Monthly Archives: May 2017

5/26/2017: Lift Purchase Recon

I’ve been eyeing up buying a lift for the second bay in my new garage for awhile now, and I’m getting close to making a decision and pulling the trigger on the purchase. I’ve been fighting between a 2-post and 4-post lift, and each have their pros and cons, so I asked other car club members on which one they would buy if they could only have one lift, and my conclusion is that a 4-post lift with sliding jacks are the way to go.

While this setup is the most expensive option, it provides the most versatility with the ability to be used as a storage\parking lift along with the option to be used as a working lift with the sliding jacks. My friends also have had good luck with the equipment from Greg Smith , so I will be looking to purchase from them, which includes free shipping to a shipping depot. I will take their free shipping option, and pick the equipment up at a depot which will save a lot of time and travel expenses (tolls and gas).

I need to figure out my schedule on when this purchase will best fit my calendar, so I can pick it up and assemble within a reasonable time frame. I will probably take a couple days off of work to get it done in a timely manner and limit my garage down time.

5/24/2017: Post Track Day Check

I had a little time yesterday to pull the wheels off of the Ricer and do a once over. I try to do a post track day inspection (I guess this goes back to my USAF Crew Chief days of doing post flight inspections) to make sure everything survived as expected, and it looks like the car did well with no issues.

I did pay attention to tire wear, and to my surprise, the inside portion of the front tire got the most wear. I was expecting to see more wear on the outside due to the pushing properties of front wheel drive. I may pull some camber out for the next track day to see if I can even out the contact patch.

The rear tires, which are pretty much along for the ride, looked pretty good on wear with the camber set to -2.2 degrees. I will leave the rear camber alone for now, and only tweak the front camber. I will post the camber readings pre and post adjustment when I get around to making the adjustment.

I am running Hawk Blue pads up front, and they did well with plenty of pad left for a couple more track days. The rotors also still look good, so they are good to go for now; however, I will buy an extra set of pads and front rotors to have handy for when they are needed.

I also reviewed my in car camera footage, and there were two items I noticed:

1. I could gain a few seconds on braking later before the turns. I’ll let myself slide a little on this one since this was my first outing in a couple years, but I bet I left 3-5 seconds on the track with the earlier braking.

2. I ran a lap time of 1:52 to 1:53 in the last session. This is pretty decent for the track, and I knocked about 6 seconds off from my first session.

5/23/2017: Things I Learned Today

1. The track day event I attended on Sunday was the most fun I had in the Ricer since I got the GSR engine installed. I’m looking forward to the next track day which will be a TrackDaze event on Summit Point Main Circuit. Summit Point Main is definitely geared towards the higher horse power cars due to the straights.

2. I got my torch setup completed, and it is working. The last piece was to get the correct size nipple\nut to connect the regulator to the bottle. I stopped by my local welding shop – Robert’s Oxygen, and they had the pieces for $9. I got a couple small items that I need to cut, so I will be able to provide updates once I’m done cutting.

3. I need to check over the Ricer to make sure everything survived the track day as expected and to think about any improvements that I can make.

5/22/2017: TrackDaze @ Shenadoah Circuit

It was a successful track day with the TrackDaze group at the Summit Point Shenandoah circuit. It was a well ran day, and the schedule was maintained through the day. It was helpful that there were no major issues on track, so each run group got their full track time. We had (4) 30 minutes sessions, so I got more tack time than any other event which I ran before.

Here is a two lap video:
5-21-17–Shenandoah Circuit

5/20/2017: HPDE Prep

I’m going to attend a TrackDaze track day tomorrow, so I finished up prepping the car and loading the truck for the day. The prep for the car is pretty straight forward, nd I would consider it common sense. I checked all of the fluids, brake rotors, brake pads (non-stock pads. You need to upgrade the pads for a full track day), and a general chassis look over to check all bolts are tight.

Since the Ricer is only used for track days and autocrossing, I know all of my fluids are good and not old\dirty. I took the car for a quick spin around the neighborhood, to get the engine up to temp, and ensured that there are no leaks that need attention. Once all of that was complete, I deemed the car ready for the day and got it loaded on the tow dolly.

