Wednesday, July 22, 2015

Satan Caught on Video

If you don't run in the same circles that I do, then you may have missed this blip on the news.  Indeed, the Devil (or at the very least a high ranking minion) was recently recorded doing, well ...the devil's work, in a hidden camera video.

Okay, I overstated the case a bit when I called Deborah Nucatola (from the above video) Satan.  I'll stand by the high ranking minion description though.  In a strange turn of events another high ranking minion was also recently caught on video discussing the sale of dead murdered baby parts.
If you can hold down your lunch long enough to get to the end of this video, you may catch Mary Gatter quipping that she wants a Lamborghini; a clear allusion to the profit she can see in the modern day equivalent of grave robbery.  I have to say, Dr. Frankenstein from the tale by Shelley was a far more sympathetic figure; of course that story does not begin to earn the adjective "horror" when put beside the murderous history of Planned Parenthood.
By the way, you may want to go back and watch the beginning of the second video one more time.  Cecile Richards.  If Mary Gatter and Deborah Nucatola only qualify as high ranking minions of Satan, when the question becomes, what about Cecile Richards?  Well, Jesus said this:
 Ye are of your father the devil, and the lusts of your father ye will do. He was a murderer from the beginning, and abode not in the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he speaketh a lie, he speaketh of his own: for he is a liar, and the father of it. (John 8:44)

Cecile Richards may not be the devil incarnate, but it is plain whose daughter she is.

BUT, wicked as all of this is, the lesson we might learn from the small amount of outrage generated is how depraved our once great nation has become.  A few people may become upset over the ghoulish sale of dead baby body parts, but have they forgotten the millions of babies murdered in the years since the Supreme Court instituted a constitutional right to commit that murder?  You serious Clark?  What is the greater sin?  The murder or the sale of the corpse?

May God have mercy on us, though we surely deserve none.

Thursday, July 9, 2015

Melting Down in July

But in this case it is a good thing.  On July 17, 18 and 19 Byron Dragway will be the scene of the 6th annual Meltdown Drags.  This event is one that you really need to attend to gain a full appreciation for the concept.  From the grandstands you will think you stepped back in time to a 1966 drag race!

Every year this beautiful dragstrip outside of Byron Illinois (near Rockford) becomes home to a weekend that reminds us why drag racing became such a popular sport during the '50s, '60s and beyond.  What make this particular event such a hit is a combination of things.  For one thing, all the vehicles must be 1966 or older.  Add to that, they need to be period correct as viewed from the stands.  That means no modern wheels or "snorkel" hood scoops.  Another key ingredient might be that the Meltdown Drags Crew has chosen to curb the natural inclination of racers everywhere to go faster and faster (translation: spend more and more money) by making it a "grudge racing" only event.  If you're not familiar with the term "grudge racing" it basically comes down to this: no trophies or even class eliminations -for every pass down the strip each racer is free to pair up with another similar vehicle that will provide for a good race.

This event draws in the neighborhood of 500 competition vehicles which includes everything from front engine dragsters to near stock looking sedans.  And gassers.  Lots and lots of wheel standing gassers.

Of course a 1966 drag race scene would not be complete without motorcycles, and the Meltdown Drags, true to its theme, includes them.  Last year's event included somewhere in the neighborhood of 20 motorcycles in competition.  I suspect that may be near the ratio of cars to bikes that one might have found at a typical mid '60s drag race. 

Rumor has it that this year we can expect to see Glen Kerr with his famous world's first twin engine dragbike, Dubble Trubble.  The boys from the AH Garage will likely be there with vintage Harleys ranging from a Knucklehead to a Shovelhead and pretty much everything in between.  Steve McGregor with his double engine Triumph may be there, not to mention Wayne Skinner and his single engine Triumph dragster as he continues to up the percentage of nitro.  Last I heard, John Endrizzi plans to run his supercharged street Knuckle, and I fully expect Jay from Fear No Evo Racing to show up with his Iron XL gasser.  No doubt there will be other bikes there as well, filling out the program.

As for the Knuckledragger, Lord willing we will put in an appearance with it.  I am finishing up a 4 speed transmission for it (built from mostly used parts) because the 2 speed was not really the hot set up combined with a modern slick without nitro: pretty hard on clutch plates.

