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Author Topic: Milwaukee Midget  (Read 1328139 times)
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Milwaukee Midget
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« Reply #6405 on: September 07, 2017, 11:29:26 PM »

I just got some very sad news.  Dick Knudson passed away on September 1st.

Dr. Knudson was a founder of the New England M.G.-T Register, an avid MG enthusiast, and author of dozens of books on MG, including "MG - Record-Breakers from Abingdon".

In 2013, Dick asked me to speak at the Kimber Festival in Bennington, Vermont.  I put together a presentation on MG's history in land speed racing, along with my project, and it included many excerpts from this build diary about the Milwaukee Midget.

A very interesting fellow, after teaching English at Oneonta State University, he retired after 30 years, but then was ordained as an Anglican Priest.  The thought of the Vicar pulling up to the church, with the top down, in an MG TC just brings a broad smile to my face.

Earlier this year, he was inducted into the British Sports Car Hall of Fame with Bob Tullius, Donald Healey, Cecil Kimber, John Sprinzel, Peter Egan and Stirling Moss.

On my wall is a certificate of appreciation I received for my presentation, and Dick signed it with green ink.  It was a tradition that Cecil Kimber started - using green ink.

I'm still amazed by the quality of people I've encountered these last 10 years of doing something as out-and-out goofy as putting an MG on the salt.  Racers, builders, writers, engineers, both on and off these forums, enthusiasts across the country and overseas.  Dr. Knudson was a Bonneville enthusiast as well as an MG guy, smart as a whip, and had a genuinely keen sense of humor, tied to a sense of mission toward MG that verged on evangelism.

Other than permission to use his photographs in my presentation in Bennington, the only thing I asked of Dick was that he be certain the caterer provided "Old Speckled Hen".  He delivered, and tonight, I lift a glass to him.

Thank you, Dr. Knudson.  You were a light that even Lord Lucas couldn't extinguish.  cheers

 
« Last Edit: September 07, 2017, 11:31:05 PM by Milwaukee Midget » Logged

"Problems are almost always a sign of progress."  Harold Bettes
Well, I guess we're making a LOT of progress . . .  rolleyes

We are NOT rebuilding . . . We are reloading.

GOD SAVE MG - The Queen can take care of herself!
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« Reply #6406 on: September 08, 2017, 07:14:11 AM »

What a lost.

His book about the record breakers had to be in all book shells about Speed....an excellent book about this chapter of British record breaking.

He will be missed. R.I.P.
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« Reply #6407 on: September 10, 2017, 06:37:19 AM »

Oh boy, oh boy, oh boy . . . cheesy

I've got cams, I've got followers, I've got springs, I've got valves, keepers, gaskets, shims . . .

Santa lives in Britain, and Christmas came early!

To Elise Spares and G&S Valves!  cheers  cheers  cheers


And the bits have been magically transported south of the dreaded "cheddar curtain" . . . . . . . .

Hi Ho, Hi Ho, it's off to fitting up I go . . . . . . .

Will spin cams and offer up other parts, etc, as soon as things calm down here, ie, after all prep for the SCCA Runoffs ceases.   Figure around September 25th.   Still have three 4 cylinder heads to finish, 2 or perhaps 3 dyno sessions, ALL in prep for the SCCA racing.

2 weeks of "hard at it" for sure . . . . . . . .    AND THEN, it's on to "orphaneering"    grin

 cheers
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« Reply #6408 on: September 10, 2017, 06:51:50 AM »

Note to BMC fans . . . . . . British and otherwise . . . . . . . .

One of the pre "Runoffs" projects is a limited prep BMC 1275.    The flow testing is done, the dyno testing will take place this week.

As soon as the project is completed, I'm going to post some real world numbers for Limited Prep heads Vs full race Vs Stock air flow.

I'm also going to post some comparison graphs of of the dyno output Vs the Grenade Vs F/prod 1275's Vs unrestricted 1275 GT/L engines.

Should be . . . . . . interesting.    And it will get us through the 'K' development lull . . . . . . . .

Additionally . . . . .

Chris has "threatened" to document all his BMC "experience" and "experiments" in a "book" format . . . . . . .

Enthusiastic readers are encouraged to offer "Title Suggestions" . . . . . . . .     wink

 cheers Dead Horse cheers
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« Reply #6409 on: September 10, 2017, 05:04:51 PM »



On my wall is a certificate of appreciation I received for my presentation, and Dick signed it with green ink.  It was a tradition that Cecil Kimber started - using green ink.


