Larry Chen: 600whp Formula Atlantic, Powered by A Trusted Toyota 4A-GE Video

600whp Formula Atlantic, Powered by A Trusted Toyota 4A-GE

Posted: 2023-08-28 15:00:33
Author: Larry Chen
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Larry Chen Video Transcript

Oh man So we’re here in this undiscreet nondescript location this crazy open wheel vehicle so the story behind this is I was on the mountain it’s the 101st running of the Pikes Peak International Hill Climb and I had a bunch of people tagging me saying I have to check out this 4ag Toyota Open Wheel

Insane very soon Sinister looking black race car uh we have Merle here who’s going to walk us around this this is your baby and you’re actually driving this yeah I don’t actually know anything about this and that’s the beauty of it because we’re going to be doing a lot of

Learning today okay we want to show everybody what this is about so what is this why are you here what are you doing what what’s going on well I had this crazy idea during covid that I wanted to take uh I wanted to make a car that I could tour around the country

And do some odd things that doesn’t really conform to anything uh that’s standard so I decided to throw the throw the rule book in the trash and build something the way I wanted to build it what is this what are we actually looking at um this is a swift formula Atlantic but

It’s a hybrid by a long shot basically it has the appearance of a swift 016 which was the last generation of the former Atlantic Pro Series so it’s like a 2006 Swift 016 and that’s what it is from the roll hoop forward but that car actually in the Pro Series it had a

Mazda Cosworth in it which was a 2.3 liter engine much larger engine I decided I wanted to put the Toyota 4ag in this car I’ve always had a close working relationship with Toyota and TRD and I wanted to use that engine because I figured that it would package nicely

Into this if I tried to use the last generation of Toyota 4ag race cars which was the Swift 014 it’s a much smaller car and so to fit all the turbo packaging it would have like I would have had to change all the body work and everything so like this I basically took

A 2.3 liter out and put a 1.6 liter in so it packaged nicely but it took a lot of customization a lot of unique Parts a lot of CAD work but it all worked out nice we can take the body off and show you so I do recognize the front end a

Little bit because I did have a chance to shoot the formula Atlantic series a couple times I shot it in Long Beach when they were competing and I actually remember the tires that they were running at the time for whatever reason they were like a a size that I could run

On my car oh yeah so they I took a couple takeoffs but what year did they actually run the 4ag informatics basically it ran in the Atlantic Pro Series from like the late 80s through the mid 2000s I believe 2005 was the last year of the Toyota and the pro

Series and then were those built by hasselgren or well I don’t know the final two years of that series like I believe was 2004 and 2005. it was a spec engine by hasselgren before then anybody could build them like anybody I could build one if I wanted to anybody as long

As it was built within the rules it was essentially Poor Man’s F1 so you could do anything that you wanted and that’s the way it was all through the 90s early 2000s there was multiple engine builders going on it was only the last couple years of that and then so the back half

Of this chassis wise is from the older Generation Um I mean the engine is certainly from the that generation of car the bell housing a number of different bits and pieces but then I again used the Swift o16 transmission because it was Stronger they built it a little beefier because

Of the 2.3 liter engine had more horsepower actually that car was intended to be even more powerful originally when it was very first the first concept was designed of it so they beefed up a lot of things that allowed us to allowed it to be able to handle

More horsepower and for what it’s worth it’s actually handling this torque and horsepower really well so then I understand that you’re a Toyota fan and you’re a Toyota person but wouldn’t have made more sense to just keep the 2.3 liter no I mean it’s not just that I’m a fan it’s just that

That engine packages so nicely when you see it in there the 1.6 liter 4ag is really one of the best racing engines designed because it has the lowest Center Line of the crankshaft of any engine you can get the engine in there very low it’s a very compact engine

You’ll see that so like even the cranks the crankshaft is so low in the engine we actually had to install it all at a two degree angle and that’s actually common even on the o14 so everything that we built from this back from the bolt from the center bulkhead back had

To be built with two degree installation because if you kept the engine at a 090 install the transmission would be dragging on the ground in back so you actually have a two degree tilt to get the transmission high enough that you’re not banging it off the race check

I have so many questions uh there’s obviously a lot of these in existence in terms of like the chassis what do people typically do with them is it like historic racing or uh there’s still some series around for it I mean the the formula Atlantic it’s a very popular car

People love them it drives great it has good horsepower it does everything well it breaks good corner is good good acceleration so it’s a very popular car with race car drivers there’s still a pro series it’s it’s basically an East Coast Pro Series for the most part so

