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post #1 of 13 (permalink) Old 01-17-2011, 09:14 AM Thread Starter
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Drag Prep and tips - what do you do?

So im going to the drags in a few weeks for the first time. I was going to go by myself because it's so much easier for me to make an arse out of myself in front of strangers with mad powerful cars but (un)fortunately, the car club i go out with is going that same night. To make things worse, half of them have NA 300zx's, so of course i'm expected to beat them in my mildly modified 350. My mods are in my sig, and ive got the stock bridgestones with about 40% tread left. Yes i could get some new tires, but im going to get some new, 19 inch rims later this year, so its not really worth the money.

So i need to get my prep right so that when i do lose, everyone can blame my driving. Ive spent a bit of time going through this forum and ive picked up a fair bit. Some of it is obvious and i already knew itm but here's my summary base so far:
  • Remove everything you dont need from the car, like spare tire etc
  • run your fuel down to less than 1/4 of a tank
  • lower rear tire pressure to about 20-25psi
  • ignore whoever is the other lane and concentrate on you're doing
  • a lot of people launch between about 2300 and 3000 rpm
  • don't dump the clutch, feather it.
  • find somewhere to practice your launches and get that 60' time down.
  • dont forget to turn VDC before your run. put a sticky note on the dash if you have to.
  • try to minimize wheel spin when you launch and find that "sweet spot" between wheel spin and bogging down and losing revs.
now, some questions, based off a few contradicting opinions in different threads:
  • burnout or no burnout? how big a burnout? ive never done a big burnout in the zed, do i just put in second, dial up 5000rpm and just dump it?
  • with my rather worn tyres, should my tire pressure be slightly higher or lower than normal.
  • with the stock gears on an 03, what gear should be crossing the line in?
has anyone else got any other tips for me?


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post #2 of 13 (permalink) Old 01-17-2011, 09:33 AM
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Originally Posted by ieatpelicans View Post
So im going to the drags in a few weeks for the first time. I was going to go by myself because it's so much easier for me to make an arse out of myself in front of strangers with mad powerful cars but (un)fortunately, the car club i go out with is going that same night. To make things worse, half of them have NA 300zx's, so of course i'm expected to beat them in my mildly modified 350. My mods are in my sig, and ive got the stock bridgestones with about 40% tread left. Yes i could get some new tires, but im going to get some new, 19 inch rims later this year, so its not really worth the money.

So i need to get my prep right so that when i do lose, everyone can blame my driving. Ive spent a bit of time going through this forum and ive picked up a fair bit. Some of it is obvious and i already knew itm but here's my summary base so far:
  • Remove everything you dont need from the car, like spare tire etc
  • run your fuel down to less than 1/4 of a tank
  • lower rear tire pressure to about 20-25psi
  • ignore whoever is the other lane and concentrate on you're doing
  • a lot of people launch between about 2300 and 3000 rpm
  • don't dump the clutch, feather it.
  • find somewhere to practice your launches and get that 60' time down.
  • dont forget to turn VDC before your run. put a sticky note on the dash if you have to.
  • try to minimize wheel spin when you launch and find that "sweet spot" between wheel spin and bogging down and losing revs.
now, some questions, based off a few contradicting opinions in different threads:
  • burnout or no burnout? how big a burnout? ive never done a big burnout in the zed, do i just put in second, dial up 5000rpm and just dump it?
  • with my rather worn tyres, should my tire pressure be slightly higher or lower than normal.
  • with the stock gears on an 03, what gear should be crossing the line in?
has anyone else got any other tips for me?
well other opinions might be better than mine but here are my ansewrs

1) burnout just to warm up the tires a bit and clean them off. (dont worry too much on warming them up if they are street tires) few seconds is fine to clean them off.
2) I dont think so. Lower your psi to what you usually do and practive your launches to feel for the grip.
3) Ideally you want to go through all your gears by the time you reach the finish line. but your most likely going to finish in your 4th gear.
4) try to get powershifting down, it will help as well. (however it does put alot of stress on your tranny)

last but not least good luck
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post #3 of 13 (permalink) Old 01-17-2011, 11:41 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ieatpelicans View Post
So im going to the drags in a few weeks for the first time. I was going to go by myself because it's so much easier for me to make an arse out of myself in front of strangers with mad powerful cars but (un)fortunately, the car club i go out with is going that same night. To make things worse, half of them have NA 300zx's, so of course i'm expected to beat them in my mildly modified 350. My mods are in my sig, and ive got the stock bridgestones with about 40% tread left. Yes i could get some new tires, but im going to get some new, 19 inch rims later this year, so its not really worth the money.

