Archive for April, 2009

Quick update

Posted in engine, transmission, upgrades with tags , , on April 28, 2009 by Paul Lawrence

Speed sensor is in the post from Malc. I have also purchased a voltage regulator to limit the voltage input to 10v. I’ve also purchased some earth magnets from ebay. Lets hope this will unlock the engines true potential.

Prop should be nearing completion, lets hope they get it in the post tomorrow for me and Stephen to get it installed on Thursday night.

Mike was on the phone from MJ Engineers regarding my tank and it will be ready for pickup on Thursday by Dad.

This weekend should be a busy one, but here’s hoping the car is transformed. Roll on Fintray!



Posted in transmission with tags , , , on April 24, 2009 by Paul Lawrence

Some progress was made on Wednesday evening when after much cajoling the front prop and the gearbox output flange gave up their fight to stay together. A new centre bearing TRT (Torque Resilient Tube) prop has been ordered from Bailey Morris.

The Quaife reverse and front prop are now out and on the garage floor. They’re all in A1 condition so if anyone fancies buying them let me know. Ideally the Quaife needs a straight prop install which was not possible with this chassis and engine configuration. A centre bearing will reduce the resonances and general clunkyness of the drive train and allow me start flatshifting while also losing a few kilos of weight.

Bailey Morris have been great to deal with, Andy Bates has also been very helpful in helping me spec all the right bits and get the alignment the best I can.

A few photos below to show the angles. We’ve still the diff to drop so that the rear prop can be removed. MNR certainly make a tight tunnel but at least if it does break free it ain’t gonna cut me in half!

Doune Video

Posted in Uncategorized on April 22, 2009 by Stephen Hynds

The video of the quickest run is now on youtube:

Monday night’s work

Posted in engine, problem, upgrades with tags , , , on April 21, 2009 by Stephen Hynds

A quick note first that the Doune results are out – The split times make for interesting reading as it’s fairly clear that Paul is losing nearly all his time in the first part of the run up to the split at Garden Gate. Ross and John were both up nearly a second by that point in the run. A bit more confidence in the car through the first few turns as well as some cleaner launches should hopefully see immediate improvements.

Work started in earnest last night to get the fuel tank and the drive train sorted. The fuel tank came out without putting up too much of a fight. About 20-25 litres of fuel were drained out of it before removal – a good 20kg or so of fuel equating to about 15bhp per tonne performance lost if it was run with a race amount in it. The tank appears to have no baffling inside and only a small square pot at the bottom to act as a collector. It’ll be making its way north to MJ Engineering to be modified this weekend.

The removal of the drive train components started off well with the rear prop shaft freed from the diff and the quaife box. It’s still in the tunnel cage at the moment though as there’s not enough room to move it yet. The quaife box itself was freed from the chassis without too much issue. The bolts were then removed from the flange where the front prop mates with the engine. These were slightly fiddly but came off alright. However the front prop and the engine remain stuck together either due to the thread locking mating the faces together, or perhaps them having been glued in place first. Despite our best efforts time beat us last night. Wednesday night will allow us to hopefully free the front prop so we can remove it and the quaife box Hopefully this gives us enough room to remove the centre prop without having to remove the differential too. Time will tell.

Doune 18th and 19th of April 2009

Posted in Hillclimbs, problem with tags on April 20, 2009 by Stephen Hynds

If the weather at Kames was good then I think we’d be short of superlatives for Doune. The top of a hill on Sunday afternoon was a sea of people in short sleeves enjoying the glorious sunshine. The action over the two days wasn’t a disappointment either with a couple of class records falling and a lot of people pushing to the limit and a few beyond.

The Saturday morning didn’t start of hugely well with Paul not happy due to a vibration from the rear end. The car was jacked up and with some help from Ross and Matty the rear end of the car was given a thorough check over. The vibration was still present on the second run and Paul thought it was coming from the drive train. Two practice runs wasted and there was to be no third one before the break for lunch. Doune is very much a confidence track and issues with the car and two aborted runs don’t set the mood particularly well.

Some more checking was done with the car and Paul took it out for a quick check on the roads over lunch and satisfied himself that it was safe to run. The timed runs after lunch had to go smoothly to ensure that minimal championship ground was lost. A time of 51.44 on the second run was a massive improvement over the practice runs and a clear 3 seconds quicker than the Fireblade had ever run up the hill. It was good enough for a third place finished behind winner John Hamilton with Ross keeping him honest with a very good second place.

Ross fired up the bbq on Saturday night which was a thoroughly enjoyable way to spend the remainder of the evening.

The Sunday morning started with a touch of frost (not the David Jason variety) to make things a bit more interesting. The circuit soon warmed up after a few cars had been up and by lunch time the tempreature was in the high teens – perfect for going fast. Paul was a bit more confident in the car after two good runs on Saturday afternoon and was back on the pace with a low 50 second run on the second practice. It was still a little bit off Ross and John’s times though as they were both in the low 49s.

