cheap car racing

Update your progress on your various car projects.

Moderators: Basement Paul, MostMint, Fred32v, ttamrettus, wxo

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MostMint
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Re: cheap car racing

Postby MostMint » Fri Jun 01, 2018 11:52 pm

I was able to finish up the trans assembly and the engine/trans was installed last weekend of April.

The first test drive uncovered an issue with the car not idling once it warmed up. A quick adjustment up on the fuel pressure to match the old engine resolved this issue.

I then spent too much time trying to fabricate a splitter, but ultimately ran out of time to be ready for the track day on 5/31.

Test driving uncovered a problem with the engine dying out. Connecting the PC to the Megasquirt showed the engine temp was spiking - mostly when moving the car. Changed the sensor, no change. Was conemplating chasing the sensor wiring when I noticed the main ground wire to the block was loose.

Yesterday I took the car to Nelson Ledges for a track day. Tom took it out first and made it through the stint with no obvious issues. After an hour we put Jon in the car but he never made it on the track the car was smoking quite noticeably. We also noticed oil on the outside of the block in the back spent some time chasing that. Checking oil found it two quarts low! Retightened oil line, topped off the oil and wiped down the block. Sent John out for a lap and when he came back found it leaking again. Running engine with the oil filler cap off uncovered fair amount of blow by forcing oil out of the engine. The positive crankcase pressure is forcing oil out of the engine in several places.

Checking the plugs today uncovered #1 is black. #3 seems to be literally soaked with oil from the inside.

I'm guessing sticking or broken oil rings.
[quote="Basement Paul"]Is that a mint rocketship on the hood?? :shock:
-BP[/quote]

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Basement Paul
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Re: cheap car racing

Postby Basement Paul » Sun Jun 03, 2018 12:13 pm

Any chance during that first stint that it got real lean for any reason? Detonation certainly can damage rings / pistons. Hopefully it's very obvious what happened.

-BP

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MostMint
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Re: cheap car racing

Postby MostMint » Wed Jun 06, 2018 10:21 am

The track day sure uncovered a problem with the engine. In a 1-hour street drive and 20 minute stint on track the car drank two quarts of oil.

Knowing there was a problem with the engine, I ran a compression test and looked at the plugs. Plug #1 was black. Plug #2 and #4 looked normal. Plug #3 was soaked in oil. The plug well had oil in it I figure this was due to pressure in the crank forcing oil between valve cover and head. Compression was 175, 190, 225 and 195. Of course the oil in #3 was really helping compression. So I put it back together and idled it for 5 minutes to clean off the oil. Pulled #3 and it was oil soaked again. Repeated the procedure only this time put shop towel down the well to ensure no oil in that well before removing plug. Looking in the hole there was standing oil on the piston head. Not good. Also running the engine with the oil fill cap off showed serious blow by - enough that just 5 seconds running with my hand 3" above the hole provided me a fine coat of oil on my hand. Again not good.

Over the weekend Joey and Fred32v came over and we removed the engine and trans from the car. We also disassembled the engine. To my surprise we did not find any broken rings, but we did find standing oil on top of every piston and coating the combustion chamber part of the head. Quite honestly I am surprised it idled at all looking like that.

The engine had been bored .5mm over and honed. Michael matched the bores to the pistons. I'm using Sealed Power pistons (also .5mm oversize) and Hastings rings (.020 over).

I used engine break in oil for about 15 miles of easy driving per Michael.

I have never had an engine huff oil and have compression blowby like this before. We have missed something but what?

I was concerned the ring grooves and rings did not match causing too loose or binding of the rings - so I checked the ring groove width and ring clearance they are exactly the same as the piston/ring combo in the last engine.

I was concerned the bore material had changed from year to year in Saturn engines (Hastings used different material in 1991-1994 rings vs later model rings) so I checked the block and confirmed it was built in 1996

Ring end gap for top ring is like .023" not great but not a gaping hole either. This pretty much rules out rings for incorrect bore size.

I see some signs of ring seating but the cross hatch from the hone is still present so I doubt it was overdone.

Up next is who knows what?

My leading guess is these rings were not a good match for the piston/cylinder wall combo I have. I have a set of Mahle rings on order.

I'm hoping in the next couple days to find something definitive on this engine.
[quote="Basement Paul"]Is that a mint rocketship on the hood?? :shock:
-BP[/quote]

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TheRookie
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Re: cheap car racing

Postby TheRookie » Wed Jun 06, 2018 11:56 am

Any chance a bad PCV valve could cause that much blowby?

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Basement Paul
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Re: cheap car racing

Postby Basement Paul » Wed Jun 06, 2018 12:51 pm

Is that the repaired block?