So i need to get my prep right so that when i do lose, everyone can blame my driving. Ive spent a bit of time going through this forum and ive picked up a fair bit. Some of it is obvious and i already knew itm but here's my summary base so far:
  • Remove everything you dont need from the car, like spare tire etc
  • run your fuel down to less than 1/4 of a tank
  • lower rear tire pressure to about 20-25psi
  • ignore whoever is the other lane and concentrate on you're doing
  • a lot of people launch between about 2300 and 3000 rpm
  • don't dump the clutch, feather it.
  • find somewhere to practice your launches and get that 60' time down.
  • dont forget to turn VDC before your run. put a sticky note on the dash if you have to.
  • try to minimize wheel spin when you launch and find that "sweet spot" between wheel spin and bogging down and losing revs.
now, some questions, based off a few contradicting opinions in different threads:
  • burnout or no burnout? how big a burnout? ive never done a big burnout in the zed, do i just put in second, dial up 5000rpm and just dump it?
  • with my rather worn tyres, should my tire pressure be slightly higher or lower than normal.
  • with the stock gears on an 03, what gear should be crossing the line in?
has anyone else got any other tips for me?

First off, don't overthink it and just go have fun...really that's what it's all about, you have a kickass car - thats all that counts...with that being said here is my take...

I would tell you never to burnout - the burnout is to heat up slicks which helps them "lock up" rather than spinning. If you are running standard street tires than all you're doing is taking tread off your wheels and inhibiting your traction. Additionally, it's stressing your system/risking a broken axel or shaft or possibly damaging your tranny...just not worth it...

Removing weight from the back end is a double edge sword - you need weight on your rear axel to give it friction so that it has traction...maybe remove everything but take 1/2 a tank of gas. Take out your passenger side seat, that bitch is 50lbs (although your airbag light will come on and might need nissan to reset) - tread lightly on this one...

I'm not a fan of decreasing air pressure in your tires...once again, that's to provide more surface area for slicks to lock, not street tires - run your psi at your recommended rating - I think you'll have overall better results...yeah, you may lose traction on the get-go, but I bet you'll make it up in the last 300 feet of the race.

your 2500rpm range is good - but only you know how to "launch" your car the best...practice makes perfect.

your VDC, keep it on if you can't feather your clutch. If you spin your tires because VDC is off that you losing time. Take a few runs with VDC on and then a few runs with VDC off. I bet your times will be better with it on. Plus, you have that added security of not losing control of your car (especially with 40% tread life remaining)...

My experience with stock gearing is that I finished the 1/4 at the top of 4th gear - but that was on a 375whp system. if you are running less hp you might have a different experience and might hit 5th gear. take your car up to 6000rpm and no more, sure you could hit 7000rpm but your adding undue stress to every component of your car and IMO it's simply not worth a extra tenth of a second off your ET if it's going to harm your engine in the long run.


Don't get caught up in the "information" on decreasing your ET at a strip. Most of it is for drag-strip cars - which, sounds like you don't have. But really, just go have fun...

let us know how you do...

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post #4 of 13 (permalink) Old 01-17-2011, 12:32 PM
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I would think turning off VDC would be a no-brainer? I have never been to the drag strip but have pounded the gears on the streets and I get slip while shifting - it bogs down dramatically with VDC on. Just my $.02 worth on that one. You will probably finish in 4th gear - most stock 350's hit right around 100 MPH and my car hits the limiter at around 107 in 4th gear. And don't worry - with a decent launch you should be eating the 300 NA's lunch, lol. Drag racing is aobut half driver, half car.
We'll be awaiting your report...

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post #5 of 13 (permalink) Old 01-17-2011, 01:56 PM
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Originally Posted by 3point5 View Post
your VDC, keep it on if you can't feather your clutch. If you spin your tires because VDC is off that you losing time. Take a few runs with VDC on and then a few runs with VDC off. I bet your times will be better with it on.
What!? In no way, shape, or form should you be drag racing with the VDC on. The most effective launch (the one with the lowest 60' time) will produce wheel spin. As will the 1-2 shift and possibly the 2-3 shift. All of these would activate the VDC if it were left on. Since you lose throttle control for 1-2 seconds when VDC engages, this would have a serious negative impact on your ET.

