Monday, February 19, 2018

2018 Tune Up

This weekend the weather warmed up and with Presidents Day off of work, it was time to knock out  a bunch more car projects. Up first, the truck had a pretty bad shake from the steering rack as well as some leaks. With just a few bolts and a couple power steering hydraulic lines, the old rack came out and the new one went on.
New steering rack up top, old down below.
Fresh power steering fluid was flushed through and it all bolted together. When installing the new rack I realized the outer tie rod ends had ripped boots and had oozed grease everywhere, so a quick trip to the parts store solved that issue to replace those. 
The O-rings on each power steering line met the end of their life and were spewing gunk all over the old one.
While the truck was in the garage I wrapped up an oil change and replaced what looked like factory original spark plugs and wires. That leaves only the transmission filter and differential fluid flush to complete the 100k mile service. At 114k miles I'm only a little behind. In the mean time the truck is getting new tires and a fresh alignment to keep it towing and hauling racecar parts for a few more years.
7 of 8 spark plug wires came free easily, but one was determined to no go quietly.
With the truck done, the Miata came in to replace the factory cast iron and restrictive exhaust manifold with a new high flowing Racing Beat 4-1 header. In addition to looking cool, it should free up a little more power and shed a few pounds of weight.
New header at the top, all one piece.  Old exhaust below.  The cast iron half that mounts to the motor easily weighs as much as the whole new one.
Next Sunday I'll be wheeling a Corvette with SCR-SCCA in Myrtle Beach. The following week the Miata will be back on track with NASA at Road Atlanta!
New and shiny!

Friday, February 16, 2018

Track Night in America

Brian at Carolina Motorsports Park

OK, it might be a BIT difficult to get on track and be a NASCAR driver (hey, they're racing this weekend!), we'll admit that. However, there is one program that let's you get on a race track in your car just about anywhere across the USA and it's very simple. The Sports Car Club of America is again sponsoring what they call Track Night in America in an effort to make it as easy as possible to go DRIVE your CAR on a TRACK! As you can tell from the title, this takes place in a land called AMERICA, kind of late in the afternoon!
While it's not free, and you won't get paid a huge salary (since you do have to pay a little bit of $$), this is still just about the cheapest and easiest way we know to do some driving on track. Brian has done one of these events, and says he had a blast!
Head over to their website for more information about SCCA Track Night in America Driven by Tire Rack    TRACK NIGHT and check it out for all the details. 
Here's a list of locations, and dates, where you can get out there: 
Atlanta Motorsports Park; Dawsonville, GAApril 9, May 8, June 7, July 12, August 22, September 19
Auto Club Speedway; Fontana, CAFebruary 24, June 16, August 25
Blackhawk Farms; South Beloit, ILMay 3, June 19, July 24, August 23
Buttonwillow Raceway Park; Buttonwillow, CAApril 26
Carolina Motorsports Park; Kershaw, SCAugust 21, September 18
Charlotte Motor Speedway; Concord, NCApril 12, May 2, June 8, July 11
Dakota County Technical College Driver Training Facility; Rosemount, MNMay 15, June 6, July 10, August 3
Dominion Raceway; Woodford, VAApril 19, May 17, June 21, July 26
GingerMan Raceway; South Haven, MIMay 18, June 20, July 25, August 22
Harris Hill Raceway; San Marcos, TXApril 11, May 9, June 6, September 19
Heartland Motorsports Park; Topeka, KSApril 20, May 31, June 28, July 19, August 16, September 20, October 11
High Plains Raceway; Deer Trail, COJune 6, July 11, August 15, September 12
La Junta Raceway; La Junta, COMay 4
Lime Rock Park; Lakeville, CTMay 24, June 14
Memphis International Raceway; Millington, TNMarch 27, April 24, May 22, June 26
MotorSport Ranch; Cresson, TXApril 10, May 8, June 5, September 18
New Hampshire Motor Speedway; Loudon, NHMay 25, August 3
New Jersey Motorsports Park; Millville, NJApril 25, May 22, June 20, July 19, August 14, September 11
NOLA Motorsports Park; Avondale, LAApril 12, May 10, June 12, September 20
Pacific Raceways; Kent, WAMay 25, June 13
Palm Beach International Raceway; Jupiter, FLFebruary 13, March 6, April 10, May 8, June 5, Sept 18, Oct 9, Nov 6, Dec 4
Palmer Motorsports Park; Palmer, MAMay 3, June 5, June 28, July 17, August 9, September 6
Pittsburgh International Race Complex; Wampum, PAApril 26, May 23, June 19, July 10, August 2, September 12
Pocono Raceway; Long Pond, PAApril 18, May 10, June 14, July 12, August 28, September 17
Portland International Raceway; Portland, ORApril 13, May 18, June 8, August 10
Ridge Motorsports Park; Shelton, WAApril 12, May 16, June 7, July 24, August 8, September 13
Road Atlanta; Braselton, GAApril 25
Roebling Road Raceway; Bloomingdale, GAApril 24, May 16
Thompson Speedway Motorsports Park; Thompson, CTApril 24, May 15, June 19, July 5, July 24, August 14, September 18, October 4
Thunderhill Raceway Park; Willows, CAApril 19, May 24, June 14, July 12, August 16, September 13
Wild Horse Pass Motorsports Park; Chandler, AZMarch (TBD), April 20, May 11
Willow Springs Int'l Raceway; Rosamond, CAMarch (TBD), April 27

Tuesday, February 13, 2018

NMS-North Brings HUGE Upgrades to 2018!

Without any further ado, here's the big upgrade for 2018 on the NMS-North FIAT Abarth:

New Sticker

Yes, a new sticker! The city of Great Neck NY has a stop on the Long Island Rail Road (LIRR), and as a resident, I am now the proud owner of a RESIDENT sticker that enables me to park at the LIRR commuter parking lot! Of course I don't commute by train, but if I did, then I could park there! In reality, it lets me park at the train station for the occasional trip into Manhattan. Regardless of the purpose of any sticker on your car, remember that it adds at least 5 horsepower per sticker!

For the real updates to 2018, my list of "stuff to do" still includes:
-spark plug change
-new rear window wiper blade (somehow damaged in the last snowstorm, our  hint is to NOT smash    into your wiper blades with your ice scraper)
-install Koni shocks
-install lowering springs
-somehow improve the loose nut behind the wheel
-upgrade to premium fuel for autocross events
-new autocross tires for all 4 wheels, likely to again be the Bridgestone 71R