T&T Chapter 6   <  ^  >

Subject:    Medical Road Trip

Date:         Tuesday, January 08, 2002 9:52 AM


Sunday I drove the faithful old Suburban to Medford (225 miles) for an appointment with my cardiologist..   I am trying to get authorization from him to go ahead with the neck operation I need..

The trip was a trip.   Most of the way it was blowing about 50 mph gusts with heavy rain..   I felt like I was at sea some of the time..

The doctor and I aggravated back and forth Monday morning from 9:30 am till 12:30 but I got permission to get the surgery..

The now desmogged and transmogrified Suburban ran like a dream and when I gassed up in Medford and figured the milage I was happy to see 19.92 mpg..  And that is with the racing setup on the vacuum advance can which may be dropping the milage by 2 or 3 mpg..

The trip home yesterday was more of the same but the Southwest storm winds were up to over 70mph on the coast so it was interesting bucking those winds in the torrential rain at night..

But I got home safely..   Haven’t figured the milage on the return trip yet..

After arriving at 6:30 pm and was just getting settled down to make some dinner at 7:30 when the lights went out..   Storm induced power outage..  Damn..

So I sat in the dark (and cold) and ate a can of cold tamales for dinner..

With cold water to wash it down..   Yum..

Went to bed early since there was nothing else to do...    Power was back on about midnight or so..

Happy to be home and looking forward to the surgery..   I understand that they go in through the front and I need both sides done so they will be cutting my throat..

2002 will be a good year..

Rick Draganowski



Subject:    Medical Road Trip part II and Rustpuppy

Date:         Tuesday, January 08, 2002 8:37 PM


I got the numbers for the Suburban milage on the homeward trip against the hurricane wind..     It was pretty good considering the weather issues at 17.72 mpg.   With the trip to Medford at 19.92 mpg it comes to a trip average of 18.71 mpg..      I love that old Suburban...


Now for something entirely different..     I started Rustpuppy up and let her idle aand warm up at about 10:30 this morning..     I wanted to take her out on the road..     At first I had no intentions of doing anything except a nice drive in the country..    The Sunday/Monday storm dropped almost exactly one foot (12”) of rain in the area and the roads will be wet for many days..


But it was such a pretty sunny day, and the road didn’t seem that bad..

And there was no traffic at all..

So I lined her up on the south end of Rustpuppy Run for a northbound run..  I picked the best launch spot I could find..    But the wheelspin was too much, all through first and about a third of the way into second gear.. 

Rustpuppy was fishtailing so much it was like she was doing the hula..    I was so busy steering and the shift light came up much quicker than usual so I was slow on grabbing second.   As a result Goody wound up to about 6700rpm..   Goody sounded great at that rpm with no valve float or ignition issues..   But it is probably overstressing the rotating parts..     I need faster reflexes..

Anyway the time was better than I expected because Goody was pulling so well at the top end so the numbers came up 14.26@106.8...

We are due for three more dry days so I am looking forward to getting in some more runs as the road dries out..

More to come..

Rick Draganowski




Subject:    Rustpuppy Test&Tune 76

Date:         Monday, January 14, 2002 10:39 PM


Sunday morning dawned clear and dry..    By the afternoon the dry light winds and the bright sunshine had finished the work on drying highway 101..

With suppressed eagerness I fired up Rustpuppy at about two in the afternoon to take a little ride..

I got to the north end of Rustpuppy Run without any nervous practice runs because I planned on taking my time and making several runs..    Due to some flukes of traffic there was no interval long enough for a safe southbound run so I found myself on the short turnaround on the south end of the Run..

I nosed Rustpuppy up to the edge of the highway so I could see down the highway southbound to look for a good long traffic break.    Normally I would tear out onto the highway at full throttle up to about 4500rpm  (about 86mph)  to get to the south staging area..   But there was the front end of a car parked up the road that made me uneasy..   I considered my options and almost went ahead with the run to the staging area but decided to turn south and investigate the parked car..

My instinct was a good one..  It was a ratty old Oregon State Police Crown Victoria staking out the highway and with a clear view of where I would have done the practice launch..  I turned off onto the old road and tried to look as innocent as possible while sneaking off back home..

Whew..  I would have been nailed good..   And there is more to the story..

On the way home I was innocently fooling with the shifter and I noticed that it was not working correctly..    The downshifts seemed ok but the 2-3 upshift was fouling up 3 times out of 4..

So if I had gone ahead with the racing with the shifter fouled up I may have seriously overreved Goody and caused myself serious grief..

The rains came back last night so the temptation of the open highway is back on hold..  I doused the shifter with some great spray on penetrating oil with magic ingredients and Teflon and it is back to normal.   Its upshift pawl was sticking due to surface rust..   The salt air syndrome again..  Will take a picture of the super penetrating oil tomorrow..  I am so fuzzy I forgot the details.

More to come..

Rick Draganowski

(happy to avoid entanglements with the law)





Subject:    Rustpuppy Racing and Construction Report

Date:         Monday, February 04, 2002 1:28 AM


Chuck Butcher and his assistant Donny Davis showed up last Tuesday at 8:30 pm for the big barn project here..

But first about the racing..    Chuck and Donny got a ride in Rustpuppy Wednesday when I took them to town to introduce them to my supplier, Reed Ringer at Gold Beach Lumber..   And then the road dried enough to give me some ideas yesterday (Saturday) so I got back from an errand to town in the Suburban and immediately got back on the road with Rustpuppy..    The weather was almost perfect (with a little more wind and pavement moisture than ideal but still good) and I was itching for a Rustpuppy Run as it has been since January 8th since the last run.  (and it was a bad one on wet road)   The State Trooper and the shifter rust put the kibosh on the attempt on the 14th of January and I have spent about 3 weeks recovering from almost knocking my brains out on Junkyard Dawg..

I did one practice 0-60 run on the old road and had the reasonable cold motor time of 4.9 seconds..   It was time to hit the Run..

Too much traffic to allow a southbound run so I set up for a northbound one.  The launch area was too wet for optimum traction so the initial wheelspin seemed interminable..   But Goody was pulling well up through the gears and the run was a most satisfying 13.63@109.2..   The high mph was partly due to the tailwind and partly because of the great way Goody was pulling in the higher gears..

This is quarter mile run number 101 since Goody was installed..     What fun..

Now back to the construction report..   Attached are a few selected pictures of the progress..     First is the rig that Chuck drove over from Baker City (600 miles)..   Then some construction items..








Rick Draganowski

(good progress is being made)




Subject:    Weather and Rustpuppy racing and tach issues

Date:         Friday, February 08, 2002 6:05 PM


Naturally since we are in the middle of a construction project with siding off and walls open a unexpected severe Oregon winter storm hit yesterday afternoon..

Local winds of over 90mph and about 4 inches of rain..     It was an exciting time for us all..     Naturally I went to town during the worse of it..   But it was in the Suburban..   No problem..

Today started with showers and then became a great sunny day with light winds and about 55 degree temperatures..

So due to my restless nature and need for mood elevating speed  I took Rustpuppy out on the saturated highway..    To my surprise I found a dry patch down from the north end of Rustpuppy Run and managed to get a decent launch..    The 1-2 shift happened on the wetter part and caused momentary concern due to a sudden jog to the right by the rear end.   It was not severe enough to cause me to let off so the run progressed well..

Without the tailwind Rustpuppy had last run the mph was more normal and the time was very good at 13.59@107...

On the return morthbound trip I could not find any unsaturated launch area and just tried a 0-60 run for the fun of it..  There was wheelspin through all of first gear and the time was off at 5.3 seconds..    Even with the wheelspin Rustpuppy was still pulling pretty good and it was great fun..

Tomorrow will be dry and sunny and I may unload the 87lbs of trunk junk and have another go at breaking the 13.5 barrier with the bumpers on..

But,  (another damn but) the fun was a little spoiled by the Sun Super Tach II failing..    And after only 10 years of service..    It seemed to hit something internally and would not go above 2000 rpm..    Then after the racing it was ok up to about 3000 rpm...    I think one of those damn spiders may have spun a web inside..     Another arach-tach problem..


I have the new tach (almost identical) on the old test stand used for Goody and will probably do the transplant this weekend..     Just wirenuts and the single rear mounting ring..

The construction is going good and there will be an update Sunday or so..

More to come..

Rick Draganowski

(racing is good)





Subject:    Rustpuppy Test&Tune 77

Date:         Monday, February 11, 2002 10:50 AM


The saturation of the highway from last Thursday’s storm had been mostly dried by Saturday and I went ahead with the idea (or was it a threat) of testing Rustpuppy with the great winter gas and the 87 lbs of trunk junk removed..

