T&T Chapter 5   <  ^  >

Subject:    Rustpuppy Test&Tune 61

Date:         Wednesday, October 03, 2001 6:08 PM


Despite the miserable flu bug I managed to drag myself out to Rustpuppy Run today..   I filled the almost empty tank on Rustpuppy yesterday with the middle grade 89 octane Texaco gasoline and have been itching for a test run..

The strong winds have died down and it was a sunny but hazy day with moderate traffic about 4:30..    I was hoping to find a hole in the traffic long enough to make a test run..

I blasted down the old road at the end for a warm-up 0-60 run..   It seemed a bit flat and Goody was not pulling as well as last time..   I thought maybe the fog of illness was influencing my judgment as my ears are stopped up and I am mostly deaf..

But the G-Tech confirmed the blahs with a miserable time of 4.89 seconds..

Too much traffic and rotten visibility on the southbound part of the Run with the sun angled in front..

I waited at the first turn-around for a break in traffic and when one came up Rustpuppy enthusiastically skidded onto 101 for a northbound run..

The launch went well with just a small bit of wheelspin (should have been more) and the run went solid and straight..   An on-coming car appeared near the end but there was plenty of time to get on the brakes and get down to legal speed before it passed..

The time was down considerable at 13.8@107.6 which indicates that the damn gasoline problems are not over..   I estimate that filling the tank cut the horsepower by 20 to 25..

Oh well,  the racing did cheer me up..

More to come..

Rick Draganowski



Subject:    Rustpuppy TestTune 62

Date:         Friday, October 05, 2001 5:00 PM


Just a short note..   I was appalled at the 13.8 time with the new tank of gasoline and have been thinking negative thoughts about it ever since.

I kept wondering if there was some error or fluke that aggravated the situation.

So..   Last night (late about 9:30) when I was out washing dishes I realized that it was very dry with little condensation, no wind at all, and I could hear no traffic..

So I dropped what I was doing and took Rustpuppy out for a night run.   The practice 0-60 was still slow at 5.88 seconds but I went on to stage for a southbound run..    There was a bit of bog at launch due to Goody still being below the race temperature but the time was much better at 13.66@107.6..     Considerably better than the miserable 13.8..

Then the northbound run went well..   There was a bit of wheelspin (strange sliding noise due to the moisture on the road) but Goody seemed to be pulling well..    The time was better at 13.62@107.9 which is only two tenths off of Rustpuppy’s best street tire run of 13.42@108.1.

I concentrated on tracking accuracy on the second run and found that Rustpuppy could be directed to within just a couple of inches while racing with no sidewinds..    Very relaxing and makes for a fun ride..

I also have been thinking about what a tenth of a second really means..   At 100 mph one tenth of a second is only about 15 feet or one car length..  Interesting..   That means the two tenths difference is only two car lengths near the end of the quarter..

I am still sick but sneaking out for a race is keeping my spirits up..

More to come..

Rick Draganowski


Subject:    Bad times...

Date:         Tuesday, October 09, 2001 4:47 PM


As you all know I have been sick with the flu/pnemonia for the last couple of weeks... (almost over it but still weak as a kitten)

But that is not all that is going on here..

First, the riding mower I use for a motorized wheelchair to get around the property made a scraping sound for a few seconds and then threw a rod..  Sigh..  The piston no longer seems to be connected to the crankshaft..

And then when I dragged my sick ol’ bod to town for groceries the Suburban started running very badly..   It seems the tired old carb loaded with miles of emissions crap has given up the ghost..

And then when doing terrible things with Rustpuppy to cheer myself up..  (throttle and brake at the same time stuff)   Suddenly there was this random dry scraping, jamming, pinging noise from the right rear..   Like something was scraping and jamming in the brake drum.

And then when I tried to pull the drum to inspect the brakes it was stuck firmly in place..


Two different mechanics have advised using a torch to heat the flat surface

of the drum and then pounding on the edge to free it and I will be going out

soon to try this trick..


I bought another riding mower (1300 bux on credit) to replace the defunct one and have arranged for Brett my mechanic to pull the intake manifold, carb, and distributor from the Suburban and replace them with the good tested parts I have in stock..   This will eliminate all of the emission stuff and bring back the reliability I need for my medical road trips..  It’s gonna cost me another 275 bux though..   Sigh..

I will get Rustpuppy going again soon as well..  (I hope it is not anything too serious)

The most embarassing part of the whole mess is this..   John Wilkinson drove

out to pick me up for a trip up the Grizzly peak mountain to his home.  I am

doing some consulting work to help them with the changes to their home that

his wife’s health requires..   They kindly loaned me their 4wd vehicle to drive till I can get my Suburban and Rustpuppy back on the road..    A very nice thing for them to do..    But.. It is a 78 Ford Bronco..    It is awful to be showing up at all of my haunts in this vehicle..


See picture..


More to come..

Rick Draganowski

(Bronco boy..)




Subject:    Rustpuppy Test&Tune 63

Date:         Wednesday, October 17, 2001 6:50 PM


As you all know from my “Bad Times” post I seemed to have messed something up in poor Rustpuppy while powerbraking excessively to warm up the tranny fluid..   There was a terrible scraping grinding noise from the rear end..  I guessed that something was wrong with the brakes..    So I became concerned enough from the noise to leave Rustpuppy in the middle of the yard and start work..

