Whitebird - the no-nonsense version

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okayfine
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Re: Whitebird

Postby okayfine » 07 Apr 2009 09:24

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Last edited by okayfine on 10 Jun 2009 13:44, edited 1 time in total.
Because when you spend a silly amount of money on a silly, trivial thing that will help you not one jot, you are demonstrating that you have a soul and a heart and that you are the sort of person who has no time for Which? magazine. – Jeremy Clarkson

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okayfine
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Re: Whitebird

Postby okayfine » 07 Apr 2009 11:36

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Last edited by okayfine on 10 Jun 2009 13:45, edited 1 time in total.
Because when you spend a silly amount of money on a silly, trivial thing that will help you not one jot, you are demonstrating that you have a soul and a heart and that you are the sort of person who has no time for Which? magazine. – Jeremy Clarkson

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Re: Whitebird

Postby okayfine » 24 Apr 2009 07:50

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Last edited by okayfine on 10 Jun 2009 13:45, edited 1 time in total.
Because when you spend a silly amount of money on a silly, trivial thing that will help you not one jot, you are demonstrating that you have a soul and a heart and that you are the sort of person who has no time for Which? magazine. – Jeremy Clarkson

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okayfine
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Re: Whitebird

Postby okayfine » 24 Apr 2009 22:22

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Last edited by okayfine on 10 Jun 2009 13:46, edited 1 time in total.
Because when you spend a silly amount of money on a silly, trivial thing that will help you not one jot, you are demonstrating that you have a soul and a heart and that you are the sort of person who has no time for Which? magazine. – Jeremy Clarkson

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Project Whitebird: First Drive

Postby okayfine » 13 May 2009 08:59

I managed to fix my ignition issues after a long, protracted battle with a parts-bin rebuilt EI distributor. I'm still using a loaned EI stator, however the parts are easier to find when you know what you're looking for. The fix is guessed at in my thread in the Technical Archives, however even that "solution" doesn't address the various fluky failures and non-function of the various things I tried over the last two months (including swapping to points - likely another first for an SR20DE!).

So, what's it like to drive? Initial impressions are very good. It's not a hot-rod 510, it's not a max-power 510, it's not a canyon-carver either. For what it is, for what I built it for, I feel I've achieved the goals I set out for myself and the car.

Engine

The engine, even with guessed-at carb settings, runs well. I have a friend with a WBO2 setup and laptop for logging, so I plan to meet with him and spend an hour or so tuning the carbs. Provided I don't have to roll my own needles, it shouldn't take but a few miles. As I still have to buy air horns and air filters, I'll have to run the WBO2 setup again to adjust as necessary. In my past SU experimentations I found that the air horns (call 'em stub stacks, velocity stacks, what have you) made the most difference to performance.

As I haven't ventured past ~5000rpm yet, I can't really make a conclusion regarding power and quickness of the car. It's massively quicker than stock, but it remains to be seen how it will compare with my KA 510 (and its documented 145WHP). As mentioned earlier in this project, I have every intention of taking Whitebird to the dyno once things are tuned and I'm happy with how it runs.

Exhaust

Thankfully, the initially-bleedin'-loud exhaust note has toned down. It's still deep at idle as indicated in the first-run video, however I was getting extremely loud exhaust noise during the intial, flawed drives. As this ended up being due to the retarding-with-revs ignition issues, the guess is that ignition was occuring far after top dead center, and as such, likely the exhaust valves were beginning to open while combustion was still occuring. As it is now, it is quieter than general road/driving noise while at cruise, yet it still barks if you put your foot in it. Again, as I haven't actually ventured to where the power is made in an SR, this is just a first impression, but first impressions are that it sounds very nice. Not new-car quiet, but not hooligan-loud, either. So, my initial thoughts regarding exhaust sizing seems to have been proven out, which is good.

Handling/Ride

I have not yet had the car aligned, so handling remains a category for later analysis. However, the ride quality is about spot-on with what I was aiming for. I still have a set of progressive-rate coilover springs I want to try once I get more familiar with the way the straight-rate springs perform. Still, the car is stable, but not overly stiff. Botts dots still send the impact through the structure, but that seems to be a 510 trait.

