Photography & Motorsports
February 8, 2006: What has transpired as it relates to our race program? Several questions have been posed and quiet a bit of speculation has made it back to me via the "grapevine" so I am going to set the record straight.
Essentially, the entire car was disassembled and all the parts that did not require upgrading were checked and then reassembled. Additionally, the engines that we will begin the season with have been freshened up and are ready to go. However, I am in the process of building two brand new engines. These engines will have several "new parts", all of which are custom made and we are very optimistic that they will produce good horsepower reliably. There is no doubt (and everyone knows this) that the stock 13B components in many racecars are producing well above triple the power they were designed to and that to raise the bar a little higher, some components will have to be manufactured to meet these higher stress levels. There will be more on this subject at a later date.
What has consumed the most time is changing the intake manifold and exhaust manifold. Both manifolds, with the exception of the intake manifold billet runners, everything else in new. Some have asked why we made changes? The answer is because we learned from mistakes we made and our personal experience (even though they worked well) and we learned from fellow racers who were willing to share their experiences. Let face it, as racers we can never become complacent and we always "have to make it better" otherwise we will fall behind.
The exhaust manifold is now made from 304 Stainless Steel. A few neat pieces we learned of at last years PRI Show in Orlando that made it a lot easier to fabricate considering the short distance from the engine to the turbo inlet. Custom expansion pieces connecting the runners to the T100 flange made the transition perfectly and the use of a "doughnut" made the tight bends a breeze to get the equivalent lengths equal. Tig welding stainless for the first time was also a learning experience but it turned out well considering!
The next item to fabricate was the most important. The main reason we had to prefabricate the manifold was we originally had used 7075 aluminum for the upper and lower flanges. We didn't know that we used 7075 until the welds "seemed to crack" and since learned that welding 7075 is not recommended. Learn from our mistakes! My ace machinist, Lonny Doyle cut the runners off the intake and fabricated a one piece flange set from 6061. Then it was my turn to fabricate the NEW manifold.
After observing several other (very fast) turbo charged methanol cars in our series, I elected to try plumbing the turbo directly into the manifold and that's how the manifold was built. Not only have we eliminated approximately 80 lbs of weight, but we eliminated the two long lengths of 4" tubing. Additionally, the throttle body was modified and now has the TiAL blow off valve attached directly to it since there is no plumbing between the turbo and plenum. This has freed up a lot of valuable space in the engine compartment and it should make spooling up much faster than before.
Shock Travel Potentiometers
The remaining fabrication was to build mounting points for the four shock sensors. Again, I found these parts while at the PRI show. Although we do not have any experience with looking at and analyzing the data we will be capturing with this addition, having it and so that we can see how the suspension is actually working rather than guessing should help us set up the chassis much faster when and if that need arises. The front mounting was the most challenging. The 4 potentiometers are set up to parallel the centerline of each shock.
Thanks to Edelbrock, my QwikData data acquisition box was upgraded and now has the ability to log 32 inputs. This product is amazing which will now permit me to record and analyze the following:
To conform with the 2006 rules, I have added a 10# system which includes 2 nozzles for the engine compartment and one nozzle for the drivers side feet area. The bottle was mounted using bar mount clamps in the passengers side of the car. I hope I never have to use this safety device but the thought of have it in the event of a fire is worth it, much like me wearing a Hans Device, I hope I never have to "put it to the test".
Finally, the car is running. It's good to hear the engine again after all these months of "down time". I will be taking the car over to Rotary Performance in the near future to do some dyno testing then it will be to the track to do some testing and clear the cobwebs and prepare for the 1st event on April 1-2. I will post a new story once we have been to the dyno and our local 1/8th mile track.
This is what happened on the dyno at 30 psi when a bad weld joint came loose! I guess I am an amateur after all.
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