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May 2003 NewsLetter image May 20, 2003

Forward by Larry "prez" Gable

Our 4/19/03 meeting represented the Spring Break Out. The sun was out, it was actually warm and 8 or 9 of you drove your Buicks! It was a nice site to see. I had rather a difficult time getting everyone out of the parking lot and into the restaurant for the meeting. We had 23 attend - another good showing and still 4 or 5 of our regulars were not there. It just shows - there's a lot of interest and its good comradery. Don and Jill got our shelter reserved for the family picnic at Akron park for Sat. July 19th. Its shelter * 14 - very near where we were 2 years ago. Nice Job! We have reserved the rental of NY Intl. Race Way park for Sat. Sept. 20th - mark your calendar! We agreed on most of our cruise and race nights - check our web site and click on Events. One of particular interest is the race and cruise night at Lancaster race park. Our first night at that cruise is 5/28 - you can race or just cruise. We will also have race nights at NY Intl. - on specific Friday nights - check our website calendar. We were approached by John Marriott of the Buick Club of America. They are having a car show at the Cheektowaga Town Park on 8/17. Our cars are invited and they are looking for 1 nice GN to place in a specific area of the show. If your interested - drop me a note - The raffle gift was donated by Darryl and Lisa - a bucket full of car care products - NICE! I wanted that--didn't happen! Phil T. won it and Darryl won a club hat. Darryl was so psyched - we had to peel him off the ceiling! Our next meeting will be held at the same place - Sat - 6/14 at 6 pm. Here's a note on our trek to Norwalk for the Buick event. A lot went on and I can't fit it all in here - I just wish all of you could have been there to experience it. We had a blast-- really, it was a great time. I drove out with John M, Mike H., Mark B.and his two young boys, Joe R., and his pal Matt. Laughed the whole way out! Stopped in Akron Ohio to pick up Mikes car. his Trans had been rebuilt by Vince Janice. We arrived at the track to meet up with Jerry T., Phil T., Paul P., Ron and Kevin T. and Joe and Lynda D. and their little girl in addition to Bus and Karen C. We hung out together, laughed, had dinner together, laughed, took in the car show , laughed, had get together in the hotel room , laughed watched the races, checked out other rigs at the track, etc. Then it was Mikes turn to pick up the pace and race his car. The stage wad set - Joe had gone up the tower and told the announcer, Mike was about to make an attempt to get into the 12's for the very 1st time. Mike pulls up - His name is announced, they mention our WNY club, the crowd of thousands are on their feet. The lights start coming down - the crowd is hushed - they are holding their breath ( even little babies stopped crying) - The light turns green and Mike BLAST out of there, on his way to a 12.8 run!! The crowd ROARS - and then the SSSHIT HITS THE FAN!! The newly built trans blows up and Mike coast to a 16 second run! Everyone was stunned-- babies started crying and everyone was about to leave the park whennnnnnnnn - Jerry T. pulls up to the lights to save the day. His previous run was 11.4 - the crowd was looking for a 10.99999999. Jerry leaves - the crowd jumps to their feet - their yelling and screaming - Jerry hits second gear when his car takes a SSSHIT on the track!! The car fishtails - he maintains control and brings it to a stop at the 1/8 mile marker!! Holly COW!! He blew a soft plug and drenched the track. BRING out the Zamboni!!!! Bus and Karen did not get out uncaged either. Popped the inlet tube off-dented the hood and the up pipe!! You gotta be kidding me! Joe R. raced his rig at least 12 times - then quit while he was ahead. I gotta hand to Mike, Jerry , Bus and Karen - they handled the devastation like true hard core racers-- they just broke down and CRIED! No-- really, everyone helped out and by days end we were all laughing. Overall - we had a very good time - wish all of you could have been there. Now - here's some tech talked by our own Grant Farmer - aka - Mr. 8 seconds!