About the gas..   The last time I filled Rustpuppy the lady who was pumping gas was a new hire and despite my request for 92 octane she filled Rustpuppy with the bottom of the line 87 octane regular..  (she probably judged Rustpuppy by her shabby exterior looks)

Strangely, with the quality winter gasoline and cool winter weather Goody seems happy and runs great on the 87 octane stuff..    With the milled heads and thin shim head gasket her compression ratio is right at 9 to 1 so perhaps regular gas would be adaquate.  (if the quality of the gasoline is high)

I invested in a couple sets of R44TS plugs to replace the R45TS jobs in Goody now since on hot days there is a tiny bit of dieseling when shutting down after climbing the grade up the back side of Colebrook Butte where I live..    But I have been to lazy and distracted to get them installed..  Will probably do it before switching back to 92 octane to see what the plugs think of the regular gas..

But back to the racing..   Saturday I unloaded the 87 lbs of trunk junk and warmed Rustpuppy up for a run..

On the practice 0-60 run on the old road the time was fair at 4.84 seconds so I was encouraged.  The highway looked dry after a couple days of low humidity and sunshine but the traction issues were still serious on the southbound run.   The wheelspin was way out of line with the miserable time of 14.11@102.8 on the G-Tech..     I think the asphalt is porous and it takes a while to get the water table inside down below the surface far enough to allow decent racing traction..

The northbound run was much better but there was still too much wheelspin in first gear.   The lack of ballast in the trunk is also a traction factor..  It would be a much better test to pull the front bumper assembly..     The paranoid reaction I had to the Mustang T-Bone Incident is fading and twisted thoughts of de-bumperizing Rustpuppy are emerging.

Anyway the northbound run was very good at a flat 13.5@108 on the G-Tech..  Everything on Rustpuppy is working well and it is a great tonic to be able to tear up the highway like this..

Sunday was another dry sunny day with light winds but late in the afternoon I could see clouds approaching ofshore.  Perhaps bringing some drizzle.  That would end the hotrod crazy behavior for a while..

With the 87 lbs of trunk junk back in Rustpuppy and the gas tank a little less than half full I set out to make another series of runs..   The   0-60 practice time was better at 4.77 even with a slight cold motor bog so I was encouraged..

Out on the highway I had a fair southbound run with a more than moderate wheelspin since the traction at it’s best here is not as good as the other end of the run.  The time was 13.58@107.1 on the G-Tech..     I knew that the northbound run would be better..

It was.    Everything came into place with just enough wheelspin at launch to get Goody up into the powerband of the XE268 cam..   The G forces at launch were enough to blow back the sun visor on the driver’s side.  (that is how I know that the tires hooked up)

The time was most excellent for the fully loaded configuration of Rustpuppy at 13.44@108.4 on the G-Tech!    That is only 2 hundredth’s more that Rustpuppy’s best time with the bumpers off and trunk junk out..   The winter gasoline makes a big difference..

Now I have twisted plans to remove the front bumper and perhaps get Rustpuppy into the 13.3’s..    And thinking sick thoughts about cheap lift-off fiberglas hoods..     And I still have the exhaust cutouts to install...      Hmmm...    13.2’s??


More to come...

Rick Draganowski



Subject:    Rustpuppy Test&Tune 78

Date:         Tuesday, February 12, 2002 6:34 PM


Yesterday, Thad Bell, my good friend who currently lives in Belgium brought up the subject of when I was going to give Chuck a racing ride on Rustpuppy Run..    I had mentioned that he was invited to join me on any race day when he first arrived.   But due to the press of events he forgot the invitation and I had been politely waiting for him to accept.   He on the other had had been politely waiting for me to ask..

It was a comedy of errors and I am glad that Thad said something..

Turns out that Chuck was eager for a Rustpuppy Run and this morning we set out for one together..

The warm-up 0-60 on the old road went well with the nice time of 4.82 seconds..   Considering the extra 150 lbs (Chuck is a slender fellow) it was excellent..

The press of traffic prevented a southbound run so we turned around and set up for a northbound run..    The launch was below standard with a little more wheelspin than I expected..   I expect that I may have missed the ideal launch area by a few feet on staging..

The run went well but due to the appearance of an on-coming car I braked more than usual after the run (about 110mph down to 60) and Chuck took exception to my style.   It was necessary to brake so that when the oncoming car drew near we would be back within reasonable distance from the speed limit..

Anyway the time was fair at 13.69@106.9 and Chuck was happy to have been aboard..   He says that he has been missing racing a lot..

I suspect the mph is down due to me instinctively letting up on the gas when the oncoming car came into view..

Perhaps if the weather stays dry we will try again..

More to come..

Rick Draganowski

(old farts having fun)



Subject:    Rustpuppy Test&Tune 79

Date:         Friday, February 15, 2002 9:21 PM


Yesterday (Valentine’s Day)  morning I started making good on the threats I made in Test&Tune 77.  Taking advantage of the springlike weather I crawled under and removed Rustpuppy’s front bumper..   Hehehe...   The bolts have been polished and oiled and only three on each side are being used so it only took a few minutes..    But the press of work and the inevitable problems of rebuilding ancient buildings interfered with racing plans till just before sunset..

Rustpuppy felt perky without the heavy disco front bumper and had the practice 0-60 time of 4.59 seconds..    The old road was still bone dry but since Goody was still cold there was a trace of bog..

Out on Highway 101 closer to the ocean the misty haze was setting in and the humidity was climbing rapidly..    Traffic was spaced to interfere with a south bound run and by the time I got to the south end staging area the fog was closing in quickly..

I tried a run anyway but had too much wheelspin off the line and again into second gear to make a good run..    But the time was pretty good anyway at 13.5@108.6 on the G-Tech..

Then an uncanny and upsetting thing happened on the way home..     Just before getting to my place Goody started making the most unusual whirring scraping noise..

My stress hormones shot through the roof as I visualized innumerable horrible scenarios that would cause a motor to make strange noises..     If I have blown up Goody by my “drive it like you stole it” habits I would be discouraged...    A dark and somber moment..

After I parked Rustpuppy and went down to where Chuck was working he mentioned hearing a strange noise from Rustpuppy when I pulled up..  Damn...   What a revoltin development..

I went back and started driving Rustpuppy gingerly around in the yard listening to the ghastly whirring scraping grinding noise..     Donny Davis, Chuck’s assistant, was watching with his sharp young eyes and noticed something strange sticking down under Rustpuppy.   He motioned for me to stop and reached under and came up with an 18” long piece of tree branch that had bounced up and entered the hole in the flywheel cover by the starter and was rubbing on the flexplate and torque converter in there..

What a strange business..    It was a vast relief to find that the horrible noise was just an out of place twig..

Thank you Donny Davis..

It would have been a nasty experience to pull Goody out to find a stick in the flywheel cover..

Rick Draganowski

(need to sweep the road of the storm debris)




Subject:    Rustpuppy Test&Tune 80

Date:         Wednesday, February 20, 2002 8:42 AM


I aked Donny where the stick that he extracted from the flywheel cover was..  He had the good sense to save it and the two pictures attached show the devilish thing.. 




   It really gave me a bad few minutes..

I took Rustpuppy out for a confidence building run the next day but due to the light rain we had overnight I did not expect good traction or times..

I was right..   The wheelspin was back in the damp road range and the time on the G-Tech was 13.58@107 .     It has been raining since then (the morning of the 16th) and there will be no reasonable racing till the dry weather returns..

But it felt damn good to have Goody running so sweetly without any strange noises..

More to come..

Rick Draganowski



Subject:    Rustpuppy Test&Tune 81

Date:         Thursday, February 28, 2002 7:58 PM


It has been eight days since a Rustpuppy racing report..    Combination of reasons including weather, stomach flu, serious construction project business, and scratching up the dough to pay for the construction project..  But I been running the daylights out of Rustpuppy when I could..

On the 23rd the weather had been miserable the day before with drizzle and cold fog but it eased up that morning and I took Rustpuppy out for a run..  The barometer was down after a dry cold front and the traction was bad but Rustpuppy still was able to pull the reasonable time of 13.65@106.7 on the G-Tech..

After two clear and sunny and dry days with low humidity I ignored my stomach flu enough to get out for some racing..     This was the morning of the 26th. (day before Chuck was leaving)  The 0-60 time with a cold bog was 4.67 seconds..    The southbound run started with a slight bog and was against a headwind of about 10mph but I found the good traction spot and Rustpuppy pulled the excellent time of 13.46@107.8 ..

