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Discussion Starter · #121 ·
Update -

I ran a 14.017 but only moved up one spot. I need 14.000 to keep improving.

I need some help. On the drive from Tulsa to Guenuda Springs, KS the car stated to run funny. No CEL, I checked each coil and it turns out one is dead.

I am still in Oklahoma. I know somebody in Texas that can pick up the MSD COP replacements at Summit Racing in Arlington Texas. Otherwise I can rent a car and make the trip. I have to be in KS and make a pass before 11:45 pm otherwise I'm out of the competition.

Stay tuned
 

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2021 Forte GT w/GT2, Currant Red, SXTH Element Intercooler Kit, Evilla Exhaust, Takeda S2 Intake
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Update -

I ran a 14.017 but only moved up one spot. I need 14.000 to keep improving.

I need some help. On the drive from Tulsa to Guenuda Springs, KS the car stated to run funny. No CEL, I checked each coil and it turns out one is dead.

I am still in Oklahoma. I know somebody in Texas that can pick up the MSD COP replacements at Summit Racing in Arlington Texas. Otherwise I can rent a car and make the trip. I have to be in KS and make a pass before 11:45 pm otherwise I'm out of the competition.

Stay tuned
There was no CEL with a dead coil? Did you have any codes stored?
 

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misfire codes flash because fire is intermittent ... completely dead coil may not produce a code?
 

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Discussion Starter · #126 · (Edited)
There was no CEL with a dead coil? Did you have any codes stored?
No CEL was generated. It was a misfire code. Turns out that number #1 spark plug (from right to left facing the engine bay) was fried.

The coils are fine. I put in a new Champion Iridium plug, gaped it to .022 and it fired right up, idled smoothly like nothing happen. I have 91 octane in the tank now so there is no reason to push it I don't race on that stuff.

More to come
 

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There was no code until I switch around the coils to confirm at least something was wrong. The plug was fried, I will post pictures later.
That's a disappointment. I thought the ECM would catch a bad coil or spark plug - at least as a misfire!
 
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Discussion Starter · #129 ·
It will pick up those things. I think the plug still fired a little and the coils were fine. I did pull a code from it 0307 which is misfire.

After I swapped around the coils, that is when the CEL came on and stayed on. Even when I put a new plug in there I had to do a hard reset (disconnect the battery).

Raced at Mid America and back at Thunder Valley and it's run perfectly since then.

As I said I will give the full run down sometime during the day as I watch college football.
 

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Discussion Starter · #130 · (Edited)
Well anyway I figured it out. Ground strap burned off and the ceramic around the electrode is melted away. Only #4 looks like this, strange. Anyway more information is coming.

Microphone Tower Audio equipment Skyscraper Building
 

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Discussion Starter · #131 · (Edited)
Day One: Thunder Valley Raceway - Noble, OK

Arrived around Noon on Sunday, Sept 19th from the Los Angeles area. The 19 hour drive took about 21 hours with some traffic in New Mexico and construction work on I-40

Never was officially entered into the event. However going on previous history that nobody is ever turned away if you are on site and able to pay the fee. The main reason is that not everybody that pays the $375 fee shows up. There are various reasons why people don't go, my own reason in 2020 was I didn’t know the car well enough and only had the JB4 installed for a short time.

I was told I would have to wait until around 2-3 pm. At that time the prepaid entries would be finished and then turn to the wait list. I was on the wait list actually; June, who with her husband runs the event gave me a call and told me to go get my car inspected. I was now officially entered into the event.

The rules are fairly simple to understand. You can purposely run your car slower to fit into a class or because you don't have the safety equipment to run quicker by NHRA standards.

Any close to stock sporty compact can do this event. I had to detune the car significantly the final day as you'll see, score one more advantage for the JB4.

The flexibility of the classes IMHO makes Rocky Mountain Race Week better for the beginner, but does require DOT race tires aka drag radials.

