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First Races of 2005 - Jan PIR Report


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Jan 8th & 9th saw the return of racing for Arizona Region of 944-spec. The threat of rain seems to have scared off more than a few racers. For those that turned out the weather was great and so was the racing.


Saturday dawned dark and cold, but with no rain. Things began with a 1 hour long practice session at 8am. Pit lane construction for NASCAR Pits and heavy rains before the event left the track very dusty and slicker than snot. After taking 4-5 warm up laps the track got better. The hour session was nice to make some runs check on a few things and go back out. Times were good. Mid afternoon saw cloudy skys, but still no rain. Now the track had time to clean-up and rubber in bit speeds increased. 944-spec pole position was taken be Joe Paluch with 1:13.651 just off Glenn Gormely's track record set in November. Glenn running on fresh tires turn in very good 14.420 for second in 944-spec.


As race time dawn the 24 car run group saw Paluch in 9th and Gormely in 14th. As the green fell a mass of cars headed into turn one with cars 4-5 abreast. Paluch when side by side with a RX7 through turns 1-6 before the RX7 got loose in 6 shot accross the track one way and then back the other. Paluch got through cleanly just before the second crossing of the RX7 leaving Gormely to put the binders on hard. Good safe driving by Gormley prevented any contact. In the mayhem a Mini slipped by Paluch and Gormley dropped back. The next laps ensued with Paluch chasing the Mini in an attempt to pass and to put distance on black corvette. After a couple laps Paluch got a run on the mini going through the oval and used the momentum to make an outside pass down the straight and into turn one. Paluch was able to put distance on the mini and vette and held position to the end of the race.


Gormley did not fair as well in the race. A few laps in the engine began to lose power intermitently and he was forced to park the car and become a spectator. Fortuanlty the problem was traced to some issues in Air Flow Meter and repairs were completed that afternoon.


By the race end Paluch had won the class and set a new track record with a 1:13:308 bettering the mark set by Gormley at 1:13.566 in November. Dry and overcast condtions were perfect for grip and an extra few horsepower from the cool air. The small spec field allowed Gormley to capture 2nd place points athough the completetion of 5 lap and the NASA DNF rules gave him only 50 points.


Sunday the weather held out as well with clear skys and sunshine in the morning and a few clouds, but no rain at race time. Sunday also saw Jon Ariano join racing. The Gormley/Paluch battle returned for qualifying where they ran nose to tail for 5-6 laps. Paluch got the Pole with 1:13.375 lap with Gormley close behind with a 1:13.585 lap. The race began with smaller field that Saturday putting Paluch and Gormley side by side on row two. At the drop of the green Paluch tucked in behind the H1 CRX of Mike Browning and stayed tight to protect position and got jump on the overall second place qualfier. The number 1 Mini made great start and got a jump on Gormley, but by turn 7 the mini spun in a form reminicent of Saturday and the RX7. Paluch was clear of the incident, but quick thinking by Glenn Gormley was required to clear another first lap incident. This however left Paluch with a 2 second gap after lap one. Paluch then proceeded to lay down a series of 1:14.1xx laps and increased the gap to Gormley to a 5-6 seconds. Gormley running well worn tires after 5 or so laps found the tires going away from him and it became all he could do just to keep the car going. It looked as if Paluch would cruise to another 944-spec class win and 2nd overall. That was not to be however as on lap 12 exiting turn 9 the car seemed a bit off on power. The run down the straight confirmed it and Paluch was forced to pulll off and park the car after knocking sound was heard. Diagnosed as spun rod bearing, Paluch parked the car off track preventing a blown motor, but his race was done. Gormley then endured to the class win with Jon Ariano getting second in class. Fast lap for this race was set by Gormley with 1:14.093 with Paluch setting a 1:14.104.


Complete race, qualfying and Practice results are now avalible on mylaps.com http://www.mylaps.com/results/showevent.jsp?id=56494

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Thanks for the report, Joe. Sorry to hear about your engine.

Glenn's experience in the Sunday race just goes to show you that you should never give up until the checkered flag flies.....

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Thanks Tim,

Well that was on reason I keep on pushing hard. I never counted Glenn out for an instant. I knew I'd need to KEEP running solid laps to stay in front.


Too bad about the motor. Not really sure why it happend as I thought I did everything right. I will pull it and tear it down and maybe find something. When I do I will pass it on to the group as lesson in hope that other do NOT follow in my foot steps.



The biggest bummer is car was so perfect it was shame to have to stop.

