Saturday, July 23, 2016

Vintage Racing Action at the 2016 Meltdown Drags

The 2016 edition of the Meltdown Drags are now history.  Great racing action, good friends, and cooperative weather - who could ask for anything more?  Well, I guess Wayne Skinner could have asked for a few more passes on the lower end of his Triumph before finding bearing material in his oil after his  last run on Friday.  Still, even he enjoyed the atmosphere despite his bike's nitro methane induced early demise.

After several years of largely self inflicted frustration, I finally got the Knuckledragger to perform near its potential.  These things tend to take time when you limit your racing to one weekend per year.  Of course many of the other racers are likewise still sorting out fresh builds and/or modifications.  Even with the old stuff, there is really no such thing as the "status quo."

The number of drag bikes was down this year, primarily due the conspicuous absence of the AH Garage racing team.  (c'mon guys, it's just not quite the same event without your stable of horses joining in the fun)    It was the first time Skinner has been able to make it to the Meltdown, but he is pretty confident it won't be the last. There was also a first time (I think) appearance by Robert Nieves, another Iron Head racer, who also had a really sweet Hemi powered dragster (of the 4 wheel variety) on hand. Self centered jerk that I am, I never got over to meet him and welcome him to the group, but I know Skinner and others did.  Other than that the motorcycles were represented by most of the usual suspects. 

Nice shot of Jake Wang about 15 feet out and carrying the front wheel


Tom Rotert on his Triumph in the near lane 
vs
 John Endrizzi on his hand shift Knuckle in the far lane 


 Mark Wang and his son Jake brought near matching Sportsters, Mark's being assembled during the last week before the event (photo by Jay Rogers)

The remaining pictures were all taken by Car Show Aaron, who seems to really have a knack with the camera.  His Facebook page contains some really great shots of not only the bikes in attendance, but a large number of the drag cars that make the Meltdown such a success (over 160 photos). If you share his pics, please give him credit for them.

Robert Nieves on his great looking Sportster
(photo by Car Show Aaron) 


"Famous Jay" Rogers staging his Iron XL
  (photo by Car Show Aaron)

That caption probably needs an explanation, since I just now made up that nickname for Jay.  It seems that every year "Gasser Wars" magazine features a picture of Jay in their coverage of the Meltdown Drags.  A year or so ago they had a picture of Jay and his Sporty as their "favorite bike" pick.  This year there he was again next to a line of text extolling the vintage drag bikes as real crowd pleasers.  "Famous Jay" - just kind of rolls off the tongue, don't you think?
 

Here's the Knuckledragger following sage advise given by AMRA announcer Rich Wegner back in the 1980's: "It doesn't matter how fast you go as long as you look good and do a smokey burnout!" (photo by Car Show Aaron)


Front wheel up just enough to look good but avoid scaring an old man 
(photo by Car Show Aaron)

As mentioned, the Knuckledragger finally made a pass near its potential (though one could argue that the bike itself has been chomping at the bit for two years with only the rider holding it back).  That happened early Saturday afternoon with Famous Jay in the other lane.  Nothing like being lined up next to a fast bike to add some incentive, resulting in the best E.T. and MPH for the hand shift Knuck to date: 12.056 seconds @ 113.32 MPH.

If you have a vintage drag bike, today is the day to start working on it so you will be ready to join in the fun next year at the Meltdown Drags.

Monday, June 27, 2016

Roads and Ditches

In my minds eye I cannot help but see a gate with a road leading from it. The road is a narrow one with a deep ditch on either side. The ditch on the left is called lawlessness and unrepentant sin. That on the right hand side is called legalism and self righteousness. The narrow road between the two is sanctification and holiness. A wise traveler will closely follow the Counselor sent from above who will guide him on his journey.

