Lemons/Chump problems - Alfa Romeo Bulletin Board & Forums
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post #1 of 348 (permalink) Old 06-04-2010, 01:04 PM Thread Starter
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Lemons/Chump problems

Since we've been running a transaxle car the longest in Lemons I've decided to start a thread for all the Lemons/Chump racers for all the problems we've encountered while racing these cars. We seem to run into a whole different set of problem because of how long our races are. At the last T'Hill we were out for about an hour and a half changing a broken transaxle and still manages to do 988 miles of racing. No wonder stuff breaks.

I'm hoping others will post their experience with breakage so hopefully we can all learn from each other and not all have the same problems. One of these days an Alfa is going to take an overall win.

The late two races we've broken the finger that is on the shift shaft that the shift linkage bolts to. The first time we broke the tip of the finger off and the last race we broke the finger where the roll pin goes through. On one side the finger is relieved for the u bracket that holds the spring that centers the shaft in the 3-4 shift rail and the finger was VERY thin there.

Wes
Winner 24 Hours of Lemons, Finally
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post #2 of 348 (permalink) Old 06-04-2010, 07:23 PM
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Hi Wes,

Good thread.

We've run 3 LeMons races in a Verde, and have had very few problems (that weren't self inflicted). We are not driving the wheels off our car, by choice. We figure it's probably better (and easier) to run a couple seconds slower per lap than we could otherwise, and not spend any time in the pits replacing broken stuff.

In our first two races we had one single failure, the heater valve switch failed and dumped scalding water on my feet. That was fun! It cost us about 10 laps, but it was near the end of the race and didn't cost us position.

In our third race we had a Hall sensor fail in the distributor. It fixed itself before we could diagnose it, then failed again a few hours later, so we lost probably 45 minutes total in getting towed off the track, head scratching, etc.

bs
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post #3 of 348 (permalink) Old 06-05-2010, 07:47 AM
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Yeah, great thread idea. We at Heavy Metal are preparing to run a Maratona at LeMons this summer, and we are compiling a list of spares and tools to bring. We could definately use input on that !!

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post #4 of 348 (permalink) Old 06-05-2010, 07:50 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by HeavyMetalAlfa View Post
Yeah, great thread idea. We at Heavy Metal are preparing to run a Maratona at LeMons this summer, and we are compiling a list of spares and tools to bring. We could definately use input on that !!
Hi Glenn,

One thing we've found helpful is to sync up with the other Alfa teams, and park next to them in the paddock. We coordinate parts and tools so we all don't have to bring everything, and it's worked well so far.

There will be the usual three Milanos in Conn in August, you'll be the fourth Alfa!

bs
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post #5 of 348 (permalink) Old 06-05-2010, 07:54 AM
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Thank you Brian!
Will look forward to the guidance you guys can share. And, God knows, I've got plenty of Alfa Bit spares I could bring!! Let me know!

The " Save the Rusty Alfa Society"
43 Alfas at the moment [ I think], I'll be able to tell better when the snow melts
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post #6 of 348 (permalink) Old 06-05-2010, 11:51 AM Thread Starter
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v6 Prep

We're building a GTV6 for the next race and I would like to know what I should do to the motor to make sure it'll run for the entire race. I'm already planning on a new timing belt and to check on the water pump. We're also going to make sure the radiator is in good shape and that the coolant hoses are new. Since this is the first v6 I've ever worked on I'm in new territory here. What else do I need to know about these motors?

This motor is hopefully only going to run one race as we have a 24 valve to go in once we have the car done. Building in two phases seems like it should be more managable.

Glenn,
Contact me if you would like and I'll give you everything we've figured out on prepping an Alfetta/GTV6. I'll point you in the right direction as far as suspension set up and such. I'm always happy to tell you what we've learned so we all don't have to make the same mistakes.

Wes
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post #7 of 348 (permalink) Old 06-05-2010, 01:46 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Alfaguy35 View Post
We're building a GTV6 for the next race and I would like to know what I should do to the motor to make sure it'll run for the entire race. I'm already planning on a new timing belt and to check on the water pump. We're also going to make sure the radiator is in good shape and that the coolant hoses are new. Since this is the first v6 I've ever worked on I'm in new territory here. What else do I need to know about these motors?
We run ours pretty much stock.

I'd strongly suggest replacing the water pump, not just inspecting it. Also, take a good look at the tensioner while you're in there. Replace the water pump and timing belt, set the belt a little on the loose side, and you should have no worries - the motor is pretty much bullet proof.

