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I want a transbrake; where do I start?
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DRR Trophy
Picture of Bad Nusz
posted
After 8 seasons of foot-brakeing, I cannot seem to count the tree and cut lights anymore. I'm losing too many rounds to the trans-brake cars with their better average lights. I want to try a transbrake this next season.

My objective is to cut my average light by at least .05 second or so.
Against my 4-wheel disc brakes and modest stall converter, I can launch at up to around 2500 RPM now.

I have a local transmission builder in mind who has much experience at building up TH350 transmissions, like what I plan to use.

Currently my S10 race truck has a 3 1/2" steel custom driveshaft with 1350-series U-joints. That feeds a Ford 9" differential with a non-nodular center section. I believe the 4.11 gears to be something aftermarket, with a steel spool.

The axles are 31-spline Mosers with 1/2" ARP studs on a standard GM 4 3/4" bolt pattern.

I plan to buy new 29"x9" or maybe 10" slicks this spring, and may consider stiff sidewalls.

A better torque converter than the modest street/strip converter I'm using now may be called for.

I suppose I'll need to invest in a two-step rev limiter. Don't know which model yet, but my distributor is an MSD Pro-Billet model, with a MSD 6AL box (it uses the 'chips').

I'll probably put the release button on the steering wheel.

It may be necessary to hook up the front brake line-lock, but I wonder if that will slow down the launch, as brake pressure subsides and releases the front brakes. (?)

The engine is a modest SBC 350 that maybe puts out 350 HP or so; the S10 typically runs in the 11.90s in the quarter mile. I can run 11.70 or so on a really good air day, without ballast.

I wish to not thrash my combo too hard, and am shooting for a launch RPM of perhaps 3500 or so.

Have I forgotten anything?
Thx!
T.
 
Posts: 367 | Location: Sioux Falls, SD | Registered: March 17, 2018Reply With QuoteReport This Post
DRR Pro
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quote:
Originally posted by Bad Nusz:
I suppose I'll need to invest in a two-step rev limiter. Don't know which model yet, but my distributor is an MSD Pro-Billet model, with a MSD 6AL box (it uses the 'chips').


If you could afford to spend $415 now, you can purchase an MSD 7730 Grid during the Holley Days Sale that’ll plug right into the 6al rpm port.

This will control all the RPMs settings and allow you to adjust launch in 50 rpm increments.

Grid can be programmed to shift your car in 1 rpm increments and different rpms for each gear.

Grid controls the timing and much more. The only thing needed to program is a laptop that’ll run Windows XP/ 7 / 8 / 10.

This is one of the very best (and least expensive) ignition upgrades for analog ignition imho.
 
Posts: 2500 | Location: 53056 | Registered: December 30, 2009Reply With QuoteReport This Post
DRR Trophy
Picture of 1leg
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Sounds like you have a game plan. All the parts you have should work with your HP level..

I would reccommed a complete rebuild on the trans and the converter to start.

I'm told wiring the trans brake button and line lock help to keep the car from rocking and helps to keep some heat out of the trans. I have wired my car this way but have not had it on the track yet.


Meziere Tech.
Make sure your water pump is on whenever you check your coolant level.
 
Posts: 246 | Location: Escondido | Registered: July 01, 2011Reply With QuoteReport This Post
DRR Pro
Picture of Eman
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I've had a T350 with a TB in my car, worked good. I did wire my LL in as the T350 was bad to rock a little if I didn't have the RPM's up. No problem with the release, just have to know how to wire it with a diode so you can still use it as a line lock for burnouts. It costs to convert a T350 as valve bodies are about $00, I've got a TCI. A good direct drum with the better sprag is recommended also, about another $350.
Honestly the button/TB isn't magic. If the car doesn't react on the FB it's probably not going to be a big difference with the button. A torque converter is where it's at and there is reaction time in a torque converter. A good converter is going to be close to 1k new or you can try and get lucky with a used on for $400-$500.
 
Posts: 1479 | Location: E TN | Registered: February 13, 2009Reply With QuoteReport This Post
DRR Pro
Picture of chasracer
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Are you going to be using a TB with a delay box or not?

