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Rodney's Drag Racers


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#1 dc-65x

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Posted 10 August 2014 - 10:42 AM

Rodney's been really busy building and restoring LOTS of drag racers. I'll be working back through my emails to share his beautiful cars with you.

 

Here's a spectacular vintage dragster being crafted by Rodney's in his own words:

 

"Drag racer Ron was kind enough to gave me the unfinished rails.  I think they were made by Fred who is no longer with us.  Ron wanted me to build a car with the frame rails."
 
20140728_184538.jpg
 
"The picture attached shows the two rails bolted together and being ground and massaged on and holes being drilled.  The basic shape was already done along with a single hole for an armature and some small random holes to mount a Wilson motor (Eric's guess).  I turned the single large hole into an oval and cut four slots for the motor case screws.  This allows the motor to slide back and forth to adjust the gears."
 
"This cars motor came from a car with a chassis that looks like two meat cleavers bolted together.  The meat cleaver cars frame rails are too corroded to restore.  I will build it back with another motor anyway."
 

Making the dragster body:

 

20140730_203706.jpg

 

"I cast the nose weight out of solder":

 

20140729_185116.jpg
 
 
"Took awhile to figure out how to use the chassis plates from Ron.  Eric thinks it was made for a Wilson type round motor.  Decided to integrate the chassis into the motor like the '55 Chevy I built earlier.  The motor slides back and forth for gear ratio changes."
 
20140801_175427.jpg

 "The Ram motor came from an eBay buy of a big pile of corroded parts from N.Y.  The armature is a 3 volt and draws amps like your motor.  It's an 857, fine magnet lamination version."
 
20140801_175347.jpg
 
20140801_175405.jpg
 
Here is the first track test report on the Fred Dragster:
 

Rick,
 
The "Fred dragster" presented some challenges when tested last Sunday. 
 
I had the 2.5 to 1 gears still installed.  The car was measured for the smallest gears with slots in the chassis to change to large gears.  This ratio does not work with a hot armature.  Tires affect the gearing too and the car runs very large diameter tires.
 
A heavy tension motor brush spring came installed in the motor.  From a stop car was like your Cobra 3V and drew a zillion amps.  When launching the car on the drag strip, the "hairy braid" would create a fire ball! :shok:  
 
What to due??? :unknw:
 
I checked the gear ratio in my J&J dragster which seems to be perfect.  It's ratio is 3.1 to 1. So, I installed a 69 tooth Weldun gear in the "Fred dragster" to make 3 to 1.
 
I also cut two coils off of the motors brush spring.  There is still lot of tension but running the motor on the power pack there is lower amp draw on start up now.
 
Switching to some Parma braid required soldering and drilling them to use with the Cox guide.
 
I also insulated the inner chassis rails around the guide with 3M electrical tape.
 
Will test again next Sunday.
 
WOW! :sun_bespectacled:
 
More cool dragsters to come..........

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#2 SlotStox#53

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Posted 10 August 2014 - 11:05 AM

Great job Rodney!

Love these vintage Dragsters :D

#3 MSwiss

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Posted 10 August 2014 - 07:56 PM

Looks great.

Is it aluminum or magnesium?

Would guys be willing to pay a premium price for magnesium?

Last question.

How do the Moon disc fronts stay on?

Inner race press fits or Loctites on axle and balls are required to spin?

Mike Swiss
 
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#4 SlotStox#53

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Posted 10 August 2014 - 08:05 PM

Some people may well indeed pay a premium for magnesium rails :good:

#5 Don Weaver

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Posted 11 August 2014 - 08:04 AM

Mike,

 

For me this is a way to add to my vintage cars as a display piece without spending the big bucks for an original.  Not aware of any nostalgic racing going on so magnesium doesn't offer anything to me.  And even if there were I would doubt the weight savings would be worth it.  Just my opinion.....

 

Don Weaver


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#6 Uncle Fred

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Posted 11 August 2014 - 09:27 AM

Great job!


Fred Correnti

#7 dc-65x

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Posted 11 August 2014 - 10:00 AM

Thanks for the replies guys :)

 

Rodney hit the strip at Eddie's yesterday with this "Fred Dragster". Here's his report and response to a few questions about this cool dragster:

 

 

Is it aluminum or magnesium?

 

The frame rails are magnesium and where cut out by Fred, Ron confirmed this.
 

