We managed to get the bike ready for some dyno testing in April. The first runs were frankly embarrassing. Our fuel system leaked and the new supercharger just did not give us anywhere near the boost it was designed to do. No matter, TTS swapped the supercharger out for the largest in that model. However, it did not improve things and we ended the day with some broken belts.
Further visits to the Dyno resulted in a seized supercharger drive, leaking fuel valves, burnt pistons and more broken belts. However it’s not all doom and gloom. Finding all these problems this side of the pond is a whole lot better than a repeat of 2012.
July 12th was our last dyno run at TTS Performance, with an uneventful 110hp and another shredded belt we called it a day. When we got back to the workshop more was waiting inside the engine. We found more burnt pistons, and a blown head gasket. With just 2 weeks to go before shipping we needed to decide whether to go to Bonneville or not.
Problem 1: There was not enough time to get replacement pistons shipped to the UK from the US in time to fit them.
Problem 2: The Company, MAP in the USA, only had 9:1 and not the 10.5 we were using.
However we now knew what caused the burnt pistons and Dave knew how to resolve the head gasket problem. So knowing where we had gone wrong and with some new settings we decided that with the amount of time and money invested we would go ahead and ship the bike to Bonneville by Air. This is NOT cheap.
I arranged for 2 x sets of the 9:1 pistons to be shipped from MAP to Mike Crawford’s Car Quest store in Wendover. We would collect these on arrival. Dave then modified the head with a receiver groove for the gasket to provide a labyrinth seal preventing gasket failure, which with a thinner gasket also gave us a bit more compression.
The only down side to all this would be installing the pistons on the salt. Not that this was a problem, as we would be doing running repairs anyway, just not the way we wanted it to be.
Mon July 22nd. The bike is shipped to James Cargo for its flight to the states. The bike with bits in its box weighed 620Kg. How do we need all this sh*. Shipping pictures
The long drive from LA to Wendover makes you very thirsty so the 1st beer in Carmen’s Black & White only lasted about 1 sec followed by quite a few more.
Thursday morning - lots of shopping. 1st collect pistons from Car Quest, 2nd get Icebox & drinks and set-up the pits. The bike is seriously heavy to unload from the van so we enlist help from the Flower of Scotland team
We set to work and stripped the engine down to install the pistons. On first fire-up the bike was not playing fair and would only run on 1 cylinder. A stupid wiring fault was found & fixed. We packed up for the day a waited till Friday to go through Tech with our crew.
As we went through tech on Friday we got quite a few looks of “what the f*** have you guys made now”? Are we getting a reputation or something?
Run1- Dave’s in the hot seat because I broke it last year so he gets first go this year. Only fair.
The small GPS speedo I bought especially for the bike is a pile of crap and so we use my company’s sat nav. We choose to do a checkout pass on course 4. Air temperature is a cool 82.5F. Dave did a slow run into the 1st mile at 60mph with an exit speed 140mph with an average of 123.659 for the mile. The bike ran well but Dave misjudged the course length and ran on into the slushy stuff. Bad for cleaning it up but good in the fact that even on a slimy surface the bike is very controllable.
Remember, this is the very first run with the new fairing and the 1st time ever that Dave has ridden it. He did a fine job.
Boost on the run was 10.7 psi, fuel pressure 112 but oil pressure had dropped to only 48, a worry. The EGT’s were a little cold at around 820F each so for the next run we increased the return pill size to drop the fuel pressure i.e. lean the motor out. Oh, and Course 4 is not for us, its just too short. Dave’s 2nd run on Saturday was curtailed due to high winds
Run 2 - Steve. The Bike power is much more than last year. I did a Burt Munro launch and had it sideways a bit. Rode it up to about 110 mph into the first mile with a 146 average and a 155 exit. Carried through the next mile slowing to a 141 average for mile 3. Not bad for the 2nd run against a 140 record. Ticket speed allowed me to upgrade to a C licence. Race at 175, max speed allowed 199, mm where’s the Nitro? The oil pressure dropped to around 25psi during the run. Very worrying. We did not even think about impounding it as we had a serious oil pressure issue that needs to be fixed. Back in the pits, the belts and everything seems OK but there is salt everywhere.
Run 3 - This was aborted as soon as I got started as the oil pressure dropped to 29 PSI. Back to pits for some thinking. We then jacked up pressure relief to get more oil pressure.
Run 4 - It was meant to be Dave on board today but I had to ride as the Sat nav had died (Suspect flat battery due to salt in the switch). Dave’s licence was less than the bike was running. It all started well, oil pressure much higher but still going down as the speed/RPM increases. Rode faster into the 1st measured mile, the mile 2 average was 154, mile 3 was 157. Sat nav showed a 158 exit. The oil pressure is dropping very low and it prevents higher speed. High rpm for long periods = low pressure. Back off a bit and it recovers, and then drops as you get back on it. This is going to take some fixing.
Changed oil pump to the old plunger pump for the following day.
Run 5 - Good stable oil pressure, Dave gets next licence with a 140 average and 137 exit. Happy people again.
Run 6 - Engine has a misfire, run aborted and during the run to the first mile the primary belt breaks. We head back to the pits for a new belt. What a mess. The primary belt had trashed the blower belt, strangled the slider clutch and chucked crap everywhere. A big cleanup.
Run 7 - No shift due to broken air shifter wire
Replaced the solenoid in the pits so back to line for another run.
Run 8 - Air leaks from system possible due to me sitting on the frame rails and moving the fitting. Fixed it in line and went for another run. Broke the belt again.
Run 9 - Belt broke on run up to first mile. Run aborted.
Back to the pits again.
When we ran the engine after the belt repair we noticed that the base of the block was cracked. As we removed the block it fell apart.
The Ignition failure on a previous run, due to sheared screws, caused extra ignition advance which in turn caused the block to crack
We took our spare block back to the motel to repair a damaged thread before refitting it the following day. Thankfully a guy was mending his race-car in the motel car park. (only in Wendover!) He loaned us the use of his drill press to drill to heli-coil the block accurately. Beer currency was exchanged
Run 10 - No air in the shifter again due to me sitting on the frame rails and moving the fittings enough to leak the air out. Back to the start line for a second run
Run 11 - Dave powers off at high speed with rooster tails of salt from the back, this looks good. Just as he gets into 4th at 140+ the belt breaks again causing the engine to hit the limiters. Back in the pits the damage to the pulleys was terminal and made repairs impossible. The data logger showed that oil pressure had dropped again but we had good boost of 30 psi. Later once the bike was back in UK and stripped down we found some bananas
It was Thursday, we’d had a good shot at going
fast and we were tired and very thirsty. With no other damage visible we agreed
to call it a day and set to work eating ice creams. Then we cleaned &
polished up the bike, put it all back together and rolled it out the back
of the pits for a photo shoot
with Lizzy Leggett.