Matthew 7:13-14
Matthew 15:14
John 14:26
 

Wednesday, June 22, 2016

Viking AMCA Meet 2016

Thought I should put a little something up about the Viking Chapter of the Antique Motorcycle Club of America National meet from earlier this month.  As usual, it was warm, and it seemed that the outdoor swap meet was yet again a bit larger than the year before.  We had a booth inside the show building, and though I am sure some of the people who came only for the used parts never made their way inside, that was a reasonable price to pay to avoid two solid days of baking sun and the obligatory quick passing rain.  And speaking of a reasonable price to pay, the Viking meet may be one of the few public places where a guy can still find a pretty good deal on old parts; certainly far below what things go for on eBay (which normally includes exorbitant shipping costs).  Of course there always some parts so "in-demand" that they claim a premium price no matter where they are sold, but I tend to set my sights a little lower so I won't be disappointed when I check my wallet.

But the inside display of bikes at the Viking meet is never a disappointment.  Below is just a small sampling.



The VL based board tracker was one of my favorites; and why not?  Besides outstanding workmanship by BTR Builder, it also features a lower end built by yours truly.


 
Hard to beat the combo of brilliant nickel plating on a red background


 
Guess the builder had a pair of 500 Kawi's with one bad jug between them, cause he combined them into a 5 cylinder 2 stroke of about 850cc.  Apparently the idea never caught on big.


 
The wife was good enough to man our booth while I took pictures and checked out the swap meet.


 
"Spirit of Sturgis" aims to keep the racing heritage of original rally alive

Monday, June 13, 2016

What Would Jesus Say?

What would Jesus say about the mass murder which happened this past weekend in the Orlando?

"There were present at that season some that told him of the Galilaeans, whose blood Pilate had mingled with their sacrifices. And Jesus answering said unto them, Suppose ye that these Galilaeans were sinners above all the Galilaeans, because they suffered such things? I tell you, Nay: but, except ye repent, ye shall all likewise perish. Or those eighteen, upon whom the tower in Siloam fell, and slew them, think ye that they were sinners above all men that dwelt in Jerusalem? I tell you, Nay: but, except ye repent, ye shall all likewise perish." Luke 13:1-4

The context of this passage, according to Matthew Henry, is Roman governor Pontius Pilate being enraged by the sedition of a band of Galilaean Jews under the leadership of Judas Gaulonitis, "sent a band of soldiers, and slew these his followers; who were come up to the feast of the passover, as they were offering their sacrifices in the temple, and so mixed their blood with the blood of the passover lambs."

One must note that Christ in no way excused the rebels, or took their side. He did not call for Israel to bestow honors upon the slain, such as we often do in this age by lowering our flags to half mast. On the contrary, his statement seems to confirm that this was indeed the judgment of the Almighty, but uses the opportunity to point out that except we each repent, we will each likewise suffer judgment.

Then our Lord goes directly on to point out that "natural disasters" too may be used of God as an act of judgment, but points out that rather than dwelling on the question of whether or not those who die in such a manner were under God’s judgment, we need to focus on repenting of our own sins.

"God is too loving to ever do such a thing," our modern christain ethic cries out!

Read the book of Isaiah. Study the book of the prophet Jeremiah. God’s chosen people moved continually toward apostasy and wickedness. They worshiped the false idols of the surrounding nations. They committed acts that the LORD calls abominable. When God, after much patience and many warnings, rained down judgment upon his chosen nation, he did so in the form of another nation; but not another nation more righteous than Judah (as one might expect), but one at least as wicked. That nation’s actions in the destruction of Jerusalem, despite being used as an instrument of God to punish, would in turn be judged by him for those very actions, because they were not done to serve the Living God, but to serve their own sinful desires.

If you cannot see the parallels, you might consider having your eyes checked (at least your "spiritual" eyes). As a nation, we have embraced child sacrifice (abortion) and sodomy (the "gay" agenda) and a multitude of other forms of lawlessness. If the LORD chose to allow the Orlando murderer to punish some of those who are in flagrant rebellion against the God who made them, he did so simply by allowing that Muslim to act on his sinful hatred. That man now faces God’s judgment, as do those he killed. As do each of us.  In fact, except we repent, we will all likewise perish.

