big red driveshafts

Most of parts that come off Big Red end up on one of RJ’s shelves at Dave’s shop. The cool, old parts are set aside to be displayed in the future Big Red museum. The other parts wait to be repurposed, like two of the three driveshafts that are going to Ed Moore Drivelines in San Bernadino, California, to get re-tubed. The note on the shaft says “5/8-inch longer” because they are from the old Jerico four-speed transmission, and they are 5/8-inch too short to use with the G-Force transmission.

Of the two driveshafts, it’s easy to tell which is going into service while the one waits as a backup. The shaft that’s going into service has the magnetic pickup ring on the driveshaft yoke. It’s used for picking up the rpm of the driveshaft for the Holley EFI system. If the shaft is ever swapped out, the ring will be moved to the new shaft. Of the four driveshafts on the box, the 4L80E automatic transmission driveshafts are three inches shorter than the two for the G-Force four-speed manual transmission. All four are 3 1/2-inch diameter with solid U-joints and Mark Williams Billet yokes. The under-car photo shows the front driveshaft safety loop mounted to the floorpan. What you don’t see is the structural members inside the car, which anchor the safety loop crossmember. Also note that the suspension is at full droop, which pulls the driveshaft close to the side of the rear crossmember

loop, but doesn’t actually touch. At ride height, the driveshaft is centered in the loop. The team has been using Speedway Engineering’s nine-inch floater housings forever. The dusty, original rearend did double duty before the rebuild. It is the Road-Race housing with 0.188-inch wall axle tubes and 31-spline axles. The flexible Teflon™ brake lines were used to make room for the Bonneville lead plate perches (not shown). The axle tubes are shown ground clean, and the new four-link suspension brackets are being mocked up during the rebuild. This was a spare housing for Bonneville before a 0.219-inch wall housing was purchased.

The primary rearend for Bonneville is shown with the small, red S4 (four piston) Baer Brakes calipers and small-diameter discs. The Bonneville salt and El Mirage lake bed silt are traction-challenged racing surfaces, which require less braking and more need for parachutes. The big, horizontal perches are where the team

big red engines
hydro cylinder

bolts hundreds of pounds of lead weights for much needed ballast at Bonneville and El Mirage. The axle tubes are 0.250-inch-thick wall for additional strength.

The Powermaster Performance alternator mounted on the gear carrier and electric Stewart water pumps seen behind the axle are equipment only used when the supercharger is bolted on the engine for Land Speed and Top Speed events.

The big silver Baer brakes and four-link bars installed on the housing are indicators of being ready to run Top Speed events on asphalt. The 0.219” thick wall tubing housing is the new spare unit for Bonneville. It’s shown as a completely bare steel housing with the new four-link brackets freshly installed, prior to paint.