Archive for April, 2010

Injection is nice…

April 8, 2010

and I’ll leave it at that!

Despite our concerns that all the guys wanting old Hilborn setups to convert over to EFI is sending the prices of vintage units to the moon, Mark scored a killer 2 1/16″ set up, and managed to find a set of plated stacks as well.

 

I had always heard good things about the folks at Hilborn,  so I called them with the casting number, and they told me that our unit was built in 1966. They also told me that there should be a 4-digit serial number stamped up by the front of the manifold, and if I could get that, they could probably get me a copy of the original invoice. So I called Mark back and he found the number. A quick call back to Hilborn, and they told me that they would email a copy to me later in the day. All free of charge! I am impressed and a dedicated Hilborn booster now. Here’s the info they sent us:

While the original intention was to find an even earlier 1 13/16″ setup, the ones we found were either too rough, too incomplete, or just plain beyond the budget. So while this one is from 1966 and not 1963, it still looks the part with the lines running to the outside and the stacks with the two screw mounting. So a fair compromise. It’s a relief to have a big part of the “period correct” puzzle squared away.

I did an internet search on Brockman’s Speed Shop and only came up with a decal set intended to make the Stone, Woods and Cook model kit into the purple ’41 Willys gasser they sponsored in the late 60’s. So I asked on the HAMB and received some very passionate replies. I found out that Brockman’s was a major mover and shaker in the Dayton Ohio era from the 1950’s through the golden age of drag racing. Like most real speed shops that didn’t simply morph into an outlet for custom wheels, noisy exhausts, and bolt-on “body packages” in order to keep the doors open, they closed sometime in the mid-to-late 1980s.

There is no way to know if the unit was ever run on a Brockman’s “team” car, or if it was just ordered for a customer. But as you can see from the original invoice/build sheet, this unit was originally setup for alky (and up to 20% nitro!) so I’m guessing that it was originally on a digger or altered. I’d prefer to think that it was on the baddest B/D in the Dayton area, but that’s just me looking at it as a talisman for Roc.

Regardless, we ended up with a nice setup at a “mere mortals” price. In time we’re looking for a Hilborn front cover, and have determined it’s probably best to get the pump and shutoff new, since those still look close enough to look period, while giving us a fresh baseline to start with.

While there hasn’t been any wrenches turned or welds made as of late, there has been plenty of planning. We don’t have the skills, equipment or funds to have a chute pack tail made for the car, but I think it’s important to clean up the rear of the car, so ala the Surfer’s or George Bolthoff, we’re planning on making a simple rear wraparound tail section, so the frame will be covered.

  

I think with the old cars, you could make the open rear section look okay by painting the seat, but the current SFI specs have those extra bars required and they are at different angles that conflict with the lines of the car, and it just kinda bugs me looks-wise. I presented this to Mark, and he signed off on it, so I called Brian and asked what he recommended to use. So we’ll be getting a sheet of .050″ 3003 aluminum. It’s typically used for making cowls on aircraft, and Brian said it’s easy to work with. Not sure when that will happen, but it’s a game plan.

Also countering the old drag racer’s axiom of “too much is just about right” we’ve decided to build a mild motor for the car. This works on a lot of levels, but mostly less expense means we’ll hit the track that much sooner and with me being green as a driver, it’ll flatten the learning curve and give me something that I can feel more comfortable with and utilize all the horsepower that much sooner.  I realize that having a car that runs ETs in the high 9s and 130-ish isn’t nearly as sexy as 8.30s at 175, (and even 8.30s at 175 is only sexy to a very limited audience at that) but the car can always be made to go faster and quicker in the future.

We may find that given our lack of competetive drive, aversion to more hassles than necessary, and desire to do this for our own amusement, running in the 9s might suit us just fine.

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