Chapter 201        June 2012

FIVE STAR FORD TRACK DAY

(and some lake time...)

Fair called me up a few weeks prior to say he knew some Ford guys renting the track for a play day and they were looking for entrants. I was in...it would give me a good chance to try out some recent changes to Scratcher. I called Countryman and Grote and we all converged on one beautiful Saturday morning to go play at ECR.

Let me back up a touch. The last time I had enough free time to take Scratcher out I was getting a touch of moisture in the oil. It would burn off just fine, but it still bugged me. Since the primary two places a sbc can put some water in the oil is the intake or the heads, I took the easy route first and pulled the intake. The seals come apart with the intake removal but I was careful and I thought that maybe it wasn't sealed quite right. So with fresh rtv and gaskets (I have to cut larger ports in the largest gaskets that fel-pro has....heh) the powertrain was ready for the day. The chassis was another story. I've been working with Neil (www.thinkfastengineering.com, consulting available) on a new setup and so I made a LOT of changes to the setup. I was anxious to see how it would work out.

  

Okay, so NOW we start the chapter!

   

So we all got to the track early and unloaded and went to the driver's meeting. It was short and sweet and it was time to hit the track. Tye showed up to help out and watch and it was good to have the help. With no student to work with, Anna and I had time to play with Rossi (we brought projects!) and take it pretty easy. It was a nice change of pace! The Fair's took turns in the Red Dragon mustang and the 330 BMW...Fair somehow got grass jammed in the right rear wheel. Amy was none too happy. ;-)

    

This would be about .0004 seconds before she expressed her concern verbally. hehehehehe

TEASER VIDEO: https://vimeo.com/45772822

FULL VIDEO: https://vimeo.com/45770575

Countryman and Grote played swap-a-roo with Grote in the La Cucaracha (the red and gold cockroach...er....camaro!) and Countryman rowing the grears in the mustang cobra (it has no name...). We all had a great time of course!

Two lone camaros in a freaking sea of mustangs....

So after some warm-up sessions I decide to really push the car hard and see how this new setup is going to work. It works really good and then the front started wandering. I had just got clear track so I blitzed another lap and then backed off. Under braking the car was good, but it really began to wander on the straights. Car felt fast and much better in the corners, particularly entry and mid-corner, but it was time to investigate so I pulled in. The tail came off to dump some fuel in since I had fuel-starved a bit, and then the nose came off and before I even had a chance to look around Tye pointed to the driverside UCA mount and proclaimed 'you're done'. He was perfectly right. Ug. The rear UCA mount had cracked allowing the wandering and an unsafe condition for sure. Well shoot. I knew we couldn't stay all day as we had a lake party to attend, but I was hoping to get one more session. I did snag video as did Countryman and Grote and by checking the video I saw that I ran darn quick for being out there mostly playing around and in traffic. I really do like the new setup! Bonus good news: No vapor in the oil at all and everything looks good there too! Time to get Neil to engineer me up a solution for the chassis!!

   

As bad as that was, less than two hours later we were all doing this!

     

I've already talked to Neil, thicker and stronger steel is ordered and a fix will be coming soon. With more adjustability to boot!