Today we took a trip to Race-Tech Motorsport Ltd to test NightHawk Mk1 on their dyno.
We had a few glitches in the morning getting set up, the first being our ground clearance was too low to get on the rollers, however we were able to adjust the rear push rods sufficiently and raise the front on some blocks to get around this. We then had to calibrate the MAP sensor as it was shown to not be scaled correctly, this was interesting as not something we had come across before, although we use TPS for the map the pressure sensor is used for threshold check and in other features of the ECU such as throttle transients so it’s better to have it accurate. They had a hand operated vacuum/pump with a dial readout which we could connect to the sensor and manually scale which was very useful.
After having to solder another broken sensor connection we were then up and running and after some tweaking of the timing and fuel got it to a point where we could really start to push for peak performance. I’m please to say the cooling and drive train all held up perfectly and was looking nice and balanced and consistent. However we did find the same hot start issue that we have always struggled with, we have always been under the impression it was down to lack of map refinement however the man we were working with mentioned that sometimes the crank sensor can suffer from elevated temperatures when worn out. We checked this through the ECU and right enough the sync was dropping out when hot and once we let it cool it was perfect again! Therefore we are now sourcing some new sensors rather than the 2nd hand ones we have been using currently to see if this elevates the problem.
So we let the engine cool and started doing some serious power runs after working on the map and the good news is we generated more power than we have ever with any of our previous cars, the bad news is this was evident by the fact that we got the clutch to slip under load! So unfortunately that meant we could not continue to develop the map above the point where it was slipping which turned out to be almost exactly 50bhp. If you extrapolate the power curve we got to what is typical we would expect around 60bhp currently. We am very pleased with this but still feel there is more to come as the best we have seen from a restricted CBR engine is 85bhp so we are setting this as the target.
Therefore currently we have the car back and are fitting a new clutch and sourcing new sensors also to see if we can resolve the hot start issue.
With then engine out we are also taking the opportunity to begin modifying the current loom. Everyone is under pressure currently on the run up to exam period but we am hoping that within two weeks the loom will be modified and the refreshed engine back in ready for more development, meanwhile the new chassis is well underway.