The Ted Race Team: Because Racecar

Discussion in 'Hangar Talk' started by Ted, Dec 18, 2020.

  1. Ted

    Ted The pilot formerly known as Twin Engine Ted

    Joined:
    Oct 9, 2007
    Messages:
    29,225

    Display name:
    iFlyNothing
    I'll add that to the list of books to read. :)

    Right now, I'm planning on early October Lemons race. I have to decide how much I want to push for that. It would be great to do. I also want to make sure the car is sorted well enough that I'm convinced it will survive, or at least as convinced as I can be. So some more test drives will be required, and ideally a more local track night to see how it's sorted. I've never been a fan of autocross, but maybe I'll try that at some point too. Last time I did was in my old Jaguar XJ-S, which is about the worst autocross car you can pick. Maybe almost as bad as my RV.
     
  2. Half Fast

    Half Fast Touchdown! Greaser!

    Joined:
    May 7, 2016
    Messages:
    10,415
    Location:
    Central Florida

    Display name:
    Half Fast
    The car as I had it set up is a terrible autocrosser. It understeers badly at autox speeds, and the brakes don’t get hot enough to work well. They barely work at all for the first few corners, then as they begin to warm they grab unevenly.

    Nevertheless autox is terrific for developing driving skills. It teaches precision and quick reactions. I did it for several years before I started road racing.

    If you have never raced, I highly recommend attending a racing school. Best to make those early mistakes in a controlled and supervised situation. Not much different from flying.
     
  3. G-Man

    G-Man Line Up and Wait

    Joined:
    Nov 13, 2012
    Messages:
    999
    Location:
    Boulder, CO

    Display name:
    AirmanG
    Have you had people outside the car verify the volume level?

    I had a custom exhaust made for my IT-A RX-7 by a well-respected local muffler shop. It worked great - seat of the pants, the car was noticeably faster accelerating in third and fourth gears. And it was pretty quiet outside the car - never any issues with dB meters or sound restrictions.

    However, inside the car was literally stupefyingly loud. I always wore foam earplugs with duct tape over those to keep them in my ears, a balaclava, and a full-face Bell helmet. One time I forgot the earplugs and had to come in after two laps since my brain was rattling\e. (A nice rotary mmmmmm zoom-zoom rattle, but still.) I think the fairly solid exhaust joints and mounts, gutted hatchback interior, and roll cage created some sort of resonance chamber. Good car, great exhaust, but wow loud.

    And Half Fast is right on - go to a road race driving school. Save yourself a lot of self-learning agony and time.
     
  4. Half Fast

    Half Fast Touchdown! Greaser!

    Joined:
    May 7, 2016
    Messages:
    10,415
    Location:
    Central Florida

    Display name:
    Half Fast

    Well, it was checked at every SCCA race I ran at, because they always had a meter set up some prescribed distance from the track. It always read a few dB under the rulebook limit, whatever that used to be.

    (BTW, Ted - that downturn at the back of the muffler doesn't have to be turned down, y'know. Once you know where the track officials have set up the sound meter, point the pipe in the other direction.)
     
    TCABM and Ted like this.
  5. Ted

    Ted The pilot formerly known as Twin Engine Ted

    Joined:
    Oct 9, 2007
    Messages:
    29,225

    Display name:
    iFlyNothing
    Well, it looks like it's happening. Sort of, anyway.

    @bradg33 has been trying to get me to go to Track Night in America for a few years now over in Topeka. About an hour drive. I keep on wanting to but it hasn't happened for a number of reasons.

    The Cobra's not done.

    The E55 was probably going to blow up if I drove it too hard too long. After all, it had 230k miles on it.

    So was the XKR. After all, it was a Jaguar.

    The RX-7's not started.

    The Cobra's still not done.

    The RX-7 also isn't done.

    Can I race a bus?

    etc. etc.

    But now, the RX-7 is "done". I've put some miles on it, and while I won't drive it to a course (mostly because it's not legal to do so as it's not registered), it's one that I feel ready to put on a course having corrected some of the minor nits.

    This isn't a race, but it is driving the car on a track with other cars. Thursday, I'll be taking it to that. The car meets the requirements, they've said I can have a waiver to run it. I'll do a couple more test drives before then, but really, the car is ready. I'll load it up on the trailer and tow it out, and then, have fun.

    I'm excited.
     
  6. Half Fast

    Half Fast Touchdown! Greaser!

    Joined:
    May 7, 2016
    Messages:
    10,415
    Location:
    Central Florida

    Display name:
    Half Fast
    Got all your safety gear?
     
