It has been one year since my last V8 update. And another busy year it was.
I completed the documentation on the V8.
Both folders have proven their value over and over since, especially during testing.
Before I installed the new fuellines, I immersed them in a cistern to test their airtightness with an air compressor.
To find the engine's perfect TDC (Top Dead Center) Peter Scheepers installed a delicate measurement tool. Determining TDC is essential for correct timing the ignition.
Talking about ignition: I milled a container for the EDIS 8 controller.
It's close to the clutch so it needs some protection.
On April 7 2012 we did the second Dyno test. Niels again changed the injector wiring as the bike now has 8 instead of 16 injectors.
Less complex wiring, and easier to control with the motormanagement. And some weight loss for even better acceleration. ;)
Peter didn't want to fall behind and held up some wiring too. Well done, Peter! ;)
The bike started right away, a great moment after such drastic modifications (see previous update).
Tuning experts Peter and Niels discussed the steps to take.
During testing Klaus kept an eye and a tool on still one of the biggest challenges: heat control.
For the first time we did a measured horsepower run.
Still far too rich but a nice result to end the day with: 357 rear wheel horsepower @ 1,08 bar turbo pressure.
Aim at the picture to zoom in.
The V8 on the Dyno is like a raging bull. And raging V8 bulls tend to make a big mess: oil leakage, coolant leakage, and parts falling off due to vibration, like these ones from the side stand. An important exception was the fuel system: we were all happy that it was 100% leak proof. ;)
The oil leakage came from the drain sides of the turbos so I constructed new drain pipes. I secured all the bolts with snap rings.
The cooling system had a leak in the aluminum splitter. I designed a new one ...
... and for the first time I experimented with a 3D printer. After no less than 19 hours 'printing' I had a physical PVC version of the one I'd drawn. An incredible application with unimaginable consequences for the future of design and (re-)production.
All superlatives by side: of course I don't want a plastic part in my cooling system, so I used it to made a wooden mold for the 'real' aluminum one.
Ivo Doornenbal welded it like a surgeon.
Old an new. Hope you can tell the difference.
During Dyno II we measured, beside the horsepower, the intake air temperature, which was quite high. Hot air has a low percentage of oxygen which is negative for the engine's effeciency and performance.
So again a temperature issue. This one might be solved by an intercooler but I don't have any space for such a big part in my design. An interesting alternative is water-alcohol injection; I gathered quite some information about it on the internet, like this picture.
This system is called a 'pre-turbo injection'.
The system works as follows: a sensor in the intake manifold tells the motormanagement system how high the turbo pressure is. The manifold also puts pressure on a water container. If boost pressure is above 0,5 bar MegaSquirt opens both solenoids and a fine mist is sprayed through the turbos into the manifold, cooling the air and raising performance.
Aim at the picture to zoom in.
First I had to find a proper nozzle. No high tech, just an ordinary brass plant spray.
I built a test setup to find out how much water the nozzle delivers at certain pressure.
This resulted in a fairly uniform graph.
After that I researched the perfect distance between nozzle and turbo.
A 3D drawing of the adapter ...
... followed by a 2D one.
Aim at the picture to zoom in.
Started with four kilos of aluminum ...
... and after some milling, lathing and silver soldering it fitted like a charm.
I connected the adapters to the turbos, to the solenoids, to the intake manifold and to a destilled water container. Niels told the motor management to open the solenoids above 0,5 bar turbo pressure.
May 12 2012: Dyno III. We tested the water injection for the first time and it wasn't a convincing success: for one because of wrong timing (the solenoids opened while cranking) and because the water droplets might be too big to cool the intake temperature efficiently. We're not too sure to continue with this cooling solution.
The rest of the day we fought with the lambda controllers. Sensors and controllers are this bikes nervous system; any problem with any of them paralyzes the bike and takes the day.
June 16 2012: Dyno IV. Again lambda complications took a lot of time – one of them even burned out – as did other defect wiring. Bad luck, but that's R&D.
Before I sound too depressed: there was good news too! For the first time we tuned the bike with a program called VE Analyzer Live. It is a so called 'auto tuning' program which optimizes settings - within user defined parameters - while the engine is running.
