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Walther
02-22-2009, 10:55 AM
Qualifying: 1. Reichard, 2. Dawson, 3. Walther, 4. Eveland, 5. Al

Race Results: 1. Dawson, 2. Walther, 3. Reichard- DNF (Eveland & Al, - DNS)

A beautiful day of racing at Sebring. Temperature was around 70 degrees after a 40 degree sun-rise.

After that, nothing was beautiful for me. During the morning practice, of all the things that could possibly go wrong, my remote oil filter adapter (for the block) stripped all the threads and separated from the block, instantly dumping all eight quarts of oil right in the racing line through turn 3 and causing a gigantic smoke cloud. Al was behind me and ended up spinning in my oil through the infield, luckily not hitting anything. I came in “on-the-hook” and it took the track team about half an hour to clean up my mess, pushing the entire day’s schedule back. Chuck had another adapter, so I swapped it out and spent another hour cleaning oil off the car.

During qualifying, after going through turns 13-16 on the warm-up lap, I ran full throttle down the back stretch approaching (the infamous) turn 17 at about 130mph, eased on the brakes and realized my left front brake wasn’t working (because it was coated in oil from practice). The car jerked hard right and I came within a few feet of outer wall. I finished the session hazing a trail of smoke during right hand turns (which I thought was still residue from my oil down). Both Al and Bill experienced motor problems and did not finish the session. I'm pretty sure they would have Qualified ahead of me otherwise, but at least I could stay within sight of them.

Race: I saw Dawson and Reichard on the grid, and never saw them again. What I did see were GT1 Corvettes and GTA stock cars blowing my F-ing doors off and I spent a great deal of time staying out of their way. My trail of smoke was getting worse and now I was back to only developing 50 psi of Oil pressure @ 6500, so I started short-shifting just trying to finish the race for my Novice Permit. I hooked up with a T2 Mustang (also a Novice) and turned some of the (personal) best times of the weekend. At impound, Scott Seifreit (who’s car wasn’t ready but rode down with me) and (my son) Josh told me that Reichard (who was the class of the field) apparently broke a tranny and DNF’d and I finished 2nd. I have no real sense of accomplishment and the cork is still in the champagne bottle.

One of two things is going to happen. One- I am going to find a professional engine builder because clearly I have no idea what I’m doing, or Two- (and I’m serious) I am going to park the car and buy a SM or IT so I can get some experience. I was embarrassed to be out there. In all my years of “turning left” I have never felt like a moving road block, until now. I’m not even going to take the car out of the trailer for a few weeks. I am pretty disgusted with myself. At least I have this forum to vent through.

jimwheeler
02-22-2009, 11:05 AM
Thanks for the report. Don't be too hard on yourself. I went two races before I ever got the damn thing off the trailer. The third race the bracket holding the stock torque arm broke and almost pole vaulted me into the trees. The green leafy part of the trees. Keep thrashing. It will all come together.

By the way, do you have a result sheet? I'm interested in how a couple of friends did in the GTA class. Ron and Randy Keith and Bouldry.
wheel

Walther
02-22-2009, 11:21 AM
It's still in the truck...somewhere. I'll look for it. They pitted right next to me and I spent a good amount of time talking to their Dad (Lloyd?) Great guy, and some set-up they have. Must be a 150K tow rig. Very impressive.

There were 5 GTA's there. What I thought was amazing was during the race, they were all nose-to-tale. They caught me between 13 and 14. I saw them coming and pulled over the curbing to get the hell out of their way.

Thanks for the encouragment. I am not going to make any rash decisions, but SM does really look like neat class right now. I just want to race. The time I spent "dueling" with that T2, I was having a ball. I want more of that.

jimwheeler
02-22-2009, 11:28 AM
Thanks. Don't go to any special effort to find the sheet. I'll probably talk to Ron today, anyway. That rig was really rough when they bought it for about half the figure you quoted. They worked on that baby for several months to get it to look like it does. Ron "Burr" is a good friend. He and I did the "Shifting Gears" show together on racinboys.com. He is really talented and drives well, too.
SM is a good class for seat time, but it doesn't compare for thrills. Great cornering forces, but no acceleration at all. I'm probably going to sell mine, since I don't have the money or the energy to run two classes any more.
wheel

Walther
02-22-2009, 11:32 AM
As stated- I'm not going to do anything rash. I have a substantial amount of money in this thing (for me). I am trying to develop the courage to tell my wife that I have to pull the motor again.

I may talk to you about your SM. We'll see.

Thanks Wheel.

socalta
02-22-2009, 11:40 AM
great narrative ... dont change classes and keep the faith. I read stories like yours and others and it makes me nervous as hell.... not scared but worried that something like what you described may happen. I just keep telling myself that the only way the car will ever be race ready is to race her....

