If it wasn't for bad luck. . .

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Joined: June 24th, 2006, 11:15 pm

If it wasn't for bad luck. . .

Post by Lynn »

I left the shop about 10:15 which is plenty of time to get to Grissom for the Peru NT. I went about sixty miles or so, when the passenger in a passing car make a strange little gesture toward the trailer. Some of the large panels were oil canning, but that happens sometimes depending on the road surface and wind. But I decide to slow down and pull over at the next exit to check things out.

When I stopped, it was obvious what was wrong. The left trailer tire looked like it should be on a motorcycle. Hmm, what's that on the other side of I70? Why, it's a tire shop. No luck there, however. They don't have anything close to the right size. They recommended that I proceed 10 miles to Vandalia, IN on US 40 since it has less traffic, but there are several farms if the tire fails completely. I travel down US 40 at 40 mph and arrive at a shop the first shop said was the closest.

The second shop doesn't have 185/70 13's but they do have 175/80's. Close enough, slap those things on. I'll still get to Peru in plenty of time to check in and get teched.

Saturday is hot and very humid. The Sam Strano designed course looks like fun with plenty of room for line choice and some fast areas. I pull up to the start line rev it up and take off. Immediately I notice the engine is not running right. It is popping and snapping and I have to keep pumping the throttle to keep it running. I barely make it back to my grid spot. When I shut the engine off, it diesels very briefly and a puff of oil smoke blows over my shoulder. I try to start the engine again and it won't fire. Not even a sign of trying. The fuel filter is full of fuel so I figure the fuel pump is pumping. I pull the air filter and the accelerator pumps are working. One of my competitors comes over and pulls a plug wire to see it it has spark. It sure does. Oh, there is a wire hanging loose. I wonder where it goes. There is a lug on the coil that isn't busy, so I touch the wire to it. The low oil pressure light comes on. So I attach the wire to the oil pressure sending unit. But that, of course is not the problem.

Scott Nardin is there driving an F500 and he takes some time between runs to answer questions an look at the car. I keep looking at things and final see the nut which goes on the distributor hold down is missing. The distributor only moves slightly when I try to turn it. It doesn't seem to be enough to keep the car from at least trying to fire. I pull up gently on the distributor and rise freely. I'm thinking the distributor was rising during the run and changing the timing and when I shut the engine of and it diesled, it jumped a tooth or two. While I was speculating on that with a couple of competitors, a person with a t-shirt from a Volkswagen shop stopped and said that it was a possibility and to make sure the bottom of the distributor was inserted into the oil pump after resetting the distributor.

I have some things that have to be removed in order to get the distributor out far enough to check the alignment of the oil pump and as I said it was hot (90's) and humid (90's). The heat and humidity were getting to me and I still had to do my work assignment . Discretion said to take a break in the air conditioning of the truck instead of working on the car in the sun. The forecast for late afternoon and Saturday night and Sunday morning was thunderstorms. Several people had their EZ-Ups blown away while I was enjoying a plate of lasagne and the company of friends.

Bill Crawford, one of the F500 drivers, graciously offered a ride in his car on Sunday. When the alarm went off at 5:30, it was pouring. I decide that trying to learn to left foot brake in a strange car on a wet course would not have happy results for me, the car or Bill. I went back to bed. I woke again at 6:45 and it was still raining. Back to bed. FM was running the second heat and I got there just as the heat started. The course had just dried completely. I still think I make the right decision to not drive Bill's car. If it had been dry in the morning, I would have tried it.

Nothing happened on the way home.
69 Beach Solo Vee, #65 FM

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