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Glen's Blowup at Firebird


Spec944#74

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At the Saturday PCA event at Firebird east Norm Hamden was riding with me and we were chasing Glen Gormley (actually I was just trying to stay close enough to keep him in sight) in his old #44 car when Glen blew a rod right through the bottom of his motor heading in to turn 4. We were 4 or 5 car lengths behind him and it was like driving on ice while entering a fog bank and Norm and I went off-roading for a bit. There is plenty of runoff at Firebird but we managed to find a small gully and slide into it sideways while still going at a fairly good clip. I haven't had a chance to really check the suspension, but is doesn't look it hurt it too bad. Here is a link to a short video of the incident:

 

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JuyhAT5F7o8

 

When Glen got the car jacked up it the paddock you could literally see the end of the rod sticking through about a 2" crack in the bottom of the motor. We had been following him for three laps and the car wasn't smoking and gave no warning of any impending failure. By the way, the car is for sale and you could probably get it for a pretty good price right now, just make him an offer!

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That was good (if there ever was a "good" in all that).

 

Norm told me it was something to do with balance shaft housings rather than a rod. Maybe he was wrong.

 

BTW.... tip for all 944 spec racers.

 

NEVER DRIVE THE CAR WITHOUT THE OIL CAP IN PLACE... not me thankfully, but don't ask.

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I'm taking my car over to Keith's later today. Glen's car is there and I'll ask him what happened.

 

If he needs some spare balance shaft covers I can hook him up. Unfortunatly they are match set to the block, but maybe they can still work. I think it is just the sealing surface, but I am not sure.

 

My spare set came from a motor I blew up years ago. I am 90% sure I still have them and balance shafts from that engine.

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Yeah, it was me that left the oil cap off of my 1988, 944 street car, it was amazing to me that I did one short track session with NO oil coming out of the oil fill hole. On my way home (about 120 miles north of Phoenix) I was at 6000 rpms in 4th gear going up a steep incline when I felt the car loosing and gaining just a little bit of power, so I put in the clutch and the oil pressure dropped real low and it didn't idle to good, so I pulled off and noticed a deisel type of sound coming out of the motor and noticed the oil cap still laying in the engine compartment. I drove 40 more miles under 2000 rpm's were the noise wasn't to bad, but after the 40 miles, it was really loud. I drained the oil and stuck to the magnet on the drain plug was a lot of metal bits and peices. So, now I have two 944's in my garage with no motors, I am down to my trusty Suburban and 750 GS for transportation.

 

I did notice when tearing down my race motor that the balance shaft bearings were really worn looking, so I am replacing them. Glenn's motor has a hole in the balance shaft cover, I think it's just the balance shaft that broke the housing. We should know real soon on that.

 

BUT THINGS CAN ALWAYS BE WORSE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

 

ON A SAD AND SCAREY NOTE: I am sure by now you have all heard about the massacre at Virginia Tech in Blacksburg, VA. I am heading there tomorrow to visit my brother and his family, he has a heating and air conditioning business and does lots of work for Va Tech, this morning he was on the roof of the building were the massacre took place working on the HVAC, with the hi winds, he said that he heard popping sounds, but didn't know what it was until all the police cars came flying to the scene. On one side of the building they were demanding that he go to the other side of the building to come down, when he went over to the other side of the building more armed police demanded that he go over to the other side of the builiding to come down, so he was kind of stuck up there and not even knowing exactly what happened. Last I saw on CNN, 33 dead (mostly college age) which is the largest massacre in the US.

 

I am so sorry for the families that have lost loved ones and I am grateful that my brother wasn't in the middle of the gun fire.

 

Talk about putting things into perspective!!!!!!!!!!!

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Yep. Not much you can do when that close to an engine failure. You can try to get off that car's line, try to slow down some, or maybe even drive off track.

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I was following Yousko in Vegas when his engine let go and it was a scene out of Days of Thunder. Can't see, slippery as crap and hitting all sorts of engine parts makes for a scary few seconds that seem like an eternaty. We were all nose to tale to make it worse. It was amazing that there was very little carnage except for Pete's motor and some suspension damage on my car:shock:

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