Beaten by equipment...
My previous posting from Brainard quoted the common wisdom "you
gotta' finish to win". Well, I was reminded that you gotta' start to
finish. Sunday at Brainard shaped up to be what I would call "ideal
conditions"... cold, wet and basically miserable enough that only
fools/idiots/& the die-hards like me [3 in 1] would dare go out -
perfect. Not sure if excessive oil pressure from the 40ish temp on my
20W50 caused it [doubtful] or if it was just it's time, but upon
startup for the sunday race the oil cooler chose to rupture in the
pits and that was the end of that. Could have by-passed it for the
next race but it was canceled due to conditions too perfect for me to
even imagine. Oh well - finding out that the top 4 finishers behind
me on saturday are all ice racers boosted my ego enough and knowing
that they were all gunning for me might not have made sunday quite as
enjoyable as saturday.
Interesting to note that that although I do buy better that 50% of my
perts from Moss, 100% of my failures have been from parts they have
supplied. Once again, my cheepo nature has proven to be false
economy and bitten me in the butt.
Now on to good vibrations and bad vibrations. The Beach Boys told us
about the good ones but some aren't and never will be. First time I
ever felt the bad one was at Watkins Glen. It may well have existed
before but my car has never been on a track that fast. So far as my
butt and brain can tell, it doesn't come on until somewhere beyond
100mph. After getting the driveshaft straightened last week I thought
I had surely got to the problem. First couple sessions at Brainard
felt good but that proved to be a combination of wishful thinking and
not going fast enough. It's still there. For a time at The Glen and
again at Brainard I almost convinced myself that it was 4th gear only
but I am now pretty sure that it is only dependent on road speed -
i.e., it's felt near redline in 3rd and only gets worse as 4th
progresses. Scared the speed right out of me the first time I felt it
come on, but after many teeth grinding laps with nothing coming thru
the block [convinced it's not engine related], the trans. case, or
thru the floor, I've lived with it thru the last two races. Doesn't
mean I like it and that combined with a bum oil cooler, moody starter
[thanks again Moss Motors] and exorbitant entry fees, will likely
keep me from going to Road America.
Any Ideas? The drive-shaft straightening didn't seem to do anything.
I've run it on 3 different sets of tires and wheels, so that's not
it. U-joints are fine [by all appearances], can't find any slop in
the trans. output shaft or the diff, input [pinion] shaft nor any run-
out on the input shaft flange or axles. Defiantly not coming from
the front as it is not transmitted thru the steering wheel. Rear axle
bearings seem to be in fine shape.
The engine is fresh and in good balance. The trans. is new to me
[close ratio in a TR6 case] but no recognized problems from the
previous FoT owner. I have given the original, stock, open. 3.70
differential a hard life since it's early retirement but I still
can't see how that would figure in. The only unknown is my frozen
axle shafts... As part of my recent "freshening", I sent the crank
shaft [more on that later], stub axles, front hubs, rear hubs and
half shafts to Controlled Thermal Processing [http://metal-wear.com]
to be cryogenically frozen [-300f/+300f in a 68 hour process]. Being
unknown voodoo, I'm creating a scenario where the axle[s] have a bow
in it [them] causing a imbalance, causing the vibration but not
detectable from the flange end - not very likely but I'm grasping at
straws here [oh yea, I'm still in the mid-west so it must be corn].
Please believe me, at this point I am willing to consider any ideas
regardless how far fetched. And maybe one [some] of you know what I'm
feeling and have the spot-on answer.
Greg "Lunker" Hilyer
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