The transmission fluid was warmed up and the stall speed of the converter

went up on the northbound run so the wheelspin in first gear was pronounced..    The time was still great at 13.47@108.6 with the wind and in spite of the wheelspin..    It felt so good I bet it would have been a 13.3x run with a bit more traction..

Still it is pretty good times on plain old BFGoodrich Radial T/A tires.. (245/60-14)

That evening after we went through the Novalist mail I noticed that it was clear and dry and windless..     I talked Chuck into riding along for another blast down Rustpuppy Run..

We made just the southbound run and it went splendidly well for a time of 13.5@107.8 with Chuck aboard..    He said that he enjoyed it immensely..  So did I..

Yesterday Chuck left at about 8:45 in the morning and I was getting over my stomach flu and went to town on business leaving John cleaning up after the construction..

That evening just at dusk again I noticed that the wind had died out..


Only about 5 gallons of gas left in Rustpuppy but enough for one more blast..

The 0-60 time on the old road was fair at 4.69 with the bog..

The southbound run was the first one that felt perfect in a long time..

The results tied Rustpuppy’s best time..     It was 13.42@108.3..    Hoo haa!    I love it when it seems perfect..


Northbound run with the converter stall up from the heat had enough wheelspin in first gear to drop back to a respectable 13.5@107.6 ...

Today it was much too windy to even think about racing..   Gusts to 30mph..

More to come..

Time for an oil and filter change and a complete inspection of Rustpuppy..  (I am a little paranoid from seeing Shawn’s reports)  Have her up on ramps in front of my beautiful shop..  See picture..




Rick Draganowski

(driving Rustpuppy like I stole her)




Subject:    Rustpuppy Test&Tune 82

Date:         Sunday, March 03, 2002 12:18 PM


With Rustpuppy conveniently up on ramps I busied myself with the oil change and inspection..    This view (t&t82-1.jpg) is one of the pretty angles to look at Rustpuppy..


  Everything checked out as far as the inspection goes except one thing..   I had noticed a drop in oil level in Goody and it looks like the front seal is leaking slightly..   No explanation of that since it was a new (Proform) vibration damper going into a new seal on a new motor..  And I did put a little grease on the damper to prevent snagging the seal..

Hmm..    See t&t82-2.jpg...


The closeup (t&t82-2x,jpg) shows the damper is not slipping at all..


   The line between the silver and blue paint is still as it was when painted..  But the sliver paint is not holding up to the salt air..   Sigh..

Since the antique Sun tach on Rustpuppy quit working about 2 months ago I planned to replace it with the new tach from the Goody Test Stand..  (t&t82-3.jpg)


The swap took just a few minutes since the old tach was installed with wirenuts to allow quick installation of the shiftlight..

The next day the wind had died down and it was much warmer..   About 70 degrees!   I had John get some gasoline from town for the mower and Rustpuppy but instead of following directions to get the regular gas from Chevron he got the middle grade gas from Union 76..   I put about 3 gallons of it in with the 2 gallons of Chevron regular left to provide enough for some racing..

The run went ok with the time of 13.59@107.3 but Goody seemed a little flatter than normal and the time was well over a tenth down from expected..

The combination of the almost 20 degree rise in temp, the higher viscosity oil, and the different gasoline probably added up to the difference..

One thing I noticed was that the new (bought in 2000) Sun Super Tach II was useless for racing..    They had cheapened the design to cut costs and the result was so much lag in the needle compared to the real rpm as to make the readout meaningless..     Goody could rev to the 5800rpm shift light speed so much faster than the new tach could respond that it indicated less than 3000 rpm when the light lit..    Bah!

Have to fix my antique tach (bought in 1994) or get a better quality one..

Being broke I dug into fixing the old one..    The spider had really done a

job on it.   See t&t82-4.jpg.

  I broke the brittle old redline indicator

plastic needle but managed to get the spiderwebs cleaned out and the tach reassembled..    I don’t need the indicator with the shiftlight keeping me informed.    T&t82-5.jpg shows the tachs passing on the seat during the swap back..



The disintegration  of the temporary upholstery fix on the drivers door panel had been bothering me for some time..    The ends of the duct tape were hanging down below the door and flapping in the breeze while driving..  A couple of weeks ago I bought an upholstery repair kit at NAPA..   You can see it posed on my latest Jeg’s catalog in t&t82-6,jpg.

The rather nasty appearance of the door before is portrayed in t&t82-7.jpg and the spiffy look after in t&t82-8.jpg..


The closing picture captures the elegance of the Rustpuppy cockpit with the overall leg with duct tape trim boot on the Pro-Matic shifter and everything as it should be..    See t&t82-9.jpg.

More to come..

Rick Draganowski



Subject:    Rustpuppy Test&Tune 83

Date:         Sunday, March 17, 2002 7:33 PM


It’s been two weeks since the last report and the weather has been miserable..   First about 3 feet of rain followed by the biggest nasty cold front with continous sleet and hail showers for days with temps in the low 40’s..

But today the sun came out and the showers got spotty..      I bailed out the water that had accumulated in the floor pans of Rustpuppy from the cosmetically challenged body features..

There was about 3 or 4 gallons of cheap mid grade Union 76 gas left so I put in five gallons of Texaco 92 octane premium stuff..

I decided to take Rustpuppy for an innocent little ride just to get some seat time and keep everything working..    With the wet roads and the variable gusty cold winds it was not a good idea for any racing..  Especially with the front bumper off and the nose high gasser look with the miserable aerodynamics..

On the north end of Rustpuppy Run I noticed that the wind had mostly dried the patch of good pavement and there was no traffic..    The wind was gusting toward the wide side of the Run so I couldn’t hold myself back and staged for a run..

Goody wasn’t fully warmed up yet so there was the slightest bog at launch which controlled the excessive wheelspin I expected from the waterlogged asphalt..    The run went fairly good with a noiseless wheelspin wobble into second from the wet road and a considerable amount of steering corrections needed due to the wind gusts..     The report from the G-Tech showed 13.55@107.4 which was most satisfying..

I have been a bit depressed the last week or so and this racing (even ill-advised) is a great anti-depressant..

Goody seems happy with the winter Texaco 92 octane..

Later I went to town for an appointment in the Suburban..     I love that old monster..   A Datsun pick-up with a load of firewood was motoring along in front of me at about 45-50mph and when I got a chance to pass I floored the Suburban and took off..

The sweet sound of the Goodwrench 350 downshifting from 4th into second gear and winding up echoed from the 3 inch bus muffler and added some more cheer to my existence..

More to come..

Rick Draganowski

(fun with old cars is good)




Subject:    Rustpuppy Test&Tune 84

Date:         Thursday, March 21, 2002 12:59 PM


The weather has made a complete recovery with sunny skies and 60 degree temps and it looks like Old Man Winter has left town..    Tuesday I wanted to make a few runs to properly test the 92 octane Texaco gas now in Rustpuppy..

The first run southbound was perfect with perfect traction and a little headwind..   The time was off from the previous tests with 13.53@107 but still good..

The second northbound run started good but when traffic suddenly appeared ahead I think I instinctively lifted on the throttle..   The time was way off at 13.91@106.4..

Problem was I couldn’t remember whether I lifted or not..   So I started worrying that something may be going wrong..      Rustpuppy is up to 119 quarter mile runs on Goody at this point..

Next day I set out to see if anything had gone off..     Traffic was thick but after waiting for a break I managed a southbound run from the good patch of asphalt.   Time was ok at 13.61@106.9 but now I am convince that the slower burning of the premium (from the octane enhancing additives) reduces peak combustion pressures and Goody is down on power..     Can actually feel the slight difference in torque going up through the gears..    A seeming lack of the eagerness that she has with the regular 87 octane gas..   The outside temperature was up about 10 or 15 degrees since yesterday as well..

I worked in the shop at the milling machine most of the day (and my bones

were creaking) and late in the afternoon I decided to go to town for groceries..    I have been chicken and squeamish about getting the neck surgery and have been rationalizing delays since last December..    But the symptoms are getting damn bad and the time has come..   I stopped at Doc Williams office and started the ball rolling with a Monday appointment..

Later after shopping and a business meeting it was time to cruise home in the Suburban.   It was just before dusk and the wind had stopped completely..   The temperature was down and the sea was smooth as glass..  I started getting worked up about making a late evening run with Rustpuppy and raced home to beat the evening condensation..

