Bill Anderson's 1932 Ford 5 Window Coupe
Performance Update

June 2013 - Driveway Test Track

After hundreds of launches on the 32 the posi just plain wore out. Over the 2012-2013 winter I yanked the center section, spent a few nights at CompFab rebuilding the center section and replaced the differential with the up and coming helical gear TrueTrac rather than replacing the clutch pack.

So, a 50 foot burnout in the ol' driveway to test it out. After taking the funny car to the Grove next weekend, I'm going back to Route66 a couple of times in July with the 32 and make some statements!!!

2010 - 2012 Route 66 Test & Tunes

Many sessions at Route66 running the car on average 8 times a year and up to 10 times a night consistently in the 11.0-11.1 ET range. You just don't get that kind of fun at a cruise night car show. The drag strip is the ultimate car show!!!!

September 2009 - Route 66 Test & Tune

with new hood & scoop

Early in the strip testing, several carburetors were tested with the new scoop: Holley 850 w/vacuum secondaries, Holley 850 w/mechanical secondaries, and a Barry Grant Demo Drag Race series 5423010DR 825 cfm. None of those seemed to perform the way I expected even after set up improvements with the accelerator pump, cams, jetting, squirters, etc.

So, I bought a Holley 4150HP main body from Amazon for $75, and metering blocks from Quickfuel for $50 each, grabbed an old throttle plate and float bowls from the attic and assembled one for about $200. Set it up, tuned it, and dialed the hot rod in to easy 11.0's. With that being said, there is so much power off the line that I have to launch at about 2700 rpm and lean into the throttle about 50 feet out or I just blow the tires off at the line.

Moral of the story, don't underestimate spare and collectively assembled parts. All those other ready to go solutions found themselves on ebay.

May 2009 - Hood Scoop (aka DeuScoop (Deuce Coupe!))

So, I've decide after evaluating all the options to build a plenum, make a new hood held on by dzus fasteners, and get some fresh air from over the hood instead of hot air from the radiator fan. I looked at ram air and a few other options and this is the route I'm going. In the picture to the right you see I've made an attachment plate that fits snugly into the bottom of the Hilborne injector scoop I'll be using. I've also made a base plate that fits over the carburetor flange.

Immediately below, you'll see the tapered mandrel I made to roll the .125" aluminum stock into the taper. The mandrel is longer than the finished plenum will be to help form it down. You can see the black line showing where the diameters are for the carb and scoop base plates. I put a pipe in the middle and filled it with concrete to keep the shape.

I made a paper template on the mandrel, transferred it to the aluminum, and went to work forming it and trimming it to shape. Then, over to CompFab to have Dave weld it all together.

To the right you can see looking down the plenum to the carb. A long threaded rod hold it in place, then the scoop gets bolted on.

Below is a picture of the assembly in place, the guys at CompFab call it my snow cone!! Also, note the new side support rods with dzus tabs for mounting the hood. Note also the green body tape on top of duct tape for paint protectin and sponge pieces to hold the hood in the proper position during fabrication.

Below right is with the new hood in place.What a work out to fabricate that!!.I used a variety of long round items such as 4" PVC, roofing paper, floor paper, and so on to achieve the desired fit. It's a progressive radius as it's larger toward the firewall that up at the grill shell. WHAT A WORKOUT!!! After getting it real close I stopped as I was completely worn out and didn't want to mess up due to exhaustion. After being sore for a few days I was able to get back and finish it. Note the sides are still long so it would be easier to bend.

Next, it was time for the reveals that belong on the side of the hood. After many conversations with Dave discussing ideas, I decided that I didn't want to risk messing up all the hard work by rolling the reveal which would have to have body glaze added anyway to smooth it.

SO, my idea was to make the reveals out of 6061 aluminum by cutting and shaping them into sword like pieces. To the right top is fresh cut and pointed, to the right bottom is 2 examples: the top is roughed into shape, the bottom is finished ground and sanded to shape, blending perfectly with the reveals in the body line.

Next, I scuffed the hood, and clamped them with body panel adhesive. Small touch up with body glazing, prime, and paint and we had a winner!!

July 2007 - New Tires & General Pics

    July 18, 2007 I decided on the Coker Firestone Dragster 10 inch wide tires over Radir, MT, and M&H.  Tires arrived and were mounted, balance, & installed on Friday July 18, 2007.  Thursday I installed the shift light.  I made a bracket that could reuse an interior screw and used 3M "velcro" type mounts and a 3 pin connector to make it removable.

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Summer 2007 - Crusin'

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    May-July 2007: After shock shopping I called Pete & Jakes about the 1084C shocks on the car.  Talking with Jerry, they were finishing up the manufacturing of a new version of 3084P shocks to handle heavy front end coupes and I decided to try a pair.  When they arrived, their machinist had messed up the dimensions and the bodies were an inch too long.  It took an additional 6 weeks to get the correct ones made, look for the new shocks in the front end picture below.  I haven't been on a wavy road yet, but will soon when I head back to Route 66.

