|1988-1989 Beginning||1989-1990 Mock Ups & Test Beds||1990-1992 First Streamliner|
|1992-1994 Second Streamliner||1994-1996 Third Streamliner||1996-1997 Fourth Streamliner|
|1997-1998 Fifth Streamliner||1999-2000 Fifth Streamliner||2000-2001 Fifth Streamliner|
|2000-2001 Fifth Streamliner||2000-2001 Fifth Streamliner||2002-2003 Fifth Streamliner|
|2003-2004 Sixth Streamliner||2004-2005 Sixth Streamliner||2005-2006 Seventh Streamliner|
|2006-2007 Eighth Streamliner||2007-2008 Eighth Streamliner||2007-2008 Visit to Thunderdome|
2007-2008 Eighth Streamliner
|Click the photo above to view a photo album|
Changes for 2008
Please forgive my silence on the liner's progress as of late, I've been busy, busy.
After the reasonable success of the 2007 runs, most thought all was well, with my not having much else to do for the next record attempt in 2008.
If we would have had a reasonable success running Daytona, or say, the Indy 500, it would be unthinkable to run the same car the next year. The reason is that each event is a learning experience, and with the knowledge gained, a better car can be built, and always is.
A streamliner is much like a AA fuel dragster. These high horsepower, supercharged machines are torn down between each run, and basically the engines are inspected and overhauled. The only difference between a streamliner and a AA fuel dragster is that the teardown on a streamliner is between seasons instead of between each run. Hence, an assessment as to what has to be done, should be done, and will be done, is made by the Crew Chief in his best judgment, consulting with the years of Bonneville experience only he possesses.
This year, like all of the others, the teardown proved to be enlightening... There were many malfugalies that had to be addressed. This, coupled with the problems revealed on the salt, has undoubtedly grown into a solid year's work to prep the liner for the 2008 attempt.
The first change that's being made, is of course, the transmission. The transmission has failed in one way or another, and for one reason or another for the past three years. I don't believe in "Salt Gremlins". If it's mechanical, and fails, there's a mechanical reason for the failure, or human error caused the failure. Therefore I've replaced all the gears in the transmission since I returned from Bonneville. The gears have been updated from an M20 to an M21. The gears are much stronger. The lay shaft has been increased from 3/4" to 1", providing more rigidity and bearing surface. The gear ratios in the box have been changed to the widest ratio gears available. At 6500 rpm, liner speeds will be 198 mph in low gear, 272 mph in second, and 367 mph in high. Last year the liner accelerated rapidly with a high gear take off, which would have run 350 mph at 6500 rpm. It should be a rush for the riders and a sight for the spectators to see the acceleration that will undoubtedly occur with a 197 mph low gear.
The second change was revealed during the tear down of the blower and the plenum. I found salt in both. It hadn't caused any ill effects to either, but I don't want that going on. The salt came from the rooster tailing during acceleration. The three piece rear fender and the bulkhead plate was supposed to prevent this, but the design proved totally inadequate. I've spent the last three weeks building a fender mold from wood, wire mesh, and plaster of paris. Time consuming and rather expensive. The new fender encompasses 180o with sides. It also extends vertically 12" on both of it's ends. Additionally, flexible rubber mud flaps will extend to the bottom fairing shell. This will ensure total containment of salt in the wheel well itself. I have so designed the fender that it can be removed from the top for salt removal. The doing of this required frame modification. Not done yet, but it will be.
The third change. During teardown of the engines I discovered that the rear HYVO chain adjuster had been designed with the wrong radius. The radius from the pivot point of the adjuster was not enough. It was tube locking, sandwiching the HYVO chain between the adjuster and the sprocket. This caused improper chain adjustment, and of course, friction and loss of horsepower. The adjuster had been made from aluminum, and had a hardened steel shoe, which was bolted to the aluminum. The hardened shoe broke about 1" from the leading edge of the adjuster, which could have caused serious damage if the bolts holding the two halves would have given up as well. The new shoe will be made one piece from 4130 and heat treated.