I was faced with securely stuck rear drums.

  T&t62-1.jpg shows the position of Rustpuppy and my gnarly ol’ oxyacetylene torch..   I figured once I got the drums off I could grind on the hub and drums to provide a sliding fit.  Since Rustpuppy was stuck in the middle of the yard I brought out my old Y2K generator so I could have electricity..


After heating and beating the drum with no luck on removal I flanged up a primitive puller from a 14” 2x8  and two pipe clamps..   I was able to put about a 800 lb pull on the drum (with the short plank bending like a bow) and when it released with a bang the drum and plank slammed into my legs bruising them..   It was well worth it.. 

(see t&t62-3.jpg for a picture of the sophisticated tool)     Everything looked good under this drum so the problem must be on the other side and tricking my bad hearing with the location..




T&t62-4.jpg and t&t62-5.jpg show the drum and hub after being relieved to allow easy removal.. 

Electric tools is good..   Note the rust from one night out in the damp Oregon air with the paint burned off..

Then it was time to replace the drum and wheel on the right rear and get the left rear drum off..    Same situation, stuck fast..  This time I got slammed in the arm and bruised some more from my drum catapult/puller system..  But this time I struck gold..    Note the scraped ring on the back of the drum pointed to by the pencil..    And the dentie thingie on the backing plate with the scuffed spot.. 



  (t&t62-6.jpg and t&t62-7.jpg)   Some brutal hammering on the backing plate splash shield put the clearance back bigtime..  And then the relieving of the drum for the sliding fit..


The drums/axle incompatibility was giving me troubles with the lugnut torque and wobbling from the beginning.   Glad to get to the bottom of the problem..


A test drive verified that all was back to normal..   Happy happy, joy joy...     I did my fun total first gear into second gear burnout and my spirits were lifted..    Then I pressed on to town to check on the Suburban and pick up some more groceries..

Since then I have been going to town every day in Rustpuppy (what fun, doing one of the big burnouts too..) to be involved in the transmogrification of the Suburban..   (Monday, Tuesday, and again today..    Love that little car..)

It seems that the later model Nova rear drums (finned 76 model) are not completely compatible with the early model 10 bolt rear.  And when I heated the rear drums up with the powerbraking (absorbing 300 horsepower for 30 seconds gets them really hot (about 200,000 watts..)) they were forced further on the little ridge on the axle..  Then the scraping started.  I noticed the rear lugnuts were looser than they should have been..  These little details are very important..

So far so good but one other similar dragging noise issue reared it ugly little head..   Will report on that issue tomorrow after I get some pictures..

Rick Draganowski

(Rustpuppy road trips is good)



Subject:    Rustpuppy Test&Tune 64

Date:         Friday, October 19, 2001 9:00 AM


I mentioned last time that another scraping issue came up in the midst of the rear drum disaster..   What happened was the rust got the better of the lower part of the right front fender releasing the bolt that held the bottom of the inner fender in place..   Then the inner fender sprang forward and the bolt was rubbing on the right front tire..  It made a horrible noise but not the same as the dry raspy steel on cast iron noise from the rear brake..

Since it showed up just as the rear repairs were made it caused me plenty of doubtful moments..   But it was just a coincidence..   I have to stop being so paranoid about these things..

T&T64-2.jpg shows the worse case before situation..   I shoved stuff back into position and wedged with some lumber to drill holes and put a couple of large ” diameter sheet metal screws in place to get the fender back under control..    T&t64-4.jpg shows the finished product..

I have been running Rustpuppy to town every day this week to supervise the de-smogging and transmogrification of the Suburban and it has been great fun to get daily seat time..

I promised to record one of the full first gear therapeutic burnouts for the list and it is attached on the addendum..   This was in drive spinning the tires up to about 5000 rpm on the motor and then spinning a bit into second..   Notice the little 3rd gear chirp at the end..   Fun...   I notice as the tread is getting thinner on the BFG Radial T/A’s the traction is definitely improving..   So the burnouts are making Rustpuppy quicker..   Yeah, right...

While I was fooling around with all the scraping disasters I took time to do a full inspection of the brakes and running gear for safety reasons..     It give me a secure feeling knowing that there is no lurking fault that may show up at 100mph..    Front brakes are great and the front wheel bearings perfect.  Ball joints and tie rod ends good with tight front end..  Alignment seems to be perfect with great tracking..    And the brakes are working splendidly well pulling down from 100+ to 55 mph in a jiffy..

Brett the boss mechanic at Central Curry left town early Tuesday morning for a week of elk hunting so I have been working with Mitchell on the Suburban..

Young Mitchell  is a good mechanic and a circle track racer..   He is running a Toyota in the 4 cylinder class at the 3/8th mile asphalt oval at Roseberg..     I wasted most of yesterday afternoon giving Mitchell a ride in Rustpuppy and then talking racing..      He is just starting out in the business and has only competed in 4 races so far..    His car has plenty of power but is not set up right yet so it is a struggle for him..   I gave him plenty of antiquated advice and had great fun..  It was a most enjoyable day..