Leaving off the TB and with transmission done right, you shouldn't need to engage the linelock so that's a non-factor. You probably want to up the ante on the torque convertor though, that's where you will see some dividends. With your setup, I would be leaving at about 3000, maybe 3200.
 
Posts: 1135 | Location: The problem is not the problem. The problem is your attitude about the problem. Savvy?” ~~ Captain Jack Sparrow ~~ | Registered: August 21, 2000Reply With QuoteReport This Post
DRR Pro
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Just curious.

What rpm do you shift at now?

Are the shifts made manually by you or by an rpm output controller?

What is the stall of your present convertor?

What is the rpm value of the chip in the 6al now?
 
Posts: 2500 | Location: 53056 | Registered: December 30, 2009Reply With QuoteReport This Post
DRR Trophy
Picture of 1leg
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With his HP level he doesn't need a $1000 converter to get started. I had a 2500rpm hughes converter in my old trans am with a 300hp 455, Made a couple 100 pass on that thing when I had it, and it was given to me out of someone else car that had a TB. GM25 was the part number if I remember correctly. I currenly have a $400 FTI that stalls at 4000rpm, But the car still has not made a pass so I do not have any idea how long it will last. Hoping for a 100 or more.


Meziere Tech.
Make sure your water pump is on whenever you check your coolant level.
 
Posts: 246 | Location: Escondido | Registered: July 01, 2011Reply With QuoteReport This Post



DRR Pro
Picture of TORQIN
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At our track Houston raceway park they have seperate classes for TB and footbrake... big problem when the transbrake was even allowed in FB...

Just another way bracket racers have found ways to divide...

TB is for top bulb IMO...JMO.
 
Posts: 1754 | Location: Houston, Tx. | Registered: November 27, 2008Reply With QuoteReport This Post
DRR Pro
Picture of CURTIS REED
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quote:
Originally posted by TORQIN:
At our track Houston raceway park they have seperate classes for TB and footbrake... big problem when the transbrake was even allowed in FB...

Just another way bracket racers have found ways to divide...

TB is for top bulb IMO...JMO.


Man I couldn't agree more with something or someone.



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

2018 Div4 Goodguys Hammer award winner
 
Posts: 2984 | Location: KIEFER, OK. | Registered: August 17, 2007Reply With QuoteReport This Post
DRR Top Comp
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Footbrake used to recruit a lot of bracket racers. The announcer used to try to get anyone who drove through the gate to enter footbrake. Spectators became instant racers.

You'd see a lot of those same spectators/racers in Super Pro within a couple years on a lot of occasions. I never understood why they went away from that format, it seemed to work.

As far as where to start, You want a trans brake? That would be a $50 dollar two speed powerglide off Craigs list. I still see them in there.
 
Posts: 9398 | Location: Madeira Beach Fl. | Registered: June 12, 2018Reply With QuoteReport This Post
DRR Trophy
Picture of Bad Nusz
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quote:
Originally posted by markemark:
Just curious.

What rpm do you shift at now?

Are the shifts made manually by you or by an rpm output controller?

What is the stall of your present convertor?

What is the rpm value of the chip in the 6al now?

Thank you to you and all the others for the thoughtful responses.

I shift manually with the shift light set at 6,000 RPM; shifts occur at around 6,200 RPM.

I have the 6,800 RPM chip installed in the MSD 6AL unit.

One day I may try some air shift or something, hooked to the tach.

I'm not sure about the current stall speed; I bought the converter slightly used from a guy I bought my current engine from 5 years ago.

I believe it's a TCI Streetfighter converter, with a modest stall speed. I installed it after a transmission repair, and I liked it at first because it gave me another 3 MPH or so in the quarter.

Before, I was using another converter with a much higher stall speed that came with the truck when I bought it. It's some light purple or lilac colored unit of an unknown make.

I may reinstall that converter, though before it only gave me enough extra slip to launch at perhaps 2,800 RPM or so. However, my brakes have improved since then.

A few different sources claim that loose converters are more consistent.
 
Posts: 367 | Location: Sioux Falls, SD | Registered: March 17, 2018Reply With QuoteReport This Post
DRR Trophy
Picture of Bad Nusz
posted Hide Post
quote:
Originally posted by TORQIN:
At our track Houston raceway park they have seperate classes for TB and footbrake... big problem when the transbrake was even allowed in FB...