Besides the car, I have a short check list for items that I need to take with me. This list includes a torque wrench, assortment of tools, extra fluids, Windex, paper towels, rags, gloves, jack, jack stands, fold up chair, helmet and extra clothes. That about sums it up, and everyone is different on their list, so make a list and add\subtract as needed.

I also carry a folder with the track day information packet. The TrackDaze packet includes the schedule, tech inspection form and guidelines. One item that changes between organizations is the requirement for long sleeve shirts while on track. TrackDaze and SCCA require long sleeve shirts, but other do not. Make sure you know the rules and bring appropriate clothes.

While most tracks have a cafeteria, I make a habit of taking food and snacks to get through the day. I also carry a bunch of water to stay hydrated through the day, especially on a hot day. Fortunately, tomorrow should be in the low 70s, so it should be a very pleasant day on and around the track.

I hope to post pictures and\or videos of the day on Monday.

5/18/2017: Things I Learned Today

1. I swapped the large Oxy\acetylene bottles for an 80\70 set up, so I will be able to get the gauges and torch connected in the next few days

2. I got a TrackDaze event coming up on Sunday at the Summit Point Shenandoah circuit. I did not make a track day last year, so it will be good to get back out on the track with the Ricer and knock off the rust. I hope to get a couple\few more trackdays in this year.

3. It got hot here. We will have three days in a row with 90* plus temperatures. While I don’t mind the heat, mid-May seems a little early to get the heat that meets the “heat wave” criteria.

5/13/2017: Things I Learned Today

1. After 22 years, I finally made it back to an In-N-Out burger joint. I got the #3 animal style with a strawberry shake. It was a very good meal, and look forward to going back again before 22 years click off again.

2. I went to a ham radio flea market, with my co-worker, and it was pretty neat to see some of the old gear in person. I did pick up a bag of, I’m guessing, 200 pieces of heat shrink for $2.00. It is a good size for car wiring, so it will go to good use.

3. I may need another Five Guys shake before bed.

4. I went on a four mile walk today, so that gives me permission to have two milk shakes in one day.

5/12/2017: Things I Learned Today

1. I must admit, the weather in the Bay area is dang nice, unfortunately, I’m not a fan of the state, so visiting is nice, but I look forward to heading home in a couple days.

2. I haven’t been to a Five Guys in a year or two, but the one by my hotel has milkshakes, and the peanut butter shake is fantastic – two thumbs up!

3. This has been a busy week, and I look forward to having a down day tomorrow, and I plan on sitting outside and reading for a little while.

4. I need to figure out what time the F1 race comes on TV on the West Coast. I guess I’ll try to watch it real time.

5/10/2017: Things I Learned Today

1. I still despise flying. There is just nothing “nice” about flying. The whole process of getting to the airport, getting through security (even though the TSA Precheck makes it much better), waiting for boarding, boarding, waiting to taxi, and many times, sitting on the plane on the tarmac waiting for permission to take off is nothing short of painful.

2. I do like Hyatt hotels, and I have had good luck in the different flavors of Hyatt hotels.

3. I’m on the West Coast, but once again, I’m keeping East Coast time, so I’m up early (local time) and get a nice walk in before the day starts. I just need to try to keep my dinners on the early side, so I can get my beauty sleep in.

5/03/2017: Things I Learned Today

1. This past Sunday, I helped a friend do some work on a 96 Honda Civic. I have a couple Honda cars at home, so I do get called to assist when work is needed, and I still appreciate how simple these cars are to work on. I like my Hondas.

2. I mowed my yard, a.k.a hay field, last night, and it was way overdue for the mowing. I use a plug in electric push mower, and it does a good job at mowing. The extension cord can be a little bit of an annoyance, but I don’t have to worry about the carb or keeping gas around. I do have a gas powered push mower that I need to get running. I’m leaning that the jet in the carb is clogged.

3. After mowing the grass, I swept the patio and there was a massive amount of tree pollen. After I was done sweeping, I think I had about one pound of pollen in my nose.

4. I got a set of Oxy\Acetylene tanks, for free, from my neighbor. They are huge tanks and I need to build a cart for them, so I will post pictures of the setup.