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Well there’s not much point in dwelling on the obvious, Covid put a “pause” to a lot of projects, including Andrew & Mandy’s Bonneville trip. Unfortunately the Charger was locked away in the paint shop over the whole lock-down period so Sonic ground to a halt with nothing to do but throw a turbo on my son Ryan’s Commodore.
Back to the Charger, after 2 different dyno sessions & a test day at Tokoroa, which all went well (other than a broken quick-change rear end shaft), we were set to strip the car for final panel & paint.
When we spec’d the rear end to Winters a few years back, they felt what they supplied (their Extremeliner) would be adequate, we were using a slick tyre with 200 mph gearing for our NZ testing and the shaft sheared in 2nd gear after a few runs. This never would have happened on the Salt as we have no initial traction with our skinny Salt tyres, but where it MAY have happened is at 200mph+ speeds, this is where we start to see loads on the drive train increase sharply due to aero & mechanical loading. If the shaft had sheared on the Salt, things would have been a lot worse, they have since made a stronger shaft which is now in the car.
There were a few little panel items that needed to be addressed, ENTER COVID !, car locked away for weeks !.
Then - into the paint shop to be blocked down/gapped as a complete car, then stripped, put on the rotisserie & final paint inside & out. After paint it was rust proofed & further seam-sealed to try & reduce the amount of salt getting into nooks & crannies.
Now (beginning of June) back on its wheels & back to Sonic. As at the end of June, the car is 90 % complete, once the car is complete we will test at a longer NZ venue to try & get some decent mph. We then convert the car back to the Salt set-up with wheels/tyres, diff ratio & few other little changes & get ready to head to Lake Gairdner , about 200ks north of Adelaide. Logistically this is a much harder event to run at, (even though its closer to us than Bonneville ) due to its isolation but the Sinclairs are up for the challenge, or adventure as they prefer to call it.
I’ll be back with testing news & pics pre Aussie in the next few months, stay safe, cheers, Mike (Bic)
Well 8 months on from the last update & we’ve made “ok” progress on Andrew & Mandy Sinclair’s Charger, but now we’re into 2019 and the car pretty much HAS to run this year ( that brings you down to earth !) to allow us enough time to test it, iron out all the bugs, strip it, paint it, reassemble etc etc & be able to ship it out mid next year to Bonneville. We’re mindful of how difficult it has gotten in the States to get anything across their borders due to security concerns, so that plays into our time frame as well. As you’ll see in the pics, all of the driver safety stuff, chutes, fire system, harness’s , seat etc are done. A lot more of the final design work has been defined, we’re now running a custom 5 speed Liberty gearbox with a Crower clutch. The design of the front & rear aero parts (wing/spoiler) is done. The cars cage is probably 2 days away from being finished, it will stay as it is now to allow access around the car. The goal is to get the engine installation complete by the end of March, everything engine related then gets shipped to our Aussy engine builder for final assembly & dyno work. While the engine is over there, there is obviously a ton of work to do on the car, finishing the fuel & cooling systems rearward of the firewall, front upright, brake & shock work, rear spring work, water cooling tanks etc. The goal is to try and get to the NZ Landspeed meeting at Goudies Rd in early Dec to “shake it down” , then remedial work early in the new year, then paint etc. We’ve had whats called a pre-tech inspection done where a Bonneville tech inspector ( NZ’er Steve Davies) spent half a day going over the car checking everything, a few small issues were found which was great, better to find them now than in 18 months time on the Salt. I’ll TRY to keep more up-to-date pics on the site as the car moves along, there may be something on Facebook but it won’t be coming from me, so until next time, stay well.
June 2018In the first few months of this year we’ve made a decent chunk of progress on Andrew Sinclairs Bonnevile Charger, we will be running it next year at Lake Gairdner In Aussy to shake it down for the following years (2020) trip to Bonneville. It will run in the Classic Coupe class with a blown 500 cube Hemi on methanol. There is a record we are aiming for, not sure that we’ll crack it but at least it gives us a goal to aim for. Its quite a challenging project as you pretty much throw out all the usual racecar theories & spend a lot of time thinking & planning around making the car safe if things should go wrong at over 200 MPH. The engine & gearbox are mounted, the quick-change rear end is in place, suspension is done & all the design work is set but still a long way to go yet, as you see by the pics. I have a break on it for a few months now while it gets more panel work done & I catch up on other projects.