There’s an Avenue for it there’s also scca racing where you can still race from an Atlantic and then there’s also a number of vintage series where you can race even the o16 and much older Atlantics so there’s a lot of venues so then what’s your history behind this is

This something that you were racing in before yeah I’ve basically been involved in Atlantic since 2001. you know we’ve done we’ve done everything from the pro series to a lot of SEC I’ve done 12 national championships we’ve won 12 national championships in SC CCA with various drivers and myself and other

Drivers so I’ve driven a lot I also have a shop where I maintain a lot I’ve had as many as 18 Atlantics that I prepare in the shop myself for various drivers so where are you guys actually based out of well I just recently moved back to

Kansas City my hometown so before that I was based in Indianapolis and then like you said this was a dream project of yours essentially you’re trying to build the perfect version of this I wanted to build a great Atlantic and then I just decided that I wanted

The way it really started was I found a racetrack that I’d never seen before during covid like I was there was kind of those first couple weeks where there was a lot of Doubt of what was going on we didn’t know it was going to happen to

Racing we didn’t know if racing was going to continue at all that year or period it was just a lot of doubt and I was looking something up on online and I found a racetrack that I’d never seen before and I thought that was odd

Because I I’ve raced for a long time and I thought I knew all the all the race tracks and this is a really cool track and so I thought I started looking it up and then I actually found a whole number of tracks in the in North America that

I’ve never seen before and so then this idea sprang of like how could I get to all of those tracks because the reason I we hadn’t gone to those tracks is like the sanctioning bodies that I race with don’t race at them but then I thought I

Want to go to those tracks and have a car you know capable of like being the fastest car that’s been at some of those tracks and stuff and informal Atlantic is is that in its own right but then I didn’t just stop at racetracks I decided like well Randy

Rule the race director of Pikes Peak has been a long time friend of mine I’ve known him for 30 years he’s actually worked with me in Racine before and so then I started talking to him like Hey could we run this at Pikes Peak and he’s like absolutely so I decided to that’s

When the turbo came into effect and so then that’s when I started adding turbo and then getting more exotic with it from there that is so cool which track was it that you found that was it was actually Palmer out east I think it’s called whiskey Hill sometimes but I still

Haven’t been to it but I would like to go to that track and but I found a whole number of other like private tracks and tracks that have been built in the last five years that I had no idea so this is like time attack taking to

The extreme this is kind of like in essence what a lot of people have said about for example like the 919 push-up when they retired that yeah they think what if you know what if it went to Laguna Seca or whatever Norse life or whatever you know all these

Places and it has you know broken so many records but what if it they took it to all these other places what what’s possible and it’s cool that in essence that’s what you’re doing yeah and honestly a lot of Pikes Peak fans including myself you know I’ve been

Covering this race since 2011. I’ve always wondered what it would be like if a true formula car yeah came out and competed you know I know there has been some champ cars um there has been some something similar but not exactly yeah this maybe not as lightweight and not as developed that

Was one of my goals too is like originally I wanted to keep it looking as much like an o16 as possible that’s one of the reasons I didn’t because even if I had kept the 2.3 let’s say I would have had to modify that body work it

Would have got very bulky a lot of it wouldn’t packaged well so the idea was to keep it looking like an Atlantic so people could recognize that car because it’s really a great car because it’s one of the most affordable high performance formula cars that you can get and you

Don’t have to go this exotic you can but like they’re a tremendous fun to drive like the normally aspirated version so like if people recognize it and then you know maybe get interested in formal Atlantic themselves did you buy the chassis during the shutdown then yeah actually this chassis was a crashed tub

That I built from like just a bear tub and then build it from spare parts that I had from various other projects and things so all right I have so many more questions but before I get into that let’s dig into the engine is it possible

For us to take the cover up yeah yeah we’ll start taking the covers off all right cool so many cool things about this vehicle and you guys have it down look look how fast they are I’m not even gonna pause this you guys are just also I do have to say I really

Appreciate you sharing this because this is a passion project yeah it’s not like you’re trying to hide any secrets well that’s the thing that I also wanted to do about the project was it was basically like I have no secrets on this car like I you know you can stick a bore

Scope down the engine if you want like I have no nothing to hide from this build I’m full open book on the project so yeah I kind of want to share with people to like Inspire somebody to do the same thing you know because basically I made

