SCCA Event 4/25/2010 Auto Cross Part III

So let’s get to my runs.  As I mentioned, there were 2 sets of runs, one for time and points and one for just time.  Each was five trips on the course.

One thing they have you do is of course walk the track which is to get you someone familiar with the corners.  I walked it twice.  Once on my own and once with the novice “coach”.

This is my second auto cross.  If you’ve been a constant reader you might recall that was on Jan 25 2010 and it was mainly corvettes. We rented the area and set up our course.  I did fairly well there for my first time.  But this course was different.  A lot tighter corners in a row and two sets of very tight slalom.  Nothing a vette couldn’t handle with the proper speed and a good surface..this was not a good surface, however.

My first run was a darn right awful.  I look like some crazed speed demon with a severe hatred for orange cones. I over drove every tight corner.  My second run wasn’t much better, I didn’t even hit the first corner and then a took a cone for a ride under the vette. 

So now I feeling like a knucklehead.  I had the oldest car there and maybe the one with the most torque, but certainly not the most horse power.  My third run was better and I took along one of the novice coaches but I still had a CD (course deviation) on the backside by missing the second slalom set of cones.  I dropped off the novice coach and my 4th and fifth runs were clean as far as CD’s go but I still got a cone on each run.

So here is how it end up in the first set of 5 runs.

 84 Chevy/Corvette BS
1. DNF
2. DNF
3. DNF
4. 56.355
5. 54.616

My next runs were much better.  I did have on CD and I did get a cone, but the times were getting better. The 5th run below I took a cone and spun on the back side of the course.

1. 51.643
2. 53.146
3. 52.622
4. 51.645
5. 54.188

So I ended the day with the following times and points.

PAX Time         Points

46.260              753
43.575                  796

PAX time is like a handicap in golf, it takes the class of your car and the skill level reduces your time to keep you somewhat competitive.

Not bad for my first real “formal” event.

By the end of the I was worn out.  That is a lot of driving, in the heat (ok..only 88 degree..little hotter on the course). 

The vette performed perfectly, no over heating issues (one of my biggest fears) and nothing broken, did have to rub out a few cone marks….but I showed them whose boss!!!!

You’ll notice a lack of pic or vids on this one, didn’t have my son along as a camera man, and when I wasn’t running they put you to work resetting cones.

If you want to see the scores go to and you can review the results.

Thanks for reading.


SCCA Event 4/25/2010 Auto Cross Part II

So the other cost I mentioned will be in the area of tires.

In this event I just ran with my street tires 255/50 ZR 16  BFG GForce Sport and stock rims (only chrome). There was a lot of tire spinning and some smoking.  The surface of the track was…well lets just say less the optimun..ok…fine…it was horrible.  (You could toss in a few cuss words in front of horrible and you wouldn’t be over dramatizing.)  It was black top, cracked, uneven and there was grass and weeds growing on the far end. The tires looked rough when I finished the 10 runs.  Too many more events (this was the second auto cross on these tires) and I think I’d have to replace them.

So that really means that to protect the street tires and the chrome rims, I really ought to have an other set of tires and rims.  Now you are talking money that many of us average guys aren’t going to spring for.  This is true for vette are not cheap for the older vettes. Not so for my co-worker running his Civic, they are reasonable. 

Take my C4  the tires and the Wheels are uni-directional.  Not unusual for tires, but my 1984 C4 rims only go one way and are labeled left front, right front and the same for the rear.  I do have the original set of rims that I will eventually restore to the factory aluminum and clear coat, but right now they would for auto crossing.  But the rubber can run upwards of $700.00 and if I put racing rubber on it, according to SCCA rules it will change my class.

The last cost is the “I broke it cost.”  They could be just about anything on a car that’s racing.  Anything mechanical, brakes (oh..they will wear out a lot faster in auto cross…or at least the way I do it!!!!), undercarriage,  right down to the dreaded “cone damage”. (yeah…yeah….I know you aren’t suppose to hit them…I know the object of the race..but man did I kill some of them ‘good’ doubt!!!)   I did no damage to the vette but I did see a Evo that took out a portion of his front air dam.

In fact the vette performed flawlessly, only problem was the driver.  I’ll get to that next blog.  You’ll laugh and I’ll give you my times and points and we’ll talk about PAX times and classes.