Wednesday, June 1, 2016

Crazy Horse Garage at The Ohio Mile

This was just going to be a quick "plug" for a couple guys who set a new ECTA (East Coast Timing Association) record while using my big intake valves and 5/16" stem guides for Knuckleheads. But as I write this, I can see that it will likely spill over into a second post. So be it.

It began just over a month back when I went into my shop on a Sunday evening to retrieve something. There was a message on my voice mail, so hoping that it would not be some sort of emergency requiring immediate attention, I took a listen. Lo and Behold the person leaving the message identified himself as Russ Hendron of Crazy Horse Garage; a name I had not heard in years. You see, Russ was the first person that Bobby and I met when we tried our luck at the inaugural Iowa Hog Drags back in 1985. His fuel Sportster was on a trailer just ahead of us in the line waiting for the track to open.

The reason for Russ’s call was to see if I could expedite a pair of the 2.060" Knuckle intake valves to him so he could install them for the spring ECTA meet (the Ohio Mile) the following weekend. "Cutting the time a little short," I thought, but "last minute" and "drag racer" have always been terms that, if not synonymous, then at least close cousins.

So I sent the valves, along with another of my "Lee’s Speed Shop Exclusive" items; a twelve pack of valve spring shims that actually fit Knucklehead guides and collars correctly. Receiving the parts mid week, Russ worked his magic and had the engine back together late Friday night. The Knuckle responded by starting on the first kick. Ya gotta love when that happens!


day before race day - big valve takes up all extra real estate


This might be a good place to insert a little background on the bike. It is owned by Mark Hutcheson, though Russ jokes that it is his bike and Mark only gets to pay for the parts and ride it. The engine started life as a 1941, but by the time it found a new life running the M/VG 1350 class, it was a matter of transforming a pile of junk parts into a fine racing engine. By the way, if you’re wondering, the M stands for modified frame, the VG for Vintage Gas, and 1350 is the maximum cubic centimeters (basically 80 cubic inches). Russ mentioned that the current right side crankcase is the result of grafting two blown case halves together to make one good one. The left case half also got a lot of attention as it now sports a heavily reinforced Timken main bearing.

As you might suspect, along with the Timken bearing goes a set of early 4-1/4" stroke Shovel flywheels which happen to maintain the same taper on the right side to allow use of a recycled Knucklehead pinion shaft. A set of Ross pistons with one inch domes running (with a lot of clearance) in OEM Panhead cylinders provided for 10:1 compression ratio for the Knuck’s initial record runs. They set the class record at 113 MPH, and then 124 at an ECTA event last year. Which brings us to this year...



One week before the April 31st spring ECTA meet Russ decided to freshen the top end on the record setting Knuckle. That’s where my valves came in. Along with the bigger valves, Russ shortened up the cylinders by .060". As already mentioned, the Knuck seemed to like the attention and cooperated by starting on the first kick ..., and it has continued to be a one-kick starter. Arriving at the track in Ohio, it seemed the weather was less willing to cooperate. Saturday was a wash out, with no speed runs.

 
at the track
 
 
the front view of a Harley springer w/o fender and headlight always looks like it means business

Sunday, on the other hand was an entirely different matter. Perhaps following the fine example of the race ready Knuckle, the weather decided to grant full cooperation with the exception of a slight head wind. The 71 year old Knuck responded with a 129 MPH first fun out of the van. A second trip down the track bettered the record to 131.5 MPH for Mark, Russ and his Crazy Horse Garage! Congratulations guys!


if you can't make it out, Russ's shirt says "Where the customer isn't always right"

Now, cool as all this is, its only a bit of the story. When corresponding with Russ for some of the details on the Knuck, he also reminded me of his years of racing a high gear nitro Sportster (most of which I witnessed first hand) as well as a number of behind the scenes facts. Stay tuned for an upcoming post to hear, ...as Paul Harvey would have said, ...the rest of the story.

