Quick Pics

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Welcome from 34t

Welcome to the web site of Ray Stewart and the Heavy Traxx Hire 34T Hypermac Corette. Over the coming season we hope to develop this site into an informative and entertaining site. Flying the flag for the Cromwell Club, Ray has had great success both in local and national competition.


Updates


17/11/12 We apologise for the lack of update during the off season, but as many can imagine, it has been a very busy time at Heavy Trax Hire. As of today's update, Ray has only managed to make it out to the Friday night meeting at Woodford Glens 2 dayer, with the car performing as well as to be expected in its first outing. Weather permitting, the car will be out again for the second night. Here is what Ray had to say in his latest scribe:

Here we are mid October and the opening rounds of the 2012/13 season are underway but 34T is still in the workshop a new exhaust almost finished and a couple of other minor things to finish hopefully in time for a meeting at the Glen on the 27th.

The off season was busy as usual, stripping the car looking for broken or bent bits, the diff off to Mike to be stripped and checked. The diff is one season old and the crown wheel and pinion were stuffed. It appears the current diffs we are buying are Chinese and you are lucky to get a full season of racing without them breaking compared to 3 or more seasons we used to get. Replaced most of the rod ends, bottom bent suspension arm, new birdcage bearings, a couple bent chassis tubes, brake pads, etc. No changes to the suspension and chassis apart from one new update component from Hypermac. We spent the most of the last season getting to grips with a set-up and are pleased where we are with the handling. In Dunedin and Cromwell we had good drivey tracks that allowed foot flat racing and showed up any lack of horsepower. On a few occasions the 415 chevy lost a few car lengths off the corner and annoyed the shit out of me so plans were in place to sort this for the coming season. The motor was left in the car until the new bits arrived and were all connected to save time later and then off to the dyno followed by an engine refresh. First to arrive a new Kinsler injection to replace the BLP carb that lacked the quicker throttle response. The injection unit bolted up and the fuel lines altered to suit. A new ignition arrangement to complete the package. No changes to the motor which had all the very best crank, rods, heads and so on so didn’t think it necessary to buy new heads, yet! I was gambling on the new injection and ignition to pick up the torque that gets you off the corner harder and faster. Off to the Turbo Shop and mount the motor on the Superflow SF901 dyno with the carb and exhaust system as raced in the car. Run the motor up to temperature and load it up for its first power run to get a base reading to compare with the new mods. Now the car as raced last season was no slug but the dyno sheet said otherwise. This was supposed to have 710 hp from the supplier. Nope. Was it the different dynos or was the motor down on grunt. Was there something wrong with the motor compared to what was dyno’ed in the USA. That first dyno run was to be our lowest readings over the next two weeks of testing.

Read on its very interesting.

Some of the other Super Saloons are reputed to have 750 + horsepower but I never was concerned about those quotes as we were competitive with what power we had. The power numbers differ between dyno’s and can vary a great deal depending on how the dyno room is set up and the load testing of the load cell. The dyno is best used as a measuring tool to develop and make changes then compare against previous horsepower numbers but on the same dyno.We had our base numbers as the car was raced and from here it was make one change at a time then do a power run and compare. First change, with same carb, fit sprint headers, walla, horsepower gains right through the rev range. Straight away we identified our exhaust system as raced was robbing big horsepower. Next we fit the Kinsler EFI injection and ignition. Balance the two banks and start it up. The start up fuel map was a rough guess but the motor fired up immediately. Set the ignition timing to 34 deg and gradually run through the revs adjusting the fuelling at 500 rpm increments. The fuel map is preset with Quick Lambda. This is a brilliant arrangement, race motors on alky have a best air/fuel ration of about .78-.80 Lambda. With motor held at each rev interval the Lambda readout is matched to the preset numbers with the simple touch of a computer key. We are running a closed loop Lambda that gives instant feed back on the air/fuel ration plus 8 exhaust gas temperature (EGT) probes for individual cylinder temps. With the two instruments to keep an eye on lean out, we quickly progress from low revs to 7000 rpm at different throttle settings. Several short power runs with adjustments to the fuel map, one cylinder reading 780C until more fuel fixed that. More power runs up to 8000 all the time making minor adjustments to the fuel table. No two motors are the same, some will make more power with higher EGT than others as we found the pre-conceived idea of 650 to 680C was incorrect and 750 deg C was closer to the mark. Okay, next power run with the new injection and ignition plus the sprint car pipes, yep more torque everywhere. Back to the original exhaust, yep there goes the horsepower just to prove the pipes are not good. Now what to do as not enough time to build or find pipes that will fit this car and give serious gains without testing and modifying. Besides I haven’t got a clue what works best for out of phase firing V8’s. Give me a two stroke or motorbikes or especially a Nissan FJ20 turbo and I know what works but this V8 stuff is all new and I know nothing so best I learn and quick. A crash course in V8 exhaust design and tuning, hours, no days on the computer researching and I find some websites that sets out the theory but one particular site explains how gas speed and sonic speed are different but work in unison, why primary and secondary diameters and lengths shape the torque curve. The name of the game is harmonics. Depending on the motor specs, rev range and just about everything else you can think of, big horsepower pipe design is governed by harmonic lengths. For this 415 chev the ideal primary length was 28”, secondary 16.5”. Don’t bother trying this on your motor as it will differ. There are worse lengths too which is what the original pipes were and the reason we were down on HP. The primary’s control the rev range where the maximum torque and horsepower will be, the secondary the shape of the torque curve. Have a look at the top sprint car pipes and you will see some interesting designs compared to the average race car. Recently Tri-Y pipes are appearing here on Supers and Saloons. They are especially suited for the Saloons who are looking for every horsepower gain they can find at higher revs. From all this learning stuff it figures to leave the primary pipes as they were on the original pipes and play with the secondary diameter and length. Okay here we go back on the dyno with all the theory and designs according to harmonics. Now that 16.5” secondary length is fine for Dirt Late Model cars that expire behind the front wheels but we must run mufflers soooo there are 1st, 2nd, 3rd etc harmonics and best torque was 16.5” which was 4th harmonic, 3rd harmonic is 33”, 2nd harmonic 66” and so on but the longer the less. The mig and cut-off wheel got a serious workout, cutting welding different pipe diameters and lengths to arrive at the correct harmonic length. We included a X section, 3” cross, 3.5” 2 into 1, pipes with and without mufflers, all sorts of combinations burning thru 2 drums of methanol in the process. We got pretty good making pipes very quickly. What we learned was you could spend months on an exhaust system alone developing one motor for best horsepower. Those harmonics are for real. We played with the best and worse length harmonics and they were absolutely spot-on. One pipe was at 36”, 3” longer than the recommended 33” 3rd harmonic. We lopped off 3” and picked up noticeable gains of 3-5 ft/lb, not everywhere but rounding off some of the dips in the torque curve. Each time we changed to a different pipe type and adjusted to the harmonic length, the torque curve increased. The calculated distance from the end of the primary pipes to the X then to the mufflers and atmosphere proved to be the best torque curve. The secondary pipe mods gave large gains below 5000 rpm but very little above those revs.

One more change to dyno, ignition curve then settle on 36 deg. Small gains but worthwhile. What gains did we make with all the mods! 60 ft/lb @4500, 60-80 hp from 5000 to 7000 rpm. Still don’t have 750 horsepower though. Pull the motor off the dyno and down to MV for a fresh-up after a seasons racing and hours on the dyno. Rob fly’s in on Thursday to help finish the car and we should get to Beachlands for the fireworks night.

--------------------------------------------------------------

The Elf Super Cup this year is raced at 7 tracks, Blenheim, Nelson, Invercargill, Ruapuna, The Glen, Cromwell and the final at Dunedin. The entry’s closed with 22 drivers entered but may drop subject to confirmation of one or two being ready to race. This is the first year we have run the 7 rounds so it will be a full season and also with a full field could be an interesting series. Trevor Elliott is back after a year off and there are 4-5 new rookies to the Elf Super Cup. The Elf Cup has become a very competitive series and any one of eight or so drivers are capable of taking out the overall series. Hopefully the Hypermacs are on the podium at each round with Ian Burson, Gary Hill, and ourselves showing our rears to the others. Grant Flynn and I have been working on the North versus South Super Saloons to be raced at Wellington on Friday and Saturday 22nd & 23rd March the weekend before Easter. The exact formats for both nights are yet to be sorted but the Friday night will probably be a final of both the SSCAR and Elf Cup series with the top 8 drivers and a wild card from each island racing to find who is the Top Gun, who is Uno Numero. Saturday night will be the same drivers in a N v S take no prisoners, team racing. 2 on 2, 3 on 3, 4 on 4, 8 on 8, all in final with double points. We are working on it and will let you know.

