Friday, December 3, 2021

It's was finally time for our Amazon to wake up!

Suddenly US was open again. On November 8th, EU citizens got green light and open borders. Carina and I had tickets waiting, a trip pending and a well prepared mindset. 

Meanwhile, we had stuff in US in need of attention. So...we took our bad conscience, our crave for Americana and the obvious Salt Slush need for future speed and set of to California. On arrival we found what we expected, i.e. our Landspeed Amazon and the Big Block Burb sleeping under car covers, possibly developing various technical diseases from not moving.

Luckily, our search for sun and wish to travel reduced our technical worries. Consequently, we had thoughts like;

- What could possibly happen to a 27 year old car that has been sitting outside for two years? Basically nothing.

- Is it likely that a race car, built by the Salt Slush Team could deteriorate after driven on wet salt back in August 2019? I guess not.

As expected that was all wishful thinking.

As the sun set on the first day, Erik helped us to tow the Amazon to the outdoor workshop spot surrounded by Palm and Pomelo trees.

  

We looked at the car. Rather starred. Thought about coming race seasons, tried to remember what to do, checked the fluids then called it a day


Next day it was about time. To start up. Sun was shining. Excitement. Ignition switch on. Milliseconds later a buzzing high pressure fuel pump. Finger on start button. Starter motor engaged. Then some first unsteady combustion...then we woke up the neighborhood. Happiness.

After that the work could begin. Working outdoor in under a clear sky and the warm sun in late November is nice. Really nice.


The tires were in need of pressure. While Carina needed some exercise. A match in heaven as it turned out.
After a couple of hours working with emery paper, the brake discs were cleaned from salt driven rust. On advice from Erik, we phosphated the discs too.
We had been running the engine for sometime and we were just about to start the celebration...when Carina noticed a small pool of water developing under the vehicle. After examination we could confirm that an expansion plug in the cylinder head had a small hole. The solution? JB Weld applied from the drivers seat in a very awkward position. Caused by grain of salt?
Then we found cables that had seen some heat. Carina checked them, fixed them and wrapped them with some heat protection and now it looks OK. The copper cables pictured? That's the decoupled cables to cylinder individual temperature measurement. 
 
We needed to change brake pads on the Suburban too and remove some salt rust here too.
After a lot of work in the sun, Erik's and Ruth's hospitality was really welcome. To start with, Erik had made a bar stool with Amazon race number 449 imbedded. Really cool.
In addition, he had made a bar for the bar stools.

Ok. We've got designated places to sit, a bar and fantastic company. Anything missing? Not after Erik arrived with 1,5 liter margarita based on lime fruits picked from the garden. At this point in time, technical problems were getting smaller...

Thursday, November 25, 2021

As we're tooling our way back to normality...we found too high psi!

We've been locked out for two years. No matter how much we've been whining about it, we still had to stay in Europe. Because US was closed. As a consequence we have not been able to keep our tow car and race car in shape and landspeed racing at El Mirage and Bonneville Speed Week has of course been out of the question too.

Until now. When US opened up for fully vaccinated and tested travelers on November 8th, we were mentally prepared to go. So we took the test, filled in all forms and took off. Happy as kids on Christmas eve.

But as the landing wheel touched the American ground, question began to build up. Will the Suburban start? Will it move? Will it pass SMOG test? Can we return the rental car as planned? Will the race car (Amazon) start? How is long ToDo list to make it race ready again?

The clear blue Californian sky was welcoming and outdoor temperature comfortable. The Swedish November gloom evaporated in fraction of a second, but we had no time spare, because we were on a mission.  

Fast forward; The green Suburban started at once, but was stuck. Luckily it was once ordered with 7,4L Big Block engine, which is really good to have when brakes calipers and pads seems like welded to the disc.

So what to do when the brake pad smoke eclipses the sun? 

You call a friend.  

So we called Mike Sitar. Shortly after, the brake smoke cleared and could see other super cool stuff...at Toohighpsi

 

Let's assume that you have LT1 engine with DI injectors. Then you most likely have a Magnuson TVS2650 too. You have sufficient air flow, plenty of boost pressure, but you lack the fuel. Then Mike Jr at toohighpsi can offer a solution. A PFI solution.

How about this? In addition to the OEM DI system Mike and Mike Jr has developed super compact PFI plate that provides fuel at air flow and boost pressure when serious power develops.
Fits like a glove.

