Off Season Winter Work on #74

Posted: January 16, 2013 in Racing

I really need to get a name for my car.  The rule is that you cannot name it yourself but it has to be named by a car naming master.  My previous racecar “Lisa” was named by fellow racers Brent and Mark.  Lisa they termed as she was mild mannered and forgiving versus one of their cars were named Isabella who was a tempest and finicky unless driven right.

This is the season I get my car up to the task of being an actual podium capable car.  So my goal was to bring the car back to Jesse’s for some much needed attention.  We knew the car was down on power when we dyno’d it at 105whp about a year ago.  I wanted to get some headwork done as that is where the majority of where you can gain power in this class (of course all within series rules / constraints).  Jesse started off by doing a leakdown:

  • Cylinder 1: 3% loss
  • Cylinder 2: 23% loss
  • Cylinder 3: 70% loss
  • Cylinder 4: 7

Seems like I had a 3 cylinder engine for at least my last couple of races.  We are hoping the rings are still in good shape and the entire loss is simply from leakage at the head.  Jesse also confirmed that I had an open differential and very used Bilstein shocks (we run a spec suspension) – really hampering my effort to turn and put any power down out of a corner.  I also had the 4:10 gears which didn’t help my acceleration as well.

Now that know what we are starting with it is time to hit the laundry list:

  • Full engine head rebuild with new lifters and replace some worn valves
  • Add oil pressure relocation kit (reduces vibration for OEM sensor) and add a real oil pressure gauge in the cockpit
  • Install modified 160 degree F thermostat to allow better cooling to the engine
  • Install adjustable fuel pressure regulator with inline gauge that will allow me to fine tune the car for torque (for tracks with lots of corners and short straights (make it run a little more rich) or for horsepower (finetune it to run lean where it will make more high RPM HP for tracks with very long straights)
  • Install Torsen LSD rear end with 4:30 gears – this will make a huge difference in being able to put the power down out of a corner
  • Send off Bilstein shocks to get revalved / rebuilt
  • Turn rotors and put on new Hawk DTC 60/30 brake combo (hoping these work well with the new Toyo RR tires)
  • Install adjustable sway bar links to help me fine tune cornering
  • Install shift light to help warn me when to shift
  • Relocate cool suit to trunk to help with weight distribution
  • Add interior door exit handles that are easier to see and grab
  • Add 2″ extension to steering wheel so my arm bend is a perfect 90 – and make it easier for others to drive the car.
  • Do a compete winter season racecar maintenance (all fluids, check all bolts and bearings).

I will be adding front extended lug studs / prep and paint the roof of the car white (to help reflect summer sun / heat) / and add a passenger seat so I can take passengers for some laps.  Oh and get a new lightweight, affordable trailer that I can easily load and tow – my experiment with using a tow dolly was fine and easy to do but I want to get the car off the ground permanently in order to save the car for the race.

I’m eagerly anticipating the upcoming race season with my first event at Gateway Motorsports Park March 23 / 24.  In case others can make NASA CR has several open houses this year as well (check http://www.drivenasacentral.com for more info or on FaceBook).

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