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therealpinto Reader
8/22/18 3:39 a.m.


Years ago none of the "fast"(est) teams would ever run clean races but they are upping the game. But I think that it is a part of the fun, the racing series is not just about getting to the finish line, you also need to get there fast(ish).

Yeah, the wet vs dry spring rate is something that struck me last night. I do know that at least one or two of the teams on really stiff springs complained about grip in the wet last time it rained heavily.

I think we actually made the decision not to touch springs yet. Mostly because of time restraints. But part of me almost hopes for a wet race, or two...

We also spoke about having a dry and a wet setup, on the P11 spring swaps should be rather quick. But you need to be pretty sure about the weather, basically on Thursday afternoon, in order to make the call. We'll see.

Status from last nights wrenching is that the gearbox is attached to the engine, with a new clutch. Some mort parts to refit and we also started working on the brake pads - the front Ferodo DS's we have are not a straight fit, too bad we only got 2 sets of the RC43's, we are out of them for the P10 now. The Ferodos have not lasted as good but the two races left should be fine.


therealpinto Reader
8/23/18 1:16 a.m.

Now we are mostly only lacking engine mounts, some gearbox oil and the brake pads, then we are more or less ready.

I have a prototype-ish solution for solid mounting the front subframe, let's see if it works.

The new clutch feels better just by pedal feel so here's hoping we have found something better.

And, the photos are up!


Look close in the left side of the picture, you can  just about see me in the GRM T-shirt!

And here I am, chased by an angry hoard of BMWs!


therealpinto Reader
8/30/18 3:44 a.m.

Not feeling too bad at the moment :-)

The issue we have had running these Ferodo pads is that the pad shape was almost correct, but the thickness was something like 2 mm too much. The pad material is basically thicker than the stock pads, and thick enough that they wouldn't fit in the caliper gap.

What we have done before is work the angle grinder to correct the shape and then a flat grinder (surface grinder perhaps) to take off enough pad material. Dirty and slow process.

Now we decided to attack the pads with more thought. We used a belt sander to carefully reprofile the pads so they fit (not exactly stock shape, but they fit). Then we calculated how much thickness would need to be removed, after measuring the caliper gap. Theory said 1 mm per pad would do.

We felt that it would be safe to take 1 mm off the backing plates, instead of removing pad material.

Ta da!

Worked great and should mean we have more pad material to use.

New pads also rear, and...

...well, both sliding calipers were less sliding, one more less (???) than the other. Now both slide, both have new pads (but I think we need to start looking at better pads for the rear too).

Yesterday I was a soccer dad and the rest of the team was going to fix the rest - get the new engine mount (filled with glue) installed and fill up gearbox oil.

As I was driving home from the soccer game (win, 5-0!) they called. The gearbox leaks, left drive shaft seal...

I went over to throw some encouraging words around and by magic, we could use the seal from the P11 gearbox (new car is being robbed!) and get it all fixed the same night. 

Short of fixing some intercom issues, washing and fueling we are, as far as we can tell, race ready.  Saturday is a good day, because it is Race Day!


therealpinto Reader
9/5/18 2:12 a.m.

I really have no media yet to represent the last race but still feel a need to try and perform some kind of write-up, for what it's worth.

We had a good feeling going into the race, with the stuff sorted as described earlier. The 5th place finish last time translated into a spot on grid place number 11, with some quick cars in front of us that we planned would help pull us through the field.

The start was decent and we could improve a couple of places during the first stint. That was despite a large number of yellow flags during that stint - flags that were put out in the middle of the field and thus made it possible for the lead car to open up a huge gap.

Our starting driver reported that the front end was much more planted with the "solid" subframe, and that the new clutch made a marked improved in getting power to the wheels. The old one has probably been slipping more than we thought.

We also managed to do a pretty good first drivers swap and I think we gained a spot or so in the pits. Some time in we were in third place, keeping a pretty good pace. My first stint was also pretty good, I managed some decent times and rather consistent ones also.

While we were hammering on, the race around us was quite disturbed by yellow and black flags, and soon the feeling of a "messy" race spread through the pits. Quite a few teams felt they were incorrectly black flagged (wrong cars given the penalties for hitting barrels/track markers). Since I am part of the race management I had to split my attention between the race organization, and my own team. More about that later.

