ShaZam Weekend Pulls

May 26 2008 at 5:22 PM

Memorial Weekend 3 pulls

Suring WI.

Since the last pull in Sept. of 07 I have been waiting for the opening weekend of pulling season here in WI. Well it came this weekend and for the most part it was a good weekend. Nice weather the first day of the pulls, The Sun made my Skin a pretty Red Because I was so caught up in getting the latest scoop on everyone’s trucks I forgot to put Sun Screen on. But oh well it’s a good base for the rest of the summer. So on to the Pulls.

After getting the entire scoop on the other guy’s trucks I headed over to my truck and went thru last years logs to see what I did at this track. Said I ran 1000 gear in Super and 850 gear in mod but Broke the rear end in the mod class and ended up Tied for 2nd place.

So I was a little sheepish this year and during the off-season I did some thinking about my gear choices I made over the last year or so. I thought I should try going down some and manage my wheel speed better of these short tracks. So I put a 650 gear in the box and put a 8000 Chip in the MSD figured I could run off the chip if I had to and I still have

32 MPH wheel speed.

 In Super Stock I pulled an 8 out of the cup but I ended up being the 5th  truck to pull on the roster and then Due to two trucks breaking in there first class it then made me the 3rd  truck in the class to run but then one guy had troubles getting his truck running so they moved me up one more. SO OK I’m now the 2nd truck to run and My Buddy Bruce Wagner is the Lucky Dog with the number one spot. Bruce laid down a good pull and ended up at 212 + some inches on a 220 foot track, but he turned his first pull down thinking it’s a new motor and he wanted to get some running time on it and he thought he could do better.

 In the off-season I put a new hand throttle in the truck, and I’m still getting use to it and now have to put one more thing to concentrate on in the pre pull warm up. Well I got all hooked to the sled with out doing any wrong like killing to poor guy hooking the truck up to the sled, Learning how to do this is more then I though it would be after pulling for 9 years, after a while you think it’s easy a no brainier, It’s not believe me.

 Anyways I Forgot the set the Record on the tach an seen it as I eased it out of the hole but no time to fix it now and then I felt the front wheels start to chatter so I let out of it a little and tried it again and still more chatter so by now I crossed the line of no returns so I gave it a mitt full and the tach zinged up to 8000 hit the chip once then settled down at 7800 for the most part of what I remember and I was going down the track but I felt I wasn’t hooking like it should have been and ShaZam stopped @ 204’+ some change with the front end chattering the whole way. OK Not much you can do about this so to the trailer we go and get ready to change tires after I watched the rest of the class come down the track. So the next truck to pull was Midnight Cheater And Roy put down a 208’ pull, I was standing by Bruce watching the trucks and he said Opps .. I might have screwed up. Well the rest of the class pulled and I keep getting pushed further back in the pack. When Bruce came back for his re-pull, He run the track like he did on his first run and ended up pretty much in the same place 212+ some change. I never did go and check to see where I finished, but I know it was down out of the money.

So Switch tires for Mod Still thinking conservative here Dropped to a 500 gear for mod and pulled the chip out of the MSD telling myself I’ll try to keep the R’s down under 9000 and hold the wheel speed at 35 Mph or so.

I was the Lucky Dog in Mod as I was the first puller. So I told my Buddy Craig Emmes I’ll have to take it to the fence And hope they got the sled set right or I’ll be turning down the first run and coming around at the end.

Ahhhh Plans are great when they work the way you figured they will.

OK So I hook up to the sled and got everything tight Set the tach, turned on the steering, put it in 3rd and gave it some throttle. So at this point everything was great. I eased it out of the hole just like a Pro and at the double cones I gave it a mitt full and I felt the ass end Hunker down and the tach hit 8200 and then I though I was off to the races. But instead there was this Big Shebang Clincky clunk smash boom bang. And ShaZam came to a halt at the 100’ mark. Junked out another rear gear set. No problem I said Have 4 more rear end at home just for this reason. So I limped ShaZam off the track with the rear wheels locked up tighter then a None’s Kunt ( Lord forgive me I didn’t mean it ) and got ShaZam back to the trailer. After I watch the rest of the class get there pulls in I went and pulled the rear axles out so the tires would at least roll to get it up on the trailer, and headed home to replace the chunked out rear and get ready for the pull in Wabeno at noon Sunday.

