News & Events
STA Parts Falcon - Squig, IHRA Nationals 2013
Squig reports... "We finished the rebuild on the weekend prior to the IHRA Nationals and all was well again, during the week I fitted an inline fuel filter so we could hopefully avoid anymore blocked port nozzles and melted pistons. I also modified the rocker covers in hope of keeping the gaskets sealing under the extreme pressures we encounter with running a supercharger (BB Fords don't have a bolt in the middle on the inside for the rocker covers). We loaded up and took it down on Friday evening so that I could tow down the junior dragster on the Saturday morning, it was my 15 year old son Zachary's turn with hunter crewing this meeting. The crowd was pretty good considering it was qualifying, the main crowd come on the Sunday not realizing that they are missing out on show that at times is more exciting than the actual race day due to racers pushing hard just to get in the field and wanting to be as far up the ladder as possible in the hope of drawing an easier first round opponent. It was good to see so many STA Parts Falcon supporters on the day including Stefano and Bruno down for the day.
We carried out the warm ups etc and got ready for the first of 3 qualifiers, we contemplated doing just a 1/2 pass to check out the fuel system but with the weather looking a bit dodgy we decide to fatten it up and do a full pass in case we didn't get another shot at it. Good burnout so no shortage of power. I pull into stage and bring it up on the limiter, the car creeps forward out of the beams so I quickly reverse back before the starter flicks the switch... luckily (can't do that on race day), I bring the revs up a little being careful not to creep forward again. The tree flashes and we're off, the STA Parts Falcon rattles the tyres a bit but nothing of any concern and continues storming straight as a die...then BOOM!!.... the burst panel on the blower manifold lets go, such a violent release that even though the burst panel is on the front of the engine the pressure wave pops the dzus's and brackets off the rear of carbon fibre front clip where it attach's to the car and lifts it momentarily up a 3''-4''. Clutch in, fuel off, ignition off and chutes out. I coast to the end of the track with the crash crew on my tail (luckily), that's when I notice flames coming out from the under the hood... I hit the onboard fire system......nothing happens.....so I decide to get out ASAP. The crash crew jump into action and dowse the engine bay with extinguishers, A BIG THANK YOU TO THOSE BOYS. We remove the front clip to survey the damage, seems alright a few scorched wires and the fuel tank breather melted (that's what was burning, along with an oil from a cracked fitting). Russel Lowe in his orange Camaro faired even worse, he didn't even get off the start line as he twisted up the drive shaft, broke a pinion and damaged the end of his gear box. Top Doorslammer racing isn't for the faint of heart, your always on the ragged edge of a personal best run or flirting with disaster, that's why it's one of the most popular classes to watch! Back in the pits we survey the damage in detail to see if we can repair, all day long people are coming up and saying that there were some decent flames coming from under and around the car when it went bang, they were even more impressed when they saw us come out again on the 3rd and final qualifier, most had written us off for the weekend after such a fiery explosion. We went over the data, checked the plugs etc and verified that the blower back fire was due to a lean out caused by a drop off in fuel pressure, a leak down confirmed all was still well with the engine so we decided to remove the fuel filter as this was all that had changed since we last ran when all was well and might be causing a restriction. I went over the clutch and checked the air gap (clearance between the clutch plates) in case it was to tight but all seemed normal, so I was none the wiser why the car was pulling me through the beams. We also repair the broken cable for the fire system as I definetly want that working next time and repaired the broken bracketry that holds on the front clip. We headed out for the final qualifier, with a plan to just to take it to 3rd gear and shut her down so that we could get some data on the fuel pressure and pyros. Craig Brown' 55 Chev was in the other lane trying to better his earlier 6.9. We did syncronised big burnouts much to the joy of the crowd, then lined up. Again the STA Parts Falcon pulled me through the beams, this time though I just let her go as I wasn't concerned with getting a time slip, we were only wanting on board data, another good launch ...2nd...3rd...clutch in and coast to the end. Meanwhile Brownie is all over his lane a on a messy pass indeed, a bit to aggressive in the clutch no doubt. Back in the pits we go over the data, quick service etc and ready for the 1st round of eliminations. What with the weather expected tomorrow, the track had decided to put one round through that evening with a hope that the weather wouldn't get here until late Sunday afternoon. After much discussion we decided that we would richen up the fuel system due to the cooling conditions and the fact the though the fuel pressure had improved it still wasn't quite where we wanted it. The plan was to front up and hope for an easy 1st round, although the field was pretty tough so there wasn't much chance of that, we qualified 5th due to our issues and only managing a 7.88, top qualifier was a ross Taylor with a 6.22. We drew Brownie and were the last pair out, definitely not an easy draw but at least we knew we could