My second stint is the one where we fill up on gas, and I exited the pits behind two of the cars that have been a bit slower in earlier races. One car is sold to a new team, to further complicate things. I felt a bit stuck behind them for a couple of laps, but didn't have the momentum (or guts perhaps) to try a clean pass.

Soon we were caught from behind by two BMWs chasing me, and I was sandwiched between them. After a while I decided to let the BMWs by, hoping that the two cars in front would let me by as well. That did not really work as I planned, the quicker cars were let by but I didn't get the opening I was hoping for. It took another lap or so before I could pass and then my frustration had grown.

In the fastest chicane, right after I passed, I completely lost the car. I sideswiped a barrel (we have something like 120 km/h in that section) and went sideways onto the grass. At that time I mostly tried to straighten the car out and get back on track. But now I think about how lucky I am that the wheels didn't dig in further to flip the car sideways at close to 100 km/h.

The log files show I didn't even stop on the grass (lowest speed was 8 km/h), maybe not the smartest move. Back on the pavement, once up to speed, I had a bad vibration so decided to pit early (I had one or two laps to the scheduled driver change). It turned out that it was just dirt in the wheels though.

The next guy out tried a couple of laps until the rear driver side door, the one that took the impact, opened. Black flagged, and a new pit stop to strap it to the car (someone threw a bungy cord onto it when I pitted but it was too flexible).

I had probably lost some places before the off, but now we were down to 8th place. And in the top, the two Opel teams that have been 1-2 the latest races were once again outstanding. We were too far down to have any real chance of moving up, even though we were on the same lap as the BMW in 6th spot.

We still raced on, since you never know what happens with other cars. But they all kept it together.

The two top teams had a great battle for first spot, the Kadett of Skelleftereklam leading the Astra of 4Sign. On the second to last lap, the Kadett slightly overshot the "elbow" corner and skidded through that one. The Astra put his nose in and performed an almost balet-like act of turning the Kadett 180 degrees before it spun out to the right.

Of course this rendered a black flag (but "only" a 30 second stop&go) meaning the Kadett could take the win once again.

After the race I was hugely disappointed in my own performance, being slow is acceptable, but being slow and going off track is not great. To add to the disappointment, we had a number of teams that - sometimes with justification - were rather upset by "incorrect" black flags. As the main organizer of the race, that sort of leads back to me (even during the race). Being in two seats - racer AND organizer - is not something that I planned, it sort of just happened when the "godfather" of the series unexpectedly passed away last year.

Now, with a couple of days of contemplation, it feels a little bit better. We have some ideas on how to work with the black flag situations. To support me, we have the "drivers guild", 4 other drivers that make up the management team. Our plan is to make it clear that once the race starts, we are just drivers - not organizers on duty. That role has to be taken on by someone else. That way we can focus on the race and we will not be tempted to make any decisions that can be questioned as being biased.

As for the poor Primera, we painted a new set of left hand side doors last night. Looking at the cup standings we are in an imaginary second place still - but only imaginary. Only 4 of the 5 races count, and even though Skelleftereklam is right behind us now, they at present only have 6 points to deduct - our worst score is the 13 points of this race. 

The cup win will be a battle of the Opels - 4Sign have an impressive row of one win and three second places, while Skelleftereklam have two wins, and a second place (and then the bad spot). If Skelleftereklam wins the last race, they win the series. If they are second and 4Sign does not win, Skelleftereklam will also win (thanks to more first places). 

However, if Skelleftereklam does not finish top 15 or so, we have a theoretical shot at the second place. 

Well, in reality there is no reason for us to have much of a strategy to start with, other than trying to be in the top. In the final race the start order is not reversed, but rather according to the total standings. That means we start second, with the quick Opels beside and behind us. The upside is there is less risk of being stuck behind slower cars as we move up the field. If we only can stay with them...



AngryCorvair MegaDork
9/5/18 9:46 a.m.

Gustaf, Thank you for writing this thread!  I just read the whole thread from the very first post.  Fantastic job your team has done to develop your car.  Someone once told me, "in endurance racing, unless you are driving the final stint, you are not a race car driver, you are a race car delivery man."  Or, like you said, you can not win on the first lap.

I recognized the name Skelleftea when I searched your GPS coordinates, and I realized that I have been very close to your location before.   When I was a development engineer for TRW, I had the good fortune to spend about a month at our test facility in Arvidsjaur.  This was back in 1996.  My colleague and I arrived from the US about 3 days before our test vehicles, so we took a nice drive north to the Arctic Circle, then west to the coast of Norway.  What a beautiful part of the planet you get to call home!   I hope to get back there again someday.

