T&T Chapter 8   <  ^  >

Subject:    Rustpuppy Test&Tune 133

Date:         Saturday, September 14, 2002 8:50 PM


Continuing with the “Cutouts for Rustpuppy” project I finished welding the slip joints and they are ready to be installed in Rustpuppy’s exhaust system.  I figure the Sawzall would probably make the two cuts under the car that are needed..   See t&t133-1.jpg, t&t133-2.jpg and t&t133-3.jpg..




Labor day has come and gone and the cool foggy mornings of the Oregon coast are back..   I was sleepy the other morning and took Rustpuppy out for alittle “ride” and that was enough to wake me completely..    Not much traction in the fog..

It came to me from above that it would be prudent to replace Rustpuppy’s front bumper..   I believe a wise decision for safety’s sake and the improvement in directional stability above 100mph..    I think Rustpuppy looks much better with her bumpers anyway..

The list has been complaining about leaky smallblocks and I snapped a picture showing the bumper back in place and the spots left from parking Rustpuppy.   (t&t133-4.jpg)


The big spill is automatic transmission fluid I drained from the cooler when the snorkel hole was cut..   The orange circles are around the multiple little drips..    This is about six months worth.

Need to fix the cheap stamped steel ramps so I cannot stupidly drive off the end of them so easily..   Duhh..

More to come..

Rick Draganowski

(slipping and sliding in the fog)



Subject:    Rustpuppy Test&Tune 134

Date:         Saturday, September 14, 2002 9:42 PM


Started digging into the ramp stop project.    Designed to give a more positive indication of when you are out of luck at the end..

Took out my trusty Sawzall and sliced a chunk of 2 ” exhaust tubing the long way.   See t&t134-1.jpg.



   Then I squished them in the vise to increase the effective height..   See t&t134-2.jpg.  


T&t134-3.jpg and t&t134-4.jpg show the tacking and welding going on..



The when they were finished (t&t134-5.jpg) it was time to paint..


   I found a can of Chrysler blue engine paint and blue it is..     See t&t134-6.jpg..


Now I have to get up the gumption to crawl under and do the cutting of Rustpuppy’s exhaust system to get the cutouts in..

More to come..

Rick Draganowski

(blue ramps is good)




Subject:    Rustpuppy Test&Tune 135

Date:         Friday, September 20, 2002 11:06 PM


Have been working on a contract job and at the same time getting use to the new medications..   Making me a little nuts but productive..    The weather turned to mostly fog and finished up with a whole day of rain so there was not much chance of Rustpuppy racing..   The job cut into the time and gumption needed for Rustpuppy work so little has been done since the last report..

Here is a picture I snapped on the way home last week.   This is approaching the curve before Rustpuppy Run starts and you can see the fog bank socking in the hill were I live..   Half of Rustpuppy Run was in it as well..   See RpupRunFog1.jpg.

A whole day of soaking gentle rain put an end to the fog and after it a spell of beautiful warm sunny days started..  Most excellent weather.  But..

(another damn but)

The thermal trough generated a low pressure south and east of the coast and the wind from offshore (NW mostly) has been blowing all day every day about 25 mph with gusts..   No good for racing at all..   Sigh..    And a little too warm for serious work as well..    

Took Rustpuppy out for a little drive in the country at noon but just fooled around with an auto shifted 0-60 run on the old road.    Good launch with a medium bog and the surprising time of 4.7 seconds..   Goody seem really eager to run today..   Oh well..

Later that afternoon I decided to take a nap (started at 4pm and ended at 6pm) and when I awoke refreshed I went out and discovered that the damn wind had finally stopped..    It was just before sunset and a beautiful time for some racing..

I piled into Rustpuppy and was lurching down the old road warming Goody and the transmission up..    Did a manual shifted 0-60 run at the bottom of the hill and was really happy with the time of 4.56 seconds..    Remember, this is with the front bumper back on..

One of the local citizens was behind me as I approached highway 101 so I just drove straight across the highway and lurked on the other side till traffic cleared..

Staged in the best location but Goody was running clean and the launch broke into wheelspin through about half of first gear..    I knew the time would be off but pressed on regardless..     The high speed stability of Rustpuppy with the front bumper back on was way better than the high lift bumper off configuration..   Very comfortable to cruise at over 100 if the wind is light..    Goody was pulling well and the time came up in a jiffy..   The G-Tech was indicating 13.66@107.7 and considering the amount of wheelspin that was plenty good..

Turned around at the first opportunity and zoomed back for a northbound run..    Tried to get the proper location but may have botched it..

Traction broke loose in a serious way and Rustpuppy was dancing down the highway with the rear tires screaming all through first gear and considerably into second..    I stayed on it for entertainment value since I knew the run was blown..  It’s going to leave a mark too..  Not surprised about the dismal time of 14.18@104.9 on the G-Tech..   It was just getting dark and the moisture from the sea was settling on the south end of the Run..    I should have done the racing an hour ago..

This was run number 165 since Goody went in..

All the talk recently about traction bars reminded me that I never posted the pictures of Rustpuppy’s traction bar installation in the Test&Tune series.   So I include them here..

See t&t135-1.jpg, t&t135-2.jpg and t&t135-3.jpg...




More to come..

Rick Draganowski



Subject:    Rustpuppy TestTune 136

Date:         Wednesday, October 02, 2002 12:51 PM


The weather and work as well as some health issues have interfered with the Rustpuppy story for the last couple weeks.    It either has been foggy and raining or the wind from hell has been blowing crossways on Rustpuppy Run..

I only managed one feeble seat time and did a boggy cold 0-60 on the old road.    Time was mediocre at 4.69 seconds..

As you all know the street BFG Radial T/A’s on Rustpuppy have been burned off to less than 1/16” and it is time for new tires..     What to do?.

Replacing with new street tires will mess up the little traction Rustpuppy has till they are well worn..   Sigh..   The Radial T/A’s cost 67 bux each at the TireRack..


On the other hand.    If I take the non-streetable M/T ET Streets off the splendid 15x7 Monte rims that Ray most kindly supplied.   Then I could use them fitted with a set of BFG Drag Radials on Rustpuppy and be back in business with better traction without the down sides of the slicks..  Hmmm.     Sticking point is that the Drag Radials are 127 bucks each..


Did some research on getting the proper Drag Radial for Rustpuppy and came up with this..      Comparing the 245/60-14 Radial T/A  to the 235/60-15 Drag Radial.

See TireComparo.gif for the details..


Amazingly the tread width is exactly the same.    And the difference in height is only about 2% so they will not mess with the effective gearing of Ol’ Rustpuppy very much..

The survey results at TireRack for the two tires put the dry traction of the street tire at 7.9 and the race tire at 9.1 so I can expect plenty more traction..   And I have heard nothing but good reports from the folks using them.

