While we have a 4 week, mid-season break it is now time to do the preventive maintanence on the racecar. There are six races left in the 2011 season. It is only three weekends of racing left.
September 3 & 4th at NJMP (Lightening) then October 1 and 2nd at Pocono on the 1.5 mile "Sweeper" layout and the final race of the season will be at the Shenandoah circuit on October 22 and 23rd. I do not know which of the four layouts will be used, as soon as I know, I will post it here. It may be a good idea to let John Heckman know what your favorite layout there is.
OK, lets get busy on the racecar, first change out the brake fluid, for whatever reason the brake fluid attracks water and water in the brake fluid will result in a long and spongy brake feel. If you have about ten or so races on the tranny fluid you should change it. If you are running a Hewland tranny it should have a small drain plug in the second from the rear casing. The manuel calls for a single quart of gear oil, if you are like so many others with the Hewland trans you know it leaks out of the shifter rod, if you do not catch the leaking fluid, you will not know how low the gear oil gets and the gear oil is all that keeps the gears from overheating and hurting itself. Catch the dripping and return it to the gearbox.
If you are running a Banshee, that gear box takes two and a half quarts while the manuel calls for three quarts, I have found that the high speed and the high rate of expansion, it is best to run the two and a half quarts.
If you have been doing the right thing and keeping a record of your engines compression and it is now getting lower, it is time to do a valve job. Due to the FRCCA regulation for keeping the engine at the
"Blueprint" stage, any good machine shop can do a valve job. If you have any problems locating the Valve springs or gaskets contact Formula Haus as they stock those items.
If you have a list of items you want to change, now is the time to get at least one of them done, move an instrument, add an oil temp gauge, pour a seat, move a pedal or shift lever location, get a different steering wheel. Do not let "Murphy" get ahead of you, stay on top of the racecar, if you have a problem you could lose two races in one weekend. Due to the economy, the FRCCA host two races per weekend and while it saves travel expense it makes for a short season, only seven weekends out of fifty-two, it is a long time between events and the season seems to be done before you get worn-out. Talking about worn-out if the tire you bought at the beginning of this sesson showing signs of not making it to the end of the season it is time to make sure the wheel alignment is correct, I have found that if it takes any kind of effort to push the racecar you have something wrong. These racecars do not have horsepower, they need to roll easily. Recall that at Indy they found that if the wheel alignment is out by two millimeter (About .080) at two hundred miles an hour you will lose four miles per hour, so with us just one millimeter will cost us 2 miles per hour, why give it away? While checking the alignment understand that your power does not compare with the strain the racecar puts on the parts, so if you can feel any play the racecar will make it much loser. Also, if the tire that is not used as much at this track has a higher tempurature I would think it is scrubbing too much, stealing speed and making racing fast more difficuilt.