Sunday, November 18, 2018

Salt Slush Racing's Winter Retreat

Sunshine, Salt flats and Speed Week pops up in our mind and we're preparing for the 2019 race season on dry lakes in the US of A. But we've faced the brutal reality and accepted that there we're in the middle of the coal dark autumn in the north of the northern hemisphere far away from our Landspeed race Amazon in California. 

We've to cope with the absence of light and get ready to take responsibility for our own mental health. So, here's a status report from the Salt Slush racing winter retreat.
Modern life has modern problems. We're here talking about limp home mode on a El Camino 1970. When it runs, it runs like a dream but more adjustment are needed. Anders will fix it, be sure of that. The LS engine, equipped with Magnuson Supercharger, will make it all worthwhile.
Pictured: One cylinder bank of our soon to be Ardun V8.
Last conrod connected. Hour is getting late.  
Eight out of eight ain't bad. It feels really good to finished this part of base engine assembly.
I managed to borrow an oil pan for the Ford Flathead from Lars Davisson today. Remark: The oil pan was not for sale. I need to find a new one for Lars. Anyone got a Ford 1946 oil pan for sale?
Winter is coming up and Carina tryin to make the flea market snow blower come alive. Yes, the Tecumseh engine has now got the spark back!
We all strive for comfort. Magnus is here practicing steering column packing while trying to find a good position for the seat. Yes, he's focused.
Kalle will make his belly-up Vespa shine like psychedelic northern light. But will he convert from rocker to mod? Nobody knows yet. We'll soon find out.
Outside our workshop, the last standing hollyhock is trying hard to ignore the fact that the sun has left the sky.

Monday, November 12, 2018

Workshop Weekend Highlight! Film time!

What you have learned in you workshop today? How has your project proceeded today? Did you use your finger to make a sign in the dust that grows thicker on the hood, or did make a real breakthrough?
In all projects there's ups and downs, there's miserable moment when whatever you touch breaks, when orange peel paint is all you can produce. But there're as well these happy moment when you've learned something or made a breakthrough. We had such a weekend.
Here's what happened.
Yes, it's only 2 out of 8, but still, everything seams to work, the Ardun Engine build took a step forward when I could confirm that all custom made parts fits. Besides, I've learned how to assemble Spirolocks without a tool. First one took an hour, second one 15 seconds.
Meanwhile,  Anders managed to crank up his LS engine with Magnuson Supercharger successfully. Not tuned yet, but still, it runs!
After a little shake down, changing some parameters, it was even time for a first test drive. Out under the grey Gothenburg sky!
The speed god was obviously on our side because the Gothenburg november rain stopped for a couple of minutes during test drive. That ain't bad...

Wednesday, November 7, 2018

Continuous Learing.

Knowledge comes if you study hard and get experience. You've heard it over and over again since you were a small kid. So have I. But there's another factor to add to the learning process as well. Cheapness.

Let me try to explain. When I was a young car guy I once bought a really cheap aftermarket distributor to an old Benz (a W114 230/6 if I remember correctly). When I took it out the ignition device out from the non branded white box, I noticed that the weight difference compared with the original stuff from Stuttgart was significant. My young, innocent and unsuspicious mind thought; Lighter is better!

Until I slowly and carefully pushed the distributor holder/spring in to its position...only to notice that the little spring made a hole in the paper thin distributor cap. Curtain down. 

By some reason, this was a turning point for me. I went into next period in my motor life that I can describe as;  The quality period. Always bought quality from that moment. OEM parts or trusted aftermarket parts or high quality tuning parts. No more wasted hours in the garage! I've learned something! This lasted for several years. 

Until cheapness took control of me and rewired my brain. Suddenly I've bought a radiator for my wife's Jeep at for a very low price. It was obviously time to relearn the basic again.
Buy cheap and enjoy the pleasure of redoing stuff.
From left: the good, the bad and the old worn. We're talking about radiators, not else.

The bad.  Yes, the traces of coolant fluid is a leakage. A hole was included in the low price.  Yes, the fins bent out of the box. Yes, the box was cheap too.

The good. VTC Åberg provided good quality stuff. Yes the box were good too.

The good one assembled. Only the electric fan is missing at this moment.
Guess what? It doesn't leak....
The change was faster the second time...besides, a sealed Jeep makes Cina a happy car girl.

I've know learned what I already knew before. Go for quality and do the job once.

Same goes for turbo's and superchargers...

Saturday, November 3, 2018

Never give up! or Just another car guy week.

You've got to go beyond the crave for comfort to find peace of mind. 

You've got to have a problem solving seeking soul searching for solace and be willing go against expectation and status to find pleasure in the resonance of fate.

What the f...?
We're talking about a car guy/girl week when things goes wrong, when sleep goes down, when working hours goes north and you start to question your lifestyle.

Hers's a summary:
A Swedish Freedom Icon called Big Bengt died. An auction was announced.  
Big Bengt was not the shy type. But eventually he left the building.
Carina's auction bid won and she got a couple of old lawnmowers. 

Which was fine. But the C20 Chevy pickup all of a sudden got hot when an old cooling hose cracked and sprinkled the engine compartment outside Anderstorp. 

A road repair involving scotch tape, removed thermostat and getting to know a nice cool gang of car guys and girls were needed to reach our final destination called home.