The tread design and depth is radically different between the two types of tire..   See DragRadial_Radial TA.jpg  for the picture..


You may be able to detect from the tone of this report that I really want them Drag Radials..     It is just a question of getting on the phone and getting them ordered I guess..

More to come..

Rick Draganowski

(tire madness)





Subject:    Rustpuppy Test&Tune 137

Date:         Monday, October 14, 2002 7:46 PM


With the press of work compounded by being made homeless over the weekend not much has been going on with Rustpuppy.    I did manage to have a cosmic brain fart while working on Ray’s manifold and drilled two holes in the wrong place..    Seems like I am sinking in to a pit of stupidity and degradation..

But this morning despite all of the bad vibes I noticed that the weather was perfect for racing..   Sunny, dry, and cool with no wind.   Hmm..     We have been having serious winds and crashing surf for about three weeks now and without any rain to wash the pavement the salt rime is building up on Rustpuppy Run.    Especially the south end which is much closer to the

surf..   See map.   (RustpuppyRun.jpg)


I have enough funding to get the Drag Radials ordered probably tomorrow.. But I thought that it might be fun to take Rustpuppy out for a Run about noon.

Rustpuppy was running great and I went lurching down the old road trying to get Goody warmed up enough to get over the bog..      Traffic was moderate with bunches of cars followed by long stretches of no traffic..   Cool.    I zoomed out to the launch location for a southbound run..     

There was just a little bog at launch with just a hint of hesitation..   The run went great with no crosswinds and solid tracking..   Goody was pulling well through the whole rpm range and the time came up fairly good at 13.53@108.1 on the G-Tech..    The tach indicated that Rustpuppy was up to an honest 105 mph just after the end of the quarter and it felt plenty fast..

Then turning around at the first chance I dashed over to the northbound staging area..   Goody was up to operating temp so there was no bog but the lesser traction at the south end combined with the higher stall on the converter overloaded the burnt off street Radials and the rear tires spun moderately through most of first gear..   Just before the 1-2 shift they started hooking up and the run felt fast..     The time was off on the ET but with a nice high mph at 13.7@108.2..     Back to back runs with the identical speed were not possible before the cold air inlet was installed..  Rustpuppy would always lose about 1mph with each run getting slower and slower as the underhood air heated up..

These quarter mile runs were number 166 and 167 since Goody was installed.

Rick Draganowski

(camping out in his office)




Subject:    [nova] Challenges and progress

Date:         Saturday, October 26, 2002 7:12 PM


Still homeless and lurking in my office.   The stink from the leaky Dometic refrigerator is lingering. Playing it safe since I got such an overdose of the stuff...

Yesterday I went out to warm up Rustpuppy and take her for a little ride. And then I planned on putting her up on the ramps for the initial exhaust cutout work..

Got in and then the comedy began..   First Rustpuppy would not start.   Dead as a doornail..    Then I noticed that I left the lights on from the last time I took her for a little ride in the cold fog..    Poop..

I was sitting there thinking about my stupidity and suddenly a damn little mouse dropped out of the dash and ran between my feet under the seat.    A few seconds later it ran from under the seat on the passenger’s side and dashed through the hole left from the old battery cable routing..    Based on the distance, elapsed time, and size of mouse the scale speed of the miserable rodent worked out to 122mph..


The hole is supposed to have a cork in it but the last passenger must have kicked it out during his screaming panic attack..   There is something about my driving style...


Needless to say I did NOT feed the cats yesterday.   Or today..   Damn lazy cats..


And then first thing this morning..   I was downloading some needed upgrades from Microsoft  and they seemed to help the performance of my old Sony laptop..


Then without warning the screen went black.   It does not respond to the power switch.   Completely stone cold dead.    Probably is just a relatively minor power supply problem so Sony can overcharge for some more parts that I have to wait on the ship from Japan for.  Sigh..   And my backups are about a month old or more.  Poop..

What was the last Rustpuppy Test&Tune I sent?

Anyway, feeling good this weekend and the weather is fine.   Sunny and cool..   I had put the battery charger on Rustpuppy last evening so the battery was back to normal.  Took Rustpuppy out for an exhilerating ride on the old road and then came back and got her up on the ramps..     There is a flaw in the ramp design as they will push forward if they are on gravel.  That is what caused the stupid fall-off-the-back-of-the-ramp episode..   One of them was on a bit of lawn and it held (left side) and the other one pushed forward about 4 inches..   I will remember only to use them on the lawn in the future and to weld a stop on them to keep them from sinking too deep..   See t&tx-1.jpg


I jacked the corner of Rustpuppy up with the bumper jack and kicked the ramp back where it belongs..    I plan on jacking her up higher and putting four jackstands under her for safety and some extra room for my fat old body..

Got the holes in the driver’s side manifold for the Pyroprobes..    No drama and no excitement.  See picture.  (ray38.jpg)

Tomorrow is another day..

More to come..

Rick Draganowski


Subject:    Rustpuppy Test&Tune 138

Date:         Tuesday, November 05, 2002 8:09 PM


Big storm is coming..   This morning I was out and about and noticed that there was a calm sunny moment left before the wind and rain gets here..  So I took Rustpuppy down off the ramps (without having done any work on the exhaust yet) and put the 5 gallons of 92 octane in her tank..    I had run it out to almost empty to start with some winter gas..

I let had let Rustpuppy idle on the ramps (on high idle) for about 15 minutes while I took care of some last minute business and she was warmed up good and eager to go..    Stepped on the gas a little too much when passing my mailbox at about 15 mph and smoked the tires and got a little sideways..

Yahoo!   I love this old car..

Out on Rustpuppy Run I lurked a while for a traffic break and then staged for a southbound run..    The surf has been nuts for weeks with a lot of wind but no rain so there are salt deposits all down Rustpuppy Run..   Sigh..

Wheels broke loose and spun through most of first gear..    Was still pushing but not like it should be..     In second and third Goody felt stronger than at any time this summer with the pissy gas..       The time was off from the first gear wheelspin at a miserable 13.88 but the mph was up there at 108 on the G-Tech..


Just not enough traction with those worn street tires..    And I have been putting off getting the drag radials till this month..    (for financial reasons)


Turned around at the first area and thundered back to the northbound staging area..  This run got serious in a hurry..    Rustpuppy was scratching like a cat on linoleum and not pushing much..   Then the rear end headed for the other side of the road and before I knew it the rear wheels were in the middle of the other lane and the front wheels in my lane..    I was getting concerned due to the 25 foot drop to the riverbed right at the shoulder of the Run.  And no guard rail..  I shifted to second early thinking that would settle things down but it did not help and it was getting to be a desperate issue..

Finally I let off the gas and aborted the run..  With a little sawing at the wheel and fishtailing I got Rustpuppy back on course..

