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Bracket Masters Racing Team

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Skip's History
(Start of Skip's Book)

Family

Children
(Skip & Barbara)

Cynthia
Oliver, III
Sarah
Glenn
Larry
Melinda
Melissa

Grandchildren

Adrien (Cynthia)
Danielle

Catherine (Oliver)
1st Great-Grandaughter
Olivia Underwood
(Catherine)

Crystal (Sarah)
Edward
Micah

Marcus (Glenn)
Matthew
Jacqueline

Tyler (Larry)
Tynesha
Jeremiah
Isaiah
Gabriel

(Melinda)
Barbara
Jeremy
Lizzie
Ryland

Myeshia(Melissa) Avery

Good Friend
Preston Johnson

Mr. Skip Racing
Spring 2009     Winter 2009

June 20, 2009 - Everyone is happy except me.

The car, off the trailer, ran a 9.336 @ 141.11 MPH, and that was the best run of the day! I expected at least a 8.99 at over 150.00 MPH, but that never happened. The car went straight and everything worked, but there is not enough power to go where I want it to be. At least not right now.

Track surface temps. were rumored to be over 130 degrees, and my weather station said the temp. was 103 degrees at 45% humidity.(we can take about 7-8 degrees off of that number, just because my weather station always reads high, and still get about 95 degrees). My tires only had 4 runs and I had 9 PSI in them. This was at 1:13 pm, and it got hotter into the afternoon.

I did compete in Top Doorslammer because the track relaxed the rules to allow all the cars that ran at least 9.50 in time trials, and paid to be in the class, to compete. I lost in the 2nd round when I had a red light (-.027).

After losing and getting back to my pit, I felt very dizzy and had to get into the truck with the A/C and some water. The heat had gotten to me.

Tomorrow, Houston Hawkins will drive "Mr. Skip" in Super-Pro for the Father's Day Race. ("If you can't stand the heat, get out of the kitchen!")

June 18, 2009 - A get well soon wish, and constant prayers, go out to the owner of the Young Blood Racing Team, the family, the drivers and members. See you back at the track real soon!

I will never forget. One night at State Capitol, Young Blood (Ron) and Masterpiece (Skip) were suppose to run in the finals of Super Pro. My car, Masterpiece, developed a problem with the starter and would not fire up. One of the first persons over to help me was Charles, owner of the Young Blood Camaro. He was under the car trying to get me started (so they could beat me). It was all about competing and having fun.

I stopped by Alvin Calhoun's shop today and listened to the 383 SBC engine that will be given away on Sunday at State Capitol Raceway. The tickets say June 20th, but the drawing will be on Sunday, June 21st at the Father's Day Race. The engine sounds very good and some lucky winner should be very happy.

June 17, 2009 - Ron Saizon had successful throat surgery today, 6/17/09. Kathleen says Ron is doing well and will be home tomorrow. Ron plans to attend the Bracket Masters Racing Team Father's Day Race on Sunday, June 21, 2007 at State Capitol Raceway.

Skip had his 10th year anniversary Colonscopy today and everything came out great. Skip highly recommends that everybody over the age of 50 have this test done.

June 14, 2009 - Took the car to NPRP today for the, Vette vs. Mopar Annual Benefit Race. "Send a Kid to Spina Bifida Camp" Campaign Benefit. The admission was $20 no matter where you wanted to run. I made one pass and everything worked as it should, but I never got into it very hard off the line and let up after the 1/8 mile, which was the plan. The slicks felt like they were really slick, and the rear end was moving around a lot.

This was the 3rd pass on the tires and the car. The 60' was 1.642 and the time was, 11.893 @ 79 MPH. At this rate, it will be Winter before I get into the high eights or low nines! I was back home and parked before 2 PM. I thought it was hot Friday night at SCR but I was scorching at NPRP today at Noon.

June 13, 2009 - It's fixed! All it took was time a patience working in the small space where the cable attachment screw had backed out. I put it back in, used loctite high strength to capture it, and everything is now working fine.
Mr Skip in Pits Mr Skip At Starting Line

Looks like I will not get enough runs on the car, tires and driver, to be competitive in Top Doorslammer this coming Sat. at SCR. I don't know what I will do for the Sat. race, Super Pro or just test and tune. Sunday will depend on how many good passes I do on Friday and Sat..

June 12, 2009 - Another test and Tune, another broken part... This time the shifter detent that holds the shift cable in my shifter unscrewed and I could not get the car into any gear in the staging lane. I should give an award to Hurst Shifters for over 18 years of service before this shifter failed, and I am sure it can be fixed. It is the only shifter that I have had on all four cars since changing from a Hurst Super Shifter back when I was running a four speed.

Four or five members of Bracket Masters Racing Team helped me get the car into the trailer and I came home. I am very frustrated, to say the least!

The correct alternator parts finally showed up on Thursday and they were installed. The parts that came on Weds. were not all correct. I could write a book on the problems that I have had with this alternator.