Keep an eye on each of the series to see who the top 8 from each island will be in the N v S.

Got to work on the car if I am going to race it.

Cheers

Ray


22/2/12 A very busy season for Ray, but somewhere in amongst it we managed to get an update from him.. Here's what he had to say in his latest scribe:

I'm back. Where did we get to, oh yeah had my first drive in the new Hypermac at the Canterbury Champs back in November 2011. Its been a busy time since then with the Elf Super Cup in Blenheim and Nelson, Xmas meetings at Cromwell, NZs at Nelson and GP at the Glen plus the Elf Cup at the Glen and club meetings. Its taking more time than I thought to get up to speed in the new car with a few niggley  problems and finding driveable setups for each track. Its like having to start from scratch again figuring out what works on this chassis and learning to drive a new car that requires a different driving style to the last Hypermac which was easy to drive. The Hypermacs have a short right side panhard or left side mounted J bar for axle location that has proven to be a challenge to get right. This latest chassis is slightly altered to past ones being structurally stiffer with altered rear suspension arrangement and consequently the handling has also changed. The new cars are wide, harder to drive and need to be driven harder for them to respond but they are definitely faster compared to my last car. Several drivers have mentioned that it takes a season to get used to driving a new car so it would seem seat time is the answer to going fast. Ian Burson has the same chassis but received his new car about two months before me and this shows with his recent results at the GP and Hoopla then the Elf Cup at the Glen where he has been dominant winning most of the races. Both Burse and I had the same handling problem at the beginning experiencing a mid-turn push coupled with an unsettled darty nervous car that no end of changes would seem to fix. This became frustrating but a simple change of front tyres cured the push and handling woes so we could then concentrate on looking for set-ups.Next up was the J bar position that we have not yet sorted choosing to use the shorty panhard for consistent handling on all track conditions. At Nelson I used the J bar for the Elf Cup and found a reasonable set-up but very nervous when the J bar rolls the car over to the right giving huge side bite. Every time the car rocked over to the right I kept thinking about tipping the last car over at last years Napier champs as the car angle was quite steep and an unusual feeling. At the Nelson NZ champs this year, I used the J bar for the qualifying rounds with the same Elf Cup setup. The car was fast to the point the cars in front appeared to be going slow but I never felt comfortable thinking the car was on the point of two wheeling and became overly cautious deciding to revert back to the shorty bar for the finals. While not giving the same side bite, consistent handling allowed you to concentrate on driving. We will stay with the shorty bar for the present time until we have time to trial some different settings with the J bar. I have my own theories on why the J bar is not consistent and will deal to this over the off season. The carburetted 415 cube motor has plenty of grunt with 715 hp but I have to concentrate on pushing the loud pedal to the floor past where the secondary's open compared to the injected motor that is very responsive and easy to give it too much gas. However the upside of the carb is a softer power delivery especially on a slick black track like the Glen. I am still learning the best way to drive this car when its slick but starting to get the hang of rolling into the corner with no throttle, quietly on the throttle until the car is straight then foot down. The gearing has proved to be an important part with the carby motor due to slower response when hitting the throttle. There are times when another 100 hp would be nice but that's only on a very heavy track. Crew chief Rob Jeffcoate is a real petrol head driving the length of the island for the main meetings, making changes to rear wheel stagger, wheel offset, shock pressures and settings, we are slowly improving the car speed plus seat time for myself, I should be ready for next season? The car is reasonably insensitive to small changes and the secret is to make one big change at a time. For instance moving the right rear tyre in half an inch is difficult to feel if better or not. Moving two inches is too much letting the right tuck under and sliding up so we settled on one inch for more side bite. From the start of the race to the end, brake balance is so important that if not correctly adjusted the car ends up being either too loose or gets a push and you end up making chassis changes in the wrong direction. We are getting closer to a good set-up where the handling remains constant for a longer period or in a wider envelope. Shock's are two way adjustable Integra gas front and rear with a good range of settings. I love the adjustable gas pressure and found a very good setting that was not what I thought it should be. Sharing information amongst other Hypermac owners is definitely a big plus to finding set-ups quicker and everyone is helpful to assist where possible. A forth place in the 30 lapper at the Hoopla was our best major race to date so far. I particularly enjoyed this race sitting in behind Ben Harding not able to pull off the pass, but took time to settle in, adjust the brakes and work on lines thru the corners on a very slick black track where sideways doesnt work. Its been a long time since we were competitive at the Glen and staying in sight of the winner Ian Burson, was especially pleasing to me and the crew. Cleaning and working on the car is a breeze. Powder coating is the only way to go. One thing I have noticed with the big car compared to the wee Nissan is that I dont get pushed around so much, in fact I can give some back with interest. Our Elf Super Cup at Dunedin and Cromwell on 2 & 3 March are the important races coming up then the South Island Champs at Blenheim two weeks later. There are 16 drivers in the Elf Cup this year and the days of 3 or 4 drivers taking the podium is over with at least 10 guys able to push for a win. This equates to lots of close racing and every point counts towards the series so no-one gives way. First plan is to finish every race and next is get as many passes as possible to finish near the front for those points. It aint easy when every driver has the same idea on tracks where a pass is almost impossible or you go backwards attempting the pass. We looked at a North Is versus South Is Super Saloon teams race with drivers from the two Island series, at the Glen this year but we have run out of time and dates so next year we will look to make this happen.

 Cheers for now.

34T 


22/11/11

As of today's date, Ray has now debuted the new 34t Super Saloon at Woodford Glen over the weekend. Ray had put a post on Macgors that read like this:

Hypermac builder Shane McIntyre and father John made the big pull from Tauranga leaving late Friday night and arrived at Woodford Glen 4;00pm Saturday afternoon. I actually arrived 10 minutes later and everyone had seen the new car before me. Very happy with what I received, a very professional build and finish. Some minor bits to fit, and the car was ready for its first race. Drove out the pit gate and something didn't feel right as we gridded up. Stop at the pit gate for the 3 minute and crew sent me to the infield.The nut had stripped on the torsion arm clamp and the arm fell off dropping the chassis on the deck. Couldn't get it repaired for the second race. Borrowed a spare arm off my trailer full of spares buddy Burse. Thanks guys.Start off the rear not wanting to influence the other drivers points. Cruise around getting a feel of the car making some adjustments. This new car handles differently to last years chassis but not enough laps to make any real comment. Found a new problem, car just barely squeezes into the trailer.
Next weekend Otago SS champs at Beachlands.

Cheers
34T

 

Couple of quick pics of the build of the 34t Hypermac


1/09/11

Its been awhile between drinks on the web site, with Ray being exceptionally busy and being unable to do updates for his web site. Then BAM... all of a sudden an email comes through with a full update. The site is very overdue for a redesign and will complete this during the remainder of the off season which is coming to a end very quickly. Meanwhile.. enjoy the latest update form the 34t team.

“Okay okay, I will update the website,” I promised several followers the other night after lots of name calling about my pedigree. In fact the last update was 26/10/10 when the V8 lost a piston on the dyno. That was the start to the year when I almost gave up racing due to an unbelievable run of broken V8 motors and magnetos and the reason for no updates. Sorry. Having rebuilt the 377 cube motor with a new set of pistons after poking a hole in a piston, the motor is back on the dyno for another run. Recheck everything, new plugs, change plug leads, sonic clean injectors,  ign timing 34 deg, more fuel, leak down to 24%, to make sure we don’t have a repeat of the first run, engine warmed up and sounding sweet at part throttle, lambda 0.76, full throttle run, 4500 rpm and ahh no, she’s a smoker again. Fuel/air was correct so what the heck happened. Pull a head and yep a sunken piston crown with a very small hole thru the top of the piston. Cant believe it. Okay rebuild motor with extra spare pistons, do all the checks again, change from the MSD dizzy and 7AL box to a new magneto. Talk to several guys looking for why and everyone has a different theory. Now the motor had been running sweet as during the season and nothing was different on the dyno apart from the exhaust pipes. Do several runs at part throttle checking fueling, all sweet, ignition 34 deg check. 4500 rpm, POP, ahh shit. Walk away go home, that’s it I,ve had it. A month later late November, nothing done, no racing, pull the motor off the dyno, put it in a box under the bench and forget it. What now. Buy an older 406 Chev and drop it in the car with a few mods to fit. First race for us is the first round of the Elf Super Cup at Blenheim. Doing the business  in the heats, into the final race, half race and motor goes pop bang and stops, the car comes to a stop halfway down the back straight in a poorly lighted area of the track, most cars get past but then boomfah, Shane Carey ends up in my boot, tearing off one front corner suspension and all of his car and I end up with a bent axle, wrecked gas shock and bars etc etc. Unknown at the time, the mag had stopped sparking when it got hot and then restarted after cooling down.

