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hcsi99 last won the day on August 27

hcsi99 had the most liked content!

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About hcsi99

  • Birthday 12/26/1980

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    Northwest Indiana
  • Interests
    Family, Cars, Beer, Guns

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  1. I do recall hearing about a driver being badly burned and I'm so sorry for what your family has gone through. I'm curious to know more about what happened in the interest of knowing what I can do to help myself and my team be safer. I always thought it was ironic that someone had to be seriously hurt or killed in Motorsports before rules got changed, but I guess you can't always predict what could happen until it does. @Snowman if you prefer to not discuss the event on the forum publicly or not at all, I completely understand.
  2. First off, that is not a pizza oven or a wood burning stove in there. I had already removed the back seat and package self structure before the "everything must be enclosed in metal" rule came out. We had hopped to install it where the back seat was, but it was to tight to get the cell in with the cage already installed so we mounted it above the rear axle in a steel frame bolted to the frame of the car with grade 8 hardware and wrapped fuel cell cage with sheet metal. Enclosing the cell was not a big dealer, but enclosing the fill tube, vent tube, and fuel filler pocket overflow tube took some work and wasn't complete until the Thursday before Gingerman after a few failed attempts with different ideas. We ended up using 5 inch semi exhaust tubing for the filler tube cover and had no trouble passing tech. Our fuel cell is roughly 8 inches higher inside the vehicle than the factory tank that was under the car, behind the rear seat bottom, but in front of the rear axle. This didn't seem to causing any crazy handling issue at any fuel level. The weight distribution is 51% front, 49% rear, with driver and a half tank of fuel. The bad: We had only ever filled our car without the fuel filler covered so peaking in the back window and watching for the fuel to come up the filler was the way we new to stop. Our fuel cell vent runs up along side the filler neck and then back down and out of the bottom of the car. It was never a problem filling the car, and we never had any issues with fuel coming out during or after filling once we hit the track. After enclosing the filler with metal we could no longer see when the cell was full and quickly learned on Friday when we filled the car for the race on Saturday that this was a problem. I started filling the car and heard the sound of liquid hitting the ground, but it wasn't coming out of the filler neck, it was coming from the vent. It appears that once the tank is full that it fills the vent line first then the filler tube. This results in roughly a half of a gallon of fuel spilling out of the vent. This is when I learned the difference between a roll over vent valve and a discriminating vent valve. We made some modifications to our vent and relocated the hose to a safer location to easily catch the over flow during refueling and lived with our situation but it was not ideal to have a half a gallon of fuel leak out even if it was into a container under the car. The everything must be enclosed in metal rule: What brought this on? Did something happen that caused this rule to be added? Like many others have said, this seems to make servicing and inspecting fuel lines, filler lines that much tougher. If you can't service or inspect the lines easily and the line fails fuel is still going to leak somewhere, maybe not inside the vehicle, but somewhere. How long is that fuel going to leak before its noticed? If its not inside the car, it's outside the car and probably near something hot. As stated above, our likely hood of spilling fuel went up 100% during fueling now that we can't see that the tank is full. Added a port hole with the approved fire resistant lexan isn't going to let enough light in for us to see that the cell is full either. My other concern is that 5 inch metal tube and what happens when that side of the car takes a hit in a car to car collision or a roll over? I can't help but think that steel tube is going puncture the top of the tank and cause a larger leak than if it was just the filler neck popping off witch is going to happen anyway with or without the steel tube. I'm all about a safe race car, but to me it seem that this rule could potentially be more dangerous than the way it was before. If anything, maybe remove the filler neck needing to be enclosed and add a mandatory fuel filler discriminator valve for cells inside the drivers compartment? What's next for us: We plan on adding some type of quick connect overflow solution to the rear of our vehicle and rerouting our vent line so that overflow is minimal and contained in the overflow container. I did a lot of research on fuel cells and installation before finishing our car and felt that there seems to be a lack of information for our particular series on how to do things the correct way, safely. I would encourage tech or someone much more knowledgeable than myself to add some diagrams for proper fuel cell venting to the rules page. Maybe a document on how to prevent overflow and spillage including accurate descriptions of parts required to make your fuel cell safe(er) could be added to the web page like the how to pass tech sheet was.
  3. I have a screen. Believe it or not, the fins looked like that out of the box. The rest of that are bug chunks.
  4. I was very surprised that our 3.6 didn't' use but a half a qt in 10 hour of track time. It did have new rings, and I'm sure that helped since that seems to be a big source of oil consumption on the 3.6L. We did drain the oil and check the filter this past weekend. There is lots of fine metal in the oil and filter. Autopsy will be soon.
  5. I'll let you know on Monday when I have it apart
  6. I love my Black Armor helmet. You can add mod pods for communications and drink tube, the padding on the inside can be changed out for different sizes in different areas, and it looks cool as hell too! There customer service has been 2nd to none. https://blackarmorhelmets.com/collections/carbon
