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Discussion Starter #461
As a photographer, my bro set himself up inside the Pacific Raceways International (PRI) track overlooking the more scenic backside. This shot shows some of the elevation changes through the T3 complex.
 

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Discussion Starter #462
A better layout for the photos: This sequence shows the descent into and through the T3 complex. I'm with the big bore cars because this was a Test-N-Tune. It was partly sunny that Friday, and of course it rained buckets for the actual races over the weekend.
 

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Discussion Starter #464
It's about dang time...

As I've alluded to before, I did all of my fabricating within the tight and gloomy confines of my unfinished single car garage. It didn't get really bad until I stuffed a storage lift in it. Then I had trouble accessing a number of my tools and metal stock that were situated on a separate workbench that was essentially blocked by the cumbersome lift.

So for the last few weeks, I've been building up a small shed to relocate my machine tools, metal stock, cabinets, etc. Though I haven't really gained any square footage of work space, I now have easy access to everything I need to use. And my garage is much, much cleaner. That's appreciated by the wife who had to squeeze between me and my workbench and the lift to get to the washer and dryer in the corner of the garage. It's an exciting time in the Nader household. For Nader, anyway.

Here's a few pics, before and after:
 

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Discussion Starter #465
This bench has its ups and downs...

Check out this Lista Align workbench. I bought it used (no way I could afford one new), and it was a big splurge for me. It's over 500 lbs, empty. It's motorized for adjustable height, has a 1000 lb. capacity, and the 1/4" pegboard is about 14 gauge steel.

Here it is at its lowest and highest. Playing with this was fun. I'm waiting for the right time to see if I can corner the wife in there when she's frisky.
 

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Discussion Starter #466
Our club's next race is in Spokane, which I can't attend because of work scheduling. A shame, because it's a fun track in a dry climate. Racing motorcycles there, I have had to dodge tumbleweeds on occasion. I always have a good time when I go out there. It's never once rained on me in Spokane.

But the next race after that is the big three day Historics event over the Fourth of July, which I will attend. That gives me about a month to prepare. The only real project I have ahead of me is to swap out the rear differential for a shorter unit. I'm nowhere near the redline at the end of the straight with my current 4.10 differential. Oh, and my little racing mini alternator died. I completed the last race on battery power alone. I'll replace it with another mini Denso. They are cheap at $75.

I got our club magazine in the mail today. What a nice surprise! How come no one told me my cage was so tall?
 

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Discussion Starter #468
Swapped out the 4.1 differential with a 4.56. My bro helped me with that at the track the afternoon before the big Historics races this weekend. Old axle has the overspray from the original paint job.

So, it worked out great; I dropped two seconds from my lap times. Problem is, the car is now running hot. Over 200°F. I need to figure that out before the next race.
 

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Discussion Starter #469
So, yeah, the car was running hot. Not sure if that's because I'm spending more time at higher rpm's because of the shorter differential, or if I'm making more power because I installed bigger chokes and jets, or if it was just the first time I had to run this configuration in warmer weather. Maybe a combination of all of the above. Hopefully not a mechanical issue.

My first step in investigating the problem was to look at the thermostat, and make sure it was functioning properly. For the last three or four years, I had assumed that the thermostat was functional. In fact, I don't recall buying a new one or messing with it after the engine was installed.

So I opened the thermostat housing, and this is what I saw. Keep in mind, there is a radiator bypass hose still in place. I hope this is the answer to the trouble.
 

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Discussion Starter #470
I've been racing for a few years now, without a thermostat. That wouldn't have been a problem, if the radiator bypass hose were plugged, but this one is wide-open. So all this time, a decent percentage of the circulating coolant never made it through the radiator. I had upgraded my stock radiator core during the original engine build, but after a few track sessions, I bought a larger aluminum radiator when I felt like the engine was running a bit warm. Whom can you blame when you are your own mechanic?

I could've easily bought a new thermostat to fix this problem, but I decided to make more work for myself by plugging the bypass hose outlets with some aluminum plugs I machined. It was a loose coolant hose that blew out and burned up the head at Road America, so the fewer hoses, the better. Also, I would like a cleaner engine bay with one less hose. I figure I don't need the coolant bypass circuit for warm-up, since there is no fan against the radiator. As long as the car is stationary while running in the paddock and pre-grid, the radiator isn't really functioning. If it doesn't get to temperature and maintain it properly, then I'll just punt and get a thermostat.
 

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Discussion Starter #471
In other news, I just got this from eBay. I'm showing it off here because I consider it a shop tool. It's a Proton 320 clock radio. I was a kid in the 80s when I first saw these in a high-end catalog. They were $100 in 1982. Crazy money back then for a clock radio, and completely unreasonable for a punk kid like me. I've been wanting one off and on (whenever I'm reminded of it) for the last 30 years.

