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Author Topic: Home-brewed 125" Twin Turbo F.E.D  (Read 7140 times)
Jim Mitchell
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Jim "The Animal" Mitchell

« on: December 22, 2010, 12:59:34 AM »

Well this is the beginning of my latest project. Its gonna be a home made 125'' wheelbase front engine dragster. I LOVE nostalgia race cars, altereds and FEDs. My local track hosts some awesome heads-up, true ''flag-start'' nostalgia racing. Its usually a good size event with lots of original and even repopped altereds, FEDs, gassers and last year we had a match race between a fuel altered and a fuel dragster. Its a pretty exciting event to watch and I cant wait to compete.
     Now, FEDs were usually 180''+ wheelbase by the late '60s and were built with a conventional tube chassis. Anytime you see a picture of a FED you will usually see a late '60s chassis. The late '50s into the early '60s were more experimental, there wasnt any real set standard for frame design nor thickness and the wheelbase was usually pretty short. These early FEDs drive me wild! I LOVE em! You had to have BALLS to climb into one of these short wheelbase, single hoop roll bar, monsters. Generally if a guy was building his own car it didnt look like all the long wheelbase cookie cutter FEDs of the late '60s, it would have been more unique. So what Im building is a closer replica to an early '60s FED but with modern safety and this chassis will need to be certified to 7.50 1/4.
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225" dragster with a street motor. Stock 350 shortblock, Home-ported 1.84" smoggers, .488"/232 Hyd flat tappet, Pump gas.
Jim Mitchell
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Jim "The Animal" Mitchell

« Reply #1 on: December 22, 2010, 01:12:05 AM »

I havent made alot of progress on the chassis, but I did finish the motor. Its nothing special, its a late model block with a stock crank and rods and a set of hypers I had laying around. This motor was built using 90% of the junk I had laying on the shelf. Its a 355 SBC that will be getting a pair of T3/T4 hybrid turbos. Im not looking to set the world on fire with this combo but I think its gonna make around 700 HP and 700 ft lbs torque. Long term I will probably build a better shortblock with one of my ''010'' blocks and forged crank and rods as well as a good forged piston. I dont have the turbos yet but they will be the $130 ebay specials, I do have my wastegates though. I have had good luck with my gates from the ebay seller ''Wyntonm'' that I used on the Mustang build, so I went back to him for a set of these 44 MM wastegates.
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225" dragster with a street motor. Stock 350 shortblock, Home-ported 1.84" smoggers, .488"/232 Hyd flat tappet, Pump gas.
Jim Mitchell
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Jim "The Animal" Mitchell

« Reply #2 on: December 22, 2010, 01:19:40 AM »

I have all the tubing needed to build my equal length turbo headers. I have found that this is the cheapest way to get all the tubing, flanges and collectors needed to build custom headers, buy a diy header weld up kit and throw the directions away. They are usually intended for T-buckets but they have alot of bends that can be cut up to make your own designed headers. These cost $130 from summitracing and have 2 flanges, 2 - 3'' collectors and lots of 1 3/4'' misc bent tubing. I bought one of these when I built the turbo headers on the Mustang.
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225" dragster with a street motor. Stock 350 shortblock, Home-ported 1.84" smoggers, .488"/232 Hyd flat tappet, Pump gas.
Jim Mitchell
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Jim "The Animal" Mitchell

« Reply #3 on: December 22, 2010, 01:28:40 AM »

The one thing that I refuse to build myself is an automatic transmission! I paid a very reputable man named Skip Cook to build me a powerglide for this dragster. It has good internals that will hold up to mid 7 second passes, it has the ''shorty'' cover on the back and Im going to be using a Mark Williams coupler. The other important piece I sourced was the narrowed rear. This is an early Olds/Pontiac 9.3" rear with Strange axles and spool and a set of 4.56:1 gears. It has good working drum brakes and I plan to use the existing hand brake setup. These rearends were pretty popular back in the early '60s but you rarely see anyone use them anymore with a new build. The 9'' Ford is the norm but these rears have alot of ''cool'' factor.
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225" dragster with a street motor. Stock 350 shortblock, Home-ported 1.84" smoggers, .488"/232 Hyd flat tappet, Pump gas.
Jim Mitchell
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Jim "The Animal" Mitchell

« Reply #4 on: December 22, 2010, 01:43:48 AM »

I went back and forth in my head trying to decide on what to build the main chassis out of. Tube chassis is cool but its waay to common and it requires a jig to properly build one. Im not looking to spend 150 hours building a jig based tube chassis, and I really like the look of the single 3'' round tube or the 3'' by 2'' rec tube. I decided to use the 3'' by 2'' rec tube with a .120'' wall thickness, I have used this stuff alot, its very easy to work with and it will look good as a short wheelbase car with the single tube.
     The first order of business was to cut the tubes to length and drill/notch the ends for the torsion tube. Since my torsion tube is 1 3/4'' diameter and the frame is 3'' tall I cut the rails back 12'' and left an 1/8''th register so I can butt a piece of 2'' steel strap to it. This picture is only a mock up to check fitment but you can get the general idea as to what Im doing. Im gonna set the front of my tubes 16'' apart and 24'' at the back, this will give the right tapered look of the frame, and 24'' out back will give me a 21'' inside to inside roll cage width to fit my wide shoulders.
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225" dragster with a street motor. Stock 350 shortblock, Home-ported 1.84" smoggers, .488"/232 Hyd flat tappet, Pump gas.
Jim Mitchell
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Jim "The Animal" Mitchell

« Reply #5 on: December 22, 2010, 01:50:44 AM »

Thats it for now, I have 2 kids that are 1 1/2 and 2 1/2 years old as well as my job so finding time to fabricate is tough but I hope to be done for next summer.
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225" dragster with a street motor. Stock 350 shortblock, Home-ported 1.84" smoggers, .488"/232 Hyd flat tappet, Pump gas.
wildcobrar
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« Reply #6 on: December 22, 2010, 04:46:25 AM »

Wow Jim, you are a busy guy.  Looks great so far.  Merry Christmas to you and your family.

