How important is the 60 ft. time, what improvements help and how do I accomplish them?
In drag racing the 60 ft. time is THE most important to a fast ET! (reaction time is for racing another vehicle!)
For purposes of discussion I'm leaving the engine alone. We will assume it to stay at the same HP. There really is no single best mod to make as the problems vary depending on the vehicle in question.
First, just how important is 60' time? Improvements as little as .02 sec. can lower ET by a tenth! Why? Mass! We have to get that hulk of machinery moving! Sitting at a dead stop and accelerating at full throttle, think about it. It's the most challenging thing to do in a drag race. To me, this puts weight at the top of my list.
Weight-The old rule of thumb of 100 lbs of weight reduction shaving a tenth off ET is pretty accurate. But, the biggest gains due to weight reduction are in the 60' times. Not only that, but with less mass to get moving, less load is put on the tires reducing traction issues.
Another thing on weight, like that jacked up look in the back? Bad move, you just took a bunch of rear weight and put it on the front tires.
Okay, so you've gotten rid of all the weight you can stand (or afford if we're talking fiberglass!). Let's move what we can to the rear then. Ain't none of us that I know of can move TOO much weight to the rear. Easiest is the battery. Next would be all those big-*** amps and speakers I see so much of these days. Get 'em as far back as you can stand. For you guys with fuel tanks on the side think about installing a rear tank (not as hard or expensive as you'd think!). Us S guys can drop 30 lbs. up front easy by converting to a manual geabox. Next would be dynamically moving front weight to the rear. We'll discuss traction aids below.
Traction-Boy, how many of us haven't spun and watched the other guy scoot away!?! But, most of us drive our vehicles regularly and can't just drive around on race slicks waiting for the next red-light challenge. So lets address that.
Tires-See that treadwear rating on the side of your tire? If you bought 60k mile tires it's probably over 400. Not good. Too hard but not impossible to make hook. Hopefully you have them as wide as possible. Best bet is a drag radial but lots of us can't be shelling out $350-400 every 5-10k miles or so. So something in between is called for. Ask your tire dealer what you're expecting and see what they say. If they're goofy, you'll know.
Weight Transfer- Let's transfer some of that weight when we stomp the pedal. The more of that we can do the less we have to worry about tires.Herein lies the tradeoff zone. Cheapest way to transfer weight is to unhook the front sway bar (or if you're boneheaded like me, throw it away!)Next cheapest and best way to transfer weight to the rear is front drag springs. I hear lots of whining when it comes to drag springs on the street. I run 'em. Makes high speed cornering interesting. But, hey, all the other sports only use 1 ball. DO NOT order just any drag spring from a parts catalog. Get it weighed and get the RIGHT springs. $20-$50 to weigh all 4 corners is CHEAP. Springs are under a $200 for our trucks. Unless you take corners as kamikaze as I do you'll be hard pressed to tell the difference. Drag shocks would add to the equation but things get REAL interesting on the interstate with both. Rear springs are okay but we're talking trucks and most of us have leafs so we'll skip that. Rear drag shocks will help it squat a little. If you find a set for you're application cheap enough, give 'em a try.
Cal-trac's, Slide-a-Link's, Traction Bar's, Slapper bar's, etc.- Take your pick. What you're gonna do is take the rotation of the axle, under load, and transfer that lifting force forward on the vehicles frame. That effectively puts more weight on the rear wheels. Tends to keep the dreaded "wheel hop" away also. On my high 12 blazer the $39 traction bars work great. BUT, they're modified to put the point of contact where I want it. If you've got the money for the bad-boy stuff, go for it. It does produce better results IF YOU HAVE THE POWER to use it.
Rear sway bar- This is the one you want connected. Very easy to make one side adjustable to straighten out your launch if you're yanking to one side. The right rear needs the pre-load. What!?! you say? The left front is lifting, that puts weight on the right rear! Uh-uh. The twisting force of the axle is trying to lift the right rear. Think about it. Better yet, make that rear bar adjustable and see for yourself.
Gear ratio- The lower the gear ratio (higher numerically) the lower the 60'. Period. How much can you stand? If you've got overdrive 3.50-4.20 should be your gear of choice
Posi-Traction- Need I say more? If you ain't got it, get it. I tend to stay away from the cone and clockspring posi's. The clutch, gear and locker types are the way to go. I'll do a separate write-up on the different types.
Torque Converter- Will do more than all the above put together to lower your 60' time. BUT, if you don't have your traction issues fixed the converter is GUARANTEED to make it worse! A 2500 stall converter will normally reduce 60' times .2-.4 over a stock converter. I run around 3000 on my converter but I kept my lock-up functioning and don't suffer fuel mileage problems.
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