Saturday 02-27-16

I tried to sort out the overheating.  I believe the fan wasn’t coming on.  So I used some wire to jump one of the fan motors on directly from the battery.  It came on, fan motor is good.  Then I took the relay out and put 12v on it and heard it click, relay is good.  Then I tried to get the voltmeter on the heat sensor while warming up the car.  Much less luck with with.  The two contacts in there are about 2 mm apart and they are harder to access than a terrorist’s Iphone.  When I did plug it back in the fan came on for about 5 seconds but after that it would only come on for about a second at a time.  Something isn’t right and I suspect the sensor.

So we did other fun stuff.  The windshield wiper squirters didn’t work so I took the bottle out.  The AC compressor is gone so I also took out the condensor which was right in front of the radiator.  That should improve flow.  Gotta get some mesh in front of it now.  A few other AC parts are also out now.  Probably 10-15 pounds altogether.  If we had the $$ there is room for an oil cooler in front of the radiator now.

Back to the routine

Saturday Ewan and I went to Tedd’s to work on the car.  It isn’t as glamorous as racing it but it is still fun and satisfying.  We actually got lots done.  First we did a long avoided chore.  We picked up all the metal scraps from this endeavor, loaded them in the Fit and drove them to a metal recycler.  There were a few things in there I didn’t expect them to take like brake calipers, but they took it all and are going to mail me a check for $10!  Then we went back and got working on the car.  The right rear tire was rubbing on the fender during the race.  We had tried to hammer the lip up but on this car the lip is two sheets of metal spot welded together so it’s pretty stiff.  I used the grinder to cut through one layer of sheet metal and then hammered the lip up and out of the way.  I also used the jack to push out the dent in the fender a bit.  That should help.

We tried the silver wheels with the Direzzas on my Fit. They fit and looked pretty good.  I’ll have to get another set of tuner lug nuts to take them for a drive.  I have a feeling under the cornering loads with those tires there will be rubbing.

The shoes on the rear drums were looking pretty thin and we had some extra shoes sitting around so I tried to tackle that.  It was not easy.  All those springs and levers etc.  It took five tries before I got the left side back together right. Eventually I got it and it was time to hurry home for dinner.

On Sunday we went back and did the other rear brake in no time at all.  Then we bled them both.  We had to rush off so I could install three solar powered air sampling pumps at a new project site.  Work work work.

Don’t even know what we placed

Sunday, Derek had a good drive.  Dennis had a little contact.  We don’t know who.  I went out there and had almost an hour of fun before I late braked a little too late in the bus stop, went off track, flat spotted the tires, and picked up a black flag.  I used our get out of jail free card and we got to go back out there.  I calmed it down and finished my turn.  By the end of my turn the brakes were getting pretty soft.  Tedd took over and brought up to 4:45 and 63 place when he was coming into the bus stop and found no brakes left.  He got a black flag too which brought us to an ignominious 4.  Our brakes were gone and our race was over.  The race went until 5:30.  I didn’t check what place we ended up in.  Probably around 80th.  We packed it up and got out of there.

It sounds terrible but of course it was epic fun.  The car survived another one.  It continues to amaze me that it hasn’t failed catastrophically.  Tedd, Dennis, and Derek want to do Thunderhill in May.  I have no funds but the willingness to wrench and manage etc.  We’ll have to see how that works out.

Edit 2/27/16   Turns out we came in 76th overall and 33rd in B class (that’s right in the middle of the pack)

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Pictures from murileemartin.com

On the pre-grid

Derek is again taking the first drive.  We’re each going to drive once today for about 1.5 hours each.  With the stops that will bring us to about 7 hours.  We put the new tires on last night.   We also bled the air out of the coolant.  After the long afternoon black flag I got some hot laps in before bringing it in.  Dennis got in and just as he was going to leave we saw steam coming out from the from front right, where the overflow tank is.

… I left to go watch the start of the race.

So we let it cool off for a bit started it again and it seemed fine.  He was out there with no incident for 40 minutes.  My theory is that with the 30 min stop, the thermostat stuck and I heated it up too much.

We’re almost an hour in and Derek is still out there turning laps.  The racing seems to have been cleaner this morning.  It’s been green for a while now.  Dennis is going to suit up for his next drive.  We are in 81st place.  I saw Derek post a 2:20.  He’s getting the hang of it.

Live blogging?

Okay, it’s sunday morning and I haven’t posted a thing.  We have 4 drivers:  Me, Tedd, Dennis, and our rookie Derek.  Derek went first so he could get a few laps around the track before it went green.  He did brilliantly by not blowing it up and not wrecking it.  I went next and went out there and raced.  It was a blast.  I was battling with a CRX that looks like on of those vacuum ground effects cars from the 60’s.  I passed him he’d get me back in traffic.  After my hour I do have to say that he was behind me.  There was some other car out there that was just flagrantly blocking.  He’d make two moves back and forth in a straight.  It was extremely unsportsmanlike.  I’ve forgotten which car it was which is probably a good thing.  He kept me blocked for almost half a lap, and I can say with satisfaction that when I passed him I quickly left him far behind.  In the morning there was a red flag that lasted ~10 minutes.  There were also tons of yellows.  I got a bunch of laps that only had yellow for part of the lap, and I got about two that were full green.  I still managed to match my best lap from last time at 2:16 and change.  Tedd when next and when he got a few greens he blew me out of the water with a 2:11.  Dennis went next.  I don’t know his best time since the online site (specialytiming.com) only shows the car’s best and the last lap.  We got Derek out there again for a 45 min stint.  I went again and got another red flag (every car pulls over and stops).  that lasted ~25 min.  I only got 1.5 laps before it and about 5 after.  In that time I managed to cut a second off my best!  Dennis went last and brought us in in 85th place.  We were as high as 70th during the day.  I’ll tell y’all about the slight overheating after I get back from the driver’s meeting.

Tech, BS inspection, and more BS.

Dennis and I met at Tedd’s this morning to haul the car up to Sears Point.

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We get it up there and meet our arrive and drive Derek.   After setting up or paddock space a bit we took the car over for tech and BS inspections.   We got judge Phil for BS.  He told me that our car is the perfect example of a class B car.  We passed tech and got B class with no laps.

Then another judge ominously addled if we had any rookie drivers.   I told him yes.   He told us there was a mandatory safety meeting for all first time drivers at 6pm tonight.   Now I think it is a great idea,  but lemons had completely failed to warm us of this new requirement and our rookie had plans.   I had to leave.   I hope it worked out.  I’d hate to give a refund,  especially since we spent the  money on tires.

THEN, we were informed during our gear inspection that the HANS device we have been using is totally unacceptable because it doesn’t have an SFI or FIA sticker.

We had to aquire another HANS.  Grumble grumble.

But we have stickers for everyones gear. We are ready to go. Driver’s meeting 9am tomorrow.

Picked up the new tires

Saturday I dropped off the new wheels at Diamond Tire in San Rafael where my tires had arrived the day before.  New wheels?  Yeah I didn’t want to waste the remaining tread on the Dunlops so I bought a set of wheels off craigslist on Thursday.  They are Enkis like the others with the same size and offset so they should fit just fine.  Today I picked them up on my way into work.

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