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Anyone here? Any details on the car and how you did? Cougar with unknown donor front cover, pistons on the roof, and nearly enough spoilers from the few pictures I have seen of it, with "phuckoff" plates :)
 

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Yeah that was me, just got back. The car was ridiculously fast in the straights, but we haven't spent any money on tires so we couldn't keep up in the corners. Also, because of the combination of those 2 things, our brakes were not up to the task. We were running the twin piston PBRs up front and stock discs in the rear, but on the straight we were taching out 4th gear which translates to 139mph! Then due to our crappy dry-rotted tires, we would have to slow down to about 45-50 for that first turn. We overheated the brakes so bad that it somehow welded the bakolite caliper pistons to the metal pad! After that, we put on new pads in the rear and new rotors, pads, and calipers in the front, and after only an hour on the track, we had already burned away the rubber boots on the calipers, so for today we had to back off and limit ourselves to 120mph on the straights just to keep the brakes alive! If you look at that last pic on the front of the hood we welded the destroyed pads. We have a running theme of adding the destroyed parts onto the car in some fashion, so this year we got a brake pad hood ornament! The pistons are from last year that the capitol offense where we won most heroic fix. What happened there is we spun the #7&8 rod bearings, and nobody had another small block ford motor that they were willing to sell, so we took it all apart, found the problem and that the crank was shot, so we came up with the idea of welding shut the oil holes for those 2 pistons, rebuilding the engine less 2 cylinders, and we ran it as a 6-cylinder, and put the 2 pistons on the roof. Also if you look closely on the antenna in both pics you can see the heater hose that we blew the first year. Our next race is Summit Point in WV in June, and the plan now is to spend some money on a hubswap, 13" cobra brakes, and 17" wheels with some wide sticky tires. Summit point is a slower track than this one (we were only hitting 115 last year) but if we could have kept up through the turns we would have been doing pretty good. As it is, with horrible tires and brakes that weren't up to the task, our best lap time was 1:27 compared to a 1:23 fastest lap time by anyone there, so like I said, if we could have stopped and turned as well, we would have done much better.

As for the details on the car now, it is an 89 cougar XR7 running stock sway bars and SC springs with 1.5 coils cut off all 4 springs. Like I said, we were running the twin piston PBRs but they failed miserably so we'll be going to cobra brakes for the next race. The motor is a 5.0 out of an explorer. The last 2 years we were running carburated, which sucked, so this year with the explorer as a donor, we ran EFI and OBD2. The sheet metal cowl hood was necessary to cover the hole left from the old air filter sticking out the hood, as well as to allow clearance for the explorer intake manifold. We have the quarterhorse for our own cars, so we reprogrammed the ECM to eliminate all the auto trans functions, raised the timing curves, and raised the rev limiter to 6K. The trans is an M5R2, and we're running a 3.27TL rear. The spoilers is another tradition we have where after every race we go around to any cars that people have abandoned and steal a spoiler off it and try to find somewhere on the car to attach it. The front bumper cover is actually off a GT500 mustang, hence the GT499 3/4 on top of the windshield. The story behind that is one of the team members has a friend who had the GT500, and someone backed into the car and put a 1" long gouge in the bumper, and he insisted it get replaced instead of repaired, so my friend grabbed the old bumper, put that sticker over top of the gouged spot, then took a ton of zip ties, and attached it to the front of our car, since our original bumper had gotten ripped off in the first race. If you look in the first pic, that chin spoiler thing is actually the top of the stock cougar bumper cut right above the body molding, then zip tied to the GT500 bumper. We had it on this year too when the race started, but one of the guys lost it and went into the dirt then hit a guard rail (see damage on left fender) and it got ripped off. We did get it back at the end of the race though, so we'll zip tie it on again for June.
 

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Any more info on the event at summit point? I would like to come up and check it out.
 

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That sounds like you had a BLAST!!! Wish I could get in on something like that.

And.......I don't wanna say it too loudly, but the GT500 front almost looks like it could belong there. With a little more work. :D
 

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Trust me, in person the GT500 bumper does not even remotely come close to fitting. It only looks OK because the front end is messed up and there are no headlights in the car.

It was definitely a good time though. If you want to get in on it, get a few friends to go in on it and put together a car. We only did one race per year the first 2 years, and this year we are doing 2. It isn't exactly cheap to do, but it isn't so expensive that a few regular guys can't do it either. Plus building the car is definitely a learning experience, and it gives you something to look forward to all year.
 

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Sounds like a good time. I can only live it through your experiences and others, but sounds like a blast!

FN10 vs MN12!


quite a few pictures here (from someone that was part of the team with the Mark VIII, the Galaxie, and the Lancia) http://ronman.org/pics/lemons/nj11/
 

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Sway bars aren't the issue. The car was an XR7, so it has the largest factory sway bars. The MarkVIII did pretty good, but once the straights came up I was just walking away from him hard. The guy who owns the Mark said to me later that day that if my car had good brakes and tires it would be a menace, and he would try to stay out of my way!

