Tag Archive for 'SCCA'

Pop Goes the FX

OK, over the past week had been working bit by bit on the rally FX. After the last event, I managed to limp home with the leaking manifold. I thought it was running so rough because the leaking manifold was allowing air into the system causing the O2 sensor to read wrong and run rich. I replaced the gaskets and studs and nuts I’d lost and tightened down. It wasn’t as loud, but still ran lousy. I swaped over belt idler so I could completely delete the A/C compressor, and in the process reset the distrbutor and timing. Also verified spark signal at each sparkplug wire. It still ran wonky. I saw crud was being spit out the exhaust and I was begining to worry. I looked at the radiator fluid and the oil, though a little low, they both looked fine and clear. Odd. I replaced the O2 sensor, still ran bad. I started unplugging the spark plugs wires. Uh oh, unplugged #3 and there was no change in engine idle, looks like cylinder 3 is not firing for some reason. Hmmm, unplugging #2 also showed no change in how badly the engine was running. What’s going on here? Maybe injector problem? I’d have to look up which banks fire together, this was a possibility. I pulled the spark plugs and 2 & 3 were covered in black, none of the white/gray combustion color.  Finally I pulled out compression tester and it revealed extremely low compression on cylinders 2 and three. Ah damn, looks like a blown headgasket after all. Looks like I’m tearing things apart and doing a head rebuild. Wasn’t quite planning on this so soon, but looks like I’m going to be doing a bunch of work on it now!

Race Ready

Over the weekend I was able to get replacement Monroe strut cartridges up front changed out. That one shock was indeed blown, you aren’t supposed to hear little pieces rattling around inside. Next, seeing that all the goodness had escaped out of the rally FX’s airconditioning, I spent the earlier part of the week removing the A/C components. I was planning to transfer it over to the daily FX anyway and lightening the load goes with this being the race FX. Got the condenser, accumulator and the plumbing out, figure that should be good for more than a few pounds. The compressor and evaporator are still in there as those two take some work.

Then on Friday night, day before the race, I got the bug into my butt that as long as I was going that far, I might as well swap radiators. The radiator that was in the daily FX was a plastic tanked, aluminum cored unit. Doing the scientific soda A soda B comparison by lifting in left and right hand, it’s’ noticeably lighter than the all brass one. Easy swap.

Continue reading ‘Race Ready’

Test n Tune, Shake n Bake

Sunday! Sunday! Sunday! It’s SCCA Test and Tune day at the stadium! A day for all the SCCA geeks (and geekettes) to bring their cars out and drive them all day on the course. The weather was clear, and hot. I see many a lobstered racer tonight! It was a full house for the entire day, so turnover was kinda slow, sometimes almost 30 minutes between runs, but it was enough time to weight my car, and get in about 7 runs. Enough to start to get a feel for the car, get the tire pressures sorted, discover that this Corolla is fun, and get an unexpected kustom tuning job. Continue reading ‘Test n Tune, Shake n Bake’