WDMS Chapter 175 (Feb/Mar 2011)





So the last time Scratcher ran was at the NASA race at the tail end of last summer, snatching the TWS backwards TTR track record and while also running under the SU track record, that didn't count since it was not done in the race. Qualification time does not count. No biggie, at least I knew Scratcher was pretty much up to speed and the basic setup with the AST dampers from Vorshlag were freaking awesome. At that event the dry sump oil tank was blowing some oil out the vent and I put it on the trailer rather than risk the motor. The LAST thing I wanted was an engine issue. So I got home, was stupid busy with work and life and it wasn't until January that I had time to start sorting out the vent system. The problem came down to two motor builders saying to run the system one way (style A), the dry sump pump/system people saying to run it another way (style B) and then I personally knew of two GT cars running yet a third way (style C) that both the motor builders and the dry sump folks said to specifically NOT do. The big problem was that style C was working fine for those two folks. Argh. As I'm getting into the vent setup pretty well, I end up pulling the oil filter and find a problem. The side inlet has dented the element a bit. The huge problem that brings is that it unseats the element off the o-rings at the top and bottom and debris gets by. Into the dry sump tank. Back into the motor. I find this on Sunday evening before the NASA event on the following Saturday. I'm currently planning to run the car on Friday at the test day and then race Saturday. I drop the pan (easy in this chassis) and while the rod bearings look sweet, one of the mains is a bit hurt. Not bueno. This is looking bad. The chips are down. I quickly grab some construction paper and scissors. Find my flashlight. No, the flashlight that works! I run outside into the darkness and shine for all I'm worth. The call is answered. 'Come to the cave...'     I have been saved...


Monday morning I have plenty to do, but find time to get the headers unbolted, bellhousing unbolted, nose off and plumbing out of the way. Tuesday finds me hoisting the motor out and putting it in the back of the truck and the trek to the batcave begins in the early afternoon. I'm owned by traffic, construction and more traffic until I finally find that dark lane with the side of the mountain that is actually a 3D projection of a side of a mountain. I arrive at exactly 9pm on Tuesday night. The smell of cleaning fluid, midnight oil and fresh coated bearings mix with frantic scrubbing, some Rudy's BBQ, elbow grease, an align bore, touched up crank, sweat, blood,  and, quite honestly, magic on the order that you simply would not understand. Oh sure, I could explain it, but I might as well be giving you warp coil basics in Huttese for all the good it would do. Suffice to say I drove out of the cave on Thursday at 10pm with a completely fresh motor. See? I told you. Magic. New-world-record magic specifically...a very nice and welcome breed of magic. If you have the means, I highly recommend it. 

Captions below the images...

Motor still in chassis....and motor out of chassis

No motor....and motor plus puppies!!

I can neither confirm nor deny the batmobile in the picture above. My motor coming apart.

One cap was SLIGHTLY out of whack. A few minutes in this machine and all whackiness was eliminated. 

No, not my anchor-crank, I thought it just looked p1mpy!! My assembly table starting to take shape. 

Several LSX blocks in the cave. My motor gets a good shower!!


My ports and springs are so big they block the nuts for the headstuds. So the nuts go on, THEN the washers/springs go in. PITA, but has to be done for big ports.

I can neither confirm nor deny that is The Batman overseeing final assembly. 

Pups and power OMWH!!

Additionally, I've pitched the side-inlet filter for a straight-through design, common on Cup cars and such, that should render this problem gone. My vent system has been revamped and is all set. I've added a big duct in the passenger side b-pillar to pull air to the in-tank cooler in the oil sump. I arrive home Friday and get the motor stabbed and most of the plumbing done and hearing the words of my father 'it is never the first emergency that kills you' and 'discretion is the better part of valor', I slow down, start taking my time and blow off racing Scratcher this weekend. Oh, I still go to the event, run Countryman's GT1 on Saturday snagging two wins and instructing some HPDE folks. Sunday sees me in the red Vorshlag mustang dodging cones as we begin to prepare that pony for STX. 

By Monday evening the motor is fully in place and plumbed, Tuesday I square away the trailer and prime the motor and fire it up. Sounds mean and has the faint smell of magic still burning off the exhaust ports. Wednesday has me fitting the data-acquisition system and vid cam system, and then winching her into the trailer and heading south to an event I really wanted to show up for with some test time. Oh well. Maybe there will be just enough magic for me to do well enough and not embarrass the entrant.

Travel blocks. They go in to make loading/unloading easier without upsetting ride heights/corner weights.

B-Pillar vent for the oil cooler in the dry sump tank

Ready to load. Will the magic still hold?

Countryman and I built new cubbies in the nose! They are p1mp and I look forward to trying them at the track!! I've also added lights and 110v plugs.