Mezzanine Dork
9/5/18 10:05 a.m.

Just chiming in to say that I really enjoy your race write-ups. You do a great job capturing the action, and I feel more closely aware of your race season than most any race near me!

therealpinto Reader
9/6/18 12:51 a.m.

Thanks all!

AngryCorvair; I sometimes look back and get a little bit surprised of what we have done - the racing has really been done on a budget (not "challenge money" but not too far from) and still we have been able to deliver some decent results and the car has finished most races. Feels good!

I regularly pass Arvidsjaur in the winter time since we have a camper a bit further north, in Arjeplog (the other big winter test site). Actually we are staying right by the Mercedes/AMG site and just across the lake from BMW - so we get to see some cool stuff every now and then. 

If you ever get back to my area of the globe, let me know :-)

Mezzanine; Thanks! Looking back through my Capri build threads on Swedish forums (15 years of history) I see that writing down what happens, soon after it happened, is a great diary to go back to. One day you wonder "what happened back then" - and the thread makes it possible to be an archeologist in your own history :-)


Mezzanine Dork
9/6/18 11:32 a.m.
therealpinto said:

Mezzanine; Thanks! Looking back through my Capri build threads on Swedish forums (15 years of history) I see that writing down what happens, soon after it happened, is a great diary to go back to. One day you wonder "what happened back then" - and the thread makes it possible to be an archeologist in your own history :-)


Exactly why I keep build threads of my own. I love to look back and see what I've done, and it's great for helping me find motivation again. Probably less wise, but I also use my threads as a record of what parts I used and settings and things like that. Thank you for sharing with us!

therealpinto Reader
9/6/18 3:13 p.m.

I did a quick edit of the video from race number 3, until the camera froze.


There's some racing in there :-)


therealpinto Reader
9/18/18 2:30 a.m.

I wanted to get a video from race number 4 up also, to keep things chronological. But GoPro Studio is acting up and need to find a replacement I can handle.

You can see the photos from Carina and Leif though:


Here I am, chased by the Citroën...

...and here it had passed me!

This is a new team for the season, and they have gone for maximizing the aero that the rules allow. Some really impressive lap times and when they get everything sorted they will be a solid top team.

A snapshot of the last lap fight!

But the real focus of this post should be the report from the final race of the season. Weather predictions said a wet race, a curse for some teams, for others it was a long lasting wish coming true (perhaps). For us? Something in between - we have a feeling the car might have an advantage in the wet (rather softly sprung, long wheel base so not very spin-happy) but I am still not 100% confident in wet fwd racing.

We woke up to a thick fog and an hour or so before the start, the rain commenced. But the fog moved away, visibility was OK but not great and off we went! We managed to hang with the leading Astra for a decent part of the first stint but then dropped back a little. The slippery track conditions meant most teams played it quite safe and there were few incidents during the first time of the race. Some spins and offs but no real hard contact.

My first time out felt pretty OK considering the track conditions, I took it pretty easy but still managed a decent pace. Maybe I stayed behind a slower car (the yellow Golf) a little bit too long but better safe than sorry.

In the stint after, Niklas missed the pit in sign but I managed to alert him on the radio - and just after confirming he would pit, he yelled that he was hit from behind. As we swapped in the next driver we were prepared with tape and band aids but the car seemed no wore for wear.

Unfortunately the car that hit us, took a far harder punishment.

With a broken oil cooler they were out for the day. Not their fault really, Niklas had to brake hard for a spinning car and they had nowhere to go!

We kept on running around 4th or 5th, with the closest competitors for the third place overall at a comfortable distance behind. In front of us, the two Opels, the Citroën of Forsmans Motorsport and Mayflowers BMW E36 (on their "secret weapon", Vredestein "rain tyres") were battling away.

With something like 1,5 hours left to go the rain cleared and the track started drying up pretty fast, in places. The shady areas were still wet but the drier it got, the more the Opels would pull away.

I entered my last stint with just under 30 minutes left, meaning we would need another stop for the 10 lap driver change. We still had 5th and it looked pretty good. As I exited the pits the brake pedal felt a bit low and when I entered "the elbow", after letting Skelleftereklams Kadett by, the pedal went to the floor!

