What's the weak link in the driveline for drag racing?
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Thread: What's the weak link in the driveline for drag racing?

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    FST Member mikehutch's Avatar
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    What's the weak link in the driveline for drag racing?

    So looking for those that have been doing clutch drops and what were any of the resultant carnage. My past with drag racing was RWD V8s and I had confidence in the driveline components to not be concerned on what was going to blow. I'd like to take some trips back to the drag strip with my ST but haven't really done any clutch side steps from a stop yet. Just want to have an idea when I start doing this what might be getting into the checkbook if something were to be the weak link.

    @djfourmoney I know you do a lot of drag racing and have read several of your posts. I know you have ran a variety of tires and some pretty high RPM launches. Broke anything? Upgraded any driveline parts?

    Thanks.
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    I believe I know this name from The Corral.... Welcome to the cult, sir.

    For me, the clutch has been the weak link. Not sure if the prior owner (purchased at 3 years/26k miles young) was rough on the clutch or what, but after three trips and about 15 runs, the clutch is drivable, but not acceptable for anything more than street tires on the strip, and that's being careful not the grab second too hard, which results in a lot of clutch slip.
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    FST Member mikehutch's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Slo86GT View Post
    I believe I know this name from The Corral.... Welcome to the cult, sir..
    @Slo86GT

    So I saw another one of your posts and I thought the same thing. I was actually Hutch-84GT350 over there.....miss that car. Thanks for the input I've not done any research on clutch options yet as I mentioned I've not been doing any sidesteps....yet. But yes Mustang saw lost of track time and lots of clutch side steps. I did chunk a T5 and blew a clutch in that car.

    I've had fun with the ST and like most my cars didn't stay stock.

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    Last edited by mikehutch; 11-04-2018 at 11:53 AM.
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    2017 Focus ST3 Triple Yellow

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    I spend too much of my life on FST! Theillestjerm's Avatar
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    I have done some passes as well on the strip and from my experience with slicks and radials id say the clutch. I am slipping 2nd to 3rd with lc set around 5000. Axles look solid after 12 passes so nothing to worry there with the stock turbo and E35 blend.

    Id say after every drag day just to make sure all bolts are re tightened down. One of my end links to swaybar bolts I believe broke loose after one of my last passes at the strip.
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    I spend too much of my life on FST! Theillestjerm's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mikehutch View Post
    So looking for those that have been doing clutch drops and what were any of the resultant carnage. My past with drag racing was RWD V8s and I had confidence in the driveline components to not be concerned on what was going to blow. I'd like to take some trips back to the drag strip with my ST but haven't really done any clutch side steps from a stop yet. Just want to have an idea when I start doing this what might be getting into the checkbook if something were to be the weak link.

    @djfourmoney I know you do a lot of drag racing and have read several of your posts. I know you have ran a variety of tires and some pretty high RPM launches. Broke anything? Upgraded any driveline parts?

    Thanks.
    Oh and also deff re check your rear motor mount after drag passes. I kept hearing clunking from stop and slow acceleration and ended up being loose rmm bolts due to the extreme launching.
    itsJSTafocus with mods

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    I have, 30 or so passes on the stock turbo, another 15 on the 3071.

    Stock clutch, stock axles, stock motor mounts. I'd would have been back at as it's much cooler but I destroyed a slick and haven't replaced it yet.

    The offseason is short but I plan on making all the changes I need to be ready.
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    Quote Originally Posted by mikehutch View Post
    So looking for those that have been doing clutch drops and what were any of the resultant carnage. My past with drag racing was RWD V8s and I had confidence in the driveline components to not be concerned on what was going to blow. I'd like to take some trips back to the drag strip with my ST but haven't really done any clutch side steps from a stop yet. Just want to have an idea when I start doing this what might be getting into the checkbook if something were to be the weak link.

    @djfourmoney I know you do a lot of drag racing and have read several of your posts. I know you have ran a variety of tires and some pretty high RPM launches. Broke anything? Upgraded any driveline parts?

    Thanks.
    Mike,

    Like you it's been a long time since I've spent any time at a strip but I have a couple of thoughts that might help if you don't mind.

    Do you plan to run and stick to the same track? If so, consider spending a couple of weekends walking and talking before you run your car. Find out what the regulars have to say. Track conditions and track maintenance can be your nemesis just as much as any weak links in your car. As often as not, it's the track that will bring out weak links. Learning to drive the track can be just as important as learning to drive the car. Talk to the track owner or maintenance supervisor if there is one. Find out what the track surface is. I've seen everything from asphalt that looks more like a gravel road to snot slick track surfaces. Not all asphalt is the same. If you can find out what the composition of the surface is. Asphalt comes in grades and blends along with choices of mixing methods and they all make a difference. See if you can find out who paved the track and talk to them. Most tire companies will process the information you can get and suggest tires for the track. Compare their information with what the other drivers will tell you about their tire choices. The other drivers can also tell you about track maintenance and rubber build up on the track. How's the rubber dealt with if at all. I've seen a lot of tracks where the driver's tires are putting more effort in to lifting old rubber than in to turning their own tires. Things change too. I haven't been to the local track since some time in the 70's but from what I've been told, what was once the bee's knees is now 40 years later, the cat's ass.

    A little bit of research might pay off when buying your weekend tires.

    Also consider getting your car up on a table and get it weighed. Start with the basics and find out where the center of gravity, CoG, and center of mass, CoM, of the car is. CoG changes as you drive, CoM doesn't. Ideally the two will be in the same location but that's a pipe dream. Whatever you do to your car in the future should be done with improving this if possible. For example, the CoG and CoM relationship is a consideration for adjusting differential pre-load, torque biasing and engagement threshold. I use to work as a consultant for another company with Jim Thornton when he owned Applied Technologies Inc. Jim is recognized by NHRA as the inventor of the funny car and torque cancelling chassis. It was this that ultimately led to developing the torque cancelling chassis. Jim also led Chrysler's performance division in the 60's and 70's and was the mind behind the Daytona and Superbird along with being the driver for the Ram Chargers, Chrysler's drag racing team. I'm not saying this to drop his name but to acknowledge his accomplishments and what he taught me and many others. What I'm passing along here came from him.

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    I've seen a lot of drivers do things like throw a big, heavy sway bar on the rear suspension with no thought about what doing this does to the front suspension. They will then tell whoever is willing to listen how much better the car handles as anyone watching can easily see the car is far from handling better. Question them about it and the response is usually something like, "it's just a camber adjustment," needed for the new bar. The problem is far from an alignment issue but it gives them something to do and if it keeps them happy, go for it.

 

 

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