Formula Vee Association Of NSW


There is going to be a lot happening in Formula Vee between now and the end of the year, with two more State rounds, two more Clemenger rounds, a AASA round, the Nationals and the V8 round. With all this going on, a number of you will be financially and/or time stretched, but I cannot impress on you highly enough the importance of maintenance between meetings.

Maintenance should not be limited to mechanical checks, but also must include visual checks, i.e. presentation of your car. I see a number of cars at the meetings with huge oil leaks or body panels that do not fit properly or are held on with race tape or the bottom of the nose cone has been torn off and is held on with tape.

If you have a bad oil leak, fix it, or if your car has suffered panel damage, please get it repaired properly. You can get small fibreglass repair kits at Supercheap or similar and they are not rocket science to use and it makes the cars so much more visually impressive. With the V8 round coming up, in my opinion, the two most important things will be presentation and driving standards.

You will be racing in front of, arguably, the “greatest show on wheels”, so we don?t want to be racing around with body panels flapping in the wind or oil pouring out or cars spearing off into the sand traps on every corner. In 2008 I was fortunate enough to be involved with Synergy Motorsport and Paul Laskazesky when Paul won the Formula Ford National Championship and also Wall Racing with the Carrera Cup and Australian GT Championship programs, and through those programs, I attended every race track in Australia and every V8 and GT meeting.

The atmosphere is amazing and it is something that once you have experienced it, you want more. If you want to be invited back to the V8?s you must present exceptionally well and the driving standards must be exemplary. If everyone presents and drives as well as they did at the first Clemenger round at Sydney Motorsport Park (no red flags the whole meeting) we could be in with a chance to get re invited, but if we don?t, well…… As far as technical goes, the National Technical Committee (NTC) has approved a number of technical items and these have been presented to the FVAA Board of Management (BoM) for approval.

The BoM has approved these items, but CAMS has requested that all the items be presented to them as one package, rather than individually, and all items must have approval by each State. I presented these items to the FVANSW Committee and it was evident that there was an anomaly in the wording for one item. I have spoken to Michael Lloyd (National Technical Director) and with the help of David and Jason Cutts, we have reworded the item and presented it back to the NTC for approval.

By the time that you read this report, the reworded item will have been before the NTC and I believe, accepted. The items as a package will then be submitted to the BoM for approval and then on to CAMS. Once CAMS approves these items they will publish a Bulletin, or possibly just place the new items in the CAMS Manual, it will depend on timing, then the approved items will be okay to use. I think I said in a previous report that the wheel turns slowly!!!6 – Whilst I am not at liberty to reveal these proposed technical changes, I will say that two of them are engine related, one is ignition related and one involves the modification of an item that is attached to the engine.

No, not the gearbox. Some time ago I reported on the engine that was in a car that was sold from South Australia to New South Wales, and when the engine was stripped, it was found to be non compliant in a number of areas. A report was sent to the NTC and then to the BoM, and the two original Sealers that were involved in sealing the engine in South Australia were spoken to, and both received a two year suspended sentence.

In a nutshell, if there is a concern with any engine that they were the last to seal, they will lose their sealing privileges for a time to be determined. They are also to attend an “update seminar” to refresh their sealing knowledge. I will point out at this stage that NSW Sealers have attended two “update seminars” this year and both proved very positive. The gearbox that was built and sealed by the same person in Victoria and double sealed in NSW, was recently dismantled in front of the Victorian CAMS Formula Vee Scrutineer, and I am very pleased to report that no anomalies were found, and the gearbox was compliant in all respects.

Whilst it was the general feeling amongst the NTC and the BoM that the gearbox would be compliant, it had to be double sealed and then inspected whilst being dismantled, to remove any doubt. The Sealer concerned received a two year suspended sentence. I wish to thank David Cutts and Edan Fleming for their help with the dismantling of the South Australian engine, and Kim Black and Corinne Perry for their assistance with the gearbox issue. It is very much appreciated.

I have yet to make a start on the Video to assist Sealers, and I know this excuse is done to death, but I have been short of time, and I am loath to admit, enthusiasm. David Cutts has offered the use of his factory, Leigh Porter has offered the use of an engine and Morgan Freemantle has a camera that he has offered, it is just a matter of getting all these items together to make a start. We have had an offer to edit the Video and make it look less amateurish and the BoM will look at covering some of the associated costs, I just need to get my finger out and make a start. That?s about all for this magazine, but remember, when you are at the V8 round, look good, drive smart.

