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Discussion Starter #1
OK this is basic, basic stuff. If you already know anything about drag racing it isn’t going to help. Well, until the second post…

Dragracing, drag racing, the digs, the quarter mile (or the eighth mile), the 1320, the strip, the track – all of these describe the basic drag race where two vehicles line up side by side at a dead stop and race 1320 feet (1/4 mile), first one to get there wins.

The National Hot Rod Association (NHRA) is the most popular dragracing association in the US. Here’s their page on what dragracing is:
http://www.nhra.com/basics/basics.html

If you click on the left of that link (on the page that opens) there are some other basic descriptions on what this is all about.
Some tracks are only 1/8 of a mile long and others are 1000 feet long. It just depends on where and when the track was built.

Street racing is basically the same thing only it is illegal and there is no guarantee you are running a prescribed distance. In some street racing, it is done “from a roll”, meaning that the two contesting vehicles are already moving at some speed. Where the Christmas tree is used at the track, for street racing it can be someone waving a hand, flashing a light, or when from a roll, three honks of a horn – going on the last honk. Or it could be just about anything. Street races can be either more or less distance than what is on a sanctioned track. Usually it is less when one vehicle is really pulling away from the other and sometimes longer if it is a close race and the competitors are ‘neck and neck’. But a street race can be just about anything as long as it’s two vehicles trying to go as fast as they can, the one in front wins.

There are a lot of tips, tricks, and rumors in the dragracing world and some work, some don’t. And what works on one vehicle may not work for the other. Usually it is a combination of modifications (mods) that makes the faster vehicle.

The thing to remember about acceleration is that equation we all saw in high school. F=ma F is force, m is mass (weight), and a is acceleration. We want to accelerate faster than the guy/gal next to us in a dragrace so the equation then becomes a = F/m. This is important. So we can get more acceleration if we add more force (horsepower) or we subtract mass (lower the weight). This is just a basic deal. There are other factors such as traction and gearing that fit into this and we’ll deal with that later on.

So enough of that, let’s get to our trucks. I really doubt anyone here bought their Titan to race. However, we all pretty much realized that the truck is pretty fast (for a truck) and those of us that like to compete with machinery have found our way to the track or punching it next to that car or truck next to us trying to go faster. Whatever the reason, in the grand scheme of dragracing we need some help if we expect to beat anything worth beating. Of course, that is all up to personal perception…

As trucks, we don’t have it all that bad. By now everyone knows that the Titan is putting out about 330hp at the crank and not the advertised 305hp as claimed by Nissan. We have a 5 speed transmission that definitely helps with overall gearing. By overall gearing, this is the multiplication of the transmission gear ratio (in whatever gear you are at the time) and the rear differential ratio. The gear ratio is simply a torque multiplication. Whatever torque the engine is putting out is multiplied by the overall gear ratio and that is the force exerted to the wheels. We also don’t weigh a whole lot compared apples-to-apples against the other trucks out there. And from our equation this is a good thing since less mass is better acceleration.

The mainstay of mods that people tend to do is add power. In our case, this is the cat-back exhaust of your choice, maybe the resonator replacement with high flow mufflers or straight pipes, and a cold air induction (CAI) airbox and high flow air filter. Results have varied truck to truck with these mods.

But let’s get to the root of the matter here with Tim the Titan owner who just racked up 3000 miles on his 2 wheel drive crew cab. He gets the challenge from Ricky Racer and his 1990 Mustang GT complete with a 5.0 and automatic transmission. Ricky swears he is “The Man” and can take any rice truck that ever rolled a wheel on this planet. What do we do?

Well the mustang happens to be mostly stock. We figure he’s putting out about 235hp. No match for the 330hp the Titan has but the mustang only weighs about 3300 pounds and to Tim’s dismay, his truck weighs in right at 5000 pounds. An old rule of thumb is that 10 horsepower = 0.1 second gain in the ¼. And that roughly 100 pounds also = 0.1 second gain in the ¼. The titan has about 100hp on the mustang for about a 1 second advantage, but the weight difference is 1700 pounds for a 1.7 second advantage going to the mustang. So what does Tim do? Naturally he logs onto TT and gets educated.
Read on and we’ll cut to the chase.
 

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Discussion Starter #2
At the track it’s good to remember that your reaction time does not affect your ET on the timeslip. It does affect the total amount of time to get to the other end. Adding the reaction time to the ET will give the net amount of time to get through the ¼ mile. A good tip here is to leave on the last amber (yellow) light on the Christmas tree. By the time you mash the pedal and the truck gets going it’ll be green.

Some people say that they get a bog when mashing the gas all the way from a dead stop. Some titans do it, others don’t. Go out and practice once or twice to find out if yours is one of them. I don’t have that problem so I just mash it all the way all at once. Take the VDC off if you have it. It will allow the tires to spin a bit, which is a lot better than the traction control putting on the brakes and really slowing you down.

