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Performance Seminar To Put Power In Your Hands
Internationally recognized performance engine consultant and tech author David Vizard will present his “How To Build High Performance” seminar at the University of Northwestern Ohio, March 11-13, 2011.
By Doug Kaufman
This seminar, sponsored by the University of Northwestern Ohio and supported by Engine Builder magazine will teach you to find additional output from high performance and competition engines by dealing with the concepts involved in a way unique to David Vizard. In a word, says the presenter, it’s about combinations.
So what qualifies David Vizard to preach performance possibilities for nearly 20 hours? To help clarify his expertise, here’s a portion of an interview with Vizard himself.
He’s had a illustrious career as an author, writing more than 30 books and 4,000 magazine articles (many in this publication). But he prefers to talk about what he’s done, not necessarily about what he’s written.
“If we are talking careers, let’s get this straight, I am no writer, I failed in that department in a grand style but my engineering qualifications landed me a job as an R&D engineer in the aircraft industry in my home country of England. That was back in 1959,” he says. “The last job I worked on before striking out on my own was a real hot rod propelled by over 900,000 hp. It could outrun an F15 while carrying 128 passengers. If you have not guessed yet that’s a Concord.”
Vizard says some of his fondest memories are the things few people recognize.
“What I am most pleased with are the things that never got written up. A few incidences immediately spring to mind here like the time at Prescott hill climb (a long established asphalt track like a much shortened version of Pikes Peak situated in the rolling hills of Gloucestershire England) where, on a damp track I beat all the Formula 1 cars in my two barrel carbed 1293 cc Mini Cooper. The track anno-uncer, who at that time had been commentating for 27 years, said it was the most spectacular ascent of the hill he had ever seen,” he recalls.
“I was also pleased about winning some four championships where, in the process, my engines won every single event. But one thing that I only realized a while back is that I am probably the only journalist (although I don’t see myself as such) who has not only driven a car to a pole position on the grid at an international event but also been solely responsible for the engine development where I beat out all the megabuck factory teams by a healthy margin. To do this I designed my own cam profiles, cylinder heads, and carbs. In the process I did better on the heads than the two competing F1 engine manufactures and in the carb department showed Weber’s factory engineers how it was done. I also designed the car’s suspension and that included designing and building the shocks. Primitive though it was back then I also did the aerodynamics and the paint and bodywork.”
Vizard is known for bucking convention and making bold, in-your-face statements that many industry leaders felt he couldn’t possibly back up. When challenged, however, he says he never lost out.
“One time I did a magazine article for a leading British magazine that focused on the original Mini. I made a statement within the text that it was a shame that British and European cam grinders (including the factory) had, after better than 30 years of experience, little idea what it was that the Mini engine actually wanted in the way of valve events for maximum output. The editor took this piece of text and made a big print sidebar of it so when opening to this page that statement was the first thing the reader saw.
“The factory guys, with whom I was always at odds because I felt they spent too much time boozing at the pub and not enough time making the cars more competitive, commented in so many words that since I was a journalist I probably felt I did not have to back up such statements. The then leading UK cam company had similar views. Kent Cams, the third player, and at that time a fairly distant second in cam sales, had a somewhat different response. The boss, the late Bob Munt candidly said ‘Let’s see if you can put your money where your mouth is," Vizard recalls.
“I told Bob ‘get your best engine builder, with his engines, and ship everything to my dyno in California. Your guy will do all the cam changes and I won’t even touch the engine.’ The first test was with a 1480 cc National Championship winning engine. After the test runs with the Kent race cam I gave the engine builder one of my hot street cams to install. It was some 14 degrees shorter than the race cam. The result was an increase of 8 hp and 12 lbs.ft. of torque and that’s a pretty healthy increase for a motor of less than 90 inches,” says Vizard.
“At that point Dave Mountain, Kent’s engine builder asked to use the phone to call England. I pointed out that it was about 2 o’clock in the morning there. He said ‘never mind I want to call anyway’. So he did. The conversation went like this: ‘Hi Bob, Dave Mountain here. You owe me a thousand pounds (about $2000 at that time)’. Obviously somebody just lost a bet big time.”
Vizard says the Mini cam testing went on for about 10 weeks during which time he redesigned almost the entire Kent ‘A’ series cams with similar increases in output. “A couple of years later I did another extended session on what I call my ‘Scatter Pattern’ cams. These have different timings on every cylinder and, let me tell you, that took some intricate dyno evaluation to optimize valve events on four different cylinders on one engine.”
Vizard says cam optimization is never easy but with all the cam testing he has done, feels he has a very good handle on what an engine needs for near optimal cam events first time around. In addition to explaining how to maximize horsepower and torque with proper cam selection, Vizard says he’ll cover the following topics as well:
“The ‘too much flow at low lift myth will be shot down in flames;”
“How to make a regular 4 valve engine emulate a variable valve timing 4 valve engine without the addition of one single extra moving part;”
“Why most race fuels are wrong for N2O motors;”
“The secret to success with a restrictor plate motor;”
“The real situation concerning intake to exhaust ratios;”
“Why 99 percent of the world conducts its flow tests wrong;”
“Wet flow testing the common mistakes;” and
The one subject that has cam experts worldwide tearing their hair out: “Why the most important aspect of specing a cam is not the duration, lift, advance retard, or LCA. It’s the number 128!”
Vizard explains that there are at least another 50 topics like this that he will cover during the seminar, and vows that attending will be a fantastic business opportunity for any performance engine builder.
The cost of this event is $550 per person when booked individually. Discounts are available for early and group bookings. David Vizard explained that his seminars are traditionally sold out, and encourages interested attendees to register early to avoid disappointment. For more information about the seminar, visit www.davidvizardseminars.com.