Saturday, December 30, 2017

Salt Slush 2017 Chronicle or We're at end of the beginning!

Some years can really be more stressful, painful, demanding than others....but at the same time endlessly rewarding. It's said that those are the years that you remember. If you have time to remember... 

For Salt Slush Racing, 2017 was definitely one of these years. The first real breakthrough and after any breakthrough, a new world opens up. A world full of hinders and obstacles, but luckily we're naive enough to think that we, step by step, can tear down those walls. Yeah, I stole that last sentence.

So how about 2017? What happened? Here's a story about hard work, determination and, yes, a certain amount of success.
It's February. We have a lot of work in front of us. The vehicle runs, but the body needs hundreds of hours still before paint. And the Bilsport Performance Show is coming up. ( A Nordic SEMA type of show with 100k paying visitors). We're in a kind of controlled despair.
But we do celebrate each step and argue until we're happy or at least found a solution.
At the end of February we were still in fabrication mode. Even one step earlier actually, in mock-up mode. Anders here practise the well known Cardboard Aided Design, in a too late design phase. 
March and we're finally breaking us through the hood. Magnus wounded and careful hands are shaping the air duct.
At some point in time we realized that we needed windows as well. So we made windows, al lot of windows. Kalle in fabrication mode. Yes, he still got 10 fingers.
It's the end of March and we're all working hard every evening with the body. The Amazon body.
8 windows takes time and effort to fabricate. Next time we'll consider to start with a coupe instead.
Late night at Frank's. As always, picking up a painted car at a good paint shop like Universal Teknik always feels good. This time was definitely no exception.
Middle of April. We were all so proud. We could just stand looking at the Beast that we've created forever. We loved it! It was running good and it looks sharp. But there was still tones of work before we were even close to shipping it anywhere.
But suddenly the spring was in the air and we're gaining confidence, Carina who helps our boosting business to bloom served Ringö street waffles. It's all fine now. 
We've made it!! It's Eastern 2017 and we've made it to Bilsport Performance Show!
But we still got a lot of work before we could ship the car to US and the beginning of our second Chapter of The Saga.
It's end of August and we've nervously idled for a couple of months while the Amazon were at sea. But here we go. A determined man opens the container. If we were anxious? Yes, we were beyond interested. 
Under Californian palm trees in a super cool supercharged GMC pick-up with our green baby on the trailer.  Yiihaa!
Still on solid ground outside Magnuson premises. Pre inspection passed. Sun-is-a-shining and we're ready for the next step. At least that's what we're thinking at this point.
Long shadows, early morning and lot to learn. An almost religious moment.  
 It's hot but the Amazon is ready and Anders is ready. It's Rookie Run time. We're about to get experience in a brand new area. It's amazing.  
We've now got another look in our eyes. Because now we know what it takes... 
...and it takes a lot... 
...but we're ready to fight. Because we've just began our journey on the Dust and the Salt and one of these days, beyond Rookie Runs and initial tuning adjustment. We'll be fast. Really fast. The 449 Amazon is here waiting for the trailer and a good home in California.
We're dirty, we're exhausted, but we're happy and to some extent relived. We're home at the best place to be. At Erik's and Ruth's place sipping cold white wine. 

In October the team were back home in Sweden again. Back at Ringön thinking about the next steps and right now we're soothing our restless souls with various personal projects while developing the Salt Slush Racing Speed Shop and much more...and we've already booked hotels for the next real challenge;
The Bonneville Speed Week 2018!

Thursday, December 28, 2017

The balance of nature. A workshop example.

Balance. The normal situation. In nature as well as in a workshop. A place where equilibrium is reached. Where only small changes happens and grey dust on cars and tools is normal.
But it's bound to happen. The sudden change. A change, a force, a strike from an uncertain and often strange direction.  And remember, if there's a prey there's a predator.
Here's the predator. A Lars-Davidsson good-looking-vehicle with a crave for reasonable good valves and seats. Valve seats.
Where there was once a prey. I mean; a set of valves for a flathead. V8 flathead.
The mother of all valves. A demilitariserad French Ford block totally relived. A block that has moved on and is now looking for a new set of heads. A pair of Ardun cylinder heads. With valves included.
No more Légion étrangère. Instead a base for new power and speed. And, yeah, I forgot, Peace.

Monday, December 25, 2017

Chistmas Day Milling. A soul saving event.

I guess you've already heard it all. The big talk about good work out sessions, good advices provided by a foggy yoga instructor and the numerous diets that you'll have to follow unless you don't feel the urge to die soon. Very soon.

