This is the first Rice-Vigeant newsletter of the year. You may recall that at the November 2002 El Mirage meet, we thought we had finally found the source of our engine problems as a loose crank position sensor,. When that was fixed the engine ran incredibly strong, for a few minutes until the timing chain broke on Alan's run, ending our 2002 season.
During November Mark disassembled the head and removed the 16 bent valves, and in December sent the head out to have new valve guides put in. Also in December, Wally Ross, our pit crew for World Finals attended a Gear Grinders meeting with plans for a streamliner.
In January, Mark and I removed the rest of the motor and inspected it for additional damage, unfortunately we found some.
This is a missing tooth on the main gear on the crank, and new cranks are more than $1000. That meant a complete strip down and disassembled the rest of the motor until there was almost nothing left.
We started to call around to see what we could salvage. Richard at Southwest Super bikes offered us a used crank that needed repairs, but the damage was in a place we planned to machine anyway. We gladly accepted his generous offer, and he shipped the crank to Mark.
On a parallel line, I made contact with John Noonan, who set the all time motorcycle record at El Mirage in November at 232 miles per hour. Shattering the old record by more than 10 miles per hour. He was riding a modified Hayabusa. He suggested we contact American Performance Engineering, (APE)a high performance Motorcycle parts and machine shop and ask for sponsorship. APE is where we needed to have our crank work done. James and I put together a sponsorship resume, and sent it to APE, and we were quickly accepted!
Since the crank is out of the motor we are turning it into a "Stroker" with 5 more mm of stroke being added to the crank. this will move us into the next larger motor class ( "G" ) but most of the records there are slower then they are for "H". We will probably also go for the Carrillo rods while were at it.
With all the critical engine parts out at shops being worked on, we started the annual maintenance on the car, replacing bushings and seals, tightening nuts and bolts, repairing and modifying the driver's compartment liners, blowing out the fire extinguisher lines.
Then we started working on the trailer maintenance. Replacing the lighting batteries, adding a light timer so we can't kill the batteries, (again). When the car is not inside the trailer, we fill the trailer with car parts
And then we started a project we'd wanted to do for some time. We added a front door to the trailer. This was a several week project.
Wally Ross attended his third Gear Grinder Meeting in February, and was easily voted in. His streamliner frame is nearly complete, and the car may be ready to race this year. He is a fast worker
APE (American Performance Engineering) and Southwest Super Bikes have come through for us so far this winter with all of the motor work were doing.
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