Saturday, October 07, 2006

Virtual Reality and Horsepower

I just got off the phone with my engine builder who has built many awesome engines that have won me numerous championships not to mention major races for Team California's Best. Over the years I have had major involvement with small block Fords which is the engine of choice in this car and more specifically this race. Knowing a lot about these engines having built many of them over the years is definitely a plus but in this race there are several major differences that will throw a lot of my experience out the window. The major difference is the high altitude we will be racing in that being anywhere from 4000 to 10,000 feet above sea-level. The high altitude causes multiple problems with loss of compression, power out of the hole, heating and even some braking concerns. This is where having a expert engine builder comes into play. I give them all the information and known facts and they use not only their memory backs and professional experience but they also have some major technological tools and equipment to help formulate the optimum engine for the task at hand.

One such tool is a computer dyno where all of the known information (i.e., compression ratio, carburetor flow, cam angles, head chamber design and flow and more) and a computerized dyno run is performed which enables us to see exactly how well our "Notes on a napkin" will perform in reality. In speaking with my engine builder he tells me his past experiences with this method has resulted in finished products that where within 3 percent of what they had in the computer. That's not bad at all and what a savings it is versus building an engine only to find out on a dyno run that something wasn't quite perfect.

He is leaving this coming week for the SCCA National Championships and in a week when he returns we will begin plugging info into the computer.

No comments: