that you crushed the pan and hurt the engine after a few weekends with your new engine tells me you are lost but hey if your idea of fun is knowing that you may crush your oil pan and headers, on any given pass, have at it!
 
Posts: 13522 | Location: NJ | Registered: August 20, 2000Reply With QuoteReport This Post
DRR Pro
Picture of CURTIS REED
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quote:
Originally posted by Stickshifter_55:
quote:
I like it & wouldn't care for the destructive wheelies either. There's no mention of a clutch management system for the ride? This is where I would start, along with using shocks & as a last resort limiters.


We have a Ram adjustable clutch that I converted to a counter weighted clutch. My opinion on what the car is doing "evolves" over time. At first it seemed the car had a bog mid wheelie. This was @5400 launch. We tried 5600 launch but the car would hike the front wheels then spin. Then I decided it was too much clutch so we took out some counter weight AND some static AND some launch RPM. Our last day at the track we launched @5200 with oil pan crushing results. We also got our best 60' 1.318!

We have run this car a long time. We are not lost looking for help. The car is very close. I know I can take more static out of the clutch as well as some counter weight. That may be all we need. BUT, we do run a lot of 1st gear. The new engine looks to have some torque down low. More than I was expecting.

Thank you for the reply B King.

PS Thank you Ed for your 1st hand experience.


Nobody has raced a decent clutch car without crushing at least one oil pan. LOL It's been many years since we had a clutch and yes we crushed a pan and headers. Laughing Hard

Don't let naysayers bother you. Do what YOU want to do.



____________________________
2017 and 2018 Osage Casinos Tulsa Raceway Park No-Box Champion

2018 Div4 Goodguys Hammer award winner
 
Posts: 2965 | Location: KIEFER, OK. | Registered: August 17, 2007Reply With QuoteReport This Post
DRR Trophy
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My Lenco has a 3.47 first gear, and I vary to he launch rpms accordingly to the track. It is a difficult call at times. I believe you have a good thing going, maybe wheelie bars on

Or work on travel on front end. If you feel it is bogging, then take the spacer out from under the carb ,but. If it is just pulling the motor down on the launch, and then recovers quickly, the take a little static out of it. If the rpms are going down on launch, then that is reducing the centrifugal assist. I think you are close. Sounds like you are enjoying your ride.. good luck
 
Posts: 20 | Location: 46060 | Registered: October 03, 2013Reply With QuoteReport This Post
DRR Trophy
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If you take the spacer out, or reduce the thickness, you will probably be a little rich, so you might want to jet down a couple of sizes
 
Posts: 20 | Location: 46060 | Registered: October 03, 2013Reply With QuoteReport This Post
DRR Trophy
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quote:
Originally posted by threepedals:
If you take the spacer out, or reduce the thickness, you will probably be a little rich, so you might want to jet down a couple of sizes


The bog "may" not be a bog, but the tires unloading during the launch. I have video in the car and from the starting line. The low RPM launch (soft clutch) showed the best results so far.
 
Posts: 193 | Location: ny | Registered: June 08, 2006Reply With QuoteReport This Post
DRR Pro
posted Hide Post
quote:
Originally posted by Stickshifter_55:
quote:
I like it & wouldn't care for the destructive wheelies either. There's no mention of a clutch management system for the ride? This is where I would start, along with using shocks & as a last resort limiters.


Thank you for the reply B King.

PS Thank you Ed for your 1st hand experience.


Some people like the cookie cutter drag racing! The clutch stuff is cool & we enjoy it. I take back what I said about the limiters. Until you get the clutch worked out, I would recommend using the shocks & limiters.

While we have the cookie cutter stuff also. We also have the out of the normal 1/4 mile quads that run well into the 9's with a clutch. The clutch management is critical & a big challenge to get right. I wish I had some data to help you out with it. With our multi stage clutch management system. We adjust the base pressure for the initial hit, then our centrifugal weighted arms get controlled with springs to tune how fast the weight is applied to the clutch & get the clutch to lock.

Anyway, good luck with your with your ride & I'm sure you will work it out. Hopefully sooner than later!


1980 Camaro
Taking the Best Working Small Tire Shyt Box & making it Greater Than Before!
3000 lbs.
Pump Gas 436
 
Posts: 2582 | Location: NV. | Registered: October 20, 2006Reply With QuoteReport This Post



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