Off to Nelson for the next nights racing, borrow a diff from John Lovelady thank you very much and all ready to go with time to spare. Start the motor, all good. Clean up tools and stuff ready to put car back into trailer. Start motor and clunk knock knock knock knock. Ohh Christ what now. Mick and Smiley have a bet on what that noise is in the motor. Smiley wins, it was a bent rod after that cylinder hydraulic’d because the fuel line runs downhill to the injectors and drains into an open valve after the fuel tap is turned off. Friggin dinosaurs. Reroute the fuel line. Back in Dunedin and pull/strip the motor. Remove the badly bent rod. Mick Carey finds a replacement for me. Put the motor back in the car and off to Cromwell for the Xmas meetings. Mike Verdoner and I have turns about at winning on a mint track. Third race having passed Mike and bang!!!. Yup another motor, blew the 406 to bits when a piston let go. Mike was following and reckon’s it was better than Guy Fawkes fireworks. That motor is dead.  Now what. Supposed to be on my way to Napier for the NZ Champs. The 377 motor was sitting in a workshop having been rebuilt once again with a new set of pistons. The engine man is on holiday still and I have to wait for 3-4 days until he returns. Finally slot the motor in and off to Beachlands for a test run. Running the magneto with spark retarded to 30 deg for safe keeping, car runs like clockwork?? Now what the !!!!!!!! Load up and off to Napier. No sleep of course. How many of us do this stuff, we’re all nuts. We are first heat up and off the front, not knowing what the car will do I’m nervous as hell with so many top drivers right behind me. Didn’t need to worry as we had the fastest car in that race and even after never ending yellow’s finished first. At last something was in our favour. Ooops, spoke too soon.S econd and third heats we have a bunch of crazy men in our heat and I chose to just finish not making many placings. Fourth heat and only need to finish to make the finals. From the 1st round to the final round of heats the track got more drivier but we had tightened the car too much and in 4th place and passing around turn four the car digs in bicycles up onto two wheels almost rolling completely over, I turn right which brings the car crashing back onto all wheels and slams my spine down onto the seat that shoots pain up my back and shoulders causing me to stab the throttle and powers the car forward even faster crashing into the concrete adding insult to injury. Finally out of the car I struggle to stand up and the daughter drives me off to hospital along with Bruce Boulton with the same injury. About 5;00 am we leave hospital with nothing broken, a load of pain killers and into a nice bed.Rob, Rob, Daniel, the crew, reckon they can get the car repaired so off to Mark’s workshop where all the McIntyre built cars are being serviced ready for the finals. The guys work flat out and manage to throw away about $8000 of broken bits. Shocks, steering rack, spindles, wheels, rod ends, bars. No spares left now. My bones are loosening up and I’m keen to get back in the seat having to go thru the repecharges. Car is loaded up all sorted just in time to drive to the track. The boys put in a marathon effort and I could only watch as my geriatric body wouldn’t perform correctly. We are off the second row in the repecharge and quickly make the passes to second place behind Burse. On a restart and hard on Ians bumper thinking I still have a chance to win but not so as Burse powers away from me and I have no answer having to accept we are not in the finals. It’s a huge disappointment for us all. Only bright spot was the motor didn’t hiccup once. We win the non-qualifiers but that has no meaning when its not against the guns. The final 3 heats and a one race final is a great format but there are for and against. Shane McIntyre 1st, Grant Flynn 2nd, Richie Taylor 3rd. All these guys deserved their placing’s which is a change and a good point of this format. The next rounds of the Elf Super Cup, Dunedin on the Friday night. We are the fastest car on a super drivey track that I just love to race on. We win one heat, gain lots of places in the second, win the pole shuffle, and leading the final race by a good margin when that monkey appears again. The motor starts farting and missing and then we have a fire underneath that I am informed of with our radio control earpiece. The motor stops just as I park myself in a puddle to put out the fire.We don’t finish and Richie takes the win. Bloody dinosaur magnetos. I have two mags that have both been rebuilt and checked. The second mag gets its chance to show how good mags are, huh. Drive to Cromwell for the Saturday night, do 2 laps in track packing and pull of with another dud magneto. No racing for us that night. Bloomin hell. Send both mags off to be sorted. Next race meeting at Beachlands with Richie and Mike on hand for a good scratch. I’m off the front and the green flag drops, the mag stopped right on the start line leaving no where for Richie and Wayne to go but up my rear end. Ahh damn, puts Richie out for the rest of the night. About now I decide to strip the motor and drop the car off at Mikes workshop to let him pull the motor down for an inspection as we are running very rich to make sure the motor doesn’t pop any more pistons. Also the motor has hung in there with a retarded spark and I wonder if something else is amiss. Mike strips the motor and finds the underlying problem. The camshaft has too much end float that allows the cam to advance ignition timing to about 40 deg at maximum torque which causes extreme piston pressures collapsing the piston crown finally cracking and pokes a hole in the piston. Motor back in the car, put the MSD ignition module and box on. Only reason we removed the MSD was due to the dyno session blowups and blaming the MSD when in fact it was the excessive cam float. The two magnetos had caused endless problems throughout and were tossed in the corner never to be used by me again. Now the motor started easier, was crisper with 34 deg advance and just ran better. Other mags out there have ran without problems for years so I just had a couple of duds. The last two race meetings in Dunedin and Cromwell helped to make up for the seasons major disappointments. At Beachlands we set the lap record and the car is very fast with me finally getting some race time without motor stoppages. Cromwell and another lap record on a great surface.

One main difference between the Nissan and Chev is very noticeable at the end of the straight and entry into the corner. The Nissan will go into the corner full tilt passing cars holding a line on entry whereas if I enter the corner at the same speed as the Nissan the Chev will wash up and has a greater pendulum effect. I still don’t have the corner entry sussed yet but with some more time in the Chev hopefully will get to grips with speed into the corner. I start to get some set-ups for the chassis and begin to make some observations about the 377 cu inch motor. This is a strong wee engine but the power delivery comes in higher up the revs than say a 406 or 420 motor and does not have the torque of the bigger cube motors that tend to spin the wheels more. The 377 motor is a good combination with this chassis and ends up a very good package. At Cromwell I can drive most of the track foot flat without excessive wheelspin due to less torque to break traction but good horsepower at higher revs which gives speed at the end of the straight. Of course gearing is an important part of making a smaller motor work to its advantage but the 377 motor builds power progressively allowing the tyres to grip with less torque at lower revs thru to high hp at top revs. I  wonder if this is a reason carby motors do perform well on slick tracks with their smoother delivery of power. Anyway, the end of the season and I decide to sell the car, advertise on Macgors and 4 replies in four hours. The first caller wanted the car complete with motor. At this stage I was unsure if I would continue racing but a nudge from the good lady was enough to put my order in for a new McIntyre car and new motor from the states. The old car (2 seasons old) now sits in John Roberts shed in Hamilton. John is a new comer to Supers but has raced solo bikes so is not totally new to racing. He will race at Tauranga, Huntly and Auckland so would appreciate if you can look after him please guys as he will need a crew. This Friday I’m off to Tauranga for a seating in the new car to set the pedals at the right height, Chassis # MKIII/4. If I remember I will snap a few photos for this webpage.

Any ideas for the new paint job on the new car?

 Cheers

Ray


26/10/10 Here's the latest update from Ray and the new V8 Super Saloon ... I'm hoping to have some pictures of the car as soon as possible so that we can change things around a little on the web site. But for now.. grab ya coffee, pull up a chair, and check out what's been happening with the NEW 34t car...