The Suburban is making good progress and should be finished today..  I will be able to take the Bronco to town and get it off my property..

More to come..

Rick Draganowski



Subject:    T-Bone formation..

Date:         Saturday, October 20, 2001 3:38 PM


As I was returning home from my trip to town with Rustpuppy yesterday I had a most challenging situation arise on Highway 101 just north of town.

Here is what happened.   The white late model Mustang with the exaggerated blue racing stripes pulled a bonehead maneuver to place itself crossways on the highway directly in front of the now bumperless Rustpuppy..    And Rustpuppy was going about 60..

See aerial photo for the crime scene..


The intersection of Hwy 101 and Ocean way has on and off ramps for north bound traffic that connect with an underpass..   Since the northbound ramps are below highway level the on ramp is very long to provide merging visibility to the entering traffic.

Mr. Mustang decided to change his mind on the northbound on ramp and emerge to ground level and immediately cut a u-turn across highway speed traffic..  Starting with zero visibility..   Really intelligent move on his part..

At this time I was just rounding the bend at a safe 60mph..   (limit is 55 here)   Then I see the Mustang entering the highway at right angles blocking both lanes..   I immediately applied the brakes to the limit of controllability and had a brief bitter thought about the lack of the effective Disco bumper on the front of the now tender and vulnerable Rustpuppy..  And also the thought of wishing that the bumper was still in place so I could leave a permanent mark on Mr. Mustang by letting off the brakes enough to just leave an impression.   Not a kind thought..

The blue rectangle on the photo is Rustpuppy, the red rectangle is the Mustang..

But it worked out for the best as the distance between the side of the Mustang and the delicate front of Rustpuppy never got below about 5 or 6 feet..    I had slowed Rustpuppy enough to allow the Mustang Moron to accelerate clear after noticing the situation..

I was relieved but had a tiny bit of regret about the impression idea not being possible..

This episode has changed my mind about leaving the front bumper off Rustpuppy and fabricating a delicate aluminum spoiler..    I am going to replace the bumper this weekend and after mounting the cool Disco trailer hitch the rear bumper as well..

The 150 extra lbs of the bumpers is now a necessary feature of Rustpuppy and the safety issues take precedence over the crazy racing fits that I am afflicted with from time to time..

I will also be having a discussion of the incident with Mr. Mustang as I know where he works and can visit with him from time to time..


Rick Draganowski

(safety first..)




Subject:    Rustpuppy Test&Tune 65

Date:         Sunday, October 21, 2001 11:19 PM


As a result of Friday’s T-bone Mustang adventure I spent some time Saturday putting the big heavy front Disco bumper back on Rustpuppy..    Sigh..  Adding 84 lbs that far forward is really a negative thing to do for the quarter mile times..

Oh, well it is a good cause..

At this point Rustpuppy has the front bumper on, rear bumper off (lousy for traction issues) and a full tank to make up a bit for the lack of rearward weight.

This adds about 150 lbs to the leanest race weight which generated consistent 13.5’s..

So just at dusk when I finished the bumper install I noticed that there was no wind and I could hear no traffic..      You guessed it..   Hitting the road for Rustpuppy Run..

I noticed that Rustpuppy seemed eager to go and got a 4.81 0-60 time during warmup launches..   Good..

Highway 101 was deserted, it was just getting dark, Goody sounded and felt strong..   But the damn fog was setting in and the condensation just starting up on the road..

I staged for a relaxed southbound run and the launch went pretty good but started with a little cold bog followed by too much wheelspin..   The moisture on the asphalt was not going to let me do any good tonight..   With the added weight of the front bumper Rustpuppy has a slight nose down attitude and the tracking and solid feeling without the extra front end lift was very comfortable..

The time was fair..   13.7@107.2  in spite of the wheelspin..

The fog and condensation was closing down quickly and by the time I got turned around and back on Rustpuppy Run I knew that traction would be a big issue..   It was.   There was just a tiny bog or hesitation at launch and then Goody hit so hard that the tires spun uselessly for what seemed like a long time..     The tracking perfect and rock stable but the time way down at 13.8@106.8...

Then it was motor slowly home like a good citizen for my chicken soup and dishwashing..

I digress onto another subject..

I have been on a blood pressure/anti-arrhythmia drug for 4 months and have been bugged by the side effects..   Depression, and worsening of my arthritis..    I decided last Friday to go off of the damn things to get my spirits up and my ambition back..   Well this morning I woke up feeling bad with the heart arrhythmia problem which knocks the stuffing out of me.  So I went back on my medication..   It is a no-win situation for me..   Rats..

But this afternoon when I went out to work on the rear bumper Disco trailer hitch installation I noticed that it was dry, sunny, windless, and with no traffic..

Hoo ha!    Time to get back on Rustpuppy Run without the condensation issue!

Traffic very light so I had time to  stage carefully for a south bound run..  There was a moderate bog and then Goody pulled well for a nice routine stable run of 13.74@107.1..