Tuesday, May 3, 2016

Easy Cam Cover Fixture

Here's a little something for those of you who do some of your own engine work. 

Years ago, when I first saw the Jim's fixture for supporting a cone style cam cover, my thought ran something like this, "Okay, I see the point, but I sure can't see spending that much for something I've gotten by without for all these years."  Nevertheless, the idea is a good one.  Support the cam cover in such a way that the outside surface won't be at risk of being marred, along with providing a stable base for installing bushings and pinning them to prevent possible rotation.  But face it, the portion of the cover that is filled by the timer cover is horizontal to the gasket surface, so drilling for the pins can be accomplished on a drill press without too much trouble.  Just a matter of protecting the finish on the cover.  The pinion bushing is a little more dicey due to being off to the side, but one can get by.

However, over the course of time one of my colleagues mentioned that he had one of the Jim"s fixtures and was impressed with how much easier it made the job.  Of course his input didn't suddenly transform me from being a cheapskate, so rather than ponying up the money for the Jim's fixture, I made my own, as seen below. 


You may notice that mine is a little simpler to fabricate than the Jim"s tool because it supports the cover from the deepest part of the timer cavity rather than the "points cover" gasket surface.  This makes the diameter of the pipe of little importance as long as it will fit inside the cover.  And my colleague was absolutely correct about how handy such a fixture is. 

In fact, I was impressed enough that I decided a similar fixture would be in order for generator style cam covers, especially given the number of early motors that seem to find their way to me.  A fixture for a generator cover, however is a little less straight forward, though actually easier to build.  At first glance the obvious problem is that there is no flat surface on the outside of a generator cam cover to work from.  However, there are points on the outside of the cover that will provide a "level" surface; 12 of them as a matter of fact. 

That's right, the mounting screw holes.  "But they are countersunk," you say. Not really a problem.  It just so happens that the top of a 1/4" acorn nut has just about the right shape to fit the countersink taper which the covers have for each mounting screw. 

Having fabricated one of these for doing Big Twin cam covers some time ago, I found it even more essential than the one for cone style cover bushings.  So last week when I found myself in need of one for a 45" cover, I snapped a few pictures of the finished fixture. 

 
 
I used 1/4 inch aluminum plate for the base, since I had some.  You probably wouldn't want to use too much thinner material because you will probably want to use countersunk screws so the bottom remains flat.  2" long hardware store screws (more likely to be available with threads the whole length) provide enough depth for clearance on the rather thick 45" cover.  Shorter screws would be in order for a Big Twin fixture.  The crude drawing is a must to aid in placing the cover onto the fixture without trying each combination of holes every time.  Well, ...I guess its not a must that the drawing be crude; just that there be a drawing.  I suppose if you wanted to use up a bunch of extra material you could make the support plate the full size of the cover and add more screws so the orientaion would become obvious, but I think I may have already mentioned that I am a cheapskate.
 
There you go.  An easy way to not only protect the finish on your cam cover, but also to hold it level for bushing replacement and drilling for those pesky pins.

Tuesday, April 26, 2016

Murderer Update

As per standard operating procedure around here, I am lagging far behind in blogging, by way of a failed attempt at keeping up with demand on the porting and engine rebuilding side of things. Because of this, the egregious stories of this nation spiraling into paganism keep piling up faster that I could ever find time to comment on them. But sometimes you just have to make the time to speak out.

You may have noticed, in recent times I have confined my rants to the subject of the ongoing government sanctioned murder of babies. There is much else currently taking place which rankles, and which are also a fairly obvious signs of the Almighty's judgment on the USA. Though they are equally contrary to the laws of God, it seemed reasonable to limit my commentary to that issue which so clearly divides a moral from an immoral people. In other words, if you can't find it within yourself to come down on the side of life rather than the side of murder, well, ...let's just say that there isn't much in this world that a sane man would leave to your judgment.

