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Let us all learn from one another. What are your failures you have had that you could give advice to others or new guys to not have the same.

 

I will start as my list is long-

1- Wiring. I had a fuse blow, get towed in, put in new fuse and fine for a few hours or the end of the race. I could not find the failure no mater how hard I looked. It happened 3 races in a row and then I finally ripped every wire out of the car and redid the entire harness. Problem was a wire was chaffed and would ground out when the car was the turns and the g forces pushed that chaffed wire onto the chassis. I also found a few other issues to say the least from my shady wiring job I did at first. - Solution, get rid of extra wires and complexity to the wiring system.

2- Fuel pump- My external pump would go after an hour or so. I replaced it and started to look at other issues as I have a surge tank. Come to find out I have two vents for the tank and over the years both got clogged and caused my fuel system to be non vented and fuel pumps do not like to suck and push at the same time. Now I put on little filters and also test each race.

3- Alum lug nuts. I think that says it all right there. They worked for a race or two, but you can imagine what happened and yes it did.

4- Stock lug nuts. I had some sheer off over time and now go with long ARP ones and full through steel lug nuts.

 

Now anyone else.

 

Edited by MR2 Biohazard
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Thinking really hard. I am pretty certain I have never had a failure.. 

Oh... Wait.

 

the wiper blew off at VIR. But I found it later between the splitter And the radiator. So that really was not a fail.

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Engine - junkyard motors usually lead to failures quicker than a rebuilt motor.  

 

Axle - blew out an axle at COTA and Watkins. Change them every 30 hours or so

 

Read diff - hard to put down power in a corner if this is going out. Happened at Gingerman but still managed to podium. 

 

Radiators - make sure you have a screen for debris and make sure there are not any shards of metal close by that could bust a hole in the radiator fins. Also check to make sure your radiator is not clogged 

 

Coil on the M20 - the weld on the coil mount broke which shorted the engine.  Double clamp it with some bolts and lock nuts.

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21 minutes ago, Crank Yankers Racing said:

Engine - junkyard motors usually lead to failures quicker than a rebuilt motor.  

 

Axle - blew out an axle at COTA and Watkins. Change them every 30 hours or so

 

Read diff - hard to put down power in a corner if this is going out. Happened at Gingerman but still managed to podium. 

 

Radiators - make sure you have a screen for debris and make sure there are not any shards of metal close by that could bust a hole in the radiator fins. Also check to make sure your radiator is not clogged 

 

Coil on the M20 - the weld on the coil mount broke which shorted the engine.  Double clamp it with some bolts and lock nuts.

I might disagree on junkyard motors need rebuilding as I think it depends on brand. I know Toyota is less reliable if you open it up so I just get them and put them in, plus at like $400-600 each it is cheaper than a rebuild in most cases.

 

Rear main seals. Get good ones and grease up the inside when putting them in. Not a fail safe, but can help. I know I have had that failure once myself.

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Few basic reliability items that should be added to vehicle inspection checklist:

 

Basic maintenance items - check and replace on some sort of schedule, replace if building a car and do not know the history.  Things like worn/broken spark plugs and wires, ignition components, master cut-off switches, clogged fuel filters, radiator hoses, alternator belts, brake components, suspension bushings/linkage, etc.

 

Check wiring/hose routing in enigne bay.  Most of these cars are running stock engine/trans mounts which can lead to more engine movement that expected.  Check for potential contact between engine parts and radiator hoses or wiring harnesses.  Protect and secure anything that looks like it could make contact (rad hose to alternator pulley, cam position sensor wire to crank pulley, etc.).  Some cars are prone to have connectors wiggle lose, sip ties can help keep things together, works for relays as well.

 

 

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Put a wrench on every suspension and brake fastener before a race.

 

Make sure you have proper clearance around everything in the engine bay.  Wiggle, push, pull, tug if you think two things might touch, they will.

 

Buy good hose clamps.  Breeze or ideal are good.  

 

Don't use zip screws.  Try rivnuts instead.

 

If you are wondering if something will hold up, it won't.  Fix it now!

 

If you are concerned about something, test it, verify it.  Fix it before the race.

 

Do a pressure test on the coolant system if you can.  It is cheap and easy and worth it's weight in gold!  Easy to diagnose any leaks with these and soapy water.  That saved my butt numerous times.

 

Check alignment.  If something is screwy, start searching.  Something is wrong!

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1 hour ago, wvumtnbkr said:

If you are wondering if something will hold up, it won't.  Fix it now!