Weight is the enemy so lose as much as you can. Or at least what you are up to doing. The spare tire and tailgate are pretty easy to remove. Run a ¼ tank or less of gas. This can get as extreme as you want it to be. I’ll also remove floormats, the jack, and anything else I don’t need to make a pass that is loose in the truck. I don’t remove seats or bumpers but you could do it if you want to get radical.

If you have a few days and know where you’re going to be running, it doesn’t hurt to go out to that place and see what kind of traction you have. You might try playing with tire pressures to find out what works best. For me, I run about 35 pounds in the stock 18” wheels/tires. When I run the 17” wheels and shorter tires I go 28 pounds.

I’ve tried shifting manually and with it in D. It always shifts at the same spot no matter what I do, with the exception of if I don’t shift out of that gear manually at redline and then it just smacks the rev limiter. Mine is always in D after the burnout. If you have a the Big Tow, that switch won’t change anything for full throttle so leave it off.

Another traction issue is if you stall it or not. Some people do OK by mashing the pedal at idle. Some do good at 1500rpm. And some think it’s best to launch at the full stock 2200-2300rpm. This is another ‘try it and see’ what works for you.

Run your air filter, removing it doesn’t help anything.

Synthetics help, but I think it is marginal for performance gains on a truck due to weight. I run them, but it is more to know I have a better lubricant than for a power gain.

Turn off the air conditioner. It will switch off automatically under full throttle but running it just keeps the engine hotter. At the dragstrip, they generally get mad at you for doing this since the A/C drips water when running from the lines sweating and the evaporator drying the air as it passes through. Another trick at the dragstrip to help cool things down is to turn the heater on full blast after a run. It helps remove a little heat. I also pop the hood lever on the return road if I’m not going back to the staging lanes for another run. It lets a little more hot air out from under the hood.

At the dragstrip, be patient. Running continuously without letting the engine cool down a little doesn’t help make the truck any faster. Let it cool down about 30 minutes with the engine off and the hood open. Some people put ice bags on the intake. I don’t because of the mess and I just don’t feel like Hercules-ing it through the staging lanes to push my truck up to the burnout area to make the most of the cold soak.

Don’t run anything more than pump gas. Opinions vary but 93 octane is about as high as you want to go. Higher octane gas burns slower so that 104 or 112 octane race gas will actually slow down the process that your engine needs.

Fold in your mirrors, especially if you have the Big Tow. I don’t know if the truck runs faster with the tailgate up or down. I just take it off. The weight savings is there for the entire ¼ mile. Aerodynamics isn’t going to play a factor until you hit about 60mph (almost half the time of the run).

Overinflate the front tires. 50psi is mostly safe to drive around on if you aren’t doing a long trip or going very fast. Most tracks have air so you can bring a gauge with you to set the tires. Just remember to let some air out for the ride home. Leaving the tire gauge in a cup holder is a good way to remember.

I don’t disconnect my front sway bar for weight transfer. It works on some vehicles but I can’t say about the titan because I’ve never tried it.

Those 22” wheels sure look cool but the weight and the inertia from the weight being so far away from the rotating center don’t help. If you still have the stock wheels, put those on. I also run a 29” tall tire on stock 17” off-road wheels. The speedo error caused by this doesn’t hit the speed limiter, even on nitrous but it helps the overall gearing to the tune of about 0.15 seconds in the quarter mile. That’s better than either the Banks cat-back or the Volant CAI gave me. As far as wheels go, lighter is better. Shorter helps too, to a point.

Some folks get a little extreme and remove washer fluid reservoirs (or drain the water from there and the radiator overflow) and stock exhaust pipes/mufflers.

For timeslips and dyno runs, refer to the sticky in this “Titan Performance Modifications” section of the forum.

So now when people want to know what to do for a first time race, here ya go. I hope that others will chime in and fill in the holes I’m sure I left open.
 

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Just got schooled!

The Head,

I come home from work and I'm learning stuff! Who'd have thought that? :idhit: Thank you for the information.

What about reducing drag on the truck?
Wouldn't you want some weight over the rear wheels for traction purposes?

I need answers...I wanna know how the drag race turns out :eyebrow:
 

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Discussion Starter #6
I guess it depends on how radical you want to be with the aerodynamics. I fold my mirrors in but that's the extent of what I do. After that I think you could remove the mirrors, remove the antenna, remove the windshield wipers, and tape up the grille opening. It might help some if you did a lot of little things but (to me) it would look a little funny.

Weight over the wheels would help with traction but will also slow you down as a result of having to pull the weight. Right now I don't have much of a traction issue. There are stickier tires out there that would be a better solution since they don't add weight.
 