Missing the Opel I went onto the grass, pumping the pedal and got some braking back. With so little time left, the instructions over the radio were clear - try to limp around the track, keep going. After finding out that pumping 4-5 times would give some braking I did just that, went around using the parking brake as much as possible. I lapped around 1.52-1.55 seconds, that was actually on par with the wet pace and not much more that 10 seconds over the "median" pace.

The last change was more of a formality but somehow we managed to keep 6th spot past the checkered flag.

But just as the race before, the focus on the last lap was on the two Opels. 4 Sign was now leading Skelleftereklam, with only meters separating the cars. The winner of the race would also claim the overall trophy!

In the 180 degree hairpin, at the point furthest away on the track, we spectators saw a move. Skelleftereklam closed in, and seemed to be on the way to pass in the chicane after the hairpin. And then, just as last time, the cars touched. This time the roles were swapped - the Kadett pushing the Astra of 4Sign into a spin.

Like magic, the Astra avoided the barriers and kept going, taking the checkered flag a couple of car lengths behind the Kadett. But how would the incident be ruled?

We had a very experienced marshal at the spot, and his decision was immediate. The passing Kadett was to blame, and get the penalty. 4Sign took the win, of the race, and of the season as a whole. Skelleftereklam were third in this race, but second overall, 1 point behind 4Sign. We got the third place overall, finally, something that feels like a sucess behind the outstanding Opels.

After the race, Skelleftereklam chose to share their view of the incident:


That doesn't make it easier...when is a pass a pass? 4Sign momentarily also showed their video but it was later removed for some reason. All I can say is that we can't have video judging overruling what happens, it would be impossible. All in all, there are mostly not so many hard feelings and the decisions taken are mostly respected.

Our highlights from this race are here:


Looks strange with GoPro Studio acting up though.

So how do I sum up our season? Overall a great success, especially considering that the car was almost untouched from last year. We only fixed the broken bits, apart from solid mounting the subframe for race number 4. And not that much has even broken! The brake problem now is a mystery though.

Looking back, we bought this car from its first owner, a lady that was just over 50 years old when whe bought it in 1991. Since 2015 we have raced it during four seasons, that is 20 races and something like 6400 kilometres. The engine has never missed a beat, and while the body is a bit marked it all just works so well.

But we need to get going on the P11. I have so many ideas to make it quicker, easier to work on and better looking.

Strange this racing thing. Saturday evening I was almost fed up, glad the season ended. Sunday I was trying to relax from racing. And now, I'm on it again!


mazdeuce - Seth
mazdeuce - Seth Mod Squad
9/18/18 5:46 a.m.

Thanks for taking us along for the season. It's been a great read. 

therealpinto Reader
9/19/18 2:01 a.m.

Thanks for coming along!

I'll throw out a related(ish) question - do we have anyone here that is into RFID* readers and simple programming?

The race series needs a pit timer solution for next year - we want a fixed time for driver changes but also a solution that is reasonably self sustainable and does not need a marshal per team changing drivers.

I was thinking that a long distance (1-5 meters) RFID reader could sense the car going into the pit lane (at low speed, we're talking 20 km/h at that point), and then start a timer for that car. After say 2 minutes the timer is green and the car is allowed to leave the pits with a new, hungry driver.

If it displays this in sort of a table on a laptop/screen that would be OK, then 1 person can monitor the changes.

* alternatively it could be a solution to read the lap timing transponders (AMB) already on the cars but that technology seems more expensive. The person handling the main timing for the race does not have enough decoders to handle this, apparently an investment of around 2500-3000 USD.

There are other options for more manual pit timers as well but the RFID thing felt pretty sweet, in my little mind.


therealpinto Reader
1/22/19 6:21 a.m.

Didn't we leave a semi-assembled SR20DE somewhere last spring?

Yes we did! And now, with the correct piston rings, and the head back from the machine shop, there were few excuses to stop us from finally getting something done.

Doing the pistons and head was quite straightforward, and we almost have a complete engine on the stand now.

The sump is quite nice with its baffles...

We haven't touched the P11 itself though and it is high time to do so. Not so much because of the brake loss in the P10, but we're switching sanctioning bodies for 2019 and that also brings on some changes to cage rules. We are fortunate that the material and dimensions are correct also in the P10, but we would need to add some bars and we would rather do that the new car.

