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Discussion Starter #661
Yeah, that's a nice way to go, for sure. I had a truck camper, fully optioned with queen bed, sink, fridge, stove, shower/crapper, A/C, etc. But it introduced another layer of stress and headache that I didn't need.

I like to travel light, and am even considering downsizing my trailer to something much smaller, possibly an open Al thing. If I won the lotto, I'd rather arrive and drive with a concierge race prep service than drop a half-mill or more on a Renegade hauling rig.
 

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Discussion Starter #662
An excellent guide on how to completely blow a race by the third turn.

Final race of the season for my vintage racing club. After five years of car (and driver) development, I'm finally at the front of the grid. Problem is, my tires are done. Especially the front right. Observe:



P.S.: That was the penultimate race where I finished mid-pack. For the final run, I swapped the front tires from one side to the other, and took third.
 

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Discussion Starter #666
Hi Stoppie! Thanks for the Gulf colors analysis. My blue was a custom mix (by my wife and me in the kitchen) of two shades of blue boat paint. My orange was just randomly selected from the Ford palette of oranges, and I chose Tangerine. So it worked out. The colors do pop, and I haven't really had to touch up anything after 5 years. In fact, a rep from Griot's stopped by my pits last season to test out some new products on my car. He was kind of enough to later gift me a box full of cleaning agents and tools. Not bad for a DIY paint job.

I'll probably stick with Gulf for a while since I just painted my KTM in those colors, and am in the process of ordering custom Kangaroo race leathers in those colors, too. But yeah, I do like the idea of a JPS Duetto.

Anyway, not much going on in this off-season, I feel like I'm nearing a plateau in the build of this car. I'm also distracted by another recent fun car acquisition; a '91 BMW 325i, getting more and more modified as the winter drags on.

But I do have a couple of things for the race car waiting in the wings. Like this spare head. Doesn't look like anything unusual, but my head guy assures me that it's something special. Debating whether or not to install it just yet, or just wait till my current head is due for a rebuild. I guess I'll wait and see how fast everyone else is next season.
 

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Nice post number Nader (666)! Beezlebub's Alfa Head.

I'm working on a set of bodywork for one of my Ducatis that will be significantly less bold than the Gulf Racing scheme of your KTM. I had an "off" a couple of years ago at a trackday and decided to completely disassemble the bike and have the frame powdercoated a light gray with the faintest metallic flake, only visible up close in direct sunlight. This is a color that looks great with my gold Marvics and the three sets of bodywork I have now; stock red, black and gold JPS and full carbon fiber (unpainted), but it'll really pop with the set I'm working on now. It'll be something like the picture below, gray on gray with a red alcantara seat. I've considered Gulf colors for my dedicated trackday 900ss, but that's non-op right now, waiting for an engine rebuild.

My leathers are also much more subtle than Gulf Racing blue and orange...black and white Vansons. Who are you ordering your leathers from?

Anyway...thanks for the (non) update.
 

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Discussion Starter #668
So, it's race season again. I missed the season opener, but am signed up for another round at Spokane this weekend. Hopefully won't be arriving late, getting lost, sleeping in the truck in the casino parking lot, then camping out behind the porta-potties for lack of better paddock space, like I did last time.

I took the cover off the car, gave it fresh oil, water, and tires. Probably need to do the brake fluid, too. I drove the car out of the shed, up my front yard, and onto the driveway. But not before scraping the exhaust on the edge of the driveway after summiting my front yard's hill.

Exhaust note immediately changed for the louder, and I knew I knocked something loose down there. Nothing all winter, and now this just days before the race weekend.
 

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Discussion Starter #669 (Edited)
Serendipitous failure

At first glance, I had knocked the exhaust collector off the end of the header (must have sheared the 6mm attachment bolts), and bent/tore a couple of my home-made exhaust hangers.

Fearing that such a blow to the system was felt strongly by the fragile headers, I looked them over closely and discovered this older (because it's rusted) crack spiraling down one of the secondary pipes. It's gone completely around the circumference, so the pipe was mostly held together by the merger downstream. You can see the bluing of the neighboring pipe from the escaped hot exhaust gases. If I hadn't discovered this now, I'm sure it would eventually come apart at the track, far from home.
 

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Discussion Starter #670
Did my usual ugly-but-strong weld job on the crack, and didn't bother with grinding the ugly welds like I normally do. Shot it with some high-temp paint, repaired the busted hangers, and buttoned everything back up.

