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Twin Square 4 engined car

Posted: Tue Aug 13, 2013 10:25 am
by jadearling
I thought maybe an update is in order as some of you may have seen the recent Cheval article. After the slipping clutch at Wiscombe stronger clutch springs were fitted for the steeper Shelsley Walsh hill and changing to a smaller final sprocket to the back axle reduced the overall ratio. As a first timer I continued to impress and frighten myself on the hill and wear out my band of trusty pushers in the pits. Despite the still slipping clutch I achieved top gear briefly on the long straight at the top of the climb, at the same time I learned that the car has no directional stability or self centering action at speed, I had to ease off as the the finish line approached because I didn't think that I could even keep it on the track, another driver suggested it was the most terrifyng finish they had seen and perhaps one needs more than half a turn lock to lock on the steering, this of course being one of the many disadvantages of four wheels over two!
Following this I replaced the oily clutch friction plates for nice new ones and altered the front axle caster to give more self centering. Also John Mitchell visited the 'Shed' to inspect matters and gather up some more picture for his archives, I didn't think I was writing a magazine article about the car though, I thought I was just giving John the bare bones so he could write one!
The last outing was Prescott, a full on showy VSCC event, where I was delighted to be approached by two AOMCC members, unfortunately my mind was on other matters and my attention span, always akin to that of a toddler, was even further reduced and I have forgotten their names. The cockiness bred by the confidence of having achieved 8 out of 8 runs to date was shaken when the new clutch wouldn't bite enough to turn the engine over when bump starting. Gearbox out, clutch apart and it was discovered that the new friction plates were thinner than the old, so one of the old oily friction plates and a warped plain one were added to give more thickness to the nice new mix, it seemed to take all morning. For the first time I left two black streaks of rubber in the pitlane, this to much spectator cheering, before I completed my first two practice runs. These were not very quick as I cautiously approached the first bend and discovered that it now took all of my pathetic muscle power to get the car to deviate from a straight line and enter a corner, then it jumped out of gear when I floored it for the first steep part, I didn't think I was going to make it up at all as a misfire developed and the power briefly died, when it came back on to 8 cylinders it catapulted me across the track, onwards and upwards grasping for more gears and wondering how long I could keep it going in the right direction. luckily a squirt of power would push the back out to keep matters nearly together. The second practice was 9 seconds faster and I was still shaking when I returned.
Then it rained; exploring the limits of adhesion for the first time is a fine balance between 'bottle' and needing a change of underwear. I didn't cover myself with glory (or anything worse!) but I did manage another full set of completed runs which may suggest to some that I am not trying hard enough yet, and now I have only one more event in the pipeline this season to get my act together.
Apologies if I have gone on a bit but the whole adventure is quite engaging and I do want to share my excitement especially I have in mind those in the further reaches of the Empire who are so regretfully unable to take a closer participation, yet!

Posted: Mon Aug 19, 2013 4:36 pm
by jadearling
You can now find some film on Youtube, my son Sholto taped a camera to the front of the car at Wiscombe and posted the footage but never got round to editing it, consequently the first few minutes are largely of various knees and people's raincoats and the last 12 minutes is of the back of a parked car with only a few moments action between (hmm could be reminiscent of someone's love life!) but at least you get an idea of what it sounds like as the film starts just at the moment it is fired up, the quality of the sound is not brilliant but ok, I would love to do it without the silencers.
I don't know how to make a direct link to the video so , unless someone more computer literate can do it for me you will have to paste and enter 'KN IV GN first run since total rebuild Wiscombe VSCC 2013' on Youtube. There could be more videos too if anyone wants more.

Re: Twin Square 4 engined car

Posted: Tue Aug 20, 2013 7:19 am
by Eero.Korhonen
Is this the one:
Br, Eero

Posted: Tue Aug 20, 2013 10:31 am
by jadearling
Yup, that's the one, thanks Eero.
I've just had a weekend of pc nightmares and I don't feel a natural affinity with this technology, I had jusy popped in to make a pot of tea when I saw your post and right now am getting back to sorting out someone's 1920 GN cyclecar, it might be dirtier but it's more understandable for me!
Thanks again

Posted: Tue Aug 20, 2013 12:20 pm
by chaz.wheeler
nice to see Jade, the guy in the next unit to me is also open minded, so I can show him. his design company designed John Bloor's first new Triumph and also the old Escort van amongst others, meanwhile he was at Shelsley in his Becke Power Plus, and last weekend was at Pembrey as his son was driving the single seater Fraser Nash, 3rd in race and fastest lap. better lock away the square 4 engines Ive got or he might get ideas:)


Posted: Tue Aug 20, 2013 10:52 pm
by barry.swanson
jadearling wrote:........ There could be more videos too if anyone wants more.

...I enjoyed that Jade...yes, let us know if anymore videos are posted please, Barry.

Posted: Wed Aug 21, 2013 9:13 am
by jadearling
Thanks Chaz, the Becke PowerPlus has been continually active for a long time and is one of my favourite cars, we are in different classes because of my having 'more' engine but it is faster than me. The Frazer Nash video is great, the car is so professional, the resource put into that is way beyond my reach but it's great that someone else can do it and make such a fine job of it. You know my bonnet was formed between a piece of telegraph pole and two lengths of scaffolding over an old rug, it was 'make it up as I went along' with a minimum of outside help, or money, it was all like that.

Here you go Barry Oh I thought that would automatically become a link!

This is 5 short shots from Shelsley, 1 First official climb, 2 is 1 repeated at half speed, 3 start line before second run, 4 second run, 5 half speed repeat of second run. I was horrified at my snail like pace but learning that 2 & 5 were at half speed made me feel better, I did win '1st Handicap in class' on the second run, first thing I've ever won, in anything!
More to come...

Re: Twin Square 4 engined car

Posted: Wed Aug 21, 2013 11:17 am
by Wali.Badger.Taylor
A great read Jade, If you are coming off Prescott shaking like a leaf you are doing it right, it is such an intense ride I forget to breath and am panting back in the paddock.

Re: Twin Square 4 engined car

Posted: Thu Aug 22, 2013 11:11 am
by Bob.Murphy
It looks, and sounds, good on the road.

Thanks for posting this, its a fascinating read.

Off-topic . . Is that blue & yellow car sneaking up behind at the start a Lea Francis (or a Riley) ??


Posted: Thu Aug 22, 2013 3:24 pm
by jadearling
Well Bob and Wali, I am glad that you are enjoying reading this, I haven't put anything up anywhere else, not even the VSCC website yet, I only responded because Dave Thomas posted a picture and then I got such an encouraging reception that I thought I should carry on. Of course I think the car is great and much better in 'real' than on-screen but I might be a trifle biased. As I said before it was brilliant to have a couple of club members come up and introduce themselves at Prescott I am begining to get the fantasy of a little collection of Ariels arriving when I am running! There are always a couple at my local VSCC New Years meet up.

Bob, the car you asked about is a Vauxhall 30/98 from 1926, so 4 or 5 years younger than my GN chassis and of 4250cc, these cars formed the backbone of the club pre-war. He was following me down the little hill for bump starting so I imagine his starter motor had packed up.

Tea break over, back on me head!