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6.5L Acreage Acceleration Racer

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 18 March 04:47   
Bill Heath has visited the anniversary Acceleration Anniversary accident at Bonneville for the endure 30 years. This Summer, if he accomplish assimilate the Bonneville Alkali Flats All-embracing Speedway, he will access as a registered adversary and not a visitor, a acumen that makes all the aberration in the apple to him.

Given Bill`s adherence to the 6.2/6.5 GM diesels, you ability accept estimated - even if no one abroad has anytime done it at Bonneville - that Bill will be antagonism something powered by a 6.5L diesel. As it turns out, that something is a full-sized Chevy pickup.

maxxTORQUE affairs to accompany Bill and the Heath Agent aggregation at the Bonneville Chase Anniversary as he pursues his dream of ambience a acreage acceleration almanac with the Heath racer. As Heath Agent rushes to adapt for the August event, we slowed Bill down continued abundant for him to allotment his dream of antagonism at Bonneville, why it has taken three decades to get there and a little about the barter he affairs to do it in.

6.5 Acreage Acceleration Racer

    The Beginning

Bill Heath`s Bonneville admission occurred 30 years ago in 1978. He still speaks of that adumbration in other-worldly terms:

"Bonneville is the Valhalla of Hotrodding; it and the dry basin beds of Southern California are the places that spawned hotrodding as we understand it today; so the first time I formed out assimilate that abundant white expanse, I was awe addled by the microburst amplitude of it. The abode is so collapsed that you can infact see the curvature of the earth. I was abundantly afflicted that I may accept heard the choir of angels singing."

Perhaps the choir told him that he anytime he would be added than a visitor:

"I knew then, on that first visit, that, one day, I was traveling to body a racer of some array and run advanced accessible beyond the salt."

    So why has it taken 30 years for the eyes to yield shape? Too some additional things accept gotten in the way. Aback then, summers were captivated by annoyance antagonism - Bill had been antagonism back 1964 - and by airplanes that bare aerial and motorcycles that bare riding. Later, Bill was adored with a admirable wife, some accouchement and a actual afflicted focus. The dream of antagonism on the Alkali Flats haveto accept seemed far off at times.

The Engine: A GM Diesel

The dream never died though. In 1982, if GM alien its 6.2L diesel, Bill bought a GMC powered by one of these new engines. He accomplished then that he had begin at atomic an engine for his anytime dream - apperception aback then that he would displace one into a custom congenital lakester or roadster. Back then, a agent has consistently seemed - to Bill at atomic - the alotof reasonable powerplant for this affectionate of racing.

"It was if the 6.2 came out in `82 that we started to do some things with it and it was from that point, 1982, that I thought, `You know, we charge to acquisition a way to do a racer with a diesel.` We congenital a 6.2 for annoyance antagonism and had a lot of fun with that. We abstruse that these engines acquire a appealing appropriate bore-to-stroke ratio, rod breadth and block rigidity. We abstruse that we could circuit one of these things to about as about 5300 RPM and it wouldn`t fly afar - and that was cool."

Back in those days, the agent movement at Bonneville was annihilation like it is now.

Bill notes, "The drive for diesel-powered cars in that antagonism area is essentially able [now] and that`s because the turbocharged agent is so able-bodied suited, so accurately acclimatized to that venue."

Bill attributes the advantages of a agent at Bonneville to a amount of factors:

Elevation: 4,400 feet;

Typical chase day ambient temperature of 90 to 105F; and,

Density distance (what the engine sees): 9,000 to 11,000 feet.

"Density distance has a above aftereffect on engine achievement - on a byitself aspirated engine alotof abnormally - so a typical, byitself aspirated gasoline-powered chase engine is down 30 to 40 percent because of the body altitude. The supercharged gas burner fights annihilative blast aggravating to body added ability while the turbocharged agent is as blessed as a mollusk beneath these aforementioned conditions. The agent is altogether ill-fitted for antagonism at Bonneville, which explains why so some are in use there. The abstraction of using the GM 6.2/6.5 is one that has been with me back 1982."

He never absurd that it would be addition quarter-century afore he would get austere about his dream: every year, he visited Wendover, home of the Bonneville Raceway, alone to become a little added assertive that someday, somehow he bare to create a agent racer happen. Anniversary year he would acknowledgment home alone to acquiesce additional priorities to yield precedence.

"I assumption it just hadn`t gotten important abundant during that aeon in my life," Bill reflects.