Poop..   With the better gas I have to have better tires or I will wreck poor Rustpuppy with my antics..   And what is going to happen with the exhaust cutouts adding just a bit more power??     Heading for disaster..

Despite giving up the race and just cruising through the last half of the quarter the G-Tech still came up with 14.8@101..

Before anything else is done I got to get those Drag Radials..    

More to come..

Rick Draganowski

(scaring himself silly)



Subject:    Rustpuppy Test&Tune 139

Date:         Thursday, November 14, 2002 6:36 PM


After I dropped off the ET Streets for dismounting the sky opened and we got about 18” of rain over the last couple weeks..   No good for racing at all..

I picked up the dismounted slicks and wheels just a couple days into the storm period and have been putting up with the strong rubber smell of racing tires in my Suburban for many days..   At first I thought that something was wrong with my faithful old Suburban but finally figured it out..

I have not ordered the Drag Radials yet..    I wanted to make a couple big payments to my credit card company first..    But it will happen..  Real soon now..


Today the sun came back and it finally started drying out..    While doing chores this morning I decided that it was time to take Rustpuppy out for some exercise..  It is bad for a motor to just sit too long..   Especially in total wet 100% humid weather with high winds and rain..

First I checked the oil..    Goody was down about a half quart again.. Sigh..   The leaky front seal is not going to stop leaking until I replace it..   The leftover half quart from the last time was still handy so It went in in a jiffy..

Rustpuppy started up just dandy..   And sounding good too..   After warming up for about a minute (are you listening Aren?) I took off down the old road for just a little fooling around..   The asphalt was still waterlogged so nothing serious could be done..    But I did try one 0-60 run down at the bottom of the hill..    Since I could not do an ordinary launch without just sitting and burning the tires I just rolled the throttle on slowly..  Traction was good enough for a mild run..   The 1-2 shift busted loose and  Rustpuppy wobbled around for just a half second or so..    Despite the poor conditions the time wasn’t too bad at 4.82 seconds..    It is always fun to get back into a v8 Nova after driving the 6000 lb Suburban for a few weeks..

Had to go to town for business reasons (billable time is good but working with XP is the pits) and when I got home I rassled the dismounted slicks out of the Suburban and put them in my shop..    I think I will clean and re-paint the splendid 15” Monte wheels the most excellent Ray Buck provided..  Then I better get going and order them Drag Radials..    

They say on the TireRack website that they are a backorder item..     Nothing is ever convenient.

More to come..

Rick Draganowski

(we need a couple weeks of sunshine..)





Subject:    Rustpuppy Test&Tune 140

Date:         Sunday, December 08, 2002 6:54 PM


My back is considerably improved today.   When I get in to the Suburban it no longer feels like someone stabbed me in the back.   (seriously)   What happens is the contents of the ruptured disk eventually is partially absorbed and moves down away from the area where it is pressing the nerves against the bone.

The trick is being able to prevent the muscle spasms in your back that is triggered by the nerve pain.    If you don’t nip them in the bud the symptoms get more serious as the added pressure on the nerve starts an inflammatory response with swelling, increasing the pressure and triggering more muscle spasms..     Since I have been living with these miserable ailments 25 years I have trained myself to block the pain and relax those stupid back muscles to prevent the spasms..   Downside to this technique is that keeping the muscles relaxed for a long period of time weakens them.  So when you start using them you have problems just standing up for any length of time..    But you can sit in a car..


So when I was doing chores this afternoon I started getting thoughts. The weather was cool (about 53 degrees) and cloudy with high humidity and lingering dampness from the night fog and condensation..   Not ideal for racing..  But there was no wind..   Hmm..   Maybe a little drive in the country?


I had put some winter premium Texaco gas in Rustpuppy so she still had about tank..   (about 90 lbs of gas)    And don’t forget the heavy Disco bumper is still on.


I took my time navigating Rustpuppy across the rough parts of the old road.  It is best not to get thrown around too much.   With the traction bars Rustpuppy’s rear suspension has limited free motion.

It seemed to take longer than usual for Goody to warm up and when I tried the 0-60 practice at the bottom of the hill on the old road there was a really long bog at launch followed by moderate wheelspin..    Another patch of wheelspin at the 1-2 shift.    No audible squealing of tires due to the high humidity..   The time was way off normal on the G-Tech at 5.13 seconds..

Zoomed up to the intersection of Highway 101 and lurked there a while till the traffic was clear in both directions..    I noticed that due to the external transmission oil cooler the stall speed stayed down at about 2750 or so..    This will help on launch since I expect marginal traction..

Relaxed and concentrated on “Where I was.  What I was doing.”  to quote Yoda..   (silly since it is just Frank Oz and a puppet)   Southbound run is the best traction but I was expecting problems from the high humidity.

The launch was less than optimum..    Slight bog followed by way too much wheelspin.   And the second gear shift spun too long again..   Rustpuppy was tracking excellently well and I stayed on it past the quarter till the speedometer indicated 120mph..  (an honest 112mph)

I expected a really miserable time due to the rotten launch but it came up at 13.71@107.3 on the G-Tech and surprised me.   I stopped at the first turnaround and considered my options..      The traction on the northbound launch area is always worse due to it’s close proximity to the ocean..  And there seemed to be a lot of traffic.   If the traction is really crappy there is a small but significant chance of sliding off the edge of the narrow causeway that is Rustpuppy Run.   Positraction and bad traction is an unpredictable mix.   The 15 foot drop to the creekbed level would be bad for Rustpuppy..

So like a good law abiding citizen I motored slowly back home.   Staying well within the speed limit on 101 of 55..

Sitting and writing this I notice that the only pain registering is from my arthritic right hip joint..   And that ain’t going to go away..     I seem to have gotten away with this ill-advised behavior without harm..   So far..

I rushed right out in a buying frenzy on the day after Thanksgiving and ordered the Drag Radials from TireRack..    They are backordered and I doubt they will show up till January.

More to come..

Rick Draganowski

(racing is good)



Subject:    Rustpuppy Test&Tune 141

Date:         Sunday, January 05, 2003 3:03 PM


The weather has been wet.   As wet and stormy as it has been in the last 23 years.   We probably have gotten about 3 feet of rain in the last 6 weeks..As a result of the crappy weather, storm damage, grinding away at two different contracts, and just being wet and cold, not much has been happening on the Rustpuppy front..

The spiffy cutouts are still on the workbench in my shop, the BFG DragRadials are still on backorder at TireRack, and I am getting the itch to order in some more speed parts from Jeg’s..   If I wasn’t so poor I probably would be spending money like a nut..

Anyway, here is the report. There was a temporary break in the weather the day before Christmas Eve and Christmas Eve itself..      This story took place about 11am on Christmas Eve..

