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Jensen Healey Race Car Update Feb 2007  Rating:  Rating
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 Posted: 03-29-2007 06:28 am
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pbahr
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Hi Ron,

Just getting to look at the various JH posts and saw the dreadful results of your day at VIR.  Sorry for your troubles.

For agressive driving of a JH, I recommend doing the things that I did when I put YELODOG together, to protect my hardware, legs and feet including:

1 - Driveshaft Safety Hoop.  All dragsters/race cars use them, so they are easy to get.  They control motion in all directions if the front universal lets go.  Saves my right thigh from the chain saw action on the tunnel that you experienced.  Your tunnel damage is not the first that I've seen on a JH.  Same thing happened to a guy in CT about 15 yrs ago.

2 - Clutch Scatter Shield.  A thick steel plate welded to the chassis, radially out from where the clutch is.  Good foot and ankle protection if the clutch blows up.

3 - Special design driveshaft with stronger universals, lighter and stronger tube.  All balanced to 7000 rpm.  I did this for both 4spd and 5spd tranny (one piece driveshaft for the 5spd).

4 - Automatic Fuel pump cutoff switch that shuts off the pump if there is severe shock to the chassis, such as tire wall, tree, armco iron, rollover etc.  Lots of production cars have these.  I got one that is stock in a Town Car.  Don't know if it would have activated with your failure. 

Fortunatly, I have had no failures to test these features, but they do give me lots of confidence during track events...............

From your analysis of the failure, if the tunnel damage was a result of the universal on the tranny, of course, the hoop would not have helped.

Good luck on the repairs,

Pete

 

 

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 Posted: 05-03-2007 07:12 pm
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Ron Earp
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pbahr wrote: Hi Ron,

Just getting to look at the various JH posts and saw the dreadful results of your day at VIR.  Sorry for your troubles.

For agressive driving of a JH, I recommend doing the things that I did when I put YELODOG together, to protect my hardware, legs and feet including:

1 - Driveshaft Safety Hoop.  All dragsters/race cars use them, so they are easy to get.  They control motion in all directions if the front universal lets go.  Saves my right thigh from the chain saw action on the tunnel that you experienced.  Your tunnel damage is not the first that I've seen on a JH.  Same thing happened to a guy in CT about 15 yrs ago.

2 - Clutch Scatter Shield.  A thick steel plate welded to the chassis, radially out from where the clutch is.  Good foot and ankle protection if the clutch blows up.

3 - Special design driveshaft with stronger universals, lighter and stronger tube.  All balanced to 7000 rpm.  I did this for both 4spd and 5spd tranny (one piece driveshaft for the 5spd).

4 - Automatic Fuel pump cutoff switch that shuts off the pump if there is severe shock to the chassis, such as tire wall, tree, armco iron, rollover etc.  Lots of production cars have these.  I got one that is stock in a Town Car.  Don't know if it would have activated with your failure. 

Fortunatly, I have had no failures to test these features, but they do give me lots of confidence during track events...............

From your analysis of the failure, if the tunnel damage was a result of the universal on the tranny, of course, the hoop would not have helped.

Good luck on the repairs,

Pete

 

 

Hey,

thanks for the wishes and suggestions. Unfortunately, under SCCA Improved Touring rules the best two would be illegal - driveshaft loops cannot be added and the driveshaft has to be stock. I have a feeling the driveshaft sheared based on what the end looked like.

We still don't know what actually caused the failure since I was frustrated and we parked the car.  I've been enjoying my 260Z since then and getting some race time in.  But, we'll get her back out late this year and have a look and maybe repair her to race.

R

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 Posted: 05-04-2007 02:30 am
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pbahr
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Yo,

I'm not an SCCA guy, but it really seems very strange to me that they will not allow a strictly SAFETY item like a HOOP.  Same comment for stronger Driveshaft.

Neither change will give you any speed/handling advantage during a race, so what's the gripe?

BTW:
  • You wrote on 2/18/07 about the broken parts: "...driveshafts that mate a five speed to a four speed rear end must be fabricated for the job since that wasn't a factory part or combination. I imagine this one was just not up to the job."  So this was not a stock Driveshaft.
  • And on 3/23/07 "The driveshaft I'm going to have made and plan to have a high dollar/strong drive shaft made too - don't want to see anything like that again.  You are proposing a modified Driveshaft.
So, do they allow mods or not?  I'm a bit confused here.......


Guess there are lots of reasons that I'm not in the SCCA, but on top of the list is stupid rules.


Safety first !

Pete


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 Posted: 05-04-2007 03:42 am
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Ron Earp
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It is odd.

Improved Touring will not allow loops, that much is clear.

But I will use one in the future no matter what. Someone would have to protest me to make an issue of it and that won't happen.

On the driveshafts the JH is an odd bird.

I can use a 5 speed tranny in IT.

I can use a 4 speed tranny in IT.

