Back in the Whale

I think I’m back in the wagon for Bradenton with a new motor, transmission and brakes; and after Dallas telling me that there might be a chassis problem with the car — but I’ll know better when I go into the shop today.

I came in to look at the problems yesterday — and Dallas and I differ in opinions a little. Dallas had told me that the body was cracking, the gap on the driver’s door was wider, the transmission cross member was a little bent, and that the castle nut at the end of the torsion bar on the lower control arm had wrapped around the cotter pin. When I looked at the car my opinion was:

1. Neither castle nut were tight enough – so I put the big wrench on them and replaced the cotter pins — noting the clocked position.
2. The trans cross member was a a little bent — but I think that was a combination of it might have been bent a little (I don’t recall ever taking a real close look at it – but Dallas swears it wasn’t that bad) since I got the car from the builder, or it happened prior to my having the right transmission mount put on it — as the one on there when I got the car was really screwed up, or it bent a little when the motor and transmission blew up last year. It was a pretty big explosion that lifted the hood and felt like it lifted the front end. Anyway — I put an angle finder all over the transmission and it’s at the right angles. I have a parts car that I’ll grab a cross member off of when I get back.
3. There was always a big gap between the door and the post from when the car was converted to a 2-door. Dallas swears it is bigger — but it looks the same to me and the door closes the way it always had.
4. The cracking is just the incredible amount of mud used on the car instead of metal repairs. Plans have been to better build the car after the Vitamin C is finished.

So I took the car to the track last night for street car night to test the new engine and to see if it goes straight — and could only make two semi-light passes because it should be named “fools night” from all the oil downs and how long it takes to clean up.

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First pass in 6 months (10 months for this car) — so I was a little early on the tree, partly from staging too deep and being more use to the slower Vitamin C. I fought the first 1/8 mile and the car was a little loose. The looseness is most likely because I forget an air hose and had to equalize my slicks to 12 pounds — for the lowest tire. I have 33″ slicks and they’re real squishing when that low. When I got back to the pit Dallas told me I did a 9.09 — which had me freaking out as it felt no where that fast — but when I looked at the ticket I realized he saw the board wrong when it flashed.

I launched a little harder and shifted a little higher for my 2nd and last pass. The track was cold and greasy — and having street tire cars tearing it up. I really dislike this track anymore. I’m really hoping to find another 3/10s

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Didn’t get home until almost midnight — so I’ll look the car when I get to the shop to check the castle nuts clocking and the trans mount — but I really feel like I’m OK.

I had to put the chunk with the 4.30 gears in the car last year when the 4.71 I’d been running were making noises. I think I have way too much tire for too little gear that is killing my first half — so I’ll have my slicks switched over to 31″ when I get to Bradenton.

So that’s my story and I’m sticking to it.