The afternoon’s timed runs were eagerly anticipated by what was a fast growing crowd who were drawn out by the excellent conditions. Paul’s first run saw his first dip under the 50 second barrier with a 49.65 – a time that was a full 5 seconds quicker than the Blade’s best time. It was only good for third place behind Ross and John who’d upped their pace from the morning warmups. The second run didn’t deliver any improvements (50.00) over the first one and Paul had to settle for third place again. The first two swapped positions on the Sunday with Ross taking the win with an impressive 48 second run.

So not a bad outcome at all really after a bad start.

With a 3 week gap to the next event at Fintray it’s time to get down to some hard work. The issues with the drive train vibrations have accelerated plans to remove the reverse box and go to a center bearing two piece prop. Fuel tank will be getting modified to stop the surge issues experienced last week and save Paul from carrying 30-40 litres of fuel – about 25kgs of unnecessary weight. Work starts tonight to get the tank drained and out of the car so it can be taken to MJ Engineering for baffles to be fitted. Once that’s out it will be a case of removing the front and rear props and the quaife reverse box before deciding on something to replace it. All fun and games and I’m sure there will be further posts to update on the efforts with that.

Kames 11th and 12th April 2009

Posted in problem, Sprints, suspension with tags , , on April 15, 2009 by Paul Lawrence

A difficult weekend but the great weather and the good banter reminded everyone of why we do this!

Saturday started out badly with two failed runs that turned out to be fuel surge. Brimmed the tank after phoning Andy at AB Performance for some advice. On exiting the 180′ hairpin the car would splutter for a second or two and then burst into life. Will need to get the tank modified for future events.

Next couple of runs were also affected badly through failed down changes – partly to do with myself trying to engage first when not necessary but also going from 4th to 3rd and then 2nd usually resulted in a box of neutrals. Drove around the paddock for a while adjustijng the cable and now have it 99% with only one failed downshift later in the day. Also noticed that the threads are stripped on the column that holds the paddles which was losing me travel. Speaking to MNR about this.

I was particularly wild for the next couple of practice runs and really couldn’t get to grip with the new car. Got a bit frustrated and pushed too hard into the last bend that resulted in a full 360′ spin over the finish line. Exciting stuff and really looking forward to the photographic evidence from Giles.

The track is that way

{Giles says:} Here you go Paul...

Spend some time adjusting the suspension and trying to stop the wheel arches rubbing on tyres. The vibration was quite offputting on fast right handed turns, so with a bit of persuasion and some more spacers the arches are nearly perfect. Will probably remove some of the materials from the inside edge wings using my trusty angle grinder.

Last couple of runs started to bring me into contention ending up 3rd out of 4 cars in class, but only 0.7 of a second off the pace and only 0.66 off of the class record. Ross took the win which must have been encouraging for him with his new engine.

Ended the day happy enough, but worked on the car all night, adjusting suspension, removing some rear camber and generally getting ready for the next days Championship event running in the clockwise direction.

I was starting to get used to the car, but it seemed very loose and unsettled out of the paddock bends. Also suffering understeer in the top tighter hairpin. Gained some valuable advice from Drew and Wallace to use the torque of the new engine and use 3rd rather than 2nd as the upshift was really unsettling the car. In old blade powered car you had to work the gearbox to get any pace, but the new car took the top bends in 3rd and the car as a result was much more settled. Decided at this point to really push in the last two timed runs and got within 0.5 seconds of Bill Lambie Jnr who was really peddling his Busa. Managed to pip Billy snr and Ross into 3rd and 4th respectively. Matty’s car was looking great but struggling with brake problems into 5th place.

My time was nearly two seconds faster than the blade with more definitely to come in a repectable time of 85.97. Still around 1.73 seconds off of the class record but will definitely get closer next time. Carrying 25kgs of fuel cant have helped so Mike from MJ Engineering said he will look at the tank for me after Doune.

Jobs still to do on the car –

Fuel tank – surge problems
Speed sensor – still down on revs and was really starting to notice it
Transmission – managed to get a run in Jambo’s ZX10R’s lovely Orange MNR and his transmission is silent compared to mine. I have always been unhappy with the prospect of a propshaft cutting me in half, but I didn’t have a reference until now. As a result the transmission will be coming out and perhaps the reverse box sold on. Maybe go electric reverse in 2010.
Wings – need to speak to MNR about replacement wings, apart from the damage from the suspension problems, the wrap around wings are just not practical for a sprint car.
Brakes – lacking feel, but good stopping power

A pretty successful but stressful start to my year. Big thanks to Dad for his help as usual and Russ for the moral support.

New page added

Posted in Hillclimbs, Sprints on April 14, 2009 by Stephen Hynds

If you look to the right you’ll see a new page with Circuit Times and information. I’ve compiled a list of last year’s fastest times with the Fireblade and the times from this year to go with it. The times from Kames are already quicker than the old car did. Even with plenty of fettling left and some extra revs to be found it bodes well for the year ahead.