This is it, the fourth installment of an incredible cross-country road trip to race Jon Chase at the NHRA Winternationals in Pomona, California. Yeah, you probably already know the outcome of this race because it happened weeks ago and there's plenty of videos from the Hoonigans, Motor Trend, TheCraig909, FourSpeedFilms etc, but this is the tale from my point of view.
I'm picking up the road trip to the race as we prepare to leave The Horsepower Connection in Lake Havasu City, Arizona. We finished dyno-testing Blasphemi and although it would not stop leaking water from the cylinder heads into the crankcase, it did put 1,070hp to the tires. To prevent making a motor milkshake during the event we decided to drain the water out of the engine and only run it long enough to race down the track.
The new ramp truck, Square Force 1, was running great but only getting about 5.5 mpg and we wanted to know why. Sure, it's loaded down with Blasphemi, my tools, boxes of t-shirts and is pretty much a 14,000 lb brick pushing through the wind, but we still wanted to know how the 454 V8 engine was running. So David Newbern, Mike Cotten and I, along with Steve Darnell and Merlon Johnson from Welderup, decided to install a Holley Wideband O2 sensor and custom gauge to see the air/fuel ratio of the engine in real-time.
Here is a link to the gauge we installed:
Since we weren't at home in my garage we brought along the portable Miller Welder Multimatic 220 AC/DC MIG/TIG/Stick welder. You've seen this machine on my channel before and it's become my go-to welder because I frequently switch from MIG to TIG welding without having to disconnect the torch or gun and I can leave both the pure argon and argon/co2 mix bottles connected to the machine. It really saves time. Here's a link to more info on that welder:
I also brought along the Miller Fusion 160 generator/stick welder for a couple of reasons: first off, the new ramp truck isn't that reliable and I figured at some point during this 5,300 mile trip we'd brake down in the dark somewhere and it would be nice to have a generator for power. We also relied on the 6,500 watts of electrical output to run all of the electric items in our racing pit. The Fusion 160 powered our battery charger, the lights in Square Force 1, the Multimatic 220 and a four-inch angle grinder without any issue.
Here's a link to more info on the Fusion 160:
When it came time to MIG weld the O2 sensor bug into the exhaust system of the ramp truck we simply connected the Multimatic 220 to the Fusion 160, hit the electric start switch on the generator, and were off and welding in no time. It really is a great combination of portability and welding power!
The wideband sensor and gauge revealed that the engine was running perfectly and there was very little room to improve its tuneup for better mileage.It also revealed a small exhaust leak when the engine was idling that falsely gave us a lean air/fuel ratio. Once the engine was above idle and there was sufficient exhaust speed the leak went away and the gauge read normally and indicated the 454 was operating an an efficient 14.5:1 air/fuel ratio. If we keep searching for better fuel economy we may have to look into an overdrive transmission or diesel-swap the truck like the we did to the Roadkill ramp truck.
Anyway, we made it to Pomona on-time and sleepy. Since I hadn't driven the car since 2018 and the engine, shifter, fuel system and ignition were all brand-new, we chose to make a couple of test passes before racing started. The first pass resulted in a massive wheelie! The second pass yielded the best ET I've ever ran; 8.68 at 160 mph! When it came time to race Jon Chase, the car ran just long enough to get the job done and then the Hemi quit on me. It's currently out of the car for an autopsy to find the reason for the water leak and see if we did any other damage.
Now that this trip and race are over we are going to switch gears and get back to work on the OG Roadkill Ramp Truck, the twin turbo Jet Boat, and m '67 C10. Look for an update on the ramp truck's broken rear axle in episode 66!
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15. mars. 2019