Once again we try do block one night a week to work on the car, let's see how far we can stick to that...


therealpinto Reader
2/7/19 2:28 a.m.

The Monday wrenching was postponed to Wednesday thanks (?) to something like 8-10 inches of snow. And minus 30 degrees C...

Not all bad since we were all 4 team members working away last night. We took the car inside and tried to remember what was left to do. It turned out the one thing really remaining for the cage was the roof diagonal. Someone left it out before fixing the structure to the car.

That means you open the roof to get at the welds.

Of course the joints also were right where the inside strengthening panels are. Now it's done.

In the meantime me and another team mate went trough what parts we need to order. There must be a pallet of stuff somewhere we can't find, because we are missing some stuff. A downside of leaving the project for almost a year...

We did manage to get the flywheel and clutch in, and the gearbox mounted to the engine. Took three times before we remembered all (?) the stuff that goes inside, like throwout bearing and dust shield.

In order to get the engine and transmission into the car we really a weekend or at least a full day. But we also have to figure out seat belt mounting points, and then we have the cage to paint, and...and... I guess we have our work cut out.


therealpinto Reader
4/2/19 2:20 a.m.

While the Swedish winter would mean lots of garage time, the snow also means winter sports and that tends to draw attention from race car building. I have had a couple of weeks of crazy work loads too.

But still, we are progressing with the Primera.

Some weeks ago the engine and gearbox made it into the car. Surprisingly "easy"...but we had lost a support for a drive shaft bearing. Not really a "spare" part and it took some research to find a scrap yard in Vilnius, Lithuania, that had one. Not really cheap but better than having to dismantle the parts car or buy another car...

While I have been in meetings the rest of the crew has been fitting the fuel system new radiator, new front discs and pads, wheel studs and other things I have forgotten.

Last night I finally had some wrenching time again so while the others finished up on small jobs, I tackled the exhaust. Too busy to take pictures but I got the system all tacked, just fully weld and build hangers before it is done. The simplicity of the system is quite nice, just two 90 degree bends to get past the fuel tank, and half a rear axle bend to get above the rear axle with a straight shot into the muffler. We are using an Apple Racing muffler this time, they flow great and are usually good at killing noise too. 

A small tractor accident, however, means that my carefully mended standard rear spoiler is shattered. I had my eyes on a nice BTCC carbon fibre spoiler but the team voted against spending too much on that, so we're gonna try a more generic Chinese alloy wing instead.

Another setback is that the water pump is leaking through the axle seal. It was fine before...and is a pain to change. Should have put a new one in while the engine was out...

But if all goes reasonably well we may see the engine started next week. On April 24th we have the scrutineering and race day is May 11th...


therealpinto Reader
4/17/19 11:55 a.m.

..." if all goes reasonably well " - we choose the "quick" and more expensive online shop for the water pump, and they returned the favour by shipping the pump extremely slowly... it took two weeks to get it!

In the meantime we tried to finish off the exhaust and some body work. Almost there now.

But yesterday was the day...for starting. Some cranking less spark plugs to build oil pressure, some fuel, new plugs and leads. It jumped into life with the tell-tale sound of hydraulic lifters being empty, but they soon quieted down. Raspy exhaust note, throaty growl from the air filter - now it speaks racecar!

We let it warm up so the fans kicked in and everything seemed to work fine.

Now we can take the easter holiday off. 


therealpinto Reader
4/23/19 3:26 a.m.

Another rather productive evening and we have a car that is almost ready for scrutineering. Lights, front bumper and seat is there, the battery is fixed in place and a number of other small things are sort of done.

The windscreen washer refuses to work (it has power, but the wiper stalk doesn't seem to earth the motor). Strange, since pushing the washer switch starts the wipers as it should, might be a wiring issue in the engine bay.


therealpinto Reader
4/25/19 3:16 a.m.

On Tuesday night the team put in an effort to get the car ready for tech inspection on Wednesday. First year with a new sanctioning body so procedures have changed a bit.

The car passed, with just an advisory on marking out the tow loops. That was expected.

Less expected is the sparks that fly from the front brake pads. Even in low speeds.

Grainy screenshot;

We have the same ST-43 compound that we have used in the P10. The discs have pretty aggressive slits, that might be an issue. I am also a bit concerned about the (lack of) bedding procedure perhaps. 

