Last Revised: 10/16/10
On January 15, 2006 I went to the track for the first time. It was Sunday Funday at Orlando Speed World, on state road 50 in north Brevard. Very crowded. I was only able to get in two runs the entire day. My last run was very late, and the outside temperature had dropped almost 20 degrees (I'd guess) from my first run earlier in the afternoon.
I'm not entirely pleased with the results, as according to my estimates this car with these mods should be capable of very low 14s or even high 13s. I guess that only applies if you have the right driver, which I am not... at least not yet, that is.
Given that these were my first two runs, on any track anywhere, and given that I was still able to pull very consistent 14s (even if they were a bit high), and given that I now know where and when and how to run more ETs in the future, this trip was a great success.
Oh yeah, I also ran into some members of the Brevard Mustangs group at the track. These were folks that I had met at the previous Thursday meet at Texas Roadhouse on Eau Gallie across the river.
ETs: 15/JAN 2006
|1/8 mile MPH||76.71||76.56|
|1/4 mile MPH||96.69||93.45|
I went back again two months later, after a number of additional modifications (including 3.73 gears). Much better times, and very consistent. Unfortunately it still seems a little slow for the mods on this car.
ETs: 22/MAR 2006
|1/8 mile MPH||77.84||77.55||77.86|
|1/4 mile MPH||98.14||97.66||98.04|
Here are some numbers on yet another Funday Sunday at OSW, on a very hot day:
ETs: 01/OCT 2006
|1/8 mile MPH||76.83||76.71|
|1/4 mile MPH||97.49||97.29|
I'm not sure when I'm going to the track again. Until I get a higher stall converter, there probably isn't a lot of reason to go.
In November 2007, I went to an open track day at Gainesville FL. There were maybe a dozen cars there, each paying $125 for the ability to run as many laps as you wanted to run that day. With up to four cars on the track at the same time, it was possible to get dozens and dozens of laps in over the course of the day. And I did, typically running 10 laps at a time before taking a break to chill out.
This track is almost all turns, very twisty and turny, with two short straightaways, two U-turns, and a variety of varying degree turns. The organizer had set up some cones to provide a clear route through the several intersecting sections of pavement. There were more right turns than left turns.
The fastest I achieved was just over 60 mph in the longest stretch, which ends with a U-turn. With the Hawk Street pads I didn't experience much brake fad, even after I'd terribly abused my brake pedal with repeated full stops from a high speed. This encouraged me to stay out on the track for 10 laps at a time.
Basically, I drove the car until the smell of my own burning brakes was so strong that I had to stop. Then I'd park the car with the hood up for 30 minutes or so, and then go out again. My chrome wheels got excessively hot from the high brake temperature. The drivers side front wheel was the hottest, I assume because front brakes work harder, and because of the preponderance of right turns.
After about three of those cycles I had to stop the car for a full 90 mins to cool off. My transmission fluid was getting pretty hot, which concerned me far more than my brakes.
Checking your tire pressure every time you pull over seems to be a necessity. Your tires heat up, either from the road abuse or from the wheels (which heat up because of the brakes) and that means your tire pressure goes up. And getting your tire pressure to the right number can be crucial to getting maximum traction when going around the track.
I'd love to do Gainesville again. However I'm seriously considering a bigger upgrade to my brakes before I do so...maybe braided steel brake lines with synthetic fluid, or even a Cobra or Brembo setup for the front. In the meantime I'll likely participate in the recently reactivated SCCA events taking place at BCC in Palm Bay, right around the corner from my house.
Here are my most recent numbers on yet another Funday Sunday at OSW, on a very hot day. This time I went two weeks after installing my Tork Tech supercharger and (leaking) intercooler.
ETs: 02/MAY 2010
|1/8 mile MPH||85.39|
|1/4 mile MPH||107.44|
Yay, I made it into the 12s!
However, my new intercooler was leaking water all over the front of the engine, so I wrapped a rag around it and made this one run before it got too wet to run again. They had to stop and clean the track after my run.
I used my second-hand ET Streets, set to 18-lbs pressure in each tire. At the tree, I held the foot on the brake and started raising the RPM a bit, remembering that I still had a stock torque converter (although it is not handling the new S/C very well). When the light turned green I put the gas pedal the rest of the way down and then removed my left foot off the brake. It squealed all thru 1st (which is short because of the 3.73 gears) and into 2nd, then continued to accelerate. This is a recipe I will follow again.
The next lessons learned are:
- get the damn IC tank fixed!
- my torque converter can use some attention, so I will be able to rev to a higher RPM while standing on the brake, at the tree
- the 18-lbs of pressure in the tires may still be too high
My burnout was pretty poor, but at least I was able to do a burnout now, compared to being N/A before! I drove around the water box, sat still and revved it in neutral for a few seconds, then did a neutral drop into 'D' while flat-footing the gas. This produced a brief spin, and a forward lurch where I had to hit the brakes.
