08-27-01

Hayabusa week 5:

Well I guess itís time to bring you all up to date about the progress made during the Month of August.

Alan and I spent 10 days at the Bonneville Salt Flats, timing SPEEDWEEK. It was a very successful meet. The Turbinator ran at a 1 mile average speed of 459 mph. A Pontiac Firebird ran at 333 mph. A diesel truck ran at 252 mph. The salt was the hardest itís been in years. The new LCD monitors we bought were a real hit with the timing crew. Both because they took up less space in the crowded trailer, and because they were clearer and brighter than any other monitors. They were also easier for us to transport.

As for the racecar, hooking up the Hayabusa motor continued. While Alan and I were away, Mark built, installed, and plumbed, the oil cooling system inside our water tank. (The motor will only be running for 2 minutes at a time, so we arenít using radiators, just a 5 gallon water tank.) Mark also completed the plumbing of the water system, and did most of the fuel system. Mark also did a little maintenance on the trailer that needed doing. Last weekend, Mark brought the car up to Orange County, so were could make a number of sheet metal brackets and parts that are hard to make at Markís house. Some of the parts we made were the new chain guard, a large panel to mount the electronic modules on, the new shifter arm, and the parachute release system. Our old car had a simple pull cable to release the chute, but it required letting go of the steering wheel with one hand, right when you were going the fastest. We decided long ago, that the new car would have a button release on the steering. 2 years ago, Alan and I saw a system on a similar vehicle that had the added safety advantage of releasing the chute automatically if the engine caught fire. It worked pneumatically by pulling the chute, and cutting all electrical power, when air pressure was lost, either by the driver pushing a button, or engine fire burning a plastic hose. We copied that system for our car.

For the next couple of weeks, the car will be in my garage, so that Alan and I can get the electrical system installed. Hopefully, next weekend, weíll fire up the new engine for the first time.

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