Racer Build Series NMRA Mustang Build – Fuel System Install – Part 2

Rob Farley - Mustang Lifting Tires01

Rob Farley is currently converting his NMRA Mustang from carburation to an electronic fuel injection system. The engine is a Ford Motorsport 351 Windsor block bored and stroked to a 408 that pushes over 1,000 hp in carbureted form.

To be installed are a FAST EFI system #30400, a FUELAB EFI in-line fuel pressure regulator 52501-2, FUELAB fuel pre-filter #81833-2 10an, FUELAB fuel post-filter #81823-2 10an, and FUELAB Prodigy High Pressure EFI In Line Fuel Pump 41401-2.

Rob Farley - Fuelab Parts
FUELAB parts to be installed

Rob’s briefs us on removing the low pressure fuel pump used for carburation, and replacing it with the FUELAB Prodigy High Pressure EFI In Line Fuel Pump:

Safety is paramount concern! Before I start working with fuel I make sure the power is turned off (or the battery is disconnected) and then drain the fuel from the fuel cell. I did this by loosening connection at the fuel filter and caught the dripping fuel in a funnel, which has a valve to keep the fuel from leaking out.

After the fuel was drained I the fuel pump was removed, followed by removal of the fuel lines. I was able to mount the fuel pump to the existing bracket that I made for the old pump.

Old carbureted fuel pump and filter were removed

New FUELAB Prodigy Pump is in place

Because the new pump is an inline configuration I will need to make new lines. I will make a fuel line to adapt from the filter to the pump – or I may attach the pre-filter directly to the pump. I need to determine that. The fuel lines from the cell to the filters and pump will be -12AN. From the pump to the engine I’ll use -10AN fuel line. Stay tuned for the install!

Remember, it’s important to read the instructions that are included with the FUELAB pump. Depending on the way you set the pump up (high volume/low volume) you will see a graph of amperage draw. This will indicate what size fuse you should use with the proper gauge wire to be used. It may also be a personal preference if you would want to install a relay. I would strongly suggest it as for safety.



Racer Build Series NMRA Mustang Build – Fuel System Install

Rob Farley - Mustang Lifting Tires01Rob Farley - Fast PartsRob Farley - Fuelab Parts

The Holidays have past and Rob Farley is back at it with his NMRA Mustang Build. The Mustang is currently running a carbureted Ford Motorsport 351 Windsor block bored and stroked to a 408 that pushes over 1,000 hp.

Rob is about to change over to an electronic fuel injection system. To be installed are a FAST EFI system #30400, a FUELAB EFI in-line fuel pressure regulator 52501-2, FUELAB fuel pre-filter #81833-2 10an, FUELAB fuel post-filter #81823-2 10an, and FUELAB Prodigy High Pressure EFI In Line Fuel Pump #41401-2.

Stay tuned for the install article!

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

Racer Build Series – NMRA Mustang Build – Shifter Solenoid Install

Rob Farley - Mustang Lifting Tires01DSC_2295 (2)

As part of our ongoing coverage of Rob Farley’s NMRA Mustang Build we are onto the next project which is installation of a shifter solenoid for the Powerglide transmission. FYI: Last month we described his installation of an aluminum panel in the passenger footwell area on which to mount and organize electronics. You can see that at http://tinyurl.com/nbtpzz5.

Rob has a few reasons why he installed the shifter solenoid. The primary reason is safety; with the transmission shifted by a device, rather than by Rob, he can keep two hands on the steering wheel. Secondly, the shifter solenoid allows him to adjust shift points. In the past he had been shifting the car at different rpm’s to run different index classes. Using the shifter solenoid and the rpm switch, he can adjust shift points accordingly.

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Shift solenoid and hardware kit

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The bracket that the solenoid is attached to was purchased with the shifter.

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Four 1/8” thick spacers were included with the kit and two had to be used on each mounting bolt to properly align the solenoid with the shifter. With the solenoid open, Rob knew where to position it so the shifter would be engaged properly into second gear. If the adjustment were off, the shifter would either not fully engage into second gear, or the solenoid would try to push the shifter into neutral – causing damage to the shifter. Notice the space between the shifter and solenoid – Rob did not need the solenoid to have constant pressure against the shifter.

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Two wires lead from the solenoid – the red wire is connected to the 12 volt electrical system, while the black wire receives a signal from the rpm switch.

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This is the completed installation.

When the shifter is placed into first gear, the piston on the solenoid will retract. When the selected RPM has been reached, the solenoid will be released. It’s released quickly and it is loud. Rob says to keep your hands away from the shifter to avoid injury!

Check out this cool video of the shifter solenoid in action: https://youtu.be/YQTvjLaiZJY







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.

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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.

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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…)

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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.

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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.

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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.

Introducing the Race Car Build Series – A Fuelab Exclusive

Working on car image

It’s always interesting to see what goes on behind the scenes of a race car build. Fuelab is proud to be the fuel delivery system of choice for champion racers in the National Hot Rod Association, National Muscle Car Association, National Association of Diesel Motorsports, National Hotrod Diesel Association, FIA World Rallycross Championship, and others. We will be running a series of project articles that feature the vehicles of these prominent racers, and describe the build and installation of various component groups including fuel delivery systems. The articles are intended to be informative, as well as entertaining. Each will go over why the component is being installed, the goals of the project, and if appropriate; how it provides a solution to a problem the racer is experiencing.

