'Lil Giant Killer - Jr. Fueler F.E.D. - Final Pics

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I’ve definitely got a “thing” about Junior Fuelers, those fuel injected, nitro burning featherweights that played David to the Top Fuel Goliaths during the Golden Age of front engine dragsters. I dig the purity and simplicity of design that the need to minimize the poundage imposed on them. This project will be my third Jr. Fuel digger. In fact when I first returned to car modeling 5 years ago the second model I completed, and my first drag car, was a Nailhead powered Junior based on the Garlits/HemiSphere chassis with a radically cut down body. And about 18 months ago I built a second one, using the AMT Tommy Ivo/Don Long chassis and a small block V8. It employed one of Altered States’ super minimalist shorty bodies but the chassis was way too long and I came away from the project unhappy with the proportions.

Which brings me to Junior Fueler Number 3. It’s being built for the “Back Burner Nationals” challenge on another forum. It definitely qualifies since it’s been kickin’ around for a couple of years. It’s based on my favorite FED kit of them all, the MPC Ramchargers top fuel dragster. The wheelbase is ideal – front engine dragsters would never look any better than they did in the mid-60’s. I’ve always loved the simple lines of the body and the super low legs-under stance. But every time I got started on it I got bumbed out by the two-piece body shell with the gnarly glue joint down the middle. The chassis is a knockout but the kit design obliges you to hide much of it permanently between the two halves of the shell. Until I got around to fixing the bodywork issues I was never gonna build this thing...

Below is a picture of what I’ve come up with so far. Being an ultra-light machine I’ve discarded the Ramchargers nosepiece. The main body is largely unmodified except that now its two pieces are the way it should have been in the first place. I glued the two halves together, reinforced the seam with plastic strip and then carefully cut the cowl piece out using the back of a No. 11 blade. Rather than risk handling the fragile body too much trying to smooth out the seam down the middle, I trimmed it out with a .020” half round styrene strip. Paint is two tone using Tamiya AS-12 Bare Metal Silver with Tamiya TS-20 Metallic Green panels. I still have to come up with some custom decals to fill things out.

Power will be from a Hilborn injected Chrysler 392 hemi. I’m using a Ross Gibson piece I had, but frankly I am underwhelmed. I’m landing up substituting quite a few details from other sources. These engine kits are pretty pricey for the quality you get. I doubt I’ll be purchasing another one unless they have something unobtainable any other way.

Other than that most other things will be from the kit. I will be substituting a pair of proper period M&H’s instead of the huge monstrosities that come in the box. I‘ll also be re-routing the steering outside the frame rails since there's no nose piece.

Thanx for lookin’,
B.

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Edited by Bernard Kron

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Posted · Report post

LOOKING FORWARD TO THIS ONE BERNARD B)

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Bernard, great start, I have the Ramchargers kit also and thought about the same body mods. Looking forward to the finish. -Bill

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Posted · Report post

Bernard...you are off to a great start on this and I am looking forward to seeing progress on this. It's looking good so far.

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I love your concept and agree with you totally about the "cool" factor of the junior fuelers ............ but remember, they were restricted to 310 cubic inches ........... maybe you could find some Dodge or Desoto valve covers and the engine could be a 276 Dodge or a 291 Desoto .......... the smallest Chrysler Stage I hemi was a 331 ;)

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Thanx guys!

I love your concept and agree with you totally about the "cool" factor of the junior fuelers ............ but remember, they were restricted to 310 cubic inches ........... maybe you could find some Dodge or Desoto valve covers and the engine could be a 276 Dodge or a 291 Desoto .......... the smallest Chrysler Stage I hemi was a 331 ;)

Good point. I had forgotten about that. I was distracted by Howard Johansen's 550 cu. in. solid aluminum hemi monster which was anything but a Jr. Fueler and served as a distant inspiration. I do plan to us some M/T valve covers so let's consider this a de-stroked trick car... On the boards for later this year, however, is a true small-block Chevy with Enderle injectors that's targeted as an ultra-light with minimalist bodywork. This one is more in the vein of a showboat.

Your reminder also makes the performance of these cars all the more impressive and demonstrates the value of controllable torque and a good hole shot. They quite commonly made it through at least early elimination rounds in Top Fuel and even occassionally took home the trophy!

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Posted (edited) · Report post

Thanx guys!

Good point. I had forgotten about that. I was distracted by Howard Johansen's 550 cu. in. solid aluminum hemi monster which was anything but a Jr. Fueler and served as a distant inspiration. I do plan to us some M/T valve covers so let's consider this a de-stroked trick car... On the boards for later this year, however, is a true small-block Chevy with Enderle injectors that's targeted as an ultra-light with minimalist bodywork. This one is more in the vein of a showboat.