Back at home, the hose was replaced and we we're all happy. But not for long. Soon another cooling issue appeared in our life. It was now time for a MOPAR moment. 
The radiator (pictured) gave up in our old daily driver muscle SUV (Jeep Grand Cherokee 1998 5,9). We ordered a new radiator from Unfortunately, the new radiator were leaking too. Crappy stuff from a crappy supplier who offered crappy support.
Simultaneously, it was time for our Magnuson Corvette to go through the annual Swedish car inspection...
...which rightfully failued due to this..i.e. worn out tires. 

The moral of this story:
If a lot of problems occur at the same time in your life, even if it's painful and take lot of time to find solutions, it's a good thing and well worth the effort it takes.

Because it feel good to be capable and it feels even better when something is accomplished and all is solved.  

Hence, go out there and solve something!

Thursday, October 25, 2018

Remote Tuning of 449 Amazon The Movie

We're living in visual times. In which a picture is mandatory if you want to tell a story. Add a short film and it all becomes true. 

We're not too different, even if we still can read. Here's what I'm talking about; we talked with Nisse (The Camtwister, at Instagram) and Erik Hansson (at Scandinavian Street Rods) and as well Westech Performance over phone and afterwards we celebrated our tuning/calibration success.
But it wasn't until we got these videos, that we realized how smooth our wild 449 Amazon is running after the Westech Performance treatment.
You've heard it before and it's still valid. Seeing is believing. So read, look and listen.
Not full load, but instead a smooth calibration at part load. This is what we've been looking for ever since the first El Mirage race.
Ismail at Westech Performance called me Saturday night (CET) and asked following question:
-We've now got 696 rwhp (which equals to 750hp on the crank with our transmission and rear end set up) with a conservative ignition of 15 deg (race fuel) and no knock, do you want us to advance the ignition further and squeeze out more power at this point in time?
Very tempting, but I said no. Because we don't need an engine failure to handle remotely from Sweden and we've got more races to run before we can go flat out and reach for the record. Until then we need a super duper durable engine.
We're not Kilroy....but the 449 Amazon was there.

Wednesday, October 24, 2018

Old School Service -A Tribute to Rogers Custom in Gothenburg!

You're hands are dirty. You're somewhat stressed. Because you're in search for a replacement part. A part that fits your broken favorite custom street car. At this point your wish to google, search and compare is limited. You need someone to talk to. Someone who knows your stuff. Someone who doesn't start with asking for the VIN / registration number.

In US these old school shops exist still, but in Sweden they're all gone.

All of them? Really?

No. There's still hope for a part searching soul. At least in Gothenburg.

We're talking about Rogers Custom, a part/speed shop for US cars that opened up the doors in 1965 and still going strong. Hasse, the current owner of Rogers Custom, has no web shop (like Salt Slush…), instead he has a lot of worn catalogues, a solid network of suppliers and a loooong hands-on experience of cars.
A typical no-nonsense call to Rogers Custom:
Customer: Hi, do you have a lower cooling hose for a C20 -79?
Hasse: Small block?
Customer: Yes!
Hasse: The hose will be available tomorrow. I'll call you in advance.
Carina is picking up her part.
The logo. Seen it since I was a kid. Always liked it.

Wednesday, October 17, 2018

Remote Control Cailbration! A success!

Calibration, Tuning, Optimization, Mapping. Those words have an even deeper meaning to us now. We've learned as well that even in a general success there's room for annoyances. But we also know that mind-bogging issues can be resolved during a Saturday night dinner.


Here's what. Back in late spring 2017, there was a race date at El Mirage, a shipping date for the Amazon and flight tickets booked for us and as a consequence, a sweating team. So, we made a base calibration on the laptop, a drivability check at Ringön and finally, a full load calibration in a chassi dyno in Gothenburg.

When the race car sailed away it was running ok at low humid Gothenburg temperatures and tap fuel. It was running good, not great.

Fast forward to Bonneville Speed Week 2018. Same desktop calibration, but 35-40degC (95-104 F) ambient temperature, a super dry dessert and a new race fuel. During early mornings it was running ok but not good. We still managed to run 150-175mph (240-280km/h) several times and really feel the great potential...

...but we were getting more and more engaged in try and error calibration after analyzing individual cylinder temperatures. In short terms; We suffered misfire.
So we changed spark plugs, and spark wires and various other parameters. Didn't help.

So we went to the Salt Flats Café to think about it. Didn't help either but it was relieving.

The solution. We called Westech Performance in Mira Loma, (greater Los Angles) and booked a time for a mapping session. To get a good speed-load calibration from low part load to full load with correct race fuel. Finally we got a time slot. Last Saturday. The Salt Slush team were in Sweden, but Erik Hansson went up early morning and towed our 449 Amazon racer to Westech Performance.

The team have faith both in Westech Performance and Erik Hansson, but still...the Salt Slush team were nervous. Was there a hardware issue? Would the engine blow up?

It all turned in to a success! The engine is now running really smooth, the exhaust gas is reported to be below 950degC and the peak power at 750hp.  Yes, we decided to stay at this performance level with a conservative ignition timing, because we want the car to go fast and be durable!

What a warm feeling! We raised our glassed called each other and cheered!

The only drawback. The Salt Fever is getting worse...