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The fallout from the race weekend…

It has been a while since I last wrote.. mainly as I’ve been busy with work, and Don’s been busy with work and prepping his vintage Formula Vee for the Blackhawk VSCDA event next weekend (June 14th).

Since the Formula Ford’s first outing, I’ve been exercising the wallet plastic at Pegasus’s website and emptying my paypal account to ApexSpeed members obtaining all the parts and such to make the next race weekend a little, uhm, less stressful.

The major things that need attention after the Blackhawk flogging for 3 days are….

Starter – the old Lucas (yes, that Lucas Electronics) starter and solenoid bit the dust. Rather than replace it with the same setup, I did some research (read as: posted on Apex and let the smart folks tell me what to do, in this thread) and am having someone put together a Nippondenso setup. Hopefully that’ll be in soon.

Valve cover gasket – we had some issues with oil staying inside the engine. After most on-track sessions, the engine compartment looked like the oil-equivalent of a monkey at a zoo flinging poo around. Lots of oil. Lots of $9/quart oil, I might add.
We determined the leak is coming from the valve cover.. the valve cover itself is probably not straight anymore, and it is missing a valve cover gasket hold-down. Pegasus has the hold downs for cheap, and a new-to-the-car valve cover from another racer will be installed soon.

Wheels – During one session I cracked the left rear rim. Luckily, it held together until we realized it had zero-pressure (which, otherwise would have made for a really really bad day) and was able to swap the rear tires to the rain rims.. But, the rim is toast for now (might be repairable). Two spare rims are getting blasted and powder coated (gray, to match the uncracked front rims) for the next race.

Hopefully, all this stuff will come together in the next few weeks in order to be ready for the next race.  Which race, you might ask? The next race is the Firecracker Double-Regional @ Blackhawk Farms on July 12th and 13th.

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Buy parts rather than make them, what a concept!

When we got the car, the left lower trailing arm for the rear suspension was a tad bit, uhm, bent . Take alook just to the left of the “S” in this picture… It was bent just a few degrees, and it seems the car had been realigned with the bend factored in.

The car could have probably run with the old arm, but, given the surprises we’ve found on the other suspension components it was best to get a new one. A month ago, I would have just drive with the bent arm, but now that impending doom on a race track is 3 days away, I’m a bit more liberal with the things that might break and jettison my ass into a wall.

The original idea was to get some chromoly tubing and 10 hours of free time, and make a new tube. However, we’re wising up that sometimes we should just pay someone to do somethings. Given that the car needs to e on a racetrack in 4 days, it was a wise choice..

Yves @ Historic Race Car, http://www.historicracecar.com, (luckily 5 minutes away in Crystal Lake) was able to make a new arm in short order for us… And, relative to other parts recently purchased, this was cheap (insert new picture here).

We also had a poor situation with the exhaust (see the above picture, that silver looking debacle has more holes than a pepper shaker).  The current exhaust system on the car was a bit old… rusty might be another word for it. Once we determined that the popping and richness from running around the shop was due to the ‘holy’ exhaust, it was time to replace it. The problem is, “time” to replace ended up being Friday afternoon when we needed the replacement exhaust Monday. Go buy stock in Fedex if this continues… $167 to ship the darn thing.

Here’s how it looks – pretty darn nice (made by Porter Racing in California)

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Over our heads

Sometime after purchasing the car and now, Don has realized two things:

A) The car is most likely not in race-ready shape.

and 2) Mike has horrible judgment when it comes to shiny/fast/tasty things

Long story short (or, I just can’t remember the story), I’ll fix up the Formula Ford and race it this season, while Don races his Formula First and Formula Vee.  At the time, its a wonderful idea – we can share on transport, hotels, we can crew for each other, and some other benefits like spending weekends in South Beloit, IL and stuff.

Here’s a picture of how the car looked… No, the roll-hoop isnt painted rust, that’s actually rust.  Rust, come to find out, is not good on race cars.

So the work begins.   Don makes a list, which quickly turns into an Excel file that has 83 rows and 12 weekends worth of work.. And, in the same email, he throws in a race schedule of 8 races from April to November.  A tad optimistic, I say.

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