Google seems to say that sparking brake pads are not really un-common with tough pads but why didn't the old car do it? This one has another pad shape and larger rotors but that shouldn't really be an issue I think.

Are there any others with input on this?  


therealpinto Reader
5/9/19 2:23 a.m.

I had some dialogue with Mark from Frozen rotors who supplied the brake pads, and the verdict is that it's pretty much normal. But we swapped out the slotted rotors to smooth ones for peace of mind.

We have lingered on with all the small things that make a race car - rain light, pit timer, power for in-car camera and so on. The front wheels are reasonably aligned, and I did a quick paint job on all the scuffs and repairs. Not the prettiest but at least the patches are covered in 2-pack clear coat so it should last quite well.

We had an accident with the standard rear spoiler in March - a tractor and a plastic spoiler in minus 15 C does not play well. So we had to step up the game a bit.

I doubt we "need" the spoiler at our speeds but it does look nice.

Now we really only have to do an oil change and load up all the parts...Saturday is race day.

And the we have a teaser :-)



therealpinto Reader
5/15/19 7:09 a.m.

While Saturday was race day, we managed to get some test laps on Friday. That turned out to be helpful, since we immediately spotted a fuel leak. True to history, the fuel tank filler pipe was rusted to pieces, just like in the old car. Why didn't we check that at home?

Some self almagamating rubber tape was the best solution we had, and it looked promising. The car itself felt slow going to the fuel station but that turned out to be the ignition timing set to 0... 

On track, test pilots said the car was nice, but also with different gearing and thus shift points, compared to the old car. Not enough data to say if it is better or worse from just test laps though. The gearing is shorter and in theory it should help, but we might also need to shift up one extra gear in places.

For the start of the race we were given something like a 5 th spot in the lottery of the first race. The BMWs of team 95 and 93 flew away immediately and they looked really quick. We let some fast cars pass to try and find the feel for the car. Quite soon we saw that there probably still was a small fuel leak but before we could get the car into the pits the dribbling stopped.

For this year there is a new rule set for pit stops, we have a minimum time of 2 min 10s, to allow "secure" driver changes with 6-point harnesses. The driver has to push a button to light a timered red light in the car at "pit in" and can't leave the 20 km/h pit out line until the light has gone off. This worked really good, apart from when I pushed the wrong button (PTT instead) going in, meaning we had something like a 10 s extra long stop.

That would not matter though, as we spotted engine oil covering the right front wheel in that driver change. We let the 4th guy run his stint but pulled the car off the track after that - we think it is the front crank seal that's leaking. We were in something like a 7-8th spot and had no intention of wrecking the rebuilt engine in the first race.

Lap times were pretty much the same as the fastest laps last year with the old car and that feels a bit like a success - for the first outing. We had some understeer (too high tyre pressures, maybe to stiff damping up front) but in general the car was good. Some issues with going into the rev limiter - this engine is way "flatter" at 7000 rpm so you don't feel the shift points like in the old car. Shift light going in...

At least the car looks pretty good!



therealpinto Reader
5/27/19 6:02 a.m.

The front crank seal had worked it's way out so the leak was pretty obvious. New seal, with Hylomar to seal even better. We also built an extra engine mount in an attempt to save the standard engine mounts from splitting again.

Friday night we had a few test laps on track and that saw the crank seal walk out again. Not entirely but enough... We had the rest of the team bring some punches for Saturday morning and we carefully put some marks on the outer edge of where the seal sits.

The reversed starting order put us at 4th on the grid, and we had the quick Honda in front of us, with the Kadett just behind. The three starting drivers agreed to give room for the quickest of us and just follow. That worked out pretty well and we could soon open a small gap down to the 4th car. 

On the 3rd lap one of the cars behind us hit a barrier pretty hard and we had a FCY with a virtual pace car for some laps. This worked in our favour since the two leading cars got stop&go penalites, as race control decided they were not keeping to the virtual pace car speed limit. To be honest, the flagging may have been a bit unclear but race control is in charge. But it meant that we took the lead in our second stint.

When I went out I knew I had both the Kadett and Honda coming for me, we the BMW of Rusteze not far behind. With our fresh car in mind I made no effort to keep them behind me but rather tried to follow their lead. It worked reasonably well and although I am still a bit off the pace I managed to get some rather even times and there were no mistakes.