 

How do the Moon disc fronts stay on?

 

The front wheels have the usual unflanged ball bearings pressed into the one piece wheels.  The ball bearings are epoxied to the axle.
 
Today on the second run I got a 1.38 at 41.97 MPH.  I only made 2 runs because I need to bring more towels to put in the shutdown area to catch the car.  It blows through the shutdown glue!  :shok:
 
The motor does not draw that many amps after the tuning modifications (zapping the motor, 3 to 1 gear ratio, Parma braid and reduced motor brush tension).  It does not trip the breaker on my old MRC power pack any more.  :crazy:
 
The car is so smooth going down the drag strip and the "German tires" work great on a clean track.
 
Thanks for the update Rodney :victory:

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#8 SlotStox#53

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Posted 11 August 2014 - 11:04 AM

Thank you Rodney for finishing such an awesome original rail! Always liked them and now after being involved in Bob's out of this world Drag Proxy I can't get enough of these :D :heart:

Sounds like this car is pretty much sorted, just gotta sort that stopping in the shut off glue :shok: :laugh2:

Padlock powered rail dragsters for ever :D

#9 Gary Bluestone

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Posted 11 August 2014 - 11:48 AM

Beautiful !



#10 dc-65x

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Posted 21 August 2014 - 10:39 AM

Thanks guys,

 

Here's a great "save" on a dragster Rodney got from Brooklyn, New York. The "before" pictures:

 

VINTAGE DRAGSTER NY- (2).jpg

 

Check out that machined solid brass gas tank weight:

 

VINTAGE DRAGSTER NY- (1).jpg

 

De-construction begins:

 

VINTAGE DRAGSTER NY- (3).jpg

 

The restored roller:

 

VINTAGE DRAGSTER NY- (4).jpg

 

Now that's a cool dragster!  :wub:

 

VINTAGE DRAGSTER NY- (5).jpg

 

Thanks for sharing Rodney!  :victory:


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#11 SlotStox#53

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Posted 21 August 2014 - 10:52 AM

Thanks for saving/restoring the car Rodney & thanks for posting Rick ! That truly is a beautiful save :heart: That weight is really cool as is the heavily modified end plates and the pinion running inside the endplate too :shok: :D

 

LOVE IT !



#12 dc-65x

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Posted 22 August 2014 - 03:32 PM

Here's another rail dragster for your enjoyment. This one is the "Fred Jr. Dragster. Here's the word from Rodney:

 

"Ron completed this one by adding the running gear and detail.  Very nice."

 

Fred Jr Rail (2).jpg

 

"Note how Fred retained the front axle."

 

Fred Jr Rail (4).jpg

 

 "I gave Ron a stock 65-6 for this one."

 

Fred Jr Rail (3).jpg

 

Fred Jr Rail (1).jpg

 

Cool :sun_bespectacled:


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#13 Régis4446

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Posted 22 August 2014 - 04:14 PM

Rodney and Rick thank you for these pictures.

I do not know why, but I love these vintage dragsters.


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#14 dc-65x

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Posted 21 November 2014 - 05:00 PM

Glad you like them Regis. Here's the latest from Rodney.

 

Pictures of my latest project.  The chassis has since been completed.  Blueprinted KTM 4 volt:

 

20141111_214643.jpg

 

dragster chassis.jpg

 

20141111_214622.jpg

 

dragster bronze.jpg

 

Way cool Rodney! :sun_bespectacled:


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#15 SlotStox#53

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Posted 22 November 2014 - 12:23 AM

Sweet as can be ! :D Love the chassis & the dropped front axle.

#16 dc-65x

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Posted 22 November 2014 - 12:05 PM

Here's the latest on the rails:

 

"Since the pictures were taken, the guide has been extended forward some, the hollow brass "gas tank" has been filled with solder and a brass weight has replaced the lead."

 

Got to keep that nose down on launch! :D


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#17 Gator Bob

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Posted 22 November 2014 - 03:51 PM

Great job Rodney!

Love these vintage Dragsters :D

 

Ditto.....  plus WOW! :shok:

 

 

 

Rodney hit the strip at Eddie's yesterday with this "Fred Dragster". 

1.38 at 41.97 MPH. 

 

 

Nice !!! :good:

 

I do not know why, but I love these vintage dragsters.