I left the groceries in the Suburban and jumped into Rustpuppy and zoomed down the hill to Rustpuppy Run..    I was in a hurry to get going since I knew that I only had a few minutes before the moisture condensing on the pavement destroyed the traction..

I staged on the nifty patch of launching pavement on the southbound run and took off with a perfect launch..   The cooler air made a difference..    The run was flawless and Goody was pulling great..   It should be a below 13.5 run..

But,   (why is there always a but?)

The old idiot Draganowski in his haste to launch didn’t wait long enough for the G-Tech to initialize and flash Go..    Duh..   For the first time I red-lighted the G-Tech and took off too damn soon..   Duh again..    Run went great but I was worried that the timer was still running and I was approaching redline in third gear..   That is about 115mph..    And when the time came up it was ridiculous at 14.81@92.7..     Duh again..


By the time I got down to the south turnaround and back on the northbound launch area the condensation had started and the wheelspin spoiled the last run of the evening..    More than half of first gear was spinning for a time of 13.73@106.3..

One thing proved though..   The 92 octane is slower by about .15 seconds and 2 mph than the regular gas..

Up to 122 quarter mile runs now..

More to come..

Rick Draganowski

(they are gonna cut my throat..  sigh..)




Subject:    Rustpuppy Test&Tune 85

Date:         Saturday, March 30, 2002 7:32 PM


For the last 8 days or so the weather has been amazing..   Sunny and 60 something degrees every day..   The roads have dried completely and you would think that it was time for some racing..

But the incredible northwest wind has been blowing every day insanely..  Gusting to about 30 mph crosswinds on Rustpuppy Run so ol’ Draganowski has been too chicken to do any running..

About 5 days ago I ran the last of the winter 92 octane out and got 5 gallons of the 87 octane regular into Rustpuppy..    But I think it is too late and the summer blend is starting already..   No way to tell without running..

Today for the first time the wind seemed to be moderating so I got Rustpuppy out for a shot at the Run..

The practice 0-60 was just ok at 4.85 seconds..    Goody was still cold..

The wind up at my property was much lessened but down on Rustpuppy Run it still  seemed too strong for a comfortable ride..

About 15mph from mostly north down Rustpuppy Run..   Enought from the west to make it interesting though..

The holiday traffic was much more than I expected and there was no opportunity to make a southbound run..    But a break opened up and I staged for a upwind northbound run..    Traction seemed good but the wind was gusting more than I expected and Rustpuppy was giving me the front end floating feeling at the top of the run..   The airspeed was probably about 120mph and with the front bumper off nose high trim it was an unsettling feeling..

The run was fair considering the headwind at 13.56@106.7 on the G-Tech...

I was bummed out by the traffic and floating feeling and decided to call it quits for the day..

But later, just a little after six o’clock I noticed that the whitecaps on the sea had ended and the air was still..    The sun was setting and the temperature was dropping but I knew I had time for maybe one or two runs before the condensation started..

I zoomed down the old road and grabbed a quick 0-60 practice time of 4.74 seconds..

Traffic was done for the day and the wind had stopped..    I staged on the good patch for a southbound run and everything seemed to be working for a nice stable run.   The run was a good one but the times were off the pace of the winter gas with a 13.48@107.5 on the G-Tech..    About a tenth and one mph off of the goodest runs..

By the time I got turned around for a northbound run I could see that it was probably too late to retain the dry traction..      I was right.   Way too much first gear wheelspin for a time of 13.61@107.5..

But it was a happy experiment and it looks like it is time to go back to the summer 92 octane , put the front bumper back on, and get serious about adding some power to get to the next stage..

I am betting that the cutouts will make up for the bumper and summer gas and get Rustpuppy back into the low 13.4’s or mebbe high 13.3’s..

Then it will be time to take the bumper off again..

More to come..

Rick Draganowski

(waiting for word about surgical schedule)




Subject:    Rustpuppy Test&Tune 86

Date:         Sunday, April 07, 2002 7:43 PM


Last Thursday I had my helper John Spada put Rustpuppy’s front bumper back on..   I made a trip to town with Rustpuppy while the Suburban was in the shop so the tank was filled with 92 octane intermediate blend (not the goodest winter stuff) Texaco gasoline..

The weather was reasonable so I took the fully laden Rustpuppy out for a run..   Everything went good on the practice 0-60 for a time of 4.9 seconds with a bit of cold bog..

The southbound run went very well with plenty of traction from the full gas tank and came up with the moderate time of 13.65@106  on the G-Tech..

Adding the 84 lbs of the front bumper assembly and the extra 16 gallons of gas at about 96 lbs really is loading Rustpuppy down..

On the way back on the old road I did a few traction tests to check maximum g-force generated..   It varied from about 0.7 to about 0.85 g’s..

On one spot there was radical wheelspin with smoke which took me by suprise..     Later I noticed that I had launched on a spot of raw tar on the road and melted two groves into the pavement..   Cool..   You can see the polished tar surface reflecting the sky in the pictures..   Looks like it will be a permanent burnout mark..    See t&t88-1.jpg and t&t86-2.jpg..



The Suburban is in the shop getting front wheel bearings and brake pads and new rotors..    Also a strange exhaust leak showed up on the stock manifold and getting it all fixed cost about 400 bux..    Damn..   But I love that old urban assault vehicle..

Today I decided to just take an innocent little ride in Rustpuppy as the wind is too strong for serious racing..      Lots of traffic on the southbound part of the run but I noticed that the wind was mostly aligned with the run for a direct headwind on the northbound run..

What the heck..    There was a break in traffic and the launch went good with plenty of traction from the full tank..      With the front bumper in place Rustpuppy is slightly nose down so she tracked nice and steady against the 15-20mph headwind..     No lifting or floaty feelings..  Cool..    The time was way down from the wind at 13.71@105.7 and something unpleasant happened at the top of the run above 100mph..

A nasty irregular snapping/slapping noise started suddenly and my paranoia surfaced in full flower..     I have never heard anything like it and was going nuts trying to figure it out as I slowed Rustpuppy down focusing on the road ahead..     Out of the corner of my eye I detected movement and a quick glance to the right showed the stupid top outside window fuzzy whipping in the wind and slapping the hell out of the passengers side window..

What a relief..      Stuffed it back in place when I got home and will glue it in tomorrow..

I hate strange noises when I am racing the piss out of Rustpuppy..

More to come..

Rick Draganowski



Subject:    Rustpuppy Test&Tune 87

Date:         Tuesday, April 16, 2002 3:39 PM


After getting the components made I installed the new Pyrometer system in Rustpuppy on Sunday..   Then find out that I had left the headlights on from the last seat time episode last Friday.    The battery was a flat as it can get..

When I put the charger on it acted funny..    (I had it hooked to the stud on the alternator since the battery is in the trunk)

Goody seemed to start ok after an hour or so of battery charging but the voltage gauge seemed to be indicating voltage too high for a flat battery..

Anyway I took off for a test run of the Pyrometer..    We had about 4 inches of rain on Friday night and Saturday so the road was not suitable for racing but I pressed on regardless..

The Pyrometer system was working well but Goody seemed flat..    Not pulling like normal..   I staged on the best spot of the southbound Rustpuppy Run and pulled less wheelspin than I expected..    The time was way off at 14.01@106.6 and I was beginning to worry that something was wrong..

The northbound run was miserable with wheelspin through most of first gear but still Goody was not pulling right at higher rpm..    I couldn’t put my finger on it but something was seriously wrong since the time was 14.09@103.4..     Even with the wheelspin the speed was way off..

Thinking that the mostly flat battery was somehow to blame I decided to put the charger on the battery itself in the trunk and leave it overnight for a proper charge..

I found that the cheesy clamp on side terminal battery connector was blown out..   The nut had pulled out of the clamp and the cable was just barely making contact to the terminal..   Not good at all..    I think that running without the battery properly connected did weird things to the MSD distributor and resulted in the high rpm power loss..

Also I noticed that during the racing the exhaust gas temperatures were down about 200 degrees from what I expected (and have seen before)..

Attached and in the addendum are pictures of the Pyrometer installation on Goody and the reading after the racing..   Note that Goody is still running in the pictures and that the high temp telltales show what the peak tempratures seen during the racing..





These runs (sad as they are) bring the total number of quarter mile runs since Goody was installed in Rustpuppy to 129..    Some fun..

More to come..

Rick Draganowski

(fixing the battery cable today)




Subject:    Rustpuppy Test&Tune 88

Date:         Thursday, April 18, 2002 1:41 AM


More excitement today (Wednesday) as the cold rain showers eased considerably so I took Rustpuppy out for another run with the repaired battery cable..

