Authorized Moss Dealer
2011 Vintage Race Season Blog
Tucker's Tool Box 2011
Well it's the beginning of a new season. After looking at my Elva in the shop, resting in her bay, I've finally started on her annual inspection. The big teams do this one or two weeks after the end of a season, I do it 2-3 months after a season as I don't have much testing and lobbying with the group I run with. Also my sponsor, me, has renegotiated for another season, although slightly abbreviated this year because of circumstances beyond my control, my daughter is getting married. So we will miss some middle of the season stuff so we can keep peace in he family, also we're not running for points.
As I began taking her apart, I'm also getting a plan together for what needs to be done. After the fire at Elkhart Lake, I've purchased a new fire bottle, cheaper than having the old one refilled, and hope we won't have to go through that drill again. Also new competition axles that I had made, the rear brakes have been sent out to a race brake specialist for relining, as there's nobody local anymore to do those kinds of services. I'm going to replace the flex brake lines with hard lines to eliminate the possibility of a rupture in the lines, no brakes is definitely a pucker up kind of feeling.
I did a leak down test on the engine and was pleasantly surprised by the results, very little leakage, so I can get away with a teardown, inspection, new rings, and a couple of replacement parts due to hours put on certain parts. Other than a major clean up, tidying up of a few areas, I should be ready to go. The trailer and truck should be in OK mode as I only put about 4,000 miles a year on them. Although we will buy better umbrellas this year as the old ones lasted about 2 years and weren't used that much.
I'm looking forward to getting behind the wheel and am keeping myself in shape. I'm going to start to bicycle ride with a couple of friends and hopefully get into Yoga for many of the right reasons. So far it looks like we're going to GingerMan in South Haven, MI. the last weekend of April, Grattan, MI. in August and Watkins Glen, NY in September if the price of gas stays below $4.00 a gallon. So there we are, an abbreviated schedule, but still fun and the thought of going to the Glen is a rush. See you on the grid somewhere.
Tucker's Tool Box
Race report from Grattan, Michigan
Lynne and I arrived Thursday afternoon, registered, got a decent paddock spot, and went through tech. Attended the drivers meeting 8:00 am Friday morning, got the car warmed up, torqued the wheels, set tire pressures and went out to practice. Everything seemed in order. Got down to a 141.6. Took a breather, rechecked and reset tire pressures, added fuel and went out in the 2nd practice. Kind of feeling my way around a got down under the 1:40 mark to a 139.6, fasted time for me at Grattan. Feeling better about the car and myself, I felt I could get another second or so off my lap times and that would put me in the top ten out of 27-28 cars.
Went out in the third session with the expectation of getting into the 1:38 second bracket, when on the second lap I began to feel a loss of power and then no oil pressure and the big red light came on confirming the fact. Arghhh! Coasted into the paddock got out and check under the hood. No oil leaks, full of oil on the dipstick, good oil and water temps and nothing in the puke tank. With the help of a couple fellow racers we pushed the car back to my trailer. I replayed the event and decided I had to find out what happened. Got the car jacked up, drained the oil, dropped the oil pan and pump. The pump looked clean, no metal chunks and the pump turned smoothly. I grabbed a pair of needle nose pliers and pushed the oil pump drive spindle back up into its position and it would turn freely. In other words no teeth or the little .07 key sheared off of the bronze drive gear holding it to the drive spindle. Unfortunately the big end of the rods where discolored and that was enough for me to say, ”we're done”. I will get the car out of the trailer, into my shop and remove the engine and find out exactly what happened and let everyone know what I find.
With this happening, I've decided not to go to the Glen as there's very little time to get this kind of work done in time and it's not going be cheap. Also I have to make sure as to what I do to make sure this never happens again. Everything that's happened to me over the last three seasons, has never been repeated and I think I'm getting close to finding out pretty much what can go wrong and I think this was a visit from Murphy and his cousin Agony. I mean one really needs Lady Luck on your side as well and she was out done this weekend. With my daughter's wedding interrupting the momentum I had going, I feel I've kind of had the wind knocked out of my sails, but I'm not a quitter and I will be back next year, even better.