June 9, 2009 - Worked on the truck and trailer today. Greased hubs and checked the lights on the trailer. I plan to wash the enclosed trailer tomorrow. Worked on the signal lights on the truck. I took Reggie's suggestion and put in a jumper to the trailer hitch connector to make the right turn signal light work for the trailer.

When you are down to working on the truck and trailer, you know almost everything is ready on the car! The alternator company called and said they sent the wrong parts. I should get the right items on Thursday. It would be nice to have the alternator, but it is not necessary for testing this weekend.

June 8, 2009 - Replayed the time trial in my head all weekend and got up early this morning with a list of "to-do" items.

First I wanted to determine why it did not shift. I have a replay tachometer and it indicated that I was well past my shift point of 5000 RPM and I had to shift myself. After some troubleshooting, I found I had left a jumper out of the RPM Activated Switch ckt. that brings 12 VAC to the switch and the shift solenoid. With that installed, everything works correct.

Second I got on the phone and ordered another Mandrel, which broke, and a longer bolt to replace all of the alternator drive parts that flew off the car when I took off. They should be here later this week. The alternator is fine.

I pulled all the plugs and inspected and cleaned them. They were all black about the same amount. #2 and #4 were wet. Reggie said I had a little light smoke coming from the right side. The right side tire was rubbing the rear fender well so we don't know exactly where the smoke was coming from. I will trim the right fender well some more later this week.

Last, but not least, I put foam on the underside of the hood so I can put it on the top of the car when I am working on the engine at the track.

Three days down and 4 to go!

June 6, 2009 - Attended Preston Johnson's Graduation Party in New Iberia, LA. Preston is the son of Van and Stella Johnson.
PHOTOS by Barbara

I appreciate all the support and the help of the many people that have done so many things for me during the past three years while I put this car together. I also appreciate the comments on this web site from all of you who read my babbling and tell me about it at the track.
Thanks from "Mr. Skip"

June 5, 2009 - I am still excited!! My first pass in my own car since 2006!

I took the car to SCR for Friday night T&T. I got there very early in order to take advantage of the daylight. I had planned to make three easy passes, two very mild, and one 1/8 mile hard pass.

It is amazing how much you forget in three years. There is a big difference in being at the track and sitting in the workshop. Everything worked as it should have during the run. I had the shift point set at 5000 rpm, but I never let the rpm get that high so I shifted by hand.

I did a pro-stock type burn-out, through the lights, across the line, and came back to the line and turned on the top bulb. I was suppose to make a slow pass, but when the bottom bulb lit, I pressed the button and jammed the accelerator to the floor. The top bulb came on and I left with a .045 green light! The car took off with a roar and I got out of it almost immediately. The engine noise and the G force scared me! When the car left, it headed for the right hand wall (people that were watching said it went straight, maybe it was just my excitement), so I got out of it right away, before the 60' light. My sixty foot was only, 1.758 sec.. I had 10 lbs. of air in the new tires and Houston Hawkins, who was on the line, said I had a lot of spin when I left. I got back in it around the 1/8 and crossed at 12.178 @ 110 mph. The most exciting 12 second run I have ever made. I did find out one thing, this engine is awesome!

When the car left, the alternator mandrel broke due to insufficient bolt thread engagement. Houston, who came out for moral support, and Reggie Jackson, who helped me load up at the house earlier in the day, picked up all the parts off the track as I proceeded down the track to complete the run, not knowing what had happened.

When I got to the end of the track and started to turn right to get off the track, the car would not turn right. I unstraped, removed the hood and found a piece of the alternator drive jammed in the steering linkage. We removed the obstruction and drove the car back to the pits and put it on the trailer.

I need a new mandrel and a longer bolt before I can go back out, or just abandon the alternator for now and put a damper bolt in the front of the crank and go back to racing.

Many of my friends came over to see the car after the pass and many of them had some very nice comments.
PHOTOS By Lizzie Herbert.

June 4, 2009 - Take a look at the Graphics!

June 2, 2009 - After looking at several grill treatments for the 67-68 Camaro RS in "Rick's First Generation Camaro" catalog, I determined that my grill in not "correct". The trim around the light doors are missing and there is no center emblem (yet). I am not going to worry about it any longer. I would rather buy racing gas with the money it would take to correct everything. Tell me, did the 67-68 Camaro come with a 555 BBC, 1150 Holley and 6" cowl induction hood? Those are not "correct" either. It's a race car!

June 1, 2009 - (Late) - I completed the RS grill light covers! I came out good. It actually gives more support to that front panel in front of the hood. The old grill was broken and not as well supported as the RS grill.

I had to use a lot of ingenuity and some, well, just say, the doors were not easy. After the first few passes everything up there will have to be re-tighten. I used as many nylock nuts as I could and some threadlocker. The total weight of this grill setup is about 3-5 lbs. lighter, after removing the light bracket supports for the old lights.

June 1, 2009 (Early) - Feeling much better after two days of rest and relaxation (Good old Navy R & R, which gets you ready for I & I)! It was hard to stay home yesterday knowing everything was ready to run.