Thanks for reading.

SCCA Event 4/25/2010 Auto Cross Part I

The name of my blog includes “racing”.  This isn’t meant to be watching on TV and reporting back, it’s meant to be my events.  My blog title also includes  “Average” and includes budget as well.  (You might as well include ‘time’, as in average amount of time to spend on the hobby.) 

I just finished running a Sports Car Club of America (SCCA) event.  It was a blast!!  I’ll get to my times in a bit, but first, let’s talk about cost of this particular event. 

Straight up to join SCCA there is the yearly fee for the national membership and there is the fee for your regional membership. Total cost here was $80.00.   Now the events are not free.  In my regional club which run events in the Tucson areas and Phoenix as well, they have to offerings.  They have a round for points and time and they have the time only round.  There are separate prices for each. 

Today when I showed up (you can pre register and save ..I think…$10.00) filled out all the paper work and went to pay.  The fellow taking the money asked if I wanted “time only” and  I’m thinking…do I only want to be timed…so I said “No.” and he said “That will be $30.00.”  So I paid. 

Now I have co-worker who talked me into joining SCCA and he attends regular events at the local drag strip – the auto cross is held in the huge drag pit/parking area.   He cleared up my misunderstanding and said if I wanted the “full” experience I need to go back and say yes I wanted the ‘time-only’ round as well.  That cost me another $10.00. 

So putting this together we are at 120 big ones this month to race.  Not too bad, I’d have to say. 

There are more costs and I’ll get to that in next portion of this subject. 

SCCA Event 4/25/2010

Wrenchin’ Tip – Fuel Line Threads – Comment from A reader

I replaced all the fuel lines and brake lines on my 65 a few years ago, and I used this flaring tool and the thread seal that comes in a tube.  I have never had a leak, and I have never used the teflon tape.  You don’t need a real expensive flaring tool to work on these old Mustangs.

Flaring Tool


Soaring’s ride: 

1965 Mustang


Wrenchin’ Tip – Fuel Line Threads 4/24/2010

I’ve worked on the gas delivery systems in my Vette and Mustang.  This always involves removing  gas lines from the carb or throttle bodies and of course the possibility of leaks after re-installing them.  One of the last things you want is gas leaking here and there in your engine bay..NOT GOOD! 

 I’ve always used teflon tape to wrap the threads.

Teflon Tape on one of the Corvette's fuel lines.

 This helps seal the connection, and sometimes with older cars you need that was the threads aren’t bad enough to replace….errk…Getting new fittings and flaring the gas lines is sometimes necessary and can be a pain..but if threads are really worn, take the time to do that.  Yes..I know cutting the lines and get correct type hose and some clamps you’ll be fine…but it won’t look as good and since both of my car are trophy winners at car shows, I try to keep them looking professional.

Using the tape does have a of couple drawbacks.  It can form a lip around the gas line opening, partially blocking the flow. Additionally,  pieces can tear off during installation and get into the system.  So some companies offer a thread sealer in a tube, which is made of teflon in paste form.  I’m using that next time I have to go into the fuel systems.  I know that Permatex makes some (what don’t those people make!?!?!!?!).  They call it thread sealant and it comes in different “models” like High Performance and High Temperature.

Thanks for reading.

Hemmings Motor News: Chevrolet Impala Classified Listings

My very first car was a 1966 Chevy Impala that my Dad restored for me..(Thanks Dad).  I’m always looking for another.

Hemmings Motor News: Chevrolet Impala Classified Listings.

1970 Mustang – Update and Next Mini Project – Pillar Moldings

My '70 Stang

The last I blogged about my Mustang I had finished up the installation of the new dash pad and replaced all the bulbs and cleaned up a few years of dust.

If you recall (well you don’t have to,  just go back and read the posts) I talked about planning and how I could have saved time by waiting to put new dash pad on (not cap, pad) until the pillar molding came, but I decided not too.  The molding came in today….so out with the old….

Old cracked and broken

And in with the new:

Mustang Unlimited

I have pretty good luck with Mustang Unlimted’s parts and service. I recommend them.  (No I don’t get paid for plugs or compensated.)

These will have to be painted which is very common with interior parts.  I even had to paint the replacement arm rest.  I have the paint and I’ll post up the entire process.

