FRESH ENGINE LEADS TO SEASONS' BEST PERFORMANCE
Hello everyone. A lot has happened since the last update. Remember Gloria's comment "sounds like we got our monies worth" after we fired up the engine for the first time? Well, after three test passes at a May 24 event, the right side cylinder head opened up and filled number eight cylinder, and the oiling system, with water. The engine shop that originally freshened it was unable to do the repairs so we went down the QEW to Rob Carpenter's Race Shop in Niagara Falls, Ontario. Rob, and engine builder Joe Fioravanti promised they could have it completed for the NHRA National Open at Toronto Motorsports Park in mid-June. They suggested we "do it right" with new BME lightweight pistons fitted with diamond coated rings, along with a set of super-trick cylinder heads and intake manifold that had to be brought up from Charlotte, North Carolina. Gloria and I agreed. The engine was completed and off the dyno three days before the event. We could have bought a couple of new Chevrolet Sparks for what the rebuild cost, however, Rob and Joe's motor made thirty three more horsepower then the original…..that's huge!
I went through the cars 4-link rear suspension with the builder, PK Race Cars, in Columbus, Ohio. This is where technology is so nice. I took a picture of the suspension and plotted the various centre lines on a graph. PK looked at it and suggested some re-positioning of the top bar, as well as shock and pinion settings. I did this and sent them another picture. Friday morning we were setting up our pit area when a text message came in from Pat suggesting one more move, which we did. What great people we deal with in this sport.
The car did not disappoint. We ran within 4/100's of a second of one of the class's premier cars and qualified in the top half of a tough field. We can see areas where improvement can be made. As a driver, I handled the car well but was a bit off in reaction times. We had first round losses both days of eliminations but at the finish line they were measured by inches. The new trailer and pit area components worked flawlessly. Gloria was so happy we brought the car home in one piece, and after a post-race service in our shop, it's ready to go again.
If all goes well, we'll take a shot at the National Hot Rod Association's North Central Division Series in 2018.
Until next time….Bob.