Joe
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Junk 351C with 138 dollar cam, nail head exhaust valves, 9.8 to1 comp  10.74@128MPH  JUNK LOL 
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TooNuts
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« Reply #7 on: December 22, 2010, 06:01:07 AM »

Jim I did not know you had fabricating skills. I have a few fab skills myself, lol but alot different then what is done on a car though. But very nice work!
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D.M.W.L  408 Clevor Engine,  6.08 @ 112mph .. Street Car with Race Features!
Thanks to the Lord and my friends. Joe,Monty,Bam,Robert and any other TNR member who has help me.
Jim Mitchell
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Jim "The Animal" Mitchell

« Reply #8 on: December 23, 2010, 01:15:33 AM »

Wow Jim, you are a busy guy.  Looks great so far.  Merry Christmas to you and your family.

Joe
Thanks, Joe. Merry Christmas to you too. Yes I have been very busy lately with that motor and cutting the rest of my firewood.
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225" dragster with a street motor. Stock 350 shortblock, Home-ported 1.84" smoggers, .488"/232 Hyd flat tappet, Pump gas.
Jim Mitchell
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Jim "The Animal" Mitchell

« Reply #9 on: December 23, 2010, 01:28:28 AM »

Jim I did not know you had fabricating skills. I have a few fab skills myself, lol but alot different then what is done on a car though. But very nice work!
Im far from any professional fabricator, but I have been welding pretty steady for the past 11 years. My very first welding project was a go cart, it had an 8 HP Briggs&Stratton, variable belt drive, a plastic racing bucket with a 5-point harness and we clocked it at 37 mph. I used some suspension pieces from some junked '70s Honda motorcycle. I got lucky on the spring rates and it handled quite well in the rough stuff as well as jumps. After I sold that cart I built 3 barstool racers and sold them, here is a picture of the first one. These were used for doing wheelies and I had a little road coarse set up in the back yard for me and some friends to race each other. I have been taking on miscelanious welding side jobs ever since. I have done a few trailers, roll cages, and lots of one-off headers and lots of other crap.
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225" dragster with a street motor. Stock 350 shortblock, Home-ported 1.84" smoggers, .488"/232 Hyd flat tappet, Pump gas.
wildcobrar
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« Reply #10 on: December 23, 2010, 06:33:30 AM »

Wow, cool stuff.  You know how to have fun!

Joe
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Junk 351C with 138 dollar cam, nail head exhaust valves, 9.8 to1 comp  10.74@128MPH  JUNK LOL 
Mainstream Auto & Speed selling anything Summit Racing offers@Summit Racing prices
Pro Systems & PROBE
Industries & YEAR ONE
Dealer
Blue Thunder Dealer(Great Discount Price)
VACATION NEEDED
Jim Mitchell
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Jim "The Animal" Mitchell

« Reply #11 on: December 24, 2010, 02:29:49 AM »

She's rollin! I was able to put in 2 days work and got alot done. I did the final fitting of the rails to the torsion tube, and welded them in. I built the frame brackets for mounting the rearend and got the rear housing set in perfect alignment, thats all finish welded. The frame is dead-nut square and true, it rolls with ease. I put in a crossmember directly below the pinion and fabbed an anti-rotation bracket that wraps around the pinion housing and prevents the axle housing from twisting backwards if the rearend mounting brackets were ever to fail. Its a requirement for all front engine dragsters as well as altereds. I put my shorty glide in place and set the coupler alignment, its close enough for now so I can continue forward but it will probably need tweaking once my hoop, roll bar, diagnals, and uprights are welded in.
      Since I dont have the cash to buy the roll bar tubing, Im probably gonna work on mounting the engine and start building the headers since I have all the needed materials. Here are some progress pictures.
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225" dragster with a street motor. Stock 350 shortblock, Home-ported 1.84" smoggers, .488"/232 Hyd flat tappet, Pump gas.
TooNuts
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« Reply #12 on: December 24, 2010, 06:36:31 AM »

Its good to see there are some skill still alive out there. Awsome work brother.
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D.M.W.L  408 Clevor Engine,  6.08 @ 112mph .. Street Car with Race Features!
Thanks to the Lord and my friends. Joe,Monty,Bam,Robert and any other TNR member who has help me.
black88coupe
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Rocking a sweet Kool- Aid mustache!

fast black aod coupe
« Reply #13 on: December 24, 2010, 08:01:21 AM »

Very cool project!
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Slowly making my way out of project car hell. One weld at a time!!
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Jim Mitchell
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Jim "The Animal" Mitchell

« Reply #14 on: December 24, 2010, 04:55:40 PM »

Thanks, whatever I lack in skill is made up for with motivation. I have wanted to build something like this for 6 years now.
     What do you guys think of the engine/trans placement? Im a little worried that its gonna be too far back with that shorty powerglide and coupler. Im gonna run a set of wheelie bars reguardless since I plan to leave on full boost off the transbrake. Its gonna 60' like a mofo!!! I just dont wanna ride on the wheelie bars for the first 300'.
     I have given it some thought today and Im thinking that building a short driveshaft to move the motor and trans forward might be the best bet. Maybe 12'' forward would work good, I might mock it up and get the 4 corner weights and see where it is. Whats you guys opinion?
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225" dragster with a street motor. Stock 350 shortblock, Home-ported 1.84" smoggers, .488"/232 Hyd flat tappet, Pump gas.
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