  7. Ted

    Ted The pilot formerly known as Twin Engine Ted

    Joined:
    Oct 9, 2007
    Messages:
    29,225

    Display name:
    iFlyNothing
    What? #safetythird :D

    For track night they just require a SNELL approved helmet and high density rollbar padding. I do have those coming and will get here tomorrow.

    There are track nights in September in October as well. Assuming I don't annoy anyone, I may decide to just do those for the duration of the year.
     
    FormerHangie and TCABM like this.
  8. Half Fast

    Half Fast Touchdown! Greaser!

    Joined:
    May 7, 2016
    Messages:
    10,415
    Location:
    Central Florida

    Display name:
    Half Fast
    It's a personal decision, of course, but if it were me I would wear nomex and a Snell SA rated helmet regardless of their requirements. Plus I would want the harness and window net to be in date and the car fire extinguisher to be current.

    I've seen RX7s burn at the track, and I know it can take a moment or two to climb out of that thing. It would be even worse if you were upside down.

    Maybe I'm over-cautious, but I don't mess around with regard to track safety. I have a friend that has been using a cane for the past 20 years following a crash in a 2nd gen RX7. Another friend, now passed away, spent the last ten years of his life in a wheelchair paralyzed from the waist down after he crashed a showroom stock car at Road Atlanta.

    I know this is just a track event, not a race, but I've seen crumpled cars hauled away from track events on a flatbed.

    You will be on a track, driving at high speeds, in a car that's unfamiliar to you and doing things you haven't done before. Do your wife, kids, and friends a favor and make the situation as safe as you reasonably can.

    I don't mean to preach. Just wanted to give you some food for thought.
     
    G-Man and Brad Smith like this.
  9. Zeldman

    Zeldman Touchdown! Greaser!

    Joined:
    Jun 13, 2014
    Messages:
    15,812
    Location:
    high desert NM

    Display name:
    Billy
    :lol::lol::lol:

    Don't you just hate that.???

    And yes, I have had that happen a few times...also have had a spring fly out and land in the pile of extra parts that never get used again but never seems to get thrown away....
     
  10. FormerHangie

    FormerHangie En-Route

    Joined:
    Oct 28, 2013
    Messages:
    3,695
    Location:
    Roswell, GA

    Display name:
    FormerHangie
    First off,
    [​IMG]
    If you're planning on going racing at some point, I hope you ordered an SA rated helmet, as most sanctioning bodies will require it. You have three things to accomplish at your first track night:
    • Get a feel for the car.
    • Start to memorize the race track.
    • Stay on the race track.
    That's it! Have fun!

    Nomex at a track night? Nah. The closest thing to Nomex I've seen at a track night was me wearing a balaclava, which I do because my helmet fits better with it. This is a speed event, not a speed contest, and guys exceeding their personal limits by going off the track usually get asked to leave.

    Racer joke: What's the difference between a racer and an alcoholic? It's possible to reform an alcoholic.
     
    Ted likes this.
  11. Ted

    Ted The pilot formerly known as Twin Engine Ted

    Joined:
    Oct 9, 2007
    Messages:
    29,225

    Display name:
    iFlyNothing
    Despite my #safetythird above, I do take the safety aspects seriously. But, aside from the Snell helmet (a requirement for this, Lemons, and I think most other motorsport groups I'd participate with) and the high density foam padding for the rollbar (also required), I think I'm fine with this. As FormerHangie pointed out, this isn't a race, and my goals are as he listed.
     
    FormerHangie likes this.
  12. Matthew

    Matthew Touchdown! Greaser!

    Joined:
    Apr 18, 2005
    Messages:
    17,973
    Location:
    kojc, kixd, k34

    Display name:
    Matthew
    Somebody, and I'm not going to name names, but somebody here has WAY more energy for projects than I do!
     
    Everskyward and TCABM like this.
  13. Ted

    Ted The pilot formerly known as Twin Engine Ted

    Joined:
    Oct 9, 2007
    Messages:
    29,225

    Display name:
    iFlyNothing
    I'm making up for the first 18 years of my life.
     
    Matthew likes this.
  14. Zeldman

    Zeldman Touchdown! Greaser!

    Joined:
    Jun 13, 2014
    Messages:
    15,812
    Location:
    high desert NM

    Display name:
    Billy
    Just curious, If drivers are not allowed to exceed their personal limits, how do they learn what their personal limits are.??

    :lol::lol:

    Yeah, my wife gets on to me when I get a little aggressive and test the limits of the tires on her car...
     