The fourth change. The rear wheel assembly, which includes the two steel wheel halves, the aluminum three spoke center, the wheel hub, the drive sprocket, the brake rotor, and the brake rotor adaptor, and of course the tire, weighed in at around 75 lbs. Too, too heavy. I lightened all of these parts. The unit now weighs 60 lbs. It took three days of milling, drilling, and machining to get rid of that 15 lbs. Two of the 15 lbs. were saved in the bolts. Twelve point bolts are now used, and lighter nuts with locking face, allowing the elimination of lock nuts. The bolts are 1/2" shorter.
The fifth change. The gear train between the engines hung in there for the entire meet. I had to jury rig the idler gear sleeves to pinions before the last meet. (The jury rig had been done due to lack of time to do it properly.) When I changed from a bolted pinion support block, to a welded pinion support block, it moved the pinion spindles, which didn't allow proper mesh of the idler gears. The jury rig was to off-set the inner bearing race bores, and shim and locktight the race, allowing a proper gear mesh. Like I said, the jury rig hung in there, but it's not the way to do it. I'm going to make stepped spindles, and rebore the spindle holes in the cases for a press fit, and also make a new outer support plate. When the machining process takes place, I've designed a better method of fixing the crankshafts relation to each other. This will ensure exactness. As both engines are fired from one distributor, this is important to have exact engine relation to each other.
The sixth change. I'll be remanufacturing the water coolant tank for the rear chain with a full one gallon increase in capacity. The extra capacity will allow water cooling of the slider clutch. Cooling the clutch will allow a higher lock-up rpm, which will increase acceleration, which will increase terminal speed on any given course.
The seventh change. I'll also be manufacturing a front fender. The fender will serve two purposes. One, it will help the cooling water spray to better contact the tire surface, thereby helping in the cooling of the tire. Two, it will keep the salt spray from the steering linkage--that would be all the bearings that support the shafts, U joints, and hiems joints.
The eighth change. The air volume tank will be removed, as it was found to be unnecessary. The on board air compressor will be moved, and assume the vacated spot of the air volume tank. This will allow better access to the compressor, and remove it from a contaminated salt area.
The ninth change. The bottom and the top half of the rear part of the body will be remanufactured. They will be made from fiberglass, but will have a weight saving of probably 50 lbs. The problem with the old liner body shells was the fact that I had to use approximately 6 gallons of body filler to get the shape I wanted. Now that I have the shape, it will be much easier to pull a quick mold off of the existing part, and lay out a fiberglass part in the mold that will require zero body filler.
The tenth change. I'll be checking all parts to see if they can be lightened without sacrificing strength.
The eleventh change. This change has nothing to do with the liner, but it has everything to do with achieving the goal of setting the land speed record. I'm going to build a new trailer. It will be a dual purpose trailer, both highway and salt. The trailer will be so built as to contain everything needed to become an actual pit.
The operation will go down like this: The streamliner will be continually in the line- up to run. There will be no other pit. All repair and run preparation will be done in line. The reason for this is, if the policy stays the same at the Bub Meet as it was last September, with no priorities for streamliners, this system will allow us to make more runs than if we were to make a run and go back to a pit, prep the bike for the next run, and get back in line. This is the nearest we could come to operating like a lot of the sit on bikes did--making a run, getting right back into line, and making another run.
I suppose there are a few wondering why I decided to put a side car on Black Lightning for 2008. A few weeks ago I got a phone call from a fellow up in Kansas City who wanted to come down and take a look at my liner "to find out all there is to know about streamliners." He'd been following some of my posts on www.landracing.com and figured I'd be the guy to talk to. (If truth be known, it's more likely because I live within 180 miles of Kansas City.)
Anyway, I asked him if he was building a streamliner, and he said yes, he was going to build the ultimate streamliner, and it's purpose would be to take the FIM Side Car record. He then said he had most of the parts, and had started on the frame. The engines chosen were two Gold Wings with two 3-71 GM blowers--one for each motor. I believe he said it would employ an automatic transmission. I said it sounds interesting, and should go pretty fast if you get it all to work. He asked for my e-mail address, and sent me a computer graphic drawing. Actually, the graphic was really something to behold. Pretty neat. I told him I was knee deep in work, and put him off on the visit for 6 or 8 weeks.