Then the northbound run was spoiled by starting on the wrong section of asphalt to set off a bit too much wheelspin for a time of 13.76@107.6..  This run would have been well into the 13.6’s if I would have staged further south on the Run..

At this point I could not control the southbound run wheelspin with the transmission fluid hot and the stall up at 2950 so I lost it for a dismal time of 13.81@106.7..   The pavement at the north end of the Run is not nearly as fast as the south end..

Then it was time for the last run of the day..   The northbound run from the good asphalt still broke traction but was still pulling good and after an arrow straight run the time was much better at 13.63@107.9..

On the last run I looked at the aftermarket speedometer just after the quarter lights flashed on the G-Tech and saw the needle half way between the 110 and 115 mph graduations..  About 112 uncorrected mph..   This corrects to 104mph just after the quarter traps..   Compensating for tire growth probably 102 or 103 honest mph..

Rustpuppy performed flawlessly and predictably without a glitch..   A most relaxing way to lift one’s spirits..

More to come..

Rick Draganowski

(since I am adding weight to Rustpuppy, Goody needs more torque...  Wonder what to do..)




Subject:    Non Nova Transmogrification of the Suburban

Date:         Thursday, October 25, 2001 12:23 AM


First I want to thank those who responded to my pitiful request for assistance on the 700R4 lock up converter problem I had.   (yes, had!)

I spent several hours researching this issue on the internet..  ( I must have downloaded 50 different web pages)   The result was that I had enough evidence and clues as to the actual working of the stock system used for the converter lockup on the 85 Suburban..    Alex mentioned an important clue when he said that there may be two vacuum switches..

It turns out that there are..  One on the firewall in plain sight on the passengers side and one mostly obscured by a plastic hose and cable guide on the drivers side..

As near as I can figure it the logic of the converter lockup on the ‘85 Suburban is like this.   The lockup solenoid is provided current by a string of control switches and each has a different function..

The closest one is the 4th gear pressure switch which is actually inside the transmission.   From there the current path goes to a set of normally closed contacts on the special brakelight switch.   Then through a normally closed manifold vacuum switch which is opened by a high vacuum   and then through a second normally open manifold vacuum switch which is closed by  a moderate to high ported vacuum.. 

Wow..  Confusing, right?

Taking them one at a time.

The 4th gear pressure switch is just closed whenever 4th gear (overdrive) is engaged.  The lightweight teeny weeny clutch in the converter cannot handle much torque so it is locked out in the lower gears..

The brake switch opens and unlocks the converter whenever the brakes are depressed to prevent the possibility of killing the motor during braking.

The manifold vacuum switch that opens at a high manifold vacuum is to detect when the throttle is released during cruise allowing the motor to idle down and save gas..  (yeah, right)

And finally the ported vacuum switch closes and allows the converter to lock above a vacuum sensed throttle position..   It also unlocks the converter if the throttle is opened too much during acceleration..   Remember the clutch is a teeny one..

I have all of these widgets hooked up and the converter is locking up exactly as the design spec calls for..    A very happy outcome..  Mog-5.jpg is the ported vacuum switch that is normally open. 

Mog-6.jpg shows the manifold vacuum switch that is normally closed.  Notice that it is hiding.

Mog-1.jpg, mog-2.jpg, mog-3.jpg, and mog-4.jpg are the before and after pictures of the transmogrification process..    What a hideous mess of tubes, wires, and unspeakably ugly widgets the before shots are.  (1 and 3..)






The spiffy manifold I am using is the stocker that was on Knocker and it was the OEM part on my 77 white pickup..   Notice the metallic blue..

Mog-7.jpg shows the completed job with the enormous truck air cleaner with the big snorkel going forward beside the radiator..    Brings in fresh cool air mostly.

But..   Mog-8.jpg shows how it hangs down when it vibrates loose from the plastic fitting in front of the engine compartment..    Just right for snorking up rags left by careless maintenance workers..   Sigh..

Finally mog-9.jpg shows the carnival freak show arcade of strange parts removed during the transmogrification process..     Dancing needles that destroy everything that Rochester was striving for...   Widgets that use up horsepower to pump air into the exhaust, other widgets that let the exhaust pollute the intake mixture..  And a mindless electronic distributor that is controlled by the idiot child of a retarded microwave oven controller..

Also note in the upper left corner is the rag that was snorked..   It started this whole chain of events when it was savagely snorked up and jammed against a carburetor heat valve..

Rick Draganowski

(snorkels snork..)




Subject:    Rustpuppy Run

Date:         Friday, October 26, 2001 12:32 AM


Attached is an aerial view of Rustpuppy Run..      I just went back through all of my records and since March 29, 2001 when I got Rustpuppy back on the road with the new 3.73 posi rear axle I have made 86 quarter mile runs on ol’ Rustpuppy Run..    About 12.3 runs per month. On average that is one quarter mile run every 2 days..

It comes to 21.5 racing miles at full throttle..   Plus a lot of undocumented fooling around..   Hmm..  No wonder my milage runs between 8 and 12 on Rustpuppy..

Rick Draganowski

(racing is good, keeping records is good too)




Subject:    Exhaust Cutouts..