Traction was going to be an issue but I wanted to see if there was any difference in the Pyrometer readings with the repaired battery cable..   The first (southbound) started with a small cold bog so the wheelspin was not out of control but still about a quarter of a second was lost..   The time was reasonable at 13.83@104.1..    It would have been in the 13.6’s on a dry road..

The northbound run was out of control with the wheelspin through most of first gear and with another bout of wheelspin at the start of second gear..  The time was not quick at 13.92@105.6 with the speed going up..   Another southbound run would have been better but the evening traffic was building up and I decided to call it quits for today..

The pyrometer readings were almost identical to last time with the max readings between 1400 and 1200 degrees..    The picture was messed up from the reflection of the sky..  See t&t88-1.jpg..

T&t88-2.jpg shows the trunk mounted battery in Rustpuppy with the new positive terminal.. 

Now I should swap out the sorry clamp on terminal on the ground lead..

T&t88-3.jpg shows the blown out clamp on terminal and the copper lug solder-on replacement..

More to come..

Rick Draganowski

(131 runs so far)


(waiting impatiently for the roads to dry)







Subject:    Rustpuppy Test&Tune 89

Date:         Saturday, April 20, 2002 2:32 PM


Yesterday the showers ended and the roads started drying out but the damn coastal winds started back up..   (that evening it was gusting to 40knots in Gold Beach)

I took Rustpuppy out for a run about one in the afternoon..     I just wanted to get another baseline on the Pyrometer system..     The wind was strong (about 25mph) but almost exactly from the north and lined up with Rustpuppy Run..

Too much traffic for a southbound run so I turned around and set up for an against the wind northbound run..     There was enough moisture still left in the road to cause too much wheelspin in first (about half way through up to about 25mph)  so I didn’t expect a very quick time..

Rustpuppy was tracking well with the front bumper back on, half a tank of gas, and the new ESPO rear springs causing a slight nose-down attitude at speed..   I decided to stay on the gas (being sure to leave enough room to slow down at the end) through most of the 7 tenths mile long Rustpuppy Run..

The tach was up to 5800 rpm in 3rd gear when I had to let off to get slowed down for the turnoff..    That works out to about 114-118 mph depending on converter slip and tire growth factors..     Against the 15 mph headwind the air speed could have been as high as 133mph..    Not too much lift and the tracking was steady but it would have be foolish to try this with any sidewinds..

The G-Tech time was 13.82@105 but the most interesting part was the max readings on the Pyrometer..   Here they are..  At the far right are the last max temps recorded with a different Pyrometer system and with the good winter gas..

Cyl  Temp   old Temp  diff

1     1425     1425          0

2     1375     1490          -115

3     1500     1470          +30

4     1450     1300          +150

5     1280     1410           -130

6     1380     1525           -145

7     1380     1525           -145

8     1380     1475           -90

Interesting data but difficult to interpret..     Cylinder number 4 is strange and I suspect that the original number 4 thermocouple may have been screwed up..

More to come..

Rick Draganowski



Subject:    Rustpuppy Test&Tune 90

Date:         Saturday, April 20, 2002 9:48 PM


Today the wind was really nuts and I gave up on the idea of doing any Rustpuppy Runs..    I ground away at several projects in my office till after six..    I ran across many items of paperwork that reminded me of my Deloris..   I was getting pretty depressed by quitting time..

Then when I was washing up before going in I noticed that just as the sun was setting the wind died to nothing..    Hmmm..   I only had a few minutes before the evening condensation would come down..

I raced out to Rustpuppy on the lawn tractor and fired her up and took off in a blast of bogging acceleration to get to Rustpuppy Run..

I figured I was just in time for a perfect southbound run..    The 0-60 warm up run was fair at 4.84 seconds..     But just as I got staged on the perfect piece of asphalt for a southbound run an oncoming car cleared the curve at the south end of the run..   Damn..

I whizzed Rustpuppy down to the short gravel turnaround and waited for traffic to clear again..   Then  took off  at full throttle to get to the northbound staging area..

Traffic all clear.   Rustpuppy took off with a little more wheelspin than optimum but not too bad..    I stayed on the throttle after clearing the quarter mile and clear up to 6000rpm in 3rd..   Somewhere between an honest 120 and 122mph..    Without any headwind Rustpuppy felt great at that speed..  Smooth and steady..

I jotted down the G-Tech time after I turned off on the old road..   Pretty good time at 13.65@106.7..     Without that wheelspin in first it would have been a 13.5x run..

I quickly turned around for a blast at the southbound run..    But it was

too late..   The launch on the perfect piece of asphalt was poor with way too much wheelspin..    A real screamer..     The time indicated the amount of digging..    13.99@106.7..    Same speed but bad e.t.


Since the traffic was completely clear I staged for another northbound run but feathered the throttle for a roll on launch because I expected wild wheelspin..    That allowed a reasonable time of 13.75@106.4.

Today’s action brings it to a total of 135 quarter mile runs since Goody was installed..

I also jotted down the Pyrometer readings..   The outside temperature almost 20 degrees cooler than during the run yesterday..

1-   1425

2-   1340

3-   1500

4-   1390

5-   1300

6-   1370

7-   1390

8-   1370


Still a little depressed but the racing helps..

More to come..

Rick Draganowski




Subject:    Rustpuppy Test&Tune 91

Date:         Sunday, April 21, 2002 11:08 PM


All the talk about timing issues and Aren’s pinging problems inspired me to flange up a piston stop so I can verify the TDC mark on Goody..

This afternoon I messed about in the shop making it happen..    First I chucked up one of Craig Hauber’s old AC R45TS sparkplugs in the lathe and turned off the crimp that holds the porcelain insulator in the metal shell.  See t&t91-1.jpg..

Then after measuring the hole in the shell I found it to be 0.338 inches.. The tap drill size for a 3/8-16 thread is 0.3125..     Hmmm...    Close enough..    It would provide about 50% thread form which would be plenty for this application..

Then after sticking the shell in the vise I attacked it with the 3/8-16 tap..  Using plenty of Cool Tool II lube..    (best I have ever found for tapping and drilling)    See t&t91-2.jpg



I scrounged up some 3/8” allthread and a machine ball handle..   (cool, it had a brass insert threaded for 3.8”-16)    I chucked the piece of allthread in the lathe and polished a smooth end that would not scratch the top of the piston..   The knob went on with some Locktite Blue..     See t&t91-3.jpg for this stage of the project..


The addition of a lock nut to permanently locate the stop rod in the right

position and allow installation and removal via the knob finished the

project for today..   See t&t91-4.jpg


Small projects that are easily finished in an afternoon are good..

More to come..

Rick Draganowski


Subject:    Rustpuppy Test&Tune 92

Date:         Wednesday, April 24, 2002 11:05 PM


Lots of strange behavior, interesting testing, and mental ups and downs over the last two days..

It all started yesterday...    In the mid afternoon on what has been the warmest day of the year (about 70 or so degrees and little wind) I took Rustpuppy out for a run on what I know are the driest roads so far this year..

I did some traction testing (insane looking behavior as I rip off and then stop and note the G-Tech readings)    I did one joyful full first gear burnout at the top of the hill and then when I rounded the corner at the top there was a road crew loading a bulldozer on  a flatbed trailer..    They all stared at me funny as I motored innocently by..

Got down to Rustpuppy run and staged on the very best patch of asphalt for a southbound run..     Good launch but Goody seemed flat..   Hmmm..    Time was really mediocre at 13.88@104.5..    Can’t blame it on wheelspin..  


Took the Pyrometer temps..



3-bad reading—open circuit- fixed today







They seem low?    Hot air, less oxygen, richer mixture?

I did notice that Goody was up at 195 degrees after the full throttle bash..

And it was almost hot down on Rustpuppy Run..

Wonder if the underhood temp was this big a factor..

After I got home I was just listening to Goody and sitting in the new gravel drive and revving up to about 5000 rpm..   Sounded smooth and sweet..  Later I noticed that the downpointing exhausts had blown bald spots in the drive..   See t&t92-1.jpg..


Pulled a plug to check it but the high tech new premium gas gives weird readings..  Sure didn’t look rich though..   See t&t92-2.jpg..

Puzzled over all of this strange information in my old head last evening..

On another front I have been struggling with a bout of depression (mostly brought on by the discovery that my arthritis meds are starting to cause nasty side effects) and have been taking refuge in racing and aggravating the good people on the list..

Last night at about midnight I got a wild idea..   It was bone dry with no condensation..  No wind..   Almost full moon and perfectly clear sky..  Temp down to about 45 degrees..

