Have you had one of those projects where you are chasing ghosts trying to find what is robbing your ride of power? We hear this problem quite a bit. Even from the most popular of characters.
Last Christmas with record number of deliveries Santa nearly missed all of the homes on the tip of South America. His Sleigh was not fast enough. It needed more power to get around the world in time. When he arrived back at the North Pole Santa took a peak under the hood. Tinkering around with his wrench trying to find out where he was losing power. It wasn’t Dancer or Prancer or even Vixen (although we know how temperamental she can be). It wasn’t Dasher, Comet or Cupid either. Neither Donner, Blitzen or even Rudolph was the problem. Santa soon realized that this is something to give to his expert elf in his motor shop.
Bernie has a reputation in the shop of being a bit of a know-it-all. It all started when Jasper was drilling holes in a block of wood for the wheels of a pull-toy. Bernie suggested he run the drill through a bar of soap first to give the axle a bit of wax lubrication for it to roll better with less resistance. Another time, he told Trixie to round the edges on the block of wood used for a Pinewood Derby type car to give it better aerodynamics. Santa knew that Bernie was sure to make quick work at finding more power in his sleigh.
It didn’t take long. As Bernie was tinkering around he was pleased to see that the sleigh had long tube headers. But he also noted they were too big for the exhaust port. Bernie pointed Santa to the Burns Stainless blog where they suggested that a bigger pipe is not always the best solution: “…With a very large exhaust pipe on an exhaust port, when the exhaust port opens and the exhaust starts flowing out, recirculating eddies form out of the exhaust port. That is an energy waster...”
Bernie didn’t stop there. He noticed the merge collector was all whacked. It was pretty much a can that the four primary head tubes dumped into haphazardly with a nest of MIG wire obstructing flow. Not only poor fabrication, there was no thought to the design of the entire system.
Bernie learned from Burns Stainless that there needs to be a smooth transition from exhaust port to the primary tube, and that a merge collector would broaden the power band and maximize power. He called on Burns Stainless to implement their “X-Design Parametric Exhaust Design Program” to determine the most efficient exhaust design. Bernie ordered the parts and fabricated a new exhaust header for the sleigh. Bernie also wields a mean TIG torch.
With an efficient exhaust the sleigh roared like a polar bear and could lay a sleigh track in all the gears. One problem, it was a bit loud. I know, we like loud, but, when you are Santa and you are stopping on top of houses in the dark of night, stealth is required.
That is when Bernie was thinking about how a muffler can capture the sound as well as increase performance. He asked Santa to scroll down a bit more on the Burns Stainless Blog finding the article about how to “Repack A Muffler”. Bernie got busy in the shop building a set of mufflers to the design spec, packing them with stainless scrubble. He chose scrubble over glasmat since they were going full bore the entire evening. They needed the strength and durability that scrubble provides. Le Mans is child’s play compared to Christmas eve in Santa’s sleigh!
All the while, Rudolph and Blitzen were snooping around watching the action through the windows of the shop. The other reindeer got wind of what was going on and came over to snoop as well. They were snickering back and forth about what a wild ride this would be. Dasher gasped just a bit too loud and startled Santa and Bernie and the team erupted in laughter. It took a few calm words from Santa to get the herd back in line and motivated. They only have a week or so to get in gear and take off for the ride of their lives.
So, you better not pout, better not cry…