Friday, July 3, 2015

July 4th 2015

I have to admit that this 4th of July seems more like a funeral than a birthday celebration.  You know how modern day funerals all seem to want to be called "a celebration of the life of ________" (fill in the blank).  Eventually that may be how many of us look at the 4th of July; as a celebration of the deceased's life. 

Just as when we attend a funeral and look back on the life of a friend, we tend to recall the good they did while holding our tongue about the times they fell short.  If that friend was a God fearing man (in the biblical sense) then there is indeed reason for hope regarding their future state. But what if your friend had spent a good portion of his life professing to love God (despite an ongoing struggle between doing good and doing evil, as we all have) only to totally reject God in his later years; celebrating what the LORD condemns?  Not so much hope left for that friend's future.  ...but that would not completely erase the affection you once had for him.

That sort of sums up how I feel about the 4th of July funeral celebration this year. 

Before our move from a house in the city, we flew Old Glory almost constantly, even going to the trouble of lighting it at night.  On holidays such as the 4th we would add the Gadsden flag or the Culpeper flag below it.  When we moved, I considered installing a flag pole here on our new property, but seeing the handwriting on the wall, I held off.  It seemed that it might only find use in raising those flags from the War of Independence - and of course those flags are in the process of being re-defined as racist, so...

One thing is certain though, if we did have a flagpole, Old Glory would only be ascending half way this 4th of July.  Think of it as paying respect to a fallen hero.

In Memory
LORD have Mercy

For more on this topic I heartily recommend these articles from men I respect:
JD Hall
Doug Wilson

Monday, June 29, 2015

God Is Not Mocked

Just a couple things that come to mind regarding the recent decision by the Supreme Court of the United States concerning the newfound institution of gay mirage (no, that's not a misprint).

Be not deceived; God is not mocked: for whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap. Galatians 6:7

Embracing gay mirage is not something for which this nation will be judged; it IS the judgment.

Woe unto them that call evil good, and good evil; that put darkness for light, and light for darkness; that put bitter for sweet, and sweet for bitter!  Isaiah 5:20

Being included in any group of whom the LORD says "Woe unto them" is not a good place to be.

And I saw a great white throne, and him that sat on it, from whose face the earth and the heaven fled away; and there was found no place for them.  And I saw the dead, small and great, stand before God; and the books were opened: and another book was opened, which is the book of life: and the dead were judged out of those things which were written in the books, according to their works.  And the sea gave up the dead which were in it; and death and hell delivered up the dead which were in them: and they were judged every man according to their works. And death and hell were cast into the lake of fire. This is the second death.  And whosoever was not found written in the book of life was cast into the lake of fire.  Revelation 20:11-15

Because in the end, God is not mocked.

Wednesday, May 20, 2015

Memorial Day 2015


On Monday this nation will observe Memorial Day for the 147th time. Originally call Decoration Day, it was officially instituted in 1868 as a day to honor those who died serving their country in the Civil War. After World War I, the event was expanded to honor those who have fallen in battle in all the wars in which this country has been involved. Strictly speaking, Memorial Day is set aside to honor only those who died in war defending our freedoms, which is appropriate given their sacrifice.

So, in case you are wondering if or how I am going to tie the observance of Memorial Day to the Bible and Christianity (which of course I am prone to do), let's consider a passage from II Samuel chapter 23.

These words are recorded after David had taken his rightful place as king over a united Israel.

These be the names of the mighty men whom David had: The Tachmonite that sat in the seat, chief among the captains; the same was Adino the Eznite: he lift up his spear against eight hundred, whom he slew at one time. And after him was Eleazar the son of Dodo the Ahohite, one of the three mighty men with David, when they defied the Philistines that were there gathered together to battle, and the men of Israel were gone away: He arose, and smote the Philistines until his hand was weary, and his hand clave unto the sword: and the LORD wrought a great victory that day; and the people returned after him only to spoil. And after him was Shammah the son of Agee the Hararite. And the Philistines were gathered together into a troop, where was a piece of ground full of lentiles: and the people fled from the Philistines. But he stood in the midst of the ground, and defended it, and slew the Philistines: and the LORD wrought a great victory.

And this is but the first three of David's soldiers who are all mentioned by name here. In the rest of the chapter, David goes on to name another 32 of the mighty men of his army. Thus it would seem that when we honor the fallen soldiers of our own nation, we do have some biblical example for doing so.

