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Author Topic: My landspeed RD400 project. Lots of pics.  (Read 74100 times)

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Offline Makr

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My landspeed RD400 project. Lots of pics.
« on: January 06, 2013, 11:13:26 AM »
I am treading new water here, and thought maybe some feedback would be helpful. I don't know anyone in the two stroke world; to tell me I am an idiot, so I hope someone here can.:D I am not trying to brag, or show off, so I hope this doesn't come off that way.

You are going to have to read the entire thread before you see where I am going. I am just going to start this by telling you what I have encountered in the past, and why I am currently doing what I am.

I have been going to the salt flats as long as I can remember with my father to race cars, so this is my continuation of a family tradition of trying to go fast. He has had five records through the years. My father is my pit crew. mentor, friend now...pretty neat stuff for me.

Anyway, some background. I bought Ed Erlenbachs RD400 landspeed bike (the worlds fastest RD) about ten years ago. I then went through some big life changes and was unable to run the bike for some years. I spent the time doing the things I could, like painting, cleaning, dreaming, etc.. I fitted a new fairing and made a cold air intake and air box. I am a machinist, so I built the thing with way too stupid of clearances, so assembly takes a deep breath, and clear mind.











I wish I was a better fabricator. This is the only way I could see routing the air tube. It matches with the inlet in the fairing.







Even though I have been involved in lots of motorsports and building/designing engine parts, I was terrified of doing anything with the RD engine. It ran so well, and made lots of power and I figured whatever magical things that Ed had done, I would undo by my fat fingers. Until I seized it...

The problem is that on the salt, as opposed to ElMirage, is you have to hold it wide open for at least a mile. You break the timing light at the two mile marker and then at the three. All the room I need to get there, and after, but that mile is called the longest mile for a reason. Although I do start at the one mile as the bike comes up to speed faster than that, and I am fighting heat so longer isn't helping.

The air simply can't dissipate enough heat in the time it takes at WOT. So after the first time I seized it, I built a water spraying system that used a tank under the seat and a pump to spray through atomizers in front of the cylinders. I had two. One for each cylinder, with the thought the water would help dissipate the heat enough I could make a full pass under power.







It helped, but I seized twice the next year.
« Last Edit: January 06, 2013, 11:15:16 AM by Makr »

Offline Crank

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Re: My landspeed RD400 project. Lots of pics.
« Reply #1 on: January 06, 2013, 12:33:35 PM »
Jetting..................... lean likes to seize

I think under those conditions EGT sensors in the headers would give you a better idea of whats going on or give you enough time to at least pull the clutch!

Very nice bike though, what kind of speeds are you running?
« Last Edit: January 06, 2013, 12:45:58 PM by Crank »

Offline 202wagon

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Re: My landspeed RD400 project. Lots of pics.
« Reply #2 on: January 06, 2013, 01:14:43 PM »
It's about time that bike has resurfaced !  I love it. Good for you for keeping it for the last 10 years (while it sat idle) and not giving up any hope of ever running it.
I agree with post above...EGT gauges will tell you a world of info, although it will probably be hard to read them tucked down at speed.
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Offline 202wagon

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Re: My landspeed RD400 project. Lots of pics.
« Reply #3 on: January 06, 2013, 01:19:47 PM »
Dymag wheels ? I'd love to have a set of those featherweights for my '74.
1972 R5C    www.oilypipes.com    Eric 
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Offline SUPERTUNE1

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Re: My landspeed RD400 project. Lots of pics.
« Reply #4 on: January 06, 2013, 03:31:56 PM »
Did Dymag change there style, don't look like a set of Dymags to me, well not like the ones I had.

What fuel are you running? VP I hope.
Harry Barlow did a lot of dyno time and found he got the best results from power loss after multiple dyno runs using VP's C16.

VP's description: C16TM Designed for use in turbocharged engines, blown engines and nitrous applications with CRs up to 17:1.
 
This fuel has a increased hydrocarbon content, aids in cooling.

C-16 worked very well in our F-500 class RD400 race bikes in helping with less power fade at Daytona on the long banked runs.

There's some new VP fuel out now called Q-16, that could be even better than the C-16 fuel.
See VP here: http://www.vpracingfuels.com/

Chuck
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Racegas + Lots of oil = HORSEPOWER
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Offline rdrzrme

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Re: My landspeed RD400 project. Lots of pics.
« Reply #5 on: January 06, 2013, 04:18:56 PM »
OK, I'll be the first one to ask what is on everyone's mind. Just how fast is the worlds fastest RD?
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Offline 06CCDMAX

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Re: My landspeed RD400 project. Lots of pics.
« Reply #6 on: January 06, 2013, 07:19:26 PM »
164.73mph.  HOLY SHITBALLS.  :jawdrop:

http://erlenbachracing.net/landspeed.htm
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Offline Makr

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Re: My landspeed RD400 project. Lots of pics.
« Reply #7 on: January 06, 2013, 08:25:39 PM »
Thanks guys!