The first race vehicle that will be featured is owned by Rob Farley. You might recognize his name – he drives a championship winning (and of course Fuelab equipped) ’98 Corvette in the NMCA LSX Challenge Series. We grilled Rob for a Fuelab Racer Profile posted last week; you can learn more about Rob and his drag racing at http://tinyurl.com/l29s7vc. However, the feature vehicle for this build article series is Rob’s 1985 Mustang GT. We can hear it now – GM fans are in an uproar! “Traitor!” they yell. Actually, Rob is a progressive kind of guy with no brand prejudice. He grew up in a Ford family, and has always raced Fords, but adopted Corvette into the fold in the early 2000’s. Rob’s family accepts him for this and they continue to celebrate Christmas together. The Mustang GT (named Christine) was purchased by Rob in the late 1980’s and has been successfully raced over the years, including winning a WALLY at Raceway Park in Top Street during the 2010 race season. The Mustang is currently running a carbureted Ford Motorsport 351 Windsor block 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.

Rob Farley - Mustang Lifting Tires01Rob Farley - Inside MustangRob Farley - Mustang Engine

Rob plans to race “Christine” in NMRA for the 2015 season, but first is going to make a series of modifications that will increase performance and engine efficiency, improve handling, and make diagnosing electrical problems more convenient and efficient. We will be covering each of those modifications in our upcoming NMRA Mustang Build article series. So, stay tuned to the Fuelab Vehicle Builds website page (http://fuelab.com/category/vehicle-builds/) for regular updates.

LSX Series Champion Rob Farley Gives Us Insights on His Drag Racing Career

Rob Farley Rob - Launch - C Rob - Bradenton

Q: When did you start racing? How old were you?
A: I started racing in 1986, I was 18.

Q: What got you into racing?
A: The area where I grew up in New Jersey was near a track (Englishtown Raceway Park), and it seemed that every third house in our neighborhood had a race car in the driveway. On Saturday mornings I’d hear people starting up their cars to work on them. I could tell which car it was by the sound, so I’d get on my bicycle and ride over to the house and watch. When I got older I started racing too.

Q: What was the first car you raced?
A: I acquired by Grandmother’s 1969 Ford Falcon. I built the engine for it myself when I was 17 – a 302 with dual fours. It was my first engine build. I used the car on the street and for racing.

Q: What were some of the other cars you have raced?
A: Primarily I raced Mustangs. I grew up in a Ford household. I bought my first Corvette, a 1989, right after the 9/11 attack. I was a New York City police officer at the time and I wanted to get a gift for myself and also have something that let me get away from thinking about 9/11. I won it on an ebay auction. I kept it for a few years, and won four Corvette Challenge Championships.  Then I bought a 1998 Corvette Indy Pace Car replica – which I still race today. I really like this car, the colors make it stand out from other Corvette’s, and they only made 616 Pace Car Corvette’s with an automatic transmission.  I like cars that are different. I changed out the engine and drivetrain on this car to get it performing like it is today. I’ve won four Corvette Challenge Championships with this car.

Q: What associations have you raced in?
A: NHRA, NMCA, and the NMRA

Q: What have been your major recent racing successes?
A: For the last four years I’ve been racing in the LSX Series (a class in the NMCA that is four years old) and was Class Champion for the first three years. Last year I came in 7th as I was racing with a damaged torque converter and transmission.

Q: What do you like most about racing?
A: I like the travel, meeting racers from other places, and meeting up with friends – with the LSX Series it’s like going to a reunion four times a year. I also like helping other people race. I’ll volunteer to help line them up after their burnouts, and tow them to the staging lane. After they make a pass, I tow them back to the pits from the end of the track.

Q: Is your family involved in your racing efforts?
A: Sometimes. My kids are seven and nine, and they can’t travel with me because it doesn’t fit their school and sports schedule.

Q: How long have you used Fuelab?
A: Since 2011

Q: Why did you start using Fuelab?
A: I met Fuelab at an LSX event in 2011, they were displaying as a vendor there. I started asking Josh (Davis) about the products. He was very knowledgeable and had all the right answers. I was sold on their unique technology and the efficiency.

Q: Was there a particular problem you were having that Fuelab solved?
A: My fuel pump was getting older, and I wanted to replace it before it failed. So, I had been looking around for a new pump. I felt Fuelab had the best product, so I went with them.

Q: How has Fuelab affected your racing success?
A: There is no down time due to fuel delivery issues. I use Fuelab in two vehicles and the performance is flawless.

Q: What Fuelab parts do you use?
A: In the Corvette I have a Fuelab fuel pump, and regulator. I also have a (highly modified) 1985 Mustang GT that I have owned and raced since the late 80’s, and will be racing in NMRA this year. That has a Fuelab pump, regulator, and two filters.

Q: Where do you see yourself in racing in 5 years?
A: I plan to continue racing in the same manner. Traveling, seeing friends, and racing with my “racing family”. I want to continue racing the Corvette in LSX, and also race NMRA with the Mustang.

Q: What do you do in your spare time?
A: Remote control planes, RC helicopters, RC boats, RC cars. I like to do this with my nine year old son. The boats will go 60-80 mph. My son and I race RC off road trucks.