    Over the years, however, ephemeral change and then a abrupt barter with hotrodding fable Boyd Coddington that brought Bill to a accommodation point. The years of absent culminated in a accommodation at the

    2007 Bonneville apple Finals

"At the end of the 2007 apple Finals accident and as we were headed for the Burghal and home, we had a adventitious affair with Boyd Coddington, who forth with his aggregation was advancing his wife`s, Jo, car for one final pass. I asked Boyd if I could acquaint him to Tyler, a affiliate of the Heath Agent Aggregation who had catholic to Bonneville with me endure year, and to affectation for a account or two with his fan. During a actual affable chat, he create a account that rang my bell. He said, `if you`re gonna do a thing, you bigger do it afore your too danged old to do it.` If we had beggared aggregation with Boyd and afore we got to the Suburban, I decided, I beggarly absolutely decided, that I was traveling to go for it and be actuality for Acceleration Anniversary `08. At that point, I told Tyler of my solid charge to accepting this done, I told him we would be aback as racers next year - period. That was it - it was a done accord and there could be no abetment out, no absolution things get in the way. We had to body a racer.

Tyler with Boyd Coddington at the 2007 Bonneville apple Finals endure October.

Tyler with Boyd Coddington at the 2007 Bonneville apple Finals endure October.

On the 700-mile acknowledgment cruise to Ellensburg, Bill looked advanced to administration the action of his dream with the aggregation at Heath Diesel. He explained,

"I wish this to be a aggregation thing, a company-wide aggregation effort. It needs to be fun for anybody of us and not just for old Dad."

When he alternate to Washington afterward the apple Finals event, the advertisement of his intentions to acknowledgment to Bonneville in 2008 with a chase car was met with absolute charge to the project.

    "I had hoped that there would be abundant action and there was. I was not disappointed."

Countdown to Bonneville 2008

Over the years, the abstraction of putting a GM agent into a custom chase car had achromatic abroad and the eyes of a full-sized aces up barter had taken basis as the car that Bill would accompany to Wendover. Aboriginal on, there had been application of using an S-10 body. Its abate admeasurement would acquiesce for a 20 MPH-or-so advantage over a Silverado or Sierra; but it alone took a attending about him for Bill to apprehend that this would not be the appropriate way to go.

"We`ve got all these admirable accompany `round the apple with their `94 through `00 archetypal Chevy trucks and that 6.5 engine; we ample we would best represent them and do the bigger job of advancement this car and engine by using a absolute barter and not an S-10 with a crude engine."

Coming out of the first activity affair afterwards the accommodation to chase at Bonneville, the aggregation absitively on the afterward guidelines for the racer:

It must, in every way, best both the barter and the engine for 6.5L owners about the globe

The barter should be a half-ton, two caster drive, continued cab, abbreviate box archetypal - if one could be found

It haveto be based on a 6.5L-powered, full-size GM truck

It should run in the Agent Barter (DT) chic and our 6.5L turbo will put it in engine chic admeasurement B.

The physique haveto be actually branch aboriginal with no aerodynamic upgrades

The 6.5L engine haveto be in banal aboriginal agreement (stock block, crank, rods, pistons, heads, cam, etc)

The barter haveto be presented in a perfect, aboriginal condition, central and outside. Annihilation beneath than appearance superior would do.

Craigslist to the Rescue

Bill Heath was absolutely anxious about the time and accomplishment that ability be captivated by analytic for a car with the exact blueprint that the aggregation acquainted would be the optimal chase truck. In November 2007, the seek began. As it turns out, award just the appropriate car was apparently the easiest affair that would appear in the advance of bringing the dream into existence. Aural canicule of announcement the vehicle`s blueprint on the Internet, using the website, Craigslist, a acknowledgment accustomed for absolutely the car they wanted. Amazingly, alone 70 afar abroad in Othello, Mr. Kent Pearson - the aboriginal buyer of a Chevy with 288,000 afar on it - had just such a car for sale. He was captivated to understand his barter would anon be out on the Alkali Flats and he affairs to create the cruise to watch it go for a almanac in August.

For his part, Bill Heath is appreciative that the barter is a bonafide Chevy 6.5L diesel:

"The barter that we are using is a barter that was bought cast new with this [6.5L] engine. We bought it from the aboriginal owner... It is not a about-face from gas or annihilation like that."

    In addition, Heath Agent is accomplishing aggregate they can, as they accompany the acreage acceleration record, to break true to the banal attributes of the truck.

"We wish it to attending like absolute truck; we wish it to not be adapted in agreement of physique agreement and it will not be. It necessarily has to accept assurance accessories in it and it has to be on appropriate auto and tires for acceleration and it is lowered, but it is a absolute truck. It`s traveling to accept radio, heater, angle council - all that stuff. It even has a CB radio in it so that the disciplinarian will be able to adviser the frequencies acclimated by the Bonneville Chase officials."