Brakes

Brake shoes are still to be bedded in properly, but there's no reason they won't grab as effectively as the used parts I removed and replaced. I'm still convinced they'll do, as I have experience with them previously. They're not going to be the last word in braking peformance, but as mentioned before, I've been there and done that, and didn't end up using 'em. For the overall build style for Whitebird, and my driving style (and experience), they're perfect. Part of it is to retain the four-wheel-drums just for the originality aspect.

Miscellaneous

And, overall, the car looks surprisingly stock. To non-510 enthusiasts, it would probably pass for stock, especially once I'm done with the SR valve cover. It'll be fun when people ask what a "Whitebird" is. :lol:

Driving the car is a real kick, and I'm very happy with having sourced a RHD Bluebird as my current project car. My surroundng community is especially staid and conservative, so something like a RHD car gets some attention. Or it will, my wife rode along for the first drive, so most people thought she was driving.

I don't have a big list of future work to do on the car, which is kind of surprising. I'm sure I'll come up with something besides the progressive front springs. But I can't think of anything offhand.

:mrgreen:
Last edited by okayfine on 13 May 2009 09:58, edited 1 time in total.
Because when you spend a silly amount of money on a silly, trivial thing that will help you not one jot, you are demonstrating that you have a soul and a heart and that you are the sort of person who has no time for Which? magazine. – Jeremy Clarkson

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okayfine
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Re: Whitebird

Postby okayfine » 15 May 2009 07:21

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Last edited by okayfine on 10 Jun 2009 13:47, edited 1 time in total.
Because when you spend a silly amount of money on a silly, trivial thing that will help you not one jot, you are demonstrating that you have a soul and a heart and that you are the sort of person who has no time for Which? magazine. – Jeremy Clarkson

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okayfine
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Re: Whitebird

Postby okayfine » 17 May 2009 09:55

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Last edited by okayfine on 10 Jun 2009 13:48, edited 1 time in total.
Because when you spend a silly amount of money on a silly, trivial thing that will help you not one jot, you are demonstrating that you have a soul and a heart and that you are the sort of person who has no time for Which? magazine. – Jeremy Clarkson

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Wideband O2 Sensor Testing

Postby okayfine » 18 May 2009 10:19

Saturday afternoon saw me make a trip to my friend's house to install and test his Innovate WBO2 setup. I had welded a bung into the midpipe of the exhaust, approximately halfway along the transmission. Given the steering gear surrounding the 4-1 header's collector, this was the closest I could easily place the sensor.

As my friend was going to ride along and provide a running commentary on the O2 sensor readings, I didn't need to bother with a laptop and logging the readings. Given the design of the SUs, I was either going to easily be able to adjust the fuel mixture, or the ratios were going to necessitate rolling my own needles again, so it was going to be quick trip one way or the other. I just had to run the O2 sensor cable in from the engine compartment and plug in the Innovate hand-held unit to my cigarette lighter, then calibrate the unit and go for a drive.

Happily, my rough-guess adjustments on the SUs have proven pretty accurate. Straight away the carbs were giving low 14s during light-throttle cruising in the city. Light acceleration saw the ratios enrichen to high 13s. Romping on the throttle would drop the ratios to the high 12s. For guessing, the fuel adjustments were pretty accurate. I did one full-throttle 2nd gear run and the fuelling stayed solidly in the 12s the entire time. Well, I did shift at ~6800 rpm that first time...

I pulled over and leaned the carbs about 1/2 turn, then did another 2nd gear run, this time to the full-tilt 7500rpm. Ratios were slighlty elevated from the first run, but still solidly in the high 12s. Ratios for light acceleration and light throttle crusing were each raised slightly as well, with some light-throttle action in the low 15s, quickly enrichening whenever I increased acceleration.

I will probably take 1/4 turn more gas out of the carbs (leaner), balance the fuel nozzle height between the carbs, and call it good. I still have the Innovate unit as I was not yet running air filters (arrived while I was out Saturday) and stub stacks, so I want to see what changes adding those items will bring.

To recap, the carbs are ZTherapy U20 Roadster SUs. I've read the 2L Roadster SUs have a stiffer dome spring (would help provide more enrichement upon acceleration). I'm running straight 15wt motorcycle shock oil in the dampers. The carbs also came with the RA needles installed. I've not done any work on the needles.
Because when you spend a silly amount of money on a silly, trivial thing that will help you not one jot, you are demonstrating that you have a soul and a heart and that you are the sort of person who has no time for Which? magazine. – Jeremy Clarkson

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DIY Stub Stacks

Postby okayfine » 26 May 2009 09:02

Took a few hours to make Whitebird some stub stacks for the SUs. As mentioned above, the K&N air filters arrived while I was out verifying the fuel/air mixture. I had planned on buying a pair of APT's CNC billet stub stacks, as I had for my last SU-equipped 510. However, given how much I've done on Whitebird myself, I figured one more project couldn't hurt. I'd also never made something like this before, so when you add a learning experience and playing with fire, well, that's a must-do!