I was depressed because of the miserable weather and other factors and I decided to take Rustpuppy out for an innocent ride in the country to exercise Goody and keep away the motor storage syndrome..

It was great fun to blast down the old road in a light responsive car after wheeling the bulky Suburban around for the last month or so..    I notice that there was little wind and not much traffic..    Started thinking..  Despite the dampness of the roads perhaps I could get away with one moderate run..   Hmm..

Turned onto a deserted highway 101 for a southbound run.    After getting to the staging area and getting into the proper mindset for racing I was ready.  I knew that too much throttle at launch would just leave Rustpuppy burning tires and moving little so I planned on a slow throttle roll on with a moderate launch..


Just as I started the launch a car appeared around the bend in the highway about of a mile behind me..    I knew that I could proceed safely as Rustpuppy would be going over 60mph in just a few seconds and the car would never catch up..

Unfortunately the added stress of the appearance was enough to set my tender old nerves on edge.    The coming events will prove this..  The slow roll on launch went great, with only a moderate loss of traction..

Things were going great for a wet weather race..  


Right at the top of first gear, just as the shift light was coming on, Rustpuppy lost traction bigtime.     Since I was going about 45mph things got serious in a hurry.

Rustpuppy’s rear wheels moved to the left with mind numbing speed resulting in Rustpuppy being at almost a 45 degree angle to the highway.   Remember this is a narrow causeway with no shoulders and a serious drop to the riverbed below..

As terror gripped me everything seemed to be happening in slow motion.  could not hear the bellow of Rustpuppy’s exhaust, and I felt like I could only move in slow motion..    I made the instant decision to ignore the shiftlight and keep both hands on the wheel.


I got off the throttle as fast as I could and steered into the skid and thankfully Rustpuppy pulled out of the sideways slide..    I knew that if I even thought of using the brakes that it would have been disaster..     I had to use the whole road (both lanes) to get straightened out so you can see my rule about never racing with close traffic is a good one..     Anyway things started settling down.


The shift light was still on and Goody was way over 6000 rpm..     I knew that it was important to shift as soon as possible..



Since my nerves were shot by the combination of traffic behind and near disaster I botched the shift..     Damn..     This was really overreving poor Goody..     After much banging around with the shift lever I finally got her into 3rd and was at the end of the quarter mile..    The faithful (and stupid) G-Tech reported 15.67@80 despite my antics..    I wonder what the innocent civilians in the car following thought of my display of idiocy?

It was a terrifying event and drove home the lesson of not messing around on wet roads..     I better take this lesson to heart..

Oh, well..    Sun is shining today, and promised tomorrow..


The lawn is so soggy that It is no longer safe to drive on the low parts.  It is worse now than this picture shows.  See t&t141-1.jpg.   I have been parking the Suburban up next to Yakima Sue and hiking in through the mud..


I am homeless and still lurking in the hallway.   See t&t141-2..   Waiting for good weather to do some work on the Airstream trailer so I can move back in..



More to come..

Rick Draganowski

(unemployed Village Idiot)


p.s.  Four buts in one report.   That is a new record..    Duhh..



Subject:    Rustpuppy Test&Tune 142

Date:         Sunday, January 19, 2003 8:57 PM


Still jumping through hoops and filling out forms on the Suburban accident on the 9th.   Last Monday I had an appointment at Tim Harding’s shop for an inspection and estimate on my poor Suburban.   I haven’t been sleeping well and making the 8:00am time was a bummer..    I had gone to bed at 11 Sunday night but could not sleep till after 4..    And was up at 6..

Initial inspection results are not good.. Things seem to be worse than I    thought..   The left rear axle is bent and the wheel is wobbling..    Tim said that he has seen 10bolt truck axles crack from bending..    And if you continue driving there is a possibility of the crack propagating leading to axle failure..  If a rear wheel falls off while you are blasting down the highway it would be bad..  


When Tim took the axle cover off to inspect the differential I finally got a chance to see the locking differential in there.     What a disappointment.  It is not a Detroit Locker but is the much weaker Gov-Lock gizmo..    A wimpy fragile setup that has the reputation of self-destructing if abused..


See report after end of this letter.

The combination of the wimpy axle and my suspicions that when the 700R4 transmission was rebuilt it was not brought up to the later spec means that I better be careful.   It could be a first generation wimpy weakling 700R4..  Sigh..     This means that I have to be extra careful to be gentle with the Suburban and not give in to my natural behavior..  No more burnouts.

That does give me an idea.    I have a later model Q-Jet from the late 70’s early 80’s that would serve in the Suburban if I rebuilt it..    It probably has leaner jets and rods than the race-oriented Q-Jet in there now..  And it has the electric choke which is not as wasteful of fuel as the divorced choke rig on the race carb.  Doing this would free up another proven performance Q-Jet for Rustpuppy..   It is always good to have a spare..


Rustpuppy is pressed into service as my daily driver..    I am just glad that the weather has been dry and sunny..   Rustpuppy does not have an effective defogger for the windshield..    And due to the water that leaks in through the rust holes the interior is always soggy and the windows fogged up during cool rainy weather.

Using Rustpuppy to get me to town for business gave me the opportunity of giving my friend Eric Ragsdale a long promised ride.  (owner of West America Technologies)    His office is on the Rogue North Bank Road so we used it for the demonstration..     With Eric and me aboard there was a full load of fat for Rustpuppy.   That combined with a full tank of 92 octane winter gas would help traction..

They had used some high tech asphalt on the North Bank Road to aid traction in the curvy parts..    It made a great place to launch Rustpuppy..    I did a terrific 0-80 run eastbound while Eric was yelling incoherently..     Then a U turn and another one coming back..    Eric was impressed and it was great fun to show Rustpuppy off when she is running so good..    I just wish that the pavement on Rustpuppy Run was the same material as the North Bank Road.    Oh, well..    The new tires will help.

Then last Thursday I had some business at the County Courthouse.   After taking care of it I was leaving the building through the north entrance where Rustpuppy was parked..      I was having some trouble going down the stairs to get to the exit.   Not a handicap friendly old building..    A nice lady held the door open for me.   As I past through the door I glanced at her and said thank you.    The next instant my right foot encountered the small 5 inch high down step that was about 40 inches from the door..   Down I tumbled to the concrete walk.    What a revolting development..

I was not seriously hurt, my knees were bruised and my hands abraded and I think I pulled a pectoral muscle.    I still haven’t recovered from the accident the previous week and get clobbered again..    What a life..   

I went back into the building and wrote up an accident report for Jerry Herbage, the county’s attorney..   I am beginning to feel like I am under a black cloud..    I have an appointment with Dr. Williams tomorrow afternoon so I will tell him everything..    I may have damaged my inner ear when my head hit the window and have been a little dizzy and having problems balancing since the accident..    But I think it is gettin better..