Lyall Moyes

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NUTS AND BOLTS – Lyall’s Technical Update

In this Technical and BoM update, there are a number of issues to be covered. First and foremost, I would like to say thank you all for your patience, co operation and under standing with the post Qualifying and Race technical inspections.

I know that all you want to do after a race is talk B.S. and give the reasons why you did not win, but in a class that is so tightly technically regulated, these checks are very important. Once again, thank you all. After Eastern Creek Qual, there were a number of cars with number infringements, two cars under ride height and the issue with the carby on Shane Hart’s car.

I dealt with the number issue simply by explaining why the numbers were wrong, and I believe everyone understood and I am pleased to say, no one complained. After the meeting, Mick Reinhardt said it was about time someone did something about the numbers as “they had been out of control for years”.

I was very pleased to hear that from Mick, as I, and many others, have a great deal of respect for Mick and what he has done for Formula Vee. As I was busy with the numbers and the carby issue, I left the ride height cars to be sorted by the Scrutineers. I learnt later that the drivers had been given a slap on the wrist and no action taken. I do not believe that this was an appropriate action to take, as the cars were allowed to start Race 1 in the position that they had qualified in with cars that did not meet the Formula Vee regulations. This situation should have been handled better by the Scrutineers, but it was a lesson learned and I made a mental note not to let it happen again. The carby issue on Shane Hart’s car is ongoing.

I won’t go into all the details, suffice it to say that the CAMS judicial wheel turns very slowly. I am in possession of an Email from Jo Coad, Acting Senior Motor Sport Coordinator-Technical which states –quote “the CAMS Eligibility determined that the carburettor in question did not comply with the regulations and therefore is ineligible” end quote.

I am also in possession of a number of Emails from Senior FVAQ officials refuting certain statements that were made at the original Stewards hearing at EC. I will be attending a Stewards meeting at Sports House at Homebush on Monday 14th of May, where I am led to believe a penalty will be determined that is deemed to be appropriate for the use of the “ineligible” carburettor. Watch this space.

On to Wakefield Park and I am very pleased to report that after Qual. only one car was under ride height and every 1600 car passed a carby and restrictor plate check. Remembering my mental note from EC, I took control of the ride height situation and the driver was given a rear of grid start for Race 1. I take no delight when something like this happens and especially in this case as the driver is new to the sport, in a car that he is leasing and therefore has no control over set up, and he Qualified P3, but action had to be taken, and whilst it is unfortunate, I make no apology for taking this action.

Prior to Race 2 on Sunday morning, Leigh Porter, Simon Pace, Craig Conlon and myself drew 5 numbers from a hat and these cars had the carby and one side of the inlet manifold off and checked. The cars were Daniel Reynolds, Dean Cavanagh, Simon Pace, Pablo Martino and Stephen Gamarra.

Once again, I am very pleased to say that there were no problems that I could see with their carby’s, inlet manifolds or inlet ports. Well done to all concerned. Whilst on Wakefield Park, I do not understand why we run a round of the CAMS State Championship at a circuit that does not provide working scales.

Surely that is a proviso to have a Round of the State Championship at your venue. I suppose it could be worse, the first round could have been at Wakefield and here we are with a new weight limit. What happens if the lightweights take 30 or 40 Kg out for the next round at WP? In order to get a better understanding of this next issue, get onto the National FV website, go to Competition, Rules and Technical, Sealing Card System and be very mindful of the section “In the event of a lost card”.

When you get an engine or gearbox sealed, the sealer will give you a White Sheet (the original sealing sheet or certificate), possibly a Yellow Copy of that original sealing sheet (some sealers send the yellow directly to me and some give it to the owner to pass on to me) and a White Card (sealing card).

If you are asked to produce the Sealing Card (the white card) at a race meeting, and you do not have it, and you do not have the original Sealing Sheet (or the yellow copy if you have not passed it on to me), then you have no record of the engine or gearbox having been sealed. If you do not have either the Sealing Card or White original Sealing Sheet and you have sent the Yellow copy of the Sealing Sheet to me, that may temporarily get you out of trouble.

The fact that the item has seals on it is not good enough and in this situation you can be asked to put the car on the trailer and your meeting is over.

I cannot stress highly enough the importance of the Sealing Card, and I will be checking them at Eastern Creek next, so I ask you all to get your paperwork in order before the meeting. Make sure that your Cards and Sheets are for the engine and gearbox that is in your car, and leave paperwork that is no longer relevant to your car, at home.

