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Knowledgeable about carbed, modified SBC's?


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Please read on if you dare.



I have always wanted to try a stock car setup for road racing but figured they were made of unobtainium and just left this on a fantasy list. This past week, I scored a running ex-BGN stock car setup for road racing. Yesterday (at the request of a couple of my racing buddies), I made a video and took some pictures of it:



I took off work yesterday to have a closer look and try to figure out what I have. Based on this check, I e-mailed the previous owner some questions and I don't think knows much so I am looking for a website or some folk who might be able to help me out a little.


My Background:

I started fooling with cars late in life and began participating in autocrosses in 2000 running, F-Stock. Obviously in F-Stock you aren't allowed to fiddle the car much which fit me fine because I didn't know squat anyway. In 2002, a group called NASA popped up in my area and I started to also run HPDE events in parallel to autocrossing. In late 2003, I purchased a AI-legal, street legal Firebird off a guy in another region and got my NASA Comp License at the first event in 2004 (Nashville). I ran AI in 2004 but quickly realized that I could spend fast enough to be much more than a moving roadblock, so in 2005 I moved to CMC. I ran CMC 2005-2008 (first event only) and sold the car due to a long term work assignment out of the country. Throughout this time, I got progressively knowledgable about my cars and taught myself (by reading Haynes manuals and cruising websites) about most major systems in my cars. However, the cars were always fuel injected and I never had a reason to touch the motors beyond swapping restrictor plates and changing the oil (OK, maybe this is a slight exaggeration).


My intention is to get this car to a state where it can pass a NASA race tech and then I can run SU, I guess. Since I have little funds, making this happen and also getting a trailer will take some time but that's OK - I can moocha a trailer to get to lapping days and time trials while I get the car up-to-snuff.


I now have this purpose-built stock car in my garage and I want to get it on the track ASAP. However, I need to figure out a few basic things before I do this. Bear in mind that carburators are mysterious devices to me - I understand fuel injection pretty well (I design control systems for a living and these are pretty simple control systems) but the carbs, well, dunno.


If you made it this far, thank you.


My first questions are basic. The previous owner said that he had a folder on the engine and the engine has approximately 6 hours on it. He can't find the folder so I guess I am flying blind.


1) I need to change the oil - it appears that the previous owner didn't ever do this and had no advice for me on the specific procedure. This motor has some sort of dry-sump system which is belt-driven off the motor. I have never seen anything like this and I was curious about where I could get more information about the correct procedure to change the oil. If you look at this picture:


You will see a box that appears to be related to this oiling system. This box behind the left-front wheel near the driver. Is there a specific procedure involved in draining and filling a system like this? I would like to get the car on jackstands and do this today if at all possible.


2) The previous owner didn't seem to know if this motor needs leaded or unleaded fuel. He was clear that it needed 112 octane but couldn't tell me much beyond a brand name (Sunoco or CAM2). Is there something that I can look at that can tell me this? Would there be any negative consequences for the motor if I ran leaded "just in case"?


Any information would be gratefully accepted.

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Hmmm... Google is telling me that this might be what is called a "Wet Sump" system where instead of have the oil pump and pickup inside the motor, it is external and belt driven... I *think*.

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I went out to the garage to take a closer look at that big old box at the rear of the left-front tire. It has some sort of filter mounted in it and when I googled the part description on it I found this:



The reason it is interesting is that I have been told that this car is likely an old AJ Foyt Copenhagen car and the part has an endorsement by AJ Foyt standing in front of the Copenhagen car...


It appears that this big box has a drain on it and it probably makes sense to drain it and refill with the same amount that is drained?

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That big old box is likely a dry-sump tank. Dry sump systems run with 2-3 gallons of oil depending on the system. That is a goofy spot to put it though, usually dry sump tanks are mounted in the RR seat area (for balance) or behind the driver in roundy-round cars (more left side weight).


To determine if it's a dry-sump system, look at the oil pan and see how many lines are coming from it. Dry sump is usually 2-4 scavenge lines (stages) and one vacuum stage. Technically, if you don't have a vacuum stage, it can be called a wet sump.

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Hmmm, I already got a start on this and maybe I am doing it wrong. I think I only saw 2 lines on this lil oil pan. The pan had a drain plug so I removed it but only got about 2 qts. The drain plug on the oil box has some feature on it that makes it impossible to get a socket on it. I was wondering if this was done for a reason so I decided to try the oil pan first and just put the corresponding amount back into the breather on the valve cover.


I bought 6 gallons of oil, just in case...


If you have any additional advice, I'd gladly accept it. My e-mail address is kgorawiec (at) yahoo (dot) com and my phone can see e-mails.


Thanks, TJ. I am going back to the garage to figure out how to get this oil out of this engine.

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I got the oiling system figured out. There sure is alot of plumbing that goes into these things. Takes about 11 quarts or so!

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In case anyone is interested:


There are alot of pieces in the oiling system. SYstem is laid out as follows:


There is a beltdriven pump mounted to the front of the engine. It has 5 AN fittings on it.


Starting with the pump "pressure out" fitting, it runs to a large oil cooler.

From the oil cooler, it runs to a traditional oil filter mounted (conveniently!) on the top-front of the motor.

From the traditional oil filter, a line runs to the front, top, middle of the block.

There is a very small oil pan. Two "scavenge" lines run from the pan (I don't know why there are two) back to the pump.

One line then runs from the pump to the top of the accumulator.

There is a second filter on top of the accumulator that this line runs to. This is servicable and I cleaned it and put it back in.

At about 3" from the bottom of the accumulator (looks like about 3 gallon capacity), another line runs back to the pump on the front of the engine.

Additionally, there is a line that runs from the top of the accumulator that runs all the way to the trunk to a breather. It appears that is evacuates moisture.


OK, that's the layout but I still couldn't figure out how to change the oil!


I managed to hook up with a guy on the phone that builds drag race engines for a living via Brian from JJ's Automotive here locally. Here is what he told me (which is exactly what I did):


I had already drained the lil pan and only got 1.75 qts or so I added that much back through a breather on the driver's side valve cover (which also runs to the accumulator). He said that this was unnecessary.

He told me that the AN fitting on the accumulator that runs to the pump is where I should drain the oil from so I did. What a freaking mess since it drains right on the subframe. He also told me that my oil pump/pan setup alone costs $3,200 (!). After draining 2 gallons, I refilled with 2 new gallons.


The only thing left is the traditional oil filter but I will do this tomorrow. I started the car and watched the oil pressure. Cold the car seems to run around 70psi at idle. I got it warm and left it on jackstands to watch for leaks overnight.


I am a fan of AN fittings.

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If you are going to BeaveRun next month look up the #5 SU pick up.


Ask for Bruce, or Dave.


We'd be glad to talk and look at your new machine.

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I am unsure if I will be running but I will try to make it up there Sunday.


I believe that Dave D = the Dave that ran CMC a few years back. We know each other... I will definitely come find you guys because I think this car has to run SU once I get it in a position to pass a race tech (and get a trailer!).

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