I have been thinking for some time of upgrading the intake manifold on Rustpuppy from a common Performer to a Victor Jr.   I am sure that it would make an improvement in the 3500-6000 rpm band..   So last week when I was doing research on manifold height issues and prices my butter slipped off my noodles and I ordered one from Speedway.    What a little kid I am sometimes..

I plan on staying with the Q-Jet at least initially.   Edelbrock sells a purpose-designed adaptor specifically for this.    Not the same as a square bore to spread bore adaptor as it has the Q-Jet moved back to help with fuel distribution.

Based on Rustpuppy’s performance I believe that some manifold heat would be needed.    And since the Victor Jr is an air gap manifold it has zero manifold heat.  For several days now I have been mentally designing various modifications that would provide manifold heat controlled by a knob on the dash like an airplane..  As soon as it arrives I will decide which scheme I will use..   The pictures I have of the Victor Jr. leave a lot to the imagination..

Researching the dimensions published on the manifolds and the adaptor I have established that using the Victor Jr would result in the air cleaner being a hair less than 1.5 inches higher than now..   I am pretty sure that it would still fit under the hood sheet metal but I will have to cut out the x-bracing above the air cleaner.

Now for something entirely different.    Resisting the lure of the Dark Side of the Force and not particularly interested in the Carter/Edelbrock/Weber line the thought of a Predator carb came to mind.     One of the mechanics over at Brett’s shop had one on his truck and it worked just fine..    I did some research on Predators and really would like to have one to fool with.

But when I found out the price that idea flew out the window..    It would cost close to 500 bucks to get one set up..   Damn..  Then word came from the list that someone, somewhere is selling one for 200 bux.   Get thee behind me, Satan!


Since the Q-Jet is only 3.25 inches high and the Predator is 5.5 inches high and needs a 2 inch spacer to be happy on a Victor Jr I have a feeling that it would not fit under Rustpuppy’s hood..  

We have had a week of sunny weather with just a little morning clouds so the roads are mostly dry.   It is much cooler today (only about 50) and we are getting night fog.

Hmm..    I got the idea to take Rustpuppy out for a Run this afternoon..  The practice 0-60 on the old road started with a big bog.   Before committing to a Rustpuppy Run I decided to do some experimenting with some more 0-60 times..      The first southbound 0-60 on Rustpuppy Run was a disappointment as the tires just blew away and spun 2/3 of the way through first gear.  Damn.  Time was a wimpy 5.2 seconds.   Southbound is the best traction so I didn’t expect much on the northbound 0-60 test..     I was correct.    Tires spun through all of first gear for the time of 5.36 seconds.   Between the 50 degree weather and the good winter gas Goody is pulling so strong the tires are just not up to it.  There was no point in even trying a quarter mile run..     Motored home to write this..

More to come.

Rick Draganowski

(need to order the Q-Jet adaptor, another 30 bux.   Its going to go over 200 bucks for this upgrade)





      Used by General Motors in 73 & newer trucks that came with an optionL locking/limited slip differential. It was used in 7.5”, 7.625”, 8.5”, 8.6”, 8.875” 12 bolt truck, 9.5”, 10.5”, and now in the new 11.5” differentials. The smaller designs are fairly weak and the 8.5” and 12 bolt truck designs are especially weak. The 9.5” and 10.5” 14T units are fairly strong and will hold up well to towing and moderate abuse. The Gov-Lock is designed to act as an open differential during normal driving with no force being applied to clutches. This fact that no force is applied to the clutches keeps the clutches from chattering during normal every day driving. When either wheel slips and spins approximately 100 rpm faster than the other a governor assembly senses the difference in speed and activates a ramp system. The ramp system causes the clutches to engage and transfer power to the wheel with traction. One other feature of the Gov-Lock is that it will not engage at vehicle speed above 30 mph. This no lock-up feature keeps the vehicle more stable at higher speeds where both wheels spinning could cause an inexperienced driver to spin out or slide off of the road. This is a great design in theory and works as designed in a stock vehicle that is not abused. The problem is that most of us modify our trucks and many of us abuse them. When this unit is asked to deliver under extreme conditions it tends to self-destruct. The force generated by the ramp system that is used to lock-up the clutches works well, except that same force has to be contained by the case and the case is not always up to the job. (factory)




Subject:    Rustpuppy Test&Tune 143

Date:         Monday, February 17, 2003 3:00 AM


It has been a miserable time since my Suburban went into the shop after the accident last month.   Rustpuppy has performed as best she could as a daily driver but when the sunny weather left so did the fun.   The cold rain and wind are bad enough, but without a proper heater or defroster it gets downright nasty.    In spite of the weather Rustpuppy ran splendidly well as a daily driver and was docile and well mannered in the mud.  You must let her warm up before driving so you can get the idle down to a controllable level.

See Rustpuppy parked in front of the mud bog I drive through to get to my parking spot.   Cold damp foggy drizzly day..    See t&t143-1a.jpg


But the sun sent forth some pale watery sunshine from time to time and I used the moments to try to dry Rustpuppy out inside.     Note the several inch deep marks of mud bogging on Rustpuppy’s tires.   t&t143-2a.jpg.

The mild concussion I had in the accident healed up and the symptoms went away and I have been pretty good on my diet so I am fit and getting fitter. And lightening the load on Rustpuppy will help the times.

Remember in my last report I mentioned that the butter slipped off my noodles while browsing at the Speedway website and I somehow ordered the Victor Jr manifold for Goody.    It came and it is a beauty.   See t&t143-3.jpg.



I am struggling with the concept of flanging up some kind of carb heat system for the Vic Jr but think that I will wait to see how well it performs as shipped before making any modifications.    Naturally the Edelbrock racing Q-Jet adaptor is not quite available yet (it is a new product) and I am aggravating with Jeg’s about delivery schedule.     It is not the cheapo die cast zinc part that is traditional but a spiffy well finished aluminum casting.     See the differences in t&t143-4a.jpg.   

The good new racing adapter is on the right..

Finally after three weeks plus of depending on Rustpuppy I got the Suburban back.   The frame was not bent and everything checked out after replacing the axle and wheel bearing..  It was a painful financial hit though.  The bill was $548 and I had to scratch up the $500 deductible on collision.


Bah..   But it is wonderful having the Suburban back with cruise control, tape deck, air conditioner and super powerful heater and defroster.  It is like being  a rich guy..    See t&t143-5a.jpg for the beautiful old Suburban back home.  

And the sun came out.   But it went away quickly and has been raining for days..

The custom cutouts made for Rustpuppy are still sitting on the bench waiting for better weather.   see t&t143-6a.jpg.   


   Hoping for some good things in the future with them and the Vic Jr helping with the horsepower..

