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Do Wheelies slow you down?

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  • Do Wheelies slow you down?

    I watched Pinks the other day and this kid in a Corvette was popping huge wheelies in every race. He lost in the final by just a few feet. My question is if he had not been do this would he have gone faster? I think so , but the drag racers would know for sure...
    '71 Dart with a 318!
    Mostly Old Parts And Rust!

  • #2
    That is a complicated question that needs to take into consideration the type of car and how much power that it has.

    For the faster car you have to have some weight transfer to the rear on a launch to dig out of the hole -- but there certainly is a happy medium. Monster wheel stands are cool -- but generally counterproductive.

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    • #3
      If any wheel stands were productive there would be no need for wheelie bars. The energy required to lift the nose would be better used to propel the car forward.
      "Men never do evil so completely and cheerfully as when they do it from religious conviction."
      Blaise Pascal

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      • #4
        Upward motion is wasted motion......you're trying to go forward, not up. A perfect load on the rear tires imo, is the front wheels being a couple of inches or so up on the launch and that's about it. If I can carry them for a ways and stay straight, then I'm good

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        • #5
          Originally posted by Cranky View Post
          Upward motion is wasted motion......you're trying to go forward, not up. A perfect load on the rear tires imo, is the front wheels being a couple of inches or so up on the launch and that's about it. If I can carry them for a ways and stay straight, then I'm good
          That sums it up pretty good.
          "Beer is living proof that God loves us and wants us to be happy" Ben Franklin

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          • #6
            I still think it is a little more complicated than that -- depending on the size/weight of the car, tube chassis, leaf spring, ladder bar, 4-link, automatic, 4-speed. There is a happy medium on how far you pull the wheels off the ground -- but mile high is counterproductive.

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            • #7
              Gallery - Category: Sportsman

              Photo gallery of the Stock Eliminators and Super Stock Cars running at Indy this past weekend. You will note most of them pull the wheels up a little.
















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              • #8
                These are some of the toughest racers in the country. Big Daddy couyldn't even make it into the show against them this last weekend.











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                • #9


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                  • #10
                    Speaking of Big Daddy. Here's him in qualifying.



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                    • #11






















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                      • #12
                        I watch the stockers at NHRA and other events and I see the cars yank the wheels up, and slam them down hard. That is most assuredly counter productive. If they're carrying them and set them down light, the chassis is working. To yank and slam is upsetting the chassis and means with a different set up the car should go faster. Just my .02...

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                        • #13
                          It's fairly simple physics-if you pick the front end up any more than necessary to keep the tires planted, you are wasting energy. If the car comes down too quick and unloads the tires, there will obviously be a problem.....keep in mind the stockers are not tunable to the point of some as far as the chassis limitations go......
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                          • #14
                            I agree with that. There are a certain percentage of guys that are more into show than go. Their wheel stands go too high and are slamming down way too hard -- not only screwing their 60' and 330' -- but damaging parts.

                            Scotty Jiles runs with us and last year at Milan he hit so hard that he bent the car to where one door wouldn't open and the other wouldn't close. They worked on the car all year and got it fixed for Zmax. I asked if he was done with the Monster wheel stands -- and he said he was. However in qualifying again this year at Milan he slammed down too hard again and had to run to Mancini for an oil pan, pick up, and rod bearings.

                            On my Coronets I can put either on the bumper -- but have the black one that Dallas drives set (4-link) to come up about 18" and carry about 50' before setting down nice and easy. My red car has wheelie bars and for my best 60' and 330' I set them to have the front come up 15-18 inches and come down easy when I hit second gear.

                            All of the faster Super Stock will have the front wheels come up a little (not on the bumper) and carry it out smoothly to where the front wheels will not bounce when the car comes down. That's just what appears to work for them -- or they wouldn't all be doing it. It is totally different that with a tube chassis door-slammer or dragster with perfect race tuned balance.

                            If the wheel stand gets out of control you need to hit 2nd gear ("If you see blue - shift to 2") but not lift. These guys coming down too hard are lifting.
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                            • #15
                              I always tended to keep my front end low. tends to keep underneath parts undamaged if the front end comes down a little hard for whatever reason however, if too low, and launched real hard, like NOS set on all out kill off the line, wheelie bars ARE parts that can break and cause even more damage, been there etc.
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