Author Topic: How I built the "Flying Brick"  (Read 60628 times)

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MD

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Re: How I built the "Flying Brick"
« Reply #30 on: September 02, 2011, 10:53:42 AM »
alfagtv58,

Unashamedly I must admit I planned to build this car to be a front runner from the outset in an effort to challenge the dominance of the 105's in our local Club competition.Once the initial bugs were sorted out, it proved that it could outpace even the likes of Bill Magoffin's lovely 105 for example.

To be competitive in today's improved production, these cars would have a power to weight problem for example against the Lotus Escorts and the like. Having said that, when I took it to Morgan Park racetrack which is a CAMS site for scrutineering, it passed with flying colours and  I was invited to log book it but I never did as at that time Club competition was paramount.

I hope that answers your question.

aggie,

the front end is a cheap fix compared with the transmission as a whole.

Neil,

By the time topic is concluded, you will see that the only original thing on this car that has not been refined is the front windscreen. :)
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BradGTV

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Re: How I built the "Flying Brick"
« Reply #31 on: September 02, 2011, 03:44:55 PM »
any chance of putting a picture up of the gearbox end of your shifter?
79 gtv sr20, 83 gtv, 83 gtv6 3.0, 75 ts x 3, 85 gtv, 76 gt, 91 164, Subey L Series, S13 silvia, Bmw e30 318i, VT SS 6spd

MD

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Re: How I built the "Flying Brick"
« Reply #32 on: September 02, 2011, 05:10:56 PM »
Absolutely.

This version also dovetails into the diagrams to sort of explain a few more things.

Anybody dares to criticise my brilliant artwork can stand in the que for a jelly bean. ;D
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MD

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Re: How I built the "Flying Brick"
« Reply #33 on: September 02, 2011, 07:49:20 PM »
Approaching the home stretch now so lets talk about the electrics.

For my purposes, I donít need headlights and parking lights or indicators. Nor do I need dip switches, and indicator assemblies. I donít need hazard warning. I donít need wipers cause I never get on the track when it rains ( I am too chicken shit and I hate spending money on wet tyres) so naturally all that stuff is gone.

In its place is a hand made lightweight loom that manages the engine, charges the battery, keeps the engine at optimum temp and puts on the brake lights.

It uses a Motec ECU. An ultra light battery which is for running only. To start the engine, there is a 150amp Andersen plug coupled to a mother of a starter battery that would start a tank in Siberia. This is removed after firing. The alternator is a midget 40amp Denso from a Barina.

The coils are double ended ex Commodore that have been rewired for the job. The igniters are new M&W. Everything fully relayed and fused. No ignition key lock.

Apart from that, the office has a basic binnacle for temp and oil pressure. There is a tacho large enough that Stevie Wonder could see and a shift light bright enough that even Ray Charles could have changed gears with. ( I have no doubt if the Brick was in the Blues Brothers movie, he would have) ;D

I used a wasted spark configuration. The fuel pumps and surge tank live under the boot floor. There is a VL Commodore lift pump in the tank and an ex Volvo/Bosch EFI delivery pump for injection.

My final instalment will be about the engine, induction and exhaust system.
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MD

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Re: How I built the "Flying Brick"
« Reply #34 on: September 02, 2011, 07:52:21 PM »
A few more..
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giulia_veloce

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Re: How I built the "Flying Brick"
« Reply #35 on: September 03, 2011, 06:50:40 AM »
Hi MD

A great thread which I enjoy reading,as im sure many others are also.
Lots of great modifications which a lot of thought has gone into.

I get a bit concerned about comments made about certain cars being able to beat other cars.
Bill magoffins 105 is a very fast car,but it is built to a set of rules=NC
I would look forward for your car to beat his car in any competition,provided it met the same rules as his is.=NC.

It looks like you car will be logged as a Sports Sedan,which has far more freedom as to modifications allowed etc.

Lets see what lap times your car does at circuits like Lakeside,Eastern Creek,Phillip Island,Wakefield Park etc and compare them to Bills lap times.

Robert

MD

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Re: How I built the "Flying Brick"
« Reply #36 on: September 03, 2011, 10:17:05 AM »
I think you make a good and valid point and I support it.
Bills' 105 is a great car and he is an excellent driver and hopefully nothing less has come across from what I have said already.