Article by club member Grant Farmer

After much thought on what I can write about, I had to resort to what I know best, my current race car project. I had a few hundred words written on my views on race car fabrication, where I see mistakes in setup and tuning, but that is just my view on what I have seen, so I will talk about what I have done and maybe some ideas for you next car can be taken from that. My car started out as a whole regal, bought from Mike McCoy in NC, it was a n/a regal in rough but running condition. I stripped the car before I took it home getting the price down to a reasonable 50 dollars. The car sat for year while I was in Korea doing what I do in the Army. The idea was to take my parts from a previous regal and transfer them to the new rust free body, but after figuring out the prices for all the parts I wanted to make the car handle higher horse power reliably, the total for street parts almost equaled that of a back half, so that's where it started. I wanted the car to be easy to work on, and fiberglass body panels would meet that goal, so that was added in. After Korea the car went to a friend of mines shop for the basic frame install, 14pt cage and rear end assembly. A few thousand dollars, 6 months and 300 man hours later I had the car back, but as soon as I got the car to NC to start my work on the car our country was attacked, so work came to a stoppage again as I trained to go to war. I worked about an hour a night painting the cage, fitting tubs and other sheet metal, making seat mounting and the thousands of small things that make a race car. Then the car went into storage for another 6 months, as I had to go to Afghanistan to fight the good fight. It took many days to get back into the project, I took many steps back, some forward, but in the end nothing proved to be to big to be accomplished in the parking lot. Everything is hard though, even the task of getting electricity involves 200 feet of extension cord rolled out and in every day, there is no room in a 20ft trailer, in the winter months a torpedo heater keeps it a balmy and hard to control 90 plus degrees. In the attempt to make this car somewhat different from other race cars the rear quarter panel were fitted with 17 dzus fasteners for easy removal of the entire panel to aid tire removal at the track without dropping the whole rear suspension, and they were also stretched 2 inches and the rockers cut 4 inches to fit the 33 inch tall by 19.5 inch slicks. The rear end it a totally new, no Ford parts involved unit. The center housing is made by Currie enterprises, the tubes are short but still made of 1/4 wall 4340 moly 3 inch od tubing that has internal gussets in the housing on top of the end welds, and a 2x3 back brace installed, the ends are Mark Williams Olds Pontiac style with the matching Wilwood disc brakes. The rear axle is held floating with strange electronically adjustable shocks, that can be compensated for rebound with a micro timer to keep the heavy car stable at the top end of the track. Inside the rear end are Mark Williams high torque series axles and a Strange Engineering nodular iron (aluminum is lighter but in a heavy car the chances of cracking are high) third member with a strange 35 spline spool and 4.11 gears that will give a final ratio of 3.42 with the tall tires. In the trunk all of the sheet metal was removed the gas tank neck bump removed to add clearance for two 5 gallon aluminum fuel cells in a modular format the contain the gas and chilled water for the liquid to air intercooler. Also in this module are the battery and nitrous bottle that can all be removed when 4 t-bolt clamps are loosened. All sheet metal installed outside of the chassis rails are permanently riveted in, all the inboard sheet metal is held in with camlocks so that the 4 links rods can be adjusted with the weight on the suspension and without a jack for maximum ease and precision. The seat mounts are formed in a dual x configuration that actually become a structural member and tie in to the transmission and rear cross members for maximum safety and chassis stiffening. The drive shaft tunnel had to be raised due to the extremely low stance of the car so a tunnel from Chris Alston's was ordered and will run the length of the interior. Most of the stock interior will be installed, with all the glass removed for lexan and all non-essential fabric and padding have been removed, just what is needed to make people believe that this car is street worthy, which it might end up being if I want some more fun. All of the steel on the car has been cleaned of all stock fiber filler, ALL of it, all seams, under rugs, in the roof and if needed replaced with new fill as in the rear B-pillars, most would not notice it, but the good eyes will see it, then an acid etch was used and ALL of the steel on the car was painted with POR 15, even under the head liner and the entire bottom of the car to include the chassis. Up front the stock cross member was removed and a bolt in tubular one was added to make clearance for the dragster style oil pan, attached to the removable cross member is a mustang II manual rack that will be removed with the same 8 cross member bolts if I make a mess of an engine at the track. Upper and lower control arms will be tubular construction made by myself as the lowers are not made by anyone to my knowledge, easy fix when you can weld your own parts as I have done so many times before. Much welding was done in the trailer, to include the cross member which had to be installed with a stick welder in the driveway of a friends apartment, but thanks to training from my dad which is a professional welder the vertical up beads were simple and cleaner than most MIG welds. The front end will hold the engine which gets me a few dirty looks being that it is not a Buick 6, it is a twin turbo small block Chevy, the block is a standard 350 4-bolt fitted with a 4340 non-twist forged crank, 4340 H-beam rods, JE pistons, a Doug Herbert roller cam and lifters, that will actuate valves in a set of Pro Topline aluminum heads that flow 318 cfm on the intake sides and 205 cfm out the exhaust, which is plumbed to a pair of TE-63 4 bolt turbos and a bowtie intake converted to fuel injection by myself and a 4 inch 90 degree transition tube and a ford 90mm throttle body. Well that I where I am now with my project, I hope you enjoy the pictures and such, if anyone has any questions feel free to ask. I want to thank all that have helped my get this car to where it is, Heather for giving me the push and the garage for a few months, my parents for putting up with all the regal parts at their house and my friends for helping me keep the ball rolling while I was deployed or otherwise not able to be home, and you guys for listening to me talk about my love.

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