T&T Chapter 7   <  ^  >

Subject:    Rustpuppy Test&Tune 103

Date:         Saturday, June 22, 2002 12:05 AM


Slow week.    Clouded up Monday night and started to drizzle..    Rained all day Tuesday but it was such a light rain it only accumulated to about ”..

Rain is good..    Wednesday old Jeff Kemp showed up at the door while I was sitting and drinking my coffee and aggravating with the Nova list..     I thought it was a social visit..   Yeah, right..   He had a computer for me

to repair..   Bad disk drive in a Hp desktop..   Anyway I took Jeff for a ride in Rustpuppy in the light misty wet..     

With him aboard ol’ Rustpuppy was packing over 700 lbs of lard so I hoped for reasonable traction..    It was suprisingly good and I pulled a 0-60 time of 5.48 seconds with the two of us aboard..     (point A on the map on the old country road is where I do the 0-60 runs . Point B is the famous Rustpuppy Run(see HomeMap.jpg ))



By Thursday the roads had dried reasonably well and I took Rustpuppy out for a test 0-60 run with just me aboard..      Not too bad with the great time of 4.58 seconds..    I love that rusty old Nova..   She is so sudden..    A joy to drive..

Fixed the puter for Kemper and managed to do a little on the cold air induction system..   After much squishing and hammering and clamping and prying it is beginning to whip into shape..    See t&t103-1.jpg and t&t103-2.jpg to get an idea of what I am trying to do..



More to come..

Rick Draganowski




Subject:    Rustpuppy Test&Tune 104

Date:         Monday, June 24, 2002 3:06 PM


I been slacking the last few days..     Having some problems with my arthritus meds and have been under the weather..   Mostly hanging out in the office and doing tech work..   But I did make a little progress on the Cold Air Induction  (CAI) system for Rustpuppy..

It is necessary to match the end of the snorkel adaptor to the air cleaner body so they can be welded together..     I marked the snorkel and proceeded to attack it with the worm drive and the rapidly shinking abrasive cut-off disk..

It was convenient to make plunge cuts with the shrunken disk and then connect them and that made the job go much faster and easier than I had forseen..    I like it when things are easier than I expect.

A few more hours of trimming grinding and cutting and fooling around and then it will be time for the welding..    I am a little worried about the difference in gauge between the thin air cleaner and the thick snorkel but I hope to figure out the weld settings on my MIG welder.

See pictures for progress yesterday..  (t&t104-1,jpg, t&t104-2.jpg, and t&t104-3.jpg)




Now for something completely different..     A couple weeks ago I stupidly left the headlights on overnight in the Suburban and drained the battery as flat as it can go..    This caused me to make an unscheduled trip to town in Rustpuppy.    Then I put my NAPA high zoot battery charger on the Suburban and left if overnight..     Started ok the next day but the voltage seemed lower than it should be..    A couple days later for no reason the damn battery was too flat to start the motor..     The battery is new (just bought the 85 month job at NAPA in February) and I suspect the alternator is not doing it’s job..   (pisses me off as I was overcharged about 140 bux for it’s “rebuild” just about 10,000 miles ago)

So I bought one of the neat cigarette lighter plugs (even has an LED and a fuse) and hooked up one of my shop digital voltmeters to monitor the charging..      Kind of fishy as the voltage would go to about 14.25 volts with no load on the system but drop down to about 13 volts with the headlights and AC on..   Hmmm...   The alternator should be able to handle a 20 amp load better than that..   It is working but not very well..

Then I switched the DVM set over to Rustpuppy for a comparision..    The no-load voltage was 14.6v and with the headlights and electric defroster (about the same load as the Suburban had for testing) it only dropped to 14.25v..

I had ordered a rebuilt alternator from NAPA last week on suspicion so it looks like it is time to make the swap..    Sigh..    Another 44 bux down the tubes..

What do you all think?     Time for an alternator replacement?

Rick Draganowski


Subject:    Rustpuppy Test&Tune 105

Date:         Sunday, June 30, 2002 1:03 PM


Still plodding along with the cold air induction project..    No I am to the point of making electric sparks with the MIG welder..  Practiced tack welding a scrap of the 22 gauge air cleaner body to the heavy 14 gauge tubing I am using for the snorkels.   See t&t105-1.jpg..



Then it was time to do it for real..    Worried about screwing up the thin metal of the air cleaner and taking my time I arced and sparked for what seemed like a long time..    There were times that the 22 gauge metal would just melt and disappear but most of the time it went well..    Strange, I was doing the identical tack weld and it would work most of the time and burn through at random places..

See t&t105-2.jpg, t&t105-3a, and t&t105-4a for current progress..  




Looks like it will be plenty strong with just the tack welded seams and I am thinking about using Bondo to finish the joint and provide the sealing as well as improving the appearance..

It is about time that I get some experience fooling with Bondo since I have never used it in my life..

More to come..

Rick Draganowski

(arcing and sparking)




Subject:    Rustpuppy Test&Tune 106

Date:         Monday, July 01, 2002 1:00 AM


Started back up on the project late this afternoon..    Puttered around cutting out and welding little triangular bits into the holes in the snorkel..     Then went out to mount the air cleaner/snorkel assembly and plan on routing for the hose to outside..  See t&t106-1.jpg




Bummer..    My first idea of making an adaptor to use the plenum at the base of the windshield blew chunks due to the awkward routing of the hose it would lead to.   My next idea of going through the inner fender panel seemed like a solution..

Today is the first day of not having to wear the neck brace (needed during recovery of cervical fusion surgery) and it is a month earlier than most folks can get away with.  It is good to heal fast..  (since I hurt myself so often)

So I had the luxury of laying on my back and looking up under Rustpuppy and planning for the hose routing..   It is a great feeling.  Turns out due to the interaction of the tire (when wheels are turned full lock left) the massive Disco front frame horn and the radiator mount shock pad location that it would be almost impossible to thread a 4 ” hose there..   Damn another good idea just blew chunks..

So I am down to idea number three..   Figure a way of fitting a 4” inlet in the area of the radiator mount partially blocked by the transmission cooler and the right front turn signal lamp socket..   See accusing finger pointing to spot..  See t&t106-2a.jpg.



Tomorrow I will be digging into this part..   But in the meantime I decided to take Rustpuppy for a little innocent ride..   Since I had started Goody to turn the wheels to full lock when I was checking clearances underneath I must abide by one of my “Rules of Operation of Goody”.

This is the Rule:   “Whenever Goody is started she will be run till operating temperature is reached to prevent condensation and oil contamination.”

It was a cool sunny dry day and it was a real pleasure to go ramming down the road in Rustpuppy without that damn neck brace..

At the bottom of the hill I did a little spirited driving to time a 0-60 run on the G-Tech.  Since Goody was still cold it started with a bit of a bog but still was an exhilarating blast with a 4.68 second time..

Up on Highway 101 the traffic was thick with  way more cars and motor homes and such than usual..  Probably due to the 4th coming up..    No chance for a southbound run due to the traffic so I motored innocently down to the first turnaroud..