Date:         Monday, October 29, 2001 9:10 PM


I will be putting custom cutouts on Rustpuppy for her next power adding modification.   Since I chickened out on the bumper removal I am not satisfied with the above 13.5 times any more..

How much HP would it add to a 350-360 horsepower 350 versus Super Turbo’s?

Dyno2000 sez between 12 hp at 3000rpm up to  27 hp at 6000rpm but that seems optomistic.

I am inspired by the neat design that Bruce did but will put extensions on to get the plugs to just in front of the rear wheel openings..   I am too cripple to crawl under everytime I go racing and too chicken to leave them open.   Plus I don’t like the idea of having the exhaust exit under the center of the car..

See picture for Bruce’s setup prior to painting..

Rick Draganowski




Subject:    Rustpuppy Test&Tune 66

Date:         Friday, November 02, 2001 2:14 PM


Last week Thursday and Friday the weather was fine and I thought I was recovered from my flu (had relapse on Saturday) so I spent a little time on the bumper hitch installation on my Rustpuppy.   I was happily buzzing away with my impact wrench on the rusty bolts holding the inner bumper girder to the outer chrome shell and found several that defied normal removal.  (this always happens..)

So I fell back to the old standard stubborn bolt removal tool.   The hot wrench..  (see t&t66-1.jpg)

The bolt and broken nutplate on the lower flange was quickly and neatly removed. (t&t66-2.jpg  But..     (another damn but..)

I was too cripple and too lazy to stand the bumper up to provide drainage for the white hot steel and slag from the face bolt (the ones behind the rubber strip) and was frustrated as the removal turned into a welding and burning rubber strip debacle..   See t&t66-3.jpg.

This was a revolting development and I retired hurt to consider my options..

More to come..

Rick Draganowski

(ve haf ways of making you cooperate..  terrible ways..)


Subject:    Rustpuppy Test&Tune 67

Date:         Friday, November 02, 2001 4:03 PM


After the miserable outcome of the failed torchwork in the last episode I pressed forward with a different approach.    The problem was to somehow bolt a bracket to the front surface of the tubular bumper skin/bumper girder assembly.   Since it was inseparable due to the inept torchwork I resorted to my trademark, “Access Hole Creation”.

The device which makes it possible is in t&t67-1.jpg.

  The unstoppable 2” high speed steel holesaw..

I then taped the bolts to a wrench with masking tape allowing easy insertion from the inside to mount the bracket.  (t&t67-2.jpg and t&t67-3,jpg)


With the bracket bolted securely (100 lb ft of torque on the grade 8 half inch bolts) I ground the chrome plating off the flange part and drilled two holes for the second bracket.   Removing the chrome plating protects the great DeWalt piloted drill bits I use.  (t&t67-4.jpg)

T&t67-5.jpg shows the completed installation from the bottom and t&t67-6.jpg shows the top view..


The project stalled at this point for my third relapse and about 5 inches of rain over the last week..    It is sunny today and Rustpuppy is waiting with the bumper on the ground ready for installation.

But I am staying in and staying warm..    I am sick of being sick..   Ray expressed concern about the fact that I have been sick for 7 weeks with this damn flu..  Too long..  If there is no improvement I will be contacting my doctor Monday for some tests to find out what the hell is going on..

Rick Draganowski

(sick and miserable in Oregon)






Subject:    Rustpuppy Test&Tune 68

Date:         Sunday, November 04, 2001 7:46 PM


Even though I still have the damned persistent pneumonia from the flu I have been fighting for the last 7 weeks I managed to get a teeny bit done today..

I have started myself on 11 days of a broad spectrum antibiotic indicated in bacterial respiratory infections.   Levaquin is the name and if it makes no difference my  original idea is probably the problem.  While I have cared for my Deloris for the last 10 years or so I was careful not to get infected with any of the modern flu virii.  It would have been very serious for her.  As a result I do not have the immune antibodies built up to a host of modern Asian strains of the flu and I have to do a lot of suffering to get my immunity built up..   Sigh..   It is a bitch getting old..

Back to the Nova business..   The story left off with the completed rear bumper/hitch assembly laying on the ground behind ol’ Rustpuppy.   Today I spent an hour cleaning up the bolts so they would be easy to install and spent some fun time on the ground under Rustpuppy getting the bumper mounted..

Rustpuppy looks a lot better with the bumpers back on and the ability to do some creative t-boning of Mustangs driven by idiots is good to have back..

With the bumper mounted I took Rustpuppy for a little ride..   It was just getting dark.  There was no wind.   I could hear no traffic..   Hmmm..   You guessed it.  It was time to get out to Rustpuppy Run for a worse case test.  With the bumpers both on and the tank full it was making Rustpuppy about 200lbs heavier than she was for the low 13 runs..

The first southbound run went great with just a hint of  cold hesitation at launch with very little wheelspin.    The added weight back there really makes a difference on the traction.

The tracking was good even though the slight front down attitude disappeared with the added weight all the way in the back.   Rustpuppy’s stance is perfectly level now..

Goody was pulling very well and sounded great..    I pulled off at the south turnaround area and saw the G-Tech indicating 13.69@107.1..    This is considerably off of her best time of 13.42@108.1 but not bad considering Rustpuppy’s race weight at a bit over 3900 lbs with my fat butt aboard..

