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RallyBob's Race Van

I want to break the Land Speed Record for the class.

Somehow my trip to the county line to buy a 6 pak pales in comparison.:)

The reasons for you to buy a car hauler keep growing. Heck, it wouldn't take up any room since you could put some of the cars on it when parked.

Thanks for the most excellent info as usual.

Bob

<Editor's Note>: I split this thread, as it was TOO interesting to be lost in the "Suspension" heading!
 

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Actually, my plans are to convert my E-350 van into a combo motorhome/workshop. The forward section will sleep 5 people, the rear will have all my tools and spare parts plus a kitchen, undercarriage will have a generator, racing tires, heavy tools, air tank, spare batteries, etc. So I can tow my racecars across the country to various events. One of my dreams is to drive every major race track possible, as well as try all types of racing. Road courses, rallys, L.S.R., and the Open road racing in Nevada.
 

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Here's the partition separating the sleeping area from the rear workshop area. It's framed with 3/4" x 1 1/2" poplar and mahogany, and will be insulated and covered with fiberglass panels. Forward section will have a propane heater, and hopefully eventually a rooftop A/C unit. I want to Opel the USA in comfort....
 

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And here's the lower bunk with the fold-down upper bunk on the wall. When it's folded down, the upper bunk cushion acts as the backrest for the lower bunk, making it into a 'sofa' for TV viewing. The van will also have a TV with VCR and DVD player, allowing me to watch the day's racing from the in-car camera.
 

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1970-GT
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Bob, you have the GT hauler, where is the land speed GT?
Are you still working on it?
Need some help?
I have always wanted to build something to take to the salt flats.
Let us know what's going on.
Lyle
 

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Lyle, like most of my projects I ran out of money long ago. The van still sits there, awaiting an engine rebuild.

I got my GT two years ago from California, it's rust-free but it needs everything gone over, and a rollcage built for it. I hadn't really given it much thought until last week, when I saw the movie 'The world's fastest Indian' and I was inspired to at least start the engine development program in motion. I originally wanted a roller cam, but I've had one on order for about two years from you know who. I decided to just order a flat-tappet cam and I will concentrate on lowering valvetrain weight and inertia to make the system last at those rpms and power levels I need to make. I needed the cam before anything else can get developed in the head and before pistons can be ordered. I estimate the valve reliefs will be 1/2" deep thanks to the extreme valve overlap and lift, large valves, and short stroke (piston accelerates slowly away from TDC, reducing valve clearance). But I need to be sure by mocking the engine up first.

Bob
 

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Bob, I have not seen that movie yet. I wanted to, but it was not even shown here! I guess if you don't have talking animals or talking cars it's not a good movie.:dunno:
The little bit I know about you, the engine program will not be the limiting factor of going fast. As you know, HP is only a piece of the puzzle, OK, a big part.
Picking the right class to compete in is tough, have not looked at the new rules in about 3 years.
I have been racing Go-Karts for about 20 years and it has taught me alot about tire selection, reducing weight, rotating mass, friction and aerodynamics. Yep, on a small scale, but it still applies to all vehicles.
I will help you with some machining and throw in a few ideas about going faster with less HP!?
I have wanted to go to the salt flats ever since I saw the jet cars in the late 60's. It's not a dream you can't reach, don't have to break the record the first time out, fun just competing!
Living in Florida (The wrinkle State) I hear old people talk about what they could have done.........the nursing home is always waiting for us.:no:
Lyle
 

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Well Recommended!

Burt Monro - Another "Good Kiwi Bloke"

The 'World's Fastest Indian' is one of the most inspirational movies ever made - and made right here in Kiwiland .... about a Kiwi Icon.... Directed by Peter Jackson of King Kong fame.

An 'old' guy (a REAL one) who set out to race at Bonneville and let absolutely NOTHING stop him. The records he set there still stand - records he set when 68 years young.

I was a Biker back in that era and well remember his exploits being written about back then. All his parts were made by himself - essentially by hand.
Forged his own con rods from Caterpillar axles and cast his own pistons from a mix of remelted Chevy and Ford pistons. Just had an old hobby lathe in one corner of the shed he lived in. Eked out his pension to buy the few things he needed and dropped in to Invercarill Engineering Shops to 'borrow' the use of their equipment - it was quicker to let him use stuff than to suffer the consequences of denighing him!

He was invited to Bonneville numerous times where he horrified .. and amazed all who saw (and heard!) his 1920 Indian run near 200mph ... 'Nuff Said!

Except - You GOTTA see the film.

As Burt (played by Anthony Hopkins of 'Silence of the Lambs fame) arrives at Bonneville for the first time - he gazes out over the salt as the sun is rising and remarks: "This is Holy ground!"

The film finally gave Patricia some idea of what makes 'gearheads' tick!

NOTE: Added some pics - remember this started life as a 1920 side-valve production motocycle .....
 

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Jim, Bert is certainly an inspiring human being. I rented the DVD version of the movie, and one of the extras is the 1971 documentary about Bert Munro....the real guy and the real bike! Amazing stuff, and you get an idea of how accurate the director wanted the movie to be....his workshed in the movie looks just like the real thing! This guy spent 550 hours in 1951 making a set of DOHC heads for his Indian motorcycle because they simply did not exist!
 