I was appalled to see that the damn Oregon DOT had been fooling around with pavement patches on my precious Rustpuppy Run..    There were two strips of it on the south end (just where the best launching spot was) and one strip of it in the middle..   The damn oil from the paving was being tracked everywhere and it looks like it will be a while before the traction comes back on the Run..   Damn..

Just taking off fast from the turnaround indicated that traction was going to be a big issue..    Went clear back to the north end and turned around for one last try..   Traffic, traffic, traffic..   Poop..

I lurked on the entry to the highway till it looked like it was all clear and tore over to the launch area for a southbound run..    Not expecting much.   And not getting it..   The oil contamination on the highway caused Rustpuppy to spin most of the way through first gear.  The rest of the run went great though with Goody really eager and pulling well..   The time was dismal at 13.73@106.5..     But it was great fun anyway..

Motored home happy and thinking about drilling through that steel bulkhead..

More to come..

Rick Draganowski



Subject:    Rustpuppy Test&Tune 107

Date:         Tuesday, July 02, 2002 2:47 PM


In the last episode I mentioned what the swine at Oregon DOT did to my precious Rustpuppy Run..     Putting three unnecessary asphalt patches down and contaminating the daylights out of it with the miserable paving oil...  It will be a while before the contamination clears up and the traction returns..   Sigh..

I spent an hour stripping down the front of Rustpuppy to get ready for “The Hole” surgery needed for the cold air induction system..    T&t107-1.jpg shows the innocent and unsuspecting Rustpuppy before the procedure..



Next we see the surgical field exposed..   (t&t107-2.jpg)


Taking the hoses off of the tranny cooler (by cutting them with a box cutter) pissed a bit of excellent pink Type F fluid on the gravel drive..    It smelled really good and would make a nice cologne..    Nice to know that nothing is overheating in the Wade Austin TH350 after over a year of serious abuse.

I printed out a 4” template on the laser printer and laminated it with clear packing tape and added a bit of doublestick tape on the back..     You can see it in place in t&t107-3.jpg and t&t107-4.jpg..




Later today I will be aggravating myself placing a hole where the template is..   The steel of the radiator mount is thick and I foresee considerable difficulty..

More to come..

Rick Draganowski

(still pissed about the oil on Rustpuppy Run)



Subject:    Rustpuppy Test&Tune 108

Date:         Saturday, July 06, 2002 8:31 PM


The story left off with me whining about needing a 4” metal cutting hole saw..    JR offered to loan me one but I thought I had misty memories of buying hole saws about 15 years ago for a project..

After frantically searching throught the incredible muddle inside my shop I struck pay dirt!   I found a 2”, 3”, and 4” Starrett hole saw..     The 3 and 4 inch ones had never been out of the boxes..    Cool..   (see t&t108-1.jpg)



After loading my ” drill with the nifty hole saw and making a ” pilot hole it was a piece of cake to make the 4” hole..   (t&t108-2a.jpg, t&t108-3a.jpg and t&t108-4a.jpg)




I decided to make two 2” clearance holes for the transmission cooler hoses and the turn signal wiring..     Done in a jiffy..   See t&t108-5a.jpg)


More to come, soon..

Rick Draganowski

(having the right tools is good)





Subject:    Rustpuppy Test&Tune 109

Date:         Saturday, July 06, 2002 10:45 PM


With the hole in place it was time to flange up an inlet pipe and mounting.  I planned to clamp the mount tab under the bracket used to hold the grille and headlight bezel on the Disco Nova.

After an enjoyable interlude of marking, cutting, grinding, and welding the mounting tab was in place.  See t&t109-1.jpg through t&t109-6.jpg.    Then a bit of trimming on the chop saw to cut the inlet to size and provide

clearance for the turn signal lamp socket..  








You can see the scheme I am using for the mounting in t&t109-7.jpg as well as the neat way the clearance holes clear the transmission cooler hoses.




Finally  t&t109-8.jpg and t&t109-9.jpg show Rustpuppy back together with the snorkel and inlet pipe in place..




More to come..

Rick Draganowski

(feel a strange attraction to “Grinder Girl” on Letterman’s “Is This Anything?” feature..)



Subject:    Rustpuppy Test&Tune 110

Date:         Saturday, July 06, 2002 11:13 PM


The next priority was to get the driver’s side inlet hole on the air cleaner sealed up.   I cut out a piece of the neat aluminum allow sheeting that I have used to seal the holes in Rustpuppy’s transmission tunnel.    Nice springy alloy..    Then it was just a moments work to get it pop riveted in place.   See t&t110-1,jpg, t&t110-2.jpg, and t&t110-3.jpg..





Then I had great fun mucking about with the generic Bondo I bought from NAPA..    Man, it sets up faster than I expected, and the smell gave me a splitting headache..   Ow..    But it was fun..    See t&t110-4.jpg, t&t110-5.jpg, and t&t110-6.jpg..





Will sand it down and put another coat on tomorrow..

More to come..

Rick Draganowski



Subject:    Rustpuppy Test&Tune 111

Date:         Monday, July 08, 2002 8:56 AM


After putting a used and well rounded abrasive flap disk on the angle grinder I started to grind the hardened Bondo to shape..    What a mess of fine white dust is generated by this stuff..   It was all over me, the shop, and everything near my work area.   T&t111-1.jpg shows the dust (not too well) on my hand and the snorkel..    Messy business..   You need a vacuum attachment on your sander to properly deal with this stuff..


The job was small and the Bondo was very easy to work so it was ground down to shape in a jiffy.   See t&t111-2.jpg..


Then it was time for a coat of paint.    I had a can of the NAPA chrome paint (old formula) and it went on nice and even.    Doesn’t look like chrome at all though.  Just nice silver paint..   See t&t111-3.jpg, t&t111-4.jpg, and t&t111-5.jpg.





I bought some four inch dryer hose at Ace hardware for the cold air induction system. (t&t111-6.jpg) It was neat stuff made from laminated aluminum foil and polyester so it was shiny and silver.    The clever plastic clamps it came with were a exercise in futility though.   They were designed for a high density nylon material and the manufacturer substituted a cheaper plastic.    As a result they did not work worth a damn.  It is things like this that makes being an engineer frustrating as hell..



After putting the now nicely silver air cleaner with snorkel back on and a little fooling with the hose and the defective clamps the system went together.   See t&t111-7.jpg and t&t111-8.jpg.




During the work the weather had been perfect for testing the new system out on Rustpuppy Run.    Sunshine, dry, cool, hardly any wind..   Perfect.  But..   (another damn but)

As soon as I finished the job it clouded up and started to rain.   Poop!


I had started Goody to move Rustpuppy into the shade of my Giant Bonsai Tree so I had to take Rustpuppy for a ride just to be sure to get Goody properly warmed up.   It is the Rule.

So I took off in the rain for a ride down the hill and back up..  Naturally I stepped on the gas too much and at the bottom of the hill where I do the 0-60 times I overdid it and got Rustpuppy seriously sideways from excessive wheelspin at about 40mph.  It scared the hell out of me.  Then I motored home like a good citizen..