So on the ride home I did a work list of things I needed to do to get this changed out the most efficient way. OK Drain lube out of Rear on ShaZam while still on trailer, Fire up tractor, dig other rear end out of woods and haul to shop, Drain fluid, pull axles, Remove front yoke, pull front cover, then pull pig out of rear. Put on welding bench and make it a Porterfield posi as we call it here or a Lincoln posi to most others out there. Once all the welding was done get ShaZam into shop up and jack stands and drop drive shaft remove all guards Pull Pig out of rear and add to pile in the corner of used up GM 12.5 ring and Pinions which is Three now. Still have three left in inventory.

So for the most part everything was going like clock work at this point. Then I While removing the drive shaft I noticed a big Dent / Gouge from one of the safety loops. Well this makes thing more interesting. \

 Talking to myself I said “Self” That there is a weak point now, and more then likely well twist like a pretzel if I try and reuse it. So I looked in my corner of goodies and I had another drive shaft without a slide yoke but I thought I could use the Slider off the dinged up shaft and then just cut to length and weld the F7 1410 U-joint to the rear of it and where good to go.

 This is where it got really interesting.

So in the vice I put it and got my Big Ball bean Hammer and tried to get it off. Not moving at all. So got my bigger Machinist hammer and tried that, still not budging, well a 6# sledge hammer is the biggest hammer I have in the shop but then.

  I was looking at it and I noticed that the yoke was not in line with the other yoke no more she had a ¼ twist in it now. The spline had twisted in the slider and there was no way of getting it off from that shaft.

 So then I got my ruler out and did some measuring and I was now 1 ¼” to short. So in disgust I thru in the towel on this and called it a night. Went in and took a shower and thought the season was pretty much over for me and it hadn’t even started yet. I mean where you going to get a New drive shaft on a Holiday weekend.

 Well I had to go to Wabeno even if I couldn’t pull seeing I am the President of that club. And I could always do the Announcing for them to make the trip worth wild. And then go over to Wausaukee and Watch the guys run there and just be the flagman for the night. So in my mind things are ok I’ll just take this season a little more laid back. I’ll be out of the points running in N.E.W. and I hadn’t paid for the points yet in WUMPA so no biggy…

So I crawled into bed and my mind started thinking about the spare parts I have in the shop. Wish I had everything on an inventory list on the computer that would make things so much easier some times. But then as I was almost off into lala land and I remembered I had one old military drive shaft off the first set of Axles I had gotten when I beefed up ShaZam 3 years ago that had a 1410 Slider joint on it and a new F7 joint also. Bingo I have the parts I need to build my own drive shaft now. So I set the alarm for 6 and fell a sleep.

 What felt like 20 minutes later the alarm was going beep beep beep, telling me to get up.

So out to the shop I went looking for that shaft and there it was sitting in the corner just where I had left it 3 years ago. So I took the slider off the shaft and tried to put in this other drive shaft I had that was bigger round then the Military one, it was longer then I needed it but the Band saw would make short work of that, but it was to loose on the splines for some reason, so next options was to use the military slider shaft end welded to the bigger Tube shaft I had on hand.  So there was about a ¼” different in tube size from the military shaft which was 3 “ Od. To the drive shaft tube I had which was 3 ¼” Id But I can make this work.  So I cleaned up where the original weld was and welded a bead on top of the weld that held the shaft together this helped build it up and then chucked it up in the lathe and machined it to fit in the tube I had. Set it in place tacked it up and welded it up with a nice ¼” Weld. Whacked it to length and cut the F7 joint off the bent shaft seeing it was the same size tube then ground the weld out of it and installed it onto the new tube using a torch to heat up the tube cuz it fit a little tighter then the other end I had made. Once set in position it was a quick weld job on that end and install new U-joints.

Now granted it’s not balanced at all but I’m only hoping to make it thru the weekend with it. I’ll order a new one on Tuesday from Machine Services of Green Bay.

 So 9 A.M. and I’m on my way to Wabeno get there and the pull started off with out a hitch. We ran the Super and Mod classes switched seeing most of the guys still had the mod tires on from the night before and then we’d have the super stock tires on when we got to Wausaukee. Every thing is going great.

