09-01 "On the Road" with Luke Bogacki
Engine cooling and operating systems have long been an overlooked part of bracket and class racing. It wasn’t long ago that a street-type crank driven water pump and thermostat was considered sufficient. Over time, racers have learned the value of consistent engine temperature, and the effect that varying tension on the motor (belt drive water pumps) as well as free flowing coolant have on performance and consistency.
Aftermarket cooling systems have become the norm. Over a dozen manufacturers produce bolt on and remote water pumps, aluminum radiators, and various cooling accessories. The demand drives the supply. Today’s big money bracket race is a no-nonsense, back to the lanes, double tech card marathon. This is a marathon in which a warm running motor can cause serious problems, and turn a possible victory into an early exit. As a bracket and class racer dependant on winning races and money, and hellbent on burning racing gasoline, I have spent many dollars and hours in an effort to find the most cost efficient and effective way to cool the race cars. One name, synonymous with quality racing equipment, but fairly new to cooling systems has been the cure for Bogacki Motorsports: Goza Racing Products.
In 1999, Goza Racing Products introduced their current line of “Chill Factor” cooling systems and accessories. The system utilizes a billet remote water pump (part no. 1475) similar to a few others on the market. The folks at Goza manufactured a quality billet water manifold (part no. 1460-for BBC) to mount to the front of the block on Big and Small Block Chevrolets in the location of the standard water pump. Water is drawn out of the block, through the remote pump, and into the radiator, before it is returned to the block through a tapped hole in the intake manifold, or with Goza’s slick billet filler neck (part no. 1450). The filler neck also has a neat feature, as Goza designed them with a clear plastic line on the exterior to easily check fluid level in the motor. The difference in the Goza Racing Products system is quality. Goza’s pumps are made for extreme duty. Pump motors are run for days at a time in testing. Shafts are stainless steel, impellers are billet aluminum. Unlike other aftermarket manufacturers, Goza’s pumps do not come with a handful of spare parts that often fail at inopportune times. Add to this the company’s uncompromising attention to detail and the physical appearance of all of their products, and Goza Racing Products become a near necessity for today’s competitive sportsman racer.
The Goza Racing Products Chill Factor cooling system can be plumbed with standard radiator hose via adapter fittings, or -8, -10, or -12 A.N. stainless steel line. We use and recommend -10 plumbing of the cooling system. A.N. hose is much more durable and eye pleasing than rubber, and -10 seems to flow an apt amount of water while at the same time serving to restrict just enough coolant, allowing it to cool in the radiator longer.
On both of the Bogacki Motorsports competition vehicles, we also utilize an Afco aluminum radiator and Goza Racing Products re-circulating catch can. As everyone knows, aluminum dissipates heat quicker than steel. Afco’s professionals have designed water management systems that racers in all types of motorsports can rely on. Goza’s catch can (part no. 1412) is a neat feature, too. Made in 1 pint and 1 quart sizes, the billet cans actually re-circulate water back into the cooling system once the motor cools. Plus, like all Goza products, it looks great, and mounts cleanly. The catch can is easily used with the billet filler neck, by simply connecting a 1/4” plastic line from the filler neck outlet into the catch can inlet (the same line is used to re-circulate).
In addition to the products I have listed above, we also employ a few little tricks we’ve learned along the way. The first is an overhead cooling system that is distributed by Brodix Cylinder Heads from Mena, AR. Using a Brodix HV series intake manifold, which has four water outlets up top, we plumb water so that the manifold has four corner cooling. When we block off these galleries, the engine will run as much as ten degrees warmer on the back few cylinders than the front. By utilizing the four-corner technique, our Autometer water temperature gauge will actually read a couple degrees warmer (I take it at the front of the intake), but the engine temperature is constant from front to back, aiding longevity and consistency. Plus, Brodix employs a simple petcock within their overhead cooling kits, which allows us to easily bleed the system of air at it’s highest point.
Also, Goza’s billet remote water pump is equipped with a 1/8” NPT plug to purge air from the system. Goza Racing Products recommends removing the plug while the unit is running, to purge air from the system. We went one step farther. On our new dragster, I plumbed this into the overhead line, via a -4 line, and teed it in right underneath one overhead petcock. Now I can completely bleed my cooling system in a matter of minutes, with no mess! By eliminating water pockets we insure quality water management, and eliminate one more problem that can cost us a round, or a race.
How well does all this work? Well, both of our cars are aluminum headed, with Afco radiators, Goza Racing Products complete chill factor cooling system, and Brodix overhead four-corner cooling. I run both cars on 76 racing gasoline. I stage both cars at 145-150 degrees (basically because it’s very hard to build any more heat in them). I can honestly say that neither car has ever registered over 185 degrees on the Autometer Ultra-Lite gauge. What’s more impressive? In the cooler months, the motor will actually cool 5-10 degrees from the time I turn off the race track to the time I get back to the trailer--while running at an idle! I’ve made runs back to back, as many as 7 passes in an hour in competition, and never had a cooling system failure. For more information or to place an order for any of the above products or practices mentioned above, please feel free to contact Texas Supercars at 817-561-9606 or firstname.lastname@example.org, or any of these fine manufacturers:
Goza Racing Products
Brodix Cylinder Heads
76 Racing Fuel
Autometer Precision Instruments