Jeez, its that time already.

The first of October signals the end of the off season with practices underway at most tracks. The Nissan is parked in a lonely shed still requiring repairs from its last race but time and a V8 to prepare means the Nissan will stay that way for some time yet.

The last two months have flown by and caught me out not ready for the seasons start. The Chev is on blocks in the shed mostly finished with some minor finishing required to the chassis and rear suspension adjustment. After racing the V8 for just two meetings at the end of last season I found some minor alterations that would suit me better and make the car easier to alter during a race to stay on pace. A good weight jacker can make the difference when a track goes dry and loose which is the case with a big field of cars racing over 20 laps or more. Even more important than a weight jacker is brake control and balance. Its amazing how many drivers don’t take this into account or even know what to do during a race to keep the car straight into a corner on a slick track. Both front and rear right side brakes are used to balance the braking or transfer more brakes to the front as the track goes away. The car has adjustable Integra shocks front and rear that are so simple to alter and you can definitely feel the chassis working on any type of track. I was impressed when altering the front rebound setting, the car transferred weight to the rear smoothly allowing the car to hook up off the corner without wheel spin. Now normally we change the shock rebound and compression as the track slickens off but I found on one corner shock what most crew sets the shock at, the opposite was in fact much better and thinking this thru it makes sense. Bet you cant figure that one out. The original body will suffice for the start of the season until I get the time to prep and paint the new panels sitting in the shed. I like the shape of the C6 Chev and will retain the colour scheme also that is very similar to Shayne’s new car and both look smart. So the chassis is more or less ready to rumble which leaves that bloody dinosaur V8 to sort out. Does that tell you something. The Turbo Shop in Dunedin owned by a true petrol head Mike Lynn, has a Super flow 901 engine dyno that is invaluable for tuning and a must do on any new motor. After spending thousands of dollars on all the good bits to build a race motor, if  you don’t dyno the motor you're a fool and have probably left all your hard earned money still sitting in the motor waiting to be let out. Fine tuning can increase the hp by sizeable amounts in the hands of a good operator. It is so much easier to find all your problems on the dyno rather than waste time and weekends of racing and DNF’s. You won’t believe how true this is and very seldom do you get a trouble free run on the dyno that would have materialized on the track. Also interesting some of the horsepower figures being passed around for certain motors. Between dyno’s there maybe a difference of 100 hp or more for the same motor. What matters are the gains made in hp on the motor on that same dyno. Six weeks ago we put the V8 engine back on the dyno to finish the fueling and play with exhaust pipes plus intake trumpets. Over fueling while idling and part throttle meant too much methanol was wasted and the engine never getting up to temperature. Give me an EFI any day, so much pissing around with the Kinsler mechanical injection that you can only achieve a compromise in several areas of the rev range. We use a digital lambda which gives an immediate read-out of the fuel/air mixture and is compulsory for tuning to save time. Under full throttle in the mid-range, the torque curve has two distinctive droops in the torque curve that we could not tune out due to too much fuel in those areas but the remainder of the fuel curve is okay. Those rich portions are probably worth 30 ft/lbs torque and that is significant for a 370 cu inch motor. An EFI would get the fuel spot-on right thru the rev range. Maybe later. Some time was lost playing with different pill sizes, springs and pressures but the changes didn’t make any noticeable difference. Start at the beginning, check the leak down of the main metering unit, ah ha, over 50% leak down, now how the hell did that happen. Set the leak down to 17% and do a dyno pull, now we are on the right track but still lean. Re-set leak down to 22%, and dyno, yep, the motor idles and runs sweet at part throttle like it should. Altering the pill sizes gives immediate results with the leak down correct for this motor.  The engine is showing the correct lambda right up to 7500 rpm so we start to pull some full dyno runs at full throttle. With the correct fueling we gained 30 hp. Settling on the final pill sizes and by pass, we change from 8 injectors to 16 injectors. Another impressive gain at top end showing good horsepower with more revs. This is one strong wee motor originally built for Tony Cardwell 7 or so years ago. The exhaust pipes on the dyno are off a sprint car and only used to clear the dyno frame etc and will be changed to the proper pipes as part of the dyno program. During one of the dyno pulls, a pipe used to divert the exhaust gasses to the main dump pipe falls off and we lose power?? Put the pipe back on and sure enough the dyno didn’t lie. We lose/gain 40 hp from a pipe change by mistake.  Some research into why, explains the reasoning and 2 new pipes to be made to try in a few days. A V8 has an odd firing sequence with the exhaust pulses giving uneven pressure waves back at the cylinder and a loss of torque unless a 180 deg exhaust is used which is messy to build and fit. The pipes used in the car are fitted to the motor back to front so they miss the dyno frame. A quick pull and oops, smoke out of one of the injector stacks. Bugger, strip the heads off the motor and we have cracked pistons, one has a hole. What caused the hole?? Blocked injector or injector hose, blown gasket, ignition, don’t know yet.  Remove the motor and give to the motor rebuild man. Order a new set of JE oversize pistons from the good old USA. Now we wait until the motor is back together before back onto the dyno. I don’t see the car being ready now until the end of October or even November. Give me a FJ20 motor any day, overhead cams instead of those compromised push rod and rocker arrangements, 4 small valves in place of 2 huge discs of steel that don’t pass as much air anyway. 4 pots much quicker to strip compared to an 8. Mechanical injection yuk.

Yep these are dinosaurs for sure!!!

click on photo's to see bigger picture

 


 

7/4/10 Its seems like an eternity since I sat down to do an update on this web site. But here we go again with the latest scribe from the pilot of the 34t car. But now there is a twist to the Ray Stewart story that caught many out by surprise, so lets see what Ray has to say in this update. Before then though, my apologise for the last update which was very hard to read considering half the sentences were missing. This has now been fixed. So sit back, grab yourself a coffee and read the latest news from Ray Stewart:

Easter week-end past and almost the end of the season. Since my last scribe for the website, several things have changed hopefully for the better. Its all a blurr really the last two months, the South Island Champs at the Glen was a mid-field finish on a very slick track that Trevor Elliott won for his first S.I. title. Two weeks later and the 3rd round of the Elf Super Cup also at the Glen and we finish consistently in the front 5-6 cars with an overall 5th place for the round and move up to 7th after 3 rounds.  An improvement but still lacking speed to be at the front and off the pace we had 3 years ago. Mike Verdoner keeps Ritchie behind him to take the win but Ritchie still maintains a good points lead over everyone at this stage.

 

On the 5 hour trip back home after the racing I get to thinking about the changes we have made and the results have been dismal for about three years since we changed to the torsion bar suspension.About the same time a text from crew man Rob Jeffcoate and the same thought if the 4 link was worth looking at again. I changed from our 4 link coil over to the torsions in the quest for some side bite but in fact had gone backwards. I understood a whole lot more now and the reasons for the torsions failing to work on this car where they are very successful on most chassis’s. It revolved around chassis height, roll centre and centre of gravity.  When building the torsion rack into the rear end of the Nissan, the torsion rack height was set-up the same as in other cars which turned out to be too low in the Nissan chassis. With too much roll-over or two wheeling we had the chassis height too high when the torsion arms were level. Once we figured this out and dropped the chassis height down one inch, then the torsion arms were facing uphill and defeated any advantage. I would have thought the higher chassis height would be an advantage but it shows just how critical roll centres are in conjunction with C.O.G and the type of springing utilized, torsions with low spring base versus coil overs mounted higher in the chassis to support the car.

Back in the shed ,   I had saved all the 4 link components and it was reasonably quick to fit back into the car with only a few brackets to remake. Now which lateral link to use, Jacobs Ladder, Panhard or J bar. Off to Island Park with Wayne Andrews turbo XR6 for a day of testing on a slick track. The tyre stagger, pressure, springs remain the same and we only change the bars for a comparison. Very quickly we have an answer what works best for side bite and forward bite and will keep this to ourselves for the present. The one minor change from our 4 link set-up from 3 years ago was to raise the chassis height half an inch and this alone made a huge difference on a slick track. It become apparent also that the 4 link suspension in my opinion, was the best rear suspension to use on a super saloon New Zealand style, allowing infinite tuning with mechanical effect on forward and side weight transfer. The links angled upwards to push the rear axle under the car, tuneable rear steer by altering the length and angles of the 4 bars facing forward plus shock/spring location for birdcage indexing combined with the lateral moving axle for side bite. I cant believe we wasted 3 years to figure it out.