Thank you, Dr. Knudson.  You were a light that even Lord Lucas couldn't extinguish.  cheers

 

One tradition that Woody is keeping up
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« Reply #6410 on: September 11, 2017, 08:39:59 AM »


Chris has "threatened" to document all his BMC "experience" and "experiments" in a "book" format . . . . . . .


The loss of the photobucket account was catastrophic, but I still have the photos on my hard drive, and rather than reconstructing the build diary, I'm thinking that since half of the story is already written, this would likely be a good opportunity to cut and paste, edit, and self publish.

In short, I haven't lost enough money on the Midget, yet . . .

I'll let you know when I'm speaking at Barnes and Noble, and I'll see that the rider includes Three Floyds, Ritz Crackers and Merkt's Sharp Cheddar Cheese Spread.  wink
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"Problems are almost always a sign of progress."  Harold Bettes
Well, I guess we're making a LOT of progress . . .  rolleyes

We are NOT rebuilding . . . We are reloading.

GOD SAVE MG - The Queen can take care of herself!
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« Reply #6411 on: September 11, 2017, 08:52:32 AM »


Chris has "threatened" to document all his BMC "experience" and "experiments" in a "book" format . . . . . . .


The loss of the photobucket account was catastrophic, but I still have the photos on my hard drive, and rather than reconstructing the build diary, I'm thinking that since half of the story is already written, this would likely be a good opportunity to cut and paste, edit, and self publish.

In short, I haven't lost enough money on the Midget, yet . . .

I'll let you know when I'm speaking at Barnes and Noble, and I'll see that the rider includes Three Floyds, Ritz Crackers and Merkt's Sharp Cheddar Cheese Spread.  wink

Cool. I'd be interested in it, for sure.

Quote
Note to BMC fans . . . . . . British and otherwise . . . . . . . .

One of the pre "Runoffs" projects is a limited prep BMC 1275.    The flow testing is done, the dyno testing will take place this week.

As soon as the project is completed, I'm going to post some real world numbers for Limited Prep heads Vs full race Vs Stock air flow.

I'm also going to post some comparison graphs of of the dyno output Vs the Grenade Vs F/prod 1275's Vs unrestricted 1275 GT/L engines.

Should be . . . . . . interesting.    And it will get us through the 'K' development lull . . . . . . . .

I have a few ideas for the LP stuff, but it would take some $$ to pull off. Camshaft development seems to be the most lacking.

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« Reply #6412 on: September 12, 2017, 05:16:17 AM »


Quote
Note to BMC fans . . . . . . British and otherwise . . . . . . . .

One of the pre "Runoffs" projects is a limited prep BMC 1275.    The flow testing is done, the dyno testing will take place this week.

As soon as the project is completed, I'm going to post some real world numbers for Limited Prep heads Vs full race Vs Stock air flow.

I'm also going to post some comparison graphs of of the dyno output Vs the Grenade Vs F/prod 1275's Vs unrestricted 1275 GT/L engines.

Should be . . . . . . interesting.    And it will get us through the 'K' development lull . . . . . . . .

I have a few ideas for the LP stuff, but it would take some $$ to pull off. Camshaft development seems to be the most lacking.


Re:    BMC 1275 Limited Prep

20+ pulls later, this is what I know for certain . . . . . . . .

A/   Compression Ratio limitation (11 to 1) dramatically affects spark plug choice which affects the total ignition timing required . . . . . .  NO big surprises here though.

2/   The valve lift limitation (.450" measured at the valve) also dramatically reduces power output.   The test engine was relatively "insensitive" to valve lash changes, indicating that there was not enough "cam" for "good output".    Cam was a billet Bachmann item.    I was told several competitors use it.    It's really hard to conclude anything yet, no thorough cam profile data so far.   The cam data presented was basic and minimal.

Bob, there is NO question in my mind that you are correct in thinking that the cam development could lead to further gains.    If I get an opportunity to "spin the cam grind for data", be assured I will.

d/   The requirement to utilize the "stock" 1.25" SU's, "un-modified" is a "gigantic" air restriction.   Significant gains could be made with trick "Blue-printed" carbs.    There is currently a "snipe hunt" underway for factory specifications.    As it stands, there is a nice bhp output curve up to a certain rpm, the the bhp goes essentially "flat".    That usually indicates restricted airflow into the engine.    ANY "trick modification" would need to fall within measurable factory dimensions.    The carbs used were "blue-printed" Bachmann items, which worked well.     I'm just left wondering how much the rules can be "pushed" for this area.    Even more reason to do some flow testing of 1.25" SU's . . . . . . . . .

z/    Cylinder heads that flow "too much" are a waste of time and energy here.    Think about it, the main restrictions are the carbs and manifold.    Too big ports kill velocity and flow and  . . . . .  wait for it . . . . . . transitional bhp.     


