Hello, My name is Brian and thank you for viewing my page about my passion. Please sign my guest book and I'll be sure to return the favor.
I have decided to revise "The Stupid Black Car" page. A lot people have left comments requesting more pictures. Also for the record the Dart is called the "The Stupid Black Car" by the wife or KIA. (Know It All).
I purchased the Dart back in March of 2004. Looking back on what is was then compared to what it performs and looks like now is night and day. I have decided to document this transformation in more detail not only with pictures but written information that may help someone else who is making this same quest for speed.
The Dart the day I purchased it shown here in the previous owner�s garage.
The trunk looks decent at first glance.
Once carpet was removed the old insulation was saturated with race gas. The 12 gallon fuel cell had a leak. In this photo I had started rewiring the batteries.
After removing everything from the fuel cell, leaking fuel pump, fuel filter, fuel lines, and fuel pressure regulator. I replaced the 12 gallon fuel cell with a 16 gallon. The fuel pump is now a Mallory 250 GPH electric, Mallory fuel filter, and two Mallory regulators. (More on why two regulators later) All connected via -8AN braided stainless steel supply and return lines.
The finished product. The fuel cell is mounted to two 1 x 1 sq. tubing covered with aluminum sheet. I also removed the spare tire tub.
The brake lines and the wiring were in sad shape. The brake line juntion block was actually sitting on the fender well and some of the brake lines were touching header tubes.
The new brake lines installed in the master cylinder.
The brake line junction block was relocated to the outside of the frame rail to meet NHRA regulations.
The wiring completed.
The radiator was busted beyond repair and the fan was also broken. This is due to cutting corners by the original owner by attempting to make the wrong fan spacer work. I purchased a new aluminum radiator from Richmond Performance Center in Richmond, Indiana. The cost was only $200 bucks and the radiator had a billet aluminum water cap neck and the side tanks were actually tig welded instead of putty. I thought that was an exceptional deal compared to a BE-COOL.
After all that I was finally ready to take it to the Muncie Dragway. The first pass was very disappointing 13.94 @ 98.55 MPH. After adjusting the timing I was able to get a 12.74 @ 108.2 MPH. Note: I take an engineering approach to track time or test and tune. The reason I'm there is to improve the car's performance. The best way I've found to do that is record the changes and the results. Another important thing to remember is make one change at a time. This way you can really learn if that change had a positive or negative result. The first trip to the track was disappointing but I did find some areas where improvement was needed. The car flooded several times. The other was the car would launch and climb to 4000 RPM and hang there briefly and then continue to climb to the shift point. (More on this later)
I replaced the old holley carb with a new 750 holley dominator. In my opinion nothing looks cooler than a dominator on big block.
Dominator mounted. Note: 1 regulator.
The dominator did require a new throttle cable bracket. Another thing about building a race car or fast car you either have to have a lot of money to pay someone to fabricate things or as in my case (I don't have a lot of money) you do it yourself.
I returned to the track with focus on determining the best main jet size and fuel mixture adjustment. This alone improved my Elapsed Time to a new best of 12.18 @ 110.54. The Dart still had the flooding issue and the stumble at 4000 RPM off the line.
The Flooding Problem: The Mallory 250 GPH fuel pump produced more line pressure than the regulator could regulate. The fuel was actually pushing past the float needle seats. The short story is that I should have bought the regulator for the Mallory 250 GPH. I didn't know there was a difference. The problem with just switching out the regulator is the correct one required -10AN lines and that would have required re-plumbing the entire car plus that regulator was almost 2.5 times more expensive then the one I had. So in effort to reduce cost I added an additional regulator. I got the pressure down to 9 PSI and no more flooding.
See the dual fuel regulators.
The stumble at 4000 RPM off the line: I first attempted some cheaper methods of like re-curving the distributor. The stumble was still present. A friend and I deduced that the 383 was "leaning on the convertor". In short the 383 builds torque at a higher RPM compared to a 440. This combined with a Mopar Performance .590 lift cam with 1.6 ratio roller rockers changing the final lift to .629. This engine needs RPM to build get moving off the line. The 3000 stall I had wasn't enough to allow the engine to climb into its torque RPM and would bog the engine briefly. I purchased a Coan Engineering 8" 5000 stall convertor. Back to the Muncie Dragway and the first pass 12.03 @ 113.84. WOW!!! That was almost 4 MPH gain. The stumble was gone. The best pass of the night was 11.90 @ 114.46. I was still running Mickey Thompson Pro Street tires.
383 Engine with 2-1/8" Hooker Super Comp fenderwell headers. Complete for now!
I added an Air Pan (see pic) this forces air from hood scoop directly into carb. Also it prevents fuel from being pushed out of carb due turbulence. The foam helps seal the pan to the bottom side of hood or scoop. A new best 11.82 @ 115.7 MPH. The Air Pan is worth .100 reduction in ET. The cost was only $15.00.
The next change was to add Pheonix 29.5 x 11.5W slicks. This also yeilded a new best 11.72 @ 115.8 MPH. The bigger gain was more consistant 60' times.
The next change was to add a Griner no-low band apply trans brake. A new best 11.36 @ 118.1 MPH. Not only did the trans brake improve ET but it increased the fun factor by 100% with launchs like this.
Note: Trans brake will find the weakest link in your drivetrain. In my case the 10 spline pinion broke off in the housing, bent the driveshaft, and ladder bar link.