Consider this from Matthew Henry's commentary on II Samuel 23: 

Note, Those that in public stations venture themselves, and lay out themselves, to serve the interests of their country, are worthy of double honour, both to be respected by those of their own age and to be remembered by posterity. To excite those that come after to a generous emulation.  To show how much religion contributes to the inspiring of men with true courage. David, both by his psalms and by his offerings for the service of the temple, greatly promoted piety among the grandees of the kingdom (1Chronicles 29:6), and, when they became famous for piety, they became famous for bravery.

Now, one might argue that nothing which Matthew Henry said about the piety of Israel's army applies to the soldiers of our United States because we have a separation of church and state, and so we are not a Christian nation. But I would suggest that the idea that we are not a Christian nation would have been totally foreign to the great majority of those who have died in the service of our county for more than two centuries. It is far more likely that most of them embraced the thought that they were fighting for God and Country.

So this weekend, as we honor those who have died for God and Country, let us remember Jesus words as recorded in John 15:13

Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends.

Over the course of our nation's history many have shown this type of love through fighting and dying for their fellow countrymen who they counted as friends. We should honor them for the bravery and the love which they displayed.

Even more important though, is how those words of Jesus apply to himself.

"Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends." And the next verse continues, "Ye are my friends, if ye do whatsoever I command you." "  Jesus gave us many commands during his earthly ministry, but they could perhaps best be summed up when he said repent, and believe the gospel. (Mark 1:15)

Jesus did lay down his life to pay the just penalty for our sins so that we might be forgiven and spend eternity with him. Won't you repent and believe this good news?

Wednesday, May 6, 2015

Vintage Dual Carbs, Part 4

Okay, its high time I finish up this series on vintage dual carbs, or more accurately stated: dual carbs on vintage Harleys. In a previous post, I promised to offer what I see as possibly the best compromise between authenticity, performance and feasibility.

For a Knuckle or a Pan, there are three basic ways to achieve dual carbs. First is the obvious: major modifications to the heads (welding and machining) for one carb with an individual runner on each head. This method is probably the most difficult and/or the most expensive. If you are a good welder, machinist, and have porting experience, then it may just the ticket. If you lack one or more of these talents, well, ...that's where the expensive part comes in. It also suffers from the drawback that, for street use, leg interference is normally a major issue, especially with Linkerts. If using Linkerts or other small bore carbs, this method will also limit maximum air flow.

The second method is to mount two carbs on opposite ends of a common manifold, 'a la the Seely manifold of yesteryear. This is perhaps the simplest method and easiest to build. However, it does suffer from the same leg clearance problems of the first method; again, especially with the relatively long Linkerts carbs. One advantage this method does have over the first is the ability to either keep each intake track separate for true independent runner (IR.) operation, or to use the manifold as a common plenum so that each cylinder can draw from both carbs at once for maximum power potential.

A third option, as I see it, is a custom manifold for two carbs mounted side by side on the pushrod side of the engine. On a Knuckle or a Pan, since the intake spigots are at the far left hand (primary drive) side of the engine, this method has the advantage of providing more room to accommodate carburetor length. This allows the dual carbs to be the least intrusive in respect to legroom. The drawback is that this last method leads to a compromise between the tuning advantage of individual runner and the increased flow capabilities or a plenum manifold which allows each cylinder to draw from both carbs. Keep in mind (as pointed out in part one of this series) that a pure individual runner manifold with carbs on the pushrod side of the engine will necessarily suffer from a "pinched" port cross section. Given the limited amount of real estate between the cylinders/port spigots, I just don't see any good way around this.

That leaves us with one option (in my humble opinion) as the best overall compromise for vintage style dual carbs. That would be a manifold with a runner from each carb, which merges into a common runner before splitting off into each port. A variation of this would be for the carbs to mount on a "plenum" which then feeds into two separate runners which attach to the ports on the heads. In practice, the section of either of these manifolds which attaches to the heads will essentially mimic (if not actually begin life as) a stock "T" manifold (or in the case of Shovelheads "Y" manifold. For the sake of easy identification, let's call the one a "plenum manifold, and the other an X manifold (for a Shovel it would be pretty much X shaped, though for a Pan or Knuck it would look like an X with the top legs folded down).

X Manifold for Knuck
Plenum Manifold for Shovel

The natural question then becomes, which is better, a plenum type or an "X" manifold. Outside of building one of each, followed by real world testing of each (including dyno testing), I really cannot give a firm answer. Now if any reader out there would care to provide me with a generous research grant along with dyno facilities, I would be glad to find an answer. As you may surmise from the increasingly length of time between blog posts, I have no spare time to donate. However, we can come get some idea of how such manifolds may work out by use of computer simulations.

