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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Chalk up yet another addictee to open tracking. I attended my first event over the past weekend and loved it. The event was the SVTOA at Putnam Park (central Indiana). I was a bit apprehensive as to how well my car (91 GT with lots of modifications) would perform, but it did very well. My instructor was very patient and helped to calm my frayed nerves when pushing the car hard through braking and corners. I never had any idea that my car could handle that well. Simply amazing! I was definitely one of the fastest in my group and had no problems passing 03-04 Cobras, 05 GTs, and various other SN-95 style cars. The instructor said I had done well enough in the first 4 sessions that he wanted me to go out solo for the last 2, certainly did not expect that. Overall it was a great weekend, although very tiring.

I had a few issues with the car that I wanted to ask you guys about. First of all, the car woud get very hot towards the end of each 30 minute session. The car still has the stock clutch fan setup with a PepBoys 3 core radiator. While I realize that a nice electric fan and aluminum radiator would solve all problems, are there any cheaper/simpler improvements until the budget allows a full upgrade. I was told putting the plastic air deflector back under the car would help and am wanting to verify this.

Secondly, power steering fluid was somehow finding its way out of the reservoir and all over the driver's side of my engine bay where it would burn off the header and create smoke. I was actually given a black flag because the smoke was so bad. Is this a common problem with fox bodied cars? The reservoir was not overfilled. I'm thinking that the fluid got hot, expanded, and was being sloshed around by turning sharp and revving the motor to 6 grand. Any solutions to this problem?


Lastly, I was told I should remove the dust shields from the front spindles as these only trap hot air near the rotor and hinder cooling. Any truth to this? Is this still recommended for a daily driven street car? Brake ducting? Any companies who sell universal kits? Anyone have pictures of their fox body brake ducts?


Thanks for your time!



Brian Steuerwald

[email protected]
 

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Cool. Glad you enjoyed it. I run an 88 GT in open track events with NASA.

Cooling: I have a 3-core radiator and stock clutchfan. I never have heating isssues, and we just ran Road Atlanta in August. I might be tempted to flush and fill before investing any more money.

PS Pump: Foxbodies definitely will overspill the power steering reservoir. I've seen people route overflow hoses into the reservior to a catchcan. I just let it happen. I've not been black flagged though.

Brakes: I also removed the dust shields from my front brakes. I'm sure it helps, but the brakes still get hot. Make sure you get some good brake pads and flush the fluid with some Dot4 or a good racing fluid. Performance Friction Z rated pads from Autozone work surprisingly well, and they come with a lifetime warranty.

Doing Open Track one time makes a person wonder why anyone gets excited about drag racing.
 

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Putnam is a fun course, I wish I had easier access to it. The one truly nerve-rattling corner is the last one onto the main straight, because if you apex it too early you drift out wide, and right into the wall.

Anyway regarding the heat issue, I have a 3-core rad and stock fan in my car and it was overheating after 10 minutes of hard use on the track, but never around town or on the highway. I threw a whole lot of parts and effort at it in avoidance of the obvious, which turned out to be the rad. It was only 2-3 years old but nothing fixed the problem until I replaced it with another 3-core rad, and no problems since. I tried chemical flushing it and running water-wetter to no avail. So if I were you I'd consider pressure-testing the system (or at least looking for evidence of a cooling system/combustion process compromise) and if all's good, just throw $150 or so at a new rad.
 

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I just added brake cooling ducts to my 86GT when I converted over to the 11"/73mm front brakes. I hope to be posting some pics soon.

replacing the plastic air deflector may help with your overheating. The deflector helps to create a low pressure area under the engine compartment which improves air flow through the radiator. Not sure how much difference it really makes but its free to try.
 

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Yes, definitely put the deflector back under the radiator for the reasons mentioned above. Draining the system and running straight water with some water wetter will also help it run cooler. Just remember to put anti-freeze back in for the winter!

The power steering is a common issue. The usual fixes are more capacity (a section of hose extending the reservior, or a remote reservoir), a cooler, and/or a bigger pulley.

Definitely ditch the backing plates - but hang onto them in case you want to use them for ducting purposes later.
 

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Discussion Starter #6 (Edited)
Awesome responses guys! Thank you so much!

The radiator is about 3 years old and does have a significant amount of scale/hard water deposits especially here in the limestone capital of the world. I've tried the normal flush and fill and it doesn't seem to remove the deposits. Maybe I'll step up to the heavy duty radiator cleaner which requires you to drive the car for 3 to 6 hours with the cleaner still in the system. I'll do this and install a new air deflector for the next event in late October. I think the cooler Fall air itself will help significantly.

As far as power steering I'll install a 93 Cobra pulley which is larger than the stock pulley and will serve as an underdrive. Hopefully this will help with the fluid spilling issue.