What better place to prove all this theory than the NZ GP at Island Park on Friday night and teams racing on Saturday March 15th.

1NZ, 2NZ, 3NZ, 4NZ, all turn up for the double header on a real lousy wet cold Friday but a superb graded track for three car wide racing right up to the concrete.

We have a car again that handles but need a few races to sort the stagger, pressure and roll centre height. Come the GP final start and Steve Flynn on two, gets it sideways across the track leaving nowhere for the following field to evade a major pile-up that sends 5-6 cars to the infield including Brent Emmerson, Richie Taylor, Trevor Elliott. What a blow for so many of the top cars to be out in the first corner of the race.

From the re-start the Nissan is on the pace making some outside passes and sitting in 5th at the first yellow light behind Burson, Boulton, Williams, McIntyre. At last we can stay with the best but a little further into the race making an outside pass on a lapped car, I get wide in turn 3, turn myself around and to the rear of the field I go for causing the yellow.

Burs goes on to win the GP from Boulton and McIntyre.

 

Saturday night for the first ever super saloon teams racing between the provinces with 7 teams competing. Shane Maaka pulled the event together with the Island Park committee that gained interest from the drivers with team tactics resulting in some interesting racing.

The top 5 teams went to the final after racing thru a pool of knock out races.

Our team, Central Otago ended up in the final chance to move to the final after 4 races that gave us the opportunity to fine tune 34T to a race track gone slick but rubbered up and still very fast. We are off grid 10 and quickly make passes up to 6th place, the Nissan looking for passes on the outside line. Black as I have seen any track, rubbered by powerfull cars laying rubber but amazingly still able to make passes two wide anywhere around the track. Another lapped car to pass but too fast into the corner, turning 180 degrees again. Damn I was really enjoying the drive making small adjustments to brakes from the cockpit and racing alongside cars that previously would leave me behind.

The change back to the 4 link combined with the bar set-up and raising the chassis height gave us a car that was even better than our original 4 link arrangement. Too late in the season unfortunately.

 

A week later and off we go to the final two rounds of the Elf Super Cup at Blenheim and Nelson. Friday night Blenheim in front of a full house the Nissan is on song for the first race passing Elliott and Verdoner on the outside to take the win easily. Havent done that for a long time and gaining confidence in the car. The 25 lap final slicked out and Richie and the Nissan raced side by side for over 10 laps until the outside line finally gave out and I drifted back not able to find any grip but more than pleased with our effort.

A quick mid-night trip over the hill to Nelson for the Saturday night final of the Elf series but an early morning start to fit a new head gasket. Nelson had been a good track for the Nissan in past years but with so many cars going fast, the outside passing was a thing of the past as this is a very fast momentum track with no room for mistakes and in the second race of the night the steering wheel of Dave Walsh came off and he piled into turn one at full speed on the first lap wrecking his car against the wall coming to a stop on the wall but we are full on into the corner not sighting Dave until the last split second crashing side-on into the left rear wrecking the right side roll cage and tubes. That’s it for us as it was for Taylor and Verdoner in the first race leaving the overall series win open to Josh Boulton if he could finish the 25 lap final better than 6th place. For a while it looked like Taylor would retain his  points  lead but eventually cars in front of Boulton spun out or become tangled allowing Josh to move into 5th place for the Elf Super Cup series win.

Car 34T ended up 9th overall after 5 DNF’s from other cars crashing and a broken drive shaft.

 

And FINALLY,

During the last 2 months I had been in contact with 2NZ Shane McIntyre regarding the possible purchase of his car. Earlier Shane had broken his motor and my 360 cu inch V8 motor had just come off the dyno from adjusting the Kinsler injection, so box it up and off to Tauranga goes the ex TC motor to sit in the 2NZ car. Since then Shane has punted the small motor to great effect and finally a deal was struck to buy the car. Shane finished the SSCAR series at Wellington taking out the overall win and crossed the ditch the next day to bring the car to Cromwell for the Easter races where I took over the car.

Forget about keeping a secret, one word and everyone knows within hours as texts and phone calls start quizzing about what's up and me buying a Jurassic race car.

Friday we set about raising the seat height to suit my smaller frame and I get familiar with the car lay-out. What a beautifully built car. I made a good choice.

Crew chief Rob, drives down from Nelson to get to grips with the new car and Saturday we all scoot up to Wanaka for the Warbirds over Wanaka. The neck gets a good workout looking skyward for most of the day. If you haven’t seen the show take the opportunity at some stage as it is worthwhile and a mate reckoned the air show is far superior to the European displays of aerobatics.

 

First night at Cromwell is rained off but a beautiful day following and my first run in the EX 2NZ car. Apprehensively we are off not wanting to ding it in my first outing and immediately understand my Nissan is a totally different car to any of the V8’s. 700 hp in a small chassis must have some downside. I liken it to controlling several nervous kids on steroids against sitting in a recliner chair with feet up. The McIntyre car is smooth and easy to drive, throttle control is a breeze compared to the boosted 4 cylinder, no twitching or feeling every bump in the track, definitely a wider longer bigger feel. The Nissan has to be driven at 100% all the time whereas the Chev 80% will get you there. Its almost too easy but it will take some time to gain confidence and barrel into a corner on full song to keep up with the top drivers. The second day is a 12 o’clock start but a good opportunity to experiment with set-up on a slick track. After 3 races I begin to get a better feel of the new car and Shane has made changes for side and forward bite which see the car rocking over and bouncing the front left wheel. We learn another valuable set-up for slick tracks. Wow, this is neat the car hangs in there rocketing off the corner putting the power down. I will need to change my driving style to suit the bigger car that is more stable on all types of tracks.  

The small 360 cube has more than enough zap at Cromwell which suits big engines so not looking at changing that yet. That big box in front housing the injectors does limit the view and will certainly need some slimming.

 

And the Nissan?  Well its still a very fast car especially now we finally have the handling sorted.  I’m still annoyed with the loss of those 3 years.

The crew and I have enjoyed 6-7 years of success with this potent little weapon but we do know good things come to an end. We haven’t been fortunate to take the 1NZ but did get close on 3 occasions when the car was the fastest on the track and a little luck might have seen us get there. Over the years we have held numerous lap records, a few still stand but some never recognized, an outsider maybe?  Most memorable races: winning the GP at Waikaraka Park, the two lap shootout against Dean Waddell at Cromwell, Canterbury champs sent to the back and passing everyone to take the lead, just a few of many. 

I know there are a lot of fans out there who have followed the results over the years, mostly because it is different from the V8 boys but also the smaller car has been the underdog kicking V8 backsides on plenty of occasions.  I remember several times during or after a meeting being surrounded by onlookers in the pits inquiring about the amount of horsepower, what motor, must be very light etc, especially after winning against the bigger cars. Even recently the wee car gets punted by the big boys bowling us off the track as they know we can be moved, but now its my turn.

Over the years all the guys who have worked on the car did so because this was not a V8 and were as involved in the success as myself,  Rob , Alex (Mango), Elliott (Prozac),  Kerry (Magpie), son Daniel my wife Gail and daughter Rebecca  are my biggest fans next to the Nelson Bowen clan.

 

Those times when we beat the V8’s and hearing the comments from driver and crew “That f.…n Nissan”. That was very pleasing.

I do feel annoyed that I have finally taken the V8 plunge but 13 years with the Nissan I think I have proved a point and time to move on while I have a few years remaining in the sport.

What will happen to the Nissan? the car will be repaired correctly to its former glory with new panels etc and probably sold without the motor as it seems the FJ20 is a little too complicated for most people to maintain. 

I am sorry that the Nissan will probably not be raced again as a 200SX FJ20 Hybrid and will end an era of something different to compete against the V8’s.

Some have suggested restore the car and become a coffee table? Its unique so preserve it?  I believe someone will take the car minus motor and install either another Jappa motor with less complicated horsepower or a 350 cube V8 would be a real weapon.

 

Thank you to all those who have followed our progress with genuine interest thru the years. I had plenty of PM’s thru Macgors congratulating us on our success. The 34T crew and myself did enjoy the many questions and I will miss this side of the Nissan as we are now in just another V8 but hopefully a winning one.