  15. Ted

    Ted The pilot formerly known as Twin Engine Ted

    Joined:
    Oct 9, 2007
    Messages:
    29,225

    Display name:
    iFlyNothing
    I think that there's a difference between carefully and intentionally creeping up on limits slowly (or for good/experienced folks a bit less slowly) and accidentally overstepping or having an issue vs. yelling "LEROOOOYYY JEEEENNNKKIIIINNNSSSS!" and going full send into a corner with no idea. And it's usually pretty obvious to a careful observer which is which, just like in flying.
     
    Zeldman likes this.
  16. Half Fast

    Half Fast Touchdown! Greaser!

    Joined:
    May 7, 2016
    Messages:
    10,415
    Location:
    Central Florida

    Display name:
    Half Fast

    Getting a little squirrely in a corner, maybe putting two wheels off, is a sign that it’s time to back off a tad. Going off the same corner backwards in a cloud of tire smoke and stuffing the car into the Armco is a sign that it’s time to go home (right after the hospital releases you).

    And I have seen the second example happen at a track day, to a very nice BMW that was owned by a guy with less skill than he imagined.

    Some track events require an instructor or experienced driver to ride with you until they’re confident you’re not a danger, then they sign you off for solo. But that ain’t happenin’ in that RX7 (no second seat).
     
    Ted likes this.
  17. SoonerAviator

    SoonerAviator Final Approach

    Joined:
    Jul 21, 2014
    Messages:
    8,084
    Location:
    Broken Arrow, OK

    Display name:
    SoonerAviator
    If you don't "LEROOOOYYY JEEEENNNKKIIIINNNSSSS!" at least once, you're not trying hard enough. :)
     
    TCABM, Zeldman and Ted like this.
  18. Ted

    Ted The pilot formerly known as Twin Engine Ted

    Joined:
    Oct 9, 2007
    Messages:
    29,225

    Display name:
    iFlyNothing
    20593C63-766B-4D8D-89C7-226CA204C49D.jpeg

    It’s a bit warm today. Why doesn’t this thing have air conditioning? ;)
     
    Jim K and TCABM like this.
  19. Half Fast

    Half Fast Touchdown! Greaser!

    Joined:
    May 7, 2016
    Messages:
    10,415
    Location:
    Central Florida

    Display name:
    Half Fast
    Because you're not supposed to sit still in it. You're supposed to be going very very fast.
     
    Ted likes this.
  20. Ted

    Ted The pilot formerly known as Twin Engine Ted

    Joined:
    Oct 9, 2007
    Messages:
    29,225

    Display name:
    iFlyNothing
    They’ll get angry if I go very fast right now. ;)

    F8733BC8-B9CE-49C3-BF3F-6DB546F9CB56.jpeg
     
    TCABM likes this.
  21. Zeldman

    Zeldman Touchdown! Greaser!

    Joined:
    Jun 13, 2014
    Messages:
    15,812
    Location:
    high desert NM

    Display name:
    Billy
    I have been to club meets selling race fuel at the now defunct Texas World Speedway where they had club rules like no passing, no going fast, no tire noise, no nothing..... real snoozers, nothing more than riding a merry-go-round minus the calliope music. Also no alcohol was allowed in the garage/pit stalls. And the worse part was these ''race cars'' got 30 mpg....

    Bottom line, the folks had fun and got to drive faster than the speed limit....which was 55 back then.
     
  22. FormerHangie

    FormerHangie En-Route

    Joined:
    Oct 28, 2013
    Messages:
    3,695
    Location:
    Roswell, GA

    Display name:
    FormerHangie
    At what Ted is doing, passing is done with a point by. In the novice and intermediate groups, that has to take place on a straight, of which there are plenty at Heartland. Speed limit depends on how much power you have and how fast you got out of the last turn.
     
    Ted likes this.
  23. Ted

    Ted The pilot formerly known as Twin Engine Ted

    Joined:
    Oct 9, 2007
    Messages:
    29,225

    Display name:
    iFlyNothing
    Well, that was a lot of fun!

    The track night is informal, low key, and just designed to have fun. I picked the Novice category, and you actually get more time on the track in that category than you do in the intermediate or advanced categories. The novice section gets paced laps, then three actual sessions. Intermediate and advanced just get the three sessions. The paced laps are good just to help you get a feel for the track. Memorized it? Hardly, not even close yesterday. Some of the turns were still catching me a bit by surprise and a bit more reactive rather than planned. But, that's to be expected, especially on the first run.

    Really the car did extremely well. The handling is good and predictable. The KYB shocks I put on it aren't good and the car would clearly benefit from better shocks. That was also a known decision because for Lemons, you're supposed to work with stock/stock type shocks. Brakes are good for the period the car was built. All of the work I did paid off - the car tracks very well, especially through corners. Obviously I wasn't getting as much out of it as it could do.