You may remember that last year I “Rushed out now in a buying frenzy!” the day after Thanksgiving (to do my part for the economy, you see) and ordered the long desired BFGoodrich Comp Drag Radials.   Rustpuppy really needs these since she now severely limited by the street tires..

After a mere 11 weeks of patient waiting when I went out to the barn on Valentine’s day they were there!   See t&t143-7a.jpg.   

   The next day (Saturday) I rassled them into the Suburban along with the great Monte Carlo wheels donated by the inestimable Ray Buck.    See t&t143-9.jpg and t&t143-8a.jpg.  


I dropped them off at the Union 76 station in town to have them mounted and balanced..

I wish it would stop raining for a week so I can try them nifty tires out..  The instant I typed the previous line it started raining like hell.  Just to taunt me..   And it is cold..   Low 40’s upper 30’s..    And damp..

Rick Draganowski

(and you notice I never even mentioned the Predator)




Subject:    Rustpuppy Test&Tune 144

Date:         Tuesday, February 25, 2003 2:06 AM


Finally the weather broke on Sunday morning.   Despite more rain predicted it was low overcast with no rain at all.    Went about the task of putting the Drag Radials on Rustpuppy.

They had been lurking in the back of the Suburban and then bathing in the cold rain on the drive in front of Rustpuppy.    The only accomplishment I had (in this venue)  last week was to churn up the mud at the top of the yard.    See t&t144-1.jpg    


   Really looking forward to spring.

Next we see Rustpuppy posing behind her new racing tires.    (t&t144-2.jpg)  

It felt good to be out doing even minor physical labor so I had the right rear wheel off in just a matter of minutes.    I used the large cross wrench instead of rigging up the wussy impact wrench.     The lug nuts were still at the 80-90 lbs feet of torque with no loosening despite abuse.


In t&t144-3.jpg and t&t144-4.jpg you can see a comparison between the old street tire and the new racing tire.  Despite looking narrower the effective tread width both tires are the same.   



The 10mm missing off the section width and the lack of a defined tread edge on the racing tires make them look narrower than they are.   It makes for a subtle appearance as you will see later.

The first thing I did was to verify the pressure in the tires.    You cannot trust anyone..   The first one had 50psi in it..   Not too cool.    I released enough air to bring it down to 28psi.    Checking the second one gave the unsuprising result of 45psi.     Sigh..    Got that one back to 28psi also.


I used my spiffy new floor jack to do the lifting (they were cheap, so I bought two) and you can see how innocent looking the new tires will be in t&t144-5.jpg.  


In t&t144-6.jpg you can see Rustpuppy’s new look.  


  The Moons are no more (15” wheels in rear, 14” in front) so Rustpuppy will have a gnarly look..  I like it..    Contrast this with t&t144-2.jpg. above.

When I went to check the rear brakes despite all of the struggles and the modifications I made to the drums to loosen the fit of the center hole both drums were stuck fast from the quick forming rust.   What a place.

Another project to attend to.

Due to much less backspacing on the Monte wheels Rustpuppy now has a wide track look from the rear.   And the tires look so innocent.  See t&t144-7.jpg




Just the little bit of work doing this tired me out.   But felt great.  I hate being cooped up indoors while the endless cold winter rain continues on and on and on..

I decided to take Rustpuppy for her first trip with the new tires.   From what Craig told me I am going to like the Drag Radials.   The roads were still soaked and I haven’t checked Rustpuppy’s fluids so I planned on just cruising down to the south end of Rustpuppy Run and then back home with no foolishness.  Also I had had bad experiences with brand new tires due to the mold release soaps still being on them from the factory.

The handling down the twisty back road to get to the highway was just fine.  As good as if not better than the street tires and totally different from the squishy wrinklewall ET Streets..      I am happy so far..

Out on the highway I kept it down to a relaxed 60 mph and did some tests of the highway speed stability.   Most excellent..    I must confess that after I turned around for the return trip I put my foot down for a moment or two and Rustpuppy was above 100mph before you know it.    Some twitches of the steering wheel at 100mph indicated that the tracking and steering response of the Drag Radials was most excellent and may even be better than the old Radial T/A tires.   

Craig, once again, was right..    No comparison to the mushy wobbly ET Streets.   What a relief.     Rustpuppy had outgrown the street tires we will see soon what the results will be.

Remember, no racing I said to myself and  calmed it down to 60 again and returned home, happy as can be.   When I got home I checked the oil first and found it to be down about a quart.   It is good that I didn’t push it too much.

Worked like a dog today.  It was so cool.    Just the little bit of physical labor yesterday overwhelmed the insomnia I had been suffering from the last rainy cold month or so.    I went to sleep like a baby at 1am and was up bright eyed and bushy tailed at 8:30 today.    What a relief that was.

Being cooped up and not getting any exercise is really bad and it usually messes me up each winter.

The weather had cleared up and it was warm and sunny with a light breeze.  This afternoon it almost got up to 70 degrees..    And I was stuck in offices most of the day..   Oh well, tomorrow will be sunny too.

Worked in the morning in my lab and when I headed out for town at about 11:30 I noticed how warm and dry and excellent it was.    I couldn’t hold myself back and jumped into Rustpuppy thinking I would take her into town today.    But after getting down to Rustpuppy Run I decided to turn around and head home so I could take the Suburban.    No racing again today (I put the quart of oil in yesterday) as half a day of sun is not enough to dry the roads for foolishness..    I did do two very encouraging tests of the new tires though.   First I did a full throttle roll on from about 10mph on the new patch of asphalt at the top of the hill.   Rustpuppy always would just burn first from a standing start (that is why I did the roll on) and hit a big screetch into second on this patch.    But this time I was amazed at the slam in the back with no noise when second gear hit..      I think I am going to like this.

The second test was down in front of my mailbox where I would do power braking burnouts with alarming regularity.   Sort of marking my territory like a critter..    Today when the tach hit about 3100 Rustpuppy pushed through the brakes and started going whether I wanted to or not..

Awesome..     It takes a lot to push those front disks..     Happy, happy,  joy, joy..

Perhaps later this week it may be time for just a little bit of racing..  We will see..   Hmm..   It is tomorrow already.   And I am really tired.


More to come.

Rick Draganowski

(Rustpuppy is happy with her new tires)


p.s. Shirley Sorenson took some pictures of me sitting in Rustpuppy last week and they came in the mail Saturday.    After having to download the stupid scanner driver package (the one in my system got corrupted last week for unknown reasons..   7 megabytes..   Hour and a half..   Bummer.  I scanned in one of them..   See Rick2003b.jpg..     I am smiling.






Subject:    Rustpuppy Test&Tune 145

Date:         Wednesday, February 26, 2003 10:19 PM


After the discussion yesterday about breaking in the Drag Radials  I have been trying to remember exactly what happened when Rustpuppy pushed through the brakes.  The good information that Tom provided was preying on my mind.