As for brakes, I'll remove the dust shields and save them for later. I'm currently using SBS Pro Track pads (expensive, but highly recommended), Powerslot FrozenRotors, MM Stainless lines, and Wilwood 570 Racing fluid. The brakes seemed to work very well for my driving ability and I'm quite pleased with that considering all the horror stories I've heard about fox body brake fade.

Putnam Park is an awesome facility. Great track surface, plenty of run off in all but 1 turn, and a nice combination of speed and technical braking/cornering. As MFE said 2 cars (both in the advanced/instructor group) were pulled out of turn 10, one car in particular suffered some extensive exterior damge. Pretty scary.

Thanks again guys.


Brian Steuerwald
 

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BrianSteuerwald said:
Awesome responses guys! Thank you so much!

The radiator is about 3 years old and does have a significant amount of scale/hard water deposits especially here in the limestone capital of the world. I've tried the normal flush and fill and it doesn't seem to remove the deposits. Maybe I'll step up to the heavy duty radiator cleaner which requires you to drive the car for 3 to 6 hours with the cleaner still in the system. I'll do this and install a new air deflector for the next event in late October. I think the cooler Fall air itself will help significantly.
This is exactly what I did, including re-installing the deflector, and flushing the system with 2 bottles of heavy duty cleaner over the course of 2 weeks. I'm glad I did that because I could not even believe the crap that came out of the system...but it didn't solve the cooling issue. As long as you're getting a whole session out of it, don't sweat it too much, but I couldn't get more than 4 or 5 hot laps before pegging mine and that didn't get solved until I finally said **** it and threw in a new rad.
 

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Has anyone tried vinegar to remove hard water deposits?

I use it to remove it from my salt water fish tank pumps (which build up really bad as we supplement calcium and such into the system) and it works outstanding. Let it sit over night and all of the deposits are removed.

I only use DI in my cars, so I don't see much if any "scale" in them and have never had to try it.

Thanks for the post. I'm hoping to break my car "track virginity" by the end of the year. I've done thousands of laps on motorcycles, it'll be interesting to compare.
 

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I think MFE's already steered you straight on the overheating. Try reinstalling the deflector/air dam (and you really should just leave it on there), but you may find a new radiator is required. Sounds like you're in better shape than his car was in, so hopefully a heavy duty flush and the deflector will be all you need.

There's a pretty long thread about removing the dust shields if you look back a week or two. Long story short, many of us have done it, even on daily drivers, and have suffered no ill effects. I recommend it.

For the PS overflow, there are a couple options. I use a reservoir extension/dipstick from an Escort (pretty sure I have the part number at home, I'll try to remember to post it). It looks a little funny, but appears (from the 2 track days I've done) to do the trick. The other thing I've seen done is extend the reservoir neck with a chunk of radiator hose clamped onto the top of the neck. Cut the top of the reservoir neck off a donor pump (junkyard) and clamp that at the top of the radiator hose, and install the cap. I've seen about a 5" or 6" extension done that way - plenty of extra surge volume to account for fluid expansion. The Cobra pulley will definitely help, too (and I think that's really a Taurus part or something like that - a search might let you figure out where to get one of those from a junkyard car rather than paying for the "Cobra" name).

Welcome to the club! :D
 

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Power steering pump reservoir extension - E5FZ-3F549-A. May be an obsolete part, I don't know. Here's what it looks like:

Kinda funny looking, but you could always use the normal dipstick for everyday use (so people don't harass you - "Hey, there's the dude with the funny-looking power steering pump reservoir extension! Get him!!!").

Pat
 

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Brian, glad to hear you enjoyed the weekend. I hope your instructor explained the addiction you were about to partake in, it's like cocaine you know. I was there instructing and running in group 4, had a blast as well. See you around.....
 

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the ps problem is solved by getting another cap, cut off the tabs, (leave in place) add about a 4" heater hose extension to you existing pump and put on another cap on the end of the hose ... i never had the problem again ... i friend of mine with his 95r was having the same problem let him use my set-up and no more fliud leakage
 

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racebronco2 said:
the ps problem is solved by getting another cap, cut off the tabs, (leave in place) add about a 4" heater hose extension to you existing pump and put on another cap on the end of the hose...
I swear I've heard that somewhere before... Oh yeah! Five posts before yours I said the same thing! ;)

Pat
 

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BrianSteuerwald said:
Putnam Park is an awesome facility. Great track surface, plenty of run off in all but 1 turn, and a nice combination of speed and technical braking/cornering. As MFE said 2 cars (both in the advanced/instructor group) were pulled out of turn 10, one car in particular suffered some extensive exterior damge. Pretty scary.
Brian Steuerwald
Tell me about it .... I was the one dancing with the tire wall in turn #9 in Group 4. Even with mishaps like this, this is the still the most fun anyone can possibly have. Glad you enjoyed it.
I will be back in 2006!!!
 
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