Sun is shining today..    Gotta go to town for 4 inch hose clamps and bank business..

More to come.

Rick Draganowski

(Rustpuppy+Rain+Idiot Driver=Disaster)




Subject:    Rustpuppy Test&Tune 112

Date:         Wednesday, July 10, 2002 12:16 PM


The weather was perfect, warm, dry, and sunny.  About 2:00pm I took Rustpuppy out for some testing of the finished cold air induction system.  Everything seemed good at the practice 0-60 run at the bottom of the hill with a time of 4.7 seconds.

Then I lurked at the entrance of highway 101 for a long time waiting for a break in the traffic..    It was the middle of the afternoon and the giant motor homes towing SUV’s were coming about 500 feet apart.    Each going about 45 mph and followed by about 10 impatient drivers..     I went back and forth on Rustpuppy Run three times waiting for the traffic to clear and then gave up and went home..

Tried again later at about 6:00pm the traffic was ligher but it still took several passes to get a clear road for a Run..    Finally I was able to stage for a southbound Run..    The traction was still compromised with oil contamination from the road repairs and Rustpuppy spun the tires through most of first gear..     But there was another problem.  Goody seemed flat above 4500rpm and the time was way off at 13.94@105.3 on the G-Tech.

Then I turned around and waited on traffic for a northbound run.   It cleared and I staged between the fresh paving areas.     Suprisingly less wheelspin but something was seriously wrong with Goody.    She was not gaining rpm normally at all..   Sounded good but acted weak.   The time confirmed my concerns at 14.27@101.7 on the G-Tech.

Then I waited on traffic one more time and staged for a southbound run.  Something was terribly wrong as it took forever to get to the shiftpoint in first and Goody would not pull to the shiftpoint in second gear at all.. (5800rpm)   I aborted the run and headed home full of worry.

At home I inspected Goody and everything seemed normal.    Secondaries on the Q-Jet were opening and the air valve was not sticking..    It was a depressing situation compounding the problem with depression I had been having all day..     What a revolting development.

I spent a few hours paying bills in my office.   Another depressing business..    In the back of my mind I could not stop thinking about Rustpuppy and Goody and coming up with one fantastic theory after another..  This is not conducive to joy as I am too aware of the many mechanical problems that can occur with these motors and was visualizing one horrible thing after another.

The only benign theory I could come up with that fit the facts seemed impossible.    Goody was acting as if the air intake was clogged and could not get enough air for high rpm operation.    My recent experience with the rag snorked up in the Suburban provided an empirical basis for the theory..

But when I inspected the snorkel hose and air cleaner on Goody all seemed normal..    The only possibility was that the pressure differential between the inside and outside of the hose was collapsing it.  It was reinforced with a spiral spring steel wire and the theory seemed far-fetched.   But I did a bit of mental math to calculate the forces involved and they were much higher than I would have expected..

So later that evening at about 8:00 pm I removed the silver dryer hose and took Rustpuppy out for another test run..     Within the first few minutes I could see that Goody’s old pep and eagerness to rev were back and my spirits lifted minute by minute.

I zoomed down to Rustpuppy Run savoring the sudden response to throttle abuse that Goody was capable of..

Traffic was completely clear and I took my time staging for a southbound Run on the best bit of asphalt.    A little more wheelspin than optimum at launch but Goody was pulling great and the shift light was coming up fast..  The time was back in the normal range at 13.48@108.7..        Just a tenth off the best with a nice high speed.

I motored home happy and wondering where I could find semi-rigid 4 inch hose for the induction system..

More to come..

Rick Draganowski

(hoseless in Oregon)




Subject:    Rustpuppy Test&Tune 113

Date:         Thursday, July 11, 2002 1:02 AM


A trip to town for a doctor’s appointment let me rummage around in lumberyards and hardware stores for semi-rigid 4” aluminum tubing..  Struck paydirt at one of the lumberyards and came home with a spiffy new tubing to try..

It is a compressed semi-rigid aluminum tube that is supposed to stretch to eight feet long.   The compressed length is only 23” and that is almost exactly the length I need.   See t&t113-1.jpg for a comparison of the flabby original tubing and the new stuff..


The next two pictures are the interiors of the old and new tubing..   The new stuff is almost smooth inside and since I will not expand it, it should stay that way..  (t&t113-2.jpg and t&t113-3,jpg)




You can see Rustpuppy without tubing (t&t113-4a), and with the new stuff in place. (t&t113-5a and t&t113-6a)





Then it was time for some more testing..   It was hot this afternoon (over 80 here and 108 in Medford) and that is an important detail..

Had to lurk at the entrance of highway 101 for a few minutes for the traffic to clear.   Then it was out for a southbound run..    Reasonable launch but Goody seemed just a little flat and the time was reasonable at 13.68@107.2..

But then after doubling back at the first turnaround and staging for a northbound run it was terrible..    Goody was struggling to run and it seemed to take forever to get to the shiftpoint revs of 5800..     The time was amazingly bad at 15.67@88.9..   Over 150 horses were missing..   Water temp was at 190..  Normally runs at 170..

Inspecting the induction system found everything still in order.  The hose is made of metal and if it flattened it would stay flattened..    It was just as I installed it..

Completely confused and depressed I motored home slowly...

Later after it cooled down to about 70 degrees I took Rustpuppy out for some scientific testing..

Set up for a southbound run with the hose on..    It was an in-between run at 14.13@101.2.   As soon as I got to the first turnaround I piled out of Rustpuppy with a screwdriver and removed the hose.   Then I headed back to Rustpuppy Run for a northbound run..    It was almost identical at 14.18@103.3.

What does it all mean??     Still a puzzle..

Later, at about 9:00 pm I came up with the theory that the winter 87 octane gas in Rustpuppy was boiling in the carb due to the much higher underhood temp and the induction system was not the issue.   It was the heat and bad gas..

Rustpuppy had just enough of the 87 octane left to get to town so without any more racing I took off for town to get some 92 octane Texaco gas..  Rustpuppy ran fine and I put 11 gallons of the Texaco in and got a wild idea of doing a mile run on the straight stretch of highway 101 just north of Gold Beach..     No traffic at 9:30 pm and just getting dark..  It was cooler (about 67 degrees) and the traction was good..   The time was equivocal at 14.05@103.6..    Still way off of the normal pace..

Then before I got to Rustpuppy Run I stopped at an ocean viewpoint and let Goody cool for about 15 or 20 minutes..    It was great to be there on the shore just as it was getting dark..   Wind was dying down and temp had dropped to about 65 degrees..

Traffic was non-existent and I staged for a night run northbound on Rustpuppy Run..   Goody seemed much better and the time was back to 13.76@105..

I noticed what seemed like a roughness in Goody (like a high speed miss) and next I am going to change the sparkplugs and do a compression test.   And replace the fuel filter..  Going to fool around and cover all the bases that could be causing this temperature dependent miss..    It better not be the high zoot MSD distributor giving me trouble..