Just another way bracket racers have found ways to divide...

TB is for top bulb IMO...JMO.


Thanks you. At my local track, TB is allowed in Pro Trophy (like Sportsman) where I compete. Transbrakes are only forbidden in the street classes. I do wish that transbrakes were not allowed in my class.

I've been raceing in Pro Trophy for six seasons now, winning runner-up in points a couple of times and third place maybe twice.
This last season I was beat out by a low-11 second 3rd-gen TransAm for runner up (running a transbrake).
First place was won by a 19-year-old woman in a 14-second, footbrake car! Her average RT hoovers around .05 second.
 
Posts: 367 | Location: Sioux Falls, SD | Registered: March 17, 2018Reply With QuoteReport This Post
DRR Trophy
Picture of Bad Nusz
posted Hide Post
quote:
Originally posted by 1leg:
Sounds like you have a game plan. All the parts you have should work with your HP level..

I would reccommed a complete rebuild on the trans and the converter to start.

I'm told wiring the trans brake button and line lock help to keep the car from rocking and helps to keep some heat out of the trans. I have wired my car this way but have not had it on the track yet.


Thanks, 1leg and Eman.
I do plan to start with a good, race-prepped transmission. I've got a good TH350 core to turn over to a local race transmission builder. They estimate if should cost me about $2200 or so for this transmission, with the brake installed.

My current transmission was built a few years ago by a different local shop that mostly builds ordinary transmissions, for daily drivers. I gave them a TCI 36-element sprag to install along with other heavy duty parts the shop provided. The young mechanics there acted like they'd never seen a TH350 before it seemed.....

I do wish for a spare transmission anyway, particularly since I also want another race car, and that will likely come as a roller.

I've thought about trying a Powerglide one day, as Mike suggests, but I don't see much for sale in my sparsely-populated area. I think I'll need to have a different driveshaft made though.

I plan to wire my TB so that I can switch in the linelock on the front wheels with the TB button if desired. Lol, coming up with wiring plans is one of the few things I'm very good at.
 
Posts: 367 | Location: Sioux Falls, SD | Registered: March 17, 2018Reply With QuoteReport This Post
DRR Trophy
Picture of Bad Nusz
posted Hide Post
quote:
Originally posted by chasracer:
Are you going to be using a TB with a delay box or not?

You probably want to up the ante on the torque convertor though, that's where you will see some dividends. With your setup, I would be leaving at about 3000, maybe 3200.


I'm a no-box racer; the box guys must run separately.
I may install another converter that I used to use, with a much higher stall speed.
Lol, I may try both converters, but man it's a PITA to pull the tranny on my S10.
 
Posts: 367 | Location: Sioux Falls, SD | Registered: March 17, 2018Reply With QuoteReport This Post



DRR Trophy
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Build a 1.76 glide or even a 1.82 glide. Valve bodies are cheaper but you gotta get a new input shaft. Should be way cheaper than your turbo 350 build. You could spend the extra dough on a new converter built for your application.

All that being said, if you want the car or in your case truck to respond better and be more consistent in the lights, move all the weight you can off the front of the truck to the back or eliminate it all together, moroso drag race trick coil springs, rack and pinion upgrade to lose weight from the front, light weight race brakes, and adjustable shocks.

If i were to priortize purchases in order it would be:
1. Lightweight disc brakes for the front.
2. Weight loss program (glass front end, lose the bumpers, lift off hood, eliminate core support, smaller radiator, battery to bed of truck.
3. rack and pinion upgrade really part of #2 above.
4. Moroso trick springs and adjustable shocks.
5. Transbrake.
 
Posts: 395 | Location: Pride, La | Registered: April 18, 2006Reply With QuoteReport This Post
DRR Trophy
Picture of 1leg
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Again at your current HP level you don't need a full race trans built. I had a local shop build me a stock case TH400 with the normal HD parts upgrade and trans brake for $1000, and he supplied the core case. I can see it costing more in SD but I'm thinking you could get it cheaper then $2200 if you are suppling the case.
TCI sells a complete transbrake trans for $1850. I'm not recommending them just using it as an example for cost.
I think $1000-$1500 would be a more fair cost if you are suppling a case and you are delivering and picking up.


