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Holden grey motor speed/power record holders


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#1 theotherharv

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Posted 13 June 2018 - 01:20

Gents,

 

I am currently building a Holden grey motor project, and would like to set myself some targets. I am interested in collecting the fastest Holden grey motor performances known. Happy to entertain records set in Holden-bodied and non-Holden-bodied vehicles.

 

Many performances are subject to speculation, and as the old t-shirt says “the older I get, the faster I was”. Interested in performances that can in some way be verified.

 

Listed below is what I know so far:

Land speed: Dennis Boundy #283 Norman-blown FJ Holden sedan, Lake Gairdner Great White Dyno. XO/PRO class March 2006 @ 113.075mph and XO/BVGC class March 2009 @ 113.478. Records held by DLRA (https://www.dlra.org.au/index.htm).

 

Drag racing: Bob Hamilton “Captain Nitrous” FJ Holden sedan, Willowbank Raceway January 1989, 12.98s Source: Street Machine Hotrod Ledgends January 2008 (http://www.thegreymo...in-nitrous.html). Legend has it that this record has been recently eclipsed by Mark Riek (see below) at 12.78s, though I need to verify.

 

Dynanometer: Mark Riek, MUX53 turbocharged EFI FX Holden utility, 204rwhp. Source: Street Machine July 2017 (https://www.whichcar...-the-dyno-video)

 

Your views on contenders for these titles (or additions for circuit, hillclimb or marine) appreciated.

 

Cheers,

Harv



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#2 theotherharv

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Posted 13 June 2018 - 03:37

A rather fast update. Have now seen the timeslip for Mark Riek’s run. Would propose:

 

Drag racing: Mark Riek MUX53 turbo EFI FX utility, Willowbank Raceway October 2017, 12.78s (source: timeslip).

 

Cheers,

Harv



#3 theotherharv

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Posted 14 June 2018 - 19:47

Another one to add to the land speed category:

 

Bob Telford, #1160 “2015 Special” grey motored bellytank, Lake Gairdner Great White Dyno March 2018, XO/GL class @ 133.254mph.

 

Cheers,

Harv



#4 Lee Nicolle

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Posted 18 June 2018 - 03:22

The salt must drag power, as 113mph is really quite slow. FJ racers talk higher speeds than that in the 50s. And Jack Myers car should have been far quicker in that period as well. Especially with the Waggott engine. And 200hp grey motors too have been around for 50+ years. Dragsters, drag tintops, midgets, FJ racing and speedway sedans among others. Plenty used quite a deal of boost where allowed.

Reliability however another story! A LOT of destroyed engines! 



#5 Ray Bell

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Posted 19 June 2018 - 10:15

50 years ago the best iron-headed grey motors were giving about 155hp when bored to 2.6-litres...

I guess Repco heads and/or funny fuel might have been a bit more.

#6 Dick Willis

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Posted 19 June 2018 - 10:45

Now the original headed cars are good for about 180 in Historics with cranks and rods which weren't used 50 years ago and the Repcos seem to be good for another 30-40 bhp.



#7 theotherharv

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Posted 19 June 2018 - 20:36

Thanks guys - appreciated.

 

The search for documented grey motor performance is an interesting one. Some of the circuit/speedway performances are hard to tie down, as the nature of their runs is not always measurable (perhaps fastest time at a given circuit?). 

 

The 200hp figure is almost mythical in grey motor circles. What catches my eye is that the Captain Nitrous performance was long touted as the fastest grey quarter mile. Riek's run, on an engine dyno'd at 200 ponies, was 0.2 seconds faster. There are always differences in chassis, tyre, weight etc, though it would appear that (roughly) Captain Nitrous was at about the 200hp mark. If 200hp greys were (relatively) common, I would have thought there would have been more contenders knocking on the Captain's door.

 

Cheers,

Harv



#8 Ray Bell

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Posted 19 June 2018 - 21:15

Have you spoken to Ray Eldershaw?

He built the best there was (under Appendix J regulations) in 1960-61 and got close to Waggott's dyno at the time.

#9 Lee Nicolle

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Posted 19 June 2018 - 23:17

Now the original headed cars are good for about 180 in Historics with cranks and rods which weren't used 50 years ago and the Repcos seem to be good for another 30-40 bhp.

