It is probably no surprise to everyone that reads my blog (is this thing on?) – I am not the greatest tuner in the world. I wish I was. My dad is a PRO. He has AMAZING techniques for troubleshooting, is extremely logical and tenacious. I admire these things about the guy.

Me, though – I have other skills. I’ve won some events, driven the car with no brakes, through farm animals and other border-line extreme conditions. So perhaps that is where my gifts lie. I am usually pretty good at having clarity during situations that there is little margin for error.

So here I sit with an engine that is capable of, between 600 and 700 horsepower and yet I can’t get it to idle. The big problem is that I can’t test and tune it in my neighborhood because it is too loud and the neighbors have already labeled us as the people with, “the loud car”. I don’t want to wear out our welcome in the neighborhood.

I am really only able to test at the track and yet I can hardly keep it idling enough to get it on the trailer. Yikes.

I got a chance to talk to John Gaydosh at the Atlanta NHRA event and he gave me some confidence to keep trying to solve this problem. And since I am definitely one who is “in to” logging stuff (a la, dragtracker.com) – I’m going to try very hard to keep good notes and solve this problem. I also thought I’d share some of what he and I discussed.

  1. Definitely bump up the timing to 36 degrees (we’ve been running 32, and I’ve been comfortable with that for a while but we USED to run 36 and John recommended it so I’ll go back to it)
  2. Get better at reading spark plugs. You can tell a few things (lots, actually) looking at them – fuel ring on the ceramic, there is a mark on the probe if your timing is right, plus they won’t look dirty if it is not overly rich and right now – we might be over-rich and getting hot EGT’s because of excess fuel in the chamber that is not burning
  3. Start adjusting the air bleeds and try to get that ironed out

I’ve got my work cut out for me. I would love if some other company had built my engine and had given me a setup that was guaranteed carb to oil pan, but alas – I wanted to try building my own setup and it is for that reason that I am facing these challenges. Its my own food to chew and I am going to do my best to solve this so I can get back on the track and be competitive. I’m looking forward to it!

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