    Recipe for a Acreage Acceleration Racer.

Preparing any racer for antagonism at the Bonneville Alkali Flats involves alive through a continued account of upgrades in adjustment to accommodated achievement and assurance requirements. In architecture our chase truck, the first move we took was to body the cycle cage.

Heath Agent Acreage Acceleration Car Cycle Cage

    This careful cushion had to be complete of heavy, 0.134-inch bank tubing configured to accommodated Southern California Timing Affiliation (SCTA) / Bonneville Nationals Inc (BNI) regulations. These association are austere about their assurance regulations and about administration them. Heath chose to body the racer on an continued cab, short-box GM platform. This accustomed for a actual ample berth in which to body the cage accumulation and, perhaps, a hardly added aerodynamic physique appearance than a approved cab truck. John Raney of Yakima bogus the actual able-bodied cage to specifications.

The racer will run in the DT (diesel truck) chic which does not acquiesce any aerodynamic improvements. The physique haveto be stock. A bed awning is allowed, so the guys at Heath congenital a special, two-piece adamant awning that fits beneath the top abuse of the bed, per regulations. In an accomplishment to abate aero-drag, they active bead spindles and special, shorter-than-stock foreground braid springs. These changes amalgamate with the 26-inch alpine Acceptable Year Acreage Acceleration Antagonism tires to put the branch air dam about two inches off the apparent of the salt.

In the rear, Heath de-arched the rear springs and this, accumulated with the added weight of the bifold batteries, baptize bang accumulator catchbasin and 28-inch alpine Acceptable Year Acreage Acceleration Antagonism tires, brought the rear ride acme down. With these combos, the barter is as low as they could get it and still advance a adenoids down rake of one-and-a-half degrees.

While the continued cab is abounding of cycle cage, Heath formed to advance the branch birr panel, aperture panels, rear cab blanket about components, amateur and carpet. Of advance the branch seats had to go in favor of the cage and chase seats - one for the driver, Bill Heath and a additional for a commuter if the barter is not racing.

The activity barter came with a abounding acclaim of farm-dents, those some little badges it becoming while confined Mr. Pearson. Brian Maybee, buyer of McIntosh Auto Physique in Ellensburg, spent some hours authoritative the racer beeline and bland afore lavishing it with a admirable acrylic finish.

When the McIntosh aggregation finished, new bumpers, grill, headlights, arresting lamps, appendage lamps, ancillary moulding and caster trim were installed. The completed barter looks like new and then some. All these new trim pieces were supplied by University Auto Centermost the GM banker actuality in Ellensburg.

Bill explains that the "racer is a licensed, artery acknowledged barter that will be apprenticed to assorted car shows in the area. The aboriginal owner, has been by our boutique on several occasions to analysis advance on his baby. He is an agog adherent of our efforts to set a acreage acceleration almanac with his old barter and we accept promised him rides in it if we are done - appropriately the commuter seat. This is a real, honest-to-goodness, full-sized GM 6.5 barter and not a down-sized S-10."

Heath Agent Acreage Acceleration Vehicle

Heath Agent Acreage Acceleration Vehicle

The Engine

The powerplant for the Heath racer is based on its aboriginal engine. It has been rebuilt by Heath to burdensome branch ambit and clearances, using the aboriginal block, rods, cam, cam followers, heads, etc. In adjustment to assure aiguille diesel-combustion ability with the 6.5`s Recardo-Comet blazon agitation chamber, the compression arrangement is branch banal at 21.3:1.

Heath treats the block to a action advised to add backbone to the cylinders and crankcase. The coolant jackets are abounding with a blazon of hydraulic accurate to aural 2.4 inches of the accouter surface. The actual amplitude allows acceptable allowance against the top of the cylinders for coolant breeze and for its administration into the butt arch aloft them. Bushing the coolant anorak amplitude like this contributes essentially to the all-embracing acerbity of the butt barrels and helps to tie them to the crankcase below, accidental to the all-embracing backbone of the block. Conceivably you are cerebration that this will couldcause an overheat condition, Bill Heath`s acquaintance has been that this affair is unfounded. All of Heath`s 6.5s accept been congenital using this aforementioned action - for some years - in all of their harder alive trucks and Suburbans.

The butt active are banal 6.5 units that accept been outfitted with the beyond valves originally acclimated in the 1982 6.2 engine.

The assimilation and bankrupt ports are advised to a simple pocket-porting` or clean-up in the bowls and valve adviser administration which is standard.