 

Thanks Jase for setting up this website for the Nissan. I know your interest was in this car because it was out of the ordinary and now I have spoiled that cause.  

You can get to drive the Nissan, just buy it.

 

Cheers

 

Ray Stewart

Brilliant write up there Ray. Personally I think the web site should be archived and left in an area within the web site for people to look at. As for the way it heads from here, well, it would be wrong to shut her down. Pretty sure the heading up the top says Ray Stewart Racing, regardless of what car you drive. My biggest concern was that you were going to get out of racing completely. That has now been addressed and so its onwards and upwards from here. Once I have some pictures, the web site will be changed and altered to suit the next wave in the racing life of Ray Stewart.


6/1/10 Ok...we know...its been awhile between updates, but as many know, Ray has been very busy along with myself as well. But the good thing about it is that when you get an update you know its going to be very detailed. Ray hasn't had the best of runs as of late, and this is starting to take its toll on the enthusiasm of Rays racing. Its safe to say that speedway is still floating through the veins of the 34t pilot, but the car itself just doesn't want to do what its supposed to. But anyway.. here goes the latest update from Ray:

Cripes, its 2010 and 4 months since my last report. Jase has been on my case to update with some news as a number of people have emailed him requesting an update so Jase threatened me with letting him drive 34T if I don’t get my act together. No-way will I let him drive the car, I can prang it with-out his help. Maybe one day just after Ive sold the car. My business keeps me very busy and consequently we have not put the number of meetings in as usual. Most seasons we travel to 28-30 race meetings but I think this year will manage only 15-18. The downside to limited races is having race time in the car to get a set-up and confidence in what the car will do. We continue to struggle for a slick track set-up and I have no confidence in how the car will hook-up in a corner. Interesting when comparing the North and South island tracks. Most would say the Northern tracks would be slick and the South drivey, its actually the opposite in most cases. Woodford Glen, Island Park, Blenheim can be guaranteed to end up with smooth slick black clay where horsepower is not the answer and a limited saloon will match the Supers. The 25-30 lap feature race at the Champion of Champions at the Glen, is usually won by a local car on the black slick surface and the North Island cars struggle to match the speed, not used to racing on slick tracks. Waikaraka, Huntly, Baypark normally are good drivey tracks. There are many reasons why which I wont get into as this might start world war 3. Needless to say Cromwell and Greenstone Park are my favorites in the south that the Nissan can show off its speed. However the feature race is at the end of the night  and the money is in the slick at most tracks in the south and that’s where we continue to fall short with the power delivery of the FJ20 motor too aggressive to hook-up. Over the last few years, we have changed to several different rear suspension arrangements in the quest for side and forward bite but with no great improvement which comes back to the power delivery. So what to do? The season to date is one I would rather forget. The Champions 2 night meeting at Woodford Glen was a disaster. First race on friday night we won, but back in the pits the over temperature light came on. End of racing that night, the head gasket not sealing correctly so off with the head in the pits during racing to check out the problem. We use a certain brand of RTV sealant on the head but this time had used another brand which dried off too soon and  increased the thickness of the head gasket by a few thou so when pulling down the head, the ‘W’ rings did not push far enough into the head for a proper seal. An easy fix as the head gasket was perfect and the next day we would find the correct RTV, reassemble and whalla, ready for racing again. Yep went together easy-as but unknown at the time someone messed up. Saturday night and we managed to sneak thru to the final with two third placings. The car did not seem to perform as usual but couldn’t put my finger on it. A great thing with the Champions format, you can watch other heats racing. Richie Taylor, Shane McIntyre, Ian Burson were fast all night and I reckoned these guys the top 3.  As expected the final was a slick black track that suited the local cars although we managed to circulate at reasonable speed but not up to the front cars. Ritchie, Shane and Kane Lawson, one two and three. Very impressive of Kane in his first year of Supers to take out third place. Friday night December 4th, the first round of the ELF Super Cup at Island Park. During the off season numerous emails and phone calls to all the drivers who entered the Elf Super Cup to keep them informed of the progress plus what and where so everyone understood exactly what was expected of them on the night. 18 drivers entered the series, a good size field for all the tracks. At the pre-race drivers brief with the crews also included, the radio sets were handed out to the drivers and instructed on how the nights racing was to operate. A heavy track to start for the timed lap with a 3rd fastest for 34T. Mmmm, the car should be a rocket on this track but seemed sluggish. Onto the final race and we are starting mid-field from not so good heat races. 3 laps into the final and Kane Lawson gets hooked up with another car causing a 6 car pile up that I couldn’t dodge smashing into the rear of Denis Bolt wrecking his diff, destroying our front right suspension and my hand caught in the steering wheel wrenching my shoulder, elbow, wrist to the side which felt like I had popped the arm out of its joint. Jeeze takes a longer time to heal as you get older. So sitting on the infield watching, 4 cars scratching for the win, Burse sitting on the outside of Richie for the last 4-5 laps and side by side on the checkered with Ritchie getting the win. What a fabulous race to watch. The best thing about this type of format is the top cars are at the front for the final race instead of spread out down the field. The following Saturday night Dec 5th at Cromwell for the second round of the Elf Super Cup but minus Denis without a spare diff, we had this covered and Owen Dixon was included to maintain the 18 car field. In our negotiating with the tracks for the Elf series, there was concern that the drivers would not do all the rounds if they were out of the running. However the drivers were made aware that it was imperative to attend all rounds as we had guaranteed the tracks a minimum of 16 cars otherwise $$ would be deducted from appearance money so we have cars to fill-in whenever a car dropped out. Another drivey track for the timed lap, I consider Cromwell as one of the fastest tracks in NZ where you are on the gas for 80% of the time but the car wasn’t hauling like it should and 3rd fastest again. For the first heat we were 3rd and try as I did could not get past Ron Taylor, again foot flat and not performing. In the last lap of the first heat there was a bad vibration in the drive line and I eased off a snatch and dropped down to the pole line to hold my position for the last lap. A few metres before the finish line the driveshaft let go, unknown to me Ritchie was right on my bumper but moved up away from the pole when he saw me drop down to the pole line thinking something was up and just missed punting me in the rear. The problem was the torque arm had collapsed resulting in the arm rubbing against the drive shaft, wearing a groove which finally twisted off the driveshaft. Not able to repair the torque arm I sat down to watch the racing. For each nights final race, the cars do the 4 wide salute and looked very professional as though by magic they went into 4 wide then back to 2 wide. Our radio man Flash, has one way communication with all the drivers and instructs them on what and when. It’s a great system and if there is a crash a quick “crash turn 3” warns all to be on the look-out and possibly save cars rear-ending each other. Ritchie had the set-up and took line honours from Josh Boulton and Trevor Elliot and the overall series points are the same three. As the co-ordinator of the Elf Super Cup, I am impressed with the attitude and approach from drivers, crew and everyone involved with the series, very professional and they want the series to be a success. At the first round in Dunedin there was some apprehension but by Cromwell it was evident the drivers plus all their support crew were enjoying the racing and with the next round at the Glen on Feb 27th it will take some effort to haul Richie back. However it only takes one bad run to allow others to overtake him as the points are close.