match him on performance if she held together, we have both run high sixes, if I cut a good light we had a chance. To add to the pressure of having to run it out the back door with our fuel issues, I see two of the other top qualifiers, Mark Bardsley and Wayne Yearbury both go out. Mark only manages a 7.4 not his usual mid 6's and looses to Rod Benjies with a 7.4 (quicker off the tree), then Wayne shuts it down on the start line, letting Trevor Smith solo through with a 7.0 (P.B). This means if we get through this round, we have a pretty good chance against who's left, with Ross Taylor (6.22) the biggest issue. Both Kerry and I agree it's do or die, after all we are here to race. Again Brownie and I don't disappoint the crowd with the burnouts. We line up and I'm extra careful not to lurch forward and red light. I cut a respectable .100 light to brownies .200, I 've got a tenth of a second on him already, As I charge to mid track there's no sign of him beside me, this is where I have to decide weather to keep the hammer down and risk the engine or get out of it and save it????? A hard choice when you're discussing it calmly in the pits prior to the race but when your racing and that red mist comes before your eyes, it becomes simple.... Hammer Down!! As I approach 3/4 track.... BOOM!!, the blower lifts off the manifold in spectacular fashion as the studs let go (they are aluminium and are designed to be a weak link in the unfortunate instance of a big blower back fire, along with the burst panel). I put in the clutch, shut down the fuel, kill the ignition (not that it's running any more), pull the chutes and coast through the traps at about 160MPH in a white out of smoke but still don't see any sign of Brownie. In the chute packing area I jump out and check for any signs of fire but all is good apart from a blower flopping about. At this point Brownie walks over and congratulates me on the win, it turns out that he got all out of shape again and shut off as I disappeared in the distance. The crew roll on up and are all smiles as we tow back to the pits with many in the crowd cheering for our efforts. In the pits we asses the damage, Ross Taylor comes up with a set of spare used blower studs, then we perform a leak down. This doesn't give us good news so we decide to pack up the car to take it home to work on in the garage where we have better lighting and equipment. We work on into the night and the next morning, basically doing a band aid to get us to the line for eliminations the next day. Usually we pray for the rain to stay away but this time we are hoping for the opposite (sorry Fram and the other racers) as a rain off would postpone the meeting for a few weeks and that way we can carry out better repairs ready for the stiff competition that awaits. Zachary didn't fair much better in 1st round either as the J/D's air shift didn't work and he was stuck in 1st gear...welcome to the fickle world of drag racing my boy.
Squig takes Drag car to Hunua School
"Today Squig Miles came to Hunua School to talk to us about his drag car. He came because it was Dads day-it’s
when the dads of kids that go to Hunua can show off their toys and talk about their careers. So Hunter persuaded his
dad to bring in his drag car.
Squig showed us his protective gear and it’s all really cool because pretty much everything is fire proof. All the kids thought that was really cool. The even cooler part is that he even had fireproof undies and socks. Then he started up his beast of a car. I felt scared at first then after a few seconds I felt alright. It was so loud that my friend Emerson’s glasses were jumping around on her face. Then he told us his most important advice, it was that if you want to become someone successful then you have to study hard even if you don’t like it".
By Chelsea, Hunua School student.
Source: Hunua School Newsletter Term 2: Fathers Day
STA Parts are a key sponsor of Metalman Race Team.
MetalMan Motorsport is a team of two teams - One team run the GTR in the Targa and one team run the race circuits with the Escort. Also racing is the F5000. Clark Proctor, the director of Metalman, is the driver in most cases and is the driving force of the team. The Nissan Escort in GT2 is the latest project and this iconic car has to be the worlds fastest Escort. The Escort can do a lap of Pukekhoe one second faster than the fastest Muscle car in the hands of Clark Proctor.
The newest car is the Formula 5000 in the Amon series at Hampton Downs.
MetalMan Motorsport is growing all the time and STA Parts have been a key sponsor for many years.
STA Parts Falcon - WE DID IT! 6.991 - The quickest and fastest TRUE Ford in NZ (Ford Body, Ford Powered)
Dedication and determination 2011/12 Season
Squig reports... It was a busy few weeks trying to get the STA Parts Falcon running again in time for the Bay Rodders Nostalgia Drags with many highs and lows along the way. As I mentioned on the report of the Nationals, we had stripped it down to find the burnt piston, no problems there we have spares. What we also needed was rings, an intake valve and new rod bearings. We managed to find most of these parts in our inventory and Tony Marsh was able to supply some old rings. The heads needed the seats cleaned up from the melted aluminium as well as the combustion chamber on #2 was a bit messy, it turns out that the head got a bit warped also from the heat so they needed planning. Brian Weber of Street Rod Engine Reconditioners kindly took care of this, that was until his head machine died (thanks for the effort Brian). This meant that Kerry had to finish them by hand which took him a while, then finally reassemble them.