Other than that, make sure all the electronics and connections are in good condition. In my experience, most V6 problems are the result of bad sensors, bad connections to the sensors, or timing belt/water pump problems.

HTH,

bs
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post #8 of 348 (permalink) Old 06-05-2010, 05:42 PM
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When and where is one of these in the N E ??
I would love to see one !

There is a very fine line between "hobby" and "mental illness."
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post #9 of 348 (permalink) Old 06-05-2010, 08:27 PM
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I have had issues with weird stuff on my car, I dont think they are so relavant. More to learn from diagnosing things while they are going wrong on the cars. Thats why I love good instrumentation and driver info. I believe these are free, because they don't make the cars any faster.

At the very least, working temp gage and idoit light, oil pressure and fuel pressure. Want to get fancy put in a air fuel gage.


I think pulling the valve covers and retorqueing the heads is a great idea, adjust the valves while you are in there. Use the alfa one at a time - oil the threads retorqing procedure on the cylinder heads.

I set the intake lash tight (.009)

Also auxiliary circuits for the fuel pump and radiator fan.

Replace every fuel hose on the car as well.

Greg Gordons guide for the L Jet is a great tool to get your motor running in tip top shape.

Greg

1972 Berlina Vintage Racer, 1987 Milano Platinum (LeMons Car), 1982 GTV6 EP Race Car, 1974 GTV Vintage Race Car, 2012 VW GTI stage II, 1966 Corvette Coupe 327-350, 2007 Triumph T100 Bonneville. Dearly departed: 1971 Fiat 124 Spider, 1983 Saab 900 Turbo, 2004 Saab 9-3 Aero, 1995 BMW 540i Sport, 2014 Audi A4 (swamped)
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post #10 of 348 (permalink) Old 06-24-2010, 09:02 AM
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We just ran the "Capital Offense" LeMons race. The car was good, very forgiving and balanced. It was a very technical circuit with a lot of off camber turns, a 20 degree banked "Karousel", elevation changes etc. A good course for a nimble car. We had a motor performance issue toward the end were we would periodically start missing with a big heat load on the motor then clear up after a rest. Even so we did well, leading the race for a little while until one of our drivers spun and we lost 16 minutes or so in penalty time. Later a loose gas cap cost us 8 minutes as well. (Postscript, turned out we a bad ECU. It would begine to drop injection output when run all out for a few hours.)

We went onto a 6th place overall placing in a field of 86 cars. The top ten cars where all pretty fast and driven well. LeMons is going the way of a lot of racing, faster and more expensive.

Here is a clip of me in the car for the first time on Sunday. This was 30 minutes into a 2.5 hour stint and I was still working out how to drive this track.


Here is the my laps data.

MYLAPS

Scuderia Limoni had some bad luck, overheating the car and taking out the head gasket. Looked good out there for a while. We had to make do with some other Italian company, a Fiat X/19 and a Fiat 128 Sedan.

Greg

1972 Berlina Vintage Racer, 1987 Milano Platinum (LeMons Car), 1982 GTV6 EP Race Car, 1974 GTV Vintage Race Car, 2012 VW GTI stage II, 1966 Corvette Coupe 327-350, 2007 Triumph T100 Bonneville. Dearly departed: 1971 Fiat 124 Spider, 1983 Saab 900 Turbo, 2004 Saab 9-3 Aero, 1995 BMW 540i Sport, 2014 Audi A4 (swamped)

Last edited by GregSef; 12-30-2010 at 07:27 AM. Reason: added postcript
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post #11 of 348 (permalink) Old 07-01-2010, 12:29 PM
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We have run one Lemons, one Chump 24 hour at VIR, an alfa track weekend and now an East Coast Timing Association land speed record event with the Milano "Jay Lamm is not an engineer" special. We have had zero issues besides a little brake overheating and poor choice of pads in the first event.

As someone said before, change EVERY fuel hose. Take a good look at your engine and trans mounts and driveshaft couplings. For the rear engine mount, I found 2 washers that were the diameter of the mount, cut them in half, shaped to match the rod that goes thru the middle of the mount, drilled 2 6mm holes and bolted the pieces together to make a more solid piece. I put spider calipers on the rear. I use a trailer tail light for an oil pressure light.

Oh, the milano did 115mph in the standing mile, woulda been better if the roof was not cut off...


Al
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post #12 of 348 (permalink) Old 07-01-2010, 12:50 PM
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We have run a GTV6 in 2 Lemons events.