Shines like diamonds. Ready to provide the fuel needed for serious supercharged LT1 power, while keeping the DI system and emission system stock

 

But how about SMOG test? 

The old big block Burb passed without remark. Why shouldn't it pass?  It's only 27 years old....
So we took it for a tour...to celebrate.

Coming up soon, the race car start up!

Sunday, November 14, 2021

So we had a little garage party...

This spring, as the white sunlight reached our winter bodies and we fumbled for our sunglasses not to burst as trolls, when we were all starved as stray dogs, I wrote an email to two gear heads. 

Already at this point, I need to underline that I'm not talking about nutrition. Nope. We all had our meals and deals. Instead I'm talking about social starvation and a big time party need.

The mail found its way though the digital world that we call ours and I was prepared to wait several minutes for a reply. No need. I got a go at once.

-Best email today! 

-Go!

But we needed to wait for open borders and a pandemic pause. We scheduled September and failed. We had a look optimistic look at October and had to re-plan. Notoriously depressing November arrived and we all said YES! 

 It was party time! Because we all needed to connect! Big Time!

  

We invited Kjelle Power. So Kjelle, Henke and a NASCAR engine arrived. It was not a shy arrival. Instead it was a party trigger.

As expected, there was gearhead happiness in the air. 
November is not that bad...after all...
...you need the right people, good food, beer and engines to feel at ease...
...and a fire extinguisher too if you happen to invite guys with a...
...jet powered go-kart.
But before hell broke loose, before the party began, before food was served and beer was poured, Lutz was there to prepare mentally for the task. The task to start Per Gillbrand's amazing small engines based on instruction written by Per during his last weeks alive. The result; Lutz and Peter did it! First tense silence then bursting happiness!
 
Summary; an amazing evening with a mix of bonafied gearhead guests that I will remember forever.


Sunday, November 7, 2021

Storage space - An eternal issue

It's a question that relates to personality. It's as well strongly related to online shopping and no matter if you like it or not, it's an essential part of any kind of project, since parts needs space.

Hoarding. The other bookend of this topic. When a healthy nice-to-have-soul and collector mind has gone ballistic. Way beyond reasonable and practical limits.

Philosophically it's like an expanding Universe. Give a car guy a free indoor volume and he or she will fill it up. If more volume is provided, more stuff will find it its way to it. There will be happiness as the free space vanish, followed by remorse. It's inevitable.

It's the same with turbos and superchargers on our Salt Slush shelves; the more we have available for immediate delivery the more customers and turnover. All around us, we can see how mountains and hills are filling up valleys as logistic centers are blooming and changing the landscape like invasive plants.

And Salt Slush have learned the lesson. We're are trying to keep a stock of BorgWarner AirWerk & EFR turbos steady. Which is good. But privately we're are digging for storage space like others are mining Bitcoin.

 

Storage as art. A 1941 Cadillac in a Container. In a stainless container.

  

Another batch of AirWerks and EFR turbos on its way to the Salt Slush Shelves.

Common ground or tug of war? There's no jury. 
But when a group of car guys with latent hoarding attitude rent a common space and loosely discuss borders...it will not stay empty for long.  
 In essence, all you need is...unlimited space. 
Then love will follow.

Wednesday, November 3, 2021

A transformation. A dream. And a Sunday Chitchat

No butterfly is born without a metamorphosis. Dreams needs a starting point and any Sunday is suitable for a social tour in the setting sun.
 
That said, there's no need to dwell on the reason why. We can as well leave out if it's reasonable or not. Let's just say that this Sunday represent a start. A New Beginning for an old Norwegian Ford chassis and the first trembling steps of  a new roadster from past and a potential home for an Ardun engine.
 
Let's recap first. I happened to built a Ardun V8 engine. It took years of my life, but now it's running just fine. But this engine needs a car. It deserves a vehicle type that would serve the engine characteristic properly. A race car, roadster or a sports car. But there's no such thing available. So I guess we need to build one.
 
Nothing starts however from zero. There's always a history, a coincidence and a possibility.

This Sunday our journey towards a Nordic special started when buying a Ford 1946 chassis...