I did start on installing the new grill. It is almost finished. Just trying to figure out how to suspend something in space (the headlight covers on a RS Camaro grill). I am between fabricating some type of bracket or leaving the big hole on each side. Most of the stock mounting brackets, braces and light mounting hardware was removed or seriously altered when they modified the front of the car to make it able to lift off. Whichever way I go, it looks many times better then it did. No more 68 grill in the 67 body.

It is nice not having any real mechanical worries or electrical installation to do. Today I spent some time at Central Graphics ordering the lettering for the car. It will be the same as the last "Mr. Skip". I may go with some flames later on, after I see how this looks on the solid color. I will still have to get the rear fender wells smoothed out later.

May 30, 2009 - The car is ready! The delay box was installed today. I don't feel well enough to go to the track. Maybe next week. Photos

May 29, 2009 - I fabricated a stand for my delay box but it is not yet installed. Waiting on paint to dry. I sealed all the holes in the cracks and the bottom of the car.

I have a very bad cold and may not get to the track this weekend. It will be a Sunday morning decision.

May 28, 2009 - Doctors appointments today. I did get to finish the roll bar padding. I also trimmed my rear fender wells some more to accommodate the new rear wheel position after Brandon corrected the rear alignment.

With the exception of mounting the delay box, I could test this weekend.

May 27, 2009 - As promised, I got the car back today and everything that I asked for, plus some other things that needed to be done, was fixed to perfection. The best thing was the seat. Brandon used an old seat mount that he had laying around and it raised my seating position about 2" and put me in perfect position to see over the scoop and to look down at my gauges. The seat belts now fit over the shoulders within the specification in the rule book and the seat is braced correctly. The seat cover fits perfect. Brandon also made a parachute cable holder and attached it to the bar the holds the chute. Looks real good and functional. To ease my mind, he put some more weld on the rack attachments, where they attach to the car in the front. The window net was modified, and that came out real good. Brandon took less than 48 hours to do what would have taken me another week to do (and would not have been half as nice).

The weight of the car is: 2790 lbs. with the driver's weight of 205 lbs., with equipment (car weighs 2585 lbs. with all fluids full). The pinion angle was set at, 3 degrees down. My old Moroso slide rule says I should do, 8.65 @ 157 MPH. That slide rule is never correct. I think it will be closer to, 8.85 @ 152 MPH, after we get all the bugs out.

Thanks Brandon!

I stopped by Central Graphics on the way home to get them to measure the door and window space for my graphics. When I provide the graphics, they will cut it and apply it to the car, unless I decide to do it myself, as I normally do (I did it myself).

May 26, 2009 - My NHRA Competition License arrived today for S/G, SST & ET. We will wait and see on S/C class... I already have my IHRA License and the NHRA Chassis Inspection. Now I am ready to run at all of our local tracks!

Yesterday, when I drove the car onto the trailer, was the first time it had moved under its own power.

May 25, 2009 - After installing the windows for the past few days, I took the car over to Brandon's to have it scaled, aligned and some other small items that I just ran out of patience to get done. Silas and "Red" Rogers came over to help me put it on the trailer.

I installed the seat and seat belts last night and that turned into a major fiasco. The new seat did not fit the old floor mounts or the back brace where the bolt goes through. When I re-installed the old seat, the seat belt opening was in the wrong place and the new seat cover did not fit. Brandon is going to straighten all of that out. I did not like the window net installation, so that is going to be modified. The parachute cable arrangement was not to my liking and that is also going to be corrected. He is also going to reinforce the welds on the rack.
PHOTOS

May 21, 2009 - Between birthday parties, graduation and the graduation party I have not done much to the car. I did get the bolt for the front right brake and completed the lockwire on all four wheels. I installed the wheelie bars and put the car back on the ground for the first time in about a year. The back window is completed, but the front windshield is still not in place.

Tomorrow I have to mount a flat screen in the grand daughters room that she got for graduation. Congratulations Lizzie C. Herbert and Myeshia Whitfield for graduating from Glen Oaks High School.

May 18, 2009 - Thanks to Mr. Charlie Robinson, I now have both sides completed and they look good. I changed from pan head screws to flush fitting countersunk screws and it looks great. I should finish the back window tomorrow with that same style screw.

Still waiting on my bolt kit for the brakes and the rubber for the front windshield.

May 17, 2009 - After church and before attending the grand kids Baccalaureate Service today, I got a lot of work done on my windows.

I cut the back and front windows and actually installed the two back quarter panel windows and the right side front window today. The left side is ready to install. The front is cut but not drilled or painted. I am waiting on the rubber to arrive before I drill the front window. I painted the edges of back window and I am waiting on it to dry before mounting.

Charlie, thanks for the offer on the window help. See the email.

The car is looking more and more like a real race car! If it runs as good as it looks and sounds...

May 16, 2009 (late)- Silas Rogers took the Nova to State Capitol last night and during his initial burnout, the engine stopped. The problem was a broken distributor. The nut that holds the shaft in the lockout position fell off and broke the reluctor and the engine stopped.

