The Staging

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If It Don't Have Wheels It Ain't a Sport
episode #7 -- by Phil Veldheer

Phil 'I forgot my earplugs' Veldheer
Phil Veldheer Racing
62 West 40th. St.
Holland, MI. 49423-5222
Telephone 616.392.1688

The last episode I said we'd talk about, dipsticks, drive shafts and windshields. We'll talk about those items and more.

First I have to tell you that we've run a best of 11.68 so far. Plus we've gone plenty of rounds with it. We have plenty of information to kick butt in 98, however. It was pretty easy bracket racing one car, and it was kinda easy racing two Super Pro's, but when I added the third car, it has taken a toll. It is just about the end of the season. And I am looking forward to resting a few weekends, before we start to rebuild everything in the off-season.

Photo #7a Back to the build-up. Photo 7A shows my Lokar, Inc. Turbo 350-turbo 400 trans dipstick. I have to admit that I bought an $18.00 chrome dipstick first. I tried to bend it to fit my custom installation of my 455 Olds engine and turbo 400 in a 1987 Cutlass. BUT IT WAS IMPOSSIBLE. So I bit the bullet and did what I should have done in the first place. I called Lokar at 423-966-2269. I bought the firewall mount for 56.95 plus shipping. I had it in two days and I was thrilled with the ease of installation, plus the high quality craftsmanship in the product. They make trans dipsticks for just about every application, plus engine oil dipsticks also. You can also shorten the items if the are to long.

Photo #7b Next item you'll need is a custom drive shaft. Photo 7B shows Jack Rinks from D & R Driveline welding together a new high performance drive shaft for the yellow car. I meet Jack and his partner Dennis De Young a few years ago when the drive shaft in my red Super Pro car broke. I was using 3" drive shafts in both of the Super Pro cars when on its 650th run it decided the drive shaft didn't want to drive any more. It took out the rear end, fuel line and a large part of the aluminum interior. And it was contained by the drive shaft loop, its just that it had such a shape edge to the broken drive shaft it hooked on to everything and ripped. All at about 5 m.p.h. Moving on, We now run 3 1/2" drive shafts in the trans brake cars. One car has a Ford 9" and the other has a 12 bolt. The new yellow car has a 10 bolt so the largest drive shaft that would match up to the yokes available was a 3". No problem we foot brake this car anyway. I now plan on replacing my drive shafts every 2 to 3 years now. THEY CAN WEAR OUT. Plus it was very expensive to rebuild everything when the drive shaft pooped out on old red. We lost the trans case, rear pig and the ring and pinion.

D & R Driveline is located in Jenison, MI and you can reach them at 616 667 1308 A custom high performance drive shaft built for you and high speed balanced is around $125.00 if you bring the slip yoke. If you want a simple drive shaft balance job on a good drive shaft, they'll do that for a mere $30.00. They build three different thickness drive shafts in the 3" size. .063 for a regular car, .083 for a race car, .095 for a heavy duty application. Feel free to call these guys with your questions.

When they build a drive shaft, three things must be considered, Horsepower, RPM and operating angle. Each of these will determine joint size, tubing diameter and wall thickness. Once these are determined, the shaft is assembled to meet or exceed factory spec run out. Then the shaft is welded and checked again. Finally the complete drive shaft with yoke or flanges is dynamically balanced. Special high performance universal joints are available. They have solid forged bodies with no holes drilled in the cross to weaken the joints. They also have longer needle bearings and are packed with synthetic lithium grease that will last the life of the joint. The boys have over 50 years experience in driveline equipment and they do work for oval track, drag racing, tractor pulling, mud racers, drag boats and street rods, plus the average car, truck or semi.

Photo #7c Finally when you measure a drive shaft, no matter where you buy it, you can measure it two ways, one from the center of one u-joint to the center of the other u-joint. The other way is to measure from the face of one flange to the face of the other flange. Photo 7C shows two of my new 3 1/2" drive shafts next to a stock 3".

Photo #7d Photo 7D shows friend, Paul Plagggemars of Glass Enterprise-Auto Division-Holland MI. Installing my new HARWOOD Lexan windshield. We tow all three race cars on matching open trailers, and the first week out, when we got to the track, I noticed to windshield was cracked and you could see where the stone hit it. Well this was a golden opportunity for some weight reduction, plus with a mar-guard HARWOOD lexan windshield I won't have to worry about a broken windshield again. I have one installed already in my red car. HARWOOD had it to me in about two days and it fit perfectly. HARWOOD can be reached at 1-800-822-3392. Before we installed it Paul painted the outer edge to match the stock look with Sika Products black primer #206J. He says this is the only thing that will stick to Lexan. Also when he installed it he used Sika Products #255 Fast Cure glue It has a 15 minute working time and it cures in 20 hours. It is held in place with 4 rivets. One in each corner. It didn't too long and he only charged me 40 bucks. Plus he took out the cracked windshield. That's all for now. Next month we'll wrap this up and talk about storing your race car for winter correctly and a little bit about tow vehicle goodies. Please e-mail with your questions or comments.

- Phil Veldheer,

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