FANS of Carnage and Turbo Taxi will remember that the bright yellow cab aquaplaned off the road and into a tree during Drag Challenge 2017. The car copped a bit of damage, but other than Scotty’s pride there were no injuries. As penance Scotty spent his Christmas and New Year’s break repairing the FG Falcon before Street Machine Summernats where the Taxi was cruised in front of thousands of adoring fans.
Since then the pressure has been on to get Turbo Taxi back out to the track and beat the 12.0009 time we achieved at Heathcote way back in June last year.
Fast forward to 2018 and with the Taxi back in shape we tried to eke an 11 out of it at Calder Park Raceway but high ambient temps and a boost leak conspired to keep 12s on the timecard so we sent the car back to Tunnel Vision for those extra LPG injectors. Pre-drilling the intake way back at the start saved a lot of trouble and it didn’t take Jason long to have Turbo Taxi up and running with 12 squirters; then we started turning up the boost and that’s when the problems started.
With 13psi the car ran fine, but with 16psi the ignition coils couldn’t keep up with the combination of LPG and the extra cylinder pressure. Being a stubborn bastard Scotty decided to close up the plug gaps to 13-thou, get some new Falken road tyres fitted, and drive the Taxi all the way the QLD for Drag Challenge Weekend anyway.
On Day One the Taxi didn’t look like it was going to play the game at all with a 12.11 and a 12.3 at 118mph, but closing up the plug gaps to a mere 8-thou meant the Taxi had enough spark to run an 11.54 at 121.99mph. What a relief!
The crazy thing is that the 1900kg Falcon clearly had more in it because the ignition was still breaking down, so we packed up the gear and headed to Warwick via the scenic route before hitting the rural 1/8mile the next day.
Despite the tight plug gap the Taxi decided it really didn’t want to play at Warwick and the best we could manage was a 7.86 at 91mph; four-tenths slower than our half-track speed on Day One. So we hit the road back to Willowbank via Toowoomba and hoped for at least one clean pass on Day Three.
To kick things off for the last day Scotty decided to do a pass on the Falken street tyres and without even trying it ran a 13.3 at 109.6mph. Then he bolted on the 255 drag radials and Taxi decided to throw a tantrum. Run after run the ignition system broke down every time and combined with some serious heat soak, thanks to the thermometer cresting 30 degrees, the best we saw was a 12.49 at 115mph. Arrrrgh!
Clearly our next job is to sort out the ignition system. We’ve already added a set of Autotrad Drifter coils post DC Weekend and while they’ve definitely made an big improvement to driveability, they’re still marginal at 16psi. To run that 10-second pass we need to crank the boost up to 20psi and that’s just going to kill the spark again, but we reckon there’s a solution on the horizon.
So stay tuned for the next instalment of the Turbo Taxi.