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Too bad about the motor. Not really sure why it happend as I thought I did everything right. I will pull it and tear it down and maybe find something. When I do I will pass it on to the group as lesson in hope that other do NOT follow in my foot steps.


I would love to know Joe. I'm just about to put my car in to have them done. Don't want to run the same thing? It concerns me that we keep saying we need to do rod bearings as prevention, but most cars breaking down are the noes that have had work? Am I wrong or does that seem to be the case?



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Well here is the story.


The motor I had in the car was one I install in early november.


Back over the summer I got my hands on an 88 924S parts car off ebay. Local car went practically nothing. My 84 block was due for bearings so I pull it from my race car. Then since the 88 block came along... well might as well put the 88 motor in with 88 pistons.


I used the head off my race motor which orginally came from my 87 924S parts car and which had been cleaned and trued (never shaved) after my 87 924S motor bit the farm in Nov 2002.


So I did the main on rod bearings (standard size) on the 88 block, left the pistons and rings in place, and put the 87 924S head on it and cam.


I also installed a 951 oil cooler as well. I ran one day with dino oil and replaced with Amsoil 20w50 Series 2000 racing and had the oil pan baffled.


So all should have been fine.


Well off the bat I had a couple issues.

1) oil pressure gauge - I was using the stock one and it never quite seemed to give me solid readings. I chased it down, but it would 5 bar when the engine was running, 0 with key on, but not running and nothing in between. These things if the wires are off will read 5, but they will also do it with key on. Mine seems to ok with respect to this. Anyway given suspect gauge I was never quite sure what my pressure was.


2) The engine burned oil. Seems like there was bit of blowby and maybe rings were worn.


3) With the chipped 87 DME the car ran rich. Not quite sure how rich, but not some what. I never got the chance to dyno it and find out.


4) the motor ran cold. ie.. temps were down by the first white line on the early gauge. While air temps were always cool, I wonder If I ever got enough heat in the motor. I would run with fans off as turning them sent temps lower. I ran without and additional oil temp gauge.



... While I did lots right there were a few odd things that may have been problem. I never mic'ed the crank so I assumed stock bearings were right. Maybe not. I assume the engine made oil pressure, but could never be sure. While I kept oil topped off did got too much blowby from worn rings and cause a probelm.


As side note I believe my original 87 924S motor went in 2002 due to cracked oil pick-up tube. I notice I had the balance shafts mis timed and the tear down revealed broken pick-up tube. Also my 84 motor reviled a broken oil drain tube. This naturally did not cause a problem, but had that been the pick-up tube.... I believe the 84 block was always timed correctly.


So... that is the long complicated story.



PS... the 88 block felt no more powerfull than my 84 block. That was with the same head 87 924S head and cam with either the stock 88 DME or the chipped 87 DME.

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Thanks for the information. It is really of concern that a fresh engine would have these problems. One of the concerns I have about the external oil cooler is that, although it should not, with obstruction or some other problem, it might drop the pressure significantly. It is too bad that you don't have good pressure readings. One of the things I did early on (and am glad I did) is put mechanical oil and temp guages in. I took an old oil sender, cut it off and tapped a hole for the mechanical oil fitting, running a line up to the new guage. Since I still have the original guage, now not funtioning, I have intended to replace this fitting with a T that would allow both the factory sender and the line for redundancy. At Chris Cervelli's recommendation, I put a big braided line for the oil guage so that momentary dips from loss of oil would be seen. With too small a line or opening, the mechanical guage might not be able to react before the pressure returns. I don't remember where I tapped the temp sensor, I think from the factory block location, but I will have to go out and look.

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We have also noted a disturbing trend for 944 engines to spit out the #2 bearing soon after new bearings were installed. And this is on properly measured, polished crankshafts with the right bearings installed. Even on the crossdrilled cranks we do this. I have a policy that a minimum of 500 break in miles are needed before hard track use. It sounds like Joe used a factory 951 cooler set-up? If so the 951 has exactly the same oil pump as a N/A car, and the pressure drop is the same or slightly better than the very restrictive factory oil/water cooling system. I wonder if the water temp wasn't registering for another reason? Greg F.

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Easy, I just install the plate from one of the many street legal cars in my area and drive it up to Snoqualmie pass and back. ( don't forget ear plugs . I have also run one on a dyno with light load for 30-40 minutes, made 2 hard pulls and the customer went racing. We dissasembled his motor in December for an over rev and found the bearings were in great shape with about 15 hours of racing on them. Greg

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