Between Silas, Red, Alvin and Cecil we found the problem and a new MSD distributor is on the way.

We checked oil pressure with a shaft connected to a drill and had well over 70 PSI, so our bottom end is OK. Silas and Red checked the valves and inspected all the springs. All is OK with the 540!

I spent all day working on the windows. I have all the sides cut and the front and rear are laid out to be cut tomorrow. The paint on the edges is drying on the sides and they will be installed sometime this coming week. I had to order some 3/4" wide rubber for the front window. It should be here Tues. or Weds. Lizzie's and Myeshia's graduation is Thursday. Three of Linda's children are out of high school and one to go! I may not get too much done before Friday.

May 16, 2009 (early) - Repacked the front bearings and completed all the lockwire except the one that is missing and the one next to it on the right front wheel.

The windows are giving me more trouble than I had hoped. Cutting the Lexan (correctly) is not as easy as it looks. I have one side back small window cut. There is not enough extra Lexan for mistakes, so I was very careful and got this one right. I painted the outside edges and let it dry overnight. There is no roll up mechanism for any of the doors so finding a way to attach the back sides is a challenge. The front sides have a nice frame to attach too. The other owner had them glued into place. This may be my next best option.

May 13, 2009 - Lots of visitors that want to listen to the engine! It sure sounds good! I fixed the leak for the 2nd time and this time it worked.

I have been working off the items on the list. I installed the parachute and attached the spoiler to the trunk lid. It really looks good. I also removed the front Koni adjustable shocks from the front and set them to approximately 50/50. I installed the air bottle for the air shifter, connected everything and bubble tested for leaks.

Silas Rogers noticed the front wheels were not turning very free, but I blew it off as having just tested the line-lock. The real reason was, the spindle nuts were very, very tight and not allowing the bearing to roll free. When I removed the front brake caliper to re-install the lock wire, I noticed the rotor would not turn free as it should, with no brake caliper. I will check the bearings and repack them after I finish the lock wire.

I am missing one bolt from the inside of the brake assembly. It is a special locking star bolt, supplied by Wilwood. I hope Sonny has one laying around, otherwise I have to order it. I would not have found this had I not decided to re-lockwire the assembly. None of the five bolts on either side has any lock wire.

I started the window installation at the back of the car. I discovered I have the wrong size rubber spacing for the windows. It is on order and will be here early next week. I have enough of the correct size to do the back, but not the front. There is plenty of cutting and fitting to do, so I will not lose too much time. The sides do not require any spacing rubber.

May 11, 2009 - Dedicated the weekend to making Mrs. Holbert happy! We had breakfast out on Sat. and Sunday morning and went to Outback for dinner on Mother's Day evening. She opened gifts and got cards and calls from her daughter and grandchildren. Great weekend!

No progress on the car. I warmed it up today. Still have a very slight leak at the front of the oil pan. I will start on the windows tomorrow. I am still ticked off about the Lexan! Good thing I kept the old windows. They will be the templet.

May 9th - Late - Three years ago, after a long layoff due to engine rebuild, I was ready to go to the track and meet Mr. Van Johnson at NPRP. I got into the car and drove it around to the street to put it in the trailer. When I tried to back up, it would not go into Reverse. We pushed the car back behind the house and I called Van and explained that we would not be meeting him due to transmission problems. I was highly upset! Van hesitated, then he asked, in that voice that only Mr. Johnson can duplicate, "Mr. Holbert, do you have a Pro-Brake"? All I could do was say, "I'll see you at the track"!

Today, when I tested the transmission, I put it into Reverse and the wheels were rotating in the forward direction (CCW)??? I put it into Low and High and got the same rotation. I applied the brake, put it back into Reverse, and the wheels slowly rotated CCW.

I shut everything down and thought about all it would take to remove the transmission. Then I thought about the episode I described above, and Mr. Johnson's question.

I don't have the Delay Box in the car yet so I rigged up a toggle switch to the trans-brake and connected it to a hot terminal on my connection board. When I flipped the switch, I heard the familiar "Click" of the trans-brake. I started the engine and went through the gears successfully, energizing the trans-brake when I went into Reverse.

Check off one more item from the list!

May 9, 2009 (Early) - Last night I greased the front end and checked the brake pads, which are good, but I looked at the lockwire on the rotors and they were not installed correct. I have to cut the lockwire out and reinstall it in the "S" shape, with the proper twists, to make it functional.

I reviewed my list of "Things-to-do", before I can go to the track for the first time. It is much shorter now, only about 20 items. I would like to get it scaled and the pinion angle set at Pro-Fab by Sonny sometime within the next two weeks. I will also get a front end alignment from Joe Louis' Car Care in Plaquemine, LA.. Central Graphics is going to do the graphics and logo for me.

Today I will start it up, warm it up and go through all the gears while on the jack stands. If everything works well through the gears, Monday I will put the wheelie-bars and spoiler back on.

Sometime next week, I hope to move the car outside and install the parachute (and test and repack it). I have a series of "old folks" doctors and dentist appointments in the next two weeks that will take a lot of time. The car can be out getting some of those things mentioned above completed.

