Iowa 409 Guy

Well Seasoned Member
Supporting Member 10
Al's been posting here for a while. He knows his stuff. Stock Eliminator class. I bugged him for some pics of his car and haven't seen any. . So, I'm helping him out here. I met Al years ago at a shooting match in Webster City, Iowa. Ten X is a shooting term. When he first started posting here I didn't put 2+2 together and recognize who it was. Maybe he'll fill in some details on his car. Nice ride Al.... i544ktQl.jpg
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Well Known Member
Thanks for the nice words, Dave. For those that don't know, Dave is at the top of an elite group of shooters, world wide.

As to the car, it's a '68 Nova that I run in NHRA Stock Eliminator class with a 327-275 horse combination. In Stock, you have to have the stock lift cam (.390/.410 in my case), stock compression ratio, stock intake and carb (cast iron with a QJet) and basically unmodified heads with stock valve sizes. My car runs in G/SA which has a NHRA index of 12.00. To date, it's been in the low 11 teens in decent air at 116 mph.

Since we have such tight rules, we work hard for every couple of extra horse power we can get. I'm lucky to have a private dyno facility to test at. Recently, I spent a couple of days testing oils and came away with some meaningful power increases.

The race car shop I work out of. With three cars to maintain, it gets busy coordinating testing, parts delivery, etc.

Some days I feel like this:

This was my last really good race car before getting serious about my education and raising a family.

I can add to this occasionally, if people are interested. As this is primarily a 'W' block site, I'd add that I mostly paid my way through Radiology school and supported a family by buying and selling 409 cars, parts and doing engine work "...back in the day". This was a '62 that I did in the early '90's. It was a local car it's whole life and ended up battered by it's constantly intoxicated owner. I was able to buy it and it ended up pretty nice.



Well Known Member
So what did you find with the different oils? did you try Joe Gibbs 3XP?
Two oils that gave the best power were Valvoline VR1 dinosaur oil (non synthetic) 10w30 and Red Line's synthetic 5w30 race oil. It's important to note a couple of things, though.....the flat tappet cams we use in these Stockers have extremely aggressive 'dwell-style' lobes that require the use of some relatively stout spring pressures. So, we need an oil that will release some power and still have a zinc value in the 2,000-2,200 ppm range to make the cams last. I have the cams gas nitrided and that helps break in, which is critical.

All new oils need to be broken down and cycled a couple of times (dyno pulls) before they show you what they've got for power. This cycling changes the viscosity (not the weight) and sort of 'smooths out' the oil.

Best power for my combination was with 3.5 quarts of circulating oil. Regardless, the best power comes from keeping the oil as far away from the rotating assy as possible. In Stock class, we have to use a stock oil pan or an NHRA accepted pan. So, what's inside the pan is important....scrapers, screens, etc. Believe me, once you start testing this stuff, you find out that not all is as it seems. ;)

Made this Lexan cover for the timing cover to facilitate moving the cams ICL around on the dyno. With two sets of old Moroso water pump spacers, there's no need to remove the water pump or balancer to change the cam timing. 10 minutes and we can make another pull with the cam advanced or retarded.



Well Known Member
Are those JW bellhousings on two of the three transmissions on that bench?
Yes, they are Don. We run the Metric 200 transmissions and the bell housing area on the passengers side are prone to cracking, especially behind the big blocks that wheel stand hard. The JW's have eliminated that issue. On my car, I made a brace that gives that side some extra support.


Don Jacks

Well Seasoned Member
Supporting Member 3
Nice touch on that timing cover!!!!!!!!!!:applWe noticed back In the 80's on our slower[often street driven] cars that the car would slow down slightly after an oil change.Likely that "cycling" condition in play there.The ET.s would come back after about a dozen runs or so.


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Nice information on the oil, Valvoline 10 -30 VR1 that's the same oil I use in my 68 Chevy 2 with the big block and I also use zinc additive. I think it helps the cylinder walls the Piston skirts and the Rings too not to mention the lifter bores in the camshaft!


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The car is pretty straight forward as far as a Stock Eliminator car goes. We use extremely aggressive convertors so the suspension has to be set up accordingly. My car uses Cal Trac bars (modified a bit), has a 12 bolt rear with Strange axles and light weight spool with 5.14's. Transmission is a Metric 200 (TH200) with a 2.91 low gear and a 1.66 second. Headers are Elston stainless tri-y's, cam is by Comp Cams. Since we have to run the stock lift (.390 int/.410 ex in my case), lobe profile and lobe phasing are critical. Pistons are CP NHRA accepted pieces...flat tops with 4 valve reliefs for the 327-275. Ignition is an MSD Digital 6 Plus with a high gear timing retard and internal two step. For a two step, I use an inline hydraulic switch that's adjustable for pressure to acctuate the two step circuit in the MSD.

Since we are so limited on the rules, you have to look at everything for gains. Alignment, brake drag, gear oil and wheel bearings all play a part.


Well Known Member
I have a set of caltracs on my 68 Chevy ll and I've tried a lot of traction devices in my life, for a leaf spring application there's nothing better then caltracs:good
Al, are there many stock eliminators that run factory OEM aluminum big block Chevy heads like the L 89 motors ?