More to come..

Rick Draganowski

(confused in Oregon)






Subject:    Rustpuppy Test&Tune 114

Date:         Tuesday, July 16, 2002 12:51 AM


As the list knows I have been stuggling with a weird problem with Goody that has been a distressing turn of events..

Last week, the day after I made the nocturnal trip to town to fetch a half tank of 92 octane and did some night racing on the way home I discovered a discouraging sight..

See t&t114-1.jpg for the first revolting view I had of Rustpuppy..   I instantly visualized the taillight assembly splattered all over highway 101 and the police interested in discussing my littering offenses..



I was relieved to see that the taillight fell into the trunk (due to the turbulent pressures on the rear of Rustpuppy at over 100 mph) and not into the road..   Whew!

See the rest of the five pictures to see challenges I face to make Rustpuppy roadworthy again..    Note the serious lack of steel in this area..    Just the rubber gasket left in places..   I also noticed that the Nova emblem is almost all that is holding the right taillight assemble in place..    Sigh..







More bad news..    The spiffy new hydrostatic drive lawn tractor I bought  back in October 2001 has developed a serious oil smoke problem..   Acts like the piston is cracked..


More to come..

Rick Draganowski

(Depressed in Oregon)




Subject:    Rustpuppy Test&Tune 115

Date:         Tuesday, July 16, 2002 2:10 AM


Because denial is not just a river in Egypt I forced myself to forget the serious rust issues that have developed in the rear of Rustpuppy and engaged in more pleasurable and uplifting projects..

I knew that the R45TS plugs in Goody were too hot now that the rings were perfectly sealed and combustion optimised to the best of my meager ability.  Even with 92 octane gas there were times when Goody would run over on shutdown..

The AC Delco R44TS plugs came set for 0.040” so I regapped them to 0.045” for Goody.  See t&t115-1.jpg.



I had bought a special all polished Taiwan made 5/8” wrench to modify to make a spark plug wrench that would ease the sparkplug removal issues I have with the damn Dynomax headers.   Custom grinding of the jaws provided easy clearance to the recesses the spark plugs live in..    See t&t115-2.jpg..



The old sparkplugs looked absolutely perfect.   All eight of them..   And this after well over 100 quarter mile runs..    See t&t115-3.jpg...   I put them back into the boxes to use in the Suburban when she needs a plug change..



I greased the threads of the new plugs to make removal by hand easy after initial loosening with the custom wrench..  Planning for the future.   Took a nice picture of Goody after getting the new plugs installed..    See t&t115-4.jpg..



More to come..

Rick Dragnowski

(in denial on the rust issue)







Subject:    Rustpuppy Test&Tune 116

Date:         Tuesday, July 16, 2002 2:39 AM


I had proven to my satisfaction that Goody was not being choked for air when she would have the “running like ass” episodes and after thinking about it settled on the theory that for some reason she was being starved for gasoline..    Several possibilities entered my mind from a stopped up sock in the tank, to a bad fuel pump, to a partially plugged fuel line, or a stopped up fuel filter..

The fuel filter is the easiest one to check and replace so I started there..  You can see the old (only about one year) filter and the new NAPA Gold replacement sitting on the fan shroud..  See t&t116-1.jpg..


When I pulled off the old filter the gasoline that drained out of the inlet side looked like Bock Beer..   Dark brown and nasty..     That was an encouraging sight..    It indicated that there was a ton of junk in the gasoline getting to the filter..    I had been concerned about the tank or so I had bought at the little store in Nesika beach being contaminated..

And it looked like there was some validity to the theory..

I chucked up the old filter in the lathe and setting the spindle speed on very slow to avoid generating sparks that could cause a minor explosion and ruin my day I turned the crimped ring off so I could separate the halves of the filter can.   See t&t116-2.jpg




There seemed to be a lot of very fine dust in the filter..    Later in the lab I got out my spiffy standard frame microscope and analyzed the filter contents..  See t&t116-3.jpg.     It looked bad under the microscope and after cutting the pleated paper element in half and tapping it on a white card you can see the pile of dusty residue that came out..   See t&t116-4.jpg.




I am almost 100% convinced that the filter was causing the problems with Goody.   But I cannot do any testing till I do something to chase away the rust boogyman that has me in paranoid denial..

Oh well, better start forcing my self to think of solutions..   Sigh..   I hate this..

Denial is better..

More to come...

Rick Draganowski

(feeling a little autistic today)






Subject:    Rustpuppy Test&Tune 117

Date:         Thursday, July 25, 2002 4:30 PM


Lots has been happening here but mostly a series of revolting developments.First a week or so ago my splendid red lawn tractor with the Industrial/Commercial OHV 16.5hp engine started smoking and losing power..  The damn thing is only nine months old.

I struggled with the Suburban and the PuppyTrailer to get it hitched up at the top of the hill where I had the PuppyTrailer stored..    Lost control of it once and even though I saved myself from injury the hitch speared the license plate on the Suburban and mashed it good.

Eventually I got it attached and after several false starts with different ramps managed to get the tractor aboard.   It was an interesting situation I found myself in after arriving on the trailer sitting on the tractor.   With my cripple fat bod it was a struggle to climb off of the tractor with little room for placing my feet beside the tractor..     But taking my time and concentrating on each move I managed.  See t&t117-1.jpg, t&t117-2.jpg and t&t117-3.jpg for the tractor journey..    Note the foggy overcast here and the sunshine in Gold Beach where I left the tractor for a Briggs warrantee repair..




After stopping for some groceries I noticed a Gold Beach police cruiser with it’s lights on at the end of the store parking lot adjacent to City Hall and the Police Station..    Too cool, it was one of the local rodders with the most unusual rodded Studebaker Lark I have seen..   I took a picture of the tableaux and both the rodder and the cop waved and smiled..  It is a great little town..   See t&t117-4.jpg..


Then more adventures climbed up my leg and bit me..    Remember the spiffy rebuilt alternator I just put in the Suburban?     Well I planned a trip to Brookings (about 45 miles south) and checking the gauges as is my habit I noticed that the voltage from the alternator was abnormally high..   About 16-17 volts at 60mph..    Damn!    It looks like the new internal regulator in the rebuilt alternator had blown up..     Doing a little testing I found that the voltage tracked the rpm almost like a tachometer..   Going from about 12 volts at idle up to about 18 volts at 4000 rpm..    Double damn!

I nursed the Suburban the rest of the way into Gold Beach keeping the speed down so the voltage would stay about 14 or 15 volts.   Don’t want a damn fire or something..

Then bitching to my friends at NAPA they mentioned that this type of problem has been happening with increasing frequency..     And they didn’t have one of the 42 amp alternators in stock, only the high zoot 78 amp job..    Damn again.    I knuckled under  and took the more expensive one and then considered my options..   I sure as hell didn’t want to change the alternator myself..   I ran into Brett (of Central Curry Truck and Auto) and he claimed to be to busy to help me with this little job.    I stopped over to see the swine later that afternoon and found him drinking beer and bullshitting with two of his fishing buddies..