The transmission fluid and motor oil were warmed up by the southbound run so even with the rear bumper and a full tank of gas the wheelspin at launch was too much..   The run was not as relaxing and enjoyable as the first one as some oncoming traffic appeared around the bend about a mile north.   There was plenty of time to finish the run and get back down to 55mph before the traffic came anywhere close.   I have a firm rule, no racing if there is any traffic near the Run and would have aborted the run if the oncoming traffic was closer.   The time was close to the first run at 13.68@106.6..

With this baseline established I slowly motored home to my dishes and chicken soup preparation.   It always lifts my spirits to do a bit of racing..

I am having serious thoughts about investing in a lift-off Fiberglas hood to get some of the front weight reduction back..    The el-cheapo pin-on hood would suit me fine and eventually wind up on Junkyard Dawg..     How much weight savings would there be and who would be the best outfit to deal with?

I just want a stock look with no scoops or cowl induction stuff..

Rick Draganowski

(want to be able to send my buying frenzy .wav again)




Subject:    Rustpuppy Test&Tune 69

Date:         Thursday, November 08, 2001 10:54 PM


The Puppytrailer is home!   I took Rustpuppy to town yesterday to see Archie and pick up the Puppytrailer with the spanking new chrome plated Puppyhitch..

It was great fun visiting with Archie and talking about all of his innumerable projects..   So far the best 1/8 mile times on the Monte Carlo racecar is 6.7@104..   Prestage.com translates that to a 10.6 quarter mile e.t.    Pretty impressive for a small block motor pushing a big Monte Carlo..

The Puppytrailer pulls really great.  It has extra weight on the hitch with a hitch weight of 125 lbs and a long hitch to axle distance.  Makes for a stable smooth tow..  Archie does great work on these little projects..

It was just getting dark as I made my way home with the Puppytrailer..  I ran up to about 85mph on the highway to test the behavior of the tow..  Very nice..

Then it was just at dusk when I got to the south end of Rustpuppy Run..  I noticed that there was no wind..   And the highway was deserted except for me..   Hmmm..

You guessed it..   What an idiot I am..   I joked with Archie about trying a quarter mile run with Puppytrailer following along but here I was..

The staging was good and the launch had a bit more wheelspin than I expected probably due to the slight bit of condensation coming down..    There was more than the usual amount of wheelspin when second gear hit and that led to a tiny bit of fishtailing.  But Puppytrailer was well behaved and damped the oscillations in just a second or two..   After that it was smooth sailing up to the end of the quarter..

I left the time flashing till I got home and could record it for posterity..  It was 14.57@99.8 on the G-Tech..    Not too bad for a tow rig..   See puptrlr1.jpg and puptrlr2.jpg...

Today in the beautiful sunshine I took a bunch of pictures of Puppytrailer.

She is made from the rear frame of a Ford Courier of about 1974 vintage..  Looks like a Ford 8” axle under her..   The aluminum bed is four feet by eight feet and will provide plenty of room for camping out on..

I took her out on the old road and weighed her with a heavy duty Health-0-Meter scale and found each wheel weighs 340lbs and the hitch 125 lbs for a total of 805 lbs..

See the whole gallery at puptrlr3.jpg, puptrlr4.jpg, puptrlr5.jpg, puptrlr6.jpg, puptrlr7.jpg, puprtlr8.jpg, and puptrlr9,jpg..








More to come..

Rick Draganowski

(racing with a trailer.. what a nut..)




Subject:    Rustpuppy Test&Tune 70

Date:         Sunday, November 11, 2001 7:35 PM


The tank of 89 octane summer gas in Rustpuppy was just about at an end last Saturday so I decided on one last test of the full bumper configuration with the tank almost empty and the trunk junk out.

I carefully weighed the trunk junk and came up with these numbers.

Bumper Jack plus stock lug wrench and big cross wrench - 15lbs

Nifty floor jack in plastic carrying case                                - 30lbs

Spare tire, stock 14x6 rim with 215x15-70 tire                   -  38lbs

That means that there is 83 lbs of junk rattling around back there normally.

I wasn’t sure that there was enough gas for much racing plus the 15 mile trip to town so I just did one 0-60 warmup run before hitting Rustpuppy Run.  The time was ok at 4.97 seconds with a pretty big cold bog at launch..

Then it was time for the first run..    A small bog at launch due to being below racing temp but Goody was pulling really well for the mixed time of 13.75@108.8 .    Slow e.t. with high speed..   Hmmm..

Then the stall speed went up due to the transmission fluid coming up to temp and due to the high humidity conditions the traction went away bigtime..   I stayed on it and spun most of the way through first gear for a time of 13.71@107.9..    This time of year with the hazy foggy days the racing on street tires is less possible..    Without sunshine to dry the surface of Highway 101 there is no place to hook up when Goody is hot..


I decided to go back to the 92 octane premium at the fillup and noticed that the gasoline smelled really good and the exhaust is back to normal..  Winter gas is good..

It has been wet and raining since Saturday when I did this last racing so it is back to just working and being bored for now..