It goes with out saying that we've survived without any of the above. How? There are one or two reasons that makes us able to survive without external help. We don't know for sure, but determination and entusiasm are two positive characteristics that makes you do deeds on your own expense and stay happy. Restlessness and resistance to loose are negative and stressful properties that pushes you from the coach to the center of creativity. Today, it all boiled down to advanced milling. A recipe for short term fulfillment.
A factor beyond dreaming is precision. Without accuracy, there's no success. So...we measured...and adjusted....again and again until finally, we were good to go and ready to...

...mill the old combustion chamber off. 
I was really keen on getting this right. Rome was not built in one day and neither was the destruction of the reliving in the French block. But the confidence was building up in 0,3mm incremental steps... a point when it all got boring. That's when you know that you're heading in the right direction.
After 2,085mm of Christmas Milling I've reached our goal. Felt good. Felt great.
A V8 cylinder block ready for a Ardun cylinder head kit from Ferguson Forging in L.A.
But yes, you've guessed it. We're not ready yet. There's a second cylinder bank that needs treatment, which means that we can still mess it all up. But that's for tomorrow. Today is today. Each victory needs to be celebrated separately.   

Sunday, December 24, 2017

The first cut is the deepest.

It's Christmas, a social but silent event during which most of us are transformed to a vegetative mode. We're all waiting for no miracles and nothing special to happen, prepared to be bored to death in the light of a hand crafted candlelight. This deadly boredom is spread globally and there's no exceptions...

Well, there's a small community in the southwest of the rainiest and gloomiest part of Sweden called Gothenburg where there's a workshop full of light and energy and engine builders. It's packed we turbos, superchargers and milling machines and everything else that makes life move from good to great. Rain and Christmas is not a problem since the heat fan is on and the coffee machine works just fine.
On Christmas Eve Carina and I were finally able mount the flathead V8 in the SAJO 54 milling machine after a long and painful process full of worries. The purpose is to mill away the all relieves in the French iron block. We've been thinking twice and we're now alright.  Hopefully. 
Dressed for the occasion. Carina is happy to see that her Ardun V8 engine dream is about to come true step by step. What?  Well, the cylinder block is now fixed and the top deck is straight within 0,1 mm. Not good enough, but still a small victory. Maybe we'll be able to make the first and sensitive cut tomorrow, when everything else is still silent and dull and in Christmas mode.

Friday, December 22, 2017

Expensive fine dining ! Part 1 Numbero Uno

Salt Slush Racing, with the extended team, should for ones enjoy dining better than garage Fika.

Reservation were made and everyone except Magnus (Stuck in Kiruna) managed to join in.

Close to Catrine's (my wife) Kitchen Store there is a nice restaurant, Lilla Spinneriet, located in a vintage industrial building which long time ago was a forge shop and then, in steps, was transformed to a restaurang via truck garage, bike store, etc. 

Lilla Spinneriet in front of the bigger vintage factory building

Lilla Spinneriet is run by Katja & Patrik and it's very nice and cool, kind of Salt Slush racing.

Check it out on the link

Nevertheless, in Sweden we ususally eat Julbord (Christmas table) during Christmas. This Year it was with an Italian twist regarding flavours, to make it short it was very good.

Eggs and herring with a new twist

The entrance. Yes, we have had snow but it rained away short before the event.

OK. What is this? 
It's the Drama Queen of the evening and what is to become Annikas new truck 
if  everything works out fine.

Annika has, on and off during the last 6 months, been looking for a C10 Pick Up.  Her preference has been a C10 Squarebody Longbed al'a Carinas Little Blue C20. But her preference has changed during the search for the ultimate pick-up truck. You should be aware that everyone in the team has rather strong opinions on what's the prefered pick-up truck.

Ragnar: Follows Annika (his girlfriend) and do see a possibillity to transport his small cars (Lotus & Saab) on the bed.

Magnus: Squarebody Crew Cab Longbed 1973-1974 with single rear wheels, Dually is too much and not white since he already has too many white Chevy trucks.

Anders: The modern Gentleman that prefers a fast more car like approach likes the El Camino. If it has to be a truck he is in to Dodge RAM 

Carina: Goes without saying; Squarebody Longbed C20

Håkan:  Follow his wife, in survivor mode.

Kalle: Squarebody Shortbed fleatside and would lika a 67 - 72 stepside shortbed

Catrine: Squarbody crew cab longbed dually with goose neck horse trailer

When we come together the discussion circle around different preferences and specifications topped off with modifications like Big Block, LS engines, Transmissions, Chassis and everything else focused on fast transportation on asphalt.