But the JH is the only car I know of classed in IT on the same spec lines that if you used a five or four speed tranny then your driveshaft would change. Part of that is due to the fact that the JH is one of the few cars that switched in the model year/platform.

The same driveshaft won't fit each and the rules don't address the specific clause I have - use of the 5 speed tranny with the more advantagous 4 speed rear end.  Rear gears are free, but the best way to get the 3.7X was with a four speed. That is with a different part.

In short, I was  breaking the rules by using the 5sp/4sp rear diff shaft that someone made that I used. And it broke.  Anyhow, I don't think the car would be a threat to the AARC championship for a number of reasons, although I think they can/could/do race well.

Next time - starting out I'll use a four speed with a four speed rear end and four speed drive shaft. IF, and big if, it looks competitive in ITS, then I'll use a five speed with the proper ratios etc. in the rear and a five speed driveshaft. Those are the rules.

While the SCCA has lots of odd situtations and rules, the wheel to wheel racing and competition is the best in the amatuer racing segments. NASA is cool too, but with these sorts of cars there is little to no competition. Beyond those two there is little in the way of W2W racing.

Ron

Last edited on 05-04-2007 03:50 am by Ron Earp

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 Posted: 05-04-2007 05:47 am
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pbahr
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Like I said, too many rules.  I would just cheat, and never use a two piece Driveshaft.

I would cheat on the strength of the Universal joints, and the weight/strength of the tube as well.  Who's gonna know?  We're talking safety here.

Good for you, using the Hoop.

BTW, you're not the first on to have his Tunnel chopped up.  When I was building YELODOG engine, I was fortunate to get a pix from a guy in CT that had a hot engine, which caused the front Universal failure.  He, also, was lucky that his leg wasn't cut to shreds.............  That told me to put in all the safety stuff I could.

So, how do you like the handling and stability of the JH at 100 mph+ ?  Not the same good feeling I get with my 911 of the same vintage, for sure.

If you want to experience some real racing on the edge, try Targa Newfoundland.  Sure beats any track I've ever been on.  Not W2W,  but there is passing.  Lots more dangerous though.  Did it in '04 (JH team) & '05, / '06 driving a Neon.  What a trip !  Pix is '05 - we were back in the race the next morning, with new windshield and radiator.  Blew engine two days later though = DNF.

Pete

Attachment: Shiny side down5 lite.jpg (Downloaded 197 times)

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 Posted: 05-05-2007 02:15 pm
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Ron Earp
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That Targa Newfoundland race is awesome. One of the fellows on my Gt40 forum drives in it and made a post about it, see if I can find the name.

If I race the JH I will use a one piece driveshaft as well. Actually, my five speed was a one piece to adapt to that four speed rear. And I'll do it again, but with a piece that I have made and I know is good. This one was of unknown origin. So, to correct I'll start with a strong four speed and single piece, and if the car is competitive but needs better gearing, I'll go back five speed but with that one piece.

I agree on the stability. I only ever got to drive the JH at speed at one track, maybe at 95-105 mph, and it was nothing like my Z car at that speed. Of course, the JH has not had development, so one must be fair.

Hate to hear you toasted the Neon engine, but you do the crime, you do the time! I know how you feel - I just holed two pistons in my Z motor and it is out for rebuild. 7600 RPM over revs for extended periods are not a good thing with it.

R

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 Posted: 05-05-2007 03:23 pm
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pbahr
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Ron,

There's still time to sign up forTarga.  What's holding you back???????

No, I don't want to be unfair about the JH.  I'm sure that I could improve the stability with careful attention to alignment and suspension bits.

Neon engine let go in '05.  I had Promar build up a new one for me with added good stuff in head and bottom end - they know what they're doing and did a nice job.  It ran really strong in '06.

Blowing engines and wrecking cars is a given in this sport.  That's one of the reasons I won't drive YELODOG in Targa.  The Neon is a throw-away !

Pete

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 Posted: 05-28-2008 01:34 am
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Ron Earp
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It has been quite a while since I've posted here about the Jensen Healey race car. Since the last outing in the car she has been sitting in a storage shed resting. And I've been doing a lot of racing with my 260Z and getting somewhat competitive in it, seat time is king.

In doing so I've learned a lot about racing, driving, building cars, and developing cars. One thing I've learned is while I like the Jensen it was probably a fools folly to think that a JH could be brought out in such as competitive class, Improved Touring S, in a strong region, the Southeast, and get the car racable and competitive with class staples like the Z cars, RX7s, 325s, and cars that have had years of racing and development. IT cars nowadays have developed far beyond the Prod classes of the past and are faster than they have any right to be.

At any rate, I've decided that I need to be practical and objective about my racing goals and efforts. To that end, I'll be parting out the ITS Jensen project and selling it. I don't think the package as a whole will bring any buyers, but I will be selling parts from it over the coming months. I have a new garage I'll be moving the car to and dismantling it. If anyone is interested in parts let me know. The engine is fresh and strong, only a couple of hours on it since Judson built it and it is in good order. Some parts, like the driveshaft and rear end, are toast, but everything else is okay.