It isnt tuning. It is an old air cooled engine that makes about three times the power it left the factory with run at WOT.

I do have EGT in both pipes. At about 1300 degrees it seems to melt pistons. haha Sometimes I see the three mile lights and hope it will make it. Sometimes I pull the clutch.

ERC supplies the fuel. You have to run their gas to set a "gas" class record.

I am not sure where Ed found those beautiful Marvic magnesium wheels. They are lighter than you can imagine.
It's about time that bike has resurfaced !  I love it. Good for you for keeping it for the last 10 years (while it sat idle) and not giving up any hope of ever running it.
I agree with post above...EGT gauges will tell you a world of info, although it will probably be hard to read them tucked down at speed.

It kinda sat for about five. I have been running since then. I know possessions are just that, but this bike kept me sane through some tough times. It has a value beyond just a motorcycle...as they probably do for lots of people. We are a nutty lot!


So for last years event I made a ten spray bar system. I also replicated the top end so I would have two complete top ends, and a bunch of pistons. The new top end used new carbon fiber reeds and few other things. It made good power. Enough so that the first run I was in sixth gear, and 12,000 rpm as I hit the first light. It held at around 1200 degree EGT all the way until it seized. I thought I had solved my heat problem with the more sprayers.






I wasn't hot enough to melt pistons so I thought maybe I was running lean on the cylinder that seized. My readout either displays a combined EGT, and tach, or EGT for each cylinder. I had it on the former, so maybe one was hotter.

I ran home, replaced all the seals, and resealed the case.

It was a long night. I fired it up at midnight or so and ran it around the block. I am glad my neighbors love me. :D



All buttoned up again.



Baller pits. The past few years it has just been me in my little pick-up. I look big time here. I'm so not!



Me and my pops.



I will have to finish this off tomorrow. I have done a lot! Liquid cooling.





Offline hw9rd350b

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Re: My landspeed RD400 project. Lots of pics.
« Reply #8 on: January 06, 2013, 09:20:22 PM »
What 2T oil do you use?

@ 12k RPM seize it can be due to oil, vibration...

What did the seize look like 4 corner?

Love the bike  Love that you are out there reping the RD guys!!!!  :thumbsup: :thumbsup: :thumbsup:
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Offline Makr

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Re: My landspeed RD400 project. Lots of pics.
« Reply #9 on: January 07, 2013, 04:52:42 AM »
What 2T oil do you use?

@ 12k RPM seize it can be due to oil, vibration...

What did the seize look like 4 corner?

Love the bike  Love that you are out there reping the RD guys!!!!  :thumbsup: :thumbsup: :thumbsup:

Motul

The problem is only heat. I wished it was as simple as jetting, RPM, whatever. I just isnt. I do have a solution though.

Thank you!

Offline rockit

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Re: My landspeed RD400 project. Lots of pics.
« Reply #10 on: January 07, 2013, 06:11:40 AM »
Best bike ever. Can hardly believe it's back out on the salt flat's after all these year's.  Hope to see more.  :woop:

Offline cookie

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Re: My landspeed RD400 project. Lots of pics.
« Reply #11 on: January 07, 2013, 08:43:56 AM »
Why are you so sure it's not jetting? Lean makes lots of power until it doesn't anymore. and Fuel is a coolant.
The other thing to ask is where is your timing set?
Do you have any way to test other than on the flats? A long run on an eddy current dyno could tell you lots.

Offline thatguy

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Re: My landspeed RD400 project. Lots of pics.
« Reply #12 on: January 07, 2013, 09:13:35 AM »
The problem you're experiencing is the changing fuel demand for extended periods of hard use. As the engine runs hard WFO it becomes hotter and needs more fuel as it evaporates it faster and burns more readily pulling heat away from the cylinder then leading to a shortage of fuel. More fuel will correct that problem. Get a hold of Ed.  As you already know he's a great guy and will more than likely give you the help you need.

A second look at your first post "with way too stupid of clearances" jumps out at me. Just how stupid is the piston/cylinder clearance? And how about a photo of the seized piston so we can get a little deeper into why?
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Offline Chris V

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Re: My landspeed RD400 project. Lots of pics.
« Reply #13 on: January 07, 2013, 09:38:28 AM »
Nice post Makr:  Do you have more info on EGT components and instalation I to am building a  bike for bonnevlle, R5 350 be nice to know when to shut off a little bit,   Chris
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Offline slinger

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Re: My landspeed RD400 project. Lots of pics.
« Reply #14 on: January 07, 2013, 05:59:39 PM »
Hey Makr

Nice ride :dance:

Do you know what MSV your running, also did you try pulling some igniton out of the curve and notice which way the EGT reading went.
Just a few degrees to much will transfer just that little more heat into the engine, so the thermal build up with your long WOT just may push it over the edge.

I found retarding the ignition 2* on a water cooled engine gave me around +75*c EGT, I would guess it would be more in a air cooled but that is a guess lol.

Glyn