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Thread: Motorcycle Engine into my Nova

  1. #1
    Club Member Club Member novarally's Avatar
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    Default Hayabusa Turbo Engine for my Nova

    As some people will have read on my previous Project thread;

    http://www.pngclub.com/forum/showthr...ova-Sprint-Car

    I've decided to convert my Nova to use a motorcycle engine, driving the rear wheels. The engine will be mid-mounted.

    At this stage I am doing a lot of research, I've acquired some bits and pieces (which may or may not get used in this build), and I've been steadily selling off parts from the original car that aren't going to be required once it becomes motorcycle powered.

    As a quick recap, I've owned the Nova since 2009, when it looked like this;

    https://www.flickr.com/photos/186148378@N05/49994811203/in/dateposted-public/

    Over the years it got new bodywork, different paint, more power, less weight, and then it was crashed heavily in 2012;

    https://www.flickr.com/photos/186148378@N05/49634054751/in/dateposted-public/

    Since 2012 it was fully rebuilt, with much carbon bodywork, a different engine, and lots of other developments.

    https://www.flickr.com/photos/186148378@N05/49995326671/in/dateposted-public/

    https://www.flickr.com/photos/186148378@N05/49994423858/in/dateposted-public/

    https://www.flickr.com/photos/186148378@N05/49995325746/in/dateposted-public/

    https://www.flickr.com/photos/186148378@N05/49995326426/in/dateposted-public/


    But it's not raced again since. The idea of converting to motorcycle engine has been in my head for a long time, and now I'm taking the plunge.

    Last edited by novarally; 03-04-22 at 09:05 AM.
    To contact me please use E-MAIL to colinesmith@aol.com.

    thousands of Nova (plus other Vauxhall and motorsport parts) available.

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    Club Member Club Member novarally's Avatar
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    Don't know why the photos won't show on this Forum via those links, they work fine on others that I belong to?
    To contact me please use E-MAIL to colinesmith@aol.com.

    thousands of Nova (plus other Vauxhall and motorsport parts) available.

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    As someone who done something similar i'm so looking forward to this!

    Have you decided yet which drivetrain/suspension you're using for the rear or are you building it yourself?

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    Club Member Club Member novarally's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ExTrEmeOc View Post
    As someone who done something similar i'm so looking forward to this!

    Have you decided yet which drivetrain/suspension you're using for the rear or are you building it yourself?
    Thanks for the support

    I'm still deciding on quite a lot of the mechanical stuff.

    My preference is for the Quaife/Powertec system;
    https://shop.quaife.co.uk/quaife-powertec-gear-drive-system

    Only problem with that is the cost.

    The engine will be a turbocharged 4-cylinder. Choices are really Hayabusa, GSXR1000 or ZX10R. I want to buy an engine that has already been done, so I'm looking out for cars (or bikes) with a suitable engine, then I'd buy the whole thing and sell off what I don't need.

    Suspension will be double wishbone at the rear end, at the moment the plan is to utilise the rear spaceframe chassis from a single seater race car that I have acquired. I'm picking that up next week, so I can place it inside the bodywork and see how it could all work.

    Any advice is welcome, from someone who has done it before!
    To contact me please use E-MAIL to colinesmith@aol.com.

    thousands of Nova (plus other Vauxhall and motorsport parts) available.

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    Maybe something i would like to adress is what a lot of builds seem to ignore or just live with the drawbacks when it comes to suspension.

    Using an existing suspension from a donor car, or in your case single seater, is a nice and easy way to make progress without inventing a whole new suspension design for ones application. In some cases this can work very well altough done without any knowledge and using the wrong type of suspension it can lead to all sorts of handling problems. In the end it comes down to the correlation between the front and the rear suspension which has to be setup differently for which layout one is going for.
    Going for a double wishbone suspension is a very good move as it brings a lot of adjustability in case something isn't quiet as it should be. Cutting out a FWD suspension from a car and using it for RWD may work for daily and bit of sporty driving, but may be a huge gamble to work well for a track car that is being driven on the limit.

    To avoid a lot of issues there is one key factor. The corrolation between the front and the rear roll center of the suspension which mostly is determined by the pickup points of the whishbones, outer ball joints and, also by the strut tower position for mcpherson type suspension.
    A stock nova, as most FWD cars, has a higher roll center at the front and a lower roll center at the back. This helps to correctly shift weight when cornering. For a mid engine or rear engine car it should be the other way round, higher roll center at the back, lower at the front. In my case the weight distribution is 46/54, which fits nicely with a higher roll center for the heavier rear. Your rear roll center could possibly be just slightly above the front roll center as your weight distribution with a lighter motorcycle engine could be nearly 50/50 when finished.

    I've gone through the pain of measuring all the pickup points on my car prior to start cutting up the chassis in order to find the front roll center and work out where the rear pickup point should in order to determine the correct location of the rear roll center

    Here you can see what this looks like for my car. The blue line represents the connection between the two roll centers and the axis, around which, the car will try to rotate when cornering.


    My advise here would be to measure the pickup points relative to each other and to the ground (the car needs to be on its own wheels for this) so you can weld in the rear suspension at the correct height for your application.

    If you're willing to go through all this and have an analysis PM me.
    Last edited by ExTrEmeOc; 14-06-20 at 12:01 PM.

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    Senior User The Simps's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ExTrEmeOc View Post
    Maybe something i would like to adress is what a lot of builds seem to ignore or just live with the drawbacks when it comes to suspension.