But as I said, the headlines just keep piling up on the murder/no murder issue. And I might add, if this is the first you've read of any of this, it might be time to remove your head from the sand: God is watching and it seems that I read somewhere that being willingly ignorant may not be the strongest defense in the long run. For example, since the beginning of April, these headlines have appeared:

April 5 - "Appearance of Impropriety: Judge’s Husband Has Apparent Link to Planned Parenthood" - (source - Operation Rescue) "Columbia, MO - Federal Court Judge Nanette Laughrey, who is blocking the Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services from revoking the abortion facility license of the Columbia Planned Parenthood facility, is being called on to recuse from the controversial case after pro-life activists photographed her husband, lobbyist Chris Kelly, entering that same facility on March 10, 2016."  Well, maybe the husband is a lobbyist for Planned Parenthood, or maybe he just has a "knocked up" floozy on the side that is in need of the murder for hire services of Planned Parenthood. Either way it would seem to be a clear cut case of conflict of interest. But of course corruption only gets called by name when it sees the light of day, and people are found to actually care.

 

April 6 - "Yesterday, the California Department of Justice, led by Planned Parenthood-backed Attorney General Kamala Harris, raided my (David Daleiden) home and seized my laptop, my personal files, and all of CMP's video footage, including unreleased material, of Planned Parenthood's criminal trade in baby body parts." (source - David Daleiden)

Mr. Daleiden is the gentleman who has gone undercover to expose the illegal sale of murdered baby organs. I have linked to a number of his undercover videos on this blog. Attorney General Harris has reportedly received tens of thousands of dollars from Planned Parenthood, which cannot help but show her to be their bought and paid for attack dog. It would be tough to imagine that a taxpayer supported "murder for hire" business such as Planned Parenthood would think twice about bribing their way to revenge.

April 7 - "CA AG's Office Ransacks Daleiden's Apartment to Defend Campaign Contributor Planned Parenthood" (source - Operation Rescue) Here we also learned that there is evidence that supports accusations that Harris' investigation was politically retaliation, which at its core is an attack on the right to free speech.

April 13 - "How Harvesting Organs from a Dead Abortion Patient Thwarted Justice" (source - Operation Rescue) This piece tells the tragic story of the death of a Cleveland woman while having an abortion performed. The tragedy continued when the plea and even written request by the father (and grandfather) of the victims (plural!) that an autopsy be performed to determine the cause of death, was ignored. Instead, because of an organ donation box had been checked two years earlier when renewing her drivers license, the woman’s body was quickly harvested of parts and her family will never know what kind of malpractice may have lead to her death. That the woman’s father will never have the joy of bouncing his grandchild on his knee can only add to his seemingly unbearable pain.

April 15 - "Collusion Between Houston DA’s Office and Planned Parenthood Alleged in Daleiden’s Motions to Quash Texas Indictments" (source - Operation Rescue) This story which I have mentioned before, revolves around how a Houston Texas Grand Jury which was called to decide whether to indict a Planned Parenthood affiliate for the illegal sale of murdered baby remains. Instead, under leadership of District Attorney Devon Anderson the grand jury indicted the witness to the crime, that is David Daleiden, for allegedly breaking the law by filming the criminals as they unwittingly confessed. In an ongoing pattern of corruption, it was revealed that Josh Schaffer, attorney for Planned Parenthood bragged that he had persuaded DA Anderson to turn the grand jury against Daleiden.

April 18 - "Planned Parenthood’s attacks on pro-life activists make Al Capone look like an amateur" (source - Troy Newman of Operation Rescue) Some interesting facts and numbers here. California Attorney General Kamala Harris, the woman behind the raid on journalist David Daleiden’s home, is running to be a United States Senator from the state of California. Planned Parenthood has donated over $81,000 dollars to her campaign since 2010. Planned Parenthood in turn receives $4.8 BILLION of your taxpayer dollars to aid them in their quest to murder babies. Seriously, with that kind money being taken out of the pockets of hard working Americans and lining the pockets of Planned Parenthood, one has to wonder if their sideline of selling the body parts of murdered babies is based more on depravity than on greed.