This as like a bucket list car uh Pikes Peak is the event that we chose to kick off the whole program but I want to do every event that this car can possibly do not just your classic road courses but like unusual events like Pikes Peak like Bonneville a number of the various

Open road races um things you want to take it to the Salt Flats let’s take it to Bonneville yeah yes definitely I would love to see that so yeah we’ll go ahead and take the side pods off too so like there’s the basic shot of the engine but we’ll pull the

Whole Bodywork off yeah no way so all of that is that all carbon fiber yeah it’s super light and it’s all gold line and everything look at that amazing do you have spare panels or anything we have a number of spare parts and everything so

Um I still have a couple of o16s at the shop so we have a good amount of spares for the cars thank you this is just so interesting to me honestly I knew this was special but I didn’t realize it was like this yeah and part of it is that it’s so it’s

Pretty subtle I mean it being all matte black or satin black it’s pretty subtle looking but then when you look into it obviously it’s so insane yes how close is this to a 4G that you would find in an a86 I mean it’s uh basically the Block in

The head that’s it everything else about that engine is pure racing you know so it shares the Block in the head but even those are like heavily modified from what they are stocked but then from there you know cranks rods Pistons valves cams every part is is racing and this might

Be a stupid question but why is it that originally the 4ig was used for the form of Atlantic or for these chassis you know I’m not sure what originally kicked the idea off I think it was just a well-packaged engine very small and compact like before then the dual

Overhead cam Cosworth engine was like the common engine in Atlantic at the time and then they started doing the Toyotas and it was a it was quite an evolution I mean because that was again like a time where people were doing all kinds of things crazy things I I

Remember the original versions I’ve heard some crazy numbers of you know 11 5 on RPM things like that originally we don’t rev them anything near that that’s actually the beauty of it because a lot of people are concerned that like the Toyota is overstressed in these cars and like as

An Atlantic engine typically we run them for 1500 miles but in Atlantic is a high maintenance car so you basically do have to take care of them most engine failures that I’ve seen are related to either an error by the team or the driver it’s very rare that I’ve had

Engine failures that are just a pure Parts failure and the beauty of this project is we’re actually not pushing the engine as hard as we do in normally aspirated configuration the only thing that’s like potentially stressful is if you start trying to do too much boost pressure

Like the Block in the head can handle that kind of boost pressure but we’re not running anything crazy we’re like 24 PSI on on maximum boost so then how much power is this package making right now uh just over 600 that’s a lot from All Points again and that’s at the wheels so

That’s like a chassis Dyno number so then how much power typically in this com like if they were using it for Open Wheel and it’s a naturally aspirated naturally aspirated it was about 240 250 depending on people’s dinos that’s still a lot from a 1.6 liter yeah and that’s

Why you’re saying they’re pretty run out at that point like yeah it was it was highly stressed to get to that those kind of figures a lot of RPM there’s a lot of flex like once you start going over 9 500 RPM on these engines you get a lot of crank flex and

That causes a lot of the wear and tear and and we’re shifting well below 9 500 with the turbo version got it okay so then how much of this stuff is something that came out of like the turbo package and how much of it is something that you’ve added on or is

This all you uh well basically the base engine is typically what you would see in any con configuration the plenum and the plenum piping and such this is all the turbo configuration this is actually part of we were going to have like a different plenum design we ran out of

Time and so this you know the plenum it’s working well it’s a compromise for what we would really like to have but this was something that already existed you didn’t make that custom no we made that custom oh you did so okay so engine builder in Australia mte engine

Performance they they had a fabricator there and worked together and designed and built that this is just so crazy I gotta look at the the yeah yeah I just want to look at the turbo side yeah my goodness so crazy so then this is the intercooler yep intercooler amazing

So it’s very efficient too I mean it’s all working really well but like all this stuff was this existing already or did you make it no that’s all been designed I mean a lot of this this is where a lot of this is custom designed all the

Headers the duct the cooler uh all of the engine mounting the trunions they’re all custom made uh pieces so because this never ran as a turbo yeah this has never existed and we’ve actually made a couple versions of the turbo exhaust already so this is version two and this is working really well

Just I’m so blown away so then when it’s a n a version what is this duct used for this is um well on the 2.3 this was the intake side so the Mazda Cosworth the duratec it was basically duratec but they called it a Mazda it has the intake on this

Side and the exhaust on that side whereas Toyota is reversed so there is basically an inner oil cooler on this side and the upper half of the duct is the air intake and then on the other side it had a an entirely devoted to water radiator whereas so what we did