Once the major components are sold the tub will be left and someone can have it for best offer, or, it can be sent to the crusher. If anyone would want the entire car we can talk - it does have a SCCA ITS logbook therefore is a race legal car. Tub repairs would get it back to race worthy condition, but I just don't have the heart for the project.  The car also has a title if someone were inclined to put it on the street. If interested you can email me at rlearp@gt40s.com. 

Hate to pull the plug on the project with it being close to completion, but sometimes you have to do what you need to do and move on.

Take care,
Ron


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 Posted: 05-28-2008 04:13 am
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pbahr
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Well, the JH community will be very dissapointed that your efforts are being terminated.  We were all excited about the possibility of your JH running in a competitive race series.  Guess we'll all have to wait till someone enters in vintage racing in a few years.

Good luck with your "Z"........

YELODOG

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 Posted: 05-28-2008 12:42 pm
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Ron Earp
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I think the JH could probably compete in IT, but it'd need to be moved into ITA. In ITA the cars have less power and it is almost 100% 2L four bangers and under.

ITS is simply too strong of a playing field and the cars have too much power for the JH. About 140-150 rear wheel hp is about the best I could see the JH doing, and even that might be a serious stretch since modern 2L four bangers do that with higher compression, modern EFI, better head design, and precise mixture control - all of which the JH is missing.

ITS cars are generally running around 165-180 rear wheel hp at only a couple hundred pounds heavier than the JH with IRS to boot. My own 260Z is up to around 168 rear wheel hp and the spec weight is 2480 lbs, plus, it makes over 160 ft lbs of torque at the wheel which the JH can't match on displacement.

As far as the Z goes it has been a great car to get me seat time over the last year and I've run probably ~20 races in it, great fun. Gotten some decent finishes with it, as high as 3rd and mostly mid-pack which I think is good for my level of experience. But it isn't where I want to "be" in racing either. I'm in the procees of picking a modern car for IT racing, something made in the last 10 years or so, to reap the benefits of modern braking and EFI - will definitely lighten that workload in the paddock. Older cars take a lot of work to keep on track, while rewarding, it is tiring - especially as the driver gets older too....

Best,
Ron

Last edited on 05-28-2008 12:43 pm by Ron Earp

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 Posted: 05-28-2008 03:53 pm
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pbahr
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Ron,

I've got a great '98 Dodge Neon ACR for sale.

It is a proven race winner in Showroom Stock a few years ago, and won I won Class in Targa Newfoundland in '06 http://img186.imagevenue.com/img.php?image=21861_918GanderNorthStage_122_364lo.jpg .

Has new engine, PROFESSIONALLY  rebuilt..........  If you want to do rally, it has all the computers, skid plate etc. as well.  Two Schroth 5-point, 4 extra Mopar performance wheels, spares.......

Pete Bahr

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 Posted: 05-28-2008 04:52 pm
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Ron Earp
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Sorry, not much of a rally guy but I know that is lots of fun. But I do like that road race wheel to wheel mayhem. Here is one of this past weekend's races from in car. In part three I managed to get to third place, but, lost it and ended up 4th. Lots o fun though!

Part One
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=N5IyVUqY7l4

Part Two
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_Gt4ka-wDwY

Part Three
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vMqX0WZJP18

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 Posted: 05-28-2008 06:10 pm
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pbahr
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Looks like a lot of fun.  Great videos.

I'm not promoting the Neon as a rally car.  It's not set up for gravel.  It's a road race car - tarmac, not dirt and gravel.  Actually, Newfoundland is really a race, with rally components.  You only get points if you are the fastest.

Pete

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 Posted: 06-01-2008 01:09 pm
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Ron Earp
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Ron Earp wrote:
At any rate, I've decided that I need to be practical and objective about my racing goals and efforts. To that end, I'll be parting out the ITS Jensen project and selling it. I don't think the package as a whole will bring any buyers, but I will be selling parts from it over the coming months. I have a new garage I'll be moving the car to and dismantling it. If anyone is interested in parts let me know. The engine is fresh and strong, only a couple of hours on it since Judson built it and it is in good order. Some parts, like the driveshaft and rear end, are toast, but everything else is okay.

Once the major components are sold the tub will be left and someone can have it for best offer, or, it can be sent to the crusher. If anyone would want the entire car we can talk - it does have a SCCA ITS logbook therefore is a race legal car. Tub repairs would get it back to race worthy condition, but I just don't have the heart for the project.  The car also has a title if someone were inclined to put it on the street. If interested you can email me at rlearp@gt40s.com. 

Hate to pull the plug on the project with it being close to completion, but sometimes you have to do what you need to do and move on.

Take care,
Ron



Just to be clear with this, if folks are interested in some parts from the racer email me at rlearp@gt40s.com.

Thanks,
Ron

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