-BP

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MostMint
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Re: cheap car racing

Postby MostMint » Wed Jun 06, 2018 1:46 pm

There is so much blow by it won't all fit through the PCV valve

we did not repair the block it had a big hole, we just replaced it. This block I bought with a bunch of Saturn parts maybe 5-6 years ago.
[quote="Basement Paul"]Is that a mint rocketship on the hood?? :shock:
-BP[/quote]

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MostMint
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Re: cheap car racing

Postby MostMint » Wed Jun 06, 2018 9:13 pm

After talking with tech support from Hastings it appears the problem is I put the second ring in upside down. This would be putting the dot down instead of up. I can't understand why I would put the down down, other than I read the instructions incorrectly or they were written incorrectly.
[quote="Basement Paul"]Is that a mint rocketship on the hood?? :shock:
-BP[/quote]

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Basement Paul
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Re: cheap car racing

Postby Basement Paul » Thu Jun 07, 2018 1:57 pm

Maybe you were reading it upside down. At least the question has been answered with certainty.

-BP

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MostMint
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Re: cheap car racing

Postby MostMint » Sun Jul 28, 2019 5:56 pm

Long time since I posted here. After fixing the engine the Saturn performed well at the 24 at Nelson in 2018 taking home an overall P3 and B class win.

After that there was work on the Vette.

Come April of this year work resumes in prep for Indy. Engine was apart and inspected. Did some work to improve the transmission while it was apart to replace leaking front seal. Got organized for Indy.

Then we raced at Indy and managed a B class win on Sunday.

We had several incidents that beat up the car pretty good but it finished. Racing at Nelson on September 7 so we have to get ready for that.

Pics are after the right rear has been largely fixed and the replacement panels fit well. Both headlight frames were broken so we put replacements on the car
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[quote="Basement Paul"]Is that a mint rocketship on the hood?? :shock:
-BP[/quote]

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MostMint
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Re: cheap car racing

Postby MostMint » Sun Aug 25, 2019 9:16 pm

Car got back together and put on track last Saturday. Uncovered a crack in the timing chain cover. Contemplating options - either pull it all apart and change the cover or weld it back together, or go with JB Weld
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[quote="Basement Paul"]Is that a mint rocketship on the hood?? :shock:
-BP[/quote]

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Fred32v
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Re: cheap car racing

Postby Fred32v » Sun Aug 25, 2019 11:12 pm

Track Day was a fun activity, several lapping sessions.
'Smoke joined 32V and the MintOne to party at Nelson Ledges.
We did run four different sets of tires on the front 6 laps at a time,
collecting secret data after each pit stop. Don't touch the removed lug nuts!
Discovered that oil leak.

DSCF9087.JPG
New front end
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New fenders, rocker & quarter

DSCF9090.JPG
Notice the fender flare
DSCF9093.JPG
MintOne with 'Smoke

DSCF9094.JPG
four front tire changes

Not quite sure why, but it was great fun!
Fred32v
GMC Canyon Crew Cab Short Box 4x4 V6!

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wxo
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Location: Raleigh, NC

Re: cheap car racing

Postby wxo » Mon Aug 26, 2019 7:50 am

I'm looking forward to my trip north to join you guys on 9/6. It's just around the corner. Sounds like the Mighty Saturn will be ready to rumble again. 8)

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MostMint
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Re: cheap car racing

Postby MostMint » Fri Sep 27, 2019 12:43 am

After Nelson there is of course more work to do on the car.

So far I have repaired the RF headlight headlight frame, RF fender and replaced the RF sidemarker. Also changed out the RF rotor and reattached the brake duct where it had separated.

Post race I noticed a lot of camber in the LF - it was at -6.7 degrees. It was set at -4.2 pre-race. Turns out the bolts holding the knuckle to the strut were tight but they were not holding. these were our original grade 8 bolts but not up to the task of 150 ft/lbs torque. The threads were wrecked which gave false torque readings and they were not holding properly. I have some 12.9 rated replacements which should be up to the task.

We had quite a bit of blow by which filled the quart overflow enough that it was leaking out after about 18 hours of the event. We drained it but it made an oily mess under the car. I cleaned the the parts of the engine compartment visible from the top.

The AFR gauge was not working most of the race. I've had enough of the Innovate Motorsport gauge I got an Autometer to replace it. Still need to install it.

There are other problems - like the trans is grinding going into 3rd and won't stay in 5th. LF rotor may be bad as well, will know that after a road test. I kind of want to fix most of the problems except the transmission before I put the car away in favor of working on the Corvette.
[quote="Basement Paul"]Is that a mint rocketship on the hood?? :shock:
-BP[/quote]

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MostMint
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Re: cheap car racing

Postby MostMint » Sat Sep 28, 2019 1:40 am

Today the LF was torqued down and I made some additional changes to the tune. The AFR gauge was cooperating so I did some work on idle and near idle, also testing out the new warm up enrichment configuration.

Kurt road tested the car and took it to Dragway 42 - which was extremely crowded and he only got in one pass. Brakes still pulsing so we need to replace the LF rotor too.
[quote="Basement Paul"]Is that a mint rocketship on the hood?? :shock:
-BP[/quote]

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TireSmoker
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Re: cheap car racing

Postby TireSmoker » Sat Sep 28, 2019 11:20 am

You cant leave us hanging like that.. good or bad, what was the number???


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