Pull That Belt
A Cheap Way to Quicker E.T.'s
We'll be the first to admit that fan-belt removal is a risky means of improving dragstrip performance, but if you're looking for a killer timeslip, it's a sure bet. With only the crankshaft pulley spinning, external parasitic drag is eliminated. Successful risk management comes down to pushing the car through the staging lanes (bring lots of friends), starting the engine at the last possible moment before the race, limiting the burnout to the absolute minimum, staging right away, and using a quality mechanical temperature gauge. We always make certain our Valiant's Autometer temperature gauge is at zero when the engine is first started. If the opponent is taking too long to stage, we shut it off and wait. The idea is to limit total running time to 60 seconds or less. If we see anything above 160 degrees at a quarter-mile track or 180 degrees at an eighth-mile track before the light turns green, we abort because temperature climbs rapidly from this point.
If you do it right, surprising results are the norm. What else can you call six-tenths? That's like a six-car-length advantage at the finish line. By the end of a typical beltless race, our Slant Six reaches 200 degrees. To prevent damage, we get off the track as soon as possible and shut the motor off on the return road so the fan belt can be re-installed. Once the pump is turning, coolant temperature falls back to 160 within 20 seconds, and no harm is done. As for the charging system, as long as the battery is in good shape, our MSD 6AL never misses a beat, even when the alternator isn't spinning.