Last Updated: 24/05/2017
1971 VH 770 nicknamed “Delta Charlie”
I purchased this car in 2001 and there is not much point talking about what it was, this is more about what it is now.
The car muddled through for a while being dormant from 2001-2005 when I thought I would put some effort into making a track car to compliment the several other Valiant’s I had/have. This one was allowed to be a big deviation from the ‘keep it original’ mantra – leave that to the other cars in the fleet.
The first effort did not really work. A stroked 340 (4 inch crank and overbore now deliver about 418 cubic inches or 6.9 litre motor) was installed but the compression ration meant I had constant problems with head gaskets and cooling. In the end it was a case of ‘bring the trailer every time you race’……. because it was not going to drive afterwards under its own steam. With modified brakes, diff, gearbox (manual) etc it was always a case of “almost there” at the track with very quick times but not with reliability. The problem really was the engine and until that was sorted, any potential problems with the rest of the drivetrain would never be isolated or found.
By 2010 it was time to rethink the approach. Phil Jackman at Mandurah Diff and Trans was the man for the job. With his guidance a good combination was put together. Amazingly he starts work around 4:30 am in the morning at his shop so I could drive down for a few hours in the morning an come back on the freeway just after morning madness and have several hours down there with an engine in pieces. We pulled the donk apart and there was only one solution – drop the compression ratio. A new set of Diamond pistons were sourced from the USA and with the head work which had been done on a set of “J” heads running 1.80/2.02 we got the ratio down to mid 9’s. With the shear wall of torque this thing has I was not fussed about max PRM horsepower loss.
The engine was reinstalled, did, and still does run sweet and strong. The problem then was manual gearboxes were not lasting. DC ended up on the side of the track at Collie one time with the last broken manual gearbox it will have. Time for something else to solve this next problem.
This is where Bruce at Blue Star comes into his element. He assessed and sorted all the issues. An expert job was done modifying the transmission tunnel and fitting a 518 overdrive box. This means I can run a read diff ratio in the upper 3’s. Initially a 3.45, its now 3.7 and a really good compromise.
Anyway, after a long gestation whilst I have been busy with work, family and other cars that have distracted my attention, DC now is having a great time at Collie and running strongly in the 50’s around the circuit and has now had a few runs at Kwinana with the new gearbox and has broken into 12’s for the quarter mile. Will have to see what it does on the long circuit at Waneroo racetrack soon.
More to come.