I have not downloaded the "data dump" yet from the T&T dyno computer, so I have not done any serious number crunching.    But, from memory, peak TQ was 87#/ft to 90#/ft.

That translates to:   87#/ft = 164.2 psi bmep
                              90#/ft = 169.9 psi bmep      Both sets of the bmep numbers are on the low side, indicating that careful development would raise output.

That's all for now.   More in a few days . . . . . . . .

 cheers
 Dead Horse boy
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« Reply #6413 on: September 12, 2017, 09:51:35 AM »

Yet another reason I like LSR.  You'll spend as much time, effort and money developing a dog as you would building a truly usable, purpose built motor, with fewer rules.  Don't get me wrong - I recognize the challenge - the discipline -but if the vintage guys think they're saving money by building AKC certified canines, they're sorely mistaken.

Muts rule.
« Last Edit: September 12, 2017, 09:53:10 AM by Milwaukee Midget » Logged

"Problems are almost always a sign of progress."  Harold Bettes
Well, I guess we're making a LOT of progress . . .  rolleyes

We are NOT rebuilding . . . We are reloading.

GOD SAVE MG - The Queen can take care of herself!
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« Reply #6414 on: September 12, 2017, 06:25:27 PM »

Quote
Bob, there is NO question in my mind that you are correct in thinking that the cam development could lead to further gains.    If I get an opportunity to "spin the cam grind for data", be assured I will.

And no doubt here you will!

My thoughts with the SCCA LP stuff:

Friction, friction, friction. And you know where most of the friction in an engine comes from Wink

Aftermarket billet cam - I believe cam journal sizes are unregulated, so installing the biggest that could fit (BBC?) and having an appropriate cam that will fit should help with the dynamics some.

Obviously, there is a bunch you can do with the lobe design itself playing with running hot lash vs cold and dwell.

On the valve size, using the lightest valves that you can legally use and a corresponding light valve spring / retainer package will allow lighter valve spring pressures. This should have the effect of reducing flex in the stock rocker arm (as required by rules). I have doubts that under running conditions, the stock rocker is actually transmitting the lobe profile to the valve. Obviously, to do this right, would require some Spintron time.

Lastly, is the exhaust. If we can push through 60bhp through a 1 3/8" od pipe off the head (to match the exhaust port area), I don't really see how most of the LBC racers can justify the sizes they do. Get the header working better and the more duration you can feed into the intake side and still protect the mid range / bottom end of the useable power curve.

Just my two cents.  cheers
« Last Edit: September 12, 2017, 06:27:04 PM by hoffman900 » Logged
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« Reply #6415 on: September 12, 2017, 10:08:38 PM »


On the valve size, using the lightest valves that you can legally use and a corresponding light valve spring / retainer package will allow lighter valve spring pressures. This should have the effect of reducing flex in the stock rocker arm (as required by rules). I have doubts that under running conditions, the stock rocker is actually transmitting the lobe profile to the valve. Obviously, to do this right, would require some Spintron time.


While I'm not completely familiar with the LP rules, the issue of valve spring pressure vs. friction was one Mark tackled the first time he saw the Grenade. 

It wasn't as bad as a "Which eye do you want poked out?'" issue, especially once it was explained to me what was happening

Granted, I doubt a limited prep 1275 is intended to spin 9K.  If you're using stock rockers, you've only got about a 1.3:1 rocker ratio.  We ran 1.5:1 ratio, and even with the additional mechanical advantage of the spring over the valvetrain at full lift, we were still throwing over the lobe, even with Crane "racing" springs.  We wound up using KZ1000 drag bike springs from APE with a pretty stout seat pressure.

It was an issue of control and dependability, and while lighter components would have had value, we opted for indestructability.  With a 1.3:1 ratio, the velocity of actuation isn't as dramatic as with the 1.5, but you still need to control it over the lobe, and I don't know that the power loss due to friction is substantial enough to trade for the stability of a heavier spring on these things.

The stamped steel pieces are fairly light weight, and if the rules allow, a welded bead across the top and bottom where they're pressed together would strengthen them up.