So now you have it. With the guy in Kansas City, and the Renwick side car liner, I thought I might as well get in the game too. It seemed like the popular thing to do, and lots of fun.
The side car I've designed and am building for the Vincent streamliner has a frontal area of 132 sq in, a little less than a foot. The side car will weigh approximately 200 lbs. This will include the 135 lb. ballast requirement. Two unique innovations will be used, never before associated with a side car. If my design is correct, it should improve handling tremendously.
The plan is a simple one. The Vincent streamliner will make it's first runs with the side car attached. Gearing will be for 330 mph at 6500 rpm. I figure it must run that speed with a side car if it's ever going to break the FIM motorcycle record. The reason for this is, if my calculations are correct, the side car will slow the Vincent streamliner down some 40 mph. The weight, slowing the acceleration, and the frontal area slowing the top end.
The three fast boys are working night and day--you betcha. Denis is trying to get more horsepower, and has already been to the salt testing the aerodynamics. I don't know quite how he did it, but he put some sensors on the nose of the machine to find out how much up and down force was being created at speed. He said it was off a bit, but it has been corrected, due to the fact that the front and rear ride heights can be adjusted. He then said, "At 300 mph there's no up or down force." That, in my opinion, is remarkable. Very aerodynamic.
Sam Wheeler is working on his front wheel. He's going to run the original aluminum one this year. His turbo charger guru says the Kawasaki is making big horsepower. Sam feels it'll go faster than the 355 mph he's already attained.
The last time I talked to Ack, asking him how much damage in the 2007 crash, he said, "Not much". He says that they're in the process of making a new body, making it fit better. Betcha my next pension check that that translates into making it smaller. He then said that the crash broke a lot of baffles in the nose. (The nose section holds 30 gallons of water. That's what the baffles are for.) Betcha another pension check that translates into a better shape, more aerodynamic. Ack has the horsepower, but his problem is that sucker is pushing a lot of air! His frontal area is somewhere around 6 sq. ft. That's more than two sq. ft. bigger than the Vincent streamliner's frontal area.
I predict that in 2008 at the Bub Meet (if the salt conditions are agreeable) we'd all better be running 370 mph, or we're not going to be in the game.
It wouldn't surprise me to see one of the big three also with a stick and a wheel. Darn exciting.
Musings on Design
I don't know who did the cad for Denis and Ack, but Sam had his bike designed by a couple of students in a Southern California university, and he built the bike by their design. Denis and Ack did their own designs. The closest thing done to the Vincent streamliner pertaining to this type of thing, was when the liner was put in the wind tunnel to test the aerodynamics of the machine at the Faculty of Mechanical Engineering, University of British Columbia in Vancouver, Canada. This was after the fact. I had already designed and built the bike that Dan Smith gave them to test. Since that time I've employed all of the suggestions they gave as to the aerodynamics.
I began building the bike in 1989. It's gone through many metamorpheses over the years, and finally has emerged as a true contender.
The three fast boys all have computer designed bikes, but after the build it took Sam Wheeler some additional 20 years to reach the speeds that he's going. It took Denis Manning some 7 years after the build to reach the speeds he's going, and it took Mike Akitiff 5 years after the build to reach the speeds he's going. All made changes after the reality check on the Great White Dyno.
Still, I have every confidence that Black Lightning will up the AMA record which we hold, and will take the AMA and FIM World Side Car record at the 2008 Bub Meet.
And she might--just might--walk away as the "World's Fastest Motorcycle".
Side Car Records
Just got an e-mail from John Noonan.
In case you don't know who John is, he holds the El Mirage open sit on bike side car record, 212+ on gas, 216+ on fuel. His turbo charged Huyabusa will be at the Bub Meet with a fairing. He anticipates 230 mph to 240 mph speed Noonan has gone over 260 mph on a sit on bike, he holds the FIM record for Worlds Fastest Sit On Motorcycle. His Huyabusa makes over 500 hp. and he also will be going for the FIM World's Side Car record at the Bub Meet.