To check on the Elf points go to the Elf website;     http://www.supersaloons.co.nz/

 Thinking back on the two rounds of the series and why the car did not perform as it should do on drivey tracks, it could only be we had re-assembled the motor at the Champions with a tooth out in the cam timing. Remove the cam cover, set the dial gauge and degree wheel and yes one tooth out. Probably 100-150 hp down. Now who marked the cams when stripping it down, wasn’t me and I’m sticking to it. With xmas approaching, time for one more meeting at Island Park in the search for a slick set-up. We have stuck with the panhard bar mounted on the right side of the chassis so played with chassis height, stagger and weight in different positions. The right side panhard gives side-bite and we were two wheeling on numerous occasions but this is not fast having to back out of the throttle which is slow. From not enough to too much, heck it’s black magic. Off to Auckland before the champs and the opportunity to have a run at Huntly on the 31st Dec. That 2 wheeling back again. Back to a heavier right torsion bar, some turns in the front right spring, weight in the rear and its at least manageable. Friday night NZ Champs, Huntly, a new race format, 30 top cars, drama straight off in scrutineering, 3 top South Island cars are not allowed to run as we have illegal wheels with lightening holes too close to the bolts/studs? Now a rule is a rule and as I was one of those breaking the rule we thought that was that. The wheels have been in use on our cars for years, stamped each year and green sheeted without problems plus hundreds of scrutineering without knowing the wheels were illegal. Now the Huntly crew did not want to see 3 South Is cars excluded and worked away at finding a solution and to their credit called all the drivers into a meeting explaining the hick-up of the wheels. The deal was every driver had to agree to our racing and if one disagreed, we were out of the champs. After some discussion one driver got it right by saying “does anyone here not approve to these cars racing” no one spoke up, end of story and we are racing. Three groups, four heats each, we are first up rear grid, lots of stagger for a heavy track? nope, driving onto the track and its as dry as a bone, ahhhhh damn lots of wheelspin and no passing for 34T, finish 8th.  Watching the other heats gave an indication of who were the fast cars with 7-8 on pace to win. Richie Taylor blew his motor in his first heat. Our second heat off the front with the right stagger plus a few minor changes. One of the crew growled at me to pull finger, okay I get the hole shot and off we go car feeling nice, 4-5 laps we have a good lead then down the back straight into a blinding sun and I see a yellow light at the other end so slow up, in the shadows and it’s a green light not yellow, a car is inside me so on the gas into turn one a little higher up the track, turn in hit the throttle and oooh shit, backwards into the concrete completely destroying the rear end, fuel tank separated and blowing fuel everywhere, then the roll over ending upside down. About now it became scary hanging upside down in my belts when methanol and oil began to drip into my helmet. I had turned off the power switch but the thought of fire was there especially with fuel in my helmet. Release the belts and fall onto my head, try to crawl out the window but my new fully contained seat obstructs my exit and now I’m becoming anxious. The track crew are there immediately and I tell the guy I cant get out so he begins pushing and pulling but it takes 30 seconds to finally crawl free. Walking away from the wreck, I notice the track is very greasy right where I slid up the track and gassing it up only made the car slide faster into the wall. Watching the replay later I noticed Red the promoter, moving the other cars away from the crash as there was methanol running down the track and I thought about the flames off their exhaust when idling, thanks Red. The roll cage and 5 link seat belts do their job and I have only a small cut to my forehead but of course I’m really pissed with myself. That night we strip the car to have a shot at repairing but give up at 3 o’clock with too much damage to undo. The roll cage has compressed and the rear end and fuel tank need rebuilt. Oh well back to watching. The finals night was the best racing I have seen in Super Saloons anywhere with three heats and top points to the front. Several of the top cars had a bad heat but still were close enough to the front to be in the running. The 20 lap final was a beauty, Steve Williams, Brent Emmerson, Shane McIntyre, Mike Verdoner all looking for the pass with Lance Jennings, Denis Bolt, Ben Harding right there but further down the placing Pete Hemi drove from the back of the field on the outside line passing cars every lap and getting closer to the front cars. Steve Williams got himself sideways and Emmerson and McIntytre crashed into Williams stopping the race. Unfortunately Williams had a flat right front tyre and was out. The restart continued the exciting race and all eyes were on Hemi coming up quickly to the front runners, 5 cars in the front group so close anything could happen and did. Hemi had caught up and went for the outside pass, got around Verdoner and almost Jennings but both become bumper tied and on the infield with two laps to go and no stoppage, while during this action Emmerson had pulled an outside pass on McIntyre and held the lead to the finish and 1NZ. Fabulous racing made possible by the drivers and a format that allowed the fastest cars to start together off the front. I hated watching but this was a good alternative. The Huntly team had pulled off the best Super Saloon Champs yet and done their best to keep the drivers in the racing. Back home wash my poor wrecked car, park it in the shed and sulk for a week. The next meeting in one week so time to look at the car again and Steve drops in to help out. A major rebuild of the rear end, new fuel tank, new roll cage, 2 bumpers, and so on. 4 nights past midnight, Friday and almost done. Saturday everything in place at 2:00 pm and Steve leaves to help out at Island Park. I’ll be right I say, start the car and it goes then coughs and wont restart, mmm sounded like fuel, fuel on in cockpit and at the tank, remove one of the fuel lines and no fuel, back to the fuel tank valve, no fuel, I already know what it is. Our fuel tank builder had welded on the nipple outlet but forgot to drill a hole for the fuel to flow out. Ten minutes to find the problem and 2 hours to fix it. Finally start the motor but running like a pig. Check the injectors, spark and all is okay. Damn it, load up and off to the track, maybe will come right. 6:00 start and I arrive at 6:30. On the track and the motor clears almost immediately. An air lock needed some pressure to clear. We have the Jacobs ladder installed as I know what to expect. The track goes as black as the ace of spades, shocks, stagger and tyre pressure with a big lump of lead help the car but not enough as Josh Boulton takes out the Otago and South Pacific GP. Some track testing required to settle on a set-up and hopefully in the next week before some big meetings.At least the car is going again. Two weeks before the South Island champs and then the next round of the Elf Cup.

 I promise Jase I will get a report to you earlier. Its past midnight and finished this report so no way you get to drive 34T.

 Cheers all. 


28/10/09 Its been awhile. But good things come to those that wait. But first things first. The site has popped up with a Microsoft message that warns that the site is unsafe. This site uses a little Java scripting and on arrival of an update from Microsoft via you updates, the computer is not recognising this type of scripting. Never fear people, just tell your browser that the site is safe, and you will be all good.

Rumour has it that Ray is looking to sell the car. This was confirmed when it appeared on MacGors, with Ray testing the waters to see if there would be any bites would come of it. Keep an eye on this site to find out what his next move is.

Ray attended Island Parks first meeting in Dunedin, to give the car a run before the pending NZ Grand Prix. Ray was saying that the car failed to perform due to a miss in the engine that wouldn't go away. The car hooked up well in practice at Cromwell, but would not carry on through to Dunedins meeting. Rumour has it, that Ray then went on to compete in Christchurch this weekend just gone, and the car was very quick. I hope that Ray can give us an update on the ins and outs of that. Meanwhile, here is the latest scribe from Ray that was sent through about a month ago. My apologise for the late update, but had a major failure on my server that was storing the update until I got round to putting it up. Here's what he had to say:

One month before practises begin and the Nissan is spread around the workshop but should be bolted back together by the end of September. Like alot of speedway drivers, the car sat in the shed untouched for months and I didn't get started stripping the car out until mid July and have limited most of the off-season repairs to an engine fresh-up plus minor chassis mods. The FJ20 motor was in good nick when dismantled and didn't really require new bearings etc but if you don't then who knows what will happen. So new rings and bearings, new cam chains, crack testing the crank and rods, very light hone of the bore's, send the pistons away for re-slip coating, head stripped and 2-3 thou off the head to give the special sealing rings new material to bite into to help contain the 25+ pounds boost. Lap the valves in, check the valve spring bind and set the valve clearance. It takes 30 odd hours to rebuild the head to get the power and reliability required for a seasons racing. Reassemble the block checking the crank runs free as the main bolts are torqued down. Oops, number 3 main is grabbing, remove the bearing shell and there is a burr on one edge, scrape it off and try again. Perfect. Now one of the main problems with this motor was head sealing, containing all the boost in the cylinders, so great care is taken with the stainless steel 'W' rings that are recessed into the block and the modified head gasket glued in place before carefully pulling down the head. Last season we changed the normal head bolt system to ARP studs with fine threads that have really helped hold the head on and limited any leakage although water seeps out until the engine is warmed up and expands giving the final sealing. 
Dialing in the camshafts requires a clear head and the radio turned off so I don't cock-up the numbers. Several years ago after trying several camshafts from overseas and in NZ that had no low end torque and were made for engines with gearboxes, we designed our own cams and on the dyno found the best lobe centre combinations that pumped out strong torque at low revs. A difference of 5-8 degrees in LC would drop the torque 60ft/lbs at 3500 rpm so it was important to get the timing spot on. It seems every time the engine is stripped down the timing alters due to very minor changes in head machining
or the bottom sprocket is in a different position. Over the years I have accumulated a number of  top sprockets with different spigot holes that give different cam timing but it still takes two nights to get the timing where I want it. A new triple plate clutch pack on the one of its kind flywheel and the engine is finished ready to slot into the chassis. The bell housing was totalled at the NZ champs when it flew apart at 8500 rpm but we had to piece it back together as nothing else was available at the time. When racing in the north island last season, Prozac and I met Mark in Napier who was building lots of parts for speedway cars which included bellhousings so we sent off the rehashed housing to be copied. This arrived a few days ago and it's a piece of art. It is a totally professional finished article that fitted exactly in place and a pleasure to receive something that does not need any modifying or hacking to fit.