Here is we did an intercooler and on the other side we split the oil in water insane so this is where your oxygen is mounted yeah this is something you guys planned out already yeah that’s yeah that’s something we plan out already it’s it’s for the mountain

Um you know I’d say 90 of the field is running oxygen for the mountain so it’s a wise thing to do yeah you really feel it especially muscling this thing around yeah 14 000 feet you got to figure that if Pilots are required to have oxygen

Above 15 000 feet and we’re finishing up fourteen thousand feet and the you know your heart rate’s up uh the car is very physical to drive and so what they found um many years back like 10 12 years ago when they first started running oxygen

Was so there was like a lot of Errors being made from oxygen deprivation so a lot of drivers started running that and now the majority of the field runs it yeah because uh while Pilots need to wear it above 15 they’re not muscle they’re not like having a whole workout

Because this truly is a big workout for you to muscle this up the mountain yeah it’s very physical cool I mean the downforce that this produces I mean when you’re at 4 000 pounds of downforce you feel it the steering becomes very heavy the cornering the g-forces and cornering

And breaking is off the chart now we’re not getting as high uh on the mountain because what I’ve experienced so far and this is what I’m learning in my first year at the mountain is their grip levels are really low I’ve heard for race day to expect it to be a little bit

Better but so far through practice and qualifying the track’s been it’s very dirty compared to a normal race track so it’s tough you know I’m I’m learning with so few runs I’ve had so few runs on the mountain we’ve had bad weather this month but I’m the biggest thing I’m not

I’m learning is not if this is a right hand corner I’m learning like what’s the grip level you know like how hard can I push before like the car starts to skate off so and then also another thing is the effect of the downforce is probably different from the start line to the

Finish yeah definitely I mean the thinner the air gets um uh the more it loses downforce I mean and the thing is is like this is very close to a stock configuration of Atlantic I I have done some tweaks here and there but it’s probably like five to

Ten percent off of what it is stock if I had of more time and money this thing would be completely arrowed out and you could do a lot more uh aerodynamically to get even more downforce so so have you had any chats with Robin shoot or anything not really we’ve chatted like

At the at testing and things like that but nothing in detail about the car I feel like that’s you guys are probably the closest in terms of like Car Wise car preparation yeah um and similarity yeah uh it’s just it’s really really cool to see

This and I hope this is just the start I know a lot of other teams a lot of individuals would be interested in running an Open Wheel yeah um up Pikes Peak button like this is this is the start so then one big thing that you did have to modify for safety

Is the cage yeah he’s never had it okay no none of that was designed in there so that was that was quite a project originally you know some people have kind of questioned like the design aspects of it but like this roll hoop was built to Pikes Peak spec I actually

Drew up a Halo and Cad and I submitted that for design approval and stuff but they wouldn’t approve like a Halo design because a Halo is essentially designed to protect you from oncoming debris like so it goes High here and then it comes down here so because the rollover

Protection is still on any formula car essentially the rollover hoop and then the center bulkhead so that’s your rollover protection it’s not really the Halo is not meant to be added rollover protection it has worked like that on a time or two but essentially it’s made for oncoming debris so Pikes Peak would

Not approve that design so like this dual pillar and then maintaining the height throughout the entire cockpit is required by Pikes Peak officials and the reason that is is because there’s a lot of irregular ground up there that’s not like flat tarmac you know so they’re trying to protect intrusion into the

Cockpit in the event of a rollover so understandable that’s their rules and so we built it to their rules so then was it hard to bolt it to the chassis yeah basically what we’ve done this had to be all redone in carbon so I had this these

Pieces cut out hard points and just installed here like a tub a chassis tub is divided into this is a front bulkhead these are the strongest points of the car is the front bulkhead middle bulkhead and then rear bulkhead that’s where they build reinforcement to the tub to keep

From twisting and like protect it from rollover so this is actually considered like a rollover structure right here so hard points were added in here so then we tied the roll hoop into the actual Center bulkhead and then we brought it back and then we did the same thing in

The back we tied it into the rear bulkhead so it’s a pretty stout rollover hoop because I see that there’s like this it’s an aluminum block yeah we had to do something because obviously it wasn’t designed for anything like that so um we had to again we put hard points in

The top there we put a block to because there’s a there’s an angle there so that the rollover hoop was basically mounted Square we put that block in there and then the fuel tank is it still the normal fuel tank Yep this is a basically 16 gallon capacity fuel so this this