Hmmm...    What should I do?   Right..   Go racing...

Jumped into Rustpuppy and headed down to Rustpuppy run..   It has been several years since I have done any night runs and the last time Rustpuppy was in the 15’s and 90something mph class..     It was a little exciting thinking about blasting down the dark narrow run at well over a hundred..

Ran down the old road but did no warmup runs or traction tests..   Wanted to get a cold start and then just keep on racing to see what happens.

No traffic at all..   Could have laid down and taken a nap in the middle of Highway 101..   Staged for a southbound run on the perfect piece of asphalt..  Plenty of time for a nice relaxed run..

Took off with just a hint of wheelspin and Goody felt like she was pulling good again..   It seems much faster at night..   What a ride!..    The time was much better at 13.63@107.5..    About as good as it gets with the bumper on and summer 92 octane..   Most excellent!

Turned around and took a quick break to write down the results and get my pulse back down..

Staged on the best bit of asphalt for a northbound run..    More excitement and a good time of 13.67@107.2 on the G-Tech..

Another break at the north turnaround and staged on the perfect piece for another southbound run..    Little more wheelspin as the stall speed is going up each run..   Still a rush to go this fast at night..   Stayed on the throttle up to 115mph just for the hell of it..

Time was down a little more at 13.7@105.9 on the G-Tech..

Final run coming up..    Staged on the best asphalt on the south end of the run but did a throttle roll on launch since I expected too much wheelspin..  Time was down a tad more at 13.75@106.5..

Very interesting..

Pyrometer readings were.










Goody was only at about 170 degrees during the trip up the hill home..

What fun..

This afternoon I decided to try out my spiffy new piston stop..   I put Rustpuppy up on the ramps so I could crawl under for the measurements..  See t&t92-3.jpg..

I pulled off the fan shroud and fan (see t&t92-4.jpg) so I could turn Goody with a BF screwdriver wedged between double nutted studs on the waterpump..

If you tension the belt on the low side with your other hand it gives the belt enough traction to turn the motor..   Gotta go slow due to the compression from being lazy and leaving the other plugs in..     I had to lose the nifty knob on the piston stop tool due to interference with the stupid headers at the number one spark hole..    Damn..

You can see some of the tools lurking on the air cleaner in t&t92-5.jpg..

I made sure Goody was sitting well below TDC on number 1 and pulled number one plug and inserted the piston stop..    Set it pretty deep as the lower the piston is stopped the more accurate the reading..

Turned Goody one way to the stop, marked the damper at zero on the timing tab, turned Goody the other to the stop, marked the damper again..    Then removed the stop, replaced the sparkplug and rotated Goody till the TDC mark was pointing straight down..

Then it was crawling my fat butt under to measure the marks with my flexible scale..

Results were interesting..   The leading side was 4.43 inches and the trailing side 4.3 inches..   Which means that the factory TDC mark on the new POS Proform damper is about 0.065” retarded..    Since on an eight inch damper one degree is 0.0698” this means that the mark is almost exactly one degree retarded..

In the middle of this my neighbor Wayne Kreiger stopped by..   Wayne is an old friend who owns the ranch up at the top of the hill..   He is also the Oregon State Representative for this district..  Cool..   I showed him my office, my projects, and we talked about politics and business and getting old..  It cheered me up considerable..

Threw Rustpuppy back together and took her out for a spin..   Did a smokey burnout in front of the house just for the hell of it..

Due to my health problems it took all afternoon to get just this little job done..  Sigh..

More to come..

Rick Draganowski

(it is good to have friends)




Subject:    Rustpuppy Test&Tune 93

Date:         Wednesday, May 01, 2002 10:34 PM


Took Rustpuppy out for a spin early this afternoon.   The tank of 92 octane was just about empty so I couldn’t risk any runs..    Got sidetracked helping a neighbor look for the place the cows are escaping from the pasture above my property..    I had been wondering about the many cowpies littering my yard..

Later I got a little nervous and emptied the 5 gallon lawnmower gas can into Rustpuppy..   It was 87 octane unbranded generic gasoline from the tiny country store just up the road so I didn’t expect much..

It was cloudy with a temperature of about 65 degrees but the humidity was going up and I expected cold fog later.     Rustpuppy seemed perky with the 87 octane and I did a long joyful burnout through all of first gear and half of second on the old road by my property.. I love this crazy stuff..

At the bottom of the old road I did a practice 0-60 run..   Time was fair at 4.88 seconds..     Up on Rustpuppy run I waited till traffic cleared and staged for a southbound run..    Launch felt good with just a bit more wheelspin than optimum (the high humidity factor) and the run went straight and true for a time of 13.62@107.1 on the G-Tech.

This run is the 141st since Goody was installed..

I have removed the Pyrometer display system from Rustpuppy to send to Jim Acker but substituted a new system I just got together..   Not fancy, and without the metal housing with the bare pc-boards showing but it works good..

The readings on the Pyrometer were:










Got turned around on the first turn and waited for the traffic for a while.  Then up on Rustpuppy run there was one trailing slow moving SUV coming the other way and I waited impatiently on the staging area till it passed..

This must have made me nervous as after a poor launch with wheelspin through

all of first gear I botched the 1-2 shift and had to abort the run..   I hate it when that happens..    Can you believe that I was so distracted that I pulled the shift lever instead of pushing it?    Duh...

So I just called it a day and motored innocently home..

Tomorrow I will be taking the Suburban in for  the rear axle rebuild job which will take place while I am fooling around with the surgery thing..

More to come..

Rick Draganowski

(pulled instead of pushing..  I can’t believe it..   Duhh again..)



Subject:    Rustpuppy Test&Tune 94

Date:         Monday, May 20, 2002 5:25 PM


Two weeks have passed since my neck surgery and I am still not supposed to drive..    But,  I have been driving for a little over a week..   I been a bad boy..     I figure as long as I am careful and do nothing that might

cause problems with the healing I can get away with it..   Since I am in such a rural location the need for head turning is minimized and I am using a hand held mirror on the occaisions that it is still necessary..

Since I have had a Pyrometer system set up to monitor the inlet temperature on Goody I accumulated a lot of data on this issue in the last week..    It seems the underhood temp measured at the air filter runs from 40 to 80 degrees above ambient..     A high of 145 degrees was registered on a 65 degree day..    Typically the rise is about 50 degrees on the highway for a temp of about 115 degrees or so..


This definitely indicates a need for a cool air induction system of some kind..     I am planning on running a 4 inch diameter connection between the cowl area on the passenger’s side and the air cleaner..    This, along with the header dump system are going to be the first serious changes to Rustpuppy as soon as I recover enough to make it possible..

Due to the neck surgery I managed to run a complete tank of gas through Rustpuppy with no racing or even silly behaviour of any kind..  I drove her as if I were a law abiding and careful grandmother with kids in the car..  Rustpuppy rewarded me with the all time best milage (since the installation of Goody) ever of 12.37 mpg..   Now this is short trips (less than 15 miles) only so I bet at a steady speed on the highway she could get 14mpg..  Amazing, since I am used to between 8 and 10mpg...

More to come..

Rick Draganowski



Subject:    Rustpuppy  Test&Tune 95

Date:         Monday, May 27, 2002 1:35 PM


The weather has be fair and windy for about a month and something is generating serious pollen so my hay fever has been miserable.   (coughing keeping me up at night)   I decided to put up with the side effects of taking Benadryl so I could get some sleep..

As usual that damn stuff made me depressed and stupid like it always does..

Yesterday even though it was still sunny the wind had died, temperature dropped, and I could see the oncoming fog bank offshore headed in..

I was out in Rustpuppy just taking an innocent little drive and noticed that there was no traffic and no wind on Rustpuppy run..     Hmmm..   What to do?

You guessed it..     I planned on letting the TH350 shift itself so I could keep both hands on the wheel..     Staged for a southbound run on the best spot of traction..   The launch was good with just a bit of wheelspin..  The shifts came up fast, 1-2 at 5400rpm and 2-3 at 4800 rpm so most of the quarter was in 3rd gear..     G-Tech time was not bad for an autoshift run at 13.83@105 .

There were no issues with my neck at all as I have good upper body strength and can handle the .8 g acceleration easily..        With my confidence increasing I turned around on the short turnaround and set up for a shifted run on the northbound good asphalt..

Launch was not as good as the southbound run with more wheelspin and a bit of jog to the left but everything fell into place for the reasonable time of 13.63@106.7 on the G-Tech.