In terms of compliance, this car under AASA rules complied for competition at Lakeside . The Brick and Bills' car were at the same venue in the same ECC event. My comment is based on relative performances of that event that I was present at. Best lap time for the Brick was 62.57 in July 2009. That's the good bit. The shitty bit is that it had DNF due to the track supplying the wrong fuel on the day which leaned out the mixture to the shit house unbeknown to us and this had a nasty effect on our brand new engine!!  >:(  (our normal fuel was avgas) Whilst Bills' car was a whisker slower on the day but it had a finish!  :)

Regrettably I cannot find all the Natsoft results for the ECC in 2009 at Lakeside so the best I can do is put up Bills' qualifying pace at the ECC in 2011 which is 63.35. If anyone has his data for 2009, please feel free to post it in this topic.

I am not aware of just what class Bills' car does/can fit in but you would be correct in your assumption for the Brick being a Sports Sedan. Having said that, it should be understood that the level of development for the car was only intended to beat the local club racers. The budget did not stretch for a world beater and no such claim is made. Under our Club competition rules there are no such classifications and there is a great freedom and variation in the level of modifications permitted. The space framed rear engined Sud developed by Bob Whitehouse for example races in the same class. The Brick complies with all of these club rules.

Perhaps I should put it in a different perspective. The Brick  is not the quickest 2 litre in Australia. It was the quickest 2 litre Queensland built Club Alfa transaxle that I know of.

As Bill's car is very well known, I used it as benchmark comparison to give the reader some reference to it's performance and  I hope that you will accept this indulgence. I should also point out that under new ownership, the Brick does not run its original specifications and the tables have turned in so far as Bill's car is now faster.
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MD

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Re: How I built the "Flying Brick"
« Reply #37 on: September 08, 2011, 06:54:41 PM »
The Engine

So finally we come to the engine. This involved a lot of planning as I needed to pull the rabbit out of the hat to make any gains on the good performance of existing engines of my future club competitors. There is a rule of thumb that says it is readily achievable to obtain around 180-185bhp by modifying a typical 2 litre Alfa engine. This much power is very cost effective and with sufficient body weight reduction, can make a good mid-field runner and certainly one that is reliable.

Going above this ďglass ceilingĒ calls for some voodoo and serious bucks. You would imagine that getting 100 bhp per litre these days should be a cake walk. Perhaps it is with better combustion chamber shapes, 4 valves per cyclinder, good squish areas and other modifications. However as tough as the Alfa twin cam engine is, it remains a tall order. Now I know that Auto Delta came up with around 220bhp on carburettors and I would love to know the precise details of ALL the modifications but thatís more of a pipe dream than a likely reality for a club racerís budget without sponsorship.

Anyhow I though Iíd go for broke and aim high and do the best I could with a 2 litre twin spark. I imported this engine from Holland together with some complete transmissions. Normal engine wear was not an issue as it was all going to get renewed anyway. When I stripped it down, I noticed that the liner wells were beautifully clean without any mineral deposition and the head water galleries were like I had opened an new engine. More mechanics should learn to use distilled water in the coolant to end up with a pristine cooling system. So far so good but it didnít last. Having the crankshaft checked, it was noted that it had defects in the journals and was basically a throw away. Not too much of a problem as I had a spare Alfetta crankshaft which was promptly checked, the oil galleries cleaned and socket head screw plugs fitted and balanced.

There are a couple of differences between these two crankshafts. The nose piece on the TS is longer to fit the 3 gang pulley whilst the Alfetta one is shorter and smaller in mass which is a good thing. A single front pulley is all you need for a race motor and this fits without any problems. In my case I used a custom harmonic balancer fitted with an aftermarket 60-2 crank angle wheel. The second difference is that using the Alfetta crankshaft increases the stroke by 1mm but in my case this was beneficial as I was aiming for 13.5:1 CR. Never actually got there as around 12.5:1 is all I wound up with due to piston valve pockets being made larger than necessary. (you get that when they make them in California and you are Brisbane.)

Letís start with the head.

The head received port enlargement, polishing,  47 x 7mm inlet valves, 38x7mm exhaust, 12.5mm lift cams and matching valve springs. The variator  was locked up on the inlet cam and some machining was necessary around the cam lobes to allow an interference free rotation. All new exhaust manifold studs were installed and the intake manifold was modified by welding into it 90mm inlet runners from the throttle bodies. As part of this modification, the runners also had provision to mount the throttle bodies as one group. The throttle bodies had 46mm butterflies.