The BoM has asked the FVANSW Technical Group to put forward a plan to produce a Video that can be used as a tool for the ongoing training of Sealers, Australia wide. Whilst it may sound like a simple enough thing to do, in order to get it right and look professional, it will require a lot of planning and work.

I have asked all the members of the Technical Group for ideas and I extend that invitation to you all. If you have any ideas, thoughts or experience in video production, call or Email me and we will go from there. It is very important to get it right, both for FV and for NSW.

That’s it for this week, but I remind you that I am available if you have any queries at all regarding technical issues.


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Have you ever put 30lbs in your Vee tyres and noticed how easy it has suddenly become to push? In short, it’s rolling resistance. The contact patch of the tyre to the ground has shrunk in relation to your normal pressures, giving you less resistance or effort required to move the vehicle.

It may be impractical to use 30lb pressure in your tyres in a racing situation as that lack of contact patch to the track becomes a disadvantage, but other parts of the car can give you a similar resultant gain. The most basic of resistance in our cars come through the brakes. Be it either drums or discs, the result is the same.

If when you jack your drum brake car up you can?t rotate the wheel and have it spin easily for at least 7 to 10 seconds (front wheel here) there is a resistance that the engine must overcome. Wheel bearing and brake adjustment will be your main area of gain there. Disc brake cars are slightly different though. Yes, wheel bearing pre loads are something that are important, but brake adjustment is non-existent, so is there anything that can be done to help?

Yes, of course! By nature of the system, the pedal doesn’t move that far, meaning that the caliper and master cylinder also don’t move that far, and unlike a drum brake set up, discs don’t generally have a proper return spring to retract the pads away from the discs. In time they can stick slightly, meaning the release of the pad from the caliper becomes a lot slower.

Something simple that you can do yourself is to remove the wheels and push the pads back slightly and then pump the pedal until the pads are pushed back out again against the discs. Do this a few times on all wheels and you should find the pad „releasing? a lot faster. If you have the VW callipers and the anti rattle springs have been removed, put them back in. They act as a form of return spring also. It goes without saying that the gearbox consumes its fair share of h.p. through its resistance.

Internal pre loads and viscosity of lubricants play their part. The same can be said for the engine with piston ring drag or valve train friction, but if you don’t have the budget to chase drive train frictional losses, there are gains to be had in the most basic of areas with just a little bit of time and effort.

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I’ve been asked to write something about valve lift. It?s a pretty topical subject amongst a few people I?ve spoken to. I?ll try to cover the rule as it is now and how we got there rather than the how to’s.

From my memory it was the early nineties that the practice of removing metal from the area around the underside of the rocker where it fouls on the valve spring retainer first was noticed. Occasionally before this you might find people lightly clearancing one or two rockers out of a set when the rocker would foul on the retainer or just shim the rocker posts out (which was the legal way). The advent of grinding the rockers for advantage was a step further away from legal.

It was determined that this process was “balancing”. Once the precedent was set open slather became the norm for the next 20 years. We move on to the later 2000?s and lengthening of pushrods up to around 8mm longer than std, grinding the 1600 rockers through to the oil feed holes to be able to stand the rocker screw somewhere around parallel to the rocker post stud was becoming the norm.

Machining of the rocker posts to stop the screw from falling off the edge of the valve end during its lift cycle all combined with excess wear in the valve train. Rockers would break from being so weak around the ground section. Pushrods would break from binding in the pushrod end of the rocker from over centering.

Valve guides would wear from the harsh angles and lack of valve rotation. People were machining up their own offset rocker studs to try to lower the rocker gear to help with some of these dramas.Towards the end of 2007, the best I think I saw on our car was around 10.8mm lift on the inlets, and 10.2 on the exhausts.

Some I believe would be getting quite more from 1.25:1 rockers and the use of lash caps both of which were generally considered not to be legal in 2007. To get 10.8mm though meant you needed to make up a jig to measure rockers looking for the machining variations through production. I can remember in late 2006 checking a 100 ltr container of rockers for 3 sets of „good ones?.

It took roughly 5 hrs to do but gains were there to be had. We move on to now with fixed valve lift which was introduced to help reliability and „parity?. I?m not going to go into the how?s etc with the new system other than to say that the lift isn?t a consistent figure and will change with wear and heat. If you replace a tappet screw it will have an effect on lift. If you break a pushrod and the one you replace it with isn?t the same length the lift will change.