Off Road is not that much on the agenda (except for Carina's 5,9L Grand Cherokee and the family big Block Suburban. After technical matters we talk about interior color. Paralell we are all over Blocket, Mobile, Craigslist, Ebay etc.  We can, just buy saying;
-You know the grey one on Mobile in Hannover or the White one in Edsbyn, immediately get an answer like;
-Yes I've seen that one but.... 

So, during the Christmas dinner I told Annika that a Friend of mine was interested in a white Stepside -71 with a 350 & 350 powertrain that was for sale on Blocket (in Edsbyn, I think) and that he had asked me to join him for a look-at-the-truck-trip.  A one way 700 km drive. I told Annika I was looking forward to the trip and that he was almost 97 % sure on the purchase.

At the Dinner I and My Wife sat in front of Annika and instead of the normaly Happy and Lovely Annika, I had Annika (aus Deutchland) mit der Böse Blick in front of me. You know, like a BMW 7 series or a Mercedes S Class hunting a Prius in the left lane on Autobahn. In short. Yeah, I got the message.

Aj Aj Aj what happened?

Well, quite fast it became clear that Annika changed her preference to the white stepside and was in a discussion like, buying it at once or waiting for more pictures. But if the pictures showed no rust etc then she should buy it.

I immidiately I took a neutral position and started to talk about Suburbans another polarized discusion in the team, on pair with the Volvo Wagon discussion etc..

Since Annika is an Engineer from Germany, she has a fact based approch and seeks for the perfect (validated) solution...Some of us, are more risk averse and started to advocate a go ahead approach.   - Just do it!
- What is the worst thing that can happen...?
- Some rust? What's the problem? You have Ragnar...
- Engine & transmission issues? No problem, you're  anyhow going to change to an LS engine...

Evening became night and we'll had enjoyed the lovely meal and each others company.
We all slept silently, except for Annika.

Next morning, we all got a mail from Annika. She had made a down payment on the white step side and made plans for how to check it and transport it to Gothenburg.

A couple of days later I recived a text from my friend telling that the C10 is posted as sold so we do not have to travel to Edsbyn.

The moral of this story is to enjoy life, reward youself with fine (The SSR way Not Guide Micheline) dining together with friends and you'll be surprised how well things can turn out!

To all of You From all of Us  We wish You a Merry Christmas

There will be a chapter two of above

Saturday, December 16, 2017

Snow is-a-falling. But summer is coming. Better be fast to not be last.

On top of the northern hemisphere, where winter is hard, the light is low and taxes are high, energy comes from conviction and strong belief.

Many are called but few are chosen. Those likely to survive the winter are those with dreams and energy. Those who dream about summer. Those who dream about life, sun and speed.

As snow and temperature are falling and the continuous night is making us all sleepy, The Salt Slush team are shivering, but we're still willing to do deeds. Let me explain why. 
Heart transplant. A supercharged LS iron heart is soon to beat hard in a Red Hot El Camino
Heart surgery. An old side valve heart is waiting for a Ardun head conversion. Addressed from the sunny side the western world. We think we might have found a way to machine the French block with a US soul in an old Swedish milling machine. 
If we're successful, a warm international combustion will conquer the cold and rainy streets of Gothenburg any day soon. Better get going to make this happen...

Monday, December 11, 2017

Fetch Engine at replicated garage.

I have been looking for a new engine for my 1970 El Camino for a while.  It's rather cool as it is in many ways but it's a complete gas guzzler that spits and puffs and makes your day a bit unpractical.

So I have been trawling the GM performance parts catalogue and, in parallel,  for a while. Trying to come up with some kind of more modern and civilised engine solution.  To add to the equation I have also had the idea to include a Magnuson Supercharger  - as we happen to have a spare one laying around.  

I have been thinking in terms of LS3,  or maybe the new LT1 "connect and cruise" with 8l90e or  even the LSX 454 - which would have matched the SS454 decals nicely.  Used or new, all has been in my mind. Used turns out to be rather scarce and new, at no surprise, are not free of charge. 

But just Friday I got some inspiration. It was a from an ad at of a LQ4 long block with LS3 heads.  LQ4 is like a LS2 but with an iron block.   But with LS3 heads it is very much like an LS3 but with just a tad less displacement, 6.0l vs 6.2l.   And with LS3 heads I can fit the Magnuson kit 

And now to the fetch engine story. The long block was nice but it was just a long block, nothing extra like gear box etc. But, there was an other ad on that had been lurking for while but not really caught my interest. It was a normal but complete LQ4 drop out with a 4l80e, ECU, and all. That one with some actually cheap LS3 heads could be the right thing to do.  