Your reminder also makes the performance of these cars all the more impressive and demonstrates the value of controllable torque and a good hole shot. They quite commonly made it through at least early elimination rounds in Top Fuel and even occassionally took home the trophy!

Oh man ...... I can hardly wait to see that Enderle injected small block ........... that is going to be super cool ........... a couple of those little beasts actually tripped the scales at under 1000 pounds

I'm eagerly awaiting more on your current build also, I think you're off to a great start B)B)B)

Edited by Old Coyote

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Oh man ...... I can hardly wait to see that Enderle injected small block ........... that is going to be super cool ........... a couple of those little beasts actually tripped the scales at under 1000 pounds....

Thanx!

I've heard that a few of them actually got down to around 800 lbs. Scary stuff! The Enderle rig is from Speed City Resin. I have one and he did a first class job. Here are some pics from his web site:

EnderleManifoldMaster1.jpgEnderleManifoldPartsLayout.jpg

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Posted · Report post

Looking good Bernard, I love the F/E cars back in the day.

Charlie

Pro Tech

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Thanx Charlie!

Progress is being made… I finished up the graphics and made the decals. In keeping with the simple lines of the bodywork and paint scheme I kept the graphics basic, just a logo for the dragster’s name. The trade decals are from the Ramchargers kit. I decided to keep the cowl unadorned to “sell” the simplicity. The decals have all been applied and final clear coat sprayed over them. I’ll wait a few days and then give it a final polish.

The chassis is well along and pretty much out of the box. As noted in my opening post, I had intended to use alternate tires because I felt as if the kit tires looked too bulbous and large. It turns out the ground clearance on this car is so low that if you use any other 1/25th slick from the mid-to-late 60’s period the body will drag on the ground! In order to diminish the apparent size of the kit tires slightly I substituted a set of Revell Halibrands from the Tony Nancy double dragster kit. They are somewhat larger in diameter than the similar but smaller MPC pieces. I think it pretty much solves the problem and the car looks OK with the kit tires.

The remaining major job is building out the motor which is next up on my agenda.

Thanx for lookin’,
B.

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Edited by Bernard Kron

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With the forum being down I was able to focus on bench time! I've gotten this project completed. Below are shots of the motor and the bare chassis. I used Ambroid Tac ‘n’ Place temporary adhesive to locate the body. It stays tacky forever and yet holds quite firmly so I can remove the bodywork whenever I want to show off the chassis. I'll post the completed car in the next post to avoid the dreaded 10 picture limit!

Thanx for lookin',
B.

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Edited by Bernard Kron

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Here are the body-on "beauty shots". Thanks to those who followed the initial build up and welcome back to all!

Thanx for lookin',
B.

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Edited by Bernard Kron

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Posted · Report post

Awesome Bernard !

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THAT LOOKS GREAT BERNARD B)

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Beautiful job Bernard, I can almost smell the nitro when I look at it. - Bill

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BEAUTIFUL BUILD BERNARD!

Great Painting & Real Nice Engine... B)

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Posted · Report post

Looks great.

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Posted · Report post

Great looking dragster !

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Super looking build Bernard!! :D

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Awsume looking dragster. Great pictures...

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Thanx for the compliments. I'm stoked you all dug it! B):)

I've only been back to modeling for less than 5 years so I'm still at the stage where a project involves lots of new techniques or perfecting those with which I've only recently gotten comfortable. This project was especially satisfying that way because it involved a lot of fine detail work and an overall clean look. In particular, since I can't use CA (I'm hyper allergic to it) I've been teaching myself to use very small amounts of 5 minute epoxy in the same way I once used CA. There was a lot of that on this build and mastering it allowed for more detail, which suits the rail dragster style quite well. And for once there wasn't the usual high drama during the last 10% or so of the build where I discover thumbprints, paint flaws, fit problems, missed parts, etc. This one seemd to want to build itself for whatever reason...

So thanx again to you all for the kind words and interest,
B.

Edited by Bernard Kron

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Posted · Report post

That is soooo freakin cool!

I have a few of those Ramchargers kits stashed away. Thank you for some inspiration!

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Posted · Report post

Nicely done Bernard. I dig these dragsters too.

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nice job Bernard, love it!

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Hey Buddy...this one almost slipped by me...

very-very nice build B)

I'm gonna have to make you a bunch of wire-spoke wheels for the front of these dragsters

thanx for sharing

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