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if i mash down on the gas and the wheels spin way too much can i put it in 4-wheel drive and take off that way to have more traction or is that not good?

this is my first 4-wheel drive vehicle so im still learning. just curious
 

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are you an 18 year old playboy in the Air Force? LOL

anyway- the xfer case is not meant to be engaged on surfaces with a lot of traction. Also, the front half of the driveline imposes more driveline loss than just the 2wd setting. You will be faster by simply feathering the gas- might take a little practice, though.
 

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Vegas04 said:
are you an 18 year old playboy in the Air Force? LOL

anyway- the xfer case is not meant to be engaged on surfaces with a lot of traction. Also, the front half of the driveline imposes more driveline loss than just the 2wd setting. You will be faster by simply feathering the gas- might take a little practice, though.
well now im a 23 year old about to be married who got out of the air force guy :upsidedow

as for leaving it in 2 wheels...works for me.
 

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The cool thing about reaction times is they tell you how much time elasped after the light turns green and before you leave the stage lights. Plus if you red light you can tell how early you left the stage lights before the light turned green.

Lets say that your reaction time is .1 second slower than the guy next to you and you run the same ET at the same MPH (lets say 90 MPH at the traps) you will lose by 13.2 ft. In theory. Yes, .1 second at 90 MPH is 13.2 feet. Now granted you aren't doing 90 MPH the whole race. So it might be more like 10 feet. But you see the point. I have lost races because of a .04 slower reaction time in ET drags.

This is why reaction time is so important.

For example: 5280 ft in a mile, 90 MPH is 1.5 miles per minute.
5280 x 1.5 = 7920 feet per minute. 7920 divided by 60 = 132 feet per second, 132 divided by 10 = 13.2 feet in .1 second at 90 MPH.

So in street racing if you get the jump (.5 sec.) you blow away the other guy even if he has more power than you.

Talk is talk till you get to the strip which is why I have stated in other posts (Mainly Hemi posts) "The bullsh!t stops when the green flag drops".

At the strip even if you leave early or late the time slip still shows the actual 1/4 time. Then you can compare slips to really see who is faster and/or quicker.:cheers:
 

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Wildmike said:
The cool thing about reaction times is they tell you how much time elasped after the light turns green and before you leave the stage lights. Plus if you red light you can tell how early you left the stage lights before the light turned green.

Lets say that your reaction time is .1 second slower than the guy next to you and you run the same ET at the same MPH (lets say 90 MPH at the traps) you will lose by 13.2 ft. In theory. Yes, .1 second at 90 MPH is 13.2 feet. Now granted you aren't doing 90 MPH the whole race. So it might be more like 10 feet. But you see the point. I have lost races because of a .04 slower reaction time in ET drags.

This is why reaction time is so important.

For example: 5280 ft in a mile, 90 MPH is 1.5 miles per minute.
5280 x 1.5 = 7920 feet per minute. 7920 divided by 60 = 132 feet per second, 132 divided by 10 = 13.2 feet in .1 second at 90 MPH.

So in street racing if you get the jump (.5 sec.) you blow away the other guy even if he has more power than you.

Talk is talk till you get to the strip which is why I have stated in other posts (Mainly Hemi posts) "The bullsh!t stops when the green flag drops".

At the strip even if you leave early or late the time slip still shows the actual 1/4 time. Then you can compare slips to really see who is faster and/or quicker.:cheers:
Reaction time is very important if you're bracket racing, however, if you're just making time runs or test&tune, it doesn't matter. Matter of fact, I've been known to sit at the light a little while on the transbrake allowing the supercharger to build up boost before leaving .......... 1-2 second after it turns green.
 

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Thanks for the good info.
 

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Thats why I can't wait to get my TruTrac installed...WOT and no more "Slip" light :)
 

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head.........informative and as usual friggin funny:jester: hehehe!!!

TIMMY-TITAN & RICKY-RACER:upsidedow
 

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that was a great bit of info. Much appriciated. I ran my mostly stock 05 titan at the track about a month ago. I can not turn my tcs off but I found that if you pull the abs fuse, it eliminates it. And although it makes for a heck of a burnout, aparently the computer shuts down the truck at about 85 mph. allowing for a run of 15.97 my first pass. After melting the tires a few more times for sh*#@ and giggles, I re-inserted the fuse and after a few better passes ran a 15.3. Not too shabby for a stock truck with only exaust.
been looking for go fast parts that aren't too expensive now to see if I can get a little faster without going overboard, looking for a programmer or chip but have had no luck.

In the meantime keep those tires fryin and keep it upright.
 

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Thanks for the great info... If our stock crank hp is more like 330, what is our stock RWHP at?

Thanks!
 
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