First event major problem; Clutch pivot ball inside the transaxle backed out and the slave cylinder spit out the piston. YOU MUST LOCKTITE THIS IN PLACE Took almost 2 hours in the pits. Most of the time lost to bleeding the slave after we rebuilt it in the dark and rain.

Second event Major Problem; Ruptured rusty clutch hydraulic line. Easy fix, still a ***** to bleed the thing effectively and quickly.

We do rebuild the front wheel bearings every time. Somebody just ran a Chump car event in a GTV6 without checking their wheel bearings...They DNF'd when the right front gave up.
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post #13 of 348 (permalink) Old 07-01-2010, 06:24 PM
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I am looking forward to running a GTV6 in LeMons !! Brian is going to help me figure out the tech stuff. Loved running Summit Point, only my second time on a race course, I think the LeMons will be a blast.
Can definately see ways to toughen a GTV6, God knows I've broken enough of them !!

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post #14 of 348 (permalink) Old 07-29-2010, 07:36 PM
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Quote:
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We do rebuild the front wheel bearings every time. Somebody just ran a Chump car event in a GTV6 without checking their wheel bearings...They DNF'd when the right front gave up.
That would be my car, but we *did* have the bearings checked and repacked prior to that event. We're re-building both fronts AND bringing a set of spare spindles with bearings to our next event (Gingerman).

I firmly believe it was the banking that caused the problem. I can guarantee since we will have a set of spares on the trailer that they won't fail again!
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post #15 of 348 (permalink) Old 07-30-2010, 07:59 AM
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Front Wheel Bearings

We just ran the LeMons New England event last weekend. We were running with our wolfpack of the infamous Milanos from New England, Scuderia Limoni and Scuderia Testa Di Spilla. Things werre going pretty well for us on Saturday until about 8:30 PM.

We had traded the lead back and forth with a BMW 5 series for the morning and afternoon and into the night. The other two Alfas were running well and right up there as well. Sometime about 8:00 PM the driver began reporting a noise that sounded like a pump cavitating, strange since really nothing can be heard above the engine. 20 minutes later an Idiot in an Audi hit the right front wheel hard and the right front wheel bearing came apart. The car went around 2-3 laps more with the wheel showing sparks and the driver alarmed at the lack of brake because the caliper piston was being knocked back.

He came in and we pulled the wheel to find the inner front wheel bearing in pieces and the seal was gone. The journal the seal seals on was a little damaged as well. A mad scramble began to find bearings and a seal for my spare hubs. After some time we did find bearings, but no seal. with only 15 minutes left in the session we packed it in. A fellow Alfisti Brian S. from Scuderia Limoni graciously stepped in and offered us a complete hub off of one of his parts cars back at his home and we all climbed into a car and picked it up. A long night it was for everyone. We were back in business on Sunday thanks to Brians generosity but were out of the top finishers.

I had examined and repacked the wheel bearings with a high quality disc brake grease one event previously and we had checked free play before this event.

So long story but the moral of the story is:

If you drive the wheels off the car or not:

1. Don't expect front wheel bearing to last beyond one or two or a season of racing, metal has a fatigue life as predictable as anything. Replace them they are cheap

2. Buy the best bearings you can lay your hands on. For me that means Timken domestic.

3. Use a racing synthetic wheel bearing grease. Kevin O from Scuderia Testa Di Spillo suggested and uses Amsoil racing wheel bearing grease.

4. Have a set of hubs with everything on them, rotors, bearings, seals, packed with grease and sealed up ready to go.

5. It can't hurt to get some air to the front brake rotors.

If I had known all this before last weekend we might have had a shot at an Alfa Overall win. With some good luck and fortune.

I will try to upload a photo of the brake duct we made. (edit, cut away the dust shield in a radius that is a little bigger than the cavity of the hub. Then bend the dust shield for a closer fit to the surface of the rotor)

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Cheers

Greg

1972 Berlina Vintage Racer, 1987 Milano Platinum (LeMons Car), 1982 GTV6 EP Race Car, 1974 GTV Vintage Race Car, 2012 VW GTI stage II, 1966 Corvette Coupe 327-350, 2007 Triumph T100 Bonneville. Dearly departed: 1971 Fiat 124 Spider, 1983 Saab 900 Turbo, 2004 Saab 9-3 Aero, 1995 BMW 540i Sport, 2014 Audi A4 (swamped)

Last edited by GregSef; 01-30-2012 at 05:49 AM.
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