Part of the car is really the strongest uh part of the car so the fuel cell is always located like in this area of the car and uh do you just run less fuel for Pikes Peak yeah less fuel I mean we’re probably running fuel loads between five

And eight gallons and so then in this with this chassis setup is the motor structural the motor is completely structural yes I mean it’s hard to imagine when you see it like this that there’s a lot going on here but the entire back of the car is attached to

The front of the car via eight bolts you know so there’s four in the trunnion there’s four on the engine that is connecting there’s four bolts that hold the engine on four bolts that hold these trunnions to the back so if you want to simplify it you can say that there’s

Eight bolts holding the back of the car to the front and then the transmission is just directly bolted too yeah this is your oil tank oh so bell housing here um it’s a dry sump system so this is your oil tank and basically a transmission bolts directly to the bell

Housing so the back of the car is the engine and transmission for the most part so so cool so then how much of the suspension have you modified or is this um the suspension is o16 wishbones and rockers and and many of those pieces there was some aspects that had to be

Designed because the o14 bell housing has some differences it required some new parts to be machined and and made for the car because this is truly unlimited and you’re pretty much from your knowledge of doing all this Racing for so many years it is it’s got to be so much fun for you

To modify this just for all-out Speed yeah for sure yeah so like even all these little things I don’t know if you yeah those are basically pieces like I said I you know I ran out of time and money on the project so basically what I

Did was I went around the shop and I found parts that I could like make them work right and so that’s one of them you know yeah because that’s not something that was on no that’s not that’s not stuck and and quite honestly that wouldn’t be legal in most uh sanctioning

Bodies because that’s an aerodynamic piece attached to the suspension you know normally any Arrow pieces have to be attached to an a sprung part of the car so then what does this do um what is basically onset behind them so this is a tunnel based car

Um like the entire an Atlantic is is basically a huge Wing so from here back this is one gigantic wing um and so you have a lot of flow coming off the front of the car and you have a big wake coming off the tire I would actually make these Biggers

Again if you know like I was kind of limited on Parts in time so but like you have a big wake coming off the tire that’s interrupting the flow um to there so basically you’re you’re trying to clean up the flow as much as possible uh to the tunnels

That is so neat and then what about did you add any like this is extended yeah this is this has been extended uh this flip up is is different actually the gurneys here this is these uh these Gurney tabs right here um you know this is not you normally don’t

Run that on an o16 in the center um but it’s very close to a stock but all these little things really I mean you could probably feel the difference huh and the car has handled amazing from day one that is one thing we’ve uh we’ve gone through the normal teething issues

Of a new engine program and sensors not being right and we didn’t have to we were losing turbo boost at places that we didn’t realize it would happen so we’ve had little issues like that but from the get-go the car has just been handled amazing out of the box I mean

This this has actually improved the handling of the o16 substantially over what it was the center of gravity has been lowered dramatically from what the 2.3 liter duratec is I mean even this little piece here yeah you made custom what does this actually do it’s basically a Mercedes copy or something

You know but the biggest thing that I was doing was trying to make the car light and believe it or not I took one and a half ounces out of the windscreen so oh it had a windscreen it had a windscreen all along but it was like full windscreen and everything and so

I’m taking weight off in all these different places and you know things like this in and of itself I always say that if you you if your entire update consisted of taking one and a half ounces off your windscreen that’s no update at all but make 30 improvements

Like this and you’re getting somewhere but if you never start with the first one you’re never going to get there so but what this does is even with this standard one that’s straight across you have a lot of air spilling into the cockpit it creates a lot of turbulence

For the driver’s head you get buffeting and so this is basically creates a number of vortexes so the air Vortex is off and actually creates like less turbulence like a turbulent flow sometimes actually creates more like attachment to the air so have you done wind tunnel testing in this no wind

Tunnel testing so no budget for that hopefully after this that’s right that’s right once you prove yourself so then let’s talk about the cockpit is the steering wheel uh from that era no that’s all that’s basically like IndyCar level uh steering wheel setup basically the the blank plate is what you’ll find

In a lot of Indy cars this is the same display that is what you’ll see in IndyCar currently the switches and that layout is all custom for what we’re doing here and then it is a paddle shift yes yep and we had provision for clutch

Also but again we ran out of time to uh program and whatnot so then how do you how do you roll out how do you start it uh we have a foot clutch so we we were going to use the hand clutch but then we just decided that we have too much going