Looks like you really need to upgrade your brakes too. I'm surprised you are still running the stock single piston calipers. We went to the twin piston PBRs right away, but clearly that wasn't enough. Now the only decision I have to make is whether to go with the twin piston 13in brakes, or to jump right to the brembo 4 piston calipers at $1000/set.
 

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Sway bars aren't the issue. The car was an XR7, so it has the largest factory sway bars. The MarkVIII did pretty good, but once the straights came up I was just walking away from him hard. The guy who owns the Mark said to me later that day that if my car had good brakes and tires it would be a menace, and he would try to stay out of my way!

Looks like you really need to upgrade your brakes too. I'm surprised you are still running the stock single piston calipers. We went to the twin piston PBRs right away, but clearly that wasn't enough. Now the only decision I have to make is whether to go with the twin piston 13in brakes, or to jump right to the brembo 4 piston calipers at $1000/set.
Hi

Well I need to keep All stock & under 15" steel wheels.
Also we only run up to 50 hard laps.

I have pbr's but not installed yet.
Had a tough last season.
 

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Well we just got back last night from the Capitol Offense race at Summit Point WV, so I figure I'll update everyone on the car. Upgrades since the NJ race were cobra brakes at all 4 wheels, some 17x9s with some 275/40/17 Sumitomo HTRZ-2s, as well as some suspension bracing. The car handled well, but we definitely need a stickier tire, so we will be going with either the Falken Azenis or the Dunlop Direzza Star Spec for the next race, since those seem to be the 2 stickiest tires we can legally run. As the car was though, I ran a best lap time of 1:58, which is 11 seconds faster than last year when it had the carbed engine, 16" tires, GT PBRs, and no suspension bracing other than the cage. This year's best time was actually faster than last year's race winner, so the car is definitely getting closer to being competitive. For the first time since we put it together, I was passing BMW E30s in the corners! If we could just keep the car together and on the track for the entire event, we might stand a chance of winning. Even with the 13" brakes and a slower course, we were still burning up pads, so we will need to run a good race pad next time. Again for that I went around to other teams to find out what they were running, and I have a few to look up and make a decision.

Now on to the epic failures. The first one of the race I did, and I'm actually kind of proud of it. With about 2 hours left on the first day, I boiled the gear oil out of the rear diff! Let me say that again: the gear oil inside the rear diff was boiling, melting the axle seals and causing it to boil over and out where the axle seals used to be! Because of everything being so hot it took us about an hour to get the diff out of the car and on the ground, and when we opened it up, the gear oil was still boiling inside the housing! From the research we did, the flash point of gear oil is 450F, so that thing was cooked well above the 160F it is supposed to be running at. Surprisingly the gears weren't that bad once I got it apart, so back together it went with fresh fluid and new axle seals, since they had been melted out by the heat, and it made it the rest of the race. Epic failure number 2 came about 15 minutes before the end of the race when the last guy to drive lost it coming out of the carousel, did a 360, then went head first into the wall at probably 40-50mph. So alas the GT500 front bumper is no more. We actually went on track to get it after the race was over, and it was in about 5 pieces, so we'll have to see what ends up coming together for the front end. More important than that though, the left frame rail is pushed back against the rad support, and the electric cooling fan is now hitting the water pump, so that means the rad support got pushed back probably an inch, so some measuring and pulling is in order. Luckily the guy who crashed the car works at a body shop, so I can press him into service to fix the car. Now I just need to find a parts car to steal a front 3/4 nose and a rear diff out of.

We have some good in car video, as well as video of the diff, so once I get my teammates to upload them, I'll post the links here.
 

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can you use the azenis rt 615k or the azenis pt722? We use the 615k on our race cars as well as on my personal car and it is a spectacular tire. I have some pt722s but haven't had the chance to try them yet.

-steve
 

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What's going to be your solution to prevent the dang-thats-hot diff oil?

Is there a way to plumb in some kind of cooler and circulate the fluid? I've seen at least one aftermarket diff cover with fittings for that purpose.....
 

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Slidebird, I'm not sure as I haven't looked too far into it, but basically the rule for tires is it must be a DOT approved tire with a treadwear of 190 or higher. Anything that falls into that category is fair game.

As far as cooling the diff goes, we tossed around a few ideas but haven't come up with anything solid yet. One thought was mounting a reservoir with a submerged oil pump, and then using an AC condenser as an oil cooler, and tapping into the cover for feed and return lines. The downside to that is we haven't found an affordable oil pump that will push 90W gear oil and hold up to the heat. That also involves lot of experimentation to see exactly how much oil we need to run to keep the diff well oiled, but not overfilled, and not starve the pump either, so while that would probably work the best, it is also the most complicated. We are also debating whether it would be better or worse to go to an aluminum housing. On the plus side it would dissipate heat faster, and we could probably fab up some kind of heat sink and try to duct some cool air over the diff, but then the aluminum housing might deform if it does overheat, and that could cause other issues.

Matt, if you have any reccomendations or links for a pump that would hold up to the heat and be able to pump something as thick as gear oil, let me know.
 

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