The Road to World of Speed: A Multimedia Recount Part 1

By Chuck Johnson

Photography by Joe Lu and Adam Bendig

The 2014 season has been a tough one for land speed racers in general, with high winds cancelling events at El Mirage and thunderstorms flooding the Bonneville Salt Flats.  On the home front, Team MotoIQ has had its own series of struggles to overcome with Murphy’s Law wreaking havoc every step of the way.  Nevertheless, we managed to overcome the odds and set a new H/PS land speed record at Bonneville.  Recounted through data logs, videos, photos and of course text, here’s our World of Speed story.


Lake Bonneville World of Speed Underwater

Upon arriving at Bonneville, we were greeted by the remnants of Mother Nature’s devastation of Speed Week.  The first mile of the salt flats was covered with vast sections of standing water over a foot deep.  With standing water at the entrance, we knew that the course conditions would be pretty bad.


Chuck in the Drivers Seat of Project 240SX LSR

The one good thing that came from the cancellation of Speed Week was that it gave my elbow the extra time that it needed to heal.  In other words, I was back in the driver’s seat again.  Sorry Annie Sam, next time.


SCTA Bonneville Record Certification Sheet

During Speed Week 2013, we had secured a new H/PS class record of 178.984 MPH.  However, after the fact it would be reduced to 173.329 MPH.  Without getting into too much detail, 173.329 MPH was the average speed of Project 240SX LSR between the two and three mile markers on both runs.  According to the SCTA rulebook, a record less than 175 MPH must run against on a three mile course.  We had done our 178.984 pass in five miles.


Chuck and Nick discussing strategy

What this meant for us, was that we either had a mere three miles to reach 200 MPH or we had to first bump the record over 175 MPH so we could go to the longer, 5 mile course.   After much deliberation amongst the team, we decided to try to push hard and go for the 200 MPH mark during the first run.

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Sunday, October 12, 2014 11:38 PM
amazing read, this really shows the kind of issues you do on the track.

You can dyno as much as you want, in every class of racing you will not be able to get the ECU tune correctly.
everything is right till you hit a specific corner and you fight the boost, you get too much boost at a specific throttle position, or the rev limiter lowers the power too much and so on.
Having a good ecu like this AEM or Maxxecu is just something you cannot do without if you want to be able to remedy the issues on spot :)
Big fans of AEM infinity ecu's and I run Maxxecu myself with e-throttle on sr20vet :-)

Thanks for all your posts so far here on MotoIQ, especially the 240sx LSR project, a smile everytime i see a new post for the 240sx LSR :D
Monday, October 13, 2014 5:19 AM
I might have an idea of your toe change in the rear, as i had a similar problem setting my s13.

The first thing i noted is no matter how well i could set the traction rod to eliminate toe steer, it did bind the standard bushes, unless i settled for around -2° of rear camber. If i set a rear camber more positive than that, the knucle traction rod and camber bushings start to bind, and the car does not settle correctly on the alignment rack. I still have the oem bushings in the knuckle, with a lot of compliance (rose joints everywhere else). Maybe the S14 subframe does not suffer from that, but the s13 one sure does.

I read your chassis prep again and saw you replaced the rear knuckle bushings with PU bushings. I am not a huge fan of them, seeing how they usually don't work well with more than 1 degree of freedom. The only place that has 1 degree of freedom on that suspension is the rear lower control arm to subframe bushings.

They do bind a lot more than the standard bushes everywhere else. If you have binding, the only solution would be to use ball joint inserts... i know some exist for the aluminium Z32 knuckle. Nissan OEM iron knuckles are not machined well enough so there are no kits available for them.

If you can replace these bushes by ball joints , set the rear traction and cambers arms again and then get it aligned again, you should get rid of that strange suspension behavior you currently have.
Tuesday, October 14, 2014 8:53 AM
Or just get the new TDP rear kit. 8lbs per side:

Chris "Shaggy" Allenlink
Wednesday, October 22, 2014 5:29 PM
What total timing advance are you running at the top end ??? And does the soft limit pull it to 10deg or 10deg off the top ??? I think the way you did it is the way to go too.. Pulling timing to soften or even eliminate a hard limit at that speed is a smart move !!! Good job guys !!
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