I am just happy the engine is running just fine with no problems. Everything else will be easy, even if the transmission does not work. Van Johnson wants to teach me how to overhaul a PG anyway. Van and Bracket Masters both own all the tools to do the job. My transmission was overhauled and the Dedenbear case re-certified in April of 2006 by TCI (NHRA/IHRA every 5 years). It only has 8 passes on it. I removed the pan and checked everything after the wreck and there was no indication of any problems. The oil was clean and nothing on the filter.

May 8, 2009 - Decided not to go to Evadale because I am not ready. No windows.

My new torque converter has three 11mm holes for bolting it to the flexplate. Nobody in Baton Rouge has any nuts and bolts that size. Since the converter, trans and engine are in the car, I had to enlarge the holes from under the car to get the bolts in and secure. Good thing I had a 90 degree attachment for my drill and a real short reamer. That took a lot of time. I have had several brands of converters. Most use a 12mm or 7/16 fine thread bolt. I have never had one with this size hole. A word of caution. Check your converter bolting as soon as you get it, especially if no bolts come with it.

I opened my Lexan package for the windows, which were purchased in Sept. 2007, and found they sent plane sheets of Lexan (Non-Mar). Not the cut to fit 67-68 Camaro windows that I ordered. Now I have to cut them myself.

Now I can slow down, relax and enjoy having a good time with my wife on Mother's Day weekend.

May 7, 2009 - First! Racers, please don't forget your mom and the mother of your kids on Sunday. I asked mine what she wanted and went and got it (2x) and then got her some things that I knew she wants (or needed), and the card.

Second! Like most racers, we blame the carb. when things don't run the way we hoped. Guilty!

After installing my Holley Hp, the same thing happened, backfire and fire everywhere, including out of the headers, and the cause, as many of you already know, was the timing. It had been so long since I set a Crank Trigger, I had forgotten how to do it. I was saved by Mr. Joe Dunn, who walked me through the steps on the phone.

This came after Kevin Gray and I had trouble shot the heck out of everything we could think of and I changed the carb. The results were the same as the day before.

After talking to Joe, I had to set #1 piston close to TDC and get the timing pointer to 36 degrees (my choice), then make sure the distributor rotor was pointing directly at #1 spark plug wire. We then had to remove the crank trigger wheel to get the pick-up aligned with a magnet. Not only do you want to align the pick-up with the magnet, but you also want to have some retard and advance adjustment room to move the pick-up. We put the wheel on twice and once it allowed no retard, the other extreme allowed no advance. We were able to fine the right three holes to clamp it down. We dropped the distributor and it went right back to the correct spot.

Silas Rogers was helping me do all of these things and when we flipped the switches and pushed the starter button it fired and ran real smooth on the first try! A few tweaks on the fuel pressure, the float levels and rotor-phasing the distributor and we were ready to go. we warmed the engine to 155 degrees and shut it down and reset all the valves, for the 2nd time in 24 hours.

I am so pleased with the engine (again), and the way everything is working out. Reggie Jackson and James McGee stopped by later and I had to start it up for them.

Tonight we will have the "Blessing of the Workshop & Car". Today is an appropriate day, since it is "World Prayer Day"

After the start-up I had one very small oil leak (one drop in about 5 min.) and we stopped that (The Right Stuff). It was from the front pan too timing cover seal.

Next is bolting up the torque converter and testing the trans and rear end. Then I will put the Lexan windows in place.

5/7/09 - Late - The prayer service in the workshop went very well. Mr. Gerald Boatner and his mother, Mrs. Ivory Boatner, both gave very moving prayers blessing both the workshop and the car. Mrs. Boatner is 95 year old and is the Mother of the Church at Shiloh Missionary B. C. in Baton Rouge. Gerald is a first year seminary student here in Baton Rouge. All I will say about Gerald is: "The Man Can PRAY"!

Cinco de Mayo 2009 - Learned something new today. The Ford starter relay has to be grounded through the housing to work! When I thought I was ready to start the engine, nothing happened! It took me hours to find a reference that said the relay housing is the ground. I had it mounted on a painted roll cage bar. I came very close to purchasing a new relay.

I purchased a new 45 degree AN-8 fitting from Sonny this morning and changed it out. No more leaks! Speaking of leaks, I left myself a large note that the oil gauge had a loose connection behind the dashboard. Well, I tightened that one but forgot about the loose gauge line fitting at the block just above the oil filter. When I primed the engine, I got a large puddle of oil under the car. Panic! I thought it was the rear seal, but as luck would have it, tightening up that fitting stopped the leak.

Next problem, and I am suppose to be a carburetor man, my favorite carburetor let me down. I think I need two new metering blocks. When the engine finally started, it would not run very long and it backfired back through the carb. several times. I checked my plug wires and reset the valves before changing to my other carb, a new Holley 1150 HP. The same one that was on the car when I put it into the wall almost three years ago. It had 8 runs on it, so to me, it is still new.

