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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I have been measuring, and making cad prints, and calculating weight for weeks. And I have hit a problem. The Econoline truck starts to lift in the front at around 80 mph. at 88 mph, there is less than 10% of the weight on the front wheels. If my calculations are even close, my set up will run high 9's easily over 120. But if the truck becomes a "kite", I may have to look into an alternative build. Has anybody ran into this issue with a similiar project? The truck is too clean to build and find out it cant be ran as intended. I am tossing the idea around of making it a shop truck and building a alternative.
Thoughts anyone?
 

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If you calcs are correct you may have to offset the engine forwards! 88mph sounds like a flux cap. issue. ;)

I had a buggy that someone built in the 60's - model T frame and a 59AB flathead - that had a huge round bar of steel as a ballast to keep the nose down. It's a out 2 1/2' long and 5" in diameter. Pretty heavy.

I know that you are running a bread box and it's not aerodynamic but I I ow I have seen them run in the past. Have you looked into what people ran back then? Maybe Steve has some insight with his box van.

Good luck.

Mike
 

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A front air dam seems to be a good solution. It wont take much to give it downward force and keep things planted.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
I was hoping to go up in the front, nose high. If I drop the front 3", it will give the truck roof around 4 degrees of rake. It helped, the lift off speed increased to 94 mph. I didn't try the lower front air dam, I think it would take away from the stance intended. The van might get downforce from the length of the roof? I haven't officially changed build plans yet. But I have other choices in my arsenal of vehicles I could build. The Econoline is so much different, that it would be a great build- but only if its safe.
 

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Well you're already way ahead me with doing load calcs and wind lift! I usually drive them and see how they feel, so I guess I've been lucky to survive almost 63 yrs.! ;)
 

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How about a "downforce device" that deploys at the speed you decide on and retracks for the look you want,,or do not want to see,,just thinking out of the box a bit.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
I have always built with "engineered by the seat of my pants" feeling. Build it and suffer the consequences later. But the Econoline is so clean, that I would hate to make it into the gasser, only to find it isn't safe enough to go the legal speed limit on a freeway! Ha. I haven't given up completely, just weighing the options. I like the idea of a concealed down force device. I could move the engine forward, but running tunnel ram would be difficult for seeing across to the other side of the cab.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
I have looked at the "Little Red Wagon" design multiple times. At one point I had fully decided to make the trailing arm style engine/trans/rear end frame and have it pivot at the front. Problem solved-kinda. That would be fine for drag use only as a track is flat. But for street use, it might prove tricky when the truck was to encounter a un even surface, like a drive way. if the rear end moves up and down evenly on a horizontal plane only, entering a angled approach to a driveway or parking lot would lift the rear wheel of the opposite side of the turn, off the ground. essentially becoming a seesaw. It could be done, but would require careful driving on the street I suppose.
Any ideas on a rigid bed cover? would that increase down force? or would it be over the wrong area of the truck? If the downforce is applied over the bed, it could make the moving center of gravity even further back-creating more lift in the front. Somebody just tell me I'm over thinking all this!
 

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Considering the E100 and other pickups that have been hotrodded, and driven well over 100 mph, I'm not sure there's a big issue. Haven't heard of any of them going out of control yet. And the Little Red Wagon's carriage setup for engine and rearend is definitely an issue for the street, but not much more so than a ladder bar rearend setup on the street. I feel the chassis "fighting" a bit as I turn in driveways, or uneven surfaces, but it's not as bad as you'd think. A heim joint, or large urethane bushing at the frame pivot point will give a little flex, and not make things too loose.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
I have figured out that in order to place the entire engine and transmission in the bed mounted straight to the rear end, I may have to move the rear end back a few inches-but that isnt an issue since I am going to radius the wheelwells. There is a Dodge A100 that runs at Milan. Im trying to see how stable he is at the traps. But his engine is in the original location, and it has a small downward rake at the front. If the engine is in the original location, it would help with the weight over the front obviously, but I dont feel the cab is a place for a 7500 rpm small block. :)
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Thank you Steve. I think I can make this work. I'm only being cautious because the truck is so clean. When it's caged, I will feel safe. I'm a big " save the survivors" type. Whether it's for race, or street, or original.
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
I have a break press, a roll, a shear, plasma cutter/table, and other essential metal working goodies. I have saved alot of pretty rusty vehicles that others have given up on. I think between the carriage/cradle type of engine-trans-and rear combo, and a full cage tied to the back of the body somehow-all should be good. I really want the nose up high, so some front ballast might be needed to keep the front on the ground. After I am finished with the Falcon, I hope to dive straight into the truck and get the ball rolling. That is of course, if I dont find another candidate tomorrow in my favorite picking spot. If that happens, the Econoline will be the new shop truck with a mild 302/AOD.
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
Here's a few updated shots. The wheels will not be saying on it, as I want more period correct. I have some nice aluminum slots for it.
 

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