  7. We're back from Gingerman Raceway, the trailer is unloaded, and it's time for our weekend recap. Justin started the CTS on Saturday morning and managed to turn 47 laps bring the car in 15th overall out of 54 cars that started. Chris took over and managed another 25 laps before experiencing clutch failure causing us to retire for the day finishing 47th overall and 16th in class. To my surprise, we found a clutch kit that included disc, flywheel, pressure plate, and slave cylinder 1 hour away. Chris jumped in his car and headed for Grand Rapids while Alex, Justin and myself removed the transmission to get to the clutch. We had the car apart and everything cleaned and ready to go when Chris made it back with the clutch kit. We had it installed and the car back together before sundown just in time for my wife to bring the team dinner and some extra help. We also found that the rear tire had a little rub on the rear quarters but luckily I packed the fender roller. Sunday Alex started the race. This was Alex's first wheel to wheel race and since he didn't get any seat time on Saturday we figured he should start #trialbyfire . Alex started 37th and did great! He turned 45 laps and brought the car back in 22nd overall and cleaner than he took it somehow. I took the car for the 2nd stint and other than going 4 off in turn 6 (thought I saw something in the grass, wanted to take a closer look) my stint was uneventful. I brought the car in when we saw the white flag indicating 20 minutes until the Red flag lunch break. At our fuel stop we were in 18th overall. I took it back out for 15 more minutes until the red flag. Chris jumped in after the 1 hour lunch break and took the car to 14th overall with an uneventful 3rd stint other than he did notice the car was a little down on power. Justin took the car out for the 4th stint and immediately could tell the power was getting lower. He short shifted his entire stint, keeping the oil temps low and managed to bring the car in for the last stint in 13th overall. Alex jumped back in the car to take us to the finish. Having driven the car in the first stint, he noticed a big difference in power, the car was in trouble. He did everything he could to keep the car in the top 15 but the racing gods had other plans. Only 17 laps into his stint with 25 minutes to go in the race the oil temps and coolant temps sky rocketed even with Alex taking it easy. The car shut off just after going through turn 11 and came to a rest on drivers right just off track in the grass. It was over for us. It appears that we may have damaged some lower end bearings due to some oiling issues. The car did start this morning when I pulled it out of the trailer, but bad noises may have been heard. We still finished 20th overall out of 54 cars and 7th in class out of 18 C class cars. Overall, I'm proud of what we accomplished this weekend. We repaired a major failure on our backs in the parking lot in just a few hours and got the car ready for Sunday. We ran in the top 20 most of the day on Sunday and came very close to finishing the race in our first every try with a brand new build. I set out 3 years ago to build my own race car and team with the hopes my team would share the same goals. My favorite part about endurance racing is the team aspect. Everyone on our team brings something different to the table, like the Power Rangers when they work together to form that bad ass robot that kills Hydro Hog, but instead of a bad ass robot we are a bunch of middle aged dudes in a first generation Cadillac CTS. Thank you to the team for making my first race as a team owner a great one. We / I learned so much this weekend. Thank you to all the Champcar competitors that offered support and advise. We will rebuild it, we will make it stronger, faster, I don't know about lighter. Thanks to everyone that helped me build this car. Thank you to Schepel Cadillac and Radium Engineering for all of your support with this build. My goal is to have the car ready for Road America next spring. Keep an eye out for updates!
  8. Saturday we lost the clutch at lap 72. Ended up 47th out of 55 cars, and 16th in class out of 18. We managed to find a clutch kit in Grand Rapids and had it replaced by sun down. Sunday the car ran great! We made it to 14th overall and 6th in class. The 3rd driver noticed the car started to feel down on power and was 5 to 6 seconds off the pace. We put our last driver in to finish the race and with 25 minutes to go the oil temp hit 300 and he the coolant temp hit 230. The car shut off in 11 and our driver stopped 50 feet from start finish on driver's right just in the grass so he didn't get Memo Gidleyed on the front straight away. Oil temps had been running in the low 280's most of the day and coolant stayed right at 216 until the failure. I think the oil died and caused bearing failure. We will know soon enough. Even an hour after shutting the car off the engine would turn a little then stop. Today it started but sounded a little clunky in the bottom end. I was running Shell Rottela T6 40 weight, but will not be in the future. I will be working on a full write up over the next few days. Thank you to everyone that came over and checked the car out and payed us complements. We have some work to do, but for our first race weekend, I'm very happy. I had a great team that did everything they could to help get the car back on track. Thanks to @Jay Mauney for helping me during tech with suggestions on how to make our car even safer and for working with us to figure out the total value of the vehicle. I felt that Jay and his tech team were very diplomatic. This was my first race with Champcar and the staff and officials were nothing but friendly and professional.
  9. Most informative post this year! Thank you (says the new guy getting ready to do his first race).
  10. I would love to see some examples of what people are doing for fuel fillers that pass through the passenger compartment enclosed in metal (that have passed tech this year).
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