 

 

 

Do a pressure test on the coolant system if you can.  It is cheap and easy and worth it's weight in gold!  Easy to diagnose any leaks with these and soapy water.  That saved my butt numerous times.

 

First statement could not be more true!  I think the wheel bearing should be ok. You are only kidding yourself.

 

Pressure tester and I do it at 30psi. If it can hold 30psi then it can hold 15-20 under race conditions. I also have learned to double hose clamp almost every hose as they can come loose over time.

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I have NEVER had success with junk yark motors. Rebuild the motor or buy a reman short block. Always check rear main seals. Ford 302 351 and SBC are especially garbage. 

 

USE QUALITY GASKETS!!!! Especially on Domestic motors.

 

As stated by wvumtmbkr put a wrench on ALL suspension bolts and nuts and Exhaust. 

 

 

 

 

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Loctite is your new friend.  Use it everywhere and on everything.  On brake fasteners we use safety wire.

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From my experience used Miata OEM motors are very good. Same with Subaru 

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Things that have directly contributed to a DNF:

Trans failure a few times

Oil pump/engine once

 

Things that have taken us down for a couple hours:

Alternator exciter wire

Caliper froze up once after ignoring scheduled maintenance one race too many

Home built caliper bracket failed once

Factory header broke once

Weak fuel pump, still worked but slowed us down possibly contributing to broken header later in race.

 

There seems to be 2 distinct groups forming, as everyone knows, we do not open used engines, not even for a head gasket, at this juncture of 35 ish races we have lost ONE engine and it would have happened to a rebuild as well, oil pump check valve briefly stuck open...Saying that, quality gaskets/seals and a tuneup along with addressing any factory deficiencies (timing chain guides for infiniti)

 

Ask Lead Sled about their used engine, they had great luck with a untouched 250,000 + mile 5.7.  One simply has to follow whatever personal mantra has previously worked the best.

 

Hose clamps? We still have 25% of those crap factory 2 wire types and at least one factory original radiator hose from 1995  as well as all wheel hubs from 1995 (OK the fronts have been changed once or twice but they came from the junk yard) again, know your cars weak/strong points and correct/schedule appropriately.

 

Japan/USA used > China new as long as each item is frequently inspected and deemed worthy.

 

 

 

 

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One time racing down in the states I ordered a Burger King bk fish as it wasn't available in canada.... all other failures are compared to that day.

 

As for car centric failures off brand sensors, if it didn't come in a mopar box it's junk.

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1. Portland: broken  alternator and aluminum bracket because of incident, fixed the rest of the car fairly quickly. No spares,  had to MIG weld the bracket late that night and reassemble next morning with fresh NAPA alternator after they opened - and after the race started of course.

2. Spokane: new heavy-duty shifter cable end came apart. Bashed it back together then zip-tied for insurance.

3. Ridge: air filter and MAF full of water. Had removed stock water separator when doing cold air intake and sucked up lots of water. Relocated air intake, put in spare air filter.

4. Ridge: broken engine mount and exhaust because of extreme lean misfire under load due to MAF full of water. Chained the engine down, gobbed the cracked exhaust back together.

5. Laguna day 1: crew member leaned on fuel rail and broke it. No spare, fixed by silver soldering it.

6. Laguna day 2: Clutch worn out by renter trying to get out of the gravel after spinning. Left my spares in Canada, used a Jeep 2.5 4 cylinder disc; hub wasn't quite right and was hanging up until it clearanced itself.

7. Laguna day 3: clutch master cylinder blew, might have been related to excess pressure before getting new clutch release height set. Spare on hand but late in the day so packed up the trailer then watched Scrap Attack win their second race in two days.

8. Castrol: fuel filter clogging up due to fuel cell foam starting to break down. Spare on hand but left my quick-release fitting tools at my shop. Had to buy then modify another set.
 

 

Edited by mender
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I'm not sure I have the patience (or memory) to compile a complete list, but in 9 race weekends over 5 years we have had:

 

  • Timing belt snap in an un freshened motor
  • OE fuel pump failure
  • Front brakes overheating prior to upgrades and cooling ducts
  • Brake vacuum booster failure
  • Head gasket failure (cooling related)
  • Oil pickup / pump failure in freshened motor
  • Modular clutch failures (repeated) from mis-alignment?
  • Shifter cable retention clips not retaining
  • Axle seal on trans blows out, fluid lost, smoked trans
  • Alternator failure
  • Map sensor failure
  • TPS failure
  • Axle failures
  • Front bearing failures
  • Lug nut lost, wheel almost lost
  • Trans needle bearing failure

 

 

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Three blown head gasket in a single race at a VIR 24. I blame DSM for that.