As engine simulation programs go, there seem to be three levels readily available. There is the very basic type which uses a limited number of inputs. While these can be fun and useful, they definitely have their limitations. The mid-level programs use many more inputs, provide for a higher level of accuracy, and of course cost more. Finally, there is the professional level simulation program with even more inputs and even higher purchase prices. The basic simulators generally can be purchased for $100 or less, the mid level in the $200-$300 range, with the professional versions in the $500 range.

The simulator which I own, Engine Analyzer from Performance Trends, falls into the middle category. To give you an idea of the data that is utilized in this program, here is a partial list: Bore, stroke, rod length, windage, friction losses, compression ratio, combustion chamber shape, valve diameters, flow efficiency, port diameter, port volume, port centerline length, manifold diameter, manifold centerline length, manifold flow efficiency, runner length, carb cfm, ...and that only covers the first three of seven screens of data to be entered. Obviously the more accurate the data entered, the more accurate the results. The real strength in a program such as this is not in the hard numbers it produces, but rather is revealed in the company name itself:  Performance Trends. While the actual horsepower and torque numbers produced by the program may not match real world results exactly, by changing input data one step at a time, one will see a "trend" in the results.

So, the simulator! The logical first step was to enter everything in as accurately as possible to match a stock 74 cubic inch Knucklehead. Well, almost stock. I used the flow figures for an unmodified FHP/S&S Knuckle head along with an Andrews "N" Knucklehead cam. The N cam is what Andrews calls its "stock replacement" and though its specs don't quite match my own measurements for an OEM cam, or the S&S stock replacement Knuck cam, I already had the specs loaded into the program and deemed it suitable for these tests.

As I stated earlier, the actual numbers that the program predicts are of much less consequence than the "trends" that it reveals, though I might mention that the numbers generated looked reasonable, remembering that rear wheel HP recorded on a chassis dyno will be 10-15% lower Here was the first thing of note: changing from the stock Knuckle M35 carb to the slightly larger M74 resulted in a gain in average torque (across the tested band of 1500 to 6000 RPM) of 4-1/2 foot pounds, along with along with gain in average horsepower of 4. Peak torque went up by nearly 7 ft pounds and the horsepower peak went up by 5, but also peaked at 500 RPM higher than with the M35 (5000 RPM vs 4500).

M35 vs M74

Next up was to input the added runner length of the dual carb "X" manifold without the additional flow capability of a second carb. This model shows an increase in both torque and horsepower across the entire RPM range, which suggests that added overall intake tract length for the dual carb manifold is a performance enhancement all by itself.

But we really aren't going to the trouble of building a dual carb "X" manifold just for the length, are we? Inserting the flow from an M74 combined with an M35 results in even more impressive gains. Peak torque is up nearly 9 foot pounds compared to the M74 on a stock manifold, while peak horsepower increases by almost 13. Average torque across the tested RPM range is up by 8 with average horsepower up by 7. Perhaps just as important is that the dual carb model show the torque as higher than the stock carb and manifold at all RPMs, even compared to the single M35. That would suggest that we are not going to give up any lower RPM performance in the search for top end power with the dual carb manifold.

M74 on stock manifold vs dual carbs on X manifold

Perusing all of the data, it appears that the M35 on a stock manifold is limiting the peak torque to 3000 RPM and the peak HP to 4500. The simple change to an M74 raises the torque peak to 3500 and the HP peak to 5000, indicating the restriction of the M35. The addition of the dual carb manifold with two carbs leaves the RPM for peak torque at 3500, but raises peak HP to 5500.

At no point in the torque curve did the M74 produce less than the M35. In fact, subsequent "runs" with even much larger carbs still showed a horsepower peak at 5500 RPM (the peak number increased, but not the RPM at which it was reached). That indicates to me that the M35 was limiting the RPM of peak HP, whereas with an M74 there is some other factor that is limiting it (in fact increasing the cylinder head air flow in the test did result in the RPM for peak HP increasing).