Cranks? They are using the same cranks and stroke in GpN as they used 50 years ago,, making said cranks 50 years older! I believe there is some better rods around but properly prepped OEM ones did the job,,, just! Pistons, yes but bloody expensive. I am trying to find some decent 179 ones and all I can get is forged at three times the cost of 202 ones.

Head work, cams and valvetrain improvements is where the extra power is coming from. And illegal, but necesary ignition mods. GpN must use original distributor and only recently have been allowed electronic. But A nooone makes one for greys B using a MSD style is still not legal.

Whereas good midget engines were on methanol and used a magneto. 



#10 Dale Harvey

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Posted 20 June 2018 - 03:45

The original cranks were fragile. Vauxhaul or steel billet cranks are used these days. Dick made no mention of Group N. He said historics and there are a lot of Aussie specials that use grey motors.

Dale.



#11 theotherharv

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Posted 20 June 2018 - 20:32

Aaaahh.... the Vauxhall crank. Almost, but not quite a grey motor myth. They were used 50-odd years ago, but are now as rare as rockinghorse poo. I suspect (though could be wrong) that there are fewer than a dozen still in active use... pretty much as rare as Repco heads. I reckon there are more guys using either standard cranks (with main bearing bridges or girdles) or the newer billet cranks.

 

Agree with Lee that the standard rods take a fair amount of abuse. Some have upgraded to Mistubishi 4G63 rods (Eagle and others do nice aftermarket versions), 6-bolt version on original cranks and 7-bolt narrower-journal version on billet cranks.

 

Ray - do you have a contact for Mr Eldershaw please?

 

Cheers,

Harv



#12 Ray Bell

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Posted 20 June 2018 - 22:45

I certainly do...

e.mail me and I'll give you his phone number. But in the meantime, here's something I wrote for MRA:
 

Horsepower rose year by year. Waggott was happy to see 136bhp on his dyno from an engine he’d prepared, but when Brian Muir’s car obviously had more power he wanted to see exactly how much more someone had found.

He offered Muir and his mechanic, Ray Eldershaw, a dyno test and saw the engine deliver 142bhp. “That’s 6hp more than the best I’ve ever seen from a standard-headed engine,” Waggott declared.

The notably modest Eldershaw (a perfectionist who wasn’t prone to blowing his own trumpet) then said, “Hah! What idiot built that one?” He later said he felt as small as a threepenny bit when Waggott answered “Me!”

Later other developments took the power of the Appendix J engines to over 150bhp, with the Boomerang Service Station car leading the way. As Bo Seton explained, it had cam followers that were ground to provide a rounded end, so they opened the valve like a roller follower would without the rollers. This car was the ultimate Appendix J machine.

You will certainly enjoy talking to Ray if you ring him.




.

Edited by Ray Bell, 20 June 2018 - 22:47.


#13 bradbury west

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Posted 21 June 2018 - 18:28

For the info benefit of someone over here rather than down there, which Vauxhall crank, please?
Roger Lund

#14 theotherharv

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Posted 21 June 2018 - 20:00

According to legend, the crank used was the Aussie 1958-1961 Vauxhall Cresta PA  2262cc unit. From what I understand, this is the same crank as that used in the earlier Cresta E vehicles, though I am no Vauxhall expert. The larger 2651cc engines used in the later PAs and early PBs, later bored out to 3293cc units in PBs apparently have a different setup for the dizzy/oil pump drive (similar to the later Holden red motor) and are not used.

 

I suspect that if you tried buying a Cresta motor nowadays and let slip that you were putting the crank into a Holden grey motor, the Vauxhall guys would run you out of town with torches and pitchforks  :lol: .

 

Cheers,

Harv



#15 bradbury west

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Posted 21 June 2018 - 20:12

Many thanks. I was afraid it might be that one. From what I recall for a six pot it was not overburdened with main bearings, and certainly the later 3.3 Motors peaked at something like 4600 rpm. Intriguing
Roger Lund

#16 Ray Bell

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Posted 21 June 2018 - 21:05

I stumbled into this question once..

Mal Brewster was chasing a Vauxhall crank for a Holden-engined car which had actually used the Vauxhall crank originally, and I knew where there was a number of the cars.

A lot of effort later I had the crank, it must have been a '59 or '60 model, and sent it off to Mal. Later he told me it was the wrong one!