    Despite having what should've been the slowest car in the group at what is more of a horsepower track than a handling track, I passed 3 or 4 cars in the first session, all of which were cars that by all rights should've been faster than I was. I was pretty pleased with that. That is, right until...

    Smoke in the mirror, no oil pressure. Shut the engine off and pulled off at a safe spot, which fortunately there are a lot of those on this track. Caused a black flag for the whole track, and got towed back to the paddock to find one of the oil hoses (which were brand new, mind you) burst. Bah.

    I felt badly about that and causing a black flag for the track, but they were all very gracious about it (or at least those who thought I was an idiot kept it to themselves). The folks in charge said I did exactly what I was supposed to, wasn't like it was a neglected item, and even credited me for the sessions I didn't run so I should get a discount next time. I had no shortage of volunteers to help push it back on the trailer (which was fortunate, I wouldn't have been able to otherwise).

    Obviously it was disappointing to not finish out the session yesterday. That said, as far as failures go, this isn't bad and it was a good experience. The engine seems fine, I caught it quickly, and learned quite a bit. I've made some notes for things I want to adjust and will get going on those so I can be back next month. The car really is a lot of fun, and I can't wait to get more laps on it.
     
  24. SoonerAviator

    SoonerAviator Final Approach

    Joined:
    Jul 21, 2014
    Messages:
    8,084
    Location:
    Broken Arrow, OK

    Display name:
    SoonerAviator
    Any obvious cause for the hose blowing? Chaffing on something or just manufacturing defect?
     
  25. charheep

    charheep Cleared for Takeoff PoA Supporter

    Joined:
    Feb 5, 2013
    Messages:
    1,215
    Location:
    Aurora, IL

    Display name:
    charheep
    He didnt lean out for altitude for LOP operations? Oh wait...
     
    G-Man and Ted like this.
  26. Ted

    Ted The pilot formerly known as Twin Engine Ted

    Joined:
    Oct 9, 2007
    Messages:
    29,225

    Display name:
    iFlyNothing
    I think I just got sold a low quality hose. There was no chafing or anything - I even had covered the hose with sheathing. This time I’ll go to the hose shop and get good stuff made up. It blew right in the middle of the hose, not at an end or anything.
     
  27. SoonerAviator

    SoonerAviator Final Approach

    Joined:
    Jul 21, 2014
    Messages:
    8,084
    Location:
    Broken Arrow, OK

    Display name:
    SoonerAviator
    Man, just some bad luck. At least it lasted long enough to get some laps in and learn the car a bit. On a brighter note, with having owned Harleys and a Cat motorhome, you're well-versed in oil leaks! ;)
     
    Ted and TCABM like this.
  28. Ted

    Ted The pilot formerly known as Twin Engine Ted

    Joined:
    Oct 9, 2007
    Messages:
    29,225

    Display name:
    iFlyNothing
    In fairness, I'd had the thought to just go to the hose shop in the first place, so I can blame myself. Lesson learned, that's what I do from now on.

    I really would've liked to get more laps in, but I'm still not disappointed on the whole. I knew I was going to learn something and racing is the practice of finding weak points one after another until you get them all.

    And once I get the car up in the air and start looking at it a bit more, I may find some other items that need attention, we'll see.
     
  29. Half Fast

    Half Fast Touchdown! Greaser!

    Joined:
    May 7, 2016
    Messages:
    10,415
    Location:
    Central Florida

    Display name:
    Half Fast
    Outstanding!! It’s great to know that car is on the track again. I hope you’ll have as much fun with it as I did. Take some video next time!

    As long as you didn’t overheat the engine it should be fine. Rotaries are tough, but overheating them will damage the apex seals and often warp the rotor housings.
     
    Ted likes this.
  30. Ted

    Ted The pilot formerly known as Twin Engine Ted

    Joined:
    Oct 9, 2007
    Messages:
    29,225

    Display name:
    iFlyNothing
    I will say the cooling system has been fantastic. As you may recall, I put in an aluminum radiator that was the size of both the stock radiator and oil cooler, and then put an oil cooler in front of it. Even in hot days, the radiator keeps the engine plenty cool.I never saw the needle budge off of its operating temperature. So definitely no concerns about overheating.

    I'd had the thought about video, and was thinking if there was a good way to do it for yesterday. I don't have a GoPro, Virb, or any other sort of action camera. Normally I do all my video recording with the phone. I'll do some more thinking about the best way to go with this.

