Just Because It Fits, Don’t Make It Right

So last weekend I was racing in Indianapolis, and my son Dallas was racing my backup car, the Texas Thug.

Dallas was the first car (of 78 Racers running NSS at the Dave Duell Classic) down the track for qualifying – and he recorded a 9.750 on a 9.75 – index, putting him in first without chance of anyone being able to bump him off. 


I didn’t do too bad either, qualifying 5th of 78 with a 9.751 on a 9.75 Index.

Well the next pass he car started smoking at the launch, and he was told he was leaking tranny fluid at the line.

Back in the pits, we find that one of the bolts from the transmission’s tail shaft backed out and was gone. We found one that fit and put it in. The next run the car ran off its number by 4/100. The run after by 7/100. We checked the timing, the wires, changed the cap & rotor, changed the jets — and did everything else we could think of. The car just kept getting slower and slower. Just before the first round of eliminations, we threw in the towel – figuring it was the convertor and didn’t want to risk blowing up the transmission.

Back at the shop, we pulled the transmission to get the convertor out.

When I drained the transmission, it looked pretty bad – requiring a long look at the transmission for damage. Within minutes we found that the tail shaft bolt was 1/2″ too long and it came up against the 1st gear band – locking it down onto the drum. The band was toast, as were the pump gears. One more pass could have been carnage. 

So the transmission is back together with some new paint, and the back up convertor is ready to go back in. I’ll need to send the main convertor to ATI to go through because of all of the trash that ran through it.


The lesson learned, just because the bolt goes all of the way in, doesn’t mean its the right size.