All you need. A RAM Truck, a borrowed trailer and a happy team.
That special feeling. Sunshine and a journey that leads to a new project.
At journey like these, expectations are growing with every kilometer/mile.
Roger, the happy hot rodder that sold the 1946 Ford which will serve as a basis for a Ardun equipped roadster.
The object that's waiting for the Metamorphosis 
This Ford -46 is not a slick roadster in real life yet. But as a enthusiast, I can already now sense a roadster feeling.
Trips like this needs to be efficient. No time to waste. Hence, there's always a McDonald's moment.
To most people pictures like this doesn't mean anything. For those (like me) who are thinking about frames, front end and engine position this is an inspiring document.

But how will the final result look like? Well, if you're not familiar with rather rough home made race and sports cars from the 40-ties and 50-ties, you'll find some examples below. Some are based on 1946-49 Ford others are not, but that doesn't matter. It's the combination of cigar shape, one wheel in each corner and a roaring engine that's cool. Limited comfort, maximum excitement.
Inspiration from 7 Fifteen Motorworks.  
A 1959 Troy Special roadster...
... and a Nordic Special racer. Cars like this were actually very successful in professional racing at the time.
The idea to take production car like a Ford 46 with V8, tune the engine, shorten the wheel base and replace the original body with a home made simple race body started already in the late forties in US. Pictured is the Baldwin Special 2. You can read more about the Baldwin Specials at Supercars.net

It was nevertheless a really relaxed and fun Sunday full of inspiration. When the old Ford will join the Ardun V8 engine to complete the metamorphosis is at this point in time unclear. But again, how difficult can it be? 






Sunday, October 24, 2021

Miller? Here's what you need to know.

There're Ralph, Roger, Harry and High Life. 

Not all, but some know that there's beer with ambition to level with sparkling white wine at certain social event. Not available in Sweden, but make no mistake, it's a good beer. 

Next Miller to talk about is Harry. A race engine engineer that, together with Offenhauser, created engines that ruled Indy racing for almost 40 years producing 100hp/liter already in the 1930-ties and introduced the idea of supercharger kits in 1924.

Let's move on to Ralph. Ralph W Miller. A somewhat anonymous engineer who back in 1957 invented the Thermodynamic process that makes current and future (commuter car) engines efficient and environmental friendly.

But how about Roger? Another farsighted engine engineer? Nope. We're talking about a cool, Johnny Cash kind of guy. Dead, but worth to spend time listen to. 

Miller High Life Beer Can - Shop Beer at H-E-B

The beer with ambition.

https://www.milleroffy.com/HF09_r140_01.jpg
 Harry's Supercharged engine.
A comparison between Otto cycle and Miller cycle diagram [30]. | Download  Scientific Diagram 

Ralph's Cycle compared with Otto's

King of the Road by Roger.

What have you done today? 

Another TV series?

Just asking.

Saturday, October 16, 2021

Cars, Cars and Cars...is that all there is?

How come you're only thinking about cars? Is there nothing but engines, cars and bikes in your brain? How single minded can you get? 

If you read this post, I guess you heard these questions over and over again while you've asked yourself another related question.

What's so hard for others to understand? 

You're just exploring the world and the society through your passion. Which is reasonable because passion keeps you wide awake and curious. When exploring different angles of the 360 deg global car and bike community you learn about technology, people, industry and industrial history. Meanwhile others find comfort in the sofa watching Netflix while doing nothing.

Nonetheless, they are correct. We're into engines, cars and bikes 24/7 and we've been there for decades and we'll be there forever and ever. Simple as that.

I can only speak for myself...

Day time work: Engine Development

Evening work: Turbo & Supercharger Speed Shop to Support Thirst for Speed. 

Recreation: Restoring and building engines, cars and bikes.

Excitement: LandSpeed Racing with our Salt Slush Amazon in the US of A.

Social life: Laughing load with cars guys and gals of all ages.

Pandemic shelter: Salt Slush Workshop.

Relaxation: A sunny day when the living is easy and there's no particular place to go...

Garage party: Get to know the best in an allowing space. 

Recreation by the sea.
Garage charades as relaxation.
 
If you're about to open a book, try this one. Fins by William Knoedelseder it will make you familiar with Hollywood history too...
 
Metal handcraft by Magnus, a maker and a man of many projects.
Tease and discuss. Witty conflict management.  
Design and art school. 
 
The question that remains...sofa or all of the above?
I'd say it's better to be a doer than a reviewer no matter topic, age or gender.