Tigges Talk - Fire In The Hole

Discussion in 'Pit Buzz' started by MaineAlkyFan, Jun 21, 2017.

  1. MaineAlkyFan

    MaineAlkyFan Active Member

    Oct 8, 2006
    Likes Received:
    The last time the BAE between the framerails made noise was way back at Maple Grove in 2015. This past weekend, 621 days later, there was fire in the hole, and the big old BAE made noise again in its new home. Eight short days from now she will make noise again, when we finally get back to the strip for the Regional at Lebanon Valley in New York. It is great to be back.

    Since the last installment, Mark & Fred have been hard at work with the endless details; adhering the body decals, pouring the seat insert, finalizing the plumbing & wiring, fitting & setting the wheelie bar & rear stand bits then double checking everything. The last steps were installing the pushrods & magneto, filling the oil & dry cranking to phase the mag & establish oil pressure. We had targeted June 17 as the official ‘initial fire-up’ date, a time to celebrate, check everything live & MAKE SOME NOISE!!!

    It has been a ‘look forward’ spring. Yolana & I attended opening day at our local 1/8 mile strip in Oxford, Maine. Racers are racers… we shared the joy & excitement of 8 year old Naomi Nichols scoring her first ever win in Jr. Dragster (on a holeshot no less). She was so cute marching off to the tower to claim her prize money. Just a few weeks ago we met up with the Tigges family & made it onto the FS1 TV coverage at the NHRA National at our home track, New England Dragway. We have been needing to feed the disease, but nothing substitutes for lighting off some methanol & listening to the blower whine.

    Saturday the 17th I picked up a cooler of lobsters & headed south through a light drizzle to the plant in Holbrook, Massachusetts. When I arrived the weather was overcast, but looking good for our fire-up schedule. Kevin & Jill came over around noon, we pushed the car out into the driveway, got it up on the stands & mounted the headers & driveshaft. The wider framerail spacing on the new chassis made the car a little taller on the stands which is nice, it will make between round servicing easier. Fred Christened the new car with a nice pour of Coors Light over the right front & we were ready to go live.

    There is nothing like the sound of a blown alcohol engine. Squirt some gas/methanol mix into the injector hat, pull the trigger on the starter, pull off the shorting wire on the coil, and the music begins. Everything went great. She fired right up, all the systems worked to perfection. It’s been a long time. The plan was to check the timing on the mag, then on the crank trigger. A loose cap on the timing light caused the initial fire-up to just serve as a warm-up, both to the engine & to the emotions of us all. The symphony of the headers over the killer blower whine was just plain sweet. A few of the neighbors seemed less appreciative, but we didn’t much care.

    A quick fix on the timing light & sealing of one of the head temperature sensors that was dripping oil preceded two more fire-ups to set the mag & trigger timing. Each time was better than the last, like meeting an old friend and having a meal together. We dropped it down off the stands & fit the body yet again checking clearances, chute cable routing, fit of the body pole & ground clearance. At least half the time I think we just stared at it, it is really an exceptionally beautiful car, now ready to go.

    The balance of the day involved food, fire, horseshoes, swimming pools, bench racing and satisfying anticipation. During the next few days the RV & trailer will get stocked, the new hauler will get a trailer tow dry-run & the car will get strapped in for the trip to that line of asphalt called Lebanon Valley Dragway 2-1/2 hours away in New York.

    The plan is to make some shakedown passes, burnout to parachute, getting used to the car & making sure everything is A-OK under power. The last time we had a plan like that, the first time out with the brand-new BAE back at the 2014 regional at Maple Grove, we ended up winning the race. No expectations, but just saying…

    Finally, see ya at the track!

    Pictures & videos of the weekend of noise here:

    Tigges Team Pix

    Chris Saulnier – Team Tigges
    Mechanic Falls, Maine
  2. Tompkins_Racing

    Mar 16, 2009
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    That was great and congratulations!! Best wishes and be safe this weekend.

    BTW Right before the first fire-up, did Fred say, "The neighbors win"? LOL I would be thrilled to have someone with a TAFC living in my neighborhood!

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