FUELAB Event Schedule 2016

FUELAB will be displaying at these events in 2016. If you are there please stop by – it would be great to meet you!


Drag Start


8th Annual NMRA NMCA All-Star Nationals – Atlanta Dragway – Commerce, GA  – April 7th-10th, 2016

15th Annual NMCA Blue Grass Nationals – Beech Bend Raceway Park – Bowling Green, KY – May 12th-16th, 2016

11th Annual NMRA NMCA Super Bowl of Street Legal Drag Racing – Route 66 Raceway – Joliet, IL – July 28th-31st, 2016

15th Annual NMCA World Street Finals – Summit Motorsports Park – Norwalk, OH – August 25th-28th, 2016


NDS Show – Kearney Raceway Park – Kearney, NE – April 22nd,23rd, and 24th, 2016

Haisley Thunder in Muncie – Muncie Dragway – Muncie, IN – June 17th, 2016

East Coast Diesel Nationals – Numidia Dragway – Numidia, PA – July 16th, 2016

U.S. Diesel Nationals

40th Annual U.S. Diesel Truckin’ Nationals – Raceway Park – Englishtown, NJ – September 17th, 2016



SEMA Show – Las Vegas Convention Center – Las Vegas, NV – Nov 1st – 4th, 2016

PRI – Indiana Convention Center – Indianapolis, IN – December 8th – 10th, 2016


Racer Build Series – NMRA Mustang Build – Control Arm Bolt Replacement

Rob Farley - Mustang Lifting Tires01   Rob Farley - Nov Proj 4

As part of our ongoing coverage of Rob Farley’s NMRA Mustang Build we are onto the next project which is rear axle lower control arm bolt replacement. FYI: in our last article we described his installation of a shifter solenoid for safety and performance reasons. You can see that at http://fuelab.com/racer-build-series-nmra-mustang-build-shifter-solenoid-install/.

Rob tells us that Fox Body Mustang lower control arm mounting bolts are a weak point when adding power – stock bolts will eventually wear out. As well, the bolt holes in the control arm mount brackets on the body and the axle wear and enlarge. A telltale sign of excessive wear is a “clunking” noise from the rear of the car. The worn parts can allow the rear axle to move around, causing the vehicle to drift or wander when driving, and under hard acceleration can make the vehicle to pull to the left or right. This creates real handling and safety issues. Many people have misdiagnosed the condition as improper alignment, and found a wheel alignment didn’t help the problem at all.

Rob says that using stock 7/16” size replacement bolts won’t completely solve the problem as the bolt holes in the axle and body mounting brackets may have become enlarged from wear, and there will still be free play. The solution is to “recondition” the bolt holes by drilling with a ½” bit, and then use ½” bolts in place of the 7/16”. This ensures tolerances will be much tighter to eliminate free play.

Please note that worn upper control arm mounting points can also create the symptoms described above. Rob has previously addressed the upper control arms, and the description of that procedure is not included in this article.

Rob will take us through the procedure for replacement of the lower control arm bolts as part of preparing his ’86 Mustang GT for NMRA competition:

The stock bolts are a 7/16″ diameter. I will be installing 1/2″ bolts. These bolts can be purchased at Home Depot or Lowes. Make sure they are hardened bolts – which are made for strength and are corrosion resistant.

Rob Farley - Nov Proj 5

Raise the rear of the vehicle and place a jack stand on each side, being sure the jack stand is located where it will not interfere with the lower control arm as it is lowered. Place the jack under the center section of the rear axle. To facilitate removal of the control arm bolts you may need to raise or lower the axle to release side load pressure on the bolts. Remove the bolts and lower control arm. (please note an overview of removing the rear control arms on a ’79-’04 Mustang can be seen on this unrelated video https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=o58Vf8HP1Z8). With the lower control arms removed, I use a 1/2″ drill to open up the current bolt holes in the body and axle mount points. My control arms have sleeves which I am able to slide out. I then secure them in a vise and use a ½” drill bit to enlarge the inner diameter to accommodate the ½” bolts. Of note, I use CRC Oil to ease the drilling process and prevent the drill bit from becoming worn out. Once all the holes and sleeves are drilled I test fit everything, and then apply caliper anti seize to lubricate the bolts and the sleeves.

Rob Farley - Nov Proj 2

Time to assemble: Put the forward section of the control arm in place first, slide one washer on the bolt, and then slide the bolt through. Once the bolt is through, slide a washer and a lock washer on, and then thread on a nut. Do not tighten yet. With the forward bolt loose and the axle on the jack, you should have enough movement to slide the control arm in place on the axle. Put a washer on the bolt and then slide it through. Now place a washer on the threaded end, then a lock washer, and secure it with a nut. Torque the bolts to factory specs and the job is done.