Noonan is a fast, fast super contender, a legend in his own time. The current 169 mph FIM Side Car record will be toast, come September, (one way or the other). The 169 mph soft record for side cars will be no more.
BUB Meet Update
Last year the Bub Meet proved to be something else. The running of the bikes in a timely manner just didn't happen. The plan to run a bike every three minutes was truly wishful thinking. Competitors voiced their protests animatedly about the poor organization of the event.
Well. The old saying, "The squeaky wheel gets the grease", has finally come into play. Late yesterday afternoon Ack (world record setting Top 1 Ack Attack), called me with a boatload of information. It seems all the squawking brought about the following changes:
No pre-staging requirement. Go get in line and wait your turn. Streamliners with speed credentials of over 300 mph will have priorities. They will be able to run anytime they're ready to go to the line.
The Vincent streamliner Black Lightning will pull out all stops to achieve the 300 mph priority speed as soon as possible. In the past I've held back on the tune, also on most all occasions I've set the tachometer shift light at 5000 rpm.
My intentions are to set the shift light at 6800 rpm, and let Don Angel make the first run. As all of the pieces looked good, pistons and so on, after Hartmut's last bonsai run of 2007, where I had leaned it out more then I ever had before, the fuel injection system will be the same as last year, i.e., barrel valve setting, high speed pressure setting, main pill, cylinder head nozzles, and blower nozzles. Oh yeah, there will be one exception to what I just said. Number 4 cylinder was running a tad rich, so I'll be dropping the nozzle from a 36 to a 34.
Now here come the "ifs". If the transmission shifts like it's supposed to, if the salt conditions permit, (length of course and hardness), if Don feels safe, and if he has no handling problems with the side car, it should exceed 300 mph on it's first pass.
Plan of the Day Change
After talking to Ack yesterday, I felt everything was cool. I understood what the plan of the day was, (you sailors know what I'm talking about) only the Ship's Captain can change it after it is read at morning quarters.
Well. A couple of hours ago the Ship's Captain gave me a call to see what I was up to. Denis found out through the grapevine that I was hanging a side car on the liner for the 2008 go fast meet. He said, "So I guess I can count you out of the competition that's going after my record?" I told him, "Not quite. The first runs will be made with a side car to give my riders more seat time at high speeds. As soon as I reach speeds of around 330 mph, I plan to back it up for the AMA and FIM record for side cars. Then I'm retiring the extra wheel, and going for the big one."
Denis seemed surprised and said, "So you can take the side car off?" and I said, "Oh yeah. I'm leaving the skids on the bike."
Then I told him that I thought it was a good idea that streamliners over 300 mph had priority. "No.", was the answer. First he said that the plans weren't totally worked out yet, and they were trying very hard to make it fair to all competitors. He went on to explain what the tentative plan will be. Every entrant will have a number. Streamliners will have a pit area at the zero mile. I suppose if you wanted to pit anywhere, you could, he didn't say. There will be lines where your bike, or in the case of streamliners, your surrogate maintains your position in that line. A streamliner will have to keep it's position in line, and be responsible to be ready to go in all respects when it's number reaches the front of the line. That is, rider suited up, strapped in, starter plugged in, ready to fire, and lined up on the course. The only priority that will be given to a streamliner will be in the case of adverse wind conditions, he will be allowed to keep his position as to the next bike to run at any time, at his discretion as wind permits. No more starting official who says, "You can run after I run these 40 bikes that are in front of you."
Denis told me that the rules for streamliners will be the same for all. Including him, Ack and Sam.
Also. Streamliners must exceed the existing record before a turn around run is allowed.
If Ack or Denis or Sam or Max don't exceed the existing record of 350+mph, we will have to go back to the end of the line.
