Topic: Month before race, whatcha workin on?

Interested to see what other struggles/scrambles teams are doing. 

We're prepping for Gingerman in a month, thought we had everything sorted, and on test drive the dang ole clutch pedal went right to the floor.  It weren't supposed to do that.   Throwout bearing done been throwed out too many times, and it caused quite stir with its neighbors in the bellhousing.

Anyway, if no responses I'll just assume you're all running at Penske/Ganaasi levels and we're the only hacks :-)

2021 Gingerman-I:  IOE (Strickland Propane), 2021 Gingerman-II:  Mid-pack...mission failed successfully
95 Chevy S-10

Re: Month before race, whatcha workin on?

Yeeeaaaah, riiiiight, that's us..., just like Penske and Ganassi, sure.

I can sympathize. At MSR a year ago, we did our "final" prep Sunday afternoon the weekend before the race, and while backing the Beetle out of the driveway for a last spin around the block before we put it on the trailer the throwout bearing threw itself out. Replaced clutch and throwout bearing/slave cylinder (all in one for VW/Audi 6 spd) with new spares we had on hand until 11pm. Tried to test drive it and found out that the throwout bearing wasn't a Beetle 6 spd throwout bearing/slave cylinder as the hydraulic line kept popping off the slave cylinder every time the clutch went in.  It looked identical but had a microscopically different attachment: VW/Audi apparently has 5 or 6 different ones for different cars. One of the very few times Rock Auto has disappointed me.  Had to order a replacement from Pelican Parts Monday morning, delivered to team member in Houston (on Wed) who met us at the track Thursday evening (after our 12 hour drive to the track) for the repeat R&R, but we got it done and slept in Friday am.  New Beetle transmission R&Rs are a huge PITA.

Can also tell you about a team I know running a Porsche 914 who needed a suspension part after practice day at Barber a few years back, found one in Atlanta (2 hours away) as the parts place was about to close for the weekend, paid for it over the phone and told the slightly disbelieving parts guy to leave it on the loading dock so they could pick it up when they arrived well after the shop closed. Made it back to Birmingham and got it in, started the race Sat am no sweat.

Just like Penske does it, right?

Here's hoping the radiator support bracket R&R this weekend goes well, as NCM is coming up in two weeks.  And we've got to get our tires mounted and balanced, too.

Re: Month before race, whatcha workin on?

We're changing front rotors, and adding an "inspection port" to our bell housing to keep tabs on the clutch wear.  An oil change, and some serious searching for a way to get engine noise out of our comms.
Nothing that's a "struggle" at this point.  But I'm sure we'll find some crisis a day before the race...

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Re: Month before race, whatcha workin on?

Wow Stan, that's quite the ordeal!
Squid, I think we have an inspection port already (you can tell I haven't used it)

This raises the Q for me, as we've only done 1 race and coming up on our 2nd... how many races/race miles are folks getting out of a clutch (standard, not a racing specific one...maybe a mistake?)

2021 Gingerman-I:  IOE (Strickland Propane), 2021 Gingerman-II:  Mid-pack...mission failed successfully
95 Chevy S-10

Re: Month before race, whatcha workin on?

I made the mistake of crawling under the car Sunday. Pro tip, never inspect your Lemons car. We are building a super cheaty splitter called the "Error Damn" cause it doesn't feel right to not do anything to the car. We changed to a full containment seat and are getting set up to do foam inserts for a couple of our drivers. Mainly I am counting safety gear and and debating about getting extra brake pads and trying to diagnose if the clunk that was heard while road driving the car was all of the jack stands and parts in the car or a sign of emmenint rear subframe failure. Oh I'm also some door bars into putting paint on the cage so we stop patina-ing the interior of the car. See you in South Haven!

Captain: Buzzoff Racing Suzuki Esteem (superbee) retired after Oct 19
Bmw 330Ci aka Experimento (mentos colored e46 reformed drift car)
We formerly apologize for _______________ and then _____________ and our driver did not have the line.

6 (edited by Bricoop 2021-09-14 02:23 PM)

Re: Month before race, whatcha workin on?

Put in a transmission last week. 
Tried to drive it last night.  Clutch doesn't work. 
Heading to Hawaii tomorrow.
I get back from Hawaii at 1am on the Friday of the race. 
Scramble Scramble Scramble.

Re: Month before race, whatcha workin on?

That_Noise_Is_Normal wrote:

We're prepping for Gingerman in a month, thought we had everything sorted, and on test drive the dang ole clutch pedal went right to the floor....