I went from NAPA to Tim Harding’s shop and whined and begged him to help me with the alternator problem so I could get to Brookings..    He put the new kid on it and he had the job done in just under 20 minutes..    Good old Tim (feeling guilty about charging me so much for all the Suburban work the last two months) only charged me five bux..

The high zoot 78 amp alternator is working splendidly well and is worth the extra 20 bux..

Now back to Rustpuppy and the miserable problem I have been fighting..     I am reluctant to go out on highway 101 for testing until I fix the unsightly hole in Rustpuppy’s rump and get the left taillight working..     I figure it would attract unfavorable attention..    But fooling around on the old road with minimal exposure on the highway showed that the problem was better but there was still something wrong..    Flat performance at higher rpm when hot and despite my poor hearing I could swear that there was an unpleasant scraping noise as well..    Double damn!    My innate paranoia was beginning to flower in a most depressing and unsettling way..     I kept visualizing terrible bearing issues..

After running the piss out of Rustpuppy on the old road till she was good and hot (water temp above 190) I left Goody running and opened the hood.   I planned on sitting down and watching her run..      Everything seemed normal at first..   But when I winged the throttle up to about 5000 rpm it was obvious that something was seriously wrong with the fan clutch..   The fan was wobbling and hitting on the home-made shroud..   (hmmm, that would explain the nasty noise)

It is the weirdest damn problem..   When the clutch is cold it seems to work fine with no wobbling at all..   But when it heats up it wobbles like hell and seems to lock up as well..   This is very bad as it would spin the fan at over 8000 rpm when I would race..  It is not designed  to ever spin that fast..      And it was chewing on the shroud too..

So Rustpuppy is parked till I get a new replacement fan clutch..

More to come..

Rick Draganowski






Subject:    Rustpuppy Test&Tune 118

Date:         Thursday, July 25, 2002 5:53 PM


After going to town for groceries (fell off my diet again) and important fan clutch for Rustpuppy I started in on the enjoyable job of swapping it out..

T&t118-1.jpg shows Goody with the fan shroud and fan off..     Never get tired of looking at her..     Notice the skinny radiator.   It’s amazing thinness shows up well in t&t118-2.jpg. 



It is the stock radiator for a 76 six cylinder car with air conditioning..     I have a three-core in stock (came with Junkyard Dawg) but it needs some repair work..    So far the skinny job has been just fine in the cool coastal climate here..

You can see the fan, shroud, and old and new clutches in t&t118-3,jpg..  The clutch that has gone all wobbly is the original fan clutch that came on Rustpuppy back in 1976..  Cheap thingy only lasted 26 years..



You can see where the fan has been munching on the shroud in t&t118-4.jpg.  With it all back together you can see the normal clearance in the area where it was chewing..   (t&t118-5.jpg)



Then it was time for some testing..   I took Rustpuppy out to blast around on the old road and sneak up on highway 101 for some full throttle mischief..   Seems like a big improvement in response with the velvety smooth revving from Goody that I have grown to love so much..     A test 0-60 run went well with the great time of 4.59 seconds and the old familiar early appearance of the shift light..   Almost catches me by surprise each time as it comes up shortly after 3 seconds into the run..

Now it is time to do something about the Rustpuppy rump rust issue..

More to come..

Rick Draganowski



Subject:    Rustpuppy Test&Tune 119

Date:         Friday, July 26, 2002 2:54 PM


Last evening just a little after eight PM the weather was perfect for some testing.   The ocean was flat and glassy, the wind died down to nothing, and it was about 65 degrees..   The humidity has been way down for days so the road should be dry as a bone..

I took Rustpuppy down the hill just planning on some innocent fooling around on the old road but the temptation to sneak up on Rustpuppy Run was too strong for me..    I should know better as the gaping hole is still uncovered in Rustpuppy’s rump and the left taillight assembly is still on my workbench in the shop..    In that condition Rustpuppy is pure ticket bait..

I lurked at the entrance to highway 101 waiting for traffic to clear.  Finally a quiet moment occured and I quickly zoomed up to the southbound staging area.    The launch went well with just a little bit of cold bog and Goody was sounding great and pulling good.   The nose up attitude without the front bumper brought on the floating sensation above 100mph but Rustpuppy was still tracking straight as can be..     The time was most excellent for crappy summer 92 octane at 13.44@108.7 on the G-Tech..

Normally Rustpuppy runs in the mid 13.6’s to 13.7’s with summer blend gas so the cold air induction system is making a difference..

Couldn’t get a northbound run due to traffic..  (it is the height of the tourist season) and motored innocently back to the north turn around area.  Spent some more time lurking waiting for another break in the traffic..  I noticed that my hands were shaking slightly from the excitement..    What a rush..   The perfect antidote for mild depression..

Staging in the exact same place for another southbound run I was a bit disappointed with the launch..   The heating of the transmission fluid raised the stall rpm enough to lose the delicate balance of forces needed for a proper launch on the hard street tires..    As a result the wheelspin in first gear was much more than optimum..   The rest of the run went great with no apparent problems from heating up.    The time was  13.54@108.1 on the G-Tech.

Then I decided to head home..   But I did one more 0-60 test on the old road on the way home to verify that the heat problem was gone.    Time was 4.9 seconds with quite a bit of wheelspin in first..      Still perky..

So far so good.   My theory is that a combination of partially plugged fuel filter and defective fan clutch were acting together to cause the miserable problems I had been seeing.

More to come..

Rick Draganowski

(gotta fix that taillight)



Subject:    Rustpuppy Test&Tune 120

Date:         Tuesday, July 30, 2002 1:05 AM


After staying on my diet for a week I decided to take myself on a picnic last Friday afternoon.    I planned on driving (in the most excellent Suburban) the 45 miles down the coast to Brookings to buy a bucket of chicken at KFC and enjoy a one-person picnic.

On the way down I stopped at Pistol River and took a couple pictures..  This is one of the hot spots for the windsurfers..    See t&t120-1.jpg and t&t120-2a.   If you look close in the second picture you can see the yellow sail of one of the windsurfers..




After fetching the chicken I parked on the entrance drive above the Lone Ranch State Park and pigged out..   What fun.   See t&t120-3a.jpg and t&t120-4a.jpg...



Next day I hitched up PuppyTrailer and went into town to pick up my neat little red lawn tractor..    The problem with the Briggs&Stratton motor was just a blown head gasket.   I was appalled at the poor engineering of the headbolt spacing on this otherwise well-designed motor..    I scanned in the blown gasket and marked the head bolt positions with red H’s and the blown area with a red X..     See BriggsHeadGasket.jpg..    It is obviously a screwed up design and Chris said that he has been getting a lot of these motors in on warrantee repairs with the exact same problem..   Damn..



You can see me unloading the tractor in a chicken way by hand without climbing up on it and just rolling it off the trailer in t&t120-5a.jpg.


A lot of fun but no Nova content..    And there was Rustpuppy sitting there with the taillight gone just waiting for me to start fixing her up..  Sigh..   Real soon now..    See t&t120-6a.jpg.