After inspection, I found a place to park and start unpacking the car. Roughly 20 mins later I was in the staging lanes ready to make my first pass. I bought along my Dragy as it tells me DA and the track’s altitude. You can also look up this data on Air Density Online - Engine tuning weather

Not seeing the usual reduction in IAT from the water methanol system. Something was wrong. Unfortunately I wasn't able to sort it out before going. I didn’t have time to pull it apart and look, nor was I thinking about it when the nitrous was installed.

I ended up running 14.038 which was good enough for 3rd. I turned in my slip and was given the first set of directions. You have to follow the directions for two reasons as I understand it.

  1. Not to give the fastest cars that might be on the fragile side a chance to secretly go off course for repairs.
  2. Give the slower cars which are more stock than modified and tend to be more reliable an advantage over the faster cars which tend to be heavily modified. For example, many run high stall converters which cause lots of heat in the transmission. Transmission failures are common especially for first time Drag Weekers/Race Weekers because most people don’t drive these single digit cars very far. Even True Street, which some events still have, is only a 100 mile round trip. The average distance with these endurance events is 250 miles and maybe as much as 300 miles in a single day.

I handled the directions by hitting all the checkpoints first before finding someplace to get some rest. That way I was free the next day to do whatever before showing up at the next track around 3 pm.

I ended up following a group of Fox body Mustangs through Checkpoint #1 and #2. The local police are standing by to nab you if you are speeding through a neighborhood or doing a burnout on a public road. None of the racers I was with were breaking the speed limit or doing silly things which was good.

We all made it to Denton, TX the last Checkpoint was Buc’ee’s in Denton. if you are familiar with the stores/fuel stations.

Checkpoint #1 - Ardmore Dragway

Automotive tail & brake light Car Wheel Tire Vehicle


Checkpoint #2 - Buc'ee's Denton, TX

Automotive parking light Wheel Car Tire Land vehicle


Checkpoint #3 - Summit Racing Equipment Arlington, TX

Wheel Tire Car Sky Land vehicle
 

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Holy cow AThomas! I spotted your car in a video from Cleetus McFarland on Youtube and was wondering if it was going to be someone from here. Video with timestamp:

I was psyched to see one on Race Week and was wondering how you performed.
 

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Holy cow AThomas! I spotted your car in a video from Cleetus McFarland on Youtube and was wondering if it was going to be someone from here. Video with timestamp:

I was psyched to see one on Race Week and was wondering how you performed.
AThomas at 24:04 / 26:54
 

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Discussion Starter · #134 ·
Day Two: Summit Racing Equipment and Texas Motorplex

From where I was in Denton, TX; I traveled to the Summit Racing Equipment in Arlington, TX.


This location happens to be the largest warehouse and retail store for the company. It also happens to be the exact length of a ¼ mile drag strip (1320 ft) not by accident.


My nitrous system from Nitrous Outlet came with 35-150 hp jets. I wanted smaller jetting for more flexibility. I was able to return some NOS jets that don’t quite fit with some NX jets that do.


I also picked up a NOS Nitrous Bottle pillow, used the one day only 20% discount that was offered to all racers of the event no prompting from Summit officials they offered without asking.


Summit Racing like Lucas Oil supports grassroots motor sport and I use their products when I can which is easy especially from Summit. They often have the lowest price anyway.

From there I made my way over to Ennis, TX. The location of The Texas Motorplex.

It was in the low 90’s at Thunder Valley. 103 was the late afternoon temperature at the Motorplex.

One of my goals was to use the portable two post lift that you see Garrett aka Cletus McFarland using in one of the videos above this post. But time was limited so I jumped into the lanes and got what turned out to be my only pass. Doug Cook, I believe that is his name from Motionworks (Cletus is part owner/investor and helped construct “Mullet” the El Camino) crashed his small tire Nova when his motor expired and he ran over his own oil. He was okay but the clean up delayed running. At the end of the clean up they only had enough time to finish running the Class cars (Stick Shift, Uliminted, etc).