Tuesday 18th Aug and the motor is bolted in the car. Over the next week every thing should be in its place and ready to start. Now to decide what to do with the body, same as before or go to the wedge shaped Late Model US style body. The specs for the wedge shape is still in limbo with SNZ and no
sense to alter the shape yet so perhaps during the season we will see a new body.

Last month 25 super saloon drivers assembled at Bolts motor camp in Christchurch for the sole purpose of putting in place the commitment from the drivers to push forward for running the south island Super Saloon Series. There was full support from all those attending with a hands up from 21 drivers who would commit to the series. Taking into account those who will have other commitments, we expect about 18-19 drivers for the series. Much discussion regarding the number of meetings came up with an ideal plan to hold double header meetings on the same weekend to save the long hauls for those from Nelson/Marlbourgh and Otago/Southland. Friday night at Blenheim and the following night at Nelson, two meetings for the travel of one.

After much hair pulling and emailing, we have finally nailed down dates to hold 5 rounds for the series as follows;

Island Park, Friday 4th Dec
Cromwell, Sat 5th Dec

Woodford Glen Sat 27th Feb

Blenheim Friday 26th March
Nelson (Final) Sat 27th March

ELF Lubricants are our named sponsor for the series and we welcome them on board to add that extra professional approach from a worldwide known brand. We want to raise the level of the Supers class for both drivers and spectators but also for the tracks putting on the meeting. A more professional approach to the sport is required by the drivers if we expect to raise the profile and to put on a show that gets the fans applauding our racing.

A new website is underway for the fans to follow the progress of their favourite driver. The website will be advised later. I have just learned that SNZ have discussed stopping all of the series being
run at present, DHL, Midget Series, Stocky's, SSCAR etc. Some excuse about fidelity fund. If SNZ tried to pull a stunt like stopping all of the series, I bet they would lose a huge number of drivers. I for one would give the one finger salute and the majority of guys I know would do the same. SNZ and SPANZ do absolutely nothing to promote speedway in NZ and the drivers have taken it on themselves to promote and strengthen their class by creating their own race series to attract more drivers and preserve the class.  Watch this space.

The phones ringing so until next write-up keep us in mind.
 


30/6/09 Busy busy people, is the best way describe the team from Ray Stewart Racing. Its the old story though, the updates might not happen over night, but they will happen. Here goes the latest chitty chat from the pilot of the 34t car, with all the racing from the North Island, NZ Title and Grand Prix. Sit back and enjoy...

Almost July and another plead from Jason to give an update for the site. Sorry all for not keeping you up to date. Just too much happening during the last 6 months to sit down and give a full report of where we got to with the season.

The last report had us racing in the North Island series after no series eventuated in the South Island and the opportunity to race in the north. Well it was to be our poorest season ever with a car that just didn't want to hook up on any track. Some of our best tracks, Waikaraka, Gisbourne, Huntly, Baypark, Te Marua, Napier, were to be nothing much better than mid-field placing and overall an 8th place for the series. Of course in hind sight its very easy to say where our mistakes were. We had a very fast car for the NZ champs at Cromwell but the mistake was we had altered the rear suspension exclusively for Cromwell and when we ventured north the car turned out to be a very loose pig. Cromwell's track surface was excellent most of the time and it suited the Nissan but we failed to make the set-up work at any other track. The short right side panhard bar we changed to for the champs, altered the roll centre too much and we struggled with this arrangement right up to Napier where Prozac (Elliott) had to cut out the tubes and bits to alter to a longer panhard hanging off the diff to right side mounting on the chassis. This was very similar to the Jacobs ladder we ran for all these years. At Wellington for the last round of the series we managed to hang in there but my driving was erratic not knowing what the car would do in the corners. Playing with set-ups during an important race meeting does not work as you don't have confidence in the car barrelling into a corner passing on the outside and hoping the car sticks. I can tell you it was most frustrating being passed by cars that normally we would leave behind. I hated it. The top dog during the SSCAR series was without doubt 1NZ Shane McIntyre, very fast and consistent at all tracks and deservedly the series winner. Interesting point to me was second place Grant Flynn in a 350 cube car who mixed it with the bigger hp cars. Goes to show that the guy with the most hp is not always the fastest. Prozac and I drove back home from Wellington disappointed with our north island jaunt and discussed the mistakes we made with the suspension. All along 34T was fast but slick tracks continued to be our Achilles heal and over the years we have tried 3 or 4 different arrangements in the rear end in the search for side bite. The last change to short panhard was a backward step but the longer bar was back in the right direction and only required
some track time to sort out the roll centre heights, torsion bars, shocks, ride heights and so on?? Back in Dunedin and Prozac readied the car for the final meeting of the season, Easter at Cromwell. No changes made, just reset the chassis, plenty of fuel for 2 nights of racing and a plan of the different set-ups we would try. Three races on the first night, drop the roll centre 50mm, some stagger and tyre pressure, and beauty we are in the right direction again. For the second nights racing we started with the previous nights settings and are in the ball park. I had 2 races then Shane Maaka had the remaining 2 races which was good to get another drivers perspective as we continued to fine tune the chassis. For the final race, we went to the softest shocks we had available and Shane found his feet in the turbo car passing cars with ease. The set-up was close to correct but still required some bar changes for different tracks. Arriving back in the pits, Shane could not believe the horsepower of the Nissan, 100 hp then 700hp which made for an exciting ride but different driving style. Well 34T has sat in the garage for 3 months waiting for me to make up my mind if I retire or continue racing. The last season was to be my last and I was resigned to pulling the pin. However the best laid plans left me with unfinished business of a lousy season, and new remits passed at the recent SNZ conference allowing some changes to the rules in Super Saloons. Another reason was the enjoyment of racing in the North Island SSCAR series and Paddy North and I agreeing to see if we can resurrect the south island series. Several drivers commented that without the series last season, racing was limited to their home track with the same drivers and lacked the competition required to maintain speed. There was concern that if a series failed again this year, several cars might drop out of the Supers or become Saloons resulting in a spiraling down of numbers and perhaps merging of the 2 classes.The Super Saloon drivers are meeting on the 11th July for the prime purpose of gaining commitment from the drivers to run a series over 4 south island tracks and put in place management to secure the series for the future. To date we have an excellent response from over 20 of the drivers and should have a good turnout at the meeting to agree on race formats and other details to make for a successful series. Already the numbers are improving with Wayne Andrews and Shane Maaka buying cars for the coming season. So now what for the Nissan. The engine has proved to be reliable and still fast enough to be a front runner. The suspension only requires fine tuning
so will not alter this. Although I have a V8 motor sitting in the shed, the FJ20 is made for the chassis and will remain where it has been for 11 years. Today I lifted out the motor for its annual fresh-up and fit a new bell housing to replace the repaired unit that was destroyed at the champs when the flywheel dis-integrated at 8500 rpm chopping through chassis tubes just missing my toes. The rule changes in the Supers allows for the wedge shape American style Late Model Dirt bodies that will hopefully lift the appeal of this class.


Will the 200SX Nissan retain the original body? What do you reckon?

For the next update I will have results from the Supers meeting with more details of where and when. Maybe some photos of a Late Model body?

Ray

Great stuff Ray.. thanks for the update. Check back for the next update...



 

 

 

Home  -  Contact   -  Results  -  Pictures  -  Links
© Ray Stewart

 
 
Updates

17/12/12 Rays latest scribe hits the web site.

22/2/12 The next update comes in from Ray Stewart and also some pictures of the newer Hypermac car have now been uploaded to the site


22/11/11 Website gets a quick tidy up before the new season kicks in. Ray has bought a new Hypermac and details and photos of this should be through soon


1/9/11 Rays latest scribe hits the web site. Scroll down for the latest


26/10/11 Work is going in on the 34t Hypermac car. Find out the latest on the car