If you pull a head off and change a valve unless the end of the valve is the same length as the one you replace lift will change. If you do a top end and re-cut the valve seats lift will change. I believe that moves are heading towards a 1.25:1 rocker being introduced which will make it easier to get lift required but may not be the perfect ideal.

As with most things progress over the next couple of years will determine the next set of problems for the tech guys to argue over.

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Hi, this time I’ll cover a basic Formula Vee wheel alignment. This will use the string method which is the only practical method you can use at a race track.

Firstly you need to get something that you can tie string to that has a height roughly at the axle height of the car. Two bars with pins the same distance apart set up on car stands will do. The idea here is to set two parallel strings either side of the car and have the car set up with its centerline parallel to the strings. When you measure from the string to the car you won’t have the same measurement front to rear, but side to side will be – the measurement from the front axle to the string may be 100mm but the rear may be 90mm.

Providing that the string in front of and behind the car is the same distance apart, and both sides at the front axle are the same and both sides at the rear axle are the same, then the car should be parallel inside the „box”. Depending on the type of rear suspension you have, you?ll need fairly flat ground, but not spirit level flat. For a twin coil over or rear torsion car, you will, but that’s not going to be covered here. Once you’ve got your car straight inside its “box”, you?ll need to set the steering wheel straight ahead and come up with a method to hold it there.

It must be noted that if you are going to adjust camber/caster, you have to do this first. Any time you change camber/ caster (the eccentric not under the top ball joint will do both) on a ball joint front end, toe will change. Measure out from the string to the front of the tyre, and then from the rear of the front tyre to the string. If those measurements are 95 mm at the front and 100 mm at the rear on the left hand side, for example, then that side has 5 mm toe out.

Repeat the same for the remaining three corners and adjust according to the settings required. Noted again that I will measure off the tyre, NOT the rim. The rim?s straightness will depend on how many curbs it has hit, and some of the rims I see look like the car has been dropped off a building (sorry guys!). Small deviations in the rim will affect your alignment. However, the tyre will tend to even itself out better than the rim. This is just a basic reference as to the method of checking toe in/toe out. What you set things to will depend on the manufacturers settings.

Grab the spanners and have a go.


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Hi again for one last time in 2010. I’ve been asked to write a little about dynos. Hopefully it may be of some interest. I feel the need to make a couple of points first before getting into this.

First, in my opinion, a dyno is a handy and helpful tool, but don’t consider it to as the be all and end all to your on track performance.

Secondly, not only do all dynos read slightly differently, but you will get different reading depending on the method the operator uses.

Thirdly, having your car tuned and making a million horsepower at 9 o’clock at night doesn’t mean you will have a million horsepower at midday the next day.

Finally, a dyno should be used for back to back testing of components and tuning, and that before you get there the basics should have been checked. The intention of the final point in the previous paragraph is meant to indicate that unless you are trying to find an oil leak or source a dodgy wiring problem, then it is wise to make sure the car has all the basics covered. At anywhere from $150 to $200 per hour having a flat battery, running out of fuel, or having the engine dump the contents of it’s sump on the floor, isn’t money well spent.

On the subject of fuel, it is wise to make sure your car is dyno’d with the fuel you normally run. On an initial run for a carb, you may find you will have to change float levels at the race track after your trip to the dyno to deal with cornering flat spots. This will affect you mixtures to an extent.

Points one and two of the previous statement relates to the weather, or more specifically, air density. Most of the front guys, when they dyno their car, tend to have at least an air density gauge with them. Some guys will run their own lambda sensors in the exhaust. Peak hp readings will be taken after final jetting/tuning. Lambda (or CO) readings along with the air density readings will also be taken down.

At the racetrack, as the air density changes, calculations will be made to the jetted carb depending on what you have weather-wise on the given day. Sometimes these changes may be in the region of .025mm to .05mm. That sort of sums up the first three statements in that the h.p readings given are only a snapshot of the conditions of that time, but can be of great value at the racetrack if used correctly. I could spend time talking about jetting the pilot circuit, the main circuit, the air correction circuit, or why cars foul plugs in the pit or at Wakefield.

I could go on about what a difficult carb we run, and how the restrictor plate leans off mixtures on throttle opening leading to the reason of fouling plugs.

But I may leave that for another time. See you at the track.

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