I don’t think the wheels spun enough to heat the tread as I assume BFG wants.    As soon as Rustpuppy lurched forward I had to let off as there was only about 30 feet of road left in front of me.    The thoughts kept coming last evening and again this morning.


This morning while doing chores I decided to take Rustpuppy up the hill where the new asphalt is and do a proper burnout.    I knew she was low on gas.   When I got her started I could see that it may be risky to drive the four miles it takes to properly warm Goody.

So with Goody cold I lurched up the road to the top of the hill.    I tried to do the proper burnout.  Goody was still too cold and Rustpuppy was bucking like a wild bronco.     The Drag Radials are a completely new experience, seeming to grab like the ET Streets, but small enough to get the gear ratio effect.   I was so distracted by the series of wild lurches that I didn’t pay attention on how much I was getting thrown around and beat up by the g-forces.    Didn’t measure it but it seemed more than the street tires ever made.


Goody is running better now than the last time the slicks were on (tuning and better gasoline) and the launches were more intense.  (was pushing 0.9 G on the too tall slicks)   Rustpuppy may have been getting launch forces over 1 G for the first time in her life.

Goody finally heated up enough to provide the torque down low needed and the Drag Radials started spinning.  Keeping my eye on the tach and the road we fishtailed about 30 feet.   Enough rubber smoke came up to meet the requirement I set based on Tom’s advice.

The gas gauge was on empty so (after prayers) I hastened home.   When I got out of Rustpuppy I realized that I just beat the hell out of myself and that I better start paying more attention to the effects of the racing on my old bones.

It was the launch-brake launch-brake series that must have done it.   Throwing me against the seat belt and seat back alternately.  Let that be a lesson to me.  I am not the indestructible daredevil I was 40 years ago. (pulling 5+ G’s in the T-34 and getting thrown off horses and motorcycles and thinking nothing of it)   Sigh..   I got the miseries tonight and probably will have trouble sleeping.   But I should be over it in a couple days.

I put the 5 gallon gas can in the Suburban so I can get the gasoline needed to get to Shell/Texaco for a fillup.    I hope I can remember to get the can filled the next time I am in town.

No real racing but it was an exciting and satisfying day.   (with just one minor little problem)  I swear that sometimes I get eager and worked up over new stuff just like a little kid.

More to come.

Rick Draganowski

(taking pain meds and feeling better)


p.s.  Later I took the Suburban up the hill for more prayers and to fetch the mail.    When I reached home something started nagging at my memory.  The feeling that was invoked seeing Rustpuppy sitting in the driveway was familiar.    After thinking about it for a while it came to me.    Not the looks but the emotional aura around Rustpuppy reminded me of scenes in that great Australian family fun picture “Road Warrior”.    Removing the Moons changed Rustpuppy’s image.   From an old fart’s rusty harmless nostalgia rod to a threatening monster.   I am such a little kid.    :-))



Subject:    Rustpuppy Test&Tune 146

Date:         Saturday, March 01, 2003 4:11 PM


Despite being over my head in work yesterday I did get to put the 5 gallons of 92 octane in Rustpuppy and take her out for some more testing.   In town on Friday the Texaco/Shell premium was $2.10 a gallon.    Damn.

The weather was marginal yesterday with low clouds sprinkles of rain and about 50 degrees temperature.   Rustpuppy seemed eager and happy despite the cold.     When I got down to the bottom of the hill on the old road I tried one launch with the G-Tech set for G-force readings.     Despite a big hole coming off idle the reading was 0.87 G..     More than Rustpuppy had ever pulled before.    I think with the ET Streets she pulled 0.85 or so.   With the street tires it was rare to get above 0.75 G.

On the other side of Rustpuppy Run I pulled off on an ocean viewpoint and tried another launch.    Still a bit of a bog since Goody was still too cold and the reading was 0.87 G again.    I could see that the cold wet air was keeping the transmission fluid to thick since the stall speed was below normal despite Goody pulling strong.

On the way home from the errand the sprinkles started again so I put the thoughts of a Rustpuppy Run out of my head.    It was still relatively dry back on the old road so I did one more stage for G force.   This time the reading was  0.90..     Still impressive and I can see why I got beat up on the first drive on the Drag Radials.

The stall speed was still about 100 rpm below normal and I have an aluminum cover that I block the transmission cooler with on cold days.    But I seem to have misplaced it..

Now it is obvious that the vacuum can/orifice system that releases the secondary air valve is too slow for the hot blooded Goody.     You can feel when the interlock releases like a second slam on the throttle or an afterburner kicking in.     The interval seems to be just a fraction of a second and it was the only reason Rustpuppy could do well on street tires.

But now with racing tires I can start putting into practice some of the launch techniques taught to me by the outstanding Oregon drag racer Chuck Butcher.

Foot braking and getting Goody’s rpm up against the converter stall would release the vacuum secondary interlock and allow the full Q-Jet to hit at launch.    I know that Goody is capable of this since every time I tried it the street tires were fried.   Then this technique was only good as a smoke generator.

Sunny and warmer today.    I called and explained that I cannot meet the deadline on the project and I really need to take it easy today.     So I may wander over to Rustpuppy Run later.


Rick Draganowski

(Sunday is a day of rest)




Subject:    Rustpuppy Test&Tune 147

Date:         Saturday, March 01, 2003 7:43 PM


After feeling rested (yeah, right) I decided to take Rustpuppy out right after 4pm.   I got some interesting though mixed results.  I will elaborate.  (and you can’t stop me)

A beautiful day in the upper 50’s with the ocean flat and calm as a lake.  No wind at all.   (that will be mentioned later)  See t&t147-1.jpg.


I motored slowly down the old road (in second gear) to get Goody warmed up a little.    At the bottom after doing a couple false launch practices I staged for a 0-60 time.    It felt terrific and I was hoping for a really good number..    But ol’ idiot Draganowski must have bumped the G-Tech and it was not adjusted properly.   The time was still reasonable at 4.99 seconds.   I don’t know how much the measurement was compromised by the G-Tech not being level.   I need to settle down and be more methodical as Chuck has emphasized over and over.   But it is hard to teach a kid to be slow and deliberate when he is nuts with excitement.

Then it was up on Rustpuppy Run.    Naturally there was a problem.  Everybody was going somewhere today and the highway was busy with traffic both ways.  I tried to stage for a southbound after waiting till the highway was clear but before I could do the methodical and deliberate thing a car appeared around the corner about a quarter mile behind me.    Then another one popped into sight in front.   Gave it up and headed to the south turnaround.

Everything looked clear for the moment.   I staged for the northbound run and got a pretty good launch.




A car appeared both in front and behind.   I was well into the run but I aborted it.   The G-tech still showed a reading but it was a strange one.  It was 13.7@95.      I am not going to compromise my principles of not risking anyone’s neck but my own while racing.


