|Written by Peter|
|Wednesday, 23 January 2008|
It was also a small get-together for the Northern Virginia Merkur Owner's Group (NOVAMOG)
I took the XR on track for my first experience in HPDE 3. In our region, HPDE 3 is the "fastest" of the HPDE groups. It proved to be an awesome experience. First off, cars that are suppose to be fast actually are. No more blowing by Z06 'Vetts without any problem. To pass Vetts, Porsches, etc, takes some real work.
During my second session of the day, I was pushing hard while following a fox body Mustang. Around turn 3, he dumped antifreeze on the track. Combining that with the fact that I didn't take the turn perfectly resulted in a very abrupt spin and a backwards slide into the sand trap. Fortunately I didn't hit anything, and the 911 Porsche right behind me that also hit the slick spot didn't hit me as he too came flying off the track. We both got back on track but the XR felt really loose. I took one more lap and decided something wasn't right so I pitted. The rear was super loose, so I jacked up the back and took a look, but all was well. So, out of procedure, I jacked up the front and to my surprise I had blown BOTH front shocks. The left shock had been going for a while and I knew this, but the right one was also trashed. I was sad, as I thought my weekend was over. Seriously, where am I going to get a set of front shocks for a XR4Ti at 4:00 on a Saturday?
In steps Dave Lockhart, fellow XR enthusiast who also tracks his XR4Ti. He was on site because he partook in the "Hyperdrives" of Hyperfest to shake down his car from a recent huge suspension upgrade project. So, I ask Dave, on the off chance, if he still had his old suspension parts. He did, but they were two hours away at his home in DC. I debated going to get them, but I wasn't up for 4 hours of driving after an already long day.
I checked a few other sources without success, and with that in mind, I set myself to the mode of packing up. Dave, however, did head home that night anyhow, and he called me that evening stating that the shocks are in his trunk and he'll meet me at the VA State Arboretum the next morning. I was still hesitant, until we figured out that what we thought were KYB's were actually Koni Yellows! Wow! I'd be nuts to not try this out! After all, my original shocks were Spax Sports, nonadjustable, and as blown as can be!
On to Sunday:
WHAT A GUY! He and his girlfriend made the 1.5 hour trip to the Arboretum and I made the 25 minute trip from the track, we rendezvoused, and I was headed back to the track to get the shocks installed. Previously that morning I had already disassembled my front suspensions, coilovers and all. All the pieces were lying out, ready to be put back in with the goal of making my first session at 10:20am. I arrive back to the track at 10:10, but am unable to get the shocks installed and the car on the ground until 10:40, 5 minutes before my session ended. So, I decided to just calm down and make sure all is tight, and go out for my final two sessions later that day.
The new shocks were awesome. Better than my originals and they already had some track events and several thousand miles on them. I tore up the track my final two sessions and had an awesome time.
Ended the weekend on a high note with my car in one piece, thanks to the awesome Merkur community and a very selfless friend, Dave Lockhart.
I didn't get many pictures this time. Too busy working and driving I guess. These pics came from Euroimage. These were taken during sessions 1 and 2 and you can see how wack my left front wheel is due to the blown shock...
|Last Updated ( Sunday, 03 February 2008 )|