Sorta Sorted

Update by Per Schroeder to the Berkeley Sports project car
Jun 2, 2009

Tom loosens up the caster and camber adjusters.
Per sets the toe.
Tom takes it for a ride.
We push the car back into the garage for some more work. We did away with reverse, so foot power gets it going backward.

From here, we’ll be working on making our Berzerkeley a little more drivable at the limit. It’s a handful now.

Tom and Per spent an evening sorting out some issues with our Berzerkeley project. The car runs well, but it still exhibits erratic handling at higher speeds.

We checked the alignment and dialed in more caster, but to no effect. We also set the toe at zero—it was about 1/2-inch toed out. Next we focused on camber; our tire wear indicated we weren’t using the whole front tire, so an extra degree of negative camber was added.

We had recently installed a new chain with the fixed differential. Now that it had undergone its initial stretch, it was time to adjust it. The chain is now tight and ready to put the power down.

From here, we’ll be working on making our Berzerkeley a little more drivable at the limit. It’s a handful now.

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View comments on the GRM forums
thatsnowinnebago GRM+ Memberand Dork
6/2/09 10:35 a.m.

For some reason, the picture of Tom taking it for a spin make the Berzerkeley look mean

BobOfTheFuture Dork
6/3/09 4:58 a.m.

If you are going that route, i think it needs new MINI headlights...

greilly New Reader
6/3/09 2:42 p.m.

I noticed you changed the stock airbox for a set of Foam filters. Why did you make the change, and have you been able to get the engine to carburate properly with the foam filters?

mdawley New Reader
6/10/09 10:52 a.m.

Erratic handling appears to be a Berkeley curse - even though you do not have any Berk suspension left! Mine has 145 x 12" radials and that may be too much grip for the rear swing axle setup; checkout the "Coldplugs - Berkeley Sportscars" site for some VERY interesting at speed shots of these things. - Bizzerkeley Turbo Driver

greilly New Reader
6/12/09 6:52 a.m.

Interested in hearing about the fuel delivery story. Itm looks like you opted for an aluminum fel tank mounted low behind the driver. was the original bike set-up a gravity feed, or fuel pump? how are you pumping fuel to the carbs, and did you have to install a fuel regulator to reduce the pressure from the pump? This can be tricky to get right in a bike-engined car. perhaps the next progress installment can touch on this.

greilly New Reader
6/12/09 6:56 a.m.

BTW this is my favorite project car of all time. My own project car is a scratch-built locost, with a ZX1100 engine so many of the trials and tribulations have been similar. I loved the installment in the mag about the initial shake-down runs. The insights there were absolutely spot-on. It is a time of great elation punctuated by moments or utter disbelief and dispair. You nailed it. Great writing. Keep it up.

greilly New Reader
6/12/09 7:07 a.m.

will there be any attempt to make the car street legal? In my state, reverse is required. On BEC blogs there are lots of creative and diverse solutions. many of these are electric, and don't involve using the motorcycle drivetrain. your custom dirrerential/gear box may complicate this, but what about a primitive belt drive to aone of the half shafts? Or as I've heard one person do, fabricate a mechanisim like a landing gear of an aircraft, and have a battery driven retractable wheel, that stows out of the way when not in use? Like I said you'd be amazed with the engineuity of the BEC builders, usually spawned out of necessity.

Tom Heath
Tom Heath UberDork
6/12/09 9:04 a.m.

We're using the original fuel pump from the GSX-R 750, so fuel delivery is the same as it is on the bike. This has made getting the Berzerkeley to run and drive much easier.

We toyed with the idea of making the car street legal, but it probably isn't in the cards for this project. I love the idea of an electric motor for reverse though!

Thanks for the comments. Look for more Berzerkeley content soon.

Per Schroeder
Per Schroeder PowerDork
6/12/09 9:06 a.m.

We've got a title for the car, but really don't see it being used on the street . Florida doesn't require an inspection, so as long as it had lights, we'd be good.

We had reverse in the car, but that secondary gear set had issues, so we replaced it with a non-reversing secondary gearbox for more reliability.

Glad you're enjoying the project!

greilly New Reader
6/22/09 7:31 a.m.

cool. the stock bike fuel pump may work jsut fine. Some BEC cars set up like yours experience fuel starvation in high load situatoins becasuse the extra plumbing (low-rear mount tank)requires the little bike pump to push 6 feet of fuel in the hose instedd of 6 inches (as it would in a the bike). probably not an issue if you aren't going to race it. I recall one dude was totally vexed by this, becasue all the components worked just fine. Party on Garth.

Tom Heath
Tom Heath UberDork
6/22/09 9:12 a.m.

greilly- I just noticed your earlier question about the airbox vs. foam filters- We've actually swapped between those options and the velocity stacks without any filter for some driveway testing, and the engine runs happily in all three configurations. We won't know what works best without running it on a dyno, though. I can say that I've been very impressed with the Suzuki ECU's quick adaptation to different configurations and changes.

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