All done before the kid (the one whose impending birth I hurried against to paint the car, almost seven years ago... sniff) got back from karate lessons.

Some day, I'm going to clean up that steering box. It's been ugly like that from the start, when I got overspray all over it back when the car was a roller.
 

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Discussion Starter #671
Had a great time at the Spokane Festival of Speed. My brother was kind enough to fly up from LA to serve as my chief crewmember once again. I couldn't offer him decent lodgings; I got myself a new $70 tent and he was relegated to my old leaky $20 tent. But I kept him well-fed and that was probably enough.

I have a good time every time I come to Spokane. I really like the track, and the free Saturday night buffet at the nearby Indian casino that comes with the entry fees. Only problem is that it gets pretty hot, to the mid 90s. But tent camping and sleeping at the track is easy when the nighttime temperatures dip into the 50s.
 

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Discussion Starter #672 (Edited)
The Saturday practice and qualifying sessions in Spokane went well. I put down some pretty decent times that would have me gridded near the front.

My alternator light was on, but it was easy to ignore since I have it wired into the stock alternator light within the tachometer, which is pretty dim and hard to see. So I forgot about it, and went about my merry way until the car started cutting out at higher rpm's towards the end of the first race session. These cheap mini alternators don't last more than a couple of seasons for me.

So I cut the first race short that Saturday afternoon. I keep a spare alternator in my trailer for just these kinds of problems, but didn't have time to swap it in before the next race. Instead, I attached my trusty Honda generator's 12 V charging output on to the car's battery, and planned to run total loss electrical/ignition off of the battery for the final session of the day.

That plan was thwarted by several delays right before the scheduled race, which forced me to use what precious little amperage I had left in the battery to keep restarting the car. So I was unable to finish that final race on Saturday when the car started cutting out again with a couple laps to go. A shame, because I was really hustling and about to take first place.

Here is the main offender which my brother removed at the end of the race day.
 

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I didn't even have an alternator on my last club race car. Used to connect the battery to the charger the night before the meeting and never had any problems during the race day/weekend.

I suggest your battery is unfortunately now weak :(
Pete
 

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Discussion Starter #674
The truth about my electrical system is that I jinxed it.

By late Saturday morning, I had completed good runs for practice and then qualifying. I had cut the sessions a couple of laps short because I felt good about my speed on the sessions, wanted to save the car, and I had come up on lapped traffic that would've ruined my drive for the remaining laps. So, any potential electrical issues with a draining battery had not yet been encountered.

Back in the pits, I was shooting the bull with another Alfa driver and my brother (crew chief and designated team photographer). We were discussing electrical issues on other cars, and I started bragging about how that shouldn't be a problem with me, because I had done the wiring from scratch using marine grade wire (heavier gauge to avoid using relays), soldered terminals, heat shrink, dielectric grease, etc.

Conversation quieted down. We were all just sitting around, looking at each other, and my brother said something to the effect of "I'm bored, why don't you go out and break something?" He's kind of funny like that.

So sure enough, for the first full race, the car's ignition started breaking up at high RPMs as the battery ran down. So, my bragging about the electrical system jinxed myself. At least it gave my brother something to do when time came to replace the alternator at the end of the day.

The next day, the car was running great. My main competition, nay, my racing nemesis is that blue TR4. We had some really great, close racing. Like I mentioned, my brother is also a pretty decent photographer. Here's a picture:
 

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Discussion Starter #679
Thank you, Bianchi. You are the voice of reason and display excellent taste. The truth of the picture above is that I was gridded in the back after DNF'ing from the bad alternator, and for this session was slicing and dicing my way through English car traffic, on my way to face off against that blasted blue Triumph.

BTW, the blue Triumph and I are very, very closely matched (at the moment). He beat me in this race. The next one I led him until the penultimate lap when I missed a shift and he pounced, taking the win. I re-jetted for the heat and altitude for the final race, looking for any advantage because it was so close, and he didn't run it. It was my first race win, and a it felt very hollow.
 

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Discussion Starter #680
Once I got home from that weekend in Spokane, I quickly ordered another one of those cheap 50 Amp mini alternators to keep in reserve amongst my spares. To make it fit my application, one of the mounting lugs needs to be milled down a bit. Pay no attention to those brass knobs in the background.
 

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