No sun forecast for the next 7 days..   Rain and fog..   Drizzle..

Followed by wind and rain. Then fog and drizzle..     Winter..   Sigh...

The most excellent Karl Breslaw sent poor Draganowski some great gourmet coffee and I celebrated Veteran’s Day with my first pot of good coffee..  I felt decadent and spoiled..  Yum, it sure beats the freeze-dried garbage I have been drinking..

Rick Draganowski

(all wet but with good coffee..)




Subject:    Rustpuppy Test&Tune 71

Date:         Friday, November 16, 2001 2:51 PM


It has been a miserable cold, foggy, drizzly, rainy, windy, more rainy, week with about 6 or 7 inches of rain and no sunshine..

I have been depressed and miserable (partly from side effects of my heart medications) and was desperate enough to take Rustpuppy out for a run last Wednesday during a break in the rain..  Problem was that the highway was still wet..

It was an exciting and unnerving experience..    Uncontrollable wheelspin in first and second with some instability in third gear as well..    Too much power for too little traction and the positraction is weird in the wet..

I had to use a lot of the road and was glad that there was no traffic at all..    The time was very strange with the slowest E.T. since Rustpuppy had her 250 six motor..   15.79@98.9..    Still it did cheer me up a little..

Waiting patiently for the weekend.  The predictions call for two dry days so Rustpuppy may be back in the groove on Sunday...

The great coffee from Karl Breslaw helps a little with the depression but if I drink too much it gives me the shits..    It is hell to get old..

Rick Draganowski

(ol’ poopydrawers..)



Subject:    Rustpuppy Test&Tune 72

Date:         Sunday, November 18, 2001 7:13 PM


The promised dry weather this weekend did show up..   But..   Yesterday when I took the fully loaded Rustpuppy out for a run I found that the residual moisture in the road prevented any good runs.   Better than the wet road but there still was no traction in first and only partial traction in second for a mediocre time of 14.42@99.4 on the G-Tech..

But even though clear skies were promised for the Leonid meteor storm when I went up the hill in the Suburban at 2:15am the sky was overcast..   I saw a few flashes behind the light clouds but no actual meteor tracks..   Bummer..

It was a gray and cloudy day but still dry so I took Rustpuppy out for a run about 4pm..   I tried a 0-60 time and got 5.97 seconds with a slight cold bog..

Then I scouted out a good traction patch on the north end of Rustpuppy run for a southbound launch..    Just a hint of bog and not much wheelspin and since there was no wind and no traffic the run went straight and true for a time of 13.75@107 on the G-Tech..

Most excellent considering the weight Rustpuppy was carrying..

Then the northbound run from the traditional good traction patch had just a bit too much wheelspin in first but a strong pull from Goody for a time of 13.7@106.1..

This is with both bumpers back in place..    Here is the breakdown on the weight issue..

Rustpuppy with bumpers and a almost dry gas tank and no trunk junk or fat drivers is:

3550 lbs

Then add the neat 40 lb trailer hitch:

3590 lbs

Then add the 83 lbs of trunk junk:

3667 lbs

And about 20 gallons of gas at 6lbs per gallon for 120 more lbs:

3787 lbs

And a really heavy driver at 340 lbs:

4127 lbs for the total race weight..    That is a lot for a little motor to drag around..

Prestage sez that comes to about 317hp at the rear wheels with the great

smelling winter gas..   The best that Rustpuppy got with the summer gas was about 304hp..    It makes a difference.

The FlowTech RaceReadies showed up Friday afternoon and they look great!   I am happy with the quality and price of only 54 bucks for the pair..

I parked Rustpuppy on the steep side of the hill and crawled under the high side and found great locations to mount the cutouts that can be reached without jacking up Rustpuppy..  Just lay on the pavement and you can reach them..  Cool..

The racing really helped my with my soggy depression but it is supposed to start raining tomorrow for another week..

More to come..

Rick Draganowski




Subject:    Rustpuppy Test&Tune 73

Date:         Friday, December 21, 2001 2:35 AM


It has been a soggy time since the last Test&Tune on the 18th of November with about two feet of rain since then..

But yesterday shined bright and sunny with the damp roads steaming in the sun.   I took Rustpuppy out for a little run in the morning just to keep the battery charged and the motor happy but when I got to the north end of Rustpuppy Run I noticed that there was little wind and no traffic..

I decided to make a quick run just for the fun of it..   Since the road was still pretty wet I just slowly rolled on the throttle at the launch to prevent insane wheelspin..   The run went well with a strange shooshing noise at the 1-2 shift when the traction broke..   The moisture on the pavement makes a big difference..

The time was pretty good considering the circumstances at 13.75@105.8 but the fun of running Rustpuppy and hearing the music of Goody makes me happy..   (Run number 97)

Big storm heading in later today so the window of opportunity is closing again..

On the way home from the Run I snapped a picture up at my special place on the hill..   The ocean was calm and beautiful..

Merry Christmas!

More to come..

Rick Draganowski

(racing is good)






Subject:    Rustpuppy Test&Tune 74

Date:         Sunday, December 23, 2001 8:31 PM


A very mixed bag of pre-Christmas reporting today..

