Monday, June 15, 2009


This is the hottest June Austin has seen in a while. We've already had several days over 100 F. Race events are sparsely attended in this sort of weather. On a day when it's 100 ambient, it's easily 120 F in the cockpit. You consume water at furious rate. The rule is if you are not pissing every 45 minutes, you're not drinking enough.

I had to install a transmission cooler to cope with the heat. The car was just overheating too fast on short tracks. I was short shifting a bit to allow for full sessions, but that's a fool's way to do.

I got the cooler plumbed in behind the driver's side rear brake duct, along with the pump that drives it and the switch in the cockpit that I use to turn it on and off. As with the oil cooler install, I covered the braided steel hoses with heater hose and zip ties to keep it from rubbing anything. It makes it a bit harder to fill the car up with transmission fluid, but overall it's a good sacrifice.

It's noisy. With the pump on, there's a constant drone coming from behind the driver. I don't care.

I took the car out to Harris Hill Road to test. Bo and Kevin were gracious enough to let me come out and test on their track. I ran for 25 minutes, and the trans didn't overheat. The car was overheating the coolant, but the trans and oil stayed within normal parameters. I used my coolshirt and it was still a struggle to run for 25 minutes in that heat.

I need to get more heat tolerant. Exercise is the answer, but I need to find time to do that, and find something that does not injure my knee further. It puffed up again on Monday, proving that it's not right just yet.

So, the most counter-intuitive thing to do for a hot summer would be to get a forced induction car. So I did. I'm now the proud owner of a 1993 Dodge Stealth RT/TT. Yep, twin turbo baby! It was inexpensive and now I can make the Z into a full race vehicle. The Stealth will be my daily driver and also a platform for Sheri to learn a manual trans again. I really like this car, and it gave me another thing to tinker with. Very fun.


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