I expected the times to be slow due to the full tank of summer 92 octane and

the highly restrictive cheapo 10” x 2” air cleaner I had installed temporarily..    I am butchering up the old 77 truck air cleaner for a 4” cold air induction system..      I don’t know how Edelbrock can call this pos air cleaner “Pro Flo”..        See picture..


The richer mixture from the inlet restriction caused the pyrometer readings to be lower than normal by a small amount..








8- used for underhood temp - 148 degrees


One thing in my defense (as I am sure to be yelled at for stupid behavior) is that after all of my past orthopedic operations I have healed about twice as fast as “normal” patients.   This even caused problems with my shoulder separation as they left the pin in for six weeks which caused erosion of the bones and the doctor said that it should have come out after only 3 weeks as I was totally healed by then..     So the 3 weeks since the operation is the equivalent of 6 weeks recovery of a “normal” person and there was no risk in a little careful racing..     (I suspect it is my Viking genes which cause the fast healing,  and the fact I am used to being beat up from my young days in Chicago..)

Rick Draganowski

(and the racing helped with my depression, a lot..)





Subject:    Rustpuppy Test&Tune 96

Date:         Tuesday, June 04, 2002 2:53 PM


My shop is orderly enough for me to be productive, at least in the front third..   (but I still can’t find anything)   So I went ahead with the cold air induction system for Rustpuppy.

I calculated that 4 inch exhaust tubing would give enough flow and for sentiment sake I wanted to stay with the stock truck air cleaner that came from my old white truck when I transplanted the Target Master into Rustpuppy back in 1993..

My 14” chopsaw is dwarfed by the 5 foot length of neat aluminized 14 gauge 4” exhaust tubing I ordered in from NAPA..    That stuff is not cheap at 6 bux per foot..   (See t&t96-1.jpg)

T&t96-2.jpg shows the air cleaner and the snorkel that I plan on somehow attaching to it..   The smaller practice pipe gives a hint as to how..

After carefully cutting the snorkel into two pieces I chucked one up in the lathe to see how straight a cut I could make with the chopsaw using two passes..   (too big for single cut)   It came out within 1/16” or so which is fine..     (See t&t96-3.jpg)



Then it was time to cut the part for the tapered end in half lengthwise with a metal cutting abrasive disk on my trusty ol’  wormdrive..   (see t&t96-4.jpg, t&t96-5.jpg and t&t96-6.jpg)  




  It was a pain getting a straight cut and I plan on making future lengthwise cuts like this while the pieces are still on the main tube to provide a stable location for the foot of the saw.

Then after clamping and tack welding the taper bits to the round part you can beging to see where I am going with the project..       (see t&t96-7.jpg, t&t96-8.jpg, and t&t96-9.jpg)



I am not up to speed on working and was tired at this point and called it a day..

More to come, soon...

Rick Draganowski




Subject:    Rustpuppy Test&Tune 97

Date:         Wednesday, June 05, 2002 3:55 AM


I welded up the main part of the snorkel and then considered the flat sheets needed for the triangular openings..    (see t&t97-1.jpg)


After learning my lesson on making the lengthwise cuts first I cut a couple of curved pieces destined for flattening.   (see t&t97-2.jpg and t&t97-3.jpg)


Next you can see “Draganowski’s Chunk-O-Steel” which I use as an anvil.  It is a 3”x5”x11”   block of steel in a nice wood case..     Heavy..    Getting out the 2 ½ lb ball peen hammer I soon made flat ones out of curved ones..  See t&t97-4.jpg t&t97-5.jpg and t&t97-6.jpg)  




Strangely enough my shoulder has been hurting ever since..    Not cut out for the heavy work I guess..


Later that evening (this was last Sunday) I was washing dishes and noticed that the infernal wind had died down to nothing..   Hmm..   I took a little drive down to Rustpuppy Run in the Suburban and noticed that conditions were perfect for racing..     Then I zoomed home and got out the 11/16 wrenches and cardboard for laying on the ground.   Then I threw myself (in my neck brace) on the gravel drive (on the cardboard) in front of Rustpuppy and soon had the bumper bolts out and the bumper off..     Then I fetched the stock (modified) air cleaner to replace the POS Edelbrock 10” job and it snapped on in a jiffy.    Taking the 30 lb floor jack out of the trunk finished the prep for racing..    I love this stuff..


I motored Rustpuppy down the old road in roaring fits and starts like a lunatic trying to warm up the tranny fluid and get past the cold bog..

Then it was time to stage on the southbound good patch of asphalt..    A scruffy looking old hitchhiker was walking south on the Run just at that time.   And when I stopped to stage he thought I was stopping for him.

Poor devil..    Then it was launch time but there was just a trace of bog.  Goody was pulling pretty good with the 92 octane summer gas..     G-Tech Time was 13.57@107.4 .

I made a quick turnaround at the first place and took off for the northbound staging area..   Rustpuppy was perky with the 84 lbs off of the front, the 30 lbs of jack out of the back and with 90 lbs of gasoline missing from the tank..

Started picking up just a bit of wheelspin on the northbound launch but everything went well for the time of 13.52@106.8 on the G-Tech..   This is the 145th run since Goody was installed..

Looking forward to the improvements of the cold air induction and the exhaust cutouts coming soon..

Rick Draganowski

(racing is good)




Subject:    Rustpuppy Test&Tune 98

Date:         Wednesday, June 05, 2002 6:10 PM


Had a bad night and feel poorly today but still managed to get a little done this afternoon.

After hammering the curved pieces flat I cut one of them in half diagonally and ground and trimmed till I got them to fit the triangular openings in the snorkel..

Then after clamping in place, tack welding, removing the clamps, and finish welding I had both sides covered..      You know, it is amazing how you can always find the hole in your welding glove when you are handling hot metal..  Ouch!

See t&t98-1.jpg through t&t98-6.jpg..









Calling it a day at this point I went out in the Suburban to take my daily trip up the hill..  On the way home I decided to see how the ol’ Suburban would respond to some power braking.   Too cool..   Lit up them big truck tires and the air was filled with the sweet smell of burning tires..   See t&T98-7.jpg   Hoo haa!

More to come..

Rick Draganowski



Subject:    Rustpuppy Test&Tune 99

Date:         Sunday, June 09, 2002 12:05 AM


The weather has been taking a sudden wintry turn with colder temps, cold showers, cold wind, and nasty lower barometric pressure..    I been creaking and hurting and feeling low and depressed and sorry for myself..   Took refuge in Pizza Thursday and Friday night but it only provides temporary relief..

I continued cutting cold steel and making lots of sparks in my shop working on the cold air induction system for Rustpuppy..     I have the outlet end of the snorkel mostly done so I started on the inlet end that attaches to the hole I am going to cut in the firewall into the cowl airbox..    Since the inlet side cannot have any discontinuities (steps or edges) it must be artfully designed and butt welded (not the easy lap welding I done on the outlet flange) in a precision way..

Despite feeling low I made good progress today..    Cutting, and grinding, and tack welding, and finish welding it came together better than I expected..     See t&t99-1.jpg through t&t99-9.jpg..









I have the Suburban all gassed up and ready for a roadtrip tomorrow to Medford..   Going to stay overnight and see my neck docter Monday morning for the 5 week checkup on progress of my surgery..   I believe it is doing just fine so far..    We will see..

I took Rustpuppy the 7 ½ miles to the first little country store in Nesika beach to pick up some chicken for a more healthful dinner and one that would let me get a good night’s sleep..

On the way there I noticed that there was no traffic,  the wind had slowed and was blowing directly down Rustpuppy Run..   And the showers had not wet the road down there yet..   Hmmm...    What should I do..    Yes.

Staging for a southbound run and taking my time I got off a perfect launch and Goody seemed to be pulling just fine for summer 92 octane gas..     The G-Tech time was good at 13.51@107.4 .    I had the Pyrometer system in Rustpuppy and jotted down the readings.










The new Pyrometer software stores the highest reading in the numeric readout so the exact readings can be recorded..    Much better than interpreting the bar chart telltales.

You can see the high octane summer gasoline burns much cooler and the pyrometer readings are way down..

More to come..

Rick Draganowski



Subject:    Rustpuppy Test&Tune 100

Date:         Saturday, June 15, 2002 1:58 PM


Slowly got back into the cold air induction snorkel project last week.. You can see the location of all the spark making in t&t100-1.jpg...  

  I just wish I had the dough to finish the inside and get the entrance ramp done..     Oh well.   It will happen in time..


