Friday, March 26, 2010

Eco-marathon 2010: Tech Inspection and Practice Runs

Thursday (tech inspections) and Friday (practice runs) have pretty much come to a close, and here's where we stand.

We spent all of Thursday and most of Friday getting the engine started. It turned out there were several problems with it that we weren't aware of (most of us had been focusing on the Urban Concept vehicle). You'll have to forgive me (Bob) if these technical details aren't 100% correct, I'm a computer engineer, not a mechanical engineer.

From what I understand, our first problem was that when the engine was reassembled (we took it apart to clean it after competition last year) the camshaft gear was put in backwards, causing gas to spray out the intake manifold. Once the engine was rebuilt correctly (with the help of our spare engine for reference), we still had problems. It turned out to be a slightly bent push rod, and the fact that the push rods were completely tightened to the rocker arms. You need about 10-20 thousandths of an inch gap between the push rods and rocker arms so that the valves can close completely.

After a day and a half of engine debugging, it finally started:

Once the engine started, we got it idling decently and rushed to tech inspection to try to get the car passed Friday night. We successfully passed tech on the first try, although we still need to get our second driver to clear the cone slalom so that he can drive. We'll try to get that done right when tech opens tomorrow morning at 9:30am.

Our goals for the rest of Friday night include tightening up the spark timing at higher RPMs, repairing some small cracks in the monocoque body, and adjusting our steering to un-Zoolander our car (it doesn't turn left very well). We're hoping to hit the track for the first competitive run of the day tomorrow morning at 10am.


S said...

which honda engine did u use???

shipment inspection said...

Brilliant :). It seems to be great experience for you. I just read your post and really I can feel you happiness & achievement through it. You did great job. I am really happy for you...Indeed, great inspection :). Best of Luck for your future!