    July 2007:  Well, we've done a fair number of cruise nights, and made many new friends.  June 19, 2007, Bill Jr. and I returned to Route 66 for Test & Tune Tuesday.  I was very happy with the results.  First pass was just to get down the track feeling things out.  Fourth and fifth runs were leaving the line soft due to street tires and getting out of it at about 1000-1100 as the Holley 750 was starving.  Results:  12.359 and 12.377 times.  Looking forward to returning with the Holley 850 used by GM Performance to baseline the ZZ454 at 440HP and slicks.   Time to shop again.  And, I ordered a ProForm shift light from Street Stuff.

    I bought a Holley 80531 850 cfm w/vacuum secondaries from Street Stuff in Addison, IL and set up dyno time to tune it in.  I mounted the carb and swapped in a different accelerator pump cam to make it streetable and heading for my 2-3 hour dyno tyne on July 16, 2007.  I forgot my camera, but below is a picture using my cell phone.  After 4 hours of struggling they concluded that the erratic behavior of the carb must be due to manufacturing defect, so back it went to Holley. 32onDyno.jpg (39350 bytes)

May 2007 - Enging Break In

    Well, the afternoon of May 17 I did a final electrical and ignition check out, did a rough placement of the distributor for timing.  Had a couple of minor drips during cranking where the trans fluid lines went into the radiator for cooling, they were only finger tight so I tightened them up.  I turned on the ignition and fuel pump and fired up the new ZZ454.  I turned up the idle to run the engine at the prescribed 2000-2500 RPM for a half hour and set the timing at about 25deg advance and let it run for a half hour watching oil pressure, for drips, and temperature.   After about 15 minutes it was getting up in temperature to about 210-220 even with extra fans blowing on the radiator and engine.  I held my breath for the end of the 30 minutes and backed the RPM down to an 800 idle.  After about 15 minutes it cooled to about 185deg.  We jumped in, and took progressive cruises, first around the neighborhood and then out for several mile of the main roads.  Generally, the engine stayed at 180deg while driving and 185deg while sitting idling.  Friday we'll cruise it for about 40-50 miles and if that's trouble free we'll be heading for the Route66 car show during Match Race Mania which will add about 100 break in miles. 
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    Well, Friday I decided to cruise the car to Dave Daunheimer's Competition Fabrications, and all went well (almost) until about 20 minutes into the ride the car kept dying which of course caused me stress.  Checking the fuel pressure gauge, it was dropping to 0 and then slowly creeping back up.  Not a good sign, and I limped into Competition Fabrications.  I pulled the fuel line between the filter and pump and gas was just flowing out.  OK, that filter's OK.  We increased pressure at the regulator from 5 to 6 psi and things seemed generally OK.  We shot the breeze about possibilities and tomorrows trip to Route 66 where I would show the car and Dave was racing his nitro nostalgia dragster, and I went home.  At home I pulled the fuel filter in front of the pressure gauge that you can see in the picture to the right above and it had about a thimble full of dirt.  Unbelievable.  I cleaned it out and we headed to Route 66 on Saturday with no problems.  Below are myself and son Bill by the car.  Boy, compressing the picture down to fit sure does make that grill look funny.  On the way to & from Route 66 the front end really bounced on wavy roads so I need to shock shop to steady it down.

Spring 2007 - Engine Swap

    From the beginning and as described during the whole build up process, my intention was always to build up and spend money for horsepower once the car was done, on the road, and "All shook out."  Well, 2006 took care of a lot of that, so on to the next phase.

    Per NHRA rules, and all the other drag racing organizations succomb to those rules to make it easy for themselves, this car can run down to a 11.50 with out a roll bar.  With the roll bar designed, the car is allowed to run down to 11.00.  To run down to a 10.00, I would have needed a full cage, and I just didn't want to dirty/clutter up the dash and front area of the interior.  So, I decided to settle for that extra 1/2 second for running an 11.00 at the track.

What can be done to get me there?  Well, a blower is out of the question.   Remember from the Build Pictorial that I have literally no space for the pulleys required as the short water pump barely fits.  That leaves NOS or gas build up.   To get this light car down to 11 seconds should not require NOS, so we're off to the gas build up.  During the fall through Chirstmas 2006 holidays I researched and scrutinized my options: 1)  Take this 2 bolt 454 block and build it.  I researched rotating assembly pieces and combinations, cam and lifter offerings, etc extensively.  BTW, you can learn a tremendous amount at the KBSilvolite website about pistons and their dynamics.  Assuming block machining, either machining or buying a 700 HP cast crank, about 9.6:1 compression, a couple of cam offerings, Edelbrock Performer RPM heads, and so on, by the time I was done I was looking at somewhere in the $6700 range to do it right.

2) Buy a fresh 4 bolt 454 block and follow plan 1 above.  Basically same result, about $6700 to do it right.