    Using an existing suspension from a donor car, or in your case single seater, is a nice and easy way to make progress without inventing a whole new suspension design for ones application. In some cases this can work very well altough done without any knowledge and using the wrong type of suspension it can lead to all sorts of handling problems. In the end it comes down to the correlation between the front and the rear suspension which has to be setup differently for which layout one is going for.
    Going for a double wishbone suspension is a very good move as it brings a lot of adjustability in case something isn't quiet as it should be. Cutting out a FWD suspension from a car and using it for RWD may work for daily and bit of sporty driving, but may be a huge gamble to work well for a track car that is being driven on the limit.

    To avoid a lot of issues there is one key factor. The corrolation between the front and the rear roll center of the suspension which mostly is determined by the pickup points of the whishbones, outer ball joints and, also by the strut tower position for mcpherson type suspension.
    A stock nova, as most FWD cars, has a higher roll center at the front and a lower roll center at the back. This helps to correctly shift weight when cornering. For a mid engine or rear engine car it should be the other way round, higher roll center at the back, lower at the front. In my case the weight distribution is 46/54, which fits nicely with a higher roll center for the heavier rear. Your rear roll center could possibly be just slightly above the front roll center as your weight distribution with a lighter motorcycle engine could be nearly 50/50 when finished.

    I've gone through the pain of measuring all the pickup points on my car prior to start cutting up the chassis in order to find the front roll center and work out where the rear pickup point should in order to determine the correct location of the rear roll center

    Here you can see what this looks like for my car. The blue line represents the connection between the two roll centers and the axis, around which, the car will try to rotate when cornering.


    My advise here would be to measure the pickup points relative to each other and to the ground (the car needs to be on its own wheels for this) so you can weld in the rear suspension at the correct height for your application.

    If you're willing to go through all this and have an analysis PM me.
    Really useful information that!

    What roll center balance would it be for a front mounted rwd car? I’m guessing higher rear still?

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    Quote Originally Posted by The Simps View Post
    Really useful information that!

    What roll center balance would it be for a front mounted rwd car? I’m guessing higher rear still?
    There is a rule of thumb, the roll center should be higher at the heavier end of the car. But that's not the whole story to be honest as it depends on your weight distribution, suspension travel distance in general as the roll center isn't static and is moving around during cornering.

    Best approach in the end would be to make multiple mounting points on the chassis for the most influential wishbones in the suspension.
    I've made de upper wishbone adjustable with a choice of 3 roll center heights, here you can see the unfinished wishbone mounted in the middle position.
    The holes don't need to be far apart 15-20mm center to center is enough to make a big difference. (that is why it gets even worse if you are 5-10cm out of the needed range for your application)


    Same for the front, where the original mounting point is located i've drilled another set of holes above to raise the roll center if needed


    Something that is also very useful to know for mid engine conversion based on a FWD car:
    Front caster, usually for the nova is around 2° if i remember correctly. For a non driven front axle try to achieve at least 4-5°, will help to improve front grip drastically

    The more things are adjustable the better
    Last edited by ExTrEmeOc; 14-06-20 at 06:36 PM.

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    Club Member Club Member novarally's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ExTrEmeOc View Post
    There is a rule of thumb, the roll center should be higher at the heavier end of the car. But that's not the whole story to be honest as it depends on your weight distribution, suspension travel distance in general as the roll center isn't static and is moving around during cornering.

    Best approach in the end would be to make multiple mounting points on the chassis for the most influential wishbones in the suspension.
    I've made de upper wishbone adjustable with a choice of 3 roll center heights, here you can see the unfinished wishbone mounted in the middle position.
    The holes don't need to be far apart 15-20mm center to center is enough to make a big difference. (that is why it gets even worse if you are 5-10cm out of the needed range for your application)


    Same for the front, where the original mounting point is located i've drilled another set of holes above to raise the roll center if needed


    Something that is also very useful to know for mid engine conversion based on a FWD car:
    Front caster, usually for the nova is around 2° if i remember correctly. For a non driven front axle try to achieve at least 4-5°, will help to improve front grip drastically

    The more things are adjustable the better
    Thank-you, very useful information.

    Even when I was running the Nova as front wheel drive I was using 4 degrees of positive castor, so that’s good to know.
    To contact me please use E-MAIL to colinesmith@aol.com.

    thousands of Nova (plus other Vauxhall and motorsport parts) available.

  9. #9
    Club Member Club Member novarally's Avatar
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    Expert help is coming to me, as Bill Chaplin, constructor of ultra-trick single seat hillclimb cars has offered to get involved with the project. He’s going to pay me and the Nova a visit and offer his proposals on how best to go forward.

    Bill is ‘Empire Racing Cars’;

    https://www.empireracingcars.com/

    He’s also convinced me that the Hayabusa engine is the only choice.
    To contact me please use E-MAIL to colinesmith@aol.com.

    thousands of Nova (plus other Vauxhall and motorsport parts) available.

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    Quote Originally Posted by novarally View Post
    Expert help is coming to me, as Bill Chaplin, constructor of ultra-trick single seat hillclimb cars has offered to get involved with the project. He’s going to pay me and the Nova a visit and offer his proposals on how best to go forward.

    Bill is ‘Empire Racing Cars’;

    https://www.empireracingcars.com/

    He’s also convinced me that the Hayabusa engine is the only choice.
    Good luck mate hope you have very deep pockets

    Sent from my SM-A705FN using Tapatalk

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