STA Parts Falcon - Squig, Fram Nationals Update
Fram Nationals, 17 March 2012
Squig reports.... "The Carnage Nationals"…. Well the weekend didn't quite go as planned!!..
Carol our pit runner gave us the call up so I got suited up and we headed for the staging lanes. I was up against Russell Lowe again, he took the right lane so I had to contend with the left. It's not as bad as some make out (at least I can see the tree at this track), it does have a camber on it that can make you drift towards the wall at about 330' but if the tracks sticky, your car's setup right and you make a conscious effort to stay more to the centre line it's not so bad. It doesn't have such a dip at half track or the finish line as the right lane does so they sort of even out in my view. I did a pretty decent burnout backed up and put the car into prestage, Russell bumped in, we both fully staged. Holding the staging brake hard and mashing the accelerator down with the clutch depressed hard also...the engine went to the preset launch mode on the 2 step. The yellows flashed, I left quickly with a .120 R/T (not to bad), the car left smoothly with no tyre shake however the shift light came on quick and stayed on as I pulled the shift levers in quick succession. This I knew wasn't right but as I use levers rather than push buttons (air shifted) as others do, I could feel that the transmission was changing gears correctly and that the likely cause for the shift light staying on was that the clutch was set too loose and therefore slipping. A quick glance down at the bellhousing and I could see the haze of clutch dust, yep it was slipping alright, I then glanced over to the tach to make sure I wasn't overreving the engine, 8,500 rpm, a little high but all good.........keep with it. BOOM!!! Clutch in and pull the fuel shut off, pull the chutes.......What the ??? As I coast for the remainder of the run with smoke coming out from the hood I think to myself, did I throw a rod..... no, it didn't over rev, It must of blown the burst panel on the blower manifold? Bugger it was on a good pass!
Sure enough once I'm out of the car I see the burst panel peeled open. Then to my horror I realize I can see through to the base of the manifold as
there is a gapping hole in the manifolds bottom big enough to put your hand through, I turn away in disgust and gather my thoughts. Just then the crew arrive
and ask what happened, as I explain and point towards the manifold I then realize that there is a small fire in the manifold valley from the oil and wiring
that sparked up after the explosion...we quickly put that out and double check for any other issues before we tow back. Once back in our pit space I hear that
we had just streaked away and had managed to run a 7.10 ET even though it had expired at 3/4 track. That hurt even more....It was the 6 second pass that we were
after!! We then started to remove the blower, spark plugs etc to see what actually happened and to access the damage, meanwhile I down load and go over the data.
The spark plug on #2 cylinder has melted the electrode off which means a lean out and that's what the down loaded data showed also. What's remarkable though is
the fact that the engine was 1,900RPM ahead of the driveshaft, it was slipping that much then quit at 3/4 track and still ran a 7.10. As always the STA Parts Falcon
shows us how fickle the sport of drag racing can be but also dangles a carrot in front of us. It's certainly character building. If it can put up those sort of numbers
with a far from ideal run, what can it do once sorted?
We survey the damage and discus about me taking the manifold to work and pulling an all nighter to try to do a
weld repair, blowers okay and it would be good to put on a good showing for STA Parts. After further investigation however we decide to call it quits as we are unsure
what unseen damage there is, so we put it in the trailer and watch the rest of the days qualifying. This showed me three things. One-the rest of the
field was fairing no better in fact many classes had cars breaking in some way , our class started with about 10 and ended up with only 3-4 for the next
days racing what with broken diffs, lunched valve gear, oil leaks and the like. Well we took it home and decided to pull it apart there and then so that
we could see the real internal damage and try to ascertain what went wrong as the tune up for the fuel was bang on, the rest the cylinders and plugs
looked good. Sure enough #2 piston was torched and there was little bits of aluminium from the manifold under valves and all about the place, we checked our
inventory of spares and had what was needed to affect the repairs but what with the major to rebuild the manifold and get everything right, clean it all down
etc, we decide to sit this one out as time wasn't on our side. We have since discovered the the port nozzle lines have deteriorated and even though we keep an
eye on them and flush them after every meeting it appears that they have collapsed on the inside and there fore starved the fuel on that cylinder. Speaking
with other more experienced teams it turns out that they should be replaced every 2 seasons, I'm not going to tell you how old ours are, suffice to say we are
going to replace all 16.
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