Originally Posted by dragginwagon406
I love a good launch. It's all relative, my personal best is 1.60 on hard street tires and that felt amazing. Even two cars with similar 60' times can feel totally different in the first foot.
I also get a kick out of watching side by side drag racing. 15 years ago, I was the guy running through mufflers on street tires, neck and neck with slick tired, open header car in the 12s and up bracket class. It's also fun to see cars with similar ET but one have a much higher mph - can make for an interesting bracket race at the stripe.
I can sure relate to that Mike, because I've had similar experiences. I had a 2003 Merc Marauder that I installed a very stealth underhood roots supercharger on, (the labor wasn't bad, because the instruction booklet was fantastic, so the job took me four days, and I tend to be a very slow/deliberate/methodical worker).
Anyway, the car was my pump gas daily driver, and I would drive it two states away from where I live to race it at the track on the daily driven Nitto Drag radial tires, full exhaust, and I would even leave the factory front sway bar hookedup when I raced it. I never even touched the shock absorbers nor anything else on the factory stock suspension. I installed 4.56:1 rear gears, headers, and full 2.5" diameter exhaust with muffs, and a quality aftermarket 9.5" torque converter that stalled at 3,000 RPM. At the track I brought the air pressure in the drag radials down to 17 PSI and I ran consistent 12.2's and 1.6 second short times and I was neck and neck with old school cars with slicks, open headers and roll bars installed, and I was out-running some of them. A couple of them looked ticked off too. LOL The great thing was that those guys went home with their cars on trailers, and I just jumped back in my car and drove it home for the 3 hour trek.
Originally Posted by dragginwagon406
....If someone chooses to follow my obscure path to the 11s (or low 12s), think of all the money I've saved them on converter, gears, suspension parts, and tires. My whole point is what cubic inch engine will allow this to happen on hard tires? I've done it with 4.10s in the wagon, using a touch of spray. This time I'd like to do it with cubic inches, stock gears, and converter.
Could it go quicker with more investment in converter, gears, suspension parts, and tires? Sure, but then you're joining the rat race. Cheers.
This is the thing Mike....my guess is that in order to hold onto those extreme highway gears that you have in the car, and turn mid 11's along with considerably more respectable short times than you presently are, you might have to add 80-100 cubic inches of engine displacement, and that's going to cost you more money than a rear gear swap and a decent torque converter purchase. So your goal to save money, and "do more with less" as the saying goes, will be lost. And that's ok if you admit that to yourself and you still want to do it anyway. Just don't tell yourself, (and us here) that it's to save money, because I really don't think that you will be. LOL
Originally Posted by Dragginwagon467
Is there an advantage to the taller upper ball joints?
+.5" UPPER ball joint and +.9" upper ball joints add more upward front suspension travel, (as George has accurately stated) ( I think about +.9" more travel at the spindle and +1.4" respectively) withOUT hurting street handling. In fact it's one of the few things that can benefit on the dragstrip as well as on the street, ( at least for GM A-body cars anyway). The reason why this extra front suspension travel helps straight line traction off the starting line is because that little bit of upward travel increase allows you take more advantage of what is called "stored energy" in the front coil springs. This stored energy helps facilitate maximum vehicle weight transfer from front to rear during the launch.
When the vehicle is static, you have the weight of the car compressing the front coil springs, and there is stored energy created in the compression of those springs. A wise drag racer takes advantage of that with such things like "double-nutting" the stock front control arms studs/bolts to free-up the front suspension movement, and also with the use of taller UPPER ball joints.
Two important things I must point out here concerning the above^...
#1. Only the +.5" upper ball joints can safely be used with factory stock upper control arms. To my knowledge, the +.9" tall upper ball joints can only be used with aftermarket upper arms since the stock upper arms cannot handle the extra angles that the +.9" tall ball joints move in. Also for drag racing you really only want to use the taller UPPER ball joints, and NOT the taller lower ball joints since the taller lower ball joints change other factors in the steering and suspension geometry, and therefore can offset the suspension travel advantage that you create with the tall upper ball joints.
#2. Although the taller upper ball joints can make a positive change in the way the car launches, keep in mind that this change is brought about by enhanced weight transfer potential, and the fact is that only ONE third of the downward hit on the rear tires during the starting line launch comes from vehicle weight transfer, and TWO thirds of the downward hit comes from AXLE TORQUE. And the way that we can manage and take full advantage of the use of axle torque to effect the hit on the rear tires is through the use of the proper INSTANT CENTER LOCATION. Both weight transfer and correct I.C. location are needed and are beneficial, yes. But the I.C. has more influence on the the available rear tire traction during the launch