August 26th 2017:
This was our first time out with the new Ram clutch and I will admit there was some anxiety on my part. Did we have our initial settings reasonably close [980 base pressure, 4.3 grams lever weight] or were we way out in left field? Was I going to let the clutch out at 5900 RPM and kill the engine after leaving for years at 7400 to 7800 with the old clutch? Or being set too light and driving thru the new clutch. I had some sleepless nights!
The first hit answered that question, we left the starting line at 5900 RPM and the car left well turning the rear slicks a couple revolutions and recorded a very solid 1.432 60-foot time and ran a 10.504 @ 127.97 MPH! Strangely with the new clutch, it felt like a much slower run because the launch was much smoother as were the shift points.
On our 2nd hit, we ran a 10.578 @ 127.20 MPH. We expected it to slow somewhat as the clutch disc seated.
After this 2nd hit we looked closely at the Racepak data and lowered the base clutch pressure from 980 lbs to 920 lbs and went into the 1st round of Pro Bracket, and it responded well to our adjustment. We ran a 10.535 on a 10.56 dial, lifting at only 122.13 MPH. I thought I had scrubbed enough at the stripe but that wasn’t the case. Paul looked at the data and said it was on another 10.50 pass! Clearly it liked the lower base pressure.
Ed Garfield, the Drag Strip Manager at Pacific Raceways, allowed us another time-only run to finish the day but I missed my shift points slowing to a 10.604 @ 126.02 MPH.
Nonetheless it was a very successful outing with the new clutch, in fact we recorded the quickest and fastest passes of the year on two hits! The new clutch is showing excellent potential.
Over the winter we’ll increase the base pressure back to 980 lbs and reduce the lever weight by a gram to slow the lock-up a bit on the initial hit of the clutch and should be near perfect. We’re barely spiking the tires going into high gear so we’re very close! We’re looking for just a bit of slippage going into high. The data shows the clutch is locked up now at 6250, we would like to get that up to 6400 – 6500 RPM.
My thanks to Chris, Paul & Pam for all their hard work this season! We had some breakage which took us out of races the past three years, but we hope with the new clutch it will be much easier on parts! The ’57 is done for this year but there are more races for the team yet to come in 2017!
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