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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
I am getting slammed with PMs about the turbo thread so here goes some answers.



If you want to go fast at the drag strip read on. This doesn’t apply to everyone and if you don’t agree that doesn’t mean you or I are wrong.

First of all make a realistic goal for your car and budget. Realize a MK3 is not an ideal car to drag race with and it was not designed for that use. But you can make it a good performer at the strip while retaining the great characteristics the car has(ie quiet,comfortable,great cruising GT). If you choice to drag race that doesn’t mean you are wrong. Just be prepared for the car’s shortcomings to present themselves.
For a track only car-using a MK3 is not ideal and there are much better choices. Make sure whatever your goals are that your fuel and driveline needs are in line with your horsepower goals as well.

Make sure your car is up the task of going fast. If you have mechanical problems-fix them. Things like bad valve seals,lack of tune up,excessive blowby,oil consumption,slipping clutches and coolant/oil leaks are a recipe for more problems. Fix them!!!

Learn how to drive. If you can’t get a low to mid 15 sec ET out of a turbo stick MK3 regardless of year and location(high elevations will be slower) its either you or the car. The car is getting old-it may need some things. Address them.

Shortblock. If you do a leakdown test or have determined its time for a rebuild spend the money and do it right. Make a realistic goal and address the shortcomings of the design when it comes time to build up. Machine work and engine shops are like body and paint. No deals here. You get what you pay for. Get your motor done by someone who does high performance stuff and get references. The fast people will know the best local people for you to go to. A stock replacement place will not yield the best results. This is why some cars run better than others with the same combo.

Cylinder head-min requirement. A 3 angle valve job,test to see if head is within specs and new valve seals regardless if the old ones look okay. If you have the money and are looking to go really fast porting and polishing is well worth it. Make sure the heads are flowed before and after. Having cousin Vinny do them is a no no. Get a pro to do it or someone who has done many 7M heads.
Portmatching the gaskets on the exhaust manifold,intake manifold and cylinder head is worth the efforts. Sneaky too.

Synthetics-use them. Everywhere. Period. If car is leaking oil-fix the problem. The added cost is nothing compared to the benefits and HP gain. Synthetic blends are a waste.


Mods:

I feel if you want power more than stock this is the base for it. Full exhaust(meaning cat back and a down pipe),o2 housing,electronic boost controller,1 piece driveshaft,some sort of blow off valve(SAAB-no-fresh MK4-okay and cheap),synthetics,a real boost guage,autolight 3923 plugs with a smaller gap by about .10 over 11psi,bypassed fuel restrictor,K&N filtercharger kit,Walbo Pump(MK4 TT is good but pricey) and a FCD. Start with a good motor and then go intake and exhaust. Will be like a different car and will be reliable. Plus they support future modifications very well.


If you go crazy and use piggy backs before running the car have it tuned by a pro. The piggy backs make the car run rich to keep you from getting in trouble. They can help make serious power. Get help doing this. Don't get into the hype of peak HP. Its highly misleading. A car with a well tuned layout will waste one with even 100 MOR peak HP. TUNE the car!!

Lowing springs.sway bars, bigger wheels and tires. Keep in mind while they make the car handle better and look better they will hamper you at the strip. Pull out those sawblades you have been trying to sell for the last 5 years and mount some BFG drag radials for the track instead of those 18” rims with the 1” tall profile which is a big reason why your sixty foots flirt with the 2.5 range.

Going to the drag strip:

If you can-avoid the test and tune nights. Most tracks are not prepped and most of the people there are running street tires not to mention spilling water etc… everywhere. Go on a Saturday or event day. You will get more runs in and the track will be prepped. True its more money but in the long run its better than the 15$ you spend on Fridays for 2-4 crappy runs.

Prep-make sure you car is up to the task mechanically. If anything is wrong-it will get worse. Take all trash and junk out of the car. This adds weight. Take the spare tire and jack out-about 40 pounds.

Make sure the hood and roof are waxed and clean-that way the air velocity picks up. Don’t laugh-old timers do it


Limit runs-make sure you do it on a cool motor. Ice down the upper intake with a towel. Worth an easy 2 tenths or more over a hot motor. Have your buddies push that whale to the burnout box. While doing a burnout run the heater full blast. Make sure you don’t spill any water-7Ms,1Js have places for water to sit and on the launch can come flying out which can ruin it for you and other after you.


Tires-leave the street radials home and get some drag radials. If you car is a stick try 15psi and work your way down to 11psi. Too many factors to say which is best but the autos due to less drive line shock will like more PSI than the stick. Nittos like lots of heat-fry them. BFGS don’t-generate some smoke. If you have to run street radials make sure both are at the same psi.

Over inflate your front tires by about 10psi at the track for less rolling resistance.