You can probably get a decent used motor .. someones "B" motor for a few grand and pick up where you left off.

jimwheeler
02-22-2009, 11:42 AM
By the way, I did go to an engine builder, and it solved my engine problems. I found a guy in K.C. who has built hundreds of Chevy motors (others too), mostly for circle track and drag racing. His engines are as bullet proof as you can get. The first Runoffs at HPT was the first road race he had ever seen. After the race he said that he couldn't believe we ran just about to red line in every gear for every lap, for forty minutes. He was used to running to red line for all of 10 seconds at a time. His reaction was pretty funny.
wheel

Walther
02-22-2009, 11:59 AM
By the way, I did go to an engine builder, and it solved my engine problems. I found a guy in K.C. who has built hundreds of Chevy motors (others too), mostly for circle track and drag racing. His engines are as bullet proof as you can get. The first Runoffs at HPT was the first road race he had ever seen. After the race he said that he couldn't believe we ran just about to red line in every gear for every lap, for forty minutes. He was used to running to red line for all of 10 seconds at a time. His reaction was pretty funny.
wheel

I ran IMCA modifieds and limited late models. EVERY engine machined by Gil Alfaro and assembled by me. You (and KC guy) are right. During a 20 second lap, I was "on-throttle" about 7-8 seconds per lap, between 3500 and 8000 rpm. This is a whole new world. I was meticulous in the assembly for this motor. I had the car on the Dyno last weekend at Scotts place and it makes good power with a nice torque curve. I have one of my "CLUB-SYSTEMS" carbs on it, and the fuel was a bit lean, but the VERY consistent (flat line) through the gears. I may just buy a professionally built short block. BUT- I am trying to digest having to drive looking in my rear-view mirror. That IS NOT why I got into this....

fastandyracing
02-23-2009, 12:22 AM
Even with the problems, you finished, that has to count for something :thumbsup:

I just got my novice permit at Roebling last week, but had other obligations this weekend, or I might have tried to make the event.

I don't know if you are interested, but I could probably be considered a pretty professional engine builder, and I am outside of Orlando. I don't do it full time, but if you need any help, with cam choice, or other internal engine questions, I can do the work for you, or offer my opinions. The key thing that I have found is to get hooked up with a real top notch machine shop (I have one that I use exclusively), and then recheck everything they do, just to be safe. That means you really need a full set of micrometers, a real dial bore gage, snap gages, valve spring rate checker, etc, and you need to know how to use them and interpret the data you get.

By the way, don't count your engine out yet, the smoke could just be an oil leak (from motor or trans), and 50 psi of hot oil pressure is not necessarily a bad thing. What where your oil temps? Unless you have a monster oil cooler, they had to be 230-250 (or more if you were running it hard), and 50 psi at that temp is probably fine. You do have an oil temp guage don't you??

I would suggest at least a leak down check to see what you have before you pull it out. I try and do leakdowns after start up and after each race weekend if I can manage it. leakdowns will really help you figure out what your engine is doing, good or bad.

By the way, I don't care how much engine you build, if it is AS legal, you will just about always get your doors blow off by the GT1 and SPO cars, they are lighter, have slicks and can make almost twice the HP we can (sometimes more). You just can't beat that unless they have a clueless driver.

Andy

jimwheeler
02-23-2009, 09:36 AM
I'll take 50 psi and 270 degree oil temp any time near the end of a race.
wheel

Walther
02-23-2009, 09:52 AM
Thanks Andy.

I probably should move this to another thread, but...

Power is not the problem. Look; I am NOT making the power the national level guys are and I know that, but I "appear to be" on-line with most regional guys with the on-track experience I've had so far. I mean- drag racing down the straight-aways, I am right there with my other AS competitors. Braking- right there with them or maybe a bit better. Driving? thats another story entirely. This was the 1st time out with a torsen diff (vs. a stock posi) and I appear to have cured the loose condition with rear spring and swaybar changes. I was able to drive much deeper into the turns without the rear-end kicking out, but I think I am driving too deep into the turns now. (bad circle track habit) Dawson and Reichard were 10 seconds faster per lap.

Yes, the smoke is from a yet to be determined leak somewhere on the drivers side of the motor. It's not coming out of the exhaust.

The GT1 comment- I could not seem to get a single "clear" lap in during any session without having to yield to a faster car in at least TWO corners and I know it killed my time. During the race I wasn't even in the hair pin (turn 6)when the leaders took the green. Two laps later they were already on me. Leader was running 2:08's to my 2:46+'s.

I'm going to put an OIL PSI question in the technical category. Your the second person to tell me that 50 PSI may be OK.

Mark

Sean #40
02-23-2009, 10:01 AM
Don,t give up the Mustang I broke my Camaro in my shop and did not get it to Sebring I watched you and felt for you and you kept at it.
My front running vintage Jaguar let me down in the first race with a bad throttle cable and that thing is normaly like the energizer bunny.
Remote oil filters etc need good planning my car lost 20 pounds through a cheap remote I was discussing that with Chas at the weekend.
Not sure where you are but I am in Daytona if I can help in any way let me know "even if it is a Ford":rolleyes:
DO NOT GIVE UP AS.