One of the main reasons I decided to put a side car on Black Lightning for 2008, was in anticipation that this was how it was going to go down. In the case of the Vincent streamliner, when the first runs with a side car are being made, I'll be going for both the AMA and the FIM for side cars. So with the soft record of 169 mph, I'll be able to make back to back runs for sure. That guarantees that the Vincent streamliner will have a run within two hours of the initial run, or even sooner, if my crew can get the turn around time down. For those of you who don't know what I'm talking about, FIM records require that you make a turn around within two hours.
So as the bike is tuned and running at anticipated 330 mph speeds, all of the runs will be with the turn around thing going on, which will allow more runs to prep the bike for runs after the side car is dropped.
Now assume that the bike makes a run of 200 mph down and 200 mph back. I'll take it to impound to secure the 200 mph record with a side car. I'll have them seal the motors, which is legal, and say that I want to continue running the bike to up the 200 mph record. Then I'll continue the runs until the record is up around 330mph.
I might have been a bit premature in purchasing $600 worth of torsion bar wheel and brake assemblies for this dream trailer that I was going to build. As usual, I chose off a boat load of work for the year, and Patti is marking off a calendar (which BTW my Aussie racer friend, Mal Hewett, sent me). To date it's 170 days until the trek to Colorado for the NA.
I'm not going to buy any more material for the "Super Salt Road Trailer" until I'm sure I have time to build the darn thing. It's about a 90% chance that that puppy will never grace the highways.
Denis has a pretty good set up, I'll probably go with something like that--a 24 ft lockable enclosed trailer with a rear ramp. It would provide plenty of room for all the stowage and the liner would fit in it with side car affixed. Due to the low ground clearance of the liner, even with a ramp, the liner would drag if pushed out. So I'll have to build an "A" frame like we use in the pits for lifting the bike. Larger swivel type wheels, of course. I'll make it probably 6 or 8 ft. longer than the old "A" frame. This will give the new "A" frame more stability, pushing it up the ramp and into the trailer, out of the trailer and onto the salt. Also, the extra length will provide room for the side car. When positioning the "A" frame over the bike, we'll have to lift one corner over the side car, but this shouldn't be a problem, it'll be light enough to do this.
I think I said that I was going to build new rear tail pieces, belly pan and engine lid. Well, that's what I've been doing for the last 6 weeks. The belly pan is done, and reshaped, the bottom resting closer to the frame. This will allow rear swing arm to get a better center line on the swing arm pivot point rear axle and transmission drive sprocket shaft. As the swing arm will be so positioned, the new body won't drag the ground. In fact, leaving the 1 1/2" ground clearance desired. This will also change the CG of the motorcycle, improving handling.
One other modification to the belly pan was that I extended it's length forward so that when the belly pan is removed it allows much better access to the fuel filter, the fuel tank shut off, and the fittings from the fuel tank to the filter. It was quite difficult to tighten the fittings before, now it'll be a piece of cake. Anyway, the bottom belly pan is finished except for paint.
The engine cowl lid is in the works. I've just about finished shaping the plug. It has much improved aerodynamics. This was achieved by narrowing the tail section area and compounding the whole shell. Patti says it looks better than it ever has. An it do. I figure I'll be able to start laying fiberglas tomorrow afternoon, or first light Monday morning.
Here are some of the things I had to do to accomplish the aerodynamic change:
Frame body panel supports had to be shortened.
Rear crossover tubing to the rear of the rear tire had to be removed.
Top fender bracket and frame bracing removed.
A new method of bracing the frame applied.
The bottom of the water tank for the cylinder muffs was removed.
A new bottom was reshaped and welded. This allowed the belly pan to be raised.
A new method of mounting the two body parts on to the frame is a bit hard to explain, you'll just have wait to see it at Bonneville when we meet for those few days for our once a year rendezvous.
Who's bringing the Champagne?
Out of the Gate in '08
(The following article, by Max, appeared in Fast Facts)
There are 573 horses in my garage being fed a special blend of oats, and the caretaker of the herd is re-doing their colors for '08.
