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Rowley Park, Pug engines and finding Mr Brown


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#1 theotherharv

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Posted 04 April 2014 - 11:18

Ladies and gents,

 

This may be a very, very long shot, but worth a try (my recent posting here looking for Norman supercharger contacts has been very fruitful, for which I am grateful).

 

In my mucking around with various Norman superchargers, I have managed to get my hands on one of the Mike Norman superchargers (a 12" casing size). This one was apparanty last running on a Mitsubishi, though had sat for some time without use. What has caught my interest is the fuel injector sitting on top of the supercharger. It is a Hilborn injector model U-3, with three 2” throttle plates. The injector was setup to run with a Hilborn pump siamesed to a dry sump setup. It was probably running on a Speedway car, though may well have seen other race use. I’ll pose these queries with the historic speedway guys, but would also like to check with this forum given it’s breadth of knowledge.

 

The cool thing about Hilborn injectors is that Hilborn keep all their old records, and I was able to get hold of the original build sheet. The injector was originally purchased from Hilborn in the US and shipped to Oz on the 25th of July 1972 by R Brown from Glenunga (Adelaide) South Australia.

 

The injector was installed on a Peugot 403 engine of 1550cc. I know little of Pug engines, though this strikes me as interesting. The original Pug 403 engine is a 1,468 cc (80mm bore and 73m  stroke). To get 1550cc would mean going 90 thou over, which would be unusual (these are wet lined rather than bored so more likely to replace the liner). It is unlikely to be the later 1618cc Pug 404 engine (1960-75) or the Pug  504 (1796cc) engine. If someone wants to school me on how you get 1550cc out of a Peugot, I'm very happy to learn.

 

I’m keen to contact R Brown, and am hoping that the name rings bells with any of you who were around the Rowley Park circuit in the 70’s. Some early leads indicate that Mr Brown could be a one-arm tyre fitter working for Ray Skipper (possible), or could also be speedcar driver Dick “Jet” Brown, who Bonython imported from the US to race at Rowley Park. “Jet” was brought in pre-1957 though, perhaps a little early to be ordering Hilborn parts in 1972.

 

Any leads to help track down Mr Brown are appreciated.

 

Regards,

Andrew



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#2 Ray Bell

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Posted 04 April 2014 - 12:08

Andrew, I can answer the Peugeot capacity question for you...

Peugeot engines of the forties through the eighties were all wet-sleeve engines. The sleeves could be bored out to some extent, though I think 1468 to 1550cc is unlikely. However, sleeves could be made to achieve this capacity with the block itself bored out a little to accept the larger sleeves.

It's quite likely that Vanguard sleeves were used, it's also likely that a 203 block was used as they had more metal around the sleeve seats to machine out for the job at hand.

Use of Peugeot blocks and Vanguard sleeves was not unknown in speedway circles. Laurie Seidl (sp?) had an engine with both sleeves and crankshaft from a Vanguard and a Jaguar head with the centre two combustion chambers cut out of it. A 2-litre twin cam living in a block from a 1290cc pushrod engine!

#3 theotherharv

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Posted 05 April 2014 - 01:30

Thanks Ray - appreciated.

 

When I look at the modifications made to the early race vehicles, it makes me apprecaite some of the real engineering that was being done locally at the time. Today's world of "bolt up" and "replace it don't fix it" is very different.

 

Regards, and thanks,

Andrew



#4 theotherharv

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Posted 09 April 2014 - 22:50

My search for Mr Brown has lead me down a long and winding path, filled with many Speedway stories and some incredible people.

 

This is probably a very, very long shot. The Adelaide Motorsport Festival is apparantly on this weekend at Victoria Park Racecourse. Is anyone going who would be willing to do me a favour?

 

I have a burning interest in one of the speedcars (midgets) on display. It is the yellow SA#2 Rowe/Wigzell WonderCar, currently owned by Ian Gear. This car is Norman supercharged, and I would dearly love some closeup photos of the Norman, mountings, drive and carbs. I've tried emailing the current owner (Ian Gear) but have had no luck so far.

 

Other than my interests in Norman superchargers, it also turns out that the set of Hilborn injection noted above was run on the vehicle back in the mid 70's.

 

If anyone is able to take some photos for me, remind Ian that he has email waiting or find other contact details for Ian it would be very much appreciated.

 

Cheers,
Andrew



#5 lyntonh

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Posted 10 April 2014 - 06:57

I'm thinking about going down on Sunday, so I'll see what I can do.



#6 theotherharv

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Posted 10 April 2014 - 23:04

Thankyou - appreciated.

 

I suspect that the Wigzell/Rowe #2 car is running a Type 65 Norman (one of Eldreds) with the casing jacket free vented. Unsure of carbs etc though.

 

Cheers,

Andrew



#7 lyntonh

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Posted 13 April 2014 - 07:30

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The line up of Midgets at Victoria Park today.........No: 2 is 3rd from the other end.

 

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Some repetition, but I think I covered it !!

 

I didn't catch up with Ian Gear, so mission incomplete....

 

I overexposed the car to get the carby detail in the close-ups.


Edited by lyntonh, 13 April 2014 - 07:31.


#8 theotherharv

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Posted 13 April 2014 - 08:29

Thankyou very, very much.

 

From what I can see, the WonderCar is running a Type 70 Norman - definitely one of Eldreds. This is the same supercharger that is run in Peter Wooley's humpy sedan, and Lindsay WIlson's EK wagon. I can't find any documentation for this "Type", but they have the model number distinctively cast into the side.

 

The photos are damn helpful - this is the only photo I have of the non-drive end of the Type 70. Interesting that the end-plate castings have both "Norman" and "Supercharger" cast into them. The (presumably earlier) Type 65's have only "Norman" cast into them, and are near-identical to the end plates used twenty years later when Mike Norman started making his extruded-casing machines.

 

The Type 70 is a water cooled (jacketed) supercharger. Looks like the WonderCar runs the jackets dry and plugged off. Presumably shes running on meth, so temperature is much less an issue than if running petrol.

 

Carbs appear to be triple Strommie 97's. This would give approximately 3 x 150 = 450CFM @3"Hg. Assuming this is the ~1550cc Pug engine, Eldred's basic guidance would be 2 x 1 3/4" SUs (2 x 297 = 594cfm @3"Hg). Maybe slightly under-carbed, depending on how much punch the motor is putting out.

 

Cheers, and thanks again,

Andrew