Over the Limit
Chuck Oliver, age: 36, Bethpage, NY
Empire State resident Chuck Oliver is a die-hard Chrysler guy. We know, because he called as we were finishing this story to tell us he had lost his job for taking the day off to come to our event. Unfortunately, Chuck's problems really began when he decided to see just how much the 130,000-mile 318 bottom-end in his '81 Dodge Mirada would take. Luckily, though the experiment failed in a spectacular fashion, he owns a couple of other '80s era V8 Mopars to use until it gets fixed.
Chuck got Rager's attention at Carlisle last summer because under the hood of his clean machine was a B&M supercharged/ NOS-equipped small-block with worked heads. As Chuck readily admits, the '80s era cars normally don't get any respect. He proved his point at E-Town as he screamed down into the 11s with an engine package that normally never gets a second look. We've got to hand it to you, pal, it was an eye-opener.
"I wanted an 11-second time slip, so I got that. Hey, I got my car in a mag, I blew up the motor, and I learned about nitrous oxide. After my second run, the car stalled crossing the finish line and I had trouble getting it started like there was a compression problem. The motor spun over OK, so I figured the lifters had pumped up and I waited 10-15 minutes to let them bleed down. It started, but there was a fluctuation in the boost/vacuum gauge. Maybe that 6,500 rpm blast over the finish line was a little more than the 130,000-mile tappets could take, and the next 7,000 rpm lap finished 'em off!
"The damage was I broke the #6 rod and that also took out the valves on that side of the motor, so I'll have to get my good heads redone. I'm a single parent of two children, and I own four Miradas right now. My favorite moment in this car, other than the 11.8 pass, was when I got pulled over by the local police after doing a massive First and Second-gear powerbrake burnout on the street. He asked, "What are you doing?" and I told him I was sorry; I must have let the clutch out too quickly. He pointed his flashlight at my feet, then back up at me, and said, "Son, this car Don't Have a clutch!"
'81 Dodge Mirada CMX
Weight w/driver: 3,792 (w/full tank of gas)
Engine: 1991 318 w/130,000 miles, top-end built by Chuck, CJ, and Alexandra Oliver.
Bottom end: stock, estimated 8.1:1 compression 3.91 cast pistons.
Heads: 360 OEM from Mopar Performance cast iron, ported and polished by DLI.
Valvetrain: stock '81 factory cam! (.373/.399 lift), 2.02/1.60 stainless valves, 1.5 roller rockers.
Induction: B&M blower-style intake, B&M #174 blower with 7psi boost, Holley 750 double-pumper, 76/80 jets, MSD 6BTM electronic ignition w/retards, Cam 2 100 octane, NOS Cheater nitrous system.
Exhaust: 1 3⁄4-inch pri to 3-inch coll. Hooker Super Comps Flowmaster mufflers, full 2 1⁄2-inch exhaust w/crossover pipe.
Trans/Driveline: 727 w/Turbo-Action transbrake and reverse manual valvebody, TA 10-inch 3500 stall converter, Turbo Action shifter, 8 3⁄4 rear from E-Body w/-742 case and 3.55 spool.
Brakes: stock front disc/rear drum.
Wheels/Tires: factory 10-spoke rims polished 15x7/215-65R15 front/275-60-15 (or 26x10 slicks) rear.
Suspension: stock with polygraphite bushings, KYB shocks, subframe connectors, super stock springs, pinion snubber w/ 11/42-inch clearance from floor pan, solid steel K-frame mounts.
Safety Mods: driveshift loop, SFI flex plate, SFI trans shield, battery in trunk, fuel cell.
|60-ft||1⁄8 et/mph||1⁄4 et/mph||Notes|
|1||3000||5000||2.04||8.52/82.17||13.34/101.3||32-deg. timing, street tires, spun|
|2||3000||5500||1.99||8.08/87.99||12.55/109.2||30-deg, no air cleaner, 75-horse nitrous shot, feather gas pedal in First gear|
|3||3500||5500||1.88||7.68/90.32||12.11/109.4||30-deg., add slicks, add gas, 150-horse nitrous shot—worth 4/10s!|
|4||3500||5500||1.85||7.75/88.51||12.24/108.5||30-deg., 200-horse nitrous shot; blower belt slipping, so lost boost and blew oil into engine compartment due to blowby|
|5||4000||6000||1.79||7.56/90.93||11.87/112.9||Same, heated slicks more for traction, big number but major misfires in in Second and Third gears.|
|6||4000||7000||1.82||7.43/68.94||15.93/55.93||Connecting rod broke and engine explosion, blowby covers engine bay with oil. Car still starts to get it up on the trailer! Mopar or no car!|