Rob Farley - Nov Proj 4

NMRA Racer Gary “Hollywood” Parker – As a Kid He Used His Lunch Money for Drag Racing

Gary Parker Trophy Gary Parker Launch 3

(Gary Parker Shown on Left)

Q: When did you start racing?
A: I started racing informally as a teenager in Southern California back in the early 1970’s.

Q: What got you into racing?
A: My dad took me to my first race at Irwindale when I was seven or eight. He was a drag racer himself, and worked for Russ Davis Ford in Covina. He also got a position as the Western Regional Coordinator for the Ford Motorsports Association. I got to know a lot of the popular racers back then. Like Gas Rhonda. My friends and I would stop by his shop when we were out running around. He was really good to us. I loved drag racing ever since.

Q: What was the first car you raced?
A: I had a ’69 Mustang Mach 1 with a 428 Cobra Jet and C6 transmission and 4.56 gears. It was the first engine I built myself. I raced it at Irwindale Raceway. I just ran it, no bracket racing or anything. I’d take the lunch money my parents gave me for school and save it for spark plugs! I’d sit there with my friends in the cafeteria and watch them eating. They’d look at me and say “Wow, you’re really committed”.

Q: What were some of the other cars you have raced and when?
A: When I was in my late teens I bought a ’68 Cobra Jet Mustang that had been a Ford Drag Team car. It was named “Georgia Shaker”. It was a great car, and looked cool too; it had the Keystone wheels that were popular back then. I used to street race it out near the vineyards in Guasti, CA. Later, I sold it to a buddy in Canada. Then I got married and there was no money to race, so I stopped for many years. In 2000 I decided to get back into it, bought a bright red 1997 Mustang Cobra, and started running the Fun Ford Weekend events. My first race was at Silver Dollar Raceway in Georgia. In ’01 I added a supercharger and was able to get into the mid 11 second range with some tire under it. I never ran a full series until ’03, and that year placed 8th for the season and won a total of $3,000. At the end of the ’03 season I bought a different car that had been purpose built for the Fun Ford Weekend series by a friend, Chuck Lawrence. He started with a ’02 Mustang body in white and a donor car. I raced that for a full season in 2004 events, and then didn’t race another full season until 2010. In 2009 my first daughter got married, and I started thinking that I hadn’t raced in two years, and maybe I should get back into it. I decided to race in the NMRA event at zMAX Dragway in August of ’09. I won that and have raced in every NMRA event since. Except for two years ago; I missed Joliet because I broke my back in three places. About seven weeks later I got clearance from my doctor, and raced at Bowling Green with a back brace. I won. I did have lots of help from friends and family with getting the car ready and loading and unloading it from the trailer.

Q: What are the associations have you raced in?
A: The NMRA, Fun Ford Weekend, and NHRA Unleashed

Q: What have been your major racing successes over the past 5 years?
A: The thing that really comes to mind is winning the World Championship in the 2010 NMRA Modular Muscle class

Q: Is your family involved in your racing efforts?
A: My wife is. She used to race in Fun Ford Weekend and NMRA events and fully understands what needs to be done. So, she is a great help. She is also my biggest cheerleader.

Q: Why do they call you “Hollywood”?
A: I now live in GA, and when other racers in the area heard I was from California they started calling me Hollywood. The nickname stuck.

Q: How long have you used FUELAB?
A: This is my first year

Q: Why did you start using FUELAB?
A: FUELAB approached me as they wanted to sponsor a car in NMRA, and thought I was a good candidate. I looked into FUELAB and found their products were of excellent quality, and they had a great reputation.

Q: Was there a particular problem you were having that FUELAB solved?
A: No, I wasn’t having any issues with my fuel system previous to switching over to FUELAB

Q: How has Fuelab affected your racing success?
A: It is early to tell. So, far the equipment is performing flawlessly. I did notice my data log shows fuel pressure being perfectly constant throughout my runs. It doesn’t change one iota.

Q: What FUELAB parts do you use?
A: I have a FUELAB prodigy fuel pump, pressure regulator, and fuel filters. This is the first time I’ve run a pre-filter in addition to a post filter.

Q: What do you see as the primary benefits of FUELAB products and company?
A: Customer service and support. And if the inside of their parts look as good as the outside, they have to be good!

Q: Where do you see yourself in racing in 5 years?
A: I haven’t really thought about it. Time will tell!

Q: What do you do in your spare time?
A: My wife and I like to travel. We are going up to Boston soon, and we like to travel to the Florida panhandle and go to the beach. I like to watch baseball – I’m a big LA Dodgers fan. We also like to have friends and family over for barbeques and hanging out in the pool.

