I'm sorry this is a week late, I was hoping for more information and good news but I'll send it now anyways.
A week and a half ago we raced the SCTA's September El Mirage meet here is Southern California. We went into the race 11th over all in the association. Unfortunately we were going in without our "big" motor since it is still being rebuilt (see below). We installed our "little" motor, the Yahama 750 into the car so we could compete for points. We knew that we would not be as completive but we would do a lot better than not running at all. Saturday we got the car inspected and did some tuning on the engine. Saturday night we pulled out a "desert toy" we haven't played with for about 5 years, our balloon. The Balloon is a 25-foot tall hot air balloon that generates about 35lbs of lift. We heat it up and let it go, if the wind is calm it can go 1000 feet up (we send it up WITHOUT any burner attached).
Sunday the races started at 8:00am and we were 11th in line. Ford Electronics loaned us a tiny video camera so we could take some cool video from the race car during the runs, but I screwed up the battery pack for the camera and we wound up with a lot of blank tape, we'll try again next meet. On our first pass we did 138.5 MPH but Mark thought that there was more in the motor if we tuned it. After leaning out the carbs we made a second pass at 141.5. This is much faster than we've ever done with a 755cc motor. James filmed Mark's second run and caught the 'chute popping out right in the "lights" (finish line). This run was good enough for us to earn 178 points and keep us up in the standings. We did move down a notch to tie for 12th, overall a good meet considering.
Last weekend we officially ditched our earlier plan for an air scoop. After many hours of work on the design we all concluded that it was not the correct shape and we should start over. Instead of using steel and plaster we decided to try using urethane foam.
The first part of the design we did on a drill press turned into a lathe. Then we placed that part on top of a block of foam and started shaping the base. Urethane foam is very easy to shape, almost too easy since you can take off too much really fast. Later this week we'll take the part to Composite Sports in Fullerton, CA (heads up Paul) to have a mold made and then the final part.
The Big motor is still not back from the shop but I promised that I would include a list of everything were doing to it. Mark Vigeant put together a paragraph detailing the changes:
Well everyone here's what were doing with
the "big" motor.
The stock 1299cc. was fast, but not fast enough... So what we opted to do was completely rebuild and build up! The basic "ingredients" are a 1428cc piston kit from JE pistons, which meant that we had to get the cylinders bored and re-plated (the cylinders have a nickel plating on them for better heat transfer and wear resistance) next is the performance cams from WEB cams, the head is seeing a lot of attention, to accommodate the new cams the valve guides had to be cut down, full valve job, mild port work, Flow test the head, deck the head (remove material from the head surface between the cylinders) to raises the compression to 14:1 (yeah baby!) we also had to start thinking how to keep this altogether, So in the heads we installed new high strength valve springs with titanium retainers. Motorcycle engines bolt together like a big sandwich, so we also installed a new high strength stud kit. This should give us the record at El mirage and push us over the 200 mph mark at Bonneville. Wish us luck.
Now for a little bad news. I found out today that the Utah Salt Flat Racers Association is canceling their meet scheduled for this weekend due to too much standing water on the course. That usually means our October meet is in trouble, but it can dry up real fast so for now, were still on. Speaking of October, were stilling looking for a crewmember to help out with the World Finals meet in Utah Oct 14th - 20th. Were offering an all expenses paid trip and a T-shirt to one of the coolest races you'll ever attend. Please email me at alan.rice at wdc.com if you are interested.
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