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Finishing Touches with Jones Racing Products

A fan and belt may not seem like a big deal, but in crate racing, every fraction of a horsepower counts, and this is part of a larger plan make this 604 Chevy crate put power to the ground as efficiently as possible.

A fan and belt may not seem like a big deal, but in crate racing, every fraction of a horsepower counts, and this is part of a larger plan make this 604 Chevy crate put power to the ground as efficiently as possible.

Buttoning up our crate Late Model engine with select components to help maximize efficiency and put more power to the ground

Words and Photos by Jeff Huneycutt

Like football, crate racing is a game of inches. Everybody on the track has the same power plant, so the difference between winning and losing often becomes hair’s breadth thin. Of course, it’s still possible to find a consistent advantage over the competition, and there are three main areas where you can find one.

The first two areas are pretty obvious: setup and driving skill. But it seems like racers are often running over the same plowed ground there. The third area where you can still find an advantage is by improving the efficiency of your driveline — and we think there’s still lots of opportunity here.

Recently, we’ve been working with Jones Racing Products to upgrade and improve a Chevy 604 crate engine in a Dirt Late Model to see just what is possible. To move weight off the nose of the car and utilize some of Jones’ ultra-low drag belts and pulleys, we’ve already relocated the power steering pump, fuel pump, and alternator to the back of the block using a Jones Racing Products setup. If you haven’t seen that story, it’s definitely worth checking out. Read it HERE. We promise it will be worth your time.

And now we’ve circled back again to finish buttoning everything up and get ready to go racing. Of course, after talking to CJ Jones of Jones Racing Products, we found he’s got a few more tricks up his sleeve that we wanted to try for ourselves.

First of all, Jones has a very cool three-blade radiator fan they are calling the Hustler. The Hustler fans hold a number of advantages over a stock-style four-blade radiator fan. First of all, cutting a blade cuts weight, both from the loss of the blade and from Jones’ superior manufacturing quality — the fan uses a machined central spine to mount the blades instead of using two stamped plates riveted together. Plus, it moves more air than a stock-type four-blade design, so instead of a 19-inch fan you can get away with a 17- or even 15-inch diameter to further reduce rotating weight and inertia as you try to rev the engine coming out of the turns.

Since we’ve already moved all the pulleys to the back of the motor, we also needed to find a way to spin the water pump and radiator fan, so we’re going with a lightweight cogged belt drive that is low drag and also eliminates slippage. Because of that, Jones can go with a smaller crank pulley to make sure the water pump isn’t spinning too fast.

Finally, we’re also trying out the company’s new hoses and AN fittings as we finish plumbing up the fuel system. Fuel line and fittings may not seem like such a big deal, but once again, Jones has found a trick that makes you wonder why everyone doesn’t do it this way. Follow along and see for yourself.

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We’ve already moved all the accessories (power steering pump, fuel pump and alternator) to the back of the engine block using a Jones Racing Products kit, so we needed a simple, reliable way to spin the water pump. This is Jones’ cogged belt system that eliminates slippage without the added complexity of an idler pulley. It is also extremely lightweight, and the pulley sizes are chosen specifically for this engine package to get the ideal ratio.

This is the aluminum drive hub for the crank pulley. On the right side, you can see the spacers Jones added to make sure everything aligns properly. Racer Chris Hargett adds a bit of high pressure lube to ensure the portion of the drive that centers the assembly in the harmonic damper won’t gall up.

This is the aluminum drive hub for the crank pulley. On the right side, you can see the spacers Jones added to make sure everything aligns properly. Racer Chris Hargett adds a bit of high pressure lube to ensure the portion of the drive that centers the assembly in the harmonic damper won’t gall up.

The drive hub keys into the damper so it locks in place and won’t move.

The drive hub keys into the damper so it locks in place and won’t move.

After that goes the cogged pulley. The machined plate behind it keeps the belt from slipping off. There will be another plate like it on the other side to guide the belt without pinching it.

After that goes the cogged pulley. The machined plate behind it keeps the belt from slipping off. There will be another plate like it on the other side to guide the belt without pinching it.

But before the other plate can go on, the pulley is keyed in place so it cannot spin on the hub.

But before the other plate can go on, the pulley is keyed in place so it cannot spin on the hub.

Here’s a nice touch. This aluminum piece isn’t simply a washer, the underside (seen here) has been machined to slot over the hub so that the bolt always stays centered.

Here’s a nice touch. This aluminum piece isn’t simply a washer, the underside (seen here) has been machined to slot over the hub so that the bolt always stays centered.

Finally, the main bolt for the crank pulley is ready to be torqued into place.

Finally, the main bolt for the crank pulley is ready to be torqued into place.

With the lower pulley in position, Hargett installs the belt and upper pulley. The belt length and pulley diameter has already been scienced out by Jones, and everything fit perfectly. Because the belt is cogged, it doesn’t have to be super tight — which can wear the crank’s main bearings — while still eliminating slip.

With the lower pulley in position, Hargett installs the belt and upper pulley. The belt length and pulley diameter has already been scienced out by Jones, and everything fit perfectly. Because the belt is cogged, it doesn’t have to be super tight — which can wear the crank’s main bearings — while still eliminating slip.

