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Straightliner59

Junior Fueler--More Of These (Darn) Injectors?! 02/01/19

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This model, like many of my models, has a long story. Begun in 2000 or 2001, it has been near completion perhaps a couple of times. The first time it stalled due to my dissatisfaction with the first body I built. That body was built from tooling aluminum, which, although very malleable, doesn't have much tolerance for compound curves--at least as far as dragster cowls are concerned.

Then, while I pondered building a new body from aluminum flashing, I decided I didn't like the Hilborn injection setup, as compared to Enderle's. So, I tore the engine down, and began to explore possibilities for Enderle stacks. Turns out,there aren't any good ones from a kit (this was still several years before the Slingster was released. Those are the best kitted versions, but those leave something to be desired, too). I began to make sets of stacks, hoping to come up with a pair of tubes that were good enough to mate into a single unit and have them cast. That turned out to be relatively fruitless, until, within the past year, or so, I made a mold of one of the units I made, in which one of the stacks was a bit "off". I used two of those castings, and cut them apart, and mated two of the "good" stacks into a single unit (small, cropped photo below) that makes me happy enough to believe I can complete four units, and finally finish the injector setup. I may use the pictured resin manifold (it's from one of the better known casters, but, I can't recall where I got it from, at the moment), or, I may use one of the manifolds I began building. At any rate, I think I see the light at the end of that tunnel!

Now, I am working on a new cowl. I like the older one--it fits decently, and is well-formed, but, I've  always wanted it to be a bit "taller", at the rear of the cowl, so...

I found an article in an old Hot Rod Magazine Yearbook that features several junior fuel dragsters, and I collected the ideas I liked from them, and began to conglomerate them into my own version of one of these bad little rides.  Here's where it all began, and, where it is, today. As always, queries and comments are welcome!

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What a pleasure seeing you build in this vein once again. Those who aren't familiar with your work back in the Straight Line Modeler days are in for a real treat! And for me there's no moree legant and graceful a race car, straight line or otherwise, that a classic Junior Fueler. Can't wait to see more, more, more...

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Thanks, Bernard! It's much appreciated! Thank you, as well, for your kind words regarding the Monza. I'll be building front wheels for this, too, which I failed to mention above. My favorite thing about working with aluminum flashing for dragster bodies is, unless you end up creasing it, it's not ruined. You can just keep tweaking it here and there, until it fits! I'm leaning toward just smoothing and cleaning up the body, and putting any markings over the bare aluminum, What do you think?

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There's nothing more impactful scale than good looking bare metal, IMHO. And so many of these cars debuted in bare metal before getting their final paint. I've done some rails in aluminum finish and have found that the effect I like most is when I combine in with some contrasting trim color and decals. I did a Junior Fueler last year with white and yellow accent panels and yellow chassis rails that I thought worked out especially well.

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I agree with that. Nothing else looks like metal. I remember that digger!

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GITTER DONE! B)

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That's looking really cool. 

Some Herb Deeks photo etched wire wheels would really set it off. 

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What a cool project!

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Here are some shots of the new cowl, more in place. As soon as I've drilled and pinned the other side (as you can see, it's askew, here), it snugs down against the firewall. Danged if it doesn't look almost like a real dragster body! Also included is the beginning of one of the front wheels (I've never cared for the flat faces of photoetched spokes), and a comparison shot of the old and new cowls (old on top). The difference is subtle, but, the new one looks better, to me.

Thank you, Stu, Phil and Steve, I appreciate the kind words. I'm on it, Snake!

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Thanks, Gordon. I got the near side of the body drilled and pinned. Made one of the front wheels and leaned it against the spindle. It looks pretty cool!

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At the time I started building this car, the AMT Blue Streak slicks didn't exist. Since I put it on the bench again, it hadn't dawned on me, until tonight, that I had the tires in my stash. It may result in having to do a complete new pair of wheels, but it'll be worth it. Anyway, once these babies have the treads sanded and they're flat-coated, they are going to be beautiful. I can't begin to say how fond I am of those AMT tire sets. They're just fantastic!

I am going to install a pair of tabs for the front motor plate, and cut the plate, so that I can get a little of that "Tampa Dump" on the engine. It's been so long since I built an engine, that, I hope I can remember how!

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Your jr. fueler is coming out very nicely, all your hand made parts make it unique and realistic. The jr. fueler class is overlooked in the modeling world. Your car is an inspiration, looking forward to seeing it move forward.

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There is a process used when forming aluminum body panels called annealing where you take a torch an put some heat into the metal. After it cools it’s more pliable to work with and more complex curves can be formed. I love your build, looks great, and it captures the feel of a junior fueler.

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1 hour ago, dragcarz said:

There is a process used when forming aluminum body panels called annealing where you take a torch an put some heat into the metal. After it cools it’s more pliable to work with and more complex curves can be formed. I love your build, looks great, and it captures the feel of a junior fueler.

Yessir, Roger. I annealed this. In the attached photo, you can see the discoloration left behind, from the burnt coating on the flashing. After that time, I've sanded it off, first! Thank you for your kind words. I'm glad you like it! Thank you, as well, Ed. Your comments are much appreciated! Here's the body I'm attempting to replicate. I will probably just scribe the lines for the axle panels, since I've no need for removable anything, beyond the cowl.