That happened to us on the Friday practice day before the Sat/Sun race at Thunderhill this year. Yikes! Had to drive 400+ miles to get one and install just before the green flag on Saturday. We managed to get 2nd in Class C.

Re: Month before race, whatcha workin on?

Bricoop wrote:

Put in a transmission last week. 
Tried to drive it last night.  Clutch doesn't work. 
Heading to Hawaii tomorrow.
I get back from Hawaii at 1am on the Friday of the race. 
Scramble Scramble Scramble.

Update-> Clutch still dont work. 
Bought a new master slave at 10:30pm from autozone.
Hydraulic line fitting changed.
F
Time to go on vacation and worry about this POS the entire time.
Aloha

Re: Month before race, whatcha workin on?

Oh man!   Well....how much do you have to shift?  :-)
At Gingerman you could ride in 4th the whole time, I mean if you were forced to, although not sure how it works with stopping for the safety guy before entering the track? (we discussed this, if we got into a push start scenario)

Can confirm on the "do not inspect your Lemons car" ......how many cracks is too many cracks in a bellhousing?

Enjoy the trip, car will be broken whether you worry about it or not!

2021 Gingerman-I:  IOE (Strickland Propane), 2021 Gingerman-II:  Mid-pack...mission failed successfully
95 Chevy S-10

10 (edited by Bricoop 2021-09-15 04:35 PM)

Re: Month before race, whatcha workin on?

That was our discussion last night.  Keep it in 4th all the way around. The clutch disengages just fine, it's the re-engagement that's the issue.  We also struggle to restart when hot.  Every stop at buttonwillow last year required a push start.  But not a single one at the next race in Sonoma required a bump, it appears to have rectified itself.

We believe we have a bad check valve in the master.  The clutch slowly returns from the floor.  We bench bled it a couple times.  We've driven it around the block.  When engaging the clutch, the slave moves just fine.  When the clutch is released it rises slowly.

Purchased another master and another hydraulic line, both from the same manufaturer.

Re: Month before race, whatcha workin on?

Sure sounds like Air in the system.
Clutch hydraulics can really be a pain in the posterior!
Master and slave can fail internally but my money would be its not bled completely.

The restart can be a lot of things but Battery and power connections are BIG possibilities.

Manny

Re: Month before race, whatcha workin on?

Thanks manny. We’ve bench bled the system 3 times. The clutch will build pressure just fine, which it couldn’t do before we bench bled it. We also found the clutch fluid to be cloudy black. We put a container of brake fluid through it to flush it out.

The manual says to disengage the clutch pedal during a transmission change to avoid potentially damaging the master. We did not do that and I believe the pedal may have been depressed at some point. Right now we’re the depressed ones wink

Re: Month before race, whatcha workin on?

"This raises the Q for me, as we've only done 1 race and coming up on our 2nd... how many races/race miles are folks getting out of a clutch (standard, not a racing specific one...maybe a mistake?)"

Heavy duty or race clutches are a good idea, but not necessarily essential.  Wear depends on a lot of variables, including how aggressive your drivers are with shifting. Our transmission is much happier with deliberate shifting, and third will play hard-to-get if you try to rush it, so we try to make all shifts quick and firm but not rushed.  We've also found that most of our drivers are just as fast around Barber with one downshift for a back corner, one upshift to 4th on the main straight, and driving the rest of the course in third gear. Greatly reducing the number of shifts (if your engine has reasonable torque) will mean a lot less wear on the clutch.

Back to your question, we've gotten as few as 9/10s of a race (eBay special "high-performance" clutch and probably poorly aligned during install for our first race) and as much as 6 races (clutch was still good; a driver money-shifted during race so we replaced clutch while engine & trans were out).  After several engine.trans.clutch R&Rs, we now kind of default to putting a new clutch in anytime the engine or tranny is pulled, because New Beetle clutch swap means pulling the tranny and it sure is a PITA (think Golf with even less room under the hood).

Re: Month before race, whatcha workin on?

Thanks Stan!
Our "home" track is Gingerman and similar deal I think except most the time you can run in 4th.  We got everything back together yesterday, runs and drives really well so far!   Everyone promises to be very nice to the clutch and also closely watch rpms.....that should go perfectly right?   :-)

2021 Gingerman-I:  IOE (Strickland Propane), 2021 Gingerman-II:  Mid-pack...mission failed successfully
95 Chevy S-10