A new set of pants was in order, so nothing to do but build a mold and pull off a new body from fiberglas--skinnier on the tail, with a compounded curve oval shape. I believe this will result in much better aerodynamics. Only one layer of mat fiberglas was used, so the new body weighs in at 70 lbs., a humongous weight saving over the last.
The liner, after I disassembled it, was inspected to ascertain where and how each part could be lightened. Much attention was given to the strength of the part during this operation. Hundreds of holes, hours on the milling machine, and giving my lathe a big workout, has shed the liner's handicap for the big race in '08.
Last year the horses were all pulling together, and strong. Unfortunately a couple of shoes were thrown, out of the gate, in the form of no more low and second gear. So here's a quick update on what's been done in the tranny department. I researched on the internet, and found a source for Muncie M21 gears. The transmission that's been used in the last 4 outings was a modified Muncie M20, donated to the cause by Don Vesco several years ago.
The fellow who provided the gears to update the transmission to an M21, has a multitude of gear ratios manufactured for the Muncie in Italy, high quality, and priced quite reasonably. The transmission has a handmade special case with low and reverse gears removed. The gears I needed came to around $600. The gears have less of a helic, and the teeth are much fatter, and the lay shaft is larger in diameter. It took me a bit of machining and precision grinding to fit the bits in the box. Then there will be a modification in the shifter mechanism to hold each gear--second, third, and fourth, in engagement with a 100 lb. pressure on air cylinders. No popping out of gear this go round.
As the engines are running pretty good, it's allowed me time to pursue and annihilate other problems, such as salt entering the intake. During disassembly I discovered salt in the plenum area below the blower. None of the parts showed any signs of distaste for the salt diet. Last year I had a three piece deflector shield set up, plus a bulkhead between the rear wheel and the supercharger. This system was inadequate to contain the rooster tailing salt from the rear wheel.
To solve this I built a mold and pulled a fiberglas two piece rear fender off it. Then I modified the frame so that one part of the two piece fender lifts off to allow access for salt removal. The fender is much like the ones on Ack's and Denis' liners. Should do the job quite nicely.
In '06 the transmission wouldn't shift, in '07 low and second gear were destroyed in the pits--hence a great strain was put on my homemade slider clutch. I had to increase hold out spring pressure, and reduce flyweights to give the clutch more slip to allow it to get underway when pulling a tall, tall gear. This didn't allow the clutch to live very long. Tremendous heat build up occurred, which took out the friction plates in '06 and '07. I did find out however, just how much I can slip the clutch before disintegration, which is a big plus. The pocket book sheds weight in the amount of $300 each time it heads south. In '05 we made 10 runs with zero clutch problems due to the fact the transmission worked. I anticipate no problems with the clutch in '08. To ensure a trouble free clutch for '08, I've designed and built a water cooling system to help cool that puppy down.
I've decided to run two classes this year for a very good reason. The classes will be Streamliner Blown Fuel Side Car and Streamliner Blown Fuel. The Vincent streamliner, Black Lightning will be going for the FIM World Records and the AMA National Records.
I thought about doing this for quite some time, as the Bub Meet has grown, with many more participants, and more participants means less runs per participant. So the time is right for me to hang a chair on the streamliner.
The FIM Side Car record is a soft one, I believe 169 mph. The Vincent streamliner will have no problem exceeding 169 mph, which will allow it to make a return run in two hours. The alternative, without the side car, would be that I would have to run within 5% of the World Record which is at 350 mph to make a return within two hours. This would probably not be possible, as the liner is still in teething and tuning mode. I would then have to (according to the Bub rules) get back in line behind all the slower sit on bikes, and wait for probably five or so hours for my turn again, and then only go if the wind permits. So this is my plan to circumvent the unfortunate situation in which Black Lightning finds herself. I hope to exceed the FIM Side Car record on the first two passes. They will be made within two hours of each other, then I intend to go to impound and declare that I want to keep running the motorcycle to up my Side Car Record. By the way, I've drilled a hole in each fin on the cylinder heads and the cylinder muffs, so the scrutineers can seal the engines. I can then proceed upping the record without disassembling the engines for displacement check. I plan to use these increments in upping the record to allow more runs per day for tuning. I feel this is a must for the anticipated success of the Vincent streamliner for '08.