On and not enough time to get it all sorted out that we decided to stick with the foot clutch this just gets crazy and crazier yeah so this is all molded for your body yep molded seat BSS uh in Indy did the seat it’s a really great seat

They also did the heads around I can’t believe it so then with this motor do you have to like preheat it before you start it yeah we do it I mean it’s a good thing to do with any racing engine you know racing engines are built to a certain tolerance

It’s good to preheat them in in any case but with this one of the reasons we did it is uh we’re running E85 and so sometimes on the mountain thinner air it’s it’s more difficult to start your cars so preheating the car makes it much easier to start when we

Get on the mountain so we do have water preheaters we have tabs for that right here so that’s what these are used for this preheats the water we have a heater external heater over here that preheats everything and then we’re actually just running heat pads on the tank there’s

One on the bottom one on the side there for warming up the oil oh you just plug it into an hour and then it heats up yeah it gets the oil pretty hot that is really cool why is there a nitrous bottle here well there’s a nitrous bottle there because we’re using

That to help particularly low end boost one of the one of the issues that we’ve had is with the transmission and me deciding to use the SG4 instead of the SG3 the SG3 gearbox was the transmission that went with the Toyota engine it was with

The o14 car and so it had a ring and pinion that’s designed for those the basically nine thousand ten thousand RPM range what that wants to run in the SG4 has a ring and pinion that’s more designed for the seven to eight thousand RPM range that that engine ran in but

Again we chose the SG4 because it’s stronger but the problem that leaves us with is we’re running the lowest ratios we possibly can in first and second but it’s just falling way out of the RPM range of boost in the corners so it was just it was awful off the corners before

And so what this does is we’re not we’re not like dumping big horsepower boost in there for that this basically runs from like three thousand to six thousand RPM it starts to phase out at 6000 RPM when the Boost starts to take over so that I

Can come off of first gear corner in Florida and I have something whereas before before we added that I would floor it and just wait like and that’s the way it’s actually been here like during qualifying and everything I would come out of a first gear corner and just floor it and I

Would wait sometimes two to three seconds before anything would finally happen for taking off with that night and day difference oh because you tried it with it on and off we’ve tested it we went to La Junta Raceway and did a lot of testing and now

It’s just instant on so now in first gear like taking off I couldn’t even like leave the line before because I would slip the clutch you know and take off and I’d be just had the throttle matted and until it got to 6000 RPM when the turbo would start to spool up then

It would take off so it was just awful taking off and you know the thing is it’s like some people were saying well why don’t we do like launch control and stuff first of all that doesn’t work in the first gear hairpins it would only work at takeoff but the other thing is

Is like we are pushing the torque and horsepower of what all this drivetrain is rated for so doing launches is bad you know I don’t want to drop a drive shaft or something like that right on the starting line trying to do a launch yeah because how much power was the 2.3

Liter putting out with this transmission you know it was they had targeted 300 horsepower but it really they came in around 285 horsepower so you’re doubling like 175 foot-pounds of torque and we we have the capability of being 400 foot pounds of torque but we’ve actually

Tuned it back a little bit because we don’t want to break drivetrain parts from what you’ve driven already on the fastest sections are you close to Top Gear in this thing up on the ground yeah yeah we’re using Top Gear so like 140 mile an hour is what we’re doing so far

But really that’s below the car’s potential it will be faster I mean I’m convinced on race day it will be faster yeah especially when you get to connection some of the sections yeah the thing is so night and day better in the sub 6000 RPM range before it was it was

Just no response and now the response is just it’s lightning night and day and this bottle is up for the ship this is the shift model okay yeah normally we do run a compressor but for Mountain purposes an air compressor is just like a human it has a hard time breathing at

10 000 plus feet so we decided to instead of run the air compressor we would use like a pressurized bottle to just Supply like a constant pressure for this shifting and then electric water your pumps here amazing and uh what is this oil cooler oil cooler radiator that’s big enough to cool this

Yeah actually even on the mountain believe it or not this oil cooler looks very small we’re running 50 blockage um you know we’ve blanked the radiator 50 for the mountain we’ll probably take a little bit of that off on race day but not much so for all of our qualifying

Runs we’ve had over 50 of the radiator blanked so and the water we haven’t had to blanket because it’s maintaining like a very you know steady 190 degree water temperature and a lot of that is because of the electric water pump and the reason we went with electric water pump is because just