Burnout-avoid getting the front tires in the water-you will ruin the track and the box. Get the rear tires barely touching the water and do a quick spin. Then move out and burn them up. The tech guys will guide you through this. Move up to the starting line while spinning once the tires are hot. You want to retain the heat in the tire. Dry hops are stupid-avoid them.


Staging-try to run after a slick equipped car-this will put some rubber down on the track. Also look for the groove and try to line up your tires with that(its indented-you want your rear tires to go through it). Stage shallow as possible-this will give you a rolling start. Could be a the difference between 13.9 and 14.0

Learn how to powershift-2 tenths. Be advised it can kill the tranny. The stick tranny is not stout.

Run the heater full blast on the return road.


Have friend’s video tape you so you can study your launch. The 60ft times are the most important. You need them in the 2.0-1.8 range depending on mods and tires.

Make notes on shift points and see if car picks up changing them.

Drink alcohol later not while racing. Its plain stupid.
 
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good info. :bigthumb:

Just curious, do you run with stock sway bars, or with the sway bars removed (front/back or both?)



For those with street tires:

air them down to 15-20psi. Mark the location of the valve stem on the sidewall with chalk. When you get back to the pits, make sure the chalk mark is still lined up with the valve stem. With khumo 712's, I noticed the bead will slip 1/4"-1" per run -- this can tear up the bead so add a little more pressure if you notice it (I haven't had that problem with any other tires).

You do not need to do a massive burnout on street tires. Overheating them will actually decrease their grip. Just do a quick spin to clear off rocks/debris. Because its only a quick spin, I don't recomend backing into the water, but instead doing it dry. Mike's advice to follow a car with slicks is good for 2 reasons -- they lay some rubber down, AND they generally don't drag water all over like many other racers do.

For reaction times -- with my car, I usually go the as the last yellow lights up. Do not wait until you see green before you go
 

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damn mike-very informational! :D
although the dragstrip aint really my thing, if i ever go i'll keep your points in mind
 
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Good post man:D

Its appreciated.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Taking the front bar off will help but its a PITA to do with the motor in the car
I think airing down street radials to 15-20psi doesn't work well because of the stiff sidewall. Never worked for me but then again there are a lot of tires I have not tried in the last 11 years of drag racing.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
If you have tems-NORMAL works well.
For my car-HKS TEMS on soft works the best.
 

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I don't think it would matter what you set stock TEMS at, as the moment your TPS sees full throttle the TEMS computer sets them all to firm. You could, however, set the TEMS to the desired setting, and then unplug the actuator
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Yes agreed but not on the HKS version. You can keep it locked on any position.
 

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Very good thread!

thanks for the info!:bigthumb:
 

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man someone pay Mike some MONEY for dropping all that knowledge!!!

;)

anyone who aspires to drag race their MK3 should read carefully and learn from someone who knows what they're talking about. Back when i first started drag racing my MK3, I had learn all of this by myself.

Much respect to ya Mike :)
 
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I couldn't have said it better.

All the secrets are out Although I will run my sway bars at all times. Way to help.

Orin B Sr
 

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Discussion Starter #14
I should rephrase-BIGGER swaybars especially on the front can hurt you. Most of them are not hollow like the stocker so it addes weight.

High powered cars like Orin actually need a bigger one in the rear because at high speeds with slicks it can get hairy at the end of the track.
 

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Discussion Starter #15 (Edited)
Thanks Leng,Fred but I am far from a Pro.
Just want to see more guys in the 11s and 12s this year with simple combos. The potential is there.

Maybe Chucky Doll and Blackhatch can post their secrets on launching.
 
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Mike, again you are correct. I tried multiple settings with the rear combinations and since the car is lowered I noticed during the launch the inner tire is all that is left on the pavement. This doesn't help with lowering the sixty foot. However, I did have fun with my 7M beginnings with the stock suspension and got 1:9 sixty foots on BF Goofey Comp T/As. Best info I cn give is to get s much practice as possible. I have watch some video recordings of my runs nd didn't hear the blow off vlve between shifts during runs on my 5spd.
 

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Great info Mike. Mike is about the best in coming up with these sort of tutorials. He really helped my success on the street and stip.

Mike,

Not sure about launching but I know a 5K dump on street skins doesn't work because you want to kill the a-hole next to you.
 

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OB1JZA70 said:
I have watch some video recordings of my runs nd didn't hear the blow off vlve between shifts during runs on my 5spd.
very godly

:hail:


Man, all the beans are being spilled...

pulling fast times still comes down to focus, determination, ability to adapt and adjust (both car and driver), and to some extent, talent.
 
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Great info! thanks for the advise.

Any one had sucsess stiffining thier rear subframe?
 
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