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Posted (edited)

I am falling in love with this project, all over, again. Here's the thing that stalled it, so many years ago: fuel injection. My inspiration for this model originally came from an article in HRM's Yearbook No. 8 (I think) entitled "Junior Isn't A Bad Word". The article features three or four different cars, and a few action shots of some of the real "hitters". It seems that the majority of the small block Chevy cars ran these rather squat Enderle stacks. Enderle also made sets that were taller, yet still tapered. Hilborn's stacks were simply straight tubes, siamesed. The stacks I wanted to use had never been kitted until the Slingster--and those aren't any good (I'd begun my quest several years before then, anyway.). In the opening post to this thread, you can see that I had thrown some stacks together, that were some bastardized version of the taller Enderles and the Hilborns.

Below, are photos of Enderle's short stacks (pancakes, anyone?), and where mine stand, as of now.Casting them has been hit-and-miss, but, I should have four usable sets, before too long. I'm using acrylic nail powder and liquid to cast them, as it's excellent for casting small parts. The "hit-and-miss" is due to my questionable mold-making skills, although in my defense, this is my first try at two-piece molds. The manifold in the photos of the model isn't the one I'll be using. I'll use the one in the other two photos, provided I can find it! I've seen it in the past few months, so, I know it's not gone, altogether.

I also tacked on another shot of the first wire wheel I made for it, using the refined technique. The new method of construction not only looks better, it creates a much sturdier wheel.

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Edited by Straightliner59

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Your stacks look good, but in the last picture, it looks like the rear ones are taller than the front pair. I'm sure you'll fix that. 

Interesting side note: In the factory showroom brochure for the Mercury Cougar, either '68 or '69 I forget which, the Cougar was photographed at a drag strip, and in the near background is a junior dragster that is CLEARLY powered by a small block Chevy! :lol: I'll bet SOMEBODY took some heat for signing off on that! :lol:

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The Enderle stacks have been available in the aftermarket for a while now courtesy of Speed City Resin. Unfortunately they are part of a set scaled for a Chevy Big Block, not a small block like on a Jr. Fueler. Also they were a bit thick looking, although overall they looked good on a completed model. No doubt the problems you've had casting them has been related to how thin they need to be to look good. I built a model using the Big Block setup just to get that Enderle look even though I knew the result would be an A dragster and not a junior fueler. This is why having the skill and determination to fabricate parts at the level of authenticity your showing on your project can have such a big impact on the result. Build on!

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Great car you're building Daniel.  The bodywork is stupendous.  I'm still cursing your name however as I saw the stacks you're working on and I can't get out of my head how I'd try to make them.  Your efforts are well worth it and I've no doubt you'll hit upon a solution that's worthy.  They will be front and center and certain to grab eyeballs.  Sorry, I digress but count me too as a fan of your car.  cheers, tim

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7 hours ago, Snake45 said:

Your stacks look good, but in the last picture, it looks like the rear ones are taller than the front pair. I'm sure you'll fix that. 

Interesting side note: In the factory showroom brochure for the Mercury Cougar, either '68 or '69 I forget which, the Cougar was photographed at a drag strip, and in the near background is a junior dragster that is CLEARLY powered by a small block Chevy! :lol: I'll bet SOMEBODY took some heat for signing off on that! :lol:

Yep, Snake, I just need to take a little off the bottom! I'll bet you're right about that Chevy digger, in the background! Pretty funny!

 

6 hours ago, Bernard Kron said:

The Enderle stacks have been available in the aftermarket for a while now courtesy of Speed City Resin. Unfortunately they are part of a set scaled for a Chevy Big Block, not a small block like on a Jr. Fueler. Also they were a bit thick looking, although overall they looked good on a completed model. No doubt the problems you've had casting them has been related to how thin they need to be to look good. I built a model using the Big Block setup just to get that Enderle look even though I knew the result would be an A dragster and not a junior fueler. This is why having the skill and determination to fabricate parts at the level of authenticity your showing on your project can have such a big impact on the result. Build on!

Actually, Bernard, the one you can see in the foreground in a couple of those pics are from Speed City, and you are correct, they lacked the detail (that thin lip) I am looking for. You are also correct in that that thin lip is the major pain, here! At least I'm closer, now!

1 hour ago, Codi said:

Great car you're building Daniel.  The bodywork is stupendous.  I'm still cursing your name however as I saw the stacks you're working on and I can't get out of my head how I'd try to make them.  Your efforts are well worth it and I've no doubt you'll hit upon a solution that's worthy.  They will be front and center and certain to grab eyeballs.  Sorry, I digress but count me too as a fan of your car.  cheers, tim

Thanks so much, Tim! And thanks for stopping by! I'm a huge fan of your fuel altered, as well. I'd be interested in any ideas you may have, regarding making those things, because I haven't dubbed them complete, just yet!

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This is a great build. Looking forward to more updates.

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Thanks, GoatGuy! I finally have four sets of stacks that are usable, after some clean up. I'm very happy with their shape. I've also begun working on the manifold, since I cannot find the first one I made, for the life of me! Long way to go, on that piece. I also made a cap for the magneto. As always comments and questions are welcome. I also made a cap for the magneto.

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The dragster is looking great. I'm really digging the aluminium body work and the spoked front wheels. Good luck in finally dragging this one across the finish line.

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