This is the first iteration of the Dream Chaser. The chassis was built by Phil McGee. I didn't know much and I depended on my skills from building shifter karts and help from my pals Don Bootes and Kurt Burris.
Phil builds a very strong and safe chassis. The car has a chassis sticker certifiying it to 7.50. We soon discovered that our 14' shifter kart trailer was about two feet too short for the 170" dragster. Multi-time shifter kart national champion Don Bootes modified the trailer (he did the structural steel, I was tasked with making it pretty). The car barely fit inside.
The car was much prettier with the original nose on the bodywork. To get it to fit in the trailer, I had to lop off about five inches. The car went through numerous changes and updates to settle a bunch of little issues. At this point in time around 2011, the car was launched and shifter using an MSD SB6 piggy back ECU and a MPS air cannon and shift controler. On May 29th 2010 I licensed in the Dream Chaser at Barona drag strip, completing the NHRA mandated process of six runs of varying length, capped with a 6.38 at 108 mph in the eighth mile.
This was our first air shifter setup. I cut out the engine case guard out of a 3/4 aluminum plate and welded a shifter mount to it. The MPS air cannon pushes on a lever I fabbed up and lower lever pushes or is pulled by the downshift cable. Once aligned correctly, this gizmo shifts the car reliably.
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The Dream Chaser at Irwindale in 2009. We were sorting out the best way to shift and getting all the systems happy on the car. We weren't scaring anyone but ourselves.
Kathy moved from shifter kart driver to crew chief when the Dream Chaser showed up. She runs the show at the track and keeps me safe.
The Hayabusa measures out to be 1297cc or 79 cubic inches. At this time, the motor is bone stock, except for the MPS slider clutch.Our first exhaust system was a modded Hayabusa header that ran under the engine.
The air intake scoop was a super comp scoop sourced on Ebay and cut up and smoothed to feed air to a four banger. We discovered early on that the Hayabusa really didn't need a ton of cooling so we mounted a shifter kart radiator right behind the driver. The fuel system is a collection of a Jaz fuel cell, an MSD 43lb. fuel pump and a Bosch Volvo fuel regulator. Simple and reliable.
As complex as this car was becoming, I tried to keep the driver's environment simple. The tach was stolen from my wife's shifter kart. We used it to monitor engine temperature. The switches, from right to left-POWER energizes the relays-LAUNCH ON activates the 2 step and the auto shift-IGNITION energizes the Suzuki ECU and the MSD SB6 piggyback ECU-STARTER cranks the engine. The red light is a oil pressure idiot light and the blue light is a neutral gear position light (very handy). The right push switch on the butterfly is the 2 step activator and the left button is for manual shifting.
The emergency brake. Never had to use it in anger as the single caliper stops the 800 lb. dragster pretty well. Under the chute is the air bottle for the autoshift system.