More to come..

Rick Draganowski




Subject:    Rustpuppy Test&Tune 121

Date:         Tuesday, July 30, 2002 1:39 AM


Big doings on Sunday.   Couple of logger friends came over to dispose of the row of dead cedar trees at the top of my property.   But they still charged me a hundred bux..    It was worth it..   The fungus killed Port Orford Cedars were getting so dried and britttle that I was worried that they would be blown over on Junkyard Dawg and Yakima Sue..

Them Novas is precious to me..

Couple pictures from hill above my property.  First a telephoto shot showing the 50 foot tall dead cedar still next to the old house but the line of smaller dead trees gone..    Wide angle shot showing whole neighborhood..



And then approaching my front yard on the old road..    Left the stumps about 5 feet tall to use as fence posts..    It sure opens up the view and makes the place look much better..


More to come..

Nova work next..

Rick Draganowski




Subject:    Rustpuppy Test&Tune 122

Date:         Tuesday, July 30, 2002 3:06 AM


Finally getting down to business and overcoming my innate revulsion to auto body work I started on fixing Rustpuppy’s rump..     In t&t122-1.jpg you can see the rivets I added to hold the taillight assembly metal patch plate that the previous owner inserted when he Bondoed up Rustpuppy’s rump back in ‘92..     Rustpuppy’s rump has been rotting for some time you see..


Reassembling the taillight housing and using some industrial grade duct tape to hold the taillight socket in place I prepared to bend the assembly back into place and add the aluminum flashing patches.   It went together better than I expected..  See t&t122-2.jpg, t&t122-3.jpg, and t&t122-4.jpg..





Then I addressed the right taillight assembly.   It is partially held in place by the Nova emblem..   (t&t122-5.jpg)


After removing the emblem and while scraping off decayed Bondo with a screwdriver the right taillight assembly fell off..   It was just some Bondo at the bottom plus the emblem that was holding it in place..   See t&t122-6.jpg.



Giving up for the day I set the right taillight in place loosely and took one more picture..   (t&t122-7.jpg)



More rump work tomorrow..

More to come..

Rick Draganowski



Subject:    Rustpuppy Test&Tune 123

Date:         Wednesday, July 31, 2002 12:21 PM


Still hacking away at the Rustpuppy Rump Repair job and attacked the issue of the loose right taillight assembly.     In t&t123-1.jpg I am pointing at the little nub of Bondo that along with the Nova emblem were the only things holding the light in place..


The geometry of this taillight assembly was different than the other one and required an extension riveted to the base tin to reach far enough in to allow attachment to sound metal in the trunk floor..    See t&t123-2.jpg.



The rest of the job was routine based on the left side technology but I skimped and left the right rear corner open.    Now I should be able to race the piss out of Rustpuppy without worrying about the taillights falling out..    (t&t123-3.jpg and t&t123-4.jpg)




More to come..

Rick Draganowski



Subject:    Rustpuppy Test&Tune 124

Date:         Wednesday, July 31, 2002 11:43 PM


Set Rustpuppy up with her rump in the shade of my bonsai tree.   See t&t124-1a.jpg and t&t124-2.jpg..    I planned on putting some finishing touches on the right taillight and the trunk lid..



Drilling, riveting, cutting, bending, and a little hammering brought this resolution..   See t&t124-3.jpg and t&t124-4.jpg..




After finishing the taillight but before messing with the trunk lid I took Rustpuppy out for just a little morale building drive..    It was way too windy (40 mph gusts from the northwest) for any serious racing and the summer tourist traffic was heavy..   I just messed around with a zero to sixty run on the old road..    Leaving the transmission in drive so it was upshifting to second at 4800 rpm instead of manually shifting at 5800 still gave at great time of 4.7 seconds..   It is a real rush to drive a car that can autoshift an under 5 second 0-60 time..

Then after covering the unsightly rust hole in the trunk lid I took Rustpuppy out for another little drive.    I verified the 4.7 autoshifted zero to sixty run by doing another one..   Then up on highway 101 I did a full throttle 30 to about 90 mph blast to see what the Pyrometer readings would be..    With the gusty crosswind 90 for just a second or two was as much as I had nerve for..

Here are the readings from the first light bash and second much heavier one..

1-1240   1267

2-1157   1212

3-1249   1277

4-1212   1219

5-1140   1236

6-1270   1301

7-1182   1256

9-1259   1271


Notice the relatively even cooler temps.   This is good as it means the air flow into the Q-Jet through the cold air snorkel is not fouling up the mixture.   Ideal power theoretically with the cam and induction system Rustpuppy has would come at 1300-1350 degrees..  The summer 92 octane gas seems to give a cooler reading..

More to come.

Rick Draganowski


Subject:    Rustpuppy Test&Tune 125

Date:         Sunday, August 04, 2002 1:16 AM


You may have heard that there is a monster forest fire burning here in southwest Oregon..    Not a problem here yet but Gold Beach is filling up with firefighters to try to get a grip on the north and west side of the fire.   On my guilty picnic trip to Brookings this afternoon I saw a convoy of Army National Guard troops heading north to help.   Serious business.

See map, the little red x is where I am..


A cool front came through today and the temp dropped and the humidity went up and that will help with the fire..

After sitting and pigging out on KFC this evening and suffering a mild gall bladder attack I got it in my head to take Rustpuppy out for some night racing at about 11:30pm..     I knew that the infernal wind had died down and was hoping that the humidity had not climbed high enough to screw up the traction with condensation on the highway..

I planned on racing till I got a reasonable time and making sure that the problem with slowing down when heated up was gone for sure..      First southbound run started with a really big cold bog and when Goody recovered from the bog the torque increased so fast the tires started spinning..    It was weird doing serious racing on a clear moonless night with the stars shining brightly..     Rustpuppy Run seemed really narrow at speed..   the

time was way off at 13.71@107 on the G-Tech.    This is run number 158 since

March 29, 2001.

When I cut off at the far south turnaround and stopped to record the time a car turned off the highway behind me..   I innocently took the old road back in case it was a police car checking me out.   But it was someone just coming home and the car turned of at one of the driveways..    So I set up for another southbound run..   Without the cold bog the launch was mostly uncontrollable wheelspin due to the light condensation on the pavement so it was a really bad time of 13.93@106.8 on the G-Tech..     There was considerable spin in second gear and I didn’t expect much..

But the highway was clear for a northbound run on drier pavement and though there was considerable first gear wheelspin there was way more traction and I knew that since Rustpuppy Run turned into a narrow blur that it was going to be a fairly good time..  It was most excellent considering the amount of first gear wheelspin with the highest speed so far from Rustpuppy in the quarter mile with a time of 13.48@108.9 on the G-Tech..    Too cool..


Then I motored slowly and innocently home..    This was run number 160..

Plenty of excitement for a late Saturday night..

I hope that they can get a good line around the fire soon..

More to come..