Side note: Start-up with a crank trigger is not as easy as just having a distributor to deal with.

I shall go and have my NHRA License Physical tomorrow. After that I am ready to start the engine again.

Kevin Gray ("Outlaw" of the Bayou Boyz) stopped by tonight while I was changing carbs and trying to figure out the problem(s). We checked each spark plug and took the resistance of several of my plug wires. I had already finished the valve lash check. Kevin is a wonderful person to work with. Keeps you laughing and he is always looking for problems, such as, I had clamped the pig tail out of the distributor between the hold-down clamp and the block.

So far, I am on schedule to have a "Blessing of the Workshop and the Car" on Thursday. Mrs. Ivory Boatner, Mother of the Church, of Shiloh Missionary Baptist Church of Baton Rouge, LA will conduct the "Blessing". Mrs. Boatner is 93 years old and get around better than a lot of 50-60 year old people that I know. We hope to go to Evadale, TX this weekend for my IHRA Chassis Inspection.

May 4, 2009 (late) - Connected the battery and tested each ckt. individually. The voltmeter had a short that was taken care of quickly. My grandson, Ryland Gardner, helped me do the fuel system flush and the fuel flow test. The Magna-Flow 500 pumped one gallon in 8 sec. from the pump to the regulator in the front of the car. We connected the fuel regulator and pumped one gallon through the regulator and through the two lines going to the fuel bowls on the carb. That took approximately 9 seconds.

One problem in the fuel system. I have to replace the 45 degree swivel AN fitting that connects the fuel by-pass to the fuel tank. It is leaking and is as tight as it should be. This is the first time I have had any type of AN fitting leak. There are no other leaks. I will go to Pro-Fab and get the fitting I need tomorrow.

All of the systems have now been tested and they work just fine. With the exception of the delay box, everything is ready to go that will allow me to start the car. If it was a Non-E car, it would be ready to run as soon as the windows were installed. That is assuming everything goes right with the engine start-up (I built the engine, so I know that part will be excellent)!

May 4, 2009 (early)- The weekend was spent in Tallahassee, FL, visiting and celebrating with our old friends, Brenda & Rudy Slaughter. Brenda retired from the school system with 35 years as a guidance counselor. Brenda worked at three schools during that time. Representatives from each school spoke about how much she contributed to their school and how much the kids loved her. Brenda was totally shocked to see us at the ceremony. There were many well wishers and relatives that gave Brenda lots of nice comments and loads of love. Barbara and I would like to say that the food was plentiful and great tasting. We enjoyed the whole weekend. Rudy knows how to give a party!

Rudy and I are best friends and we lived 5 houses apart on the same street in Daytona Beach, Florida. We were in the same H. S. graduating class and played football on the same team. Rudy lettered for 4 years as a defensive end and got a full ride to Morris Brown College in Atlanta. I started out in 9th grade as the play-by play announcer, kept stats. for three years. I only played football in my senior year (I should have stayed in the broadcast booth)! After H. S., I went into the Navy. Rudy has had a great career in federal and state government. We have kept up with each other for all those years. Rudy currently is head of student recruiting for FAMU. Rudy travels all over the U. S. A. and gives out scholarships, mostly to top high school performers.

We got to see the commencement speech given by President Bill Clinton to the Florida A&M University Graduating Class of Spring 2009.

April 30, 2009 - I finished the switch panel and everything else except the Delay Box and Throttle Stop, which are not installed yet.

I filled the trans. with fluid and put the remaining header on the drivers side in, along with the plugs, which I indexed and set to .035" gap. I am going to install the LED tail lights tomorrow and do some welding on a couple of items (Delay Box mount and seat brace).

All that is stopping me from start-up is flushing the fuel system and doing the fuel flow test.

I have all next week to install the Lexan and then go over to Evadale, TX to get the IHRA Chassis Inspection on May 9th (The day before Mothers Day).

I have used a lot of correction tape on that electrical drawing, trying to get it to an exact match for what is in the car. When I finish, this will be a very valuable, and helpful, item for this car. It helps that I have every component instruction sheet or book for my items.

April 29, 2009 - Still working on the wiring. Connected and tested the line-lock, fan and water pump. The dash lights are connected but not tested. The MSD is connected and the switch panel is in place with all switches connected except the Ignition switch. The starter push button and N. S. Switch are connected to the starter. I connected and tested the shift solenoid, using the air bottle and my battery charger. Worked perfectly. The RPM Switch is connected but I can't test that without the MSD tach input. Just a few more components to connect.

April 26, 2009 - After church and a nice breakfast with Barbara at IHOP, I went to SCR for Sunday Test & Tune. SCR PHOTOS

There were a few interesting cars out there. Mr. Wayne "Poppie" Collins with his new Vett Pro-Mod. They were just making some slow test runs to get Mr. Collins back into the grove and to find out how the car would handle. Mr. Collins had not been down the track in over 30 years. I know how I felt after being away for two years and I was only driving a nine second car! Construction to Finish Photos

My friend from New Orleans put his Firebird into the sand pit when he didn't deploy his chute at over 180 MPH and ran off the end of the track. Now SCR is demanding that ALL racers that go over 150 MPH must deploy their parachutes. No exceptions! You will not be allowed to run again if you don't pop your chute at over 150 MPH.