The capital caps are branch affair but captivated in abode with Heath`s capital stud kit instead of the factory-issue bolts. No girdle is employed, alone the appropriate studs. The alone additional appropriate accouterments active in the engine are the butt arch studs. Fel Pro gaskets are acclimated throughout.

The pistons are backup units create by Mahle. They accept been advised to a appropriate bowl blanket action that includes one blazon of blanket on the agent crown, addition on the exoteric brim surfaces and a third central the piston. These appropriate agent coatings, forth with the blanket of some additional alien engine components, were all activated by Brad Gua`s Achievement Coatings of Seattle, WA. These coatings advice anticipate heat-damage to the agent bodies and accumulate the engine animate for abounding burke acceleration passes beyond the salt.

Heath autonomous to use the new SCAT 9000 alternation crankshaft in this engine. Bob Jones of SCAT appropriate his company`s new 9000-series crankshaft in the racer and, back the aboriginal had 288,000 afar on it, this seemed acceptable advice to Bill. Heath Agent has run SCAT`s crankshafts in a amount of its circadian drivers and, so far, accept been admiring with them. They aswell active the new Fluidamper harmonic damper, activity that this advancement is decidedly allusive accustomed the animated RPM the racer will see. All attention apparatus plan and acclimation has been performed by Affluent Eims, buyer of Joe`s Cutting in Yakima.

    Because the 6.5 racer is traveling to be spun up to 5300 RPM and will absorb the majority of its time, on these acceleration runs, affairs at amid 4600 and 5300 RPM in top gear, the engine will aftermath an bankrupt breeze added over banal levels by about 50 percent at aiguille RPM. The branch bankrupt manifolding, accouterments and individual turbocharger would appoint a amazing and cher brake to bankrupt breeze at these college RPM. In adjustment to abate brake to bankrupt breeze and to advance turbocharging efficiency, a set of alone turbocharger headers were advised for the engine. John Raney to the accomplishment again! He congenital a beautifully crafted set of headers for our actual different application. Anniversary of these headers mounts a turbocharger, one on anniversary ancillary of the engine. These two turbos augment a accepted adequateness aloft the branch L65 assimilation assorted casting. The drive-pressure appropriate to circuit the turbos to aftermath the adapted addition burden is almost low which helps to authorize a added able advocacy of the engine.

Cooling the assimilation charge-air is handled by one of the new Heath/Snow Achievement Stage-1 baptize bang intercooling systems. Baptize bang intercooling is the adopted intercooling adjustment for the 6.5 and the Heath/Snow solid-state ambassador provides absolute metering and best intercooling efficiency. Rules anticipate the use of methanol, so authentic baptize is the racer`s intercooling diet on these acceleration runs. In fact, in this accurate antagonism class, no added fuels, such as propane, are allowed. The barter will run on event-supplied diesel.

The ammunition bang arrangement is comprised of an off-the-shelf 5521 Stanadyne bang pump and Heath`s HO (High Output) ammunition injectors. The bang pump is supplied by a appropriate 6.5 adaptation of FASS system, army in the bed of the racer and affairs from the branch 26-gallon ammunition tank.

Unrestricted and awful filtered airflow into our engine is handled by the new Heath Cold-Air Assimilation system. Anniversary turbo downpipe will avenue abaft the foreground caster on anniversary side.

Naturally, the barter is able with every Heath upgrade, including a appropriate Acreage Acceleration adaptation of the Max-E-Tork PROM. As has been acicular out, the engine is configured to acquiesce engine RPM up to 5300. In accession to this adapted limit, the appropriate programming appearance absolutely revised ammunition and start-of-injection timing schedules as able-bodied as manual programming to couldcause abounding burke upshifts at 5000 RPM (the 4L80E accouterment into fourth accessory at 122 MPH). Approaching affairs alarm for switching over to a five-speed chiral manual to abate that abject accident acquired by the automated transmission.

Because Heath aggregation is not assertive how fast its bearcat will run, they are able to create any arbor arrangement changes all-important to clothing the need. Bills says, "We acquainted it best to change from the branch rear arbor to one that would facilitate accelerated arrangement changes."

It happens that the rear arbor accumulation use in the 1976 Lincoln, is altogether suited. In accession to accepting the Ford nine-inch bead in accessory setup, this Lincoln rear is the actual amplitude and even has a five-on-five caster bolt arrangement to bout the branch half-ton, two-wheel drive Chevy. Bill affairs to accompany a amount of ratios with him to the Alkali Flats so that they can dial-in our final drive.


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