Tuning always start with a rich mixture: it won't get you the best results but it'll increase the chance that the engine will survive this torture.
Although Peter has some huge fans in his high tech testing facility, for a short while the V8 produced more rich gases than the blowers could abduct.
But as you can see: autotuning optimizes the air-fuel mixture and thus the life expectance of the test engineers.
This is a picture of ... no, this is Peter's hand blocking a picture of the analyzer progress. Secret bike, secret tuning, sorry.
Autotuning from idle to ... yes.
Okay, some sound too, to get a picture:
August 26 2012: Peter, Niels and me had a meeting. No testing this time, just talking about the next V8 steps to take. Reason: Europe regulations are changing fast and I don't want to end this bike without official licence plate and papers. So priority from now on shifts from perfect tuning with brutal results to rideable tuning and getting it streetlegal.
Sounds easy and fast but still there's a lot to be done. For one: the battery died. In the design it had an ideal position (in front of the oil pan) but was killed by my worst technical enemy a.k.a. heat. Finding a cool new place was quite a challenge because there are no really cool places at my bike. And the design had to be protected, of course.
The ideal solution would be, of course, to hide the battery from sight. An obvious location might be the frame tubes. I found some really potent small ones on the internet, and some useful videos on YouTube how to connect them to a battery. Why this plan failed? Wiring would be very long, inefficient and vulnerable. And these kind of batteries don't take any errors as they tend to ... explode.
Aim at the picture to zoom in.
While surfing I came across 3Tek Engineering, a young Dutch innovative company. Sander Prins from 3Tek and I put in a lot of effort to find the right solution for my bike: two new relatively small but very strong Lithium Ion ('LiFePO4') batteries.
Willy Naves welded both casings.
I love nice welds.
One of the finished products.
Peter and I tested the set to see if they could start the V8: seven times in two minutes was no problem.
From a designer point of view there is simply no perfect place for the new batteries. But there is an acceptable place.
Oktober 7 2012: Dyno V. As I had no car this day, my faithful DR800 proved to be a perfect camel.
We found out that the fumes that came from engines vent tubes ...
... had oxidated (read: destroyed) the relay. Fortunately they were easy to replace.
Again there was Trouble in Lambda Paradise: faulty firmware this time.
We replaced the defective boost valve ('PWM') by a new Pierburg N75. As you've read above elektronics is a complex matter, not only for us but apparently even for manufacturer Pierburg, as we read in their manual. A challenge: find out the error in one of the three pink rectangles.
Oktober 8 2012: Dyno VI. The day after Dyno V Peter and I finetuned the tuning from the lower rpm-regions of the engine. Except from some problems with the spark plugs, the motormanagement seems to be fine for normal riding. And that's what our MOT is going to do (I hope).
After Dyno VI I continued optimizing the bike. I needed to maximize the cooling capacity of the bike so I considered to make a new and thicker cooler. Chris Jansen convinced me that thickening from the current 30mm to 43mm wouldn't even bring me 5% more cooling.
So I decided to enlarge the cooler surface as much as possible. An 8 centimeter extension should enhance the cooling capacity by 25%, and that is substantial.
Chris made the new cooler and suggested a new, slightly bigger fan. He measured the air displacement of the 'old' one (900 cubic meter per hour) and compared it with the new one (1289 cubic meter per hour). That is 43% more.
That should do. And if it doesn't: it still should.
After that I dismantled the bike's wiring ...
... and I drew a wiring diagram so at given time we'll be able to stuff it in once more. ;)
You won't be surprised to read that the wiring is quite complex. This is a small detail from the drawing above, exclusive the lighting wiring.
The last two months I'm busy making a cover for the clutch, finishing the chain cover and some other very time consuming metal shaping: all parts have to fit like a glove, and have to be collapsable as well.
Last month Peter, Klaus and I visited seventyfive year old bike legend Fritz Egli in Switzerland. We discussed Egli's attempt in 2014 to break his own sidecar landspeed record at Bonneville. And discussed the possibility to take my V8 along with it for the same reason. Nice dream, that's for sure, but priority is getting the bike street legal.