My 40 year old radiator has earned it’s retirement, but I’ll keep it as part of my ‘race spares’ package. It has been replaced with a small, universal aluminum AFCO unit from Summit Racing for about $250. To use it I needed to set up a different mounting system, and change the angles of the inlet/outlet tubes. The Grainger catalog came in handy for the mounting system, and after I cut up some new tubes, my master welder Paul Moore worked his magic on the aluminum. The Wagon’s cooling system has finally joined the 21st century.
Archives for September 2011
Today I put the 4.38 R180 diff back in after converting it to a Limited Slip. I used a Nissan Motorsports 115mm 4 pinion clutch type LSD from Nissan Parts Warehouse. I had John at S.F. Differential shim it up for me to get the correct gear contact pattern. I removed my spare unit which is a welded 4.11 R160. The picture below shows the difference between the two. The R180 on the right is about 10lbs heavier than the R160 at 60lbs, and 1/2″ wider at about 7″ (depending on where you measure it). I have my CV joint adapters in place on the R180 while the R160 is wearing stubaxles. More info here
This weekend I made the trip down to Buttonwillow Raceway to compete in VARA’s annual Octoberfest event (Septemberfest?). The turnout was quite healthy with over 140 competitors, and the wknd featured two special races: the All German Car race and the Formula Vee Challenge. VARA rekindled the Saturday night potluck dinner and it was a smashing success. While the weather was quite hot and humid, 98F and scattered thunderstorms, there were still quite a few spectators in the stands.
This weekend’s groupings had me racing with a different group than usual. I normally race with the B-Sedan and C-Sedan group, but instead GTL was combined with H through D- Prod. It was fun to get to watch the guys I’m usually dicing with, but it left me with less competition in my group. Turned out to be a blessing in disquise as the Wagon finally met up with the thermal limitations of a stock radiator. I could only run 3-4 laps flat out before the engine temps became unacceptably high, and then I’d have to loaf around for a few laps to get the temps under control. A large AL radiator was in the plans, but I was curious how far I could go without one, I guess I found out… And this weekend’s ‘Golden Wrench’ award goes to Team Wilkins for first finding and then fixing their broken oil pickup tube on Saturday, and going on to take third in Sunday’s race after starting dead last.
Two highlights of the event for me was seeing the Historic Group out on track (instead of in a museum somewhere), and getting to drive the 3MC Motorsports 240Z on Friday’s test-day. John LaChappelle graciously offered me a few laps in my old car to try out a new racing gearbox he had recertly installed. The car has continued to be developed under his stewardship, and it was a real joy to be back at speed in this wonderful car.
Yesterday I went to Infineon Raceway to watch my buddy John Teaby celebrate his 59th birthday by making a return to SCCA racing. Some years ago he was a SCCA National front runner in small-bore, but he’s making his return in SCCA’s newest big-bore class, SS. He’s racing his Factory Five Cobra and it’s wearing the livery from his new sponsor, Libertine Films.