Turned around at the north turnaround and waited patiently till the road was totally clear for a mile south and half a mile north.   Finally got through a whole run. Goody was pulling good (but was a little flat at the high end) The directional stability of the Drag Radial was great and I am happy as can be.  I was surprised to get a pretty good chirp out of the 1-2 shift with the racing tires.   It was fun.


The time was disappointing.    13.56@106.3..    on the G-tech.    With the gas shortage here on the coast and the stupid $2.10 price it looks like the good gas I was getting this winter is no longer available.    Living in a small town out of the mainstream can be frustrating.

Goody was still not hitting the stall rpm I was used to.    After thinking about it I realize that Rustpuppy’s very best times always had a little, but not too much wheelspin.    It was a delicate balance to get the best out of the converter and street tires.   That is why most of Rustpuppy’s Runs were duds with only a small  handful of excellent ones.

The terrific traction of the Drag Radials seem to be pulling the launch rpm down.   This combined with the 3 % increase in the height of the tires are things I will have to learn to work with.   The difference between 13.56 and 13.1 is only 3 % so we are talking about paying attention to details.   (there is only a 3.5% difference between 3.73 gears and 3.60 gears)

I know you can’t figure it directly like that but it is a significant change.  I can work with the gas issue combined with the stall issue added to the gearing issue but it is going to take some time to get the combination optimized.

Dyno2000 says that there is a big torque benefit to running open exhaust and I do have the cutouts ready for installation.     There also will be changes made to Goody.   So time will tell..

I have decided that the only way I am going to get a reliable source of good gasoline is to make a connection in Bandon or Coos Bay.    So it will be a 45 or 80 mile drive to the gas station.   Sigh.    But the 1/8th mile dragstrip  is up there..   Hmm..

So I motored home after the run to relax and probably go back to work later this evening.    Like Ray, I have trouble holding myself back on the work ethic.

On the way I stopped at the top of the hill where I pulled the 0.9 G launch yesterday to experiment with the technique of pushing against the brakes to get the vacuum pot cleared to release the secondaries.     I was astonished when the Drag Radials lit up..    This is going to be trickier than I expected.   Looking back in the mirror there where two perfectly formed clouds of tire smoke where I launched.   Since there was no wind they persisted for some time.     Something I have never seen before.   If I had a brain I would have taken a picture with the spy cam..    The G-Tech only showed .77 G so big wheelspin is not your friend.

I don’t know why I was so surprised since this is how I could light up the ET Streets.   I really love fooling around with my Rusty old Nova.

More to come.

Rick Draganowski

p.s.  Off Topic cat story coming.   Ignore if you wish. You may have noticed that I have been pining for a week for my lost tomcat.  He shows up today.   Looks like the early warm weather may have set off some natural events.  As a result my big tomcat goes on walkabout looking for something earlier than usual.

I noticed when I fed them today that his head was all beat up.    I know I had their food cut off due to the mouse nest on top of the Goodwrench motor in the Suburban but he seemed desperate.    He was really hungry.   Hmmm..

That means he wasn’t out hunting for food.  When I was little I used to ask my Dad why our tom cats always came home bleeding and tore up.    He told me that the cats were fighting.   Yeah, right.   Fighting..


Subject:    Rustpuppy Test&Tune 148

Date:         Saturday, March 08, 2003 2:55 PM


You remember a couple weeks ago I mentioned that when I drove up to my property the first  impression I had was the ambience of that old Australian family film “Road Warrior”.

I did some spur of the moment snapshots with my tiny spycam for this report. Not nearly up to the video captures I get from the Panasonic video camera but still usable.

This is the view of Rustpuppy that triggered it.  (she was parked facing the other way back then)   See t&t148-1.jpg.


The Rust Monster has been busy on poor Rustpuppy the last few years and it is becoming critical to take some action.     I have been concerned about the driver’s door panel blowing off during racing.   I tested it with a good tug (about 30-40 lbs) and it is more secure than it looks.   The whole bottom is missing but the sides and top are still well attached.    See t&t148-2.



I don’t have a clue to the best approach to fixing the serious roof rust.  I have thought about coating it with Ospho and then filling it with the plastic foam from a spray can.    And then after shaping the foam to it cover it all with aluminum flashing.     Does anyone see any problems with this?   If I can stop the water from getting in I can slow the deterioration.

These pictures show the current state of the passenger’s side roof.    Hurts to look at..  See  t&t148-3.jpg, t&t148-4.jpg, and t&t148-5.




The weather has been bad.   For what seems like years but actually has only been a week or 10 days.   We had cold rain with wind, then wind with cold rain, then rain with cold wind, followed by cold with rain and wind.   You can tell that I am sick of it.   Today for the first time this month it hasn’t rained.    Awesome.   Still cloudy with cold wind but way better than the other.


I got a chance to fix something on Rustpuppy that has been bugging my subconscious for several years.   When the wheels were last aligned in a shop it was a total botch job.    The biggest screw up was Ev putting negative caster instead of positive on both front wheels.   I fixed that some time ago but the driver’s side front wheel was left with too much positive camber.     Every time I saw Rustpuppy’s front view that little angle of the cambered wheel would annoy me.   I stopped thinking about it but I bet that subconsciously I was still annoyed.

Last week I picked up some alignment shims in town.   I took a break from work an hour ago and a few minutes work with a ” box wrench had two new 1/8” shims in place.   I torque the front suspension mounting bolts to about 75 lbs.   Same as a lugnut..

Took Rustpuppy for a test drive up the hill.   I was a little worried about running out of gas and having to walk home so I didn’t go far.   I am trying to run the tank empty of bad gas.

I drove to Port Orford a couple weeks ago and picked up 10 gallons of 92 octane from the Texaco/Shell..    I found out that since the mini-shortage the Texaco in Gold beach has been bootlegging crap gasoline from California. The stuff with the MTBE in it.   That explains the drop in power with the last gas added.  The Texaco in Port Orford is company owned and I know that they get their gas from the big distributor in Coos Bay.   Good Oregon winter gasoline.  And the price in Port Orford (17 miles north of here) is ten cents less at $2.00 even per gallon.

Everything seemed good on the test drive.   I parked on the most level place in the middle of the road and walked a hundred feet down the hill to do some alignment sighting.   It is neat that with the 3” backspacing Monte wheels and the 235R60-15 Drag Radials the rear wheels almost align with the front ones instead of being tucked much narrower.    Wide track is good.   It all sighted in and it didn’t look like the toe was much affected.     The toe-in may have slightly increased but it still looks damn straight ahead.

Even a little job like this on Rustpuppy lifts my spirits.

Really anxious for spring to show up..

More to come.

Rick Draganowski

(when a big program you write compiles without error squawking it is something

special, and it worked too)

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