Race Car Build Series – NMRA Mustang – Build a High Quality Aluminum Electronics Panel for a Low Price

Rob Farley - Mustang Lifting Tires01 DSC_19671

Earlier we introduced Rob Farley’s NMRA Mustang Build (see the article at http://tinyurl.com/k9qslmg). Rob originally planned to have his 1985 Mustang GT prepared to run in the NMRA for the 2015 season, with the first event being in April. Yet, as it often does, life got in the way and Rob’s preparation schedule was pushed out. However, Rob is now performing modifications, and we are able to bring you the first project article!

Keep in mind that Rob has successfully raced this Mustang since the late 1980’s, including winning a WALLY at Raceway Park in Top Street during the 2010 race season. The Mustang is currently running a carbureted 351 SVO Motorsport engine bored and stroked to a 408 that pushes over 1,000 hp. Other modifications include a tubular front end with a coil over set up. The modifications he is making are to further increase performance and engine efficiency, improve handling, and make diagnosing electrical problems more convenient.

Project One is the installation of an aluminum panel in the passenger footwell area on which to mount and organize electronics. The panel will allow placement of some electronic components, including ignition devices, away from the engine compartment as well as provide a mounting location for a FAST EZ EFI 2.0 control unit, a second fuse panel, and an RPM activated switch for the shifter. The conveniently located aluminum panel will allow quick access and thereby reduce the time needed to diagnose electrical problems or replace electronic parts. It should be noted that while this project provides excellent safety and convenience, the total for parts (aluminum panel, fuse panel, and wire connectors) came to only $41.00!

Before we describe the installation procedure, let’s visit the fuse panel. Over time Rob has been adding electrical components to the Mustang and has had to find power sources for a fuel pump, electric water pump, oil accumulator, gauges, line lock, and transmission brake. Initially he added a junction strip to provide power, the safety of which he wasn’t comfortable; the factory fuse panel wasn’t designed to handle these additional loads. So, Rob decided the safest thing to do is add a second fuse panel designated for the race car related components. By mounting this fuse panel on the aluminum panel it will clean up the wiring under the dashboard, and provide quick and easy access for diagnosis or fuse replacement.

Aluminum Panel Installation Procedure

Rob determined that mounting the aluminum panel on the inside of the vehicle will best to protect the electronics from outside elements such as heat, rain, and dirt, while providing the most convenient access point. He found his ideal location to be the passenger side footwell/firewall. Note; the factory heater box has been removed to install the panel. Hey, this is a race car. He don’t need no stinkin’ heater.

DSC_1795 (2) DSC_1937 DSC_1940

Rob measured the area he had to work with, and fashioned a template for the aluminum panel. Since the mounting location was not a flat area he used a piece of cardboard for the template, which could be quickly cut down, therefore making it much easier to determine the best size with the least amount of bends or modifications. Rob found the ideal size was 12″x12″ square. After laying out the electronic components on the template to ensure proper fit, he used it to cut a 12” x 12” panel from 1/8” aluminum sheet.

DSC_1953 (2)

With the aluminum board on the ground, Rob placed the components in a location that would work best for him: The rpm switch for the shifter would be low so he could view it from the driver’s seat. The EFI computer is positioned so he can view the indicator lights, and there is room for the harness to plug in. The fuse panel was installed on the top right out of sight (since, Rob says, he hopes to never have to inspect it in the future…)

DSC_1949 (2)

Rob positioned the panel on the firewall to mark the location to where it was secured. He took care to position the panel so the floor mat would overlap the bottom edge, as he wanted a clean look.

DSC_1966 (2)

All components were secured to the panel before installation, which eliminated the hassle of trying to mount them while inside the car. Rob used five self-tapping screws to secure the panel to the firewall. The lower left corner of the panel had to be bent slightly to fit flush with the contour of the firewall to the tunnel.

DSC_19671 DSC_19681

Once the board was secure, Rob installed connectors on each wire leading to the fuse panel, and secured them.  Extra care was taken to ensure the wires were not near any sharp edges that could cause abrasion and a potential electrical short. When finished the wires were zip-tied together on each side of the fuse box and wire loom was fit over them.

The power source for the fuse box came from the voltage regulator, which in the case of the Mustang is mounted on the strut tower. An 8 gauge wire was run from the regulator to the fuse box. All wires going through the firewall were protected by a rubber grommet.

In the future, Rob will install an LED light under the passenger side dashboard to allow inspection at night. The switch for the light will be mounted of the aluminum panel.

Rob Farley has shown us his aluminum electronics panel is a high quality solution that provides excellent organization, safety, and convenience, and can be easily duplicated at a budget friendly cost.