Here’s a comparison between Jone’s 17-inch Hustler fan (left) and the stock-style, 19-inch blade Hargett previously ran. While moving similar amounts of air, the Hustler fan is significantly lighter, cutting rotating mass on the front of the engine.

Here’s a comparison between Jone’s 17-inch Hustler fan (left) and the stock-style, 19-inch blade Hargett previously ran. While moving similar amounts of air, the Hustler fan is significantly lighter, cutting rotating mass on the front of the engine.

We’re also using one of Jones’ ultra-lightweight fan spacers. This is a two-inch unit cut from aluminum billet and comes in at just a few ounces.

We’re also using one of Jones’ ultra-lightweight fan spacers. This is a two-inch unit cut from aluminum billet and comes in at just a few ounces.

Like everything else, each Jones piece centers off a button or a hub, so it is practically impossible to bolt up the fan and spacer out of alignment — critical for high-rpm operation.

Like everything else, each Jones piece centers off a button or a hub, so it is practically impossible to bolt up the fan and spacer out of alignment — critical for high-rpm operation.

Just for comparison’s sake, we slid in the radiator and existing fan shroud. Here, you can see Hargett will need to fabricate a smaller shroud opening, but being able to substitute a radiator fan that moves just as much air while two inches smaller in diameter means there will be that much less drag on the horsepower-limited crate engine.

Just for comparison’s sake, we slid in the radiator and existing fan shroud. Here, you can see Hargett will need to fabricate a smaller shroud opening, but being able to substitute a radiator fan that moves just as much air while two inches smaller in diameter means there will be that much less drag on the horsepower-limited crate engine.

The rear accessory drive kit from Jones also allowed Hargett to upgrade from a standard fuel pump to a high-flow belt driven pump from Waterman. To take advantage of this he wanted to be able to run a fuel return line back to the fuel cell. This billet carburetor fuel log from Jones fits the bill perfectly. The front of the fuel log will be the fuel inlet, while a pressure regulator can be mounted to the back with a return line to the cell.

The rear accessory drive kit from Jones also allowed Hargett to upgrade from a standard fuel pump to a high-flow belt driven pump from Waterman. To take advantage of this he wanted to be able to run a fuel return line back to the fuel cell. This billet carburetor fuel log from Jones fits the bill perfectly. The front of the fuel log will be the fuel inlet, while a pressure regulator can be mounted to the back with a return line to the cell.

Not many people are aware Jones also has their own line of lightweight hoses and fittings, but we bet that’s going to change pretty soon. Their hose is resistant to practically all fluids and includes steel wire to increase the burst pressure resistance. The fittings are anodized aluminum that swivel for easier installation. And best of all, they are all clearly laser etched with the fitting size so you can quickly identify the wrench you need when thrashing on the race car between heats.

Not many people are aware Jones also has their own line of lightweight hoses and fittings, but we bet that’s going to change pretty soon. Their hose is resistant to practically all fluids and includes steel wire to increase the burst pressure resistance. The fittings are anodized aluminum that swivel for easier installation. And best of all, they are all clearly laser etched with the fitting size so you can quickly identify the wrench you need when thrashing on the race car between heats.

Here you can see the metal weave embedded in the hose to increase the burst pressure.

Here you can see the metal weave embedded in the hose to increase the burst pressure.

Assembly is standard for most reusable fittings. One trick is after sliding the collar over the hose, Hargett marks the hose with a Sharpie right at the edge of the collar. This way if the hose pushes out during assembly it is easy and quick to tell that you don’t have a good connection.

Assembly is standard for most reusable fittings. One trick is after sliding the collar over the hose, Hargett marks the hose with a Sharpie right at the edge of the collar. This way if the hose pushes out during assembly it is easy and quick to tell that you don’t have a good connection.

Here, you can see the swivel section. A little extreme pressure lube on both the threads and the fitting makes assembly just a little bit easier.

Here, you can see the swivel section. A little extreme pressure lube on both the threads and the fitting makes assembly just a little bit easier.

The assembled hose fitting looks great, is lightweight, and swivels so you don’t need to worry about having all your angle fittings clocked perfectly every time.

The assembled hose fitting looks great, is lightweight, and swivels so you don’t need to worry about having all your angle fittings clocked perfectly every time.

Hargett ran a -10 line from the fuel cell to the belt driven fuel pump, and a -8 line exits the pump and feeds the carburetor.

Hargett ran a -10 line from the fuel cell to the belt driven fuel pump, and a -8 line exits the pump and feeds the carburetor.

One of Jones’ high-flow 180-degree fittings allows Hargett to route the fuel feed line to the carburetor log while still keeping everything compact and out of the way. We still need to run a return line off the back of the log and plumb up the fuel pressure regulator.

One of Jones’ high-flow 180-degree fittings allows Hargett to route the fuel feed line to the carburetor log while still keeping everything compact and out of the way. We still need to run a return line off the back of the log and plumb up the fuel pressure regulator.

We are almost ready to race and eager to see how the new setup on Hargett’s new setup performs on the track.

We are almost ready to race and eager to see how the new setup on Hargett’s new setup performs on the track.

Source

Jones Racing Products
jonesracingproducts.com


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  • John Woods says:
    July 23, 2016 at 1:35 am

    What is the torque spec for the main crank bolt. I see you using the torque wrench in the photo in the article.

    Reply

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