Going back to the fact of talking that we’re like low RPM in a lot of first gear Corners so as you and go up the mountain and you lose air density you also lose cooling ability and then as you if you have a mechanical water pump

When you fall into the low RPM you also lose flow because you’re running at low RPM so between low air density and then low RPM from the mechanical water pump I just decided to not even test it that way and we went straight ahead with electric water pump just so that we had

Constant flow even at the lowest speeds and highest altitudes does this have an alternator yeah it has an alternator it’s kind of buried over here under the exhaust McLaren supplied the alternator for it oh that is so so it’s a heat shielded in there because it’s in a hostile

Environment oh I see and then there is a battery too then yeah the battery is tucked up under here so it’s a braille lithium ion battery and then what about the brakes is it the same system from the chassis it actually is the same system um you know so I’m not running any

Updates on brakes for the car I’m I might be interested in doing something like that if we continue to do a lot of like Track Running With the car but for Pikes Peak for what it’s worth the runs are so short that really this brake setup is working really well because

It’s getting the temperature into the pads and rotors right away and basically like first Corner yeah first Corner as long as I’ve been running heaters and stuff on the car it’s been working right off the bat so we have good Temp and it’s not overheating at the top

We could probably talk for a long a lot more time on this I mean there’s just so many things to dive into all the little things all the modifications but I I really wanted to pick your brain about how hard it was to get to this point you

Really started up high in terms of like hikes Peak as your first event with this vehicle that is I mean that’s a lot of people’s uh eventual goal to get to Pike’s weekend but you started there how hard has it been I know you’ve been running

Around all over the U.S well I mean it’s I knew it would be difficult but I can tell you it was even more difficult than I ever imagined uh I tried not to underestimate it but I can tell you that it was it’s the most challenging thing

I’ve ever done in racing and I’ve been Racing for 30 years I mean I’ve done all types of Racing Pro and club and everything in between and this is the most challenging thing I’ve done it’s just the test between car and man I can’t think of a greater challenge in racing

Yeah I don’t I I hate to say this but it’s hard for you guys it’s hard for us to you know I mean I think on Tuesday I’ve never been so cold in my life legitimately I mean I we started at the top you know top section

Wins 40 mile an hour plus and uh we looked at the uh you know feels like it’s when you look at the weather app it tells you feels like feels like 12 degrees yeah yep 12 you know so so um maybe I wasn’t so prepared for that

But with that said I I couldn’t have put it better you know it is really truly a test for all of us well and plus the other thing is too is I’ve been racing a long time and I’ve had aspirations to do all sorts of racing I would love to do Le

Mans I would love to do Indy 500 myself I mean I participate in other ways but I’d love to have my own team as a driver as a owner or anything like that if you list every iconic race in the world I don’t have the budget to be able to

Compete in that on my own I could try to go get a job with a team that does it but I want to do it at Swan Motorsports well Pikes Peak is one of the most iconic races in the world that I can actually participate in and so that’s

One of the reasons I chose this as the initial challenge yeah I mean because this being as crazy as it is you’re racing in the same race as Romaine Dumas in that Ford crazy super van and you’re also racing in the same race as that Toyota Tercel yeah that was just garage

Built you know and that’s the beauty of Pike speaking that’s why we love it so much yeah but thank you so much this this is just so cool to see that your inspiration and hopefully hopefully you inspire a lot of other people to get into this but another thing is it’s just

Inspirational for me even just to look at this because uh yeah we’re just all car nerds so thank you so much and good luck so today is Saturday tomorrow is race day that’s right and um hopefully it’ll be good weather you know yeah the mountain she she lets you go up

If she wants to or she she gives you a good traction or this that another it’s really up to her so I hope and she’s agreeable tomorrow this is one of those moments where we stop rolling and then there’s still so much more to talk about but uh what’s

Going on with this uh basically this is one of the things that has transformed the car the most this is a third spring setup I actually robbed this off of a Lola champ car and then I got a front one that’s uh from an indie car team

That helped me out with a third spring setup there but before I was having to run such stiff Springs the the car was producing so much down Force because even though it’s stock it is more and with the speeds the arrow is just pushing the car into the ground and I

Was rubbing the bottom of the car off it was I was having to I was up to like 1200 pound rear springs which is no good on the mountain we need like that’s it’s great for like a lot of high speed tracks but not for like low grip you

Know Pike speak situations so what this does is basically allows the suspension to lower and this controls the ride height from bottoming out against the track and then still has roll because this works as your sway bar here so this comes down and stops the suspension from hitting the ground but then still