Rick Draganowski


Subject:    Rustpuppy Test&Tune 126

Date:         Monday, August 05, 2002 1:01 AM


Slow day today..   Did some tech work in the lab and then took a few pictures of old Draganowski (for Ray to make fun of to get back for the Pooh jokes) and of the hopeless looking drivers door and rear quarter of poor Rustpuppy..   Need to get them holes covered..

Started growing the mustache on the sixth of May (day of my neck surgery)..



Amazed by all the gray and white bristles in it..


More to come..

Rick Draganowski

(my fodder’s mustache)



Subject:    Rustpuppy Test&Tune 127

Date:         Saturday, August 10, 2002 2:09 AM


Slow week with the weather mostly against any bad behavior with Rustpuppy. (strong crosswinds on Rustpuppy Run)

I spend some time welding up Pyrometer temperature sensing thermocouples for a Very Important Customer.   See t&t127-1.jpg for an out of focus closeup of one. 


  T&t127-2.jpg shows the scale of the widget compared to the acetylene torch (with the smallest tip) I use for the welding.. 


  I have an antique torch rig that I bought back in 1980..   It has Craftsman two stage regulators and still works good.   See t&t127-3.jpg.



The next stage in the adventure was to do a little more testing on pinging and overrunning..    I took Rustpuppy for a short roadtrip down to Nesika Beach to get some of the low octane (87) gasoline to mix with the 5 gallons or so left of 92 octane summer gas..   The mix is about 89 octane and Rustpuppy did not ping at low rpm load going up the hill on the way home (climbs about 400 feet in one mile).    And even with the water temp above 190 there was no overrunning on shutoff at idle..   I tested shutting of at 2000 rpm and there was some overrunning so the lower octane does make a difference..

I jotted down the Pyrometer readings that were generated by the 8 mile highway cruise and the temps were remarkably even..










Time passes..

Earlier this evening (Friday night) when I was watching the 11 o’clock news the weather guy mentioned that there was zero wind on the coast..    I started getting ideas.  He also mentioned low humidity too..   Hmm..

About a half hour later (just before midnight) I was out in Rustpuppy in the middle of the night (one night before the Perseid meteor shower) sneaking quietly down the hill heading for Rustpuppy run..      It was very quiet and cool but with low humidity.  (about 48 percent RH at 60 degrees)

I did a practice 0-60 run at the end of the old road and despite a big cold bog had the reasonable time of 4.76 seconds..

Staging for a southbound run in the cool starry darkness went well..    No traffic at all and plenty of time to get my wits about me..     The launch still had a bit of bog but the run went great for a time of 13.48@107.1  on the G-Tech..     I was hoping for some improvement from the lower octane gas

but doubt if there was any..

Turning around at the far turnaround I quickly motored back to the northbound run staging area..     No bog this time on the launch but started getting a bit too much wheelspin to make a perfect run..    The rest of the run went great with Goody pulling strong to give Rustpuppy the time of 13.41@108 on the G-Tech..

I considered making a couple more runs but since I had noticed just a tiny bit of coastal fog starting to form at the south end of Rustpuppy Run I decided to call it a day..  (or a night)

The Pyrometer readings after the racing were a bit strange and I do not have an explanation for the variations..










For some reason I really hate fooling around with body work, even the crude riveting of aluminum patches seems to get on my nerves..    So I have been putting it off and starting to think about putting the exhaust cutout project on the front burner..

More to come..

Rick Draganowski





Subject:    Rustpuppy Test&Tune 128

Date:         Saturday, August 17, 2002 3:29 PM


Started off the evening (Friday) thinking about changing Rustpuppy’s front shocks..   I have a set of NAPA white’s in stock waiting for installation. (see t&t128-1.jpg)



I have been concerned about Rustpuppy’s high speed handling for some time..  Rustpuppy Run has been deteriorating and is not as level and smooth as it once was.    I know the cheap oil shocks on Rustpuppy’s front end are worn out (they have been leaking for several years) but they still seem to function somewhat..    I am sure that they help with launch traction as they provide little hindrance to front end lift and weight transfer..

About 6pm I noticed that it was still, with no wind at all..   Temp about 65 degrees..

Hmm..   Perhaps a test of the shocks prior to changing them may be in order..

Rustpuppy was running terrific on the trip down the old road on the way to Rustpuppy Run..     It is great fun..     A 0-60 test run with the transmission in drive came up with the time of 4.75 seconds..    Love this stuff..   But..   (why is there always a but?)

Traffic on highway 101 was miserable.   It is the height of the tourist season with everyone traveling to get home for the start of school..    I fooled around with four trips up and down Rustpuppy Run but could not find enough space in the traffic for any racing..    Motored home in disgust..

I have been noticing that the traction from the street tires on Rustpuppy has been improving slowly with time..    The BFGoodrich 245/60-14 Radial T/A rear tires only have about 5100 miles on them and are showing significant wear..  (I wonder why?)

I got out my spiffy digital caliper to measure the tread remaining on them.  (t&t128-2.jpg) and was concerned to see that the tread depth on the right rear was 0.060”.    Bummer, that is less than 1/16”..    And after only 5100 miles..  See t&t128-3.jpg.  The left rear was better with 0.115” of tread..




I checked one of the front tires and it had 0.256” of tread left.. For some reason the rear tires are wearing faster..

I took a couple pictures of Goody in her current configuration showing the snorkel system..     See t&t128-4.jpg and t&t128-5.jpg.    She is running sweet as can be..   Makes me happy when that happens..




Later that evening after 8pm I decided to make another attempt at doing a Rustpuppy Run.  Joyfully surged down the old road (watching out for stray cattle and deer, about 10 cows and 2 deer on the road this evening) on the way to the Run.     Test 0-60 shifting manually came up with a nice 4.69 seconds with a small cold bog..

Lurked on the entry to highway till traffic was clear and then headed for the southbound staging area..    But just before getting to it a damn early model Ford showed up behind.   The booger was going over 70 mph and since I was down to under 40 getting ready to stop on the staging area he closedfast.. (Some folks just have no respect for the law.  Hmph, 70 in a 55 zone.)  I held Rustpuppy at 40 hoping he would pass and he did without slowing down..    But I was past the best launch area.     I stopped Rustpuppy for a run anyway.     Waited for a few seconds for the Ford to provide plenty of room and then went ahead with another Run.


The launch went badly with wheelspin through most of first gear..   Sigh, missing the proper launch area was serious..     The rest of the run went splendidly well with no directional instability despite the increasing roughness of Rustpuppy Run..   I bet I have been too impatient with the wind and the directional instability problems I imagined were nothing more that Rustpuppy’s response to the nasty wind gusts from the ocean.    The time was mixed with a slow ET but fast speed at 13.56@108.2 on the G-Tech..

It means that the new front shocks will go back on the shelf.

Now it is on to the exhaust cutouts..

More to come..

Rick Draganowski




Subject:    Rustpuppy Test&Tune 129

Date:         Tuesday, August 20, 2002 3:27 PM


Last year I bought a pair of “Race Readies” from Jeg’s for Rustpuppy..

They looked great in the picture..   See t&t129-1.jpg..