    I really had a lot of fun, and can't wait to get back out there after some more tweaks and new hoses! :)
     
  31. Spring Ford

    Spring Ford Line Up and Wait

    Joined:
    Jul 11, 2018
    Messages:
    642

    Display name:
    SpringFord
    Good to hear about the race car. Sounds great. Maybe this will help with the camera?

    upload_2022-8-20_11-49-27.png
     
    Ted likes this.
  32. Ted

    Ted The pilot formerly known as Twin Engine Ted

    Joined:
    Oct 9, 2007
    Messages:
    29,225

    Display name:
    iFlyNothing
    That wouldn't fit with the roll bar and roof :)
     
  33. jsstevens

    jsstevens Final Approach PoA Supporter

    Joined:
    May 18, 2007
    Messages:
    6,482

    Display name:
    jsstevens
    Sunroof!:)
     
  34. Ted

    Ted The pilot formerly known as Twin Engine Ted

    Joined:
    Oct 9, 2007
    Messages:
    29,225

    Display name:
    iFlyNothing
    The car actually had a sunroof, but it's no longer functional, that was part of what @Half Fast modified on it to race prep.

    One thing with this car is I've driven it around some on the street, and it's fun, but the track is where it really becomes a blast. While what makes a fun street car vs. track car is similar up until a certain point, there becomes a divergence.
     
    Half Fast likes this.
  35. Ted

    Ted The pilot formerly known as Twin Engine Ted

    Joined:
    Oct 9, 2007
    Messages:
    29,225

    Display name:
    iFlyNothing
    TCABM likes this.
  36. Ted

    Ted The pilot formerly known as Twin Engine Ted

    Joined:
    Oct 9, 2007
    Messages:
    29,225

    Display name:
    iFlyNothing
    Ok, I was right - I had checked that idler arm. It went out sometime while driving. The play in the right front wheel is very significant now, it wasn't before. This is an area I had considered addressing (the bushings on the idler arm are a regular service item) but decided I'd drive it a little first to see what else it needed. And sure enough, need to order those. That said the steering box did have a little looseness in it, so I tightened that a hair. While ordering the idler arm bushings, I may also get a shifter rebuild kit, the shifter is fine but it could be better. From looking at how it's designed, there are a couple bushings that could be replaced to improve.

    Overall, there wasn't much to find. The front wheel bearings (which I replaced) needed a little more tightening after some miles/laps. The brakes looked just fine, no problems. The spark plugs look beautiful, no fouling, perfect color. I'd heard a sound at low speed that sounded like it was at about the revs of the driveshaft, but the U-joints (while old... and on the list to replace at some point) are just fine and there's no noise. The noise looks like it was the exhaust, which easily wobbles and makes a noise at about that frequency. So I'll look at tightening that up, probably also while replacing the muffler.

    And, of course, the oil hoses. Upon removal it was very clear that the hose just burst and it seems it wasn't very good quality hose. I am debating whether or not I should put in a bigger oil cooler at that. The oil cooler I put in was smaller than the factory one, but oil pressure was just fine the whole time. I'll think about this a bit more before buying new hoses, and probably look at what else is out there. For its purpose, I don't think there's such a thing as too much oil cooling.

    Some more thinking to do, but overall, not a bad list.
     
  37. Racerx

    Racerx Pattern Altitude

    Joined:
    May 15, 2020
    Messages:
    2,415

    Display name:
    Ernie
    I don't see the problem
     
  38. Half Fast

    Half Fast Touchdown! Greaser!

    Joined:
    May 7, 2016
    Messages:
    10,415
    Location:
    Central Florida

    Display name:
    Half Fast
    :yeahthat:

    Yes indeed! And you'll find the same to be true for driving on the track vs the street, and it's not just speed. Your mindset is different, and your attention becomes hyperfocused.

    BTW, that sunroof will come off. Just remove a few screws and clips at the back. I purposely left it removeable, as it makes certain tasks easier. It's a royal PITA to take the seat out through the door due to the roll cage, but it's a piece of cake going through the sunroof, especially after you remove the steering wheel.
     
    Ted likes this.
  39. jsstevens

    jsstevens Final Approach PoA Supporter

    Joined:
    May 18, 2007
    Messages:
    6,482

    Display name:
    jsstevens
    Perfect! Room for the camera!
     
    Ted and Half Fast like this.
  40. Ted

    Ted The pilot formerly known as Twin Engine Ted

    Joined:
    Oct 9, 2007
    Messages:
    29,225

    Display name:
    iFlyNothing
    The hyper focused attention (and especially the lack of distractions in this world where we have things constantly vying for our attention) is something I really like in an activity.

    I'd noticed that it was removable, good point on removal of the seat through the sunroof!

    Hopefully I'll have most of the list taken care of over the next week.