As our 4th driver continued we started to think we had something good going for us, the car was quicker than last time (revised shock settings) and we got down under 1.40s, that's a first.

But when our start guy went out for his second stint we only got a lap and a half before a bad engine knock occured and then it just quit on us.

There are no new oil leaks and the engine turns with the plugs removed. I have just had time for a quick check but there are small aluminium chips in the valve cover. My inspection cam isn't that great but at least two cylinders seem to have some pretty bad scoring. To me it looks like the piston has broken or possibly shattered piston rings. Detonation, lean running or something else? The plugs are a bit white and may have some aluminium speckles that can come from detonation.

Anyway, this bottom end is probably toast.

We could take the engine from the P10 but it's nice to have that one running. Our spare P11 has a 130 hp SR20DE, we can probably use that long block with the head from this one to make it into a 150 hp engine. But then the parts car is immobile...

Then we also need to find out why this happened. Wide band lambda sensor and knock detection will have to be fixed, at least for testing purposes.



jfryjfry HalfDork
5/27/19 7:26 a.m.

I bet that seal coming out has something to do with the failure.  

Meaning, something was pushing it out.  Maybe too much crank movement? 


Also, I missed the video of that pass from before.   That’s a tough call.  (For me, with limited wheel-to-wheel experience.)

therealpinto Reader
5/27/19 7:56 a.m.

I forgot to say that we also changed a crankcase ventilation hose on Friday, it was collapsed and might have contributed to a high crankcase pressure. 

All bearings are new but there might be an issue somewhere, I guess we'll know more when we strip the engine down.

As a bonus, here's a video from the Kadett and their fastest lap;




therealpinto Reader
8/8/19 5:01 a.m.

Two months has passed with basically no action on the Nissan.

But with August 17th being the next race date, we had to get into action. First thing was deciding how to get the car running again.


1. Rebuild the rebuilt engine again

2. Use the known good engine from the P10

3. Get another 150 hp engine from a (P11) Primera GT

4. Use the unknown but probably good 130 hp engine from the P11 parts car

5. Get another 130 hp engine from a salvage yard

Option 1 was quickly dismissed since we don't know what went wrong, and probably only would know after tearing the engine down. Option 2 means a lot of compatibility issues since both the head and management system differs between the P10 and the P11. Plus it is nice to have the old car (spare car) driveable.

Option 3 was favoured but there were no engines available and the only complete cars for sale were either too expensive, or too far away (and most often a combination of both).

We took a stab at option 4 but soon aborted that when all brakes were locked solid and it was just too much work to drag it out of storage, and remove the engine. That would also mean the parts car is immobile even when brakes are free...eventually.

So option 5 was chosen. There is some debate on what really separates the 130 hp SR20DE from a 150 hp one in the European spec cars. ECU, exhaust manifold, engine oil cooling and cam cover (colour) are the visual differences. It is said that the intake cam differs and that seems plausible. However, racing with a 130 hp engine is better than not racing.

We found an engine that had a decent compression test and earlier this week we went into action. The plan was to yank the broken engine for starters but after a little bit over 5 hours we had the "new" engine in place.

Old and broken:

Newer and not yet broken:

Startup was pretty easy, just some hose clips that needed adjustment. This one sounds nice, and just free revving there is no discernible difference from a 150 hp version.

We have a wideband lambda in place to check the mixture as it seems we might have a few test laps on the new track this coming Sunday. 

We'll se how it runs and when we get the time, investigate the broken motor further.


therealpinto Reader
8/13/19 3:20 a.m.

Sunday was a test day at the new track, very, very interesting!

Our primary goal was to check that engine was running OK, with decent lambda and no obvious issues. Getting an idea on how the handling would work, and trying to find our way around the track was a bonus.

The lambda showed a healthy 0,82 at full load, and otherwise the car worked pretty much OK. The new engine might be a bit "thin" above 6000 rpm (probably where the camshaft makes a difference) but seemed to pull quite even with most other cars in general.

For me the big difference was that the track is soo much smoother, and the bends generally have a larger radius. It all sort of feels less dramatic in a way. I only had time to record a pit lap on RaceChrono but that is a little bit over 3,5 km so it's a fair bit of track to race on.

Another team has done an in-car video:


We have just changed oil, bled the brakes (and fitted new rear pads), and the car feels pretty much race ready. Saturday will be the day!


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