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VIR 11/4/2004 PDF Print E-mail
Written by Peter   
Monday, 04 February 2008
The G&W Fall Fling

This was my first event actually driving the XR! This event was hosted at the beautiful Virginia International Raceway near Danville, VA, by G&W Motorsports, and partially sponsored by CDOC. It was a great event, and has now become our final event of the season. It's a great way to end! We arrived Friday night, drove all day Saturday, attended an awesome banquet Saturday night, drove most of the day Sunday, and returned home on Sunday evening. I went with my buddy Chad. We pulled his 2000 Mustang GT with my truck, that way we had a trailer just in case the XR couldn't make it home.

I got the car back one week, and took it on track the next! Not the wisest thing to do, but I didn't' push it too hard. I knew better than to push it hard. I did, however, want to see how the car would respond to more stress than driving on the street would provide, and I found out!

I had driven the car 600 miles without too many problems, but this was street, interstate, and in town driving. Putting it on the track pointed out some weak points!

My first three laps went fine. I couldn't floor the car, and I was only running 7psi, but it was still pretty quick. I got to pass some cars too! However, after three laps, something felt strange, and the car was bucking more than it had been. I drove one more lap, and it felt like I had lost a cylinder. I knew the feeling of when spark plug cables die, or when the TFI dies, but I was amazed that such thing would happen on such a fresh engine. IRregardless, I checked the fuel pressure and nothing had changed, so I went to the auto parts store and picked up a TFI. That didn't help anything, so I decided to check out the plugs. When we pulled the wire for plug # 2, it broke in half!
It turns out that the gasket had blown between my header and the external wastegate, and the hot air basically cut through the spark plug wire. This would explain the ignition problem!

We replaced the gasket, and the wire, and the car was off and running again! It was running better this time too, because it had a gasket and wasn't leaking exhaust. I got it to 115 on the front straight and everything felt pretty solid. Then, three laps later, the engine started missing again, and it felt like I lost ignition. So, I pulled in, popped the hood, and was surprised to see a small fire from another burnt sparkplug wire! The fire was easy to put out, and I decided it was time to reengineer the wastegate system.

I didn't drive on Sunday, it just wasn't safe or fair to the car. I did get a day's credit though for next year, so I'll be back!

Overall, it was a great event to feel out part of the car. Now, I'm going to change the plumbing of the wastegate (check out the Projects page soon!) to get it away from all the heat.

 

  

  

 

 

 

 

 
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