I had to turn in my 14.34 time slip which increased my average and pushed me down to 11th place from 3rd, this would end up costing me a Top 3 finish.

I want to shout out Warren Wright who owns a local fuel distribution company. He is a dealer for VP, Sunoco and Ignite racing fuel. Carries it all including methanol. If you live in the DFW area and need race fuel or methanol to mix your own brew, give him a call.

He mixed me a nice brew of race quality 93 octane with Ignite Racing E85 (E40). I wasn’t able to try it out but I tried my own concoction down the road.

Stay tuned.

Another uneventful drive back to Oklahoma

Checkpoint #1 - Galaxy Drive-In Theater Ennis, TX (336 Miles)

Automotive lighting Vehicle Motor vehicle Automotive tail & brake light Font


Checkpoint #2 - XRP Dirt Track

Automotive lighting Building Asphalt Sky Headlamp


Checkpoint #3 Buc'ee's Melissa, TX

Wheel Tire Car Vehicle Automotive lighting


Checkpoint #4 Eisenhower Monument Denison, TX
 

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Discussion Starter · #135 ·
Day Three: Tulsa Raceway Park

I went into Day 3 determined to relocate the water methanol nozzle and try the nitrous system. I tried it earlier.

Wait until after the break to see how that went and how that impacted things later.

I wasn’t able to find the mobile two post lift that follows racers to each track. By the time he arrived, two other people wanted to use the lift.

So I just ran the car as-is. The good news is that the weather was much better. Tulsa does everything by mobile app. That includes information like DA. It was down to 1,036 ft and the car easily ran [email protected] Too fast to turn in that slip but it’s easier to slow the car down. At Thunder Valley I ran the car as hard as I could to get a 14.03 time slip.

Short shifted 3-4 and the car ran 14.017

Font Screenshot Electric blue Rectangle Parallel


Finally got a chance to speak with Bill Armstrong. He is building a device called Bang Shift Billy. It’s a clutch control device similar to the Clutch Tamer Hit master I attempted to install on the Forte GT. This device is less involved and is adjustable with an app. It’s still in the prototype phase but should be available soon. We’ll see if I can get one since he hasn’t built one for a FWD car on drag radials yet.

I wanted to make one more pass but I was talking to somebody that wanted to know more about the car and missed the last call to the lanes.

Oh well. Turned in my slip and got the directions to Mid-America, that’s where things got interesting.

Checkpoint #1 Buck Atom's Cosmic Curious

Automotive lighting Tire Wheel Automotive tail & brake light Electricity


Checkpoint #2 Stillwater Designs aka Kicker Car Audio

Wheel Tire Car Vehicle Land vehicle


Checkpoint #3 G&M Body Shop

Tire Wheel Car Vehicle Automotive tail & brake light
 

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Discussion Starter · #136 ·
Day 4: Mid America Drag way, still in Oklahoma?

Leaving the Tulsa metro area is when I believe that I noticed the car running funny. I didn’t think much of it other than that.

Went too far up the interstate and hit the toll road on US-412 and I had to turn around. I found the right exit and eventually went the right direction. I stopped to take my picture in front of Kicker which is located in a residential area, interesting.

Nothing strange happened, so I continued on to G&M Body Shop. I got out of the car to take a picture in front of Bumblebee.

That is when I finally noticed the car sounding like it was running on 3 cylinders. After taking the picture, I needed fuel anyway so I stopped at the 66 station. I pulled the connector off each coil to confirm which cylinder wasn’t active. I got to the last one (facing the engine, to the far left) and when I pulled the coil connection nothing happened, I found it.

First thought was a bad coil which seems to be an issue on the older engines. I started there because it’s been a long time since I’ve had any sort of plug issue. It never occurred to me that was the problem.

Took a nap at the 66 Station, woke up around 7 am and drove over to the local O’Riley’s. They could order a new coil and it would arrive that afternoon. In the meantime I went over to the IQ Car Wash across the street. The car had become filthy with bugs and other debris. The automatic car wash had a bug mode, so I tried that option, paid a little extra and in general it got most of the bugs off the front end.