3) Keeping an open mind, I also included crate engines from a variety of sources inlcuding GM, Bill Mitchell, etc.  To make a long decision process short, the GM ZZ454 was virtually what I was going to build, inlcuding head flow and dynamics.   However, here are the differences:
    a) 4 bolt block
    b) Forged crank and connecting rods
    c) Roller cam with comprable lift, but shorter duration that hobbles the RPM range to the upper 5 grand area
    d) Assembled and warrenty, no oops on my part
    e) Final price, $5815 delivered
    f) Several articles on simple updates to bring it from a conservatively rated 440HP to just over 500HP
    g) A promise that it was completely interchangable with my 1973 454 (yeah right, I know better)
    h) I can sell the old 454.  (I got $800 on eBay!! Pan to manifold, I kept water pump, carb, starter, distributor, M/T valve covers, etc.)

After much deliberation and discussion and bench hypothesizing, I went with the GM ZZ454 crate.  Even though I knew the gauranteed interchangeability was vapor.   What's a project without issues and challenges?  Now, my net expense is about $5000

Old 454, crated ZZ454, rebuilt TH400... Crated ZZ454, rebuilt TH400...
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ZZ454 is born... ZZ454 is plucked...
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ZZ454 on the move... ZZ454 is home!!!
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Above I mentioned the rebuilt TH400.  After pulling old 454 to sell, I took the TH400 to trans builder Dave Vyhanek who did a bang up job updating the trans to include the HD sprag, deep trans pan w/cooler fins, etc.
OK, drop in replacement?!?!?  Here's what I found:

1) A water temp sensor that had been protruding from the front of the manifold was now on top.  No big deal, bed the wire up.  Done.

2) The cast aluminum TH400 dust cover wouldn't go up.  Of course, the radius on the new 1 piece seal rear pan was larger than the old 2 piece seal rear pan.  I ground out the cover radius and made it bigger.

3) Tried to put on the Sanderson CBR101 headers.  Holding the header in one hand while trying to start the bolt with the other wasn't working, something was not right.   I had my son hold the header while I took a close look, and this one is a big deal.   The header sits approximately 1/8" too high over the bolt hole in the head.   Looking closer, it's the lower set of head bolt below the exhaust port that are the problem, the header flange is resting on the head of the bolts.  On the old engine, the bolt head height over the head surface area was about 5/16", the new bolt and washer stackup on the ZZ454 is 5/8".  That's a mile in this situation.   Now, I could:
    a) Replace the lower head bolts with a lower profile.  Not a good idea to mix head bolts.
    b) The washer used was 1/8" high.  I could replace it with a thin spring steel and drop the bolt head.  May not be a good idea.
    c) I called Sanderson header, and as soon as I described what was going on, he knew about the problem
        (gee, I'm not the first to upgrade to a ZZ454?   Imagine that!) and gave me 2 choices:
        1) Replace the entire flange, expensive
        2) Notch the flange and back weld the inside of the flange to re-establish surface area.  Modified & shipped back for $70.   I'm in.
            And, the headers would be stripped and recoated.
Now, even though I called a couple of times *after* UPS delivered the headers to make sure the shop knew exactly what to do, here's what came back, showing one full flange side and cylinders 1 & 8. Do you think a step was missed?  Do you think they will seal?   And, back to Sanderson the headers go to be stripped, welded on the inside, receramic coated, and shipped back.  They're covering the mistake, but I'm losing time with spring coming as it's now April 17, 2007.

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    OK, they gave me their shipping number and I shipped the headers back at their expense.   Somehow, I don't know why, but I thought they would try and get these corrected and shipped back ASAP due to their blunder.  Well, not so.  It took longer this time to get them back and they arrived on May 16.  That's better than 4 weeks.  Not counting shipping time, they were in their shop for 2 1/2 weeks.  Below is what I got back, 1357 above the 2468 header.  Notice the big difference in the seal area now.   Below and to the right is a close up of cylinder 5.

    I decided to do a test with the Permatex copper gasket, and things look to line up real well.   When Sanderson told me the procedure these days was to use Permatex Ultra Black RTV instead of a header gasket I decided to go to the Permatex website and get their view.   Well, Sanderson was in the vicinity, but a little off.  Permatex has an Ultra Copper that's good up to 650degF vs. 500degF for the Ultra Black.  I discussed the Sanderson recommendation with the Permatex tech line, and he concurred with my observation, use the Copper over the Black as it's designed for exhaust.  They also had an installation recommendation that wasn't on their website.  After placing a bead around the surface, run the header up to the head with the header bolts finger tight!!  Let it sit over night and cure up, and then the following day perform the torque down.  That way you don't squeeze out most of the Ultra Copper and a better seal will occur.

   So, it's May 16, 2007 and the headers are finally installed.   Tomorrow, we perform a final look over, torque down the headers, install the turnouts, and fire the ZZ454!!!

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