#17 Lee Nicolle

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Posted 21 June 2018 - 23:13

According to legend, the crank used was the Aussie 1958-1961 Vauxhall Cresta PA  2262cc unit. From what I understand, this is the same crank as that used in the earlier Cresta E vehicles, though I am no Vauxhall expert. The larger 2651cc engines used in the later PAs and early PBs, later bored out to 3293cc units in PBs apparently have a different setup for the dizzy/oil pump drive (similar to the later Holden red motor) and are not used.

 

I suspect that if you tried buying a Cresta motor nowadays and let slip that you were putting the crank into a Holden grey motor, the Vauxhall guys would run you out of town with torches and pitchforks  :lol: .

 

Cheers,

Harv

PA 2.6 is a 12 port 7 main engine. The earlier engines were I think 9 port  and 4 main. as for fitting in Holdens I have no idea though the engines are similar in length.

No PBs had the 3.3, that is PC only as an option. Or at least here in Oz.

A few Vauxhall engines ended up in midgets but a lot more fabrication for go fast parts such as triple carb/ injection manifolds and the like.

I have a Vauxhall loving mate is the only reason I know anything about these things.

 

The biggest problem with the grey motor is the harmonics, that is what breaks cranks. Some seem to have largely cured it though the critical phase is between 6 and 7000 rpm. Over 7000 they live and that is where many midgets ran. Still sound great doing it, that high pitched scream. Ofcourse in a midget the harmonics were probably worse with no flywheel and often no balancer either.

For cars with a clutch and balancer there is less of a problem though it is still there. Though they have to be compatable though, light flywheel needs a lighter balancer, one with better damping that the original.  I suspect an expert with some mallory metal  may help.


Edited by Lee Nicolle, 21 June 2018 - 23:14.


#18 theotherharv

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Posted 08 July 2018 - 03:02

I caught up with Ray Eldershaw today – a real gentleman.

 

Ray built the Muir grey motor with a target of 140BHP and 120mph down Bathurst’s Conrod Straight. Ray was confident of his tuning, and took only three SU needles with him to the mountain. In an early practice session, the vehicle ran the tacho to 6500rpm. Ray questioned the tacho’s accuracy, only for Muir to reply that it had been recently rebuilt. Confirmation from the circuit indicated a healthy 128mph. The car however was sluggish on the mountain, and a different cam was swapped in for racing. The engine raced for some 18 months before being trialed on Don Schroeder’s (sp?) Town and Country dyno at Parramatta, returning 142BHP in its well-worn state. The dyno owner indicated it was the most powerful run seen on the dyno, and the first to get the dyno warm.

 

I was also curious about the driveline, and queried the gearbox used. Power was run through a near-standard GMH three-speed crashbox. Double-row FAG bearings were fitted to the rear of the box (as Holden did during the FB Holden run), whilst bearings for the front of the box were chosen to have the most number of balls possible. They early steel extension housings were believed to be stronger than the later alloy extensions. Gardner and Siemens (sp?) from Woolloomooloo machined a steel sleeve for the extensions (with a slot for the speedo drive) that ran forward and pressed on the rear bearing outer race. This assisted in reducing mainshaft movement. Synchro springs were stretched slightly before installation, a practice recommended in FB/EK Service Bulletins. Vauxhall synchro strings were rumoured to be stronger, though Ray did not use them. The synchro snap rings were not tack welded in place. The differentials were near standard, though the later EJ Holden flanged joints were used. The FJ axles had a tendency to snap. Testing showed that the cracks originated from the keyway ends. Dufor was consulted, and it was found that the manufacturing process included a process which knocked the keyway ends, making a stress riser. Dufor changed the manufacturing process to remove the knocking process. Tailshafts were standard, with Ray not seeing a tailshaft failure until the red-motored EH S4.

 

All up, the best I have seen to date remains Riek's 204rwhp and 12.789 quarter, and Telford's 133mph.


Cheers,

Harv



#19 john medley

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Posted 08 July 2018 - 04:32

Town & Country Dyno: John and Brian Schroder



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#20 theotherharv

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Posted 08 July 2018 - 08:15

Thanks John. Sometimes my hearing on the phone is not so good... sounded like Don (rather than John) to me.



#21 Ray Bell

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Posted 08 July 2018 - 11:55

I'm rather surprised to see the TACE dyno mentioned...