But..    (another damn but)

They are anything but “Race Readies”..      The hole gouged into the body of the cutout was crude and small and ugly and restrictive..     As sold they are just noisemakers..      See t&t129-2.jpg for the factory finish of the interior..



Like so many things in our society it is just the external appearances that matters..    So in the early part of February I was out in front of my shop with die grinder and porting kit cleaning up the poor quality job done by Flow Tech..    It took two days..   Sigh..   See t&t129-3.jpg..



I am diverting the attention I should be paying to covering the rust holes in Rustpuppy’s cosmetically challenged exterior to finishing the exhaust cutout project started so long ago..

My idea is to splice into the angled areas of the exhaust pipes just behind the headers and have the outlets of the cutouts reach to below the door sills.    That way I can quickly and easily (considering my cripple fat ol’ bod) uncork them without crawling under..    The added length of exhaust tubing behind the headers will help with low end torque as well..

See t&t129-4a for the layout of the plumbing and t&t129-5a for a picture of the destination..     I am not going to use the 45 degree angle pipes, instead  I will be cutting straight pieces to reach the door sills.  Flanges welded on the ends will accommodate the covers and wing nuts..




This kind of project makes me happy..

More to come..

Rick Draganowski

(arcing and sparking)




Subject:    Rustpuppy Test&Tune 130

Date:         Monday, August 26, 2002 4:22 PM


Continuing with the exhaust cutout project you can see the pile-o-parts that have to go together in t&t130-1.jpg.



I parked Rustpuppy on the slope in front of my shop to jack up the side and crawl under for some dimensional analysis of the location of the cutouts.  You can see that my yard is not exactly level..  (see t&t130-2.jpg)     This is the area where I lost control of the wheel during the loose-wheel adventure..



After considerable fooling around I was able to tack weld all the parts together to verify dimensions and prepare for the finish welding..   (see t&t130-3.jpg) 


   Welding the flanges on was interesting since the material was thick enough to support the higher current settings of my MIG welder..  Makes a completely different sound to weld at the high current densities.  Not a crackling buzz caused by the wire actually dipping into the weld pool but a hissing noise as the wire flies across the arc in liquid form..   See t&t130-4.jpg and t&t130-5.jpg)




T&t103-6.jpg and t&t130-7.jpg shows the pieces after the welding was done.


  I am going to clamp the cutouts to the exhaust system temporarily and have Tim Harding do the welding as there is no reasonable way for me to do welding under Rustpuppy..

The main purpose of this whole exercise is the prediction made by Dyno2000 of the advantage of opening the exhaust.   See t&t130-8.jpg for a comparison table. With mufflers in the left two columns and open exhaust in the right two columns.   It will be interesting to see what the results will be on the G-Tech..



Now for something entirely different..      After some earlier Rustpuppy Runs I noticed a serious reduction in the exhaust gas temperature of cylinder number 2..    See below.










The drop in number two was outside of normal variation and I was concerned..

Close inspection of the sensor in number two found that the cover was loose and allowing some air to circulate into the probe..      I didn’t think that this was enough to be the only cause of the low reading so I continued with the troubleshooting.     Checking the torque of the header bolts found two that were looser than required..     And they were the two bolts for exhaust port number two.    Aha!   This could cause an air leak at the header gasket

and that would affect the temp reading..

Another run just to test the Pyrometer readings came up with this.










Number two is still low but now within the expected variation..    It seems like there are always multiple causes to the little problems we see..

More to come..

Rick Draganowski




Subject:    Rustpuppy Test&Tune 131

Date:         Wednesday, August 28, 2002 11:46 PM


Continuing on the “Cutouts for Rustpuppy” project I generated some fun sparks, with the good old DeWalt chopsaw, cutting off pieces for the extensions..    See t&t131-1.jpg and t&t131-2.jpg..


Then some fiddling around to get the flanges tack welded on. (t&t131-3.jpg)


Then in a welding frenzy I did the finish welding on the flanges and the tack welds on the bolts for the wingnuts that hold on the blocking plates.

You can see the almost finished assemblies in t&t131-4.jpg and t&t131-5.jpg.. 



  I still have to weld the extensions into the slip joints but want to crawl under Rustpuppy one more time to verify the lengths.    I

think I may have to cut a few inches off them if they stick out too far along side the doorsill..

Then later this evening I noticed that the persistent coastal winds had died down.  It was just before sunset and I hopped into Rustpuppy to see about making a few Rustpuppy Runs..       On the practice 0-60 the time was off due to a cold bog with the time of 4.84 seconds..      The traffic is still heavy as school hasn’t started yet and highway 101 is choked with slow moving tourists..        Traffic too heavy for a southbound run so I turned around at the first turnoff and lurked a while waiting for a break..

Finally a clear spot opened up and I zoomed over to the northbound staging area..    Launch was a big disappointment with wheelspin through most of first gear..   It was too late for a dry pavement run as the mist was coming in from the sea..   Damn..   And then to further spoil the racing, headlights appeared oncoming around the bend, at the north end of Rustpuppy Run.   Giving up in disgust I aborted the run..  Hitting the brakes in the middle of the quarter mile registered the zero to 60 time on the G-Tech with a miserable 5.05 seconds..

Giving up on the damp road I headed home..

More to come..

Rick Draganowski



Subject:    Rustpuppy Test&Tune 131 addendum 1

Date:         Wednesday, August 28, 2002 11:51 PM


The extended cutouts will add about five feet of exhaust tubing behind the header collectors..    I’m thinking that may help with the low end torque..

Rick Draganowski

(if they work as planned it will make the slicks mandatory)



Subject:    Rustpuppy Test&Tune 132

Date:         Saturday, August 31, 2002 4:17 PM


Not a lot accomplished on the “Cutouts for Rustpuppy” project.   I did crawl under and verify dimensions needed for the outlet tubes.    Turns out that they were about 2 inches too long but the DeWalt chopsaw made short work of correcting that..    Just have to finish weld those joints and the assemblies are ready to go in..

I am not looking forward to sawing off the exhaust pipes under Rustpuppy and have been trying to figure out an easy way of doing it..

It has been dry here for four months and the place is starting to look like California..   Look at the condition of my normally lush green lawn..   See lawn.jpg..

I have been having some health problems and went to see Dr. Williams yesterday..  See doc.jpg for a glimpse of his smiling face..    I have known him for 15 years and he is one of the most capable and talented men of medicine I have ever met..

Got a prescription for a modern anti-depression drug and some pain meds..

It is too early to tell if it will pull me out of my funk but I am hopeful..

All of the discussion of the lower dipstick tube was the final trigger that has inspired another small project..   I have been putting off doing the autopsy on “Knocker” since July of 2000..    Wow, over two years of procrastination..   Here you can see Knocker on the engine stand and Goody alongside getting read to be installed two years ago.   See ror31-7.jpg.


I rassled Knocker out of the storage area and moved her up where the post mortem exam can be done..     See Knocker-2.jpg..


For the story of what happened to Knocker and how she got her name go here:


More to come..

Rick Draganowski

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