Considering Building a Drag Truck? Read This First
Is your truck your pride and joy? Do you dream of building a customized rig and taking it drag racing? If so, you are not alone. Drag racing is wildly popular all over the world and aficionados will race anything from customized cars to ride-on lawnmowers, but the spectacle of two powerful trucks racing each other to the finish line is very impressive.
Customized trucks can blow their ordinary namesakes out of the water. Trucks are the workhorses of the transport industry. They carry freight, food, livestock, and all kinds of things. We are used to seeing giant trucks trundling along our nation’s great highways, day and night. Trucks often haul many tons, so they have heavy-duty, turbo-powered engines. They may not always be fast off the blocks, but with a few add-ons and customizations, any truck can be transformed into the Optimus Prime of the drag racing world.
Getting Started with Drag Racing Trucks
There are two ways to get into drag racing. You can either buy a modified truck and get started immediately, or you can start from scratch and build your own drag truck. The first route is easier, but the second is way more fun.
Speed is of the essence in drag racing. The aim of the game is to cross the finish line first, so your main task is to eliminate any extra weight. Drag racing enthusiasts often start off with a roller. They take the bare bones and add essential components along the way.
Rear drive trucks like the classic S-10 are popular for drag racing. They are lightweight and spare parts are virtually unlimited, so you have plenty of scope for building a viable drag racer. However, using the S-10 as an example, weight distribution is not the best. A good drag racer needs most of the weight at the rear of the vehicle, as this provides optimum traction.
Rear Drive Mods
If your truck is too light at the back, it is time for some modifications. One way to sort this problem out is by extending the wheelbase to push the engine back in relation to the length of the vehicle. Clearly, this needs to be done with great care, as there are safety issues. Ideally, weight distribution should be 50:50.
Switch out your fuel tank for a racing tank, to make room for a four-link suspension. Drag trucks need four-link suspension and wide wheels. Cover your chassis with a sheet of metal to improve aerodynamics and cut away the truck bed so you can access the rear axle more easily.
Custom Drag Racing Engines
Once you have the chassis sorted, it is time to turn your attention to the engine. Consider having your truck engine professionally tuned to improve track performance. Cummins ISX15 diesel engines are ideally suited to drag racing, as they are fuel efficient and reliable. The best custom engines cost in the region of $100k upwards, which is no small investment. You can check out a Cummins diesel engine in action on blacksmokemedia.com.
Even a few small custom upgrades can dramatically improve a truck’s performance, so have a go and see what your truck can do on the race track!