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Tru-Craft said:
The little bit I know about you, the engine program will not be the limiting factor of going fast. As you know, HP is only a piece of the puzzle, OK, a big part.
Picking the right class to compete in is tough, have not looked at the new rules in about 3 years.
I have been racing Go-Karts for about 20 years and it has taught me alot about tire selection, reducing weight, rotating mass, friction and aerodynamics.
I have the class chosen already. I am extremely limited on aerodynamics, the rules for the class I will be running allows me to remove exterior mirrors, remove wipers, remove trim, lower the car, and run flush wheel covers, and that's it! No body mods whatsover, no spoilers or airdams unless they are factory OEM.

This is where the GT will shine....although the Cd is just 'okay' by todays standards, the frontal area is superb. If I can get the front of the car low enough to avoid front end lift, and can balance the rear lift, the car should REALLY haul a$$. I know the hp level of the current record holder, and I can easily surpass that by 40 or more hp. I have a close ratio gearbox, and a superlight twin-disc clutch. Suspension is figured out already too, with the exception of the front spindles (I am putting larger hubs with bigger wheel bearings on the front for reliability). Rear axle will be a Toyota 8" with a 4-link suspension and a spool. Opel rear axles are barely reliable for a street car!

Bob
 

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More ...

For the film the original bike was used for the still shots but for the 'at speed' filming at Bonneville a replica made by Britten Motorcycles in Christchurch was used - it took them many months to build it with all the modern CAD-CAM and CNC machining they had available. Burt did it ALL by hand in his tiny shed down at Invercargill. Awsome ..... who says DOHC heads for Opels are impossible!

A GT class record is really on the cards too!
 

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Cool, I just got off the phone with Manley Performance products and they are more than willing to work with me with producing my valvetrain parts, i.e: Valves, springs and retainers. They talked me into HT (high temp) Titanium for the exhaust valves too, in light of the extended high rpms, rather than Inconel.

And as long as I use either copper-beryllium (I won't because of the dangers associated with machining it), or ductile iron seats, they'll work with an iron head. Others have said you can't use titanium valve with cast iron heads, but as long as the seats and guides are compatible and are of sufficient press-fit, I'm all set.

Now I just need to rob me a bank.
 

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RallyBob said:
Cool, I just got off the phone with Manley Performance products and they are more than willing to work with me with producing my valvetrain parts, i.e: Valves, springs and retainers. They talked me into HT (high temp) Titanium for the exhaust valves too, in light of the extended high rpms, rather than Inconel.

And as long as I use either copper-beryllium (I won't because of the dangers associated with machining it), or ductile iron seats, they'll work with an iron head. Others have said you can't use titanium valve with cast iron heads, but as long as the seats and guides are compatible and are of sufficient press-fit, I'm all set.

Now I just need to rob me a bank.
I will go rent that movie!!! Sounds very motivating!
Bob, glad you are getting back to this project.
The new 4 cycle dirt bike engines turn very high rpm's and use titanium valves, they are fairly reliable. Titanium is light, not very hard or tough, but does dissipate heat well. For what you are doing they would be great.
Copper-beryllium is OK to turn and machine with flood coolant. The biggest trouble is dry machining and dry grinding it! With only 8 parts to make, it is not a problem. Let me know, I can do them for you.
Lowering the car is not always a good thing for top speed. The GT does get a little light at 125-130, but you don't have to worry about handling a tight turn at the end. A smooth controlled flow of air under the body is just as important as over it.
I have picked up 4mph at Daytona by lowering the back end a 1/4" and raising the front end 1/4"! Balanced front end lift equals less friction. Use all that air to make the car lighter, down force and gravity is your enemy!!! As long as the rear driving wheels touch the ground.:D
Tires should be as narrow as the rules allow.
Have a few other ideas I don't want to post here.
Let me know what class your running in.
Lyle
 

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RallyBob said:
And as long as I use either copper-beryllium (I won't because of the dangers associated with machining it),
Good Plan there Bob. We had berryllium-copper brakes on the F-14s when I was working for the Navy during my Civil Service stint. They were proven to be highly carcinogenic. We ended up using paper suits that covered us completely, had to have skin tight surgical gloves that were taped to the paper suit and wear a super high quality respirator when disassembling the brakes. We couldn't take off the protective gear until the complete brake assembly was totally air sealed in a container. Then the gear was put in a sealed hazardous material container. All because of the brake dust that may have been present. What a PIA that was. Now they use standard materials for the rotors and stators on the aircraft.
 

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Tru-Craft said:
Copper-beryllium is OK to turn and machine with flood coolant. The biggest trouble is dry machining and dry grinding it! With only 8 parts to make, it is not a problem.
Don't forget after seat installation I will still need to port the head, so all those grinding chips and then the smaller airborne particles from the polishing (sanding) would be in the air for hours. If I can use ductile iron seat inserts, then I will! Not to mention the costs are a lot less.

I already get uneasy whenever I re-point my welding tungstens (2% thoriated tungsten is slightly radioactive). I've been told it's harmless to ingest and to handle, but the dust should not be inhaled in. And it's not like I grind them all day long either. I've refused head-porting jobs in the past because of the copper-beryllium seats....no thanks!

Bob
 

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Bob,

Titanium aluminide seems to be the valve material of choice in high rpm motors at the upper levels of motorsport(where allowed). I don't know what the premium is over the more standard titanium valves, but it may be worth looking into. There was an article in Race Tech recently about this...

-Travis
 

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Thanks Travis.

I was just going to go with Manley valves since they've been helpful in the past. I may just cut a junk 2.2 head I have in half, and send them that so they can more easily select valvetrain components such as springs and retainers to go with the valves. I also like the bead-loc keeper grooves they use (like the stock Opel), they hold very well and create less of a stress point in the valve. Price is also an issue, and they seem to be competitive.
 
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