What is it about them?  :wub:

I guess the 'Old School Cool' factor and ... they go pretty darn good for having 'heavy train' motors on board. :lol:  :to_become_senile:

 

And... I Hope to see some of them at the next 'Rods and Rails' reunion.

 


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#18 Lone Wolf

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Posted 08 April 2015 - 05:20 PM

Rick/Rodney, can you tell me the thickness of the aluminum you used for the rail body and where did you get it? Thanks

 

Oh, by they way, cars are wonderful!


Joe Lupo


#19 dc-65x

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Posted 08 April 2015 - 06:01 PM

Thanks Joe. I've email Rodney and will forward his reply.

 

Rick


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#20 dc-65x

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Posted 08 April 2015 - 06:47 PM

Joe,
 
The body for "Fred dragster" is made from .016 x 4 x 10 aluminum sheet, K&S Stock Number 255.
 
I asked Rodney how he cut that thin sheet so cleanly. You can see in the pictures he's using simple shears but they are large and very high quality jobs from a Snap On Tool truck. He reserves them for precision jobs, no hacking up crap-O-la with them.

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#21 Lone Wolf

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Posted 26 April 2015 - 02:35 PM

Rick, just saw this answer now. Thanks for getting it done :victory:

 

I also have one good set of shears.

 

All of my others are ruined from cutting patch panels for the rust bucket Mustangs I did when I had my body shop so many years ago. :bomb:

 

Lets not even discuss the rust flakes in my eyes, the razor cuts from freshly cut steel and the temporary blindness from brazing the patches on :diablo:

 

That's how we did it back in the day, no fancy panel cutters or spot welders like you wimps use today :laugh2:


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#22 dc-65x

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Posted 29 May 2015 - 11:07 AM

This is a really nice convertible drag racing stocker from Rodney. Here's his story on it:

 

I just completed this drag race slot car last week.  I thought a convertible would be interesting. 
 
dodge10.jpg
 
The motor is a blue printed Ram 850 with a 6 volt armature and ball bearings.  Note how the Pittman 85 brushes are aligned.
 
dodge9.jpg
 
A Kemtron1609 chassis kit is used for the front part of the chassis.  The frame rails have the motor/axle sections removed as shown in the pictures.  The modified parts are installed in front of the Ram motor. 
 
dodge6.jpg
 
A Speedway S 85 adjustable sidewinder mount is used. 
 
dodge5.jpg
 
Weldon gears, Cox guide and drop arm and "German slicks" mounted on Dynamic wheels are used.
 
dodge8.jpg
 
dodge7.jpg
 
The model car interior was sectioned and a hefty roll bar protects the Cox Driver.
 
dodge4.jpg
 
Testing at Eddie's was limited this last weekend.  The drag strip was heavily glued for the last third!  I was told people were running Group 20s and opens...  When running a Kemtron powered dragster, it almost stopped in the glue.
 
dodge1.jpg
 
The car did launch well and the motor is strong. 
 
dodge2.jpg
 
I got consistent 1.9s.  As Dee said, less glue (when the track is glued normally) knocks of a couple of tenths.  Some weight in the front would help.
 
dodge3.jpg

 

That's a good time on a full length strip with the evil glue slowing things down. Thanks for sharing Rodney! :good:


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#23 SlotStox#53

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Posted 29 May 2015 - 12:15 PM

Wow! Thanks for sharing guys :D :good:

That looks amazing and a good example of just how cool these vintage Dragsters are. ... :D

#24 dc-65x

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Posted 16 June 2015 - 05:25 PM

Rodney sent me another Dragster build. This time it's a short wheelbase (in other words, scale) rail dragster.

 

Rick,
 
Version three drop arm for this dragster.  Some things to keep in mind when building a short dragster:
.
With all of the bite on Eddie's drag strip, this dragster  would de-slot out of the hole once in a while.
 
20141111_214643.jpg
 
dragster chassis.jpg
 
So, I moved the guide further forward and moved the drop arm pivot to the rear.
 
dragster7.jpg
 
dragster2.jpg
 
dragster1.jpg
 

 Large brass weight was also added

 

dragster6.jpg

 

The dragster launches off the line with a slight wheelie and is quite stable now.

 

dragster bronze.jpg

 

dragster3.jpg

 

20141111_214622.jpg

 
Looks great Rodney, THANKS!

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#25 Gator Bob

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Posted 16 June 2015 - 05:52 PM

Can I have that one? Pleeezze. :D


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