Everything Ray has ever told me associated the Waggott dyno with Ray's engines. This was at Greenacre, the TACE dyno was at Hornsby if I'm not mistaken.

#22 Joe Bosworth

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Posted 12 July 2018 - 14:35

TACE was originally co-located on the site of John and Brian's parents petrol station on the west side of Church Street quite close to the Parramatta River.  The H & F dyno was behind the northern most service station doors.

 

The TACE dyno probably provided the most reliable results of any in the Sydney area.  It was a first class machine with a careful installation plus Brian and John insisted that only steady state readings were documented.  Some others were happy to sometimes publish flash readings.

 

My memory does not allow me to remember when they moved TACE to Hornsby but it had to be in or after the late 1960s.  The Hornsby site was near the railway tracks in  the northern end of the .city.  Downstairs in the back of the building??

 

John might be able to better pin point the timing.

 

Regards



#23 Ray Bell

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Posted 12 July 2018 - 23:17

The 'official' date was August 1, 1965, Joe...

And welcome back, too.

Trolling through RCN binders I found advertising in the early 1965 issues for TACE at 453 Church Street, Parramatta. Later in the year they started advertising their new address at 2a Linda Street, Hornsby, giving that date for the move.

Which explains my wonderment to me. All I knew of TACE at the time was that they ran their Notas under the TACE banner, and that would get mentioned on the Warwick Farm PA, and ads in RCN. But, as my first RCN was the August, 1963 issue, I would have seen very few ads for the Parramatta address, even if I looked at them

Later, of course, I was very familiar with them at Hornsby.

Anyway, I was speaking to Ray the other day and he told me that Brian had been approached by the Schroders to dyno his engine, whereas all of Ray's previous dyno work (and his later work, too) was at Waggott's. He said that the TACE dyno was known for its accuracy and that it was a brand new Heenan & Froude. Also that John told them after running the Muir engine that it was the first engine that had ever got the dyno warm!

#24 theotherharv

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Posted 18 August 2018 - 00:49

For interest, I dug out the Repco HighPower factory literature (1959). They were able to squeeze 160BHP@6000rpm (150lbf.ft@4500rpm) out of the grey, using the crossflow head with dual exhaust, twin horizontal DOM Webers, the H.P.1 racing cam (80 degrees overlap), bored out to 3.125", 9.5:1 compression and 50% methanol fuel blend.

 

Cheers,

Harv



#25 theotherharv

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Posted 16 September 2018 - 01:57

A recent FaceBook posting got me thinking there may be a faster grey than Riekes. From this article (http://www.thegreymotor.com/2014/08/1210-second-grey-motor-crater-critter.html?m=1) it would appear that the Crater Critter was running 12.1 seconds with a grey motor. Sounds damn fast for the period, and is based on the owners memory. As a cross-check, the above article (and this one = http://www.thegreymotor.com/2015/03/crater-critter-supercharged-grey-motor.html?m=1) shows the car running in Car running in C Altered class. The articles infer a 12.10s pass at the 1968 Calder Nationals. This article (http://www.speedwayandroadracehistory.com/melbourne-calder-park-drag-strip.html) shows April 1968 Calder C/A times at 12.12 (in the Corvette engine Shaker humpy), so the Crater Critter claim would appear to be reasonable.

 

Does anyone have any more documentation (old magazines perhaps) that describe the C/A class at the 1968 Nationals? Would love to validate if the Crater Critter 12.12s claim is correct.


Cheers,

Harv



#26 Lee Nicolle

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Posted 22 September 2018 - 04:06

The Ian R Jones owned Repco powered Supermod is For Sale I am told. Last run about 10 years ago as a Classic [and very classic!] and developed a rattle in the motor and Colin Hanks who was driving it put it away. Repco powered since the 60s!

Ran in mudsprints, Circuit Sprints at AIR !! Even hillclimbed from memory and then back to Speedway. Last time Jones ran the thing at AIR it coasted in sounding VERY sharp,,,, flywheel flange of the crank had parted company with the rest of the crank. And yes it was in the danger zone between 6 and 7000

If anyone is interested I can find Jones's contact details.



#27 theotherharv

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Posted 30 September 2018 - 03:27

https://www.facebook...hc_location=ufi

 

198BHP out of a Repco headed grey, N/A. A fair bit behind Reike's blown, factory headed version but still well above the 160BHP that Repco advertised.

 

Cheers,

Harv