Plenum vs X manifold shows which is clearly the better street choice
Of course these tests don't tell us much about throttle response and overall driveability, but that's where a little personal experience weighs in. While I have not had the opportunity to field test an "X" manifold, I do have some personal experience with a "Seely" style manifold with no divider which allows each cylinder to draw from both carbs. When I built such a manifold about 25 years ago, it seemed logical to set it up in much the same way as an automotive 4 barrel carb. If you consider a typical 4 barrel, you will notice a couple things. One is that the "primary" throttle plates are normally smaller than the secondary's. The second is that the linkage provides for the primary throttle plates to open part way before the secondary plates begin to open: this is commonly called progressive linkage.

Now think about what that means for a moment. The smaller primary plates will naturally result in better fuel mileage and throttle response when you don't "have your foot in it." The larger secondary plates will allow maximum air flow for WOT (wide open throttle) situations. That should make for a pretty good all around compromise between driveability, mileage, and power. And such proved to be the case. I fabricated throttle linkage (shown below) which allowed the M35 that I used as the primary carb to reach 1/2 throttle before the M74 secondary carb began to open, but which also caused both carbs to reach wide open at the same time. As an added airflow enhancement, I only ran a choke plate on the primary carb (though the choke shaft remained in place on the M74 to keep the low speed needle adjustment mechanism).

Throttle closed

Right carb at 1/2 throttle, Left about to start opening

Both carbs at full throttle

Starting was as easy as stock, and as I recall required abut the same procedure as with one carb. Throttle response was as good as stock. WOT performance was very good, and in fact when I would "roll on" the throttle, I could feel when the second carb started to open, much like you can feel the secondary's of a 4 barrel carb on your V-8 kick in. (Come on, least some of you had to have ridden in an antiquated car with a 4 barrel carburetor.)

Of course this setup was not on a completely stock Knucklehead, which has the potential for skewing some of the results. The engine remained 74 inches, but it used two right side flywheels allowing quicker revving. It also had ported heads with larger valves, along with a 110 Sifton cam; you know... typical Knuck hop up stuff of days gone by.

Full disclosure; the one glitch that I never did quite work out entirely to my satisfaction (at least from a curiosity standpoint) was the idle speed. With the circuit breaker at full advance the idle speed would remain too high despite my attempts to disable the idle circuit of the secondary carb. I think it was due to my use of typically worn out Linkert carbs (with excess wear to the bodies at the throttle plates) allowing too much air to sneak through. Since I did not have any better carbs to try, I "solved" the problem by installing a late '60s auto advance circuit breaker which I did happen to have in my parts stash.  Problem  not solved, but symptoms masked.  Whether I was correct that the source of the high idle was worn out carbs, or if I simply did not do a good job of disabling the idle circuit remains to be seen, and any input from someone with similar experience is welcomed.

So, there you have it, an "X" shaped dual carb manifold; best compromise solution for dual carbs on a vintage Big Twin. No need to do extensive and expensive modifications to your heads. By avoiding the short runner length of a plenum type manifold, RPMs for toque and horsepower peaks stay at a street friendly level. And perhaps one of the biggest advantages is that it sticks out less than 3 inches further than the stock set up, or about an inch more than an S&S E.

Ignore the linkage shown here - pic was taken early in the mock up process

Wednesday, April 22, 2015

Earth Day 2015

In recognition of  Earth Day and the ongoing global warming crisis, I would like to ask everyone to make a small sacrifice.  Could you please take the time to burn some gasoline?  I would suggest at least 20 gallons.  Now I know that most of us don't have the free time to go out driving around aimlessly today, so I have a couple alternative suggestions. 

The first would be to simply pour the 20 gallons of gasoline into an appropriate open container such as your back yard fire pit.  In the interest of safety, you should probably light it by means of a flaming arrow shot from a safe distance, though most earth day supporters would also cheer a reduction in population, no matter how small.

If you just can't get away from work for the sake of the environment, then please consider getting a jump start on gasoline burning by leaving your car idling in the parking lot during business hours.  Sure, that won't burn as much as one might like, but consider this; you can increase the burn rate significantly by the judicious placement of a brick on the foot feed (yeah, I grew up on a farm; for those who didn't, the foot feed is the gas pedal).

Now, this modest contribution to global warming will cost you about $50 depending on your local gas prices, but if enough of you contribute, the rewards for all of us could be significant.  April 22 and here in southern Minnesota we had snow flurries yesterday.  Global warming - give me some of that!  And remember, its for the children.

(If you have your own suggestions on how we can increase global warming, feel free to add them in the comments section)