2001 Klamath Dyno Race
Why is it called the Klamath Dyno? Donnie Smith described engine testing for the Klamath race something like this- "Put your motor on a dyno, pull it down to race RPM at WOT, and walk away from it. Leave it there pulling wide open for 30 minutes. When you come back if it's still running, it's ready to race at Klamath." He was talking about the previous courses that ran from the town of Klamath to the town of Weitchpec, 45 miles one way of mostly flat, wide full throttle running. The shortened course is about 25 miles, but still you can run it mostly WOT, so it it is still an endurance test for your motor.
The Klamath happened to end up the last points race in the US series this year. The teams and boats that showed up were one of two stripes: in the points or diehard racers. Usually the same thing, in my experience.
Klamath 2001 Results
How the race went for us.....
I started re-assembling the motor on Monday the 25th. Started on the hull on Wenesday the 27th. Put the motor IN the hull on thursday the 28th, pre-ran the river and tested on the 29th. The little boat ran good, the hull work seemed fine and the motor was breaking ok. It and it seemed real fast. Motor pulled up to 4900 rpm, 200 more rpm than it ever did with the same impeller and clerarances. This I attribute to the ZZ4 cam and intake. (extra 30 horsepower maybe?)
I was having so much fun tearing around looking at the river that I decided to make two runs down through Blue Creek, looking for a shallow flat spot to miss all the bumpy stuff out in the middle. On the second run I found the spot, only problem was it had a rock in it! Lumped a 1 inch deep, 12 inch long concavity in front of the intake, bent the intake up slightly, mashed a 1/2 inch deep groove in the shoe and ride plate. Wrecked all my precision bondo-an-bending work of the wednesday before.
Took it on to the tech inspection, then took it home and started bondoing. (It was getting dark.) I flattened out the lump in front of the intake and blobbed a big ole' glob of bondo on the groove in the shoe, hammered the ride plate flat again. Ok, didn't look so bad, no time to test but I'm ready to go!
We started two at a time heading up river. Start from off-plane, go on the green flag. I am paired up with Mark Conklin in #15. The flag goes up, I'm gone- pulls real hard- just as I get topped out the damn boat starts hopping from corner to corner, chine dancing. It's getting worse! Back off to where it settles down. Arrrgh! I can only run it at about 4000 rpm. Oh boy, all the way to Pecwan at 58 mph, this is going to be a lonnnng run... Just hope I can stay ahead of the sweep boat, which is Pete Malone and Skip Nolan in Pete's circle track motor powered sprint boat. He's faster than me even when I'm running good! Mark Conklin caught us right away just above the Glen and we moved over and waved him by. Mark told us later that it looked real strange hopping from rear corner to rear corner, I'll bet it did, it sure felt strange.
I guessed that the intake being tilted up at the front combined with the bondo on the shoe to flatten it out was wedging a whole lot more water into the intake than the pump could use and the back of the boat was being lofted to one side or the other on the water rolling out the back of the pump. I've seen this before, once I added a 1/8th inch plate to the shoe and ride plate and it did exactly the same thing, (and several other weird things). I thought about it all the way to Lamb's Riffle, we were going so slow I had to do something to make the time pass... I thought maybe I could try scraping the bondo off on some gravel or sand. At Lamb's I cut the corner off, about 1 foot from the beach, but it was still to deep, we didn't touch. At Blue Creek I tried cutting the corner at the top off again, but it still didn't touch. Just above Blue Creek is Ah Pah, a left corner with a long right channel with lots of water and a left shallow channel with two shallow channels off of that. I took the left channel then ran right through the exposed gravel between the two shallow channels. It scraped real good! We came out into the flat water above and I wound it out. The chine dance was gone but I had an unbelievable porpoise, the boat leaving the water completely at the top of the hop and the motor hitting the rev limiter. Oh well, I was going faster than before, so good enough! Had to stay out of it a little bit, it was pretty violent and I didn't want to bust something. At the top I got out the trusty vice grips and bent the rear of the ride plate way down, hopefully the boat would stay in the water at top speed.
Dean and Jeff Saxon, 107, lost the ring gear off of their flexplate. It was just laying there, propped up against the snout on the pump. Looks like it fell off as they pulled in or shut down because it didn't tear anything up. A little weird...
Our run back down was still plenty flipperish, and slow, but we made it! Will and Phil in 211 Danger Zone hit an unmarked snag in the Glen, about a half mile above the finish line, but it didn't hurt their run. It did bend the boat a little as I heard they were in the gas station buying bondo right before I went in to buy mine.
Dean Saxon went to town and got another flexplate, Mike Zoller ran him back upriver and they replaced it and motored home. That was the end of the first day.
The high point of the day for me was to observe how well the Bagshaw clan are doing with 277. Pretty amazing performance for a hull that is at least ten years old and several generations behind in technology. A real great job.
In an attempt to give the spectators a little better show, we started from just above the bridge one at a time instead of two at a time. Our starters, Debbie Thompson, Pete Malone and Skip Nolan had to do a little wading to get to the sandbar, but they persevered and the start went well.
Overnight I had refined my bondo job and also discovered a whole bunch of rocker in the V part of the hull, which I pounded out. The boat was still porpoising, but just it's normal amount. I need to take Steve Soderberg's advice and get a new set of intake pressure readings, that may be the porpoising.
Anyway, it was a good run up. We caught and passed Jack who was having magneto problems. Derek Ely and Jim Vantress were both running sparkling races and all the rest of us were having a good time.
more coming, I don't write fast.......