Disintegrated oil pump pulley on another engine at WGI. Also DSM.

Had a 2 piece crank pulley shear it's assembly bolts and send the alternator drive section flying out from under the car at NJMP. That was on the Nissan when it was KA powered.

Overheated that engine at WGI after a refresh, failed to retorque the head studs after break-in. Another WGI event.

Next year at WGI had brand new full rebuild lose compression in all four cylinder during practice.

 

Gave up and swapped. Only issues with the new setup can all be traced to inferior turbo mounting hardware and a need for additional/stiffer exhaust mounting.

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-- Poor eyesight (20/50 Left; 20/150 right; astigmatism which makes eye doctors shudder)
-- No gallbladder any more (limits what I can eat anymore)

-- Severe lactose intolerance (see previous)

-- Left most of my joints structure on the horse trails of Southern California (when I stand up, it sounds like a thunderstorm)

-- Looks like an escapee from the Center for the Visually Unpleasant

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most of these 'mechanical' fails have come and gone through our team over the years..my biggest-and most recent was 'assuming' I could be seen on track while trying a high speed overtake...fortunately for me it only cost me my car and the car I was passing was unhurt...never assume what is going on in someone elses race...ALWAYS be certain.

 

2017-09-17 16.15.48.png

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On 10/14/2017 at 9:41 AM, wvumtnbkr said:

If you are wondering if something will hold up, it won't.  Fix it now!

 

If you are concerned about something, test it, verify it.  Fix it before the race.

 

 

Truer words have never been spoken.

 

My first race in my car I had 1 question mark. And guess what took us out 2.5 hours in... while moving into top 10...

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1 hour ago, Dcwilliams00 said:

Truer words have never been spoken.

 

My first race in my car I had 1 question mark. And guess what took us out 2.5 hours in... while moving into top 10...

 

John?

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On 10/14/2017 at 9:41 AM, wvumtnbkr said:

Put a wrench on every suspension and brake fastener before a race.

 

Make sure you have proper clearance around everything in the engine bay.  Wiggle, push, pull, tug if you think two things might touch, they will.

 

Buy good hose clamps.  Breeze or ideal are good.  

 

Don't use zip screws.  Try rivnuts instead.

 

If you are wondering if something will hold up, it won't.  Fix it now!

 

If you are concerned about something, test it, verify it.  Fix it before the race.

 

Do a pressure test on the coolant system if you can.  It is cheap and easy and worth it's weight in gold!  Easy to diagnose any leaks with these and soapy water.  That saved my butt numerous times.

 

Check alignment.  If something is screwy, start searching.  Something is wrong!

 

Rob is like the Mike Holmes of the garage.  

 

To add to his list, proper crimp connectors and adhesive lined heat shrink insulation for every wiring junction. Butt connectors are fine for a Walmart radio install but have no place under the hood.  Wire loom everything. Wire rubbing a soft ribbed piece of plastic beats wire rubbing metal any day.  Also, make sure said loom can actually withstand the heat if it's underhood.  I got some junk from Amazon that took hours to chip back off the harness I built for Rob's car after it melted in just a few laps at our practice day at Mid Ohio.  

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I won't count the 24hol days when we basically showed up with worn out parts and hoped they would make the end of the race (most of the time they didn't).

 

Most of our failures have been either self inflicted oversights or untested changes. 

We've blown two HGs due to stupid issues, threw the WP belt that was one size too big and second was due to an old/bad radiator cap that was left on during a quick engine swap.  I can't stress enough to put in dummy lights.  Gauges are great, but drivers (myself included) will neglect to check them at the most inopportune times. 

We had an intermittent wiring issue that required me to strip the entire engine harness and trace each wire 1by1.  Eventually found one spot on the crank sensor harness that was exposed and it would shift and ground out in corners.  I did get a spirit of chump award for this one...I think Andrea felt bad after I got out of the car (after like 10 single lap runs) at Charlotte and kicked the door in.

When switching to turbo I reused hardware so pretty much everything on the exhaust side backed off/fell out at the first race.

Hot fuel issues with the cell after several hours.  Eventually the pump would seize/vapor lock.  Even with HPDE testing, some issues won't show up until you flog it for hours on end.

 

 

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