Meziere Tech.
Make sure your water pump is on whenever you check your coolant level.
 
Posts: 246 | Location: Escondido | Registered: July 01, 2011Reply With QuoteReport This Post
DRR Trophy
Picture of Bad Nusz
posted Hide Post
quote:
Originally posted by markemark:

If you could afford to spend $415 now, you can purchase an MSD 7730 Grid during the Holley Days Sale that’ll plug right into the 6al rpm port.

This is one of the very best (and least expensive) ignition upgrades for analog ignition imho.


Thanks, markemark; I'm looking into that option.
 
Posts: 367 | Location: Sioux Falls, SD | Registered: March 17, 2018Reply With QuoteReport This Post
DRR Pro
Picture of Eman
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T350 and Powerglide interchange with no length difference for mount or driveshaft, I can swap back and forth in my car. I build my own trans and the T350 I have with a brake I bought in pieces and assembled myself, no way I'd dump that kind of money in a trans and if anything a Powerglide has resale value, not so much for a T350 or T400.
All of that said if .05 average light in no box is a winning light I'd buy a practice tree and do a few mods to the truck before I worried about a TB.
 
Posts: 1479 | Location: E TN | Registered: February 13, 2009Reply With QuoteReport This Post
DRR Sportsman
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Years ago I went from foot brake to trans brake and am considering reverting back to foot brake.
For two years I fought an inconsistent trans brake- would work sometimes, sometimes not. Lost a lot of races because of it. Turned out to be a solenoid wire making intermittent contact within a contact connection.
The only things a trans brake gives you is a more consistent launch RPM at a higher RPM and even that bit me when I turned up the launch RPM so high I tore my drive shaft in half, broke my bell housing, broke a U-joint an tore some teeth off my ring gear.
Sometimes I think these electronic 'enhancements' add just more things to go wrong.
 
Posts: 606 | Location: Lakewood, Co. | Registered: January 22, 2007Reply With QuoteReport This Post
DRR Trophy
Picture of Bad Nusz
posted Hide Post
quote:
Originally posted by Eman:
T350 and Powerglide interchange with no length difference for mount or driveshaft, I can swap back and forth in my car. I build my own trans and the T350 I have with a brake I bought in pieces and assembled myself, no way I'd dump that kind of money in a trans and if anything a Powerglide has resale value, not so much for a T350 or T400.
All of that said if .05 average light in no box is a winning light I'd buy a practice tree and do a few mods to the truck before I worried about a TB.


Thanks, Eman. That's interesting that the Powerglide should fit into the same space as the TH350, without having to change the driveshaft.
However, I do have the long tailhousing on my TH350; it was in there when I bought the truck.

The rig had a V8 conversion already done when I bought it, and I was told once that in S10 V8 conversions one could use a TH350 with a long tailhousing and not need to replace the stock driveshaft.

I put the 9" rear end in myself and had a new driveshaft made at that time, to fit the existing, long-tail TH350.

I'm consulting with my proposed tranny builder now about Powerglide options. Those guys race too.

The average .05 or so RT can be a winning light in Pro Trophy/Sportsman at my track, but not so much in No Box or Mod ET; there the top racers are cutting .03 lights on bad days!

I've thought about getting a practice tree, but I'm not really sleeping at the light; my vehicles reaction time is too slow.
What I mean there is that I cannot just leave with the bottom bulb; I must anticipate the bottom bulb. Therefore, I don't have a good, solid reference point on the tree.
I don't think I can much compete anymore in a foot-brake race with a young woman. ;^)

I must concede though that two of the very best racers at my local track are foot-brakers. I talked to one of them and he said "Well, another hundred horsepower would help you....".

I know guys, mostly transbrake drivers, who complain that they must actually hesitate for a moment when the bottom bulb lights.

Cheers,
T.

This message has been edited. Last edited by: Bad Nusz,
 
Posts: 367 | Location: Sioux Falls, SD | Registered: March 17, 2018Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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