On Saturday I went in to decision mode and called the guy. Dan was his name and I told him that I like to have his engine.   

We came to agreement. I went Sunday morning. 3.5 h drive was to be expected. Weather seemed promising. But I got a surprise. I went fully stuck in a complete snow storm in Halmstad, speed dropped to 30 km/h and had still to cross 150 km of dark woods in highland Småland. I was prepared to turn back.  But after a cup of coffee, looking at the weather radar and watch the salt trucks whiz by for about 1/2 hour I decided to try the Småland crossing.  The snow dump turned out to be mostly local to Halmstad, and equipped with Americas best winter tires at the rear of my RAM i headed eastward.  

It was very slippery and intense so arriving at the other coast was a relief. Dan, his garage and his garage friend was easily found. 
The very cool thing about Dan and his friend, Leif Molin, was that they turned out to be a fully live and operational replica of ourselves, our garage and even all our cars!  

Here Leif is demonstrating his Hudson race car build.  On this topic they are ahead of our own dreams of a Nordic Special - very similar style. I the background we can see Leifs version of a Hot Rod with a Buick Nailhead, which compares very well to Magnus Börjessons current Nailhead equipped gasser project. 

Here we can see their take on a 50:s pickup truck, quite comparable to Magnus white pickup. 

A cool Pontiac. 

They followed up by showing some of their hangarounds cars, on the side, which continued to replicate what we have.  E.g a Lotus Exige (compare to Ragnars Exige), and a 60s Ford Mustang (same a our good garage friend Mario Felker have).

To top it off, when I rounded the corner of the building I could not believe it, there it was,  a white Ford Corsair. This happens to be the type and color of car which has been a long time member of our garage as well (Andreas Långström actually have two!)

All in all it was a very nice garage visit, and we finally got the LQ4 loaded.  With the much needed extra weight on the rear axles I headed home  It was a slow crawl back on chaotic and snow riddled  E6.

Had to park it like this, in a common garage, with my precious and valuable engine exposed.  But I figured that it will be close to impossible to steal it as it was a hell to load it.  

Saturday, December 9, 2017

A reliable way to Super Power?

Super Power. Something that we all need but obviously are not born with. Something that we need to acquire step by step from young age. On our way to this ultimate target there are various obstacles to overcome . Obstacles like lack of self esteem and poor self confidence. Can we easily overcome these obstacles? Well... there's this magic t-shirt that seams to do the job. Here's an example.
We tested one of the Salt Slush Tees on Hjalmar, a neutral research kid. At first, the power of the t shirt was emotionally too hard to a black hole---


...but after a short period of time the energy from the tee was transferred to Hjalmar and TADA! A cocky kid with a guts and attitude  waiting for glory apperad.

                   How about that?

Monday, December 4, 2017

Salt Slush Fashion Week presenting... The SSR T-shirt collection up till now.

Ever since Ed Iskenderian printed the first T-Shirt and took it to a Land Speed racing event 60 years ago with the purpose to promote his Race Cams, a T-Shirt of your own design is a must for a Race Team with some kind of style and ambition. So, here's the Salt Slush T-Shirt 2013-2017 collection in chronological order:
Carina in action, dressed up the first edition from late 2013. Obviously sold out. A collector item. Will not be reprinted (at least not in this color). Design: Anders
Anders all dressed up for serious milling in the second edition from the 2014 area, when we were in flywheel machining mode. Jepp, sold out. Design: Magnus Brother
Salt Slush T-shirts has proven to be a multi purpose item. Magnus here present the second edition in Rock Star usage.
The 2015 edition, which was the first T-Shirt with Salt Slush car/speed logo, An epic design made by Carina and Anders on a napkin in a bar in L.A. A few of these masterpieces are still available.
Salt Slush Team in Christmas mode and even though it's still 2015 we're already dressed up in the popular 2016 edition. A few sizes are still available.
Another evidence of how well the Salt Slush T-shirt's make you ready for the task. Kalle as The Desert Doctor and Magnus at The Patient who's being (almost-) cured.  

Salt Slush has decided to make green great again. Therefore we printed a 50 pcs special edition. These will be regarded as the rare 2017 year edition.

And yes, we're working on the 2018 Salt Slush T-Shirt, which will not look like anything we've produced before....