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Old 10-22-2011, 08:44 AM
 
2,996 posts, read 4,916,339 times
Reputation: 1793

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I realize this forum isnt the best for Drag Racing, but i know theres a few Drag Racers in here. So... im just getting into Drag Racing at my local 1/8th mile Strip and am wanting to buy my first dedicated Drag Car . This car is a 1973 Chev. Vega which has a 427 Big Block motor ,14:1 , with nitrous fogger , 2 speed Glide Trans, 9" rear with ladder bars , wheelie bars, with slicks . The guy claims it is 'all ready for the strip right now' . The price is a very nice $6,000 asking price and im sure he'd take $5 k . Comes with Texas title. He said it has ran a 5.84 in the 1/8th . Frankly, id have to work up to running this car balls-out having that much power ... but I can start out less aggressive till i get the feel of it. Id imagine the output is roughly 700 h.p. without the nitrous (???) .

Im having to travel 800 miles to get it , and i want to be sure i dont have to immediately dump big money into the mechancals right off the bat ... so i want to have it checked out by a shop in that area before i lay down the money. Would you recommend me getting a compression test peformed in addition to a leak down test on the motor ? What else should i be concerned about on a car like this ? What should i definetly ask this Guy about the car ? It is supposed to have seen 30 runs on the current build .

Any info appreciated. Thanks.
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Old 10-22-2011, 08:51 AM
 
Location: The Triad (NC)
28,484 posts, read 62,084,629 times
Reputation: 32131
Quote:
Originally Posted by 007.5 View Post
... im just getting into Drag Racing
...dedicated Drag Car.
think very deeply about this juxtaposition.

Quote:
This car is a 1973 Chev. Vega which has a 427 Big Block motor...
He said it has ran a 5.84...
A good rule of thumb for any used vehicle purchase...
(even a car to be used for racing)
is to avoid anything that the seller knows the run times for.

Quote:
Any info appreciated. Thanks.
Find a mechanic (which I assume you need) and build your own.
This will cost less than buying someone else's and then rebuilding that.

hth
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Old 10-22-2011, 09:56 AM
 
Location: Earth
4,227 posts, read 21,088,836 times
Reputation: 2222
First off, I'm kind of surprised someone would go as far as stuffing a big block Chevy into such a tiny car when a small block would have probably sufficed without really throwing the front to rear weight off.

You said this car has slicks. Hopefully it's also tubbed in the rear. You're going to need it if that engine is making some decent power (which I'm sure it is) in addition to being a lead weight on the nose of the car. I'm sure this car probably also has a roll cage in it.

I would ask the seller if he has proven time slips of the car. Or even better, a video showing his trap speed and e.t. Don't forget to ask him for dyno slips of either the car or the engine, whichever is possible. Also see what kinds of 60 foots it's cutting. That is a very crucial factor in drag racing.

Not only would I recommend you having a compression test/leak down test done on the engine, but I would also recommend you find someone that knows about the do's and don't of doing a V8 Vega conversion - since they never came with V8's, that means people doing the swaps have the option of correctly and meticulously doing the swap....or using all sorts of unorthodox methods to get the engine in there. Yes there are people who do conversions incorrectly....same applies to S-10 V8 swaps.

The previous poster said "a good rule of thumb for any used vehicle purchase...(even a car to be used for racing) is to avoid anything that the seller knows the run times for.". That might be true to an extent, however consider this....no one drops a V8 into a Vega, especially a big block nitrous V8, just to pussyfoot around town in....there is clearly a reason why someone dropped a big engine into a lightweight car....so you can pretty much guarantee it's beat on at some point.

Last but not least, building your own car usually costs more to do as opposed to buying one already built. But as pointed out, it may cost more if you have to re-do someone else's backwoods shadetree project that's held together by duct tape and bailing wire. That's why I mentioned it's important to hire someone to look at how this car was put together, and point out any obvious discrepancies.

Sorry I got long winded here, but hopefully this helps you make a better decision.
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Old 10-22-2011, 10:26 AM
 
Location: Blah
4,153 posts, read 7,948,796 times
Reputation: 3062
Quote:
Originally Posted by 007.5 View Post

Im having to travel 800 miles to get it , and i want to be sure i dont have to immediately dump big money into the mechancals right off the bat ... so i want to have it checked out by a shop in that area before i lay down the money..
We're talking racing, specifically drag racing. That nitrous kit could run lean the first run ventilating the block and causing you to shell out money right off the bat. What I'm trying to say if anything is spending gobs of money is all part of the hobby.
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Old 10-22-2011, 11:48 AM
 
2,996 posts, read 4,916,339 times
Reputation: 1793
Quote:
Originally Posted by MrRational View Post
think very deeply about this juxtaposition.

A good rule of thumb for any used vehicle purchase...
(even a car to be used for racing)
is to avoid anything that the seller knows the run times for.