So what does this do that my previous shop radio couldn't? It tells time, and reliably picks up KEXP.
 

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Hate to see your great thread veer off toward clock radios, but I do have to tell you that I'm still using a cousin to your radio (Nakamichi) that I bought in the '80s for, if I recall correctly, around $130. Great sound and it looks very similar to your Proton. A little research on Google reveals that both were manufactured in Taiwan by the same company. When you use a clock radio as an alarm, you really do need to wake up to good sound quality. That scratchy, hollow tone you get from the cheapies (most come with ugly red glowing dials) is too much of an assault on the senses that early in the day. The nice thing about my Nakamichi cousin is that it allows me to preset five or six stations, an improvement over the Proton. Otherwise (according to the stuff I read on the net), the two radios compare favorably with each other.

Now back to race cars. Good work on the diagnosis of your heating issue. Hope it is fixed.
 

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Discussion Starter #473
Stupid clock radio burned out the illumination light for the radio. Turns out it's a common problem on these Protons. So now I'm searching eBay for grain of wheat green-tinted bulbs. Sigh.

In other news, I'm on a more serious weight reduction plan for the car. While swapping out the differential, I chose not to transfer over the parking brake mechanism (it was a pain and we were pressed for time). Between the hand brake lever, the thick cable, and the shoes, there must be at least 10 pounds of weight that I ditched.

Then I looked at the stock passenger seat that I've been lugging around in the car. It looks good, but the head rest this acting like an airbrake and is also in my small field of view in that periscope mirror.

Our rules dictate that you have to have a passenger seat, and if it is not stock, it must resemble the drivers race seat. I think I could get by with a lighter seat that looks like something in between the heavy stock seat and my modern OMP fiberglass unit with side head restraints.

So I bought it this Kirkey vintage style aluminum seat. There is an optional padded vinyl seat cover that I still need to get.
 

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Discussion Starter #474
After removing the stock seat, I weighed it with its tracks. 32 pounds. This Kirkey seat weighs 9 pounds. To install it, I need to make brackets that fit the stock hard points.

I was going to use 1/4" thick 6061 aluminum plate, but then found a nice sheet of 5/32" Alcoa 7075 from my stockpile of Boeing surplus aluminum sheets. Back when I started building this race car project, the Boeing surplus outlet was still open to the public. I knew that I would need some sheet stock, but it was so early in the project, I wasn't sure what I would really need. I bought a bunch of sheets of various dimensions, but if I knew then what I know now, I would've bought a lot more, including more of their amazing tools. Woulda coulda shoulda.

Yes, my tiny shed is so cramped, that projects spill over into the patio. I'm liking that portable folding shop table for this kind of work.
 

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Discussion Starter #475
Brackets in situ. They don't need to be too stout, since the seat will likely never carry anyone.
 

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Discussion Starter #476
And here it is mounted. I already ordered the padded vinyl cover, still waiting for it.

Like I said, the seat will likely never carry anyone. As such, you may consider it a vestigial seat. If I were more cynical, jaded, or just realistic, I'd call it a prop. If I were smarter, I would've just left the stock seat in place and saved myself a few hundred bucks. But the development of this car, it's modifications and whatnot, are a pleasure to me. Gotta keep the fire lit.
 

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What's all this talk of Aluminium??
Seats, plugs for water pumps, I bet your not even saying it right :)
Where's the Titanium fer crying out loud!!

(Which reminds me, sorry I will go to the post office monday)
 

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Discussion Starter #478
Thanks, Craig. You've opened a segue to a new fascination of mine. I've been diverting some of my titanium fabrication materials and energy to my newest project: A KTM 525 SMR.

It's a purpose-built racebike (its prior life was an AMA Pro Supermoto racebike seven or eight years ago) that somehow got registered for the street. I'm new to supermoto, and I wish I would have discovered it years ago; it's a revelation. Has the power to weight ratio of my Ducati 748S, but doesn't torture you to ride it (as long as you can stand the vibrations). Problem is, the prior owner didn't show it much love and I've had to do some unexpected sorting.

The clutch bleeder is mangled, is an odd size that no one but KTM supplies, and it costs $32. I said screw that, and made one out of Ti. Also a brake pad retaining pin was mangled and needed replacing (in Ti, with knurling).
 

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*L* Good job!

Do you do commissions ?
I don't know what it is, but i need something made out of Titanium for my Duetto too. :)
 

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Discussion Starter #480
Craig, I think I have something in mind for you.

Back on topic.

I got the vinyl cover for the new passenger seat. Looks vintage-y. As a finished project, I'm satisfied. The new seat is 20 lbs. lighter, sits nice and low, is out of the wind and out of my little rear view mirror. I'm sure that previous headrest was an air brake costing me a few m.p.h. at the end of the straights.
 

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