Back on the project.    I used the other flattened hunk of tubing for the sides of the intake end of the snorkel system that will be welded to the firewall..    See the clamping, spot welding, and finish welding in t&t100-2.jpg through t&t100-7.jpg..   Getting routine but it looks like my welding technique is degrading..    Having some problems seeing what is going on when under the hood..








Then it was time to cut off the excess material with the abrasive disc in the wormdrive saw..   What a noise and cloud of stinking dust that makes..  Cutting through the welds was tough and after two cuts my saw disc had shrunk to practically nothing..    See t&t100-8.jpg through t&t100-10.jpg..


Now for something completely different..   All of the racing and fooling around with Rustpuppy had just about finished the tank of 92 octane Texaco gas and I decided to test the good smelling generic 87 octane from the little country store in Nesika Beach about 7 miles from here..    I got some for the mower last week and it smelled like real gasoline instead of the normal modern additive filled junk..

I had them put just 5 gallons for the test.   The tank probably had about 3 or 4 gallons of the 92 octane left..

Then on the way home I noticed that the road was dry..  The wind had died to nothing..    There was a lot of traffic but I started getting ideas..   I

pulled off the highway at the second turnaround on the south end of Rustpuppy Run..  (the one the state police staked out a few months back)

Then I waited for a break in the traffic..    It was about 4pm on Friday afternoon..    Finally it cleared up and I took off for the staging area on the south end of the run..

It was a good launch and Goody seemed to be pulling well..   Everything went OK and Rustpuppy was tracking arrow straight in the center of her lane..

The G-Tech showed a time of 13.54@107.5..     Hmmm..   About exactly the same as the last tests with the 92 octane..    Sigh..   I guess the good smell was not a good indication..

On the way home I stopped at the top of the hill and Goody ran over a bit after I switched the ignition off..     Looks like I better stick to the 92 octane since that never happens when I use it.

I copied down the max readings on the Pyrometer made during the run..










About the same as the last readings using the 92 octane gas..   Same times, same temps..   With the good gas last February the readings were over 100 degrees higher and the times were about a tenth quicker..

More to come..



Subject:    Rustpuppy Test&Tune 101

Date:         Saturday, June 15, 2002 10:47 PM


Next chapter of the never ending saga of the Rustpuppy Cold Air Induction Flange-Up...

I used the neat (and very cheap) Chinese Harbor Freight air saw to finish the trimming on the inlet flange..   (t&t101-1.jpg and t&t101-2.jpg)  



Then it was grinding and sanding till the parts were acceptable..    Lotsa sparks..

The flanges are side by side in t&t101-3.jpg and you can see into the funnels in t&t101-4.jpg(outlet) and t&t101-5.jpg(inlet)..    The inlet with a nice smooth transition and the outlet with the step..



Then I took the parts outside and puzzled over the actual installation in Rustpuppy..   My original plan was to have the inlet snorkel flange in the plenum in the firewall above the aluminum door in the hole the heater/air conditioner used to live in..    And then the outlet snorkel flange in the air cleaner pointing forward about 30 degrees to the right front corner of the engine compartment..

After holding the parts in place it became obvious that my original design was a stinker..   The hose would have to make a sharp 120 degree turn and the results would be less than ideal.   And the appearance would be repugnant..

So after sitting in front of Rustpuppy and thinking and looking I came up with plan number 2..    Here it is..

First mount the inlet flange under the right headlight next to where the license plate is bolted..   Plenty of room and it can lurk in there with the bumper replaced and no one would suspect.

See test&tune101-6.jpg...

Then cut a big hole for the hose in the right inner fender panel and lead the hose up to the outlet flange welded to the air cleaner..  Test&tune101-7.jpg shows the discarded narrow nasty location I was considering for the inlet flange..

     Test&tune101-8.jpg shows the cool location for a nice 4 inch hose to snake through the inner fender panel..

Wish me luck..

More to come..

Rick Draganowski



Subject:    Rustpuppy Test&Tune 102

Date:         Sunday, June 16, 2002 10:19 PM


The day started innocently enough..     I went down to the bottom of the other side of the hill in the Suburban to take a picture of the improved road signs that our County road department fixed on my request..   I wanted to send a thank you e-mail for their quick and professional work..     Then when I got home I parked the Suburban at the top of the lawn by Junkyard Dawg so I could turn Rustpuppy around and get her up on the ramps to examine the area in the inner fender panel where the hole has to go..

Then I remembered that I needed to take another roadsign picture of the end of the County road where the signs there have deteriorated as well..  Might as well try to get them fixed too..   So I took Rustpuppy to get her warmed up and turned around to go up the ramps..     Well I decided to go all the way to the other side of the hill (2 miles) to get Goody warmed up properly and when I went to turn around at the bottom of the hill I noticed that the weather was perfect..   About 65 degrees and dry and sunny..   No wind..    Hmmm...    Maybe just one more test Run?

Lots of traffic since it was about 11am and everyone was going somewhere for Father’s Day..     I hung around at the north end of Rustpuppy Run for a while and the traffic was non-stop..    Sigh..


I took off down to the south turnaround with no racing due to the traffic.. I planned on just going home..    When I got to the northbound launch area the traffic had miraculously disappeared..   Great.    Plenty of time for a clean stage on the prime bit of asphalt for a northbound run..

I could tell with the launch that this run was going to be special..   Just a hint of wheelspin and lotsa G forces..    Good traction for the 1-2 shift and just another push in the back..  I could tell by the way that Goody was winding that this was going to be a good one..

And it was..      The G-Tech was blinking 13.37@108.8 for the very best time Rustpuppy has ever had.    Hoo haa!


I was so worked up about it that I kept Goody running and motored home to get the video cam to take pictures of the event..      During the fooling around I got quite a snootful of exhaust fumes..   But they smelled great with the good 87 octane gas from the country store..     See the G-Tech readout pictures at t&t102-1.jpg and t&t102-2.jpg..


I jotted down the Pyrometer readings..










Still stoked about the good G-Tech time and a bit wonky from the exhaust fumes I set up the stamped steel ramps to drive Rustpuppy’s front wheels up on..    Something went wrong as the ramps slid in the gravel drive (I am used to using them on grass) and when they caught it was impossible to slow down and stop in the shallow recess in the top of the ramps.

So I drove Rustpuppy off the back of the damn ramps and she came down with a shattering crash.   Oh no!   I’ve wrecked poor Rustpuppy!    But the bulk of the impact was on the right front fender behind the wheel..   It  was in poor condition to start with..   See smashup picture t&t102-3.jpg..

  Where the bottom goes up at an angle is supposed to be straight..  Oh well..    On to some work..

Today I addressed the issue of squishing the end of the outlet funnel to fit (somewhat) to the air cleaner base..      You can see from t&t102-4.jpg that it starts way too big..

Then it was a matter of squishing it in the Kurt AngLock vise on the Bridgeport and clamping and prying with the big damn screwdriver to slowly shrink the height of the end of the funnel..   See t&t102-5,jpg through t&t102-8.jpg for snapshots of the process.. 






It ended today with about a half inch to go but looking much more like it may fit someday..  See t&t102-9.jpg..

By this time it was late..  About 4:30 or so and I couldn’t hear any traffic..   Weather had changed a bit with some clouds and increased humidity..   I had the air cleaner completely off Rustpuppy and got an idea for another test..   Yeah, right..  Idea..

Remembering to remove and store for safe-keeping the gasket on the Q-Jet airhorn I piled into Rustpuppy for some more racing..   (last time I ran Rustpuppy without an air cleaner I forgot and left the gasket and never saw it again..)    I also had found that I had neglected the air pressure in the front BFG’s and it was only about 22 lbs..  I aired them up to 35 psi..

No traffic so I had plenty of time to stage on the southbound Run..   The

launch was disappointing with too much wheelspin (about half way through first) and I didn’t expect much for the time..     I was right..   The G-Tech time was only 13.48@107.6.     But the added air in the front tires made the handling and tracking feel even better than before..  I like it..

I jotted down the Pyrometer readings..










Then it was on to the second turnaround and back up to the northbound staging area..   I tried to get exactly where the great time was this morning..   But the evening mist from the Pacific was creeping in and the traction I found this morning was gone..      The launch was soft with wheelspin almost all the way through first and then a long hit of it in second..  Sigh..    Not much to expect..     The G-Tech time was 13.52@107.1



And the Pyrometer readings were:










It seems like the fuel distribution from the Q-Jet is disturbed by running without an air cleaner that has the curved base like the old stock truck air cleaner I am fooling with..

More to come..

Rick Draganowski

(Smash-um and crash-um..     Idiot..)

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