I made sure to remember to bring my LONG PANTS to the track, plus a good tire gauge and tire air release and car-lighter-powered tire pump so I could play with the tire pressure. I brought ice for the S/C but did not use it since things were already too wet.
Here are my most recent numbers on yet another Funday Sunday at OSW, on a very hot day. Changes since the last time: supercharger was removed and repaired for a TB screw that went through it, then supercharger was ported, and also the tranny was built and a 2800 stall TC was put in. The intercooler no longer leaks either.
ETs: 10/OCT 2010
|1/8 mile MPH||84.89||82.21||85.47|
|1/4 mile MPH||104.35||99.74||105.10|
Yay, I made it into the 12s again, followed by two 13s on another very hot day. My best run was my first run, other than being asleep when the light turned green. I was running against my buddy Brandon's 2006 GT (N/A), and he beat me even though my time was faster due to my late start.
The second run was shortly after the first run, and it was terrible. I think the car was getting too hot or something, as the idle sitting in the line was pretty rough. Also I spun terribly all through 1st and half of 2nd, although I was in the left lane this time and the left lane at OSW has notoriously less traction than the right lane.
The third run was after a long cooling down period, and the car was behaving better. The whole run "felt" good, but the numbers didn't match my expectations when I saw the time sheet. Still by then the day had gotten much hotter compaired to the morning runs. And even though the time was a little longer (low 13s instead of high 12s) the end MPH was back up again, higher than the (faster) first run in the morning. Another problem with this run is that I spun all through 1st and half of 2nd again.
For the first run, when I staged I loaded up the tranny to just below 2000rpm. For the other two runs I loaded it up to around 2200rpm, and both times spun like crazy compared to the first run. Also, on the first two runs I did nothing to heat up my tires, whereas on the third run I did a small burnout before staging. And in the first run I lowered the tire pressure to 21pounds, but for the second the third runs I went with 18pounds. Not sure which was the biggest factor causing my tire spin: the unheated tires, the different tire pressures, or the tranny RPMs.
For the second two runs I was able to have my SCT LiveLink set up on my Notebook to datalog the runs. Unfortunately when I got to the track I realized that my notebook did not contain my carefully-saved datalog configuration, so I didn't have time to set up data logging for the first run. Since the notebook screen is so small and the SCT software does not scroll well, I basically used the same data logging that my Tuner had used on the dyno, simply because this config was readily available.
I learned from my data logging that on the second run, the tranny temp got up over 200f, close to 220f at one point. I expect that I need a much bigger tranny cooler than the little tyke I've got right now, which has only been on for a few months. Fortunately the Intake Air Temps did not seem especially high, getting in the 170f range, which probably means that my intercooler is working like it should.
Also the fuel pump is indeed hitting 50% (its maximum duty cycle) before the engine runs out of steam at the high end, so a Kenne Bell BAP may be in my future.
After the second run, I heard a knocking sound coming from under my hood. After some investigation, we discovered that the radiator fan was the source of this sound; by unplugging power to the fan, the knock stopped. Since the fan was still turning and the car had had a decent cooling off period already, I went ahead and ran the third run anyways. It was a week later before I actually removed the fan and shroud to examine it, and discovered that the fan blade "connector" that circles and connects all the fan blades had broken, so the fan was off balance and getting worse. Repairs are in progress.
The very first run, the drivers side rear quarter panel had road tar flung up onto it. This was a pain to scrub off the following day, so next time I should be prepared in case it happens again.
My guess is that I need to:
- make sure the car is sufficiently cooled off
- do a bigger burn out to heat the tires
- if I'm in the right lane then try loading up above 2000rpms, but in the left lane stay under 2000rpms
- have all my data logging presets ready to go before I get to the track
- tape up the rear quarter panels with painters tape or saran wrap(?) to guard against flying tar
One more funny moment: I put my ET Streets on the day before, then drove to the track on Sunday morning. While waiting in line to enter, a buddy pointed out that I had them on the wrong sides of the car, since these are directional tires. Dumbass me, I should avoid making that mistake next time! Since somebody had a jack with them, I quickly swapped the tires while waiting, and all was well. In theory this should not make a big difference, but in general it is better for the tire longevity and for the tire traction if they face the correct direction.
The coolest thing about this day is that I met up with over a dozen folks from Muscle Mustangs of Brevard, and we all cruised over together to OSW. There were 10 Mustangs of various body styles and colors, no two alike, all reving high and running together down 520 at 9am. A great sight!
Gizmo got some footage and made a short video of the drive over. Also there are a couple of video clips of MMOB members running down the track, including my first run (first in this video). Viking also got some footage of various runs, including my first run.