Monday, January 25, 2010

The Wankle Rides Again!

Installed the new muffler on the wankle Panther: Success! Much quieter than before and the engine seems to run better. I'd always had trouble tuning out a flat spot mid throttle, thats noticeably lessened now. I think the added back pressure of the new exhaust has helped.

I still need to take it back apart and adjust the output pipe to fit better into the flex pipe leading out of the engine bay, to do that I'll need to weld on a flange but in the meantime I'm quite pleased with this.

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

3 years later...

Witness friends the accomplishment of 3 years of ignoring a problem and 2 nights of work! Here before you is the new and improved Mark 1 Mod 2 Wankle Panther replacement exhaust!

Seth used his metal cutting bandsaw to section the pipe last night, we took out almost exactly 1/2". Inside I discovered this is whats apparently called a "gun" exhaust. Inside it had a perforated tube running the length of the pipe with another short one running down the stubby end. I cut some disks of computer case that had holes all through it (think cheese grater) and welded those into the pipe and then welded longer perforated tube back into place and finally welded the two halves back together. Took about 2 hours each night.

To finish I need to come up with an input pipe, I thought I had one but its marginally too small. I'll need to stop at the auto parts store tomorrow and pick up another. Hopefully this new design will be quieter than the old one...

However Seth and I came up with at least 2 more designs last night....

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Wankle Panther muffler

So after selling the El Tigre I've been jonesing to buy another sled. Then I got a $2300 credit card bill. The Christmas season was expensive this year, my car needed 2 new tires, the pickup needed ball joints ($700, curse you Ford!) of course I had to buy presents and so on and so on.

I decided the $400 from the Tigre was better spent on bills. Instead of buying another sled (although theres this John Deere...) I'm working on the poor old wankle Panther. The sled runs pretty good but is really loud. The muffler on this machine was ONLY for this machine, no other AC muffler will fit and every one I've found has rusted to pieces. Unfortunately its basically a coffee can and moisture can pool inside and rust from the inside out...
A couple years ago I'd bought a Cub Cadet muffler which is basically the right shape but it turns out to be about 1/2" too long... Its also still pretty loud. So tonight I'm going over to Seth's shop to borrow his metal cutting bandsaw. I'm going to hack 1/2" out of the middle of the thing. Then when I get back home I'm going to work out some baffles which will hopefully cut the noise some more. As a final step I'm going to pack some steel wool inside to eat up even more sound. I expect the steel wool to oxidize out pretty quickly but with luck my system of buffers should make that not matter.

Tonight's cutting is really step one, Thursday night I should be able to start welding. I've got some old computer cases hanging around. Computer cases are heavy dense steel so I'm hoping they'll make good baffles inside the muffler. Time will tell on that one. Time will also tell if my welding skills have improved enough to make an airtight buffer around the muffler...


Sunday, January 10, 2010

A good day out!

I've become a member of the Coldbrook Snowmobile Club and gotten the big Ski-Doo and the Pantera registered in MA. That lets me ride around the Lake Dennsion area and Coldbrook's good trail system down the center of the state.
I'd done 30 or so miles so far on the Ski-Doo so today Angie and I took it and the Pantera out.

We made a quick loop up to the lake to have a look at this little plane that had landed on the ice:

I don't know anything about it other than its cool looking and was pretty small.

I wasn't sure how the Pantera would do so I rode it first. The first mile or two were a little rough but then we burnt through the old crappy gas and it got better and better. About 5 miles in I handed off to Angie and then couldn't get her back off it! She likes how small and light it is and the fact that since it only has a single carb there isn't much pressure on her thumb. I need to lube the throttle cable on the Ski-Doo, its pretty brutal...

Unfortunately my little trailer isn't wide enough for both sleds so I tried using a 2x6 to widen things enough to hang a ski off the side, I'd built an widener but its not wide enough. The 2x6 works but I found a week point in one of the Pantera's skis...

The ski straightened back out (mostly) when it was back on the ground so no foul. I think what I'll do next time is use 2 2x6 pieces bolted to the frame you can see underneith, that'll give the ski better support. At some point I should see if I can rustle up some newer skis...

Anyway it was a great day, we did about 20 miles in around 2 hours. We'd worked in the morning and had more work to do when we got home so we decided to call it quits before we were too tired. I think thats good anyway, leaves us wanting more.