Archive for March, 2014

Get Shorty!

March 14, 2014

After scoring a screaming deal at the Sacramento Raceway Swap Meet in November on a powerglide that came out of an altered that made almost double the horsepower the dragster will be putting out, the fly in the ointment was that it was a stock length, which was too long to fit in the dragster. At the time I didn’t know how involved the conversion would be- you have to disassemble the trans to swap the part out, and if this were a street car I was goofing around with as a toy on the side, (and if I had more than a single car garage) I might have attempted it myself. But with so much to learn about driving a dragster, and not wanting to second guess my first trans rebuild job while I’m strapped in and whistling towards the top end at 140 MPH, I figured it’s a job best left to someone with experience. I was able to score another screaming deal on a clean used short planetary and bearing plate, and my good friend Keith knows the owner of a trans shop that among other things, builds racing powerglides.

So now the previously too-long transmission, has been converted to a short powerglide. (the parts laying behind the trans are what needed to be replaced.) The owner, who is a drag racer himself, did the work and gave me the good guy deal, thanks to Keith. Said everything checks out inside so the trans is good to go!

Jim Rodarmel also donated the B&M shifter from his front engine dragster, which is cool on a lot of different levels. His car was one of the very small handful that made me believe that running a dragster that looks as close to period correct was possible. So now Rocinante has the original headers from Brian Fox’s Zorba’s Ghost, and the shifter from Nitro Jim Rodarmel’s digger. It carries the DNA of the two biggest inspirations for the entire project.

This means that parts-wise all the big chunks needed are accounted for! I’d say that I’ve got probably 80-85% of the actual total parts I need, with the 15-20% being a lot of small stuff. The vast majority of it is now labor and fabrication. Onward!

trans 001