My intentions are to tune the bike to it's potential. After 330 mph is reached with the side car, I'll change classes by removing the side car and go for the FIM and AMA records.
A couple of weeks ago, after finishing the last of the fiberglass work on the new streamliner body, I started working on the side car that will be used in the 2008 attempt.
I guess first I should tell you what constitutes a side car for Land Speed Records.
1. The side car must meet all requirements to qualify for tech inspection. All bolts affixing side car to motorcycle, and all bolts pertaining to the side car itself, require safety wiring.
2. The side car, if not permanently mounted, must be affixed at three points to the motorcycle.
3. The side car wheel must be covered with a fender.
4. The rider platform must have a minimum dimension of 12"X 32".
5. The side car and motorcycle must make two tracks, with a minimum distance between the two tracks of 32".
6. The minimum diameter of the side car wheel can be no less than 10".
7. Streamliner side car rules prohibit passengers. In lieu of this, side cars must contain a minimum of 135 pounds of ballast.
So there you have it. That's what constitutes a side car for LSR competition.
I built the wheel out of 70/75 T6 aluminum. The diameter wound up 12 and 7/8 inches. I employed two roller bearings, spacing 2 and 1/2 inches apart. The footprint of the wheel is flat with rounded edges and measures 2 and 1/2 inches. Haven't figured out what the rpm of the wheel will be at 330 mph. Maybe one of you guys want to take a stab at it. It would be interesting because it'll be whizzing right along. The only other feature of the wheel is that it has a three spoke pattern.
The framework of the side car is made from 4130 tubing, .083 thickness, 1 and 5/8 inches in diameter.
The side car plugs in to three perpendicular tubes affixed by welding to the bottom three rails of the mid-section of the frame. The side car is plugged into the streamliner in much the same way as you would plug into an electrical outlet. The tubes on the frame are capped on the end and have a 7/16" hole. Three 7/16" bolts are used to pull the three side car inserts through the tubing to their stop. Kiss was used here, and the system winds up super, super strong.
The ballast consists of four 1/2" thick steel plates. Total square inches of the plates is 1008. The ballast weighs in at 140 pounds, and is bolted between three framework tubing. In doing this, the ballast didn't increase the frontal area, the plates nestle between the tubing quite nicely. The bottom three tubing rails on the frame of the streamliner where attached, have a four degree upwards angle to the rear, therefore the side car platform, when mounted to the frame will give an additional down force.
The rear tube of the framework to the side car, the perpendicular one, has a clinching section, one foot in length. The best way to explain this would be that it's like the clenching ring on an Amal carburetor, which clamps the carburetor to the spigot manifold. Same principle, only the side car frame's clincher is 1 foot long and has 8 bolts to squeeze it together. The reason for building this is to allow for adjustment of the side car wheel axle in relation to the streamliner's perpendicular position. A shaft, 1 foot long, is slid into the clincher. A 1/2" plate X 4" X 6" is welded to the end of the shaft. The axle of the side car wheel is welded to the plate as well, allowing a quadrant action between the axle and the shaft. Again Kiss was used.
I'll have to go down and get the material for the platform and the fender, which BTW will be one piece. The front of the platform will nose over the leading horizontal tube of the side car frame, which will put the leading edge approximately 1 and 1/2" off the salt. Like I said, the platform will be on a 4 degree upward slope, and will extend past the rear horizontal frame tube of the side car. The fender will be made very aerodynamic, and attach to the platform plate. The fender starts at the leading edge of the platform, and extends over the wheel, tapering back into a fin. The total frontal area of the side car will be less than one square foot. The whole thing including ballast will weigh a tad less than 200 lbs..
Side Car Wheel RPM
My best guess would be between 4 and 5 thousand rpm. I've thought about this quite a bit, and the most concern with this amount of wheel-to-salt slippage is the heat that will be generated into the wheel mass.