Mark - does LP allow the use of the factory forgings?  I think I've got a set.
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"Problems are almost always a sign of progress."  Harold Bettes
Well, I guess we're making a LOT of progress . . .  rolleyes

We are NOT rebuilding . . . We are reloading.

GOD SAVE MG - The Queen can take care of herself!
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« Reply #6416 on: September 13, 2017, 05:55:29 AM »

Chris,

The issue with the stock rockers is flex, not so much friction. I've seen people weld the top of the rockers, but not sure how that fits in the "material may not be added to any part".
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« Reply #6417 on: September 13, 2017, 07:50:47 AM »

Yet another reason I like LSR.  You'll spend as much time, effort and money developing a dog as you would building a truly usable, purpose built motor, with fewer rules.  Don't get me wrong - I recognize the challenge - the discipline -but if the vintage guys think they're saving money by building AKC certified canines, they're sorely mistaken.

Muts rule.

midget,


NOT Vintage.    Limited Production is the bastard step child of the  . . . . . SCCA!    The overall, misguided, idea is to "keep it cheap".    Brilliant!!

Parity (Huh) is achieved (Huh) through weight Vs potential power Vs tire size Vs on track performance.    See how easy that is!!   Heavily involved manufacturers LOVE this format!!   OOPS!! No BLMC to lobby on behalf of "their racers" . . . . . . . .  sigh . . . . .  cry

Vintage, on the other hand, is "the wild, wild west", with respect to engine modifications, except for the "ones that make sense".    NO displacement checking, until recently, and now by only a few organizations.   And things that would help reliability, (and keep the cost down), like say, drysumps, are not allowed.

AND, BTW, it is not only "amateur" racing organizations that have engine, (and other), rules which make NO sense.    DO NOT get me started on Nascar . . . . . .

 Dead Horse Dead Horse Dead Horse
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« Reply #6418 on: September 13, 2017, 07:57:19 AM »

Chris,

The issue with the stock rockers is flex, not so much friction. I've seen people weld the top of the rockers, but not sure how that fits in the "material may not be added to any part".

The owner/racer of said example replies: NO material may be added!!    I wonder how a set of TIG "melted" (no filler rod added) rockers would fare under SCCA Tech Inspection?

SCCA Tech Inspection,  an oxymoron if ever there was one . . . . . . . .

I'm recalling why I stopped working for SCCA racers all those years ago . . . . . . .

 cheers
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« Reply #6419 on: September 13, 2017, 08:17:15 AM »

Quote
Bob, there is NO question in my mind that you are correct in thinking that the cam development could lead to further gains.    If I get an opportunity to "spin the cam grind for data", be assured I will.

And no doubt here you will!

My thoughts with the SCCA LP stuff:

Friction, friction, friction. And you know where most of the friction in an engine comes from Wink

Aftermarket billet cam - I believe cam journal sizes are unregulated, so installing the biggest that could fit (BBC?) and having an appropriate cam that will fit should help with the dynamics some.

Obviously, there is a bunch you can do with the lobe design itself playing with running hot lash vs cold and dwell.

On the valve size, using the lightest valves (valves are somewhat regulated by size and material. no titanium) that you can legally use and a corresponding light valve spring / retainer package will allow lighter valve spring pressures.  ( YES, definitely the right direction.  With the carb restriction, they can't turn any rpm anyway . . . .)   This should have the effect of reducing flex in the stock rocker arm (as required by rules). I have doubts that under running conditions, the stock rocker is actually transmitting the lobe profile to the valve. Obviously, to do this right, would require some Spintron time.

Lastly, is the exhaust. If we can push through 60bhp through a 1 3/8" od pipe off the head (to match the exhaust port area), I don't really see how most of the LBC racers can justify the sizes they do. (their headers are "too big" because there is no "packaging space" for them.  So the initial radius is "tight" and pipe diameter goes from N1 to N2 or N3, just to keep from impeding flow.)  Get the header working better and the more duration you can feed into the intake side and still protect the mid range / bottom end of the useable power curve.

Just my two cents.  cheers      Maybe, but $20.00 of value there . . . . . . . wink

My apologies for inserting my answers into your text.

My thoughts, for the moment, center on accurately determining carb/manifold airflow, and designing the balance of the Build Spec () around that, and the other "limitations".   I've been told, (by a couple of Limited Prep engine builders), that to get a "good" cylinder head casting, you need to start with a pallet load of potential candidates.   Certainly the same for the carbs.   Sounds really cheap to me!!    rolleyes

 cheers
Fordboy
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