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Old 09-10-2011, 10:20 PM   #61
lstzephyr
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Awesome! I remember seeing a picture of the bike reading some Team incomplete stuff back when I was in highschool(7-8 years ago now). Its great to finally figure out a bit more about it!
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Old 09-12-2011, 11:33 AM   #62
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>>bike reading some Team incomplete stuff back when I was in highschool(7-8 years ago now)

Wow, sometimes I don't remember that I've been working on the project for that long! sigh......

I'll be down at Barber in Leeds, Al for the AHRMA vintage event and will have the engine with me if you (anyone else within earshot) are in the area and want to check it out.
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Old 09-12-2011, 02:42 PM   #63
JoeyBones
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Old 09-12-2011, 06:11 PM   #64
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continuing quest for power

Wiring harness. Making one from scratch sucks. Especially with a FI bike. The variety of sensors and the fact that I got some from a UK supplier made getting all the crimp terminals, housings, strain reliefs, backshells, etc, a real PITA. The first go of the harness was a bit of a mess but it worked. I was lucky enough to know Peter H., great all around guy and owner of a Dynojet dyno! The initial runs on the bike were done at his old shop in Brooklyn, only 5 miles but nearly a 1hr drive away!



There was definitely a learning curve to getting it running right. To minimize electrical interference I needed to have have a custom PCB made to control the various relays and fuses needed for the ECU, fuel pump, fan, O2 sensor, coils, and water pump. We also load tested all the components so that I could be sure that each circuit was properly fused and the low output race alternator would suffice to run the system. The sparx generator we initially used did not last long as the rotor uneventfully threw itself apart due to excessive high rpm usage. I then switched to an expensive Ducati race part which worked with no problems.



Once I got a couple of minor gremlins corrected, and an ignition and a basic fuel map going we immediately were making nearly what the old engine was. Even more encouraging was the fact that I had reduced displacement significantly from the previous engine from 640cc to 560cc so our overall thermal efficiency had increased significantly, not unexpected due to switching from air to water cooling.



To get the engine to respond smoothly we had to make an airbox to keep the injector in still air. It made a big improvement on how the bike responded on the track. You can see a quick video of the injector here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qZ2HfKN9KRM

Unfortunately, I was in uncharted territory on several fronts. We were finally above the magic 64Hp! Like how they marked the unknown on old maps, 'here be dragons' I was soon to be deep in 'here be broken parts' waters. Now with the airbox and a decent fuel map we were getting 72-73 Hp at the rear wheel, a great improvement. It produced noticeably faster laptimes and higher top speeds. There was one major problem, the engine had a very short fuse. We rarely had a trouble free weekend and the procedure was usually as follows: take it easy on a Friday practice, have the engine break on Saturday, spend all Saturday night fixing the engine, then winning our Sunday race. Helicoil stud holes, straighten bent valves after a belt breakage, replace yet another $160 head gasket. Once I used copper flashing from Home Depot to make a temporary head gasket! It worked and Todd won. In fact, that gasket may still be in the engine!

Sometimes we had problems that could not be fixed at the track. Todd was not having too much fun as a rider wants to ride, not watch the mechanics pull the engine yet again. I think it was the year that Todd spent a lot of time at the track but very little time actually riding. It was a tough time, the engine failures were expensive to fix and morale was relatively low. But we didn't quit and soldiered on. Todd was amazing in that even with the worst engine failures he never crashed or dropped the bike, a fact I was continually impressed by and gratified for!




We reached an upper limit of about 78Hp before we started pulling the top off the crankcases! It was not the end of the world as we could only get 78Hp in a test configuration with the gas tank removed. Since the chassis was originally designed for a horizontal inlet carburator there was not enough room for a downdraft throttle body to breathe. Chalk that up for the next revision.



Gotta run for now, will continue soon.
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Old 09-12-2011, 08:08 PM   #65
Lutz
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I'm gonna need a refill...
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Old 09-12-2011, 09:29 PM   #66
jake28
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amazing motor carnage. Thanks for the updates.
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Old 09-12-2011, 09:58 PM   #67
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Thank you for sharing.
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Old 09-12-2011, 11:28 PM   #68
Roadracer_Al
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You know, Chris, I remember your posts from the chassis list regarding the development of the Rotax motor, but as Gregor said, seeing it in print, all together, really makes it look like you're a glutton for punishment... er... dedicated to engineering solutions and committed to winning.
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Old 09-13-2011, 06:28 AM   #69
Flanny
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Fascinating!
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Old 09-14-2011, 07:10 AM   #70
katumo_jtb
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Sweet. Somehow seeing your outside-the-box designs and fabrication skills, I thought "this guy has to be an Aussie." Take that however you like

I will be checking back here regularly.
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Old 09-14-2011, 04:37 PM   #71
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Al, yea, development is a real effort with a lots of oh shit moments and a few carrots to keep me going. I am seeing progress which is the good part and hopefully this final bike will benefit from everything I've learned.

