Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Down to the wire

Hearts on Fire. Because things are moving quickly here, my first idea was to post a montage, specifically the training montage from Rocky 4. Then I watched Observe and Report the other night, which used a handful of f**king epic songs by Queen from the Flash Gordon Soundtrack, so instead I give you the last stand of War Rocket Ajax:

Ultra points to Seth, who's hooked me up with some last minute parts to help get this machine moving. I built the motor Monday, hung it yesterday and have been chasing down small problems all over the place. Last look before it goes in, the intake is large enough to flow a 28mm carb. (should that ever become necessary...) Enough bloggeritering, back to putting this thing together!

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Let us "B-gin!"

So the last major hoop to jump through was repairing/replacing the exhaust flange on the Polini cylinder, and fabricating a new header to fit the enlarged exhaust flange. The old & standard exhaust flange dimensions are 22mm outer and 17.3mm inner diameter. The new flange is 23mm ID & 25mm OD. I used pieces of a random exhaust for the new flange and a stock Sachs exhaust to fab up the new header. To accurately recreate the standard Vespa geometry and location, I built a cardboard jig, and used that to accurately sculpt the new flange to fit the old cut marks. Immediately after this was complete, I thought of a faster and more efficient way of doing this. I required a no-bake cookie to console myself.

I then chopped up the Sachs pipe to fit the new flange, which was kinda complicated. When I suspected I was finished, I took my cobbled bits over to Phil's place, where he proceeded to 'turn hellfire into horsepower'©. The flange welding was a piece of cake, but the header geometry I developed was flawed. I took it apart for another go, then back to Phil's where I welded it myself and am ashamed to say, did some Gawd-awful welding. -And to think of the many hours I welded away in CCAD's nearly vacant metal shop. whatevs. So then I rented an enormous angle grinder and fixed all my sloppy blacksmithing on the roof of my building where I undoubtedly made all the babies in the neighborhood wake-up and cry. In your face, infants!

That night I bothered to actually read the section in Graham Bell's book on exhaust headers and through no planning on my own part, the header looks pretty good on paper. It seems like there is tons of power hiding in the nuances of header design. In warfare, military commanders use the expression: "Amateurs study tactics, professionals study logistics" I think the application here would be: "Amateurs study porting, professionals study headers".

Thrice returning to RJ's weld-o-rama, Phil expertly welded the improved header to the Simonini pipe. Thanks Phil! I'm still waiting on various parts to arrive, and it looks like my flywheel will be fat and heavy for the race. But the bike should be together lickitty split and none too soon. I take back any fence-sitting or half-heartedness towards the paint job, it is f**king magnificent and indeed, Louder than God.

In totally unrelated news, Liz & I have been going to Quiz Night at a bar and kicking so much ASS! we've won the MF'er two weeks in a row now, usurping the reigning champs after several weeks of less than glorious performance. BOOM!

Stealth Pics: (cardboard seat is a mock-up, I assure you)
Bonus Round: I'm looking at this blog, while taking pictures to be used on the blog.

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Updates 9/9/09

So, both bikes are still unfit for racing, despite some last minute scrambling. I missed the last round of racing at Atwater, but I am determined to make the season finale in October. Here are some nuggets of the progress. Tite bladez = wheel stripes add around 2-3 mph on the top end. Also a image of the Plan B engine's fuel system. There's a few hoops to jump through, but the last major obstacle I'm facing is the lack of an exhaust flange on the cylinder. Once that's complete and the exhaust has been similarly adapted. I can start building the bike. The paint job overall is somewheres in the sundered veil between amazing and asinine.

Last night I learned about Short Gamma Ray bursts and Magnetar Stars. I realize this is way off topic.