Testing the head flow with all its modifications was an anxious moment I can tell you. Months of planning and labour and parts sourcing was about to reveal the worth of the effort. Would it be gold, silver or lead? Well at 12mm lift, it flowed
147.61cfm.( Superflow flow bench CMF rates @ 10Ē of water ) After doing some number crunching, it seemed in theory at least the sucker might make 220bhp + but of course it never did. However this was all good and positive info at the time and provided good vibes to carry on with.

more..
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MD

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Re: How I built the "Flying Brick"
« Reply #38 on: September 08, 2011, 06:56:07 PM »
more pics..
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MD

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Re: How I built the "Flying Brick"
« Reply #39 on: September 08, 2011, 06:57:18 PM »
few more..
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Duk

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Re: How I built the "Flying Brick"
« Reply #40 on: September 08, 2011, 09:26:18 PM »
Did you do anything special for the crank case ventilation like a vacuum pump or a pan evac set up? Or was it dry sump?
I always have this thought that a long stroke engine could really benefit from having as little windage in the crank case as possible, even with a windage trays or crank scraper.

Any way, cheers again for sharing MD  8)!

MD

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Re: How I built the "Flying Brick"
« Reply #41 on: September 09, 2011, 09:27:39 AM »
Hi Duk,

You learn a lot each time you go all out with what you think is all the information you need but find out later you know Jack Sheet. I am sure we are all a lot wiser following that model. If only it didn't burn such a hole in the wallet to get that wisdom !!

You are on the money. Somebody out there will contradict me I am sure but from what experience that I have gained as an amatuer, the only way I could get this engine to go beyond 100bhp/litre (N.A.) is to dry sump it for a start plus a total review of all the critical parameters. This would take things to a different torque band, higher rpms, different gear ratios and so on goes the money trail. This sort of thing goes into the realms of engine development rather than just engine building and its why touring car engines cost such huge bucks.

I went part of the way and installed a windage tray from Paul Spruell. Hard to quantify what difference it made. Unrelated to power gain, I also relocated the crankase breather discharge from above the timing chains to the LHS rear of the cam cover due to excessive oil throws in this area. (not show in early photos)
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MD

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Re: How I built the "Flying Brick"
« Reply #42 on: September 09, 2011, 10:04:29 AM »
Hi Paul,

I have had some nice Alfas in the past and always a brisk peddler but like lots of guys of my vintage, always the best man but never the groom.ie. never been on a race track before I built this car. This was part of the motivation to built it and to receive driver training from my original partner who was both our mechanic and former rally driver and minor champ.

What was it like? Well it could have been orgasmic but it was more like pants wetting. Especially when I did 180* on the first major corner I gave it a boot full. Something unrelated to my lack of driving skills and more related to a major oil leak from my transmission !! The person who left out the 13mm bolt at the top of the tranny that could not be seen from a pre race inspection shall remain nameless to protect them loss of sleep at night.  ;D Two weeks of searching for the oil leak, I found the problem.

Now back to your question :)
Because everything was so different to any Alfa I had driven before including the environment that I was in made it all surreal but a huge thrill. Lots of squirt and over 3,000rpm of linear torque, handling to burn, unbelievable brakes and "G" forces I never experienced before would sort of sum it up and this is just a club car!

The experiences of a REAL race car must be awesome.

No I personally didn't do the porting but I did prescribe the dimensions and shape. It was done at a Brisbane machine shop.

Ultimately, apart from doing a few test runs in the car to sort out issues with it in its early life, I never got to campaign it myself for complex family reasons and this was left to my new partner and eventual owner, Mark Jackson.If I remember correctly, he won the overall club championship with it in the first year of ownership. In truth, this is likely a result of good driving from Mark and the attributes of the Brick as much as it is the absence of the Brick's main rival at the time being Andrew Wilson and his fabulous TS powered 116GTV during the year of competition.

Once again, I hope names named shall be understood to have been done so with total respect.
« Last Edit: September 09, 2011, 07:28:56 PM by MD »
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MD

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Re: How I built the "Flying Brick"
« Reply #43 on: September 13, 2011, 06:38:14 PM »
The Exhaust side of things.

Decided to retain the original exhaust valve size of 38mm based on intake to exhaust valve ratios. All valves were re-profiled and lighter overall. No sodium valves were used without any detriment.

I made the extractor set for it and used a commercially available four-into-one merge collector. The balance of the system was fabricated to my specs by a local custom exhaust shop.

The headers are 38mm ID x 860mm and secondary pipes is 62mmIDx 720mm.
The pistons are CP brand custom made in the US and coupled to Carillo rods.
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MD

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Re: How I built the "Flying Brick"
« Reply #44 on: September 13, 2011, 06:39:45 PM »
A few more pics to round off the exhaust stuff..
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