April 19 - "The House of Representatives Select Investigative Panel on Infant Lives released a new set of documents this evening from their investigation that PROVES Planned Parenthood profited from the sale of aborted baby parts." (source - David Daleiden) Nothing really new here except that maybe, just possibly maybe, one branch of our government will wake up to the fact that for the past 9 months Planned Parenthood has been lying when they claim the receive no financial benefit from selling little baby hearts, brains, and lungs. Think anyone is paying attention? Think anyone cares?

April 21 - "Barack Obama’s Department of Health and Human Services just sent a letter to all 50 states, threatening that there will be consequences if they cut taxpayer funding to the nation’s largest abortion provider!" (source - Troy Newman of Operation Rescue) This is hardly surprising from the President, who while a Senator, voted against making it illegal to murder a baby when he is half way born. Let’s see now, how does that "partial birth abortion" that President Obama supports work? The whole body of the live baby with the exception of the head is delivered, and then the baby is stabbed to death. Then the baby’s head is delivered, but by now dead. I have to say though, its a bit surprising that the method was not reversed; after all, weren’t they afraid if the baby had its hands out of the womb they might try to defend themselves? Also of note was that Planned Parenthood has adopted the tactic of suing Mr. Newman personally, obviously with the intent of destroying him financially by forcing to defend himself, thereby silencing him. The beauty of that plan (from the devil’s viewpoint) is that Planned Parenthood doesn’t even have to win to achieve their ends.

April 21 - "Operation Rescue complaint ignored while Alexander remains free to break the law." "Forestville, MD - An abortionist who is currently barred from conducting surgical abortions at an unlicensed facility has been caught red-handed conducting late-term Dilation and Evacuation abortions late at night in an apparent attempt to avoid detection." This one concerns Harold O. Alexander who plies his trade of baby murder in the state of Maryland. Despite a history of illegal abortion activity and current pending charges against him, the Maryland Department of Health and Mental Hygiene doesn’t see fit to spend their time or resources to put an immediate stop to Alexander’s illegal slaughter of babies. The pending charges against Alexander date back nearly a year, but hey ...what’s the hurry? Its not THEIR lives that are at stake.

April 23 - "In the Market for Fetal Body Parts, a Baby’s Brain Sells for $3,340" (source - The Daily Signal) The U.S. House Select Panel on Infant Lives is in the process of investigating the sale of fetal tissue from aborted babies and now have access to the menu. On the retail side of things, researchers (the end user) can expect to pay the dealer (fetal tissue procurement companies such as Stem Express) $3,340 for a baby’s brain, $595 for a "baby skull matched to upper and lower limbs," and $890 for "upper and lower limbs with hands and feet." Of course the Planned Parenthood affiliates sell to the dealers at significantly less than that amount, just as a manufacturer in the motorcycle parts business sells to the dealer at a reduced price so that he too can show a profit. Of course the middleman in this case also provides some cover and plausible deniability for the ghouls at Planned Parenthood. Don’t feel that they are getting the short end of the stick though; remember, the money they receive for the baby body parts is almost all gravy (if I can use that term without gagging). The dead babies would need to be disposed of anyway, so in some ways its similar to me saving scrap metal to sell rather than tossing it in the dumpster (well, similar except for the murder part, of course). BTW, the definition of a ghoul is "an evil spirit or phantom, especially one supposed to rob graves and feed on dead bodies." If the people who work at Planned Parenthood don’t fit that definition, no one does.

Well, there you go. As each of these stories came to my attention I was outraged. I could have spent time on each of the above dates expressing my outrage and calling for national repentance of this appalling savagery that should never be tolerated, let alone subsidized by a civilized society. Your tax dollars at work. My tax dollars at work. This nation deserves any judgment that God may bring upon it.

One last word for any woman who has paid to have her baby murdered, and even for those hired assassins at Planned Parenthood: There is forgiveness for those who turn from their sin. Holy scripture tells of a number of murderers who found grace, but they did not find it without repentance.