Update: January 16, 1997At long last! We've got the Stocker ripped apart and have begun scattering the parts to the four corners of the world for people to work their magic on them. But I'm getting ahead of myself...
During all this "downtime" since the last update, we have simply been collecting parts for the project. I got a Carter fuel pump (it works on the 12-sec bracket car, it'd better be able to feed a four-banger!), as well as Rally-style components for the suspension including motor mounts, front springs, and rear struts - basically Mopar Performance items. I had ordered the .430" lift, 268 duration cam from Mopar back in October, but it has been backordered all this time, and it does not appear in the 1997 catalog -- but Mike Sterling in the parts department at my local Chrysler-Plymouth dealer and sponsor (BZ Motors) happens to have a 430/260 cam laying around he's going to sell to me. This cam is just a little shy in duration, but it also features 38 degree overlap instead of 44 degrees. I have a feeling that might be better for this motor, since it is likely to have to work in the lower rpm ranges. Now, back to the "rip n' tear" phase...
Things have been very busy at Jim's Used Cars, one of our benefactors, so we had been unable to get the car in for some time, but we did last Friday. It turned out to be a relatively simple process. Drain the motor, trans, and radiator, pull the axle shafts, remove the header, unbolt it from the mounts, and drop it out the bottom. If you don't have the use of a hoist as we did, you can loosen the steering knuckle and maybe the master cylinder, and get the motor and trans out the top as an assembly, so Billy Nees tells me.
We ripped everything down pretty much to components. The transaxle is going to get an all new Mopar gearset and Turbo Action manual valve body installed by Chris at BZ's sometime in the next couple weeks. I expect a lot of our E.T. to come from there. The stock gear ratio is something like 2.73's, while the Mopar gearsets and final drive can get you up to a 3.73. Coupled with the 6x20" M/T slicks, the gear ratio should be plenty severe. 8) As it is, the car isn't even close to getting out of second gear. I also expect the valve body to help take a lot of slop out the gear changes.
The head is now with Mark Shreckengast, a racer buddy of mine who also happens to work at BZ's, where it will be cc'd to NHRA spec -- minimum cc's is at 48.4. He will also be installing the Mopar Performance valve springs, and doing the legal 3-angle valve job as outlined in the NHRA Rulebook. The next big thing is the shortblock. I think I've decided that this thing better be done right the first time, so I'm probably going to have it rebuilt, using the legal stock replacement .030" over pistons, Total Seal rings (if they make them for this little thing!), deck the block to NHRA spec (.008ab), and have the cylinders honed.
Special thanks to:
Jim's Used Cars, Montandon, PA