-Ronin Z


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post #6 of 13 (permalink) Old 01-17-2011, 09:29 PM
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What!? In no way, shape, or form should you be drag racing with the VDC on. The most effective launch (the one with the lowest 60' time) will produce wheel spin. As will the 1-2 shift and possibly the 2-3 shift. All of these would activate the VDC if it were left on. Since you lose throttle control for 1-2 seconds when VDC engages, this would have a serious negative impact on your ET.

-Ronin Z
Absolutely you are indeed quicker with VDC off, on paper. But at 6000rpm and in to 2nd gear I, personally, spin tires. Then I'd have to back off the throttle to regain traction and straighten my car out and resume the throttle - all which cost time. What I am saying is that let the computer put as much traction to the wheels as possible, even if you lose a fraction of a second. I trust my computer and the traction control programming more than my senses (especially hopped up on adrenaline) and my right foot.

the bigger picture for Pelicans is try it a few times with VDC on and then try it a few times with it off. record on your time slips whether VDC was on or off and get back to us.

It's my guess that his times (especially as a beginner, with cut weight and with 40% tread life) will be better with VDC on rather than off. Cant wait to see the results!!!

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post #7 of 13 (permalink) Old 01-17-2011, 10:15 PM
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Absolutely you are indeed quicker with VDC off, on paper. But at 6000rpm and in to 2nd gear I, personally, spin tires. Then I'd have to back off the throttle to regain traction and straighten my car out and resume the throttle - all which cost time. What I am saying is that let the computer put as much traction to the wheels as possible, even if you lose a fraction of a second. I trust my computer and the traction control programming more than my senses (especially hopped up on adrenaline) and my right foot.

the bigger picture for Pelicans is try it a few times with VDC on and then try it a few times with it off. record on your time slips whether VDC was on or off and get back to us.

It's my guess that his times (especially as a beginner, with cut weight and with 40% tread life) will be better with VDC on rather than off. Cant wait to see the results!!!
I don't know what your VDC is doing, but VDC on my car is so aggressive and intrusive that it's not even a debate. Racing with the VDC on, I'd bog horrendously coming off the line, followed by another bog going from 1st to 2nd. And it's not a fraction of a second either. As a rough guess, I don't think I'd even be able to get in to the 14's* with VDC on.

To put it bluntly...if somebody is running comparable 1/4 mile times with either the VDC on or off, that just means they're a terrible driver.

-RZ

*Tomorrow, I'll pull my G-Tech meter out and make a couple of runs with the VDC on and off and post the results.


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post #8 of 13 (permalink) Old 01-17-2011, 11:33 PM
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...yaaaa you won't get anywhere near the potential of your set up with the VDC on, horrible advice there. Turn that thing off.


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post #9 of 13 (permalink) Old 01-18-2011, 03:29 PM
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Launch on the second yellow for better reaction time. RT doesn't begin when the green light turns on. It actually starts with the third yellow. This takes some getting used to..


FYI.. When you stage they're two yellow lights at the top of the tree that start to light up when approaching the sensor on the floor. Don't stage next to the tree because sometimes you will pass the sensor and you'll look like an idiot. You can stop on the first yellow which is know as shallow staging or when they're both lite up it's deep staging.
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post #10 of 13 (permalink) Old 01-18-2011, 05:11 PM
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Originally Posted by Ronin Z View Post
I don't know what your VDC is doing, but VDC on my car is so aggressive and intrusive that it's not even a debate. Racing with the VDC on, I'd bog horrendously coming off the line, followed by another bog going from 1st to 2nd. And it's not a fraction of a second either. As a rough guess, I don't think I'd even be able to get in to the 14's* with VDC on.

To put it bluntly...if somebody is running comparable 1/4 mile times with either the VDC on or off, that just means they're a terrible driver.

-RZ

*Tomorrow, I'll pull my G-Tech meter out and make a couple of runs with the VDC on and off and post the results.
Agree completely. It kills my launch every time.

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