Time for an update as there has been a fair bit happening.
There has been very little in the way of motorsport since MTC16 due to work/family commitments and some upgrades on the car. I did compete in a hillclimb at Collinsvale near Hobart and won my class. This was my first win of an event on Tasmanian soil so I was pretty pleased with myself, as I had come close before.
The trip to MTC in both directions was fairly eventful. When I started the car to roll off the boat in Melbourne it was running like a pig and sounded like an old tractor. I had that sinking feeling as I drove off the boat but by the time the car was on the public road it had warmed up and the noise had disappeared.
The rest of the trip was uneventful. At MTC on the first morning the car again ran really bad until it was warmed up. This time though I could watch what was happening in the engine bay. The engine was rocking back and forth like it was running on 3 cylinders and was making a god awful mechanical noise.
The next morning I had the mechanics look at it and there was all sorts of talk, such as main bearings etc. Turns out I had an exhaust leak due to a warped exhaust manifold. Obviously the gas flow/pressures in these cars are pretty sensitive. The car behaved flawlessly other than some over heating issues and I made a PB of 1.10.96 on the last day with very tired tyres.
Returning back to Hobart I had to drive to Melbourne via Kerang in central Victoria to take care of some personal business. Outside temperature was 40 degrees with no aircon, no floor carpet or insulation, no radio, no cruise, hard suspension and race seat, no tacho and no speedo. When I arrived at Kerang I learned that the ferry from Melbourne had broken from its mooring and had been damaged, the omens were not looking good.
I made it to Melbourne the next day and waited for hours to get on the boat. Unfortunately I locked myself out of the car just as the queue was starting to move so I had to smash the passenger window to get in! It was a relief to make it home.
Other than the exhaust manifold, the lack of an LSD was starting to really do my head in. With the exhaust manifold, I figured I might as well use the steam pipe manifold I had made years ago, and also fit the GT3071 that I had on the shelf. I also bought a Kaaz LSD and convinced myself that the best thing to do was to drop the engine, fit all the gear (including an ATS inlet manifold) and have a good inspection of the engine and give it a clean up.
Predictably, one thing led to another! I ended up getting a third lug added to the water outlet housing (great suggestion by Doug aka falcon) as it was painfully obvious that this would be a good addition. I then proceeded to chase down leaks in the engine cooling system by pressurising the system with air and squirting water mist over all joints and ends to track down leaks. There were lots of little leaks due to perished hoses and rusted fittings. So I ended up cleaning up everything and ordered every hose in the cooling system. As a result I know the system inside out and although it was a pain in the ass most of the time, the process was enjoyable. For anybody racing these cars I would recommend replacing all hoses if they are greater than 10 years old and cleaning of all joints to ensure a good seal between joint and hose. I haven’t fitted the hoses or tested the system yet but will do it soon.