Provides roll I’m actually reducing spring rates by over 400 pounds so it’s a much better grip and then I’ve done the same thing to the front these are all kind of very retrofitted this car was never intended to have anything like this installed so again it was difficult I had to install

Hardpoints and all this to be able to have this strong enough because this has taken a tremendous amount of load as it compresses but as the car comes down this stops the car from bottoming out against the track and really it’s been a Mega transformation as how the car

Handles is a massive Improvement because this is something that pretty much wouldn’t really be necessary on the stock vehicle it would help the stock vehicle as well but with what we had with the added downforce it was it was a must the first time I ever seen a setup like

This was actually on Rod millin’s Tacoma yeah and I was just so blown away because it makes so much sense you know the chassis is just getting compressed so much yeah from the downforce and it needs its own suspension essentially right yeah but then which still allows

For for the movement of the control arms and everything this is so cool and this is your pedal box area here yep so so cool amazing have you made any Arrow adjustments since you’ve been here no I basically set it at Max and left it alone

That’s a that’s a that’s a good quote set it at Max and leave it alone how much does it weigh like 1200 pounds I can’t believe this way 1200 pounds that’s nothing this video just keeps going so it being 1200 pounds yeah that’s kind of one of the big advantages versus electric

Vehicle huh yeah I had had a goal for it to be uh under my goal was to be uh 1189 but it came in at 1206. so um now since then we have had it added a few things like we had to add rally safe and oxygen so that has also increased

Like another six or seven pounds so we’re probably closer to like 12 20 or 12 25 as it sits right now because no matter what you do with an electric vehicle you can’t overcome the way to weigh batteries yeah and it’s not something that goes down as you get up

Higher right at Pikes Peak and also another thing that a lot of people don’t realize is the degradation the power when the motor is getting hot the batteries are getting hot the batteries yeah they’re not they’re not at full power I mean for sure I mean like weight

Was the number one thing uh in consideration because horsepower is important but again we’re kind of drive train limited like we could have tried to do 750 horsepower but with that torque and horsepower at that range we would have really been risking the drivetrain that we have so what I

Focused a lot on was taking weight off the car so when I took off the windscreen there was there was a purpose behind it you know like because I was there’s probably like several dozen things that I took one and a half ounces off of sometimes when I’d make a

One pound Improvement it was like you know that was a that was a big game but there was so many like one ounce gains all over the car uh just taking it down to weight and then uh what about loss and power for this going up the mountain is it pretty steady or

Can you feel it well the guys that I’m working with uh Nick pavlovski and imitron on this like they they’re Masters at it like they’re super they’re so knowledgeable on uh mapping this thing up the mountain it’s I don’t notice it so much um you know I don’t notice a big power

Loss it’s amazing um because essentially what you’re doing is you’re just boosting more with the available air as you’re going up yeah it’s it’s such a complicated formula for I mean they they say it’s not that complicated to them but like to me it’s you know I’m so focused on other

Things that I just let them do their thing and they they tell me about it and uh it’s pretty remarkable when it does so because like I said even at the very top I don’t notice like a huge fall in performance now that’s the third time we’ve ended

This video maybe it’ll be a fourth time yeah all right last thing there’s some 3D printed things on here yeah yeah well we we with the turbo we have extreme heat issues like uh compared to like a normally aspirated um so what we’re doing is trying to

Eject as much heat out of the engine bay as possible and these have really worked amazingly well um so we had these shark gills that have been we designed these in CAD on both sides and then had them 3D printed we could have made them in carbon fiber but

It was much more costly and the time frame was much longer so the 3D printing actually worked really well and you have this cool little air scoop that you get yeah then we put this scoop on so basically we have a center scoop there that’s basically just I need to air over

The front of the engine right there does does it uh does that think something that exists on the stock no it’s uh it’s just flat right there so this scoop of title and doesn’t exist at all you could tell that there’s so much heat because it’s actually melting the 3D printed

Materials this is plastic so uh um but right there it right when you get done with the run like normally on a racetrack I would have a cool off run I would try to cool it down for a lap and bring it into a stop at Pikes Peak you

Cross the finish line and shut off and you have about 100 feet to Coast down and stop and at that point it’s baking uh down inside there but really this this is plastic and it’s held up quite well see you guys in the next video hey thanks for watching if you want to

Support us directly go to I print and sign every single one of these this is the perfect gift or it’s the perfect piece of art for your wall Oh [Applause]