Find a mechanic (which I assume you need) and build your own.
This will cost less than buying someone else's and then rebuilding that.

hth

1. I juxtaposed , but i dont see anything negative. Please explain.

2. Whats wrong with an owner disclosing the run time of his car ? Thats info that a seller should be interested in, no ?

3. Youre kidding that i can get a mechanic to build me a turnkey 800 h.p. Drag car for less than $6,000 , right ?
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Old 10-22-2011, 12:00 PM
 
2,996 posts, read 4,916,339 times
Reputation: 1793
Quote:
Originally Posted by Deez Nuttz View Post
First off, I'm kind of surprised someone would go as far as stuffing a big block Chevy into such a tiny car when a small block would have probably sufficed without really throwing the front to rear weight off.

You said this car has slicks. Hopefully it's also tubbed in the rear. You're going to need it if that engine is making some decent power (which I'm sure it is) in addition to being a lead weight on the nose of the car. I'm sure this car probably also has a roll cage in it.

I would ask the seller if he has proven time slips of the car. Or even better, a video showing his trap speed and e.t. Don't forget to ask him for dyno slips of either the car or the engine, whichever is possible. Also see what kinds of 60 foots it's cutting. That is a very crucial factor in drag racing.

Not only would I recommend you having a compression test/leak down test done on the engine, but I would also recommend you find someone that knows about the do's and don't of doing a V8 Vega conversion - since they never came with V8's, that means people doing the swaps have the option of correctly and meticulously doing the swap....or using all sorts of unorthodox methods to get the engine in there. Yes there are people who do conversions incorrectly....same applies to S-10 V8 swaps.

The previous poster said "a good rule of thumb for any used vehicle purchase...(even a car to be used for racing) is to avoid anything that the seller knows the run times for.". That might be true to an extent, however consider this....no one drops a V8 into a Vega, especially a big block nitrous V8, just to pussyfoot around town in....there is clearly a reason why someone dropped a big engine into a lightweight car....so you can pretty much guarantee it's beat on at some point.

Last but not least, building your own car usually costs more to do as opposed to buying one already built. But as pointed out, it may cost more if you have to re-do someone else's backwoods shadetree project that's held together by duct tape and bailing wire. That's why I mentioned it's important to hire someone to look at how this car was put together, and point out any obvious discrepancies.

Sorry I got long winded here, but hopefully this helps you make a better decision.
Ive seen lots of big engined compact cars at local car shows and on YouTube. I kind of like the idea of a huge mill in a small lightweight car so long as its done right. Ive even seen a 454 Blown big block in a Honda Civic with a 6-71 Huffer.

I can ask about time slips, etc... but as a novice im more concerned about its beefiness and reliability as i wont be turning 5.84's anytime soon as a novice.

Whats a general rule of thumb for a necessary rebuild on a Drag Motor and GLide Trans ... can it be translated into Runs approx. ? Should i ask what the block and heads came out of ?

Yes, its got a roll cage and is tubbed .

Thanks.
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Old 10-22-2011, 12:01 PM
 
2,996 posts, read 4,916,339 times
Reputation: 1793
Quote:
Originally Posted by SVTRay View Post
We're talking racing, specifically drag racing. That nitrous kit could run lean the first run ventilating the block and causing you to shell out money right off the bat. What I'm trying to say if anything is spending gobs of money is all part of the hobby.
If i bought this car, I would first have it Dyno / nitroused tuned at my local Tuner because i would have the same concern as you mentioned.
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Old 10-22-2011, 03:03 PM
 
Location: Summerville, SC
3,383 posts, read 7,124,426 times
Reputation: 1446
One thing is, you are going to have to get a "vibe" off the previous owner, see if he is a true carguy, that put his heart and soul into the car and ran it hard but babies it too. Not just beat it senseless doing stupid stuff in the name of speed.

Buying people already built car is the way to go.

Sent from my autocorrect butchering device.
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Old 10-22-2011, 03:50 PM
 
2,996 posts, read 4,916,339 times
Reputation: 1793
Quote:
Originally Posted by MustangEater82 View Post
One thing is, you are going to have to get a "vibe" off the previous owner, see if he is a true carguy, that put his heart and soul into the car and ran it hard but babies it too. Not just beat it senseless doing stupid stuff in the name of speed.

Buying people already built car is the way to go.

Sent from my autocorrect butchering device.
Yes, ill see if it was himself who did the build on it or if he had someone else do it.
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Old 10-22-2011, 04:37 PM
PDD
 
Location: The Sand Hills of NC
8,774 posts, read 14,856,777 times
Reputation: 11886
I think you looking at somebody's tired race car. If you get it for 5k you will probably dump another 4-5K into it the first year.

You said you are a beginner so why not start out with a beginner drag car.
A SB Camaro or a 5.0 Fox body Mustang is a great place to start.
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