The wheel itself weighs 16 lbs. The reason for the robust weight is twofold. Strength obviously, and greater mass to absorb the heat created by the slippage of the wheel. I'm not concerned so much about the aluminum portion of the wheel giving up due to heat, but the heat transfer to the bearings, and the interference of the outer race going away due to heat expansion. I gave the bearings a greater interference than I normally would--.0015. I'll just have to see how this works out in real life.
Someone sent me a suggestion about the aerodynamics of the platform. There is a flat portion to the rear, which is horizontal, extending from the vertical tail fin of the fender to the skin of the streamliner. The platform measures in length 49". Fourteen inches at the rear is perpendicular to the salt. The platform measures from the outer fender skirt to the liner's body 29". Again, the configuration is quite aerodynamic, and should provide a down force, which can only help.
Side Car Wheel Growth
The aluminum wheel will grow, no doubt, when heated up by the friction between the wheel and the salt at high speeds. The question is, "How much?" and the answer is, "Very little," or I should say, "So minute it won't affect the geometry required to go straight with a side car."
Explanation. I don't know for sure, but I think aluminum in it's liquid form shrinks by only 3% when going from a liquid to a solid. The liner would be in big trouble if we ever got to the molting stage of the wheel, so I suppose another math problem is in order. I think it might take more than basic math this time. :o)
Assuming the wheel, (which it won't, but this is just for drill), reaches a 1% growth expansion from the friction created. Using round numbers, we have a wheel 13" in diameter. From the center of the wheel's tread width, which is 2 and 1/2", to the center line of the streamliner, we have a measurement of 33". The perpendiculars of the side car wheel and the streamliner are both 90 degrees from the salt surface.
The mathematical problem is--with a 1% growth of the side car wheel, how much would the liner perpendicular of 90 degrees, change in, I suspect, a percent of a degree? It could be more than a degree, but not much. Any takers?
As to the choice of the aluminum wheel, there's nothing in that diameter of a pneumatic tire and wheel combination made that could reach 330 mph before disintegration. They've tried just about everything, vulcanizing rubber and various plastics, to aluminum wheels. No one has successfully done that. The rubber or nylons chunk off the wheel as soon as there's any heat involved. It doesn't work.
Aluminum wheels seem to work all right if they're not involved in steering. Craig Breedlove's had front steering. It was a single aluminum wheel, about 15" in diameter, and about a foot and a half wide. He was sponsored by Shell Oil, (I'm talking about the Spirit of America jet car). The car had two very narrow 5' in diameter rear tires made from solid aluminum. The rear ones worked just fine, but the front one didn't. The design flaw is in the process of being corrected by, I think, some other person besides Craig Breedlove.
Thrust Two used aluminum wheels, but the difference is that there were four of them, and the rear wheels did the steering. That worked, plus it had two engines which could have possibly helped Thrust go as fast as what they did, being able to throttle the engines individually, keeping him in a straight line. Just a guess.
The growth of the streamliner's tires negates any concern in the real world.
Two forces will be involved to keep the streamliner in a straight line, which is the aluminum wheel tow in, (set at 3 degrees to start), and the tilt of the liner's variable perpendicular plane to the side car at changing speeds.
Side Car Completed
Three weeks work and around a thousand dollars later--she's done. That is, the side car for the 2008 attempt. Yesterday I finished the last pieces needed to create the ground effects of the car.
Four principles of physics are involved to keep the wheel on the salt. First, the shape of the fender and passenger pan is made so as to create an inverted wing, faster air over the bottom than the top, creating down force. Second, the attitude of the pan, closer to the salt in the front than in the rear creates down force. Third, much like a F1 or an Indy car, the side hack has been skirted in such a way so as to create down force, (ground effects).
Last but not least, Sir Isaac wasn't left out--I added 140 lbs ballast underneath the fender fin. This was a change in the location of the ballast originally, which puts the ballast as far outboard as possible. The package looks very aerodynamic--low to the ground and sleek. Should work pretty well.