Dawson Motorsports
02-23-2009, 10:49 AM
Mark, the main thing was you finished the race.:clap:
As far as Chas's car, it was run during a test day at the Turkey Trot in November. We stuffed it in the trailer. Pulled it out this past weekend, ran it on the same tires from Topeka and the test day. No prep, gas and go.
Most of us have had some sort of teething problems with the cars at first, you just have to keep digging.:thumbsup:
And if you need any motor help, let me know.
Chuck

Sean #40
02-23-2009, 11:08 AM
Mark, the main thing was you finished the race.:clap:
As far as Chas's car, it was run during a test day at the Turkey Trot in November. We stuffed it in the trailer. Pulled it out this past weekend, ran it on the same tires from Topeka and the test day. No prep, gas and go.
Most of us have had some sort of teething problems with the cars at first, you just have to keep digging.:thumbsup:
And if you need any motor help, let me know.
ChuckChuck great talking with you this weekend thanks again for your input can you remind me where your oil cooler is.

Dawson Motorsports
02-23-2009, 11:59 AM
Chas's car is centered in front of the radiator, mine is off-set to the pass. side in front of the radiator.
Hurry up and get that 9" in the Camaro.
Chuck

Walther
02-23-2009, 02:24 PM
Mark, the main thing was you finished the race.:clap:
As far as Chas's car, it was run during a test day at the Turkey Trot in November. We stuffed it in the trailer. Pulled it out this past weekend, ran it on the same tires from Topeka and the test day. No prep, gas and go.
Most of us have had some sort of teething problems with the cars at first, you just have to keep digging.:thumbsup:
And if you need any motor help, let me know.
Chuck


Teething Problems? Thats putting it mildly!!! I looked like a f-ing moron. They mentioned oil-downs at the drivers meeting and I felt 300 sets of eyes burning a hole through me.

Chuck. My wife is the engineer for the Sebring TECO plant right by the track and is there once a week. She's gonna drop you off a case of Syn-tec her next trip down. Thanks. Your a real pal.

And Sean- That Jag is GORGEOUS!!!! Wow! I was gonna come by and say Hi, but I was too busy cleaning oil off the car.

KW78
02-23-2009, 02:41 PM
Walther,

Welcome to road racing!!

I usually tell my friends this with a strong note of sarcasm, but in this case I really mean it: I'm laughing with you and not at you! :laughing: :laughing:

Before this forum and before about 3 generations of rule changes, that feeling you remarked about... "I was embarrassed to be out there"... lasts about 5 years.:laughing: :laughing:

Have you seen Andy, well he is bald for a reason! I'm almost that way. Wheel is just a freak....

The moral here: We ALL have been there done that...

Now about the oil PSI. Maybe that's OK, maybe not. In the interest of conserving dollars, if your time is easier to spend than your money, then you should look around. I had a spun bearing at the sprints, as told by 40 hot oil psi at the end of the straight, and avoided disaster by looking. Drove in the trailer with 70psi... I don't care how great your oil cooler is btw, the oil splashing of the bottom of the pistons and landing in the pan to be picked up by the pump, is 400+ degress at the end of a long straight, we measured at the sprints. I also have decided that Mobile1 isn't doing to good anymore, but that's a different topic...

Even Philip and his engine builder are realizing, there is nothing that puts motors thru what we do. Oil control is everything! Hot oil is as thin as water, and you have to think about what and where it goes to and drains from as you slosh it around EVERY direction with the friction circle. Having a ford, brake zones are hell. Every trick in the book is barely enough, IMO. Your method of assembling and using your past engine builder is probably fine.

As far as the Miata goes, if you like any forward push, you'll be disappointed. It is far less bang for the buck, and if you want to run up front, it is more expensive.

The only way to get past all this is to just get experience, and the start definitely seems to equal :banghead: :banghead:


Congrats on your first finish, pretty much puts you way ahead of most other's first time out! My first time out I did a head gasket in 115 degree weather at Hallet on day one and gave myself heat stroke.

Ah those were the days....

Kyle

Dawson Motorsports
02-23-2009, 02:57 PM
Mark, yours was just a minor oil spillage. I oiled down NASCAR #3. Pulled down of the track and coasted all the way to pit in, where I told the pit workers, they may want to put up the debris flag at #3. 12 quarts of syn. oil, coolant and at least a million motor parts. Stuff happens.
Chuck

Sean #40
02-23-2009, 07:08 PM
I was running the heritage race before the 24 hours of Daytona about 5 years ago and the filter housing fell of in Nascar 2 and i oiled down the Rolex sign in the grass on the super stretch.
Tire tracks right across it joined by an oil slick the speedway nearly took a contract out on me.

jimwheeler
02-23-2009, 07:22 PM
There have been many. This was the first one. My second, ever, race, 1975. Mid America Raceway in Wentzville, MO. A drag strip in the woods with a bunch of twisty stuff, running down hill, through the trees, up hill across a meadow, etc. Great track. Long down hill run to a tight right turn in the woods. As I recall, there were no guardrails, etc., just some hay bales. In the brake zone the oil drain plug works its way out and dumps all my oil. As I turn in and push on the gas, the oil pressure drops and I spin a bearing. (1965 MGB EP car)
I was around the corner and none of the rest of the field, all of whom spun into the woods, hit me. Talk about a popular guy.