I actually connected five components and the lights to the switch panel last night. The fan, water pump and fuel pump are now connected, so is the neutral safety switch and the starter.

April 25, 2009 - I picked up my drive shaft from Earl Zimmer at Zimmer Gears, it fit perfectly. New U-joints and the yoke was cut down and the whole thing is balanced. I installed it today and got the diagonal link back in place, which was the hardest part of the job.

I understand Collins Racing has a new Vett that will be tested at SCR tomorrow at their Sunday Test & Tune. I may get to go see it after attending church.

I was at the track on Friday night when Ronnie (Fo-Fo) had his Nitrous back-fire. I hope it was not too serious.

Justin Jackson has his Jr. Dragster out for testing Friday night. Proud father Reggie Jackson is getting Justin ready for a big Jr. Dragster event in the near future. Good Luck Justin

April 24, 2009 - Attended Test & Tune at State Capitol Raceway with the express purpose of watching Jason Adams run his new 69 Camaro. I watched three runs. His "Slow" run was 9.9 something, and his quickest run was 8.9 something. The car performed as well as it looked. Photos

April 23, 2009 - I had a visit from Mr. Van Johnson today. He come over to look at the progress on the car. As he looked at the alternator installation, he observed the alignment being a little off. Van and I tackled correcting the problem. After a few minutes work, we had the alternator belt "almost perfect". Mr. Johnson was ready to keep on working to get it that last 1/16" back into "perfect" alignment. I was just happy that we got it that close!

After working on the alternator, we headed over to have Van meet Mr. Alvin Calhoun. After about an hour and a half, I had to separate those two. They would have talked all afternoon. While there, I told Mr. Mike Battley about the alternator. His comment was, "Two perfectionist working on the same problem, that must have been something to see"! I'll take that as a complement.

While Van was in the workshop, I showed him my drawings of the cars electrical system. Van was impressed, but he wanted to know when I was going to color code all the wires on the drawing to match the cars system. I showed him the set of colored pens that I purchased for that purpose (after the car is running).

Yesterday Mr. Reggie Jackson stopped by to talk and look at the cars progress. Reggie suggested that I use a C.A.D. program to draw the system and color code everything. I may try to do that.

I painted the dash with low-luster black paint. I installed the Lexan panel with the MSD, RPM switch and 4 terminal boards. Most of my components, with the exception of the Fuel Pump, Water Pump and Fan, will terminate on this panel.

The four terminal boards are labeled and my drawing shows where each wire goes. Terminal board TB-1 has nine terminal points and is for general terminations. TB-2 provides 12V power directly from the battery to several components and has 4 termination points. TB-3 is a 6 terminal board that provides an engine ground of most of the components inside the car. TB-3 has 6 terminals and is for everything powered from the Auxiliary Switch on my main switch panel on the dash (Tach, Line Lock, RPM Switch, Delay Box and any other added item that needs switched 12V power).

Tuesday I had a chance to see Mr. Jason Adams new car. It is a super looking 69(?) Camaro! It has the best of everything, excellent paint job, powder coat, carbon fiber, chrome-moly, strut front end, you name it, it has it! Congratulations Jason. They may be testing at State Capitol Raceway this Friday night.

4/21/09 - Senior Breakfast Photos

4/20/09 - Grand Daughter Myeshia Whitfield is graduating from Glen Oaks High School. She received an award for Excellence in Marketing at the Senior Breakfast.

4/20/09 - Grand Son, Marcus Holbert, will be graduating from Wood High School in Vacaville, CA soon and has signed a National Letter of Intent to attend Azusa Pacific University in California. He will be playing tight end and defensive end.

4/20/09 - Grand Daughter, Lizzie C. Herbert, who is a senior at Glen Oaks High School, had her Sr. Breakfast today. "Liz" was awarded a plaque for the Most Athletic Girl at Glen Oaks. Liz lettered in 4 sports in middle school, but concentrated on Volleyball in high school where she made All-District. She also won awards in Music Keyboard II and for Sr. Girl Best Friends. Lizzie graduates on May 21, 2009.

4/17/09 (very late) - He's Back!

4/17/09 - We could not attend, but Tarrus Jones, President of Bracket Masters Racing Team, was to be married earlier today. Congratulations to Tarrus and the new Mrs. Richarda A. Washington Jones.

Barbara and I went to Hilton Head Island, SC for four days of vacation and relaxation. We enjoyed every minute and we are looking forward to going back.

4/12/2009 - Happy Easter!
There will be IHRA Chassis Inspection at Evadale Raceway, just north of Vidor, TX, on May 9, 2009. See Evadale's web site for details.
http://www.evadaleraceway.com/NHRA Chassis Inspection will no longer be honored at Evadale Raceway. This note is for our friends in the Alex. area and West Louisiana that run over there frequently.  