I'll take the 'has to be an aussie' comment as a compliment. I correspond with a few aussies that all also seem to have an overdeveloped sense of DIY and wonder if it is something in the water.
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Old 09-14-2011, 08:55 PM   #72
Skowinski
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You are pulling almost 80hp out of a 560cc single? That is nuts. I love it!

And, all the machine shop work, so cool.
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Old 09-15-2011, 01:20 PM   #73
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A funny thing happens when a person first starts to use a dyno. All of a sudden your engine starts running badly and not producing as much power as you thought it was! Now where did that 10Hp go? So it was satisfying getting those documented levels of power. It would have been nice to have reliable power but can I really ask for everything? Yes, I can.

This is a good segue into the next installment....
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Old 09-15-2011, 01:56 PM   #74
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what to do next...

At the end of the last post we were making a lot of power and scrap parts. There's an old expression that the best engine builders stand head and shoulders above the rest because of the size of the pile of broken parts they are standing on! If that is true I must be standing pretty high!

Anyway, Todd was riding well but the engine refused to give him a long streak of trouble free running to allow us to really dial the chassis in. Lap times were impressive but race performance was lacking due to repeated mechanical DNFs. And still Todd never crashed. Damn.

I knew the engine was an experiment, partially successful, but partially flawed. It drove home yet again that the more existing parts you use the more compromises need to be made. And in an engine a bad compromise is not a good thing. Since this engine was never meant to be the be-all and end-all I was not completely depressed. The engine's purpose was to see if a new water cooled performance head would increase power levels significantly. It did. The fact that I had to make cylinder spacers, dual belt drive systems and a host of other small adapter parts meant the engine was not the most stable assembly. Spinning a 104mm piston at 11000 rpm can cause a lot of movement on the taller than stock cylinder/head assembly. Also, not having a 1:2 gear reduction to reduce the cambelt speeds meant that I needed to operate the belt drive system way outside its intended range. Ducati has an internal jackshaft that reduces the crank speed by 50% to drive the cams. The belt is then only spinning at 1/2 crankshaft speed. Due to my compromised design there was no jackshaft so the belt was subject directly to full crank speed which was about double the max recommended use! While this worked, it lost power both in increased frictional losses and the magnified timing inaccuracies due to the higher belt speeds. Then add in the compromised airbox size and intake restrictions. I clearly had a list of items to redesign.

One area where my adaptation lead to am improvement was in the water cooling system. Being an air cooled engine the Rotax bottom end had no allowances for a water pump. I ended up using a 12V DC booster pump sold by a company in Australia, Davies Craig. The pump was run in a closed loop system controlled by the ECU and a motor driver circuit in the relay board that an electrical engineer friend (thanks, Leo) had designed. This let the pump act as a thermostat to keep the engine at a specific temperature and worked great. The pump has a low current draw and no seals to go bad and in my experience is nearly indestructible. Compared to the dual multi-stage seals in a standard engine driven water pump this was much lower friction. Normal water pumps are designed to provide adequate flow to cool at idle with no airflow to radiators so at higher speeds the water pump is very over-designed. Having the electric water pump be independent of engine speed made it easy to supply the engine with as much cooling as it needed in every situation with no wasted pumping. In the new engine design I have the option of running both cylinder banks in serial, parallel, or completely independent circuits. I'll try completely independent first with the idea that variable independent cooling will allow both banks to run at the same temperature and therefore the same thermal efficiencies, something nearly impossible to do with a traditional cooling system and a V configuration engine.

So, we had run the bike for a couple of years and learned a whole lot on what was breaking and why. What to do next you ask? Easy, I needed to design an engine that would take the Ducati head and provide a rigid and compact mounting and timing structure. It was at this point that Ducati came out with their new 1098 that had an engine that was vastly more production oriented than their previous 999 family. I decided to use the 1098 head instead of the expensive WSB 999F02 stuff I was using and to design a bottom end to suit. Of course I couldn't put a gem like this in the existing chassis that had been extensively modified. I would need to come up with another complete revision, the MK3 which I hoped would be something good and refined enough that I could sell to people.

I made good progress on this front for a while with a nearly complete 3D CAD model of the needed engine parts and a completely updated chassis and suspension that was much more visually pleasing. Then it happened.

Oops, out of time for now, will reveal details in the next post......
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Old 09-15-2011, 02:30 PM   #75
Brad Felmey
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Quote:
Originally Posted by thecosman View Post
I made good progress on this front for a while with a nearly complete 3D CAD model of the needed engine parts and a completely updated chassis and suspension that was much more visually pleasing. Then it happened.

Oops, out of time for now, will reveal details in the next post......
That's just mean!
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