I didn't have a bell-mouth form to press steel tube over, so I decided to make something similar to the APT CNC items. David Vizard's "Tuning BL's A-Series" has a wealth of SU-modification information, including a comprehensive section covering velocity stacks/air horns/stub stacks, and any other name for what you put on the mouth of the carb to smooth the airflow entry into the carb throat. One of his main points was that a 1/4" radius lip provided something like 95% of the advantage of a full-blown air horn. This was doable.

I had a charcoal starter cannister. I had charcoal. Which means I had all I needed for a hobo forge. I fired up the coals and stuck the 1/2" steel rod in. While it was warming up I went to find some steel pipe of the appropriate OD to give me the correct ID for the carb throat. After the steel heated to a dull cherry red, I made a few coils.

Image

Once those were made, I cut them free, reheated them, and pounded them flat. I ground one side of each ring flat, then cut out some mounting plates using the carb-side K&N filter housing as a template.

Image

After that, a lot of welding and meticulous grinding and sanding. Then a little JB-Weld epoxy to smooth everything out, a bit more sanding, a touch of paint, and the finished product:

Image

I do some more testing with the WBO2 setup now that I've added filters and the stub stacks. Clearance is tight between the strut tower and the rear carb, I've yet to find a way to get the filter mounted successfully. I have another method to try, so we'll see how that goes.
Because when you spend a silly amount of money on a silly, trivial thing that will help you not one jot, you are demonstrating that you have a soul and a heart and that you are the sort of person who has no time for Which? magazine. – Jeremy Clarkson

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okayfine
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Re: Whitebird

Postby okayfine » 26 May 2009 12:13

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Last edited by okayfine on 10 Jun 2009 13:48, edited 1 time in total.
Because when you spend a silly amount of money on a silly, trivial thing that will help you not one jot, you are demonstrating that you have a soul and a heart and that you are the sort of person who has no time for Which? magazine. – Jeremy Clarkson

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okayfine
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Whitebird On Film, Part II

Postby okayfine » 05 Jun 2009 15:08

I took a drive to gas up the car in anticipation of driving over the weekend and took the video camera along for a ride. The long video is ~6 minutes of mostly being stuck behind slower traffic. It still gives a good idea about how the car sounds under acceleration and at cruise, and a bit of a taste of what it's like to drive a RHD 510. I'd need cameras out the sides to really give you the full effect - everyone looks.

I also cut the longer video down to separate out a couple acceleration sequences, so you can hear what the car sounds like under acceleration without having to sit through six minutes of me following people.

Acceleration video 1 - this is from a T junction and as I have old tires on the car at the moment, traction would easily be lost if I gave it too much stick in 1st. The second gear shift is ~7000rpm, quite a difference from the KA experience.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iX4Cj2ic57s

Acceleration video 2 - this is from start-up at the gas station. The starter is louder than the engine idling. Residential acceleration through the gears. Corners in a RHD car are much more difficult to get used to than shifting. Shifting is almost natural (2nd graunches if you push the lever to the outside, opposite the normal motion if you were sitting in the left seat).

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rGjEPG41E2w

The full 6 minutes is, honestly, pretty boring stuff. I'll hit better roads next time, but these usually don't have as much slow traffic at 2pm.
Last edited by okayfine on 05 Jun 2009 15:55, edited 1 time in total.
Because when you spend a silly amount of money on a silly, trivial thing that will help you not one jot, you are demonstrating that you have a soul and a heart and that you are the sort of person who has no time for Which? magazine. – Jeremy Clarkson

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rnorrish
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Re: Whitebird - the no-nonsense version

Postby rnorrish » 10 Jun 2009 16:53

why not delete all the edited (content deleted) posts?
would you like someone to? a mod perhaps?
richard norrish
'68 'goon resto / '71 ice racer / '72 'goon project / '70 4-door rust pile / '67 520 project
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shardik wrote:My swap will be made of solid gold and it will run on puppy farts.


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