4/11/09 - While sick, Reggie and Lacey visited to help me recover. I am feeling better today. Took some photos of the Fan and Radiator installation.

4/9/09 - It is more than a cold and contagious, says the doctor. He gave me medicine and said to get more rest. I should be fine in a few days. Nothing like being sick for the holidays!

No oil or water leaks from the car. I just noticed the next Top Doorslammer race at State Capitol Raceway is the day before the Father's Day race, June 20, 2009. I will be racing two straight days!

4/8/09 - I have caught a cold and I am resting to help get over it.

4/8/09 - No way am I going to start up by Friday! In fact, I will stop predicting when I will start up. I will be ready (to win) the Bracket Masters Father's Day Race.

Today I put oil in the engine, 6 qts. of Havoline 10W-40, for break-in. After a few startup and cool downs I will switch to Lucas synthetic 10W-30 for the first time. Lucus supports NHRA and IHRA and I got a good sale price on a few cases last year.

Yes, I run synthetic 10W-30, but normally it is Mobil-1. I always do my break-in with Havoline. I have not lost an engine from bearing failure when using either of these oils, and that dates back into the early 90's with my 383 and 360 engines. When I overhaul my engines the bearings are normally in excellent shape. My 555 crank was originally installed in 1999. The bearings are still standard with well over 450 runs!

Today I mounted the fan on the radiator put on the hoses. After mounting the assembly, filled it up with water and it is sitting with no leaks (no pressure).

After a visit by Mr. Houston Hawkins, and a discussion on the alternator alignment, I proceeded to correct the alignment problem. It took a while but I got it perfect. Now, the belt is way too loose and I have to purchase another, shorter, belt that will adjust out correct.

Houston inspected under the car, all of the bars, welding and the wiring. We discussed how quick the the car will be when it is finished. I am just wishing for 8.99, but Houston thinks it will be much quicker. He questions having only a 8.50 chassis inspection sticker. He may be right, when I think about it, all the bars are chrome-moly and it is all round tube from behind the driver all the way back. When it is scaled, we will know a lot more.(actual 2790 lbs. with driver)

4/7/09 - The Alternator and Crank Trigger are installed. The alternator belt is too long, but will work and the alternator is not perfectly aligned, but that will be done shortly. It is off almost 1/8 inch.
Alternator1 Alternator2

4/4/09 - Mr. Skip Racing.com would like to extend our deepest sympathy to Mr. Larry Gotreaux, "Stampeede Bandit", family and crew, due to the passing of his mother last night in Houston, TX.

Top Doorslammer Photos from State Capitol Raceway 4/4/09

April 4, 2009 - Congratulations to Delancy Weaver - "Bo Weevil", for winning the 1st Top Doorslammer Race at State Capitol Raceway. The runner-up was Kenneth Woods in his Chevy S-10 Truck.
Finals
Finals-Winner-Bo Weevil
Bo Weevil

Kenneth Woods
Kenneth Woods Runner-Up

Arnold Jordan 69 Camaro
Arnold Jordan

and Fo-Fo "Lil Sumptin" 71 Z-28
FoFo
losing in the semi-finals.

There were over 20, sub 9 second cars competing for the 100% pay-back purse. The cars put on a great show.

Before heading for the track, I flushed my transmission cooler and the lines. I had permanently mounted the cooler in the very front of the car under, and behind the grill. There were no leaks from the transmission lines. After checking for leaks and flushing the lines, I cut and installed the cover for the big hole that I cut in the trans. tunnel and the firewall (I used Riv-Nuts which are perfect for removal of the cover at a later date).

I filled the fuel cell with C-14 racing fuel and there were no leaks there either.

April 2, 2009 - No Virus!! (yet).

We did suffer a power failure for about 9 hours today due to strong winds and tornado like weather in our area. I had just finished spray painting under the hood in the front part of the car, getting ready to permanently mount the Trans. Cooler. Nothing else got done after the lights went out.

I got in the truck and spent some time talking to Alvin about his latest business plan. Alvin is a very smart business man and he is going to expand his operation in the near future. Porting heads and testing them on his state-of-the-art Superflow flow bench is keeping him very busy. I am proud to say that my heads were worked over by Alvin. He is also a very good engine builder, specializing in Ford engines, but he has been known to build some great small and big block Chevy engines. His first love is, "Anything Ford". He can port any heads that are made in the world (even those import heads).

When I get started on something I normally work until it is finished. When I started on the trans. cooler lines I found that I had to cut a little more than I had planned from the trans tunnel. In fact I had to cut some out of the firewall. I made up the lines using about $100 worth of -AN fittings and braided hose, but I got it done.

Then I looked at the outlet hoses on the fuel regulator and decided to renew those also. I reused all of my -AN fittings on the fuel lines so this only cost about $12 to finish. That job is now done and all the hoses are now complete for the fuel system, including the fuel gauge.

I will go back and flush all of those lines, trans cooler and fuel lines, at a later date. I will flow test the fuel system when I flush the lines.

PHOTOS of wiring and hoses.

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