First things first..  It was a partly sunny day with only a little light rain yesterday so the roads were semi-dry..    I took Rustpuppy out in mid afternoon hoping to get a few runs in..   Rustpuppy Run was still mostly soggy with a dry spot on the north end about a hundred yards down from my normal north end launch position..  The wind currents in the creek valley must have dried this spot as most of the road was wet..

With Rustpuppy still semi-cold with no practice runs I just rolled the throttle on slowly to prevent the out of control wheelspin the high moisture levels cause..    The launch went well with just a bit of wheelspin and then when second hit it was soft and quiet with a little jog to the left..   But Goody was pulling good and the run seemed fast.

It wasn’t too bad..   With full weight but with the winter gas the G-Tech time was 13.6@107.3..    Cool..   That means that with a completely dry road 13.5’s would have been easy..

And that is with Rustpuppy over 4000 lbs..    The winter gas not only smells great, but it runs great..

On the south end of Rustpuppy run the road was soggy wet and I only tried a 0-60 run.  The wheels spun through most of first for the mediocre time of 5.36 seconds..

When I got home I noticed that Rustpuppy’s door upholstery repair was starting to look pretty shabby..   Time for some fresh duct tape..    (see t&t74-1.jpg and t&t74-2.jpg)


Then I remembered that I promised Karl Breslaw pictures of my Oliver tractor.. (poor neglected thing..)   See the tractor and the remains of my old white truck in t&t74-3.jpg, t&t74-4.jpg, t&t74-5.jpg, t&t74-6.jpg and t&t74-7.jpg...





Then I got a good shot of the old barn/shop which will soon be getting a major facelift courtesy of Chuck Butcher & Company..  (t&t74-8.jpg)

And now for something entirely different..   I am very happy with the improved performance of the Suburban now that it has be transmogrified and de-smogged but I still have a nagging little problem..   When the throttle is winged from idle the happy little Goodwrench zings right to 6000rpm with no hesitation and lots of sparkle..

But under heavy load (like when racing) when the secondaries open it is if the motor is gulping dry air and running out of fuel..   I have a theory that the stupid little filter in the carb is plugged up and I was too stupid to instruct Brett and Mitchell to replace it out of suspicion..   More to come on that issue later this week..

Today during testing I hit it pretty hard off the line on the old road with the results in the picture..   That Detroit locker works good..     (there is actually another 10-15 feet of Burbtracks under where I parked her for the picture..     (burned all through first gear)  (see subbad.jpg)

I bet once I get the fuel filter issue resolved it may be time to try another G-tech run with old Patches..   (it would be a hoot to get into the 16’s)

More to come..

Rick Draganowski

(racing is good..)





Subject:    Rustpuppy Test&Tune 75  Merry Christmas

Date:         Tuesday, December 25, 2001 6:17 PM


This Christmas I have one of the best of all possible presents..  Yesterday, Christmas Eve an old friend (young John Spada) started working as my helper..   It is a blessing to have someone to help with the many things I can no longer do..

I had to give young John a ride in Rustpuppy yesterday morning..   It was great, coming back from picking up some sugar for my coffee with Goody fully warmed up I made a northbound run with the added 150lbs of passenger..   It was terrific with a nice time of 13.74@106.6  ..   Very good considering Rustpuppy’s fully loaded weight of about 4250lbs..     The math program at Prestage sez that Rustpuppy is getting about 323hp to the rear wheels..  (that translates to about 370 flywheel horsepower..  Winter gas is good!)

As you know from the last report I have been fighting a problem with the Suburban..   My half baked theory led me to believe the stinkin little filter in the Q-Jet was plugging up and leaning out the mixture on full throttle..

I stood the Suburban on her nose (---sub4.jpg) to have easy access to the carburetor and everything went well except for one little detail..

  With Patches standing on her nose the 30 gallon (full) tank of gas is above the level of the fuel line and gasoline was running out all over the front of the motor..  It was a hectic moment as I found that my pencil was too small to block the fuel line..   Then in desperation I pulled out the  PCV valve and hose to make a stand pipe on the fuel line high enough to stop the gasoline flow..   So there I stood trying to change the filter with one hand and holding the hose up with the other..   A comedy of errors..

But eventually perserverance paid off and I got the filter swapped with a new one..   I was worried that the old filter looked pretty clean..   Sigh..  I picked up a fuel pump on suspicion since the one in there has about 155,000 miles on it..

But then after getting everything back together I took Patches out for a test ride..  As soon as I got to highway 101 I could tell that things were better.. Much better..

After fully warming up the motor I did a standing start northbound on Rustpuppy Run..    The wonderful moan of the Q-Jet secondaries was like music to my ears..  And the great positive shift from second to third gear at 70mph full throttle was great fun as well..  I stayed on the throttle for about a half mile total and got that great old Suburban up to about 110 miles per hour..      A very happy ride as I was very worried about the fuel problem..

Everything is great..   With both Rustpuppy and Patches running their best..

Now it is time to modify something..

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to you all..

Rick Draganowski

(going fast on 101)


p.s. note the lush green winter lawn..




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