The Monster ST Pt. 2-Build Update
If you are reading this, chances are you have heard of the MonSTer ST and its quest for quarter-mile dominance. If you haven't, check out part 1 HERE. In part 1 we went over the build and everything that encompassed it. Since then, the car has been completely put together, tuned, and raced with much more in between. As with any race car, the build process is ongoing as weak points are identified.
We will pick things up in the final week before FocusFest, the event where the car would be making its first passes. After dozens of pulls and hours on the dyno, the final numbers were in. The MonSTer made 556whp/542wtq. After studying the dyno graphs closely, we came to the conclusion that the exhaust housing was causing a huge restriction with its .86 a/r. With FocusFest looming, we decided to run with what we had and essentially max out the Gen2 3071R turbo.
Fast forward to FocusFest, the day had finally come to put the car through its paces and see what it can really do. The gameplan for the day was to ease into everything so Shane could get comfortable with the car and see what it could do. The first pass embodied this philosophy, as he was conservative with the launch and waited to hook before putting his foot down entirely. The back half of this pass spoke volumes of the potential this car has. Unfortunately, this pass would give him his only time slip of the day. Before setting off for his next pass, he realized something wasn't right. This hunch ended up being correct and his day was through after an apparent head gasket failure.
When the car got back to the shop, the motor was pulled and completely gone through. The head gasket was indeed the failure point, but fortunately nothing else was damaged in the process. While the engine was out, we decided to address the turbo exhaust housing restriction by upgrading it from a .86 a/r to a 1.01 a/r. By upping the size of the a/r, we were able to make identical power on roughly 7psi less than before with minimal RPM loss. Also, our testing has led us to a relationship with Brisk USA and their silver racing spark plugs. We found them to be more adequate in our high horsepower and racing applications. Towards the end of the tuning process we had a mishap with the clutch and it started slipping to the point that we could not move forward.
After pulling the transmission and removing the clutch, we were able to pinpoint the failure to the throwout bearing. The throwout bearing wouldn't fully disengage causing the clutch to fail. The clutch we were running is a prototype from Advanced Clutch Technologies (ACT) and a huge shout out to them is deserved. Even with wildfires burning in Southern California where they are located, they were still able to get us a replacement clutch before our deadline less than 10 days later! Without them, our last event wouldn't have been possible.
Our deadline was Thursday October 17th, as the car needed to be loaded onto a trailer for its 500-mile journey to Oklahoma City for a weekend of racing at Thunder Valley Raceway Park. The goal for the weekend was to get as much data as possible to further our knowledge not only about The MonSTer, but other future race builds as well. On Friday evening, the car was unloaded and checked through once again to make sure everything was ready for its first few shakedown passes on its new setup. The test and tune session helped us iron out some kinks and review plenty of video footage to gather the data we were looking for, while also getting Shane some valuable seat time.
After a night of racing it was time to head back to the track and do it all again, this time for the event Buick vs. Ford. While we were technically competing in the event, our real goal was to still gather data to improve racing efforts in the future. The day was ultimately cut short after 2 passes due to a failure from the exhaust manifold. Even with this failure, the weekend was a success due to all the data we were able to gather. After racing had concluded, the team gathered for a meeting to discuss future plans and what the next steps will be.
After reviewing footage and analyzing time slips we came to the conclusion that in order to gain much more in the short track, improvements would have to be made to the rear suspension. While reviewing footage, we noticed about 3 inches of compression in the rear causing the front suspension to unload and lose traction off the line. The improvements to the rear suspension that we decided on include reverting back to stock springs and adding Air Lift Drag Bags. We also plan to work with a suspension company to make shocks to our specifications that include 2-way dampening.
Analysis of the datalogs proved how detrimental the crack in the exhaust manifold actually was. We estimate that this caused a loss of about 1000 RPM of spool and about 10-15% loss in power. Once these chassis adjustments are made and a new exhaust manifold is fitted, the MonSTer will be back in business. From the first pass to the final pass, 6 in total, we shaved 0.619s in the 60', 0.997s in the 330', 1.258s in the 1/8 mile, and 1.544s overall despite the exhaust manifold cracking.
Since I know we will be asked and most likely hear about it in the comments, at this time we will not be posting any slips. We used this event solely for R&D purposes and not to chase a number. The car is not yet at 100%, but once it is slips will be posted. For those craving something, just know it went deep into the 11s.
From everyone here at The MonSTer Racing Team and Panda Motorworks, we would like to give a huge shoutout to all of our sponsors that make this program possible. These sponsors include:
-Callies Performance Products
-Advanced Clutch Technologies (ACT)
-King Engine Bearings
-Massive Speed Systems
We would also like to thank Humble Media (@humble.media19) for the media support at FocusFest and our weekend of racing in Oklahoma City!
Help support the team by picking up some official MonSTer Racing Team merch here: https://www.pandamotorworks.com/collections/panda-apparel