I was finished around 11 am, so I went back to O’Riley’s to wait for the part. Another Race Week participant showed up with a possible starter issue. Turns out he had swapped starters before the event and didn’t tighten the bolts all the way.

Crisis avoided.

While I was at Walmart (before I went back to the auto parts store, I had to use the bathroom…) I found another Race Week racer who said he heard a racket at the back of the car. Turns out it was something that lodged up in the rear brakes. He initially thought he had damaged his differential.

Again Crisis avoided.

Not so much for my new friend Mark who drove his ‘66 Mustang GT-350 clone in the race. He heard something dragging in the back of his car and then clunk, clunk, he ran over his exhaust system.

A local muffler shop was able to allow him to use his lift. One of the rules of Race Week (and Drag Week for that matter) is that if you need to repair your vehicle you must do it yourself, no outside help is allowed other than fellow Race/Drag Week competitors. You can get parts repaired like the owner welded a flange for him to bolt his exhaust back together again.

Anyway after a short time the coil showed up. I hurriedly installed it and the results were the same, one dead cylinder. Now I am getting concerned, let’s go back to Day One…

Leaving Checkpoint #1, I figured out that to use the nitrous I had to enable the solenoid. I had forgotten that an extra switch was installed to prevent accidental activation of the system. So leaving the checkpoint, I had left the bottle on with the intention of trying it out during our drive. I armed the solenoid and did a typical 3rd gear log pull, only the JB4 wasn’t active so no logging.

At 2500 rpm the boost comes up, at 3500 rpm the nitrous kicks in, it spins the tires (you heard it and the TC light flashed), shifted at 6500 rpm (nitrous switches off at 6700) and shifted to 4th.

The car nosed over, the CEL started flashing and I pulled over to the side of the road. I turned the car off and then on again and it idled normally. So I continued to the next checkpoint, the next two tracks and didn’t think much of it.

When the new coil didn’t fix the problem I decided to pull up the offending spark plug. And it was damaged as you see in the photo.

Microphone Tower Audio equipment Skyscraper Building


Well I called Barry Sanders Hyundai (Yes that Barry Sanders) and they would have to order a new OE NGK plug. So I ended up buying the cheapest Iridium plug O'Reilly had which was a Champion 9409.

Installed the new plug and everything was back to normal, after a hard reset because the JB4 couldn’t completely delete the misfire code.

I emailed Terry (At Burger Motorsports) and he said I shouldn’t have any problems if my water methanol system was functioning properly. Well it wasn’t; The first run down the track in Thunder Valley showed no decrease in IAT. I was using the Boost Juice I picked up from Summit a week earlier. The inlet temps never went down; they actually increased, further confirming something was wrong.

Without tools, I was forced to continue and shut it off (Meth Trigger 3). While most people will allow you to use their tools, one even offered. I decided I really didn’t need it if the weather cooperated, which it did after the first two days of the event.

In hindsight it would have made the car faster than needed anyway.

After that I drove to the final Checkpoint #4 - Freeman Motor Company

Wheel Tire Automotive parking light Car Sky



This by far was the longest drive around 300 miles and it claimed a few victims along the way.

I was glad I wasn’t one of them.

When I got to the track I had forgotten I had 91 octane in the tank. I wasn’t going to risk driving the car on 91 octane. The only time I ran the car on 91, it did [email protected] mph (⅛ Mile). So technically I might have been okay but I didn’t want to risk falling further behind. I turned around and drove back to Ponce, Ok because that was the closest E85 station.

Before that I stopped at the local O'Reilly Auto Parts to pick up some VP Octanium Unleaded. I was brewing up my own race fuel mixed with pump E-85, why not? I ended up with E30 as my blend with a full tank of fuel.

Returning to the track I didn’t bother to remove any additional