I finally got the exhaust manifold taken care of (I didn’t do it). But apparent when I had the custom exhaust with hooker headers created and installed, they didn’t use locketight and they loosed up with the vibration of daily and drag strip racing. The right side had to be replaced and the left side was just tightened.  Oh she sounds so much better.

Thanks for reading.  I’ll get the pillar molding replacement pretty quick.


Auto Factoids for 4/18/2010

4/18/1955 Lincoln becomes a subdivision of Ford. 


Here are a couple that I did not know.

4/22/1954 – Hudson and Nash merge to form AMC.

4/23/1987 – Chrysler buys Lamborghini.

Thanks for reading.


Like and Don’t Like – Products (Tire Gel) and Tools (Thread Chasers)

I’ve been tied up the last couple days, with…CAR stuff…more vette drama…that’ll be coming up.

I’m sure most of us have products and tools we’ve tried and liked and some we tried and hated.

When you get a minute drop me a note with them and tell me why you liked or didn’t. 

Here are a couple of mine.

Eagle One makes some good products, but they also make Tire Detailer – Tire Shine Gel.  It says it last 2x longer than sprays.

Eagle One

Hey..that is true…100%, no lie, no bs.

Only problem is never dries.  And when you drive your car it will spread the entire length of your car.  It creates a huge mess.  It forms black greasy marks on your fenders, doors, quarter panels, bumpers…etc.  It make a huge mess on your wheels.  I have Center line wheels, with rivets and spinner. 

Mustangs Center Line Wheels

Every nook and cranny had this greasy black gel in it.  Every rivet, valve stem and outer rim. 

I know you are saying…”Well done put so much on.”  You might have a point.  But once you have it on..try getting it off.  I placed this on my Mustang 3 weeks ago.  In week two I was wiping down the car after every drive.  In week three, I washed the tires with orange cleaner.  And still today when I washed the Mustang, there were new streaks on the paint, bumper, wheel wells, side lights and outer rims.  I scrubbed the wheels with soap and wiped them down, but you can still see where the gel hangs on.

This product is for a trailer queen car, not one you drive to shows.  Avoid this product.

One reason I hadn’t made blog entry in past couple of days is because I was tuning up the 84 Vette.  All  that oil leaking fouled up the plugs.  Well as luck would have it, while replacing the plugs I had a plug break.  Just the porcelain.  This happens!!!!  So I stuck the spark plug socket back on what was left of the plug and removed it.  It did seem a bit hard to get out, but I didn’t think much about it at the time.

Errrkk……Stop me if you’ve heard this…this particular plug was in “the spot”.  You know what I mean.  The spot!!….The place you can’t reach..the place you have to turn around backward and place your hand facing palm up, bend down on one knee, tip your head up and lower your shoulder (WOW..that also sounds like my golf swing!!!!) to get to.  Of course you can’t tighten it that way, you have to get your 16″ ratchet extensions, with a swivel and a 2″ extension and under and round the AC hoses.  You know the spot!!! 

As I contorted my body to put the new one, I couldn’t get it to catch on the first thread.  No amount of bending, twisting or non-PC language, could get that in.  Now..comes the scary thought….striped thread.!!!!!!    If you have ever put a spark plug in and know what part of the car you are sticking it in….you are feeling my initial pain or panic or depression, actually all of them.  It could be a lot of work and $$$ to fix that right!  (Pulling heads, to heli coil it or re-tap it or buying a new head..set of heads.)

There on last hope:

Thread Chasers!!!!

Oh..yes…queque the super hero music!!!! These babies are life savers.

Briefly here is how this works.

Find the thread size for the spark plug you are having an issue with. (oh..these aren’t made just for spark plug.)  Center the chaser on hole as if you were putting the spark plug and turn it by hand.  In my case I as in the contorted position described above and turned it a tight as I could by hand.  After that I put together the extension, swivel (also call a universal) and extension.  I could feel the hesitation of the thread not wanting to catch, but then..success and the chaser run down the rest of the threads with easy.   Problem?  Most likely a burr or piece of thread from the old spark plug!!!

Bottom line…get yourself a set of these.  Snap-on has them.  the are called “Spark plug Hole Reconditioning Tool”  An old Snap_on number is TCS14ST. 

Send me your liked and disliked tools or products.

Thanks for reading.