So Mod class gets lined up and I’m the 3 truck in that class Billy buck was the first truck to run and they had the sled set wrong and he stopped at the 183’ mark. They reset the sled and Ed McClain was next up. He drove on the track and hooked to the sled and when he put in into gear it wouldn’t move forward. He’s got a C6 like me He had reverse but no Forward gears. So they pushed Ed off the track and I pulled ShaZam on the track and hook to the sled.

So remember a while back how I told you I’m still learning how to use my hand throttle.

OK Rule number one Right hand does nothing but run Gear shifter and hand throttle from now on. I’ll be moving all my switches to the other side of the dash this week.

I have the cable tight and I get the green flag to go put it in 3rd gear set tach started to leave the line and notice the steering was not on. What I use to be able to do with out missing a beat has now become a No No. Right hand not thinking reached out to turn on steering power switch. ShaZam comes to an Idle sled catches up almost smack me in the rear I bump the throttle with my bicep to keep that from happening finally get my hand back on the throttle and instead of shutting it down and starting over I mat it and hope for the best. Well the best didn’t happen, I had wheel chatter again big time and it didn’t hook to anything I ended up at 208’ 3”. But as luck should have it they reset the sled and Ed didn’t move it. SO I’m the first puller, Hay hay I turned it down and came back at the end of the class. But that didn’t work in my favor either. Track went away with each truck after that and all I could muster out of the re-pull was a 245’10” and 6th place but I got rid of the wheel chatter on this run by adding some air to my font air bags and dropping the mod tire pressure some, So Noted in the log book.

So switched tires over to Super Stock and changed gears Fueled up everything and headed to staging, I was the 3rd puller in this class also but the weather turned cloudy and cool off lots. Though we where going to get rained on but it held off, OK so now I’m getting everything coordinated better as to getting hooked up and getting everything set and turned on before I leave the line. Cable tight and I get the green flag, I take it out of the hole just like use to easy and no troubles at all hit the double cones and give it some more throttle and I feel the front end start to chatter so I mat it and hold on for the ride, the Tach goes to 8300 and hold there the hold run and I end up at 275’10” which I felt wasn’t that good of a pull, But I put 47’ on the truck that ran before me so I guess it was pretty good. Next truck to run landed 3 feet behind me and it was going down hill from there 6 feet then 30 feet then My Buddy Dean got my heart going when he came to the line seeing he put the whooping to me the night before and in Mod today, but he stooped @ 250’10” hot dam I might just have me a 1st place today, then the next truck to pull breaks on the line and we only have one more truck to pull and it’s my other buddy Bruce with Bad to the bone. Bruce took notes when I ran down the track cuz he pretty much ran the same line I did and as his truck was coming to a stopped he pulled one of these let out of it and back in it thingy’s and pulled past my mark by a truck length. Pissed me right off.  

So we all load up and head to Wausaukee for the pull there, As I hit Lakewood WI I seen Diesel there was $4.64 so I pulled in and put in $50 bucks worth and hit the road again. 30 minutes later I’m pulling into the fair grounds. Now I heard they where working all week on getting the track the best it could be seeing we had a couple of heavy hitter in town for the pull 2 NTPA Champions Old Yeller, and Simply Red along with it being the home town of Jerry Fegus who has Playing Hooky II.

So as the pull started I was down at the end of the track, seeing I was going to flag the 2nd two classes and then hand them off to the next flag guy for when I pulled in Super and Mod. The track was the best I ever seen it … Bite lots of it. I had visions of hauling A$$ at 35 MPH turning 8500 RPMs with the 600 gear I had planed to run. But Mother Nature put a end to all that nonsense when all the thunder and lighting and then the down pour that lasted a good hour. So this pulling weekend came to an end with it being rained out.

OK Next week where at Green Valley WI they have New Track there that we get to christen. 35 Feet Wide and 380 Feet long, and Luedtke’s Yellow sled will be there so we’ll get to run a full 300’ before he puts the smack to us. Looks like a 1000 or bigger gear there to put some legs under ShaZam.

Well hope this write up helps all my readers out there, get there fill of Pulling this week .

Till Next week

Dan and ShaZam