Monthly Archives: May 2009

Where to Start?

Well, it’s been nearly two months since my last update, where to even begin telling about what’s happened since then? Here’s the skinny:

  1. Friday Test day before the April HPR event…this didn’t go so well. I ventured out on track, did approximately half a lap before the engine started making horrible noises. Game over – spun rod bearing. All I can guess is that this is related to my oil pressure issues
    at IMI. This race weekend was ultimately snowed out, so I didn’t miss anything, for better or for worse. I pulled the engine and gave it to Rilltech, who had be up and running again in about two weeks. We rebuilt the same engine, and built it to the same spec. We added a Power Commander and a dyno tune to the mix, and found over 15hp gain from getting the fueling right. Alright!
  2. So, take two for the first race of the year was the first weekend in May. This one went splendidly, bar a few teething issues with the car. Friday test was fun, chasing the guys around in PSR. Saturday and Sunday I won both races, setting fast lap both days. The only bummer from the weekend was that my brake pedal issue evidently wasn’t solved – it still went to the floor after about 10 laps.
  3. Returning to the shop, I replaced both master cylinders, the rear calipers, and slightly re-routed the lines to make sure that all pressure sensors were pointed *downwards*, so that no air bubble could be trapped in them. With a pair of 7/8″ cylinders now, and bleeding the CRUD out of hte system with Motul 600 fluid instead of my past ATE blue, the pedal was PERFECT for PPIR – no issues at all.
  4. Also an issue was that I was sliiiiiightly over on sound – 104-106dB. I brought the car down to Rilltech, and they supplied me with a nice new Ti muffler, which successfully
    quieted the car, but is also a good deal lighter than the large system that used to be on the car. We installed it in the same location as is found on the WF-1, in case I ever
    find myself with WF-1 bodywork. Some pictures of that are below.
  5. Problematic as well was the oil pressure, which continued to dip into the teens and single digits under hard braking. I kept adding oil to try and combat the problem, which worked only partially. Evidently, the GSX-R engines simply lose oil pressure under hard braking. Most folks seem to agree that high 20’s is common, and apparently acceptable, although it sure makes me nervous. I have added a 1 quart accusump to the system to see if it helps at all with this “dip” behavior.
  6. The Western Sprints race at PPIR over the memorial day weekend was extremely fun. The track itself is quite simple, but the concrete and high speed turn 1 sure make it intimidating! That writeup will be coming along shortly. The short version is that I won the first race, and came a close second in the second, battling a good driver and a few car issues.

So, that brings us mostly up to date. Here’s what’s on the horizon, and some other miscellaneous notes:

  • I finished covering my seat with the OMP Nomex fabric. The result looks quite nice, and is very comfortable. Actually got several compliments on it during the
    race weekend. I used the 3M #80 (gray can) adhesive from Home Depot, and it seems to have worked quite well. Will definitely do this with any future seats that I
    have to build.
  • Still slightly frustrated with the oil pressure problem in the car. Adding more oil seemed to keep it up at the 25+psi mark. Rilltech and I are going to run an experiment whereby
    we try some 15-50 oil to see if it has any effect on the pressure drop, which will tell us if it is oil slosh, or engine dynamics causing the pressure to drop. Either way, I’ll be running
    the oil high for now.
  • Oddly, the Accusump made no measurable difference on the datalogs. This would tend to support then that the engine is not oil starving, but just some dynamic of the oil system operation when it is slowed rapidly by braking. I will leave it on for another test day or so, but may ultimately remove it and sell it if it doesn’t have any effect I can see on the datalogs.
  • One of my aforementioned issues at PPIR was a blown LF shock. It caused quite a bit of odd porpoising up front, a total lack of grip in RH corners by the end of the weekend, and a big oily mess at the front of the car. They’re on their way back to Joe Stimola to see if he can figure out what’s going on there.
  • The roughness of the track caused a few things to break – the speed sensor mount again, and the rain light mount. Will be fixing these before the next race.
  • Reporting a bit on the header coating, the Jet-Hot “Extreme Sterling”…isn’t so sterling anymore. It has dulled significantly, and continues to dull with each heat cycle, but it
    continues to hold well, still looks reasonably nice, and does indeed cool more quickly. The car as a whole is cooling just fine (20* water, and 22* oil), so I am very encouraged about
    being able to cool the car properly come summertime.

Next Events

Next race event looks like the July 4th double national at HPR. This will be my first national race, and might even be kinda a big deal. I’m curious to see who shows up from the National ranks. If any of the big-boy WF-1’s show up, it will be interesting to see just how much faster than my ol’ 1st gen they actually are. Might be fun – or perhaps somewhat demoralizing – to get a feel for what the gap is like.

Planning on doing a test day between now and then to try and sort out the car as best I can, I think we may head out around June 12 or so to HPR, and go chase eachother around a bit.