Thrash week redux… American Iron Javelin update

After the track day at Infineon I had a list of items I need to address. So I dragged the car back to Joe’s and we started crossing things off the list. Here are the highlights –

– to try to address the oil leaks we pulled the intake bolts one by one, put a little silicone on them and then re-installed. Then we added a breather crossover tube which we hope is going to keep the oil from being able to get pushed out and pool on the intake manifold. The last oil control item was getting the valve cover gaskets to seal. the Edelbrock finned valve covers I’m using had a raised lip around the perimeter making a stepped gasket surface. Joe ground down the lip so we had a nice flat surface. hopefully with these three changes the oil leaks are gone or at least greatly reduced.

– the 3rd link upper mount was bottoming on the trunk floor. Joe trimmed away part of the mount. if it still hits I’m going to cut a hole in the trunk and make a “box” so the mount can come up into the trunk a bit.

– we didn’t get the driveshaft hoop perfectly centered on the driveshaft when we installed it. it’s a 1/2″ towards the drivers side and the driveshaft was rubbing on the bolts holding the upper hoop. we removed the bolts and just welded the upper hoop to the L-brackets.

– Joe lashed the valves. the rocker studs had all loosened up a bit so Joe re-torqued them down and then reset the lash to 12/12 cold.

– While we were messing around under the hood Joe noticed that the distributor was a little loose. you could grab the cap and rotate the upper part of the distributor back and forth maybe 1/16 to 1/8″. Joe disassembled the distributor and loctited the 4 screws that hold the upper part of the distributor to the shaft. This is a pertronix unit. if you have one definitely make sure you check that it hasn’t loosened up and fix it if it has.

– Joe fabbed me the nicest hood prop rod in the history of race cars. no more broom sticks for me! 🙂

– I put 1/2″ spacers on the front wheels to widen the track a bit and try to improve the turning radius.

– I added a shift light. at infineon I found myself not able to see the tach as readily as I would like. the shift light was easy to add and can be chipped to come on at whatever RPM to you want. while I was adding the shift light I re-routed the tach signal wire. I had it running with the battery cables and the tach movement was not smooth on the first shakedown run. I’m hoping moving it away from the battery cables solves that problem.

– I changed the master cutoff switch to a 4 post style. I bought a simple 2 post switch initially. first I had the alternator wire going to the solenoid but I was getting a little run on when I shut down. then I switch to the battery side of the master switch. this actually created a circuit through the alternator that drained the battery (the internal voltage regulator was drawing current). Joe figured this out when I went to start the car and the battery was dead. we disconnected the battery ground and put a test light in-line. the light lit so we knew we had a draw somewhere. disconnecting the alternator made the light go out. the 4 post switch has posts specifically to isolate an alternator.

– I was not able to heel-toe with our first accelerator pedal attempt. the problem was there were 2 pivot points, 1 for the pedal arm and 1 for the pedal pad. so we ditched the stock pedal pad and Joe fabbed a curved pedal and welded it right to the arm. we’ll have to see how it works at the track but I’m sure it’ll be an improvement.

– last thing I’m going to do is remove the plastic fan I’m using and replace with an electric fan. the car does not make any temperature. I was running a 3/4″ restrictor at Infineon. I’ve since changed over to a 180* high flow thermostat. problem is, as soon as the thermostat opens the fan pulls so much air that the temp just drops like a stone. the electric fan is going to be for the pits. it seems like I won’t need any fan when I’m running on track (we’ll have to see if that holds true at Buttonwillow in the summer). I think the aluminum radiator I have is just super efficient. I think I will have to tape up the radiator when running in any cool weather to get it to run 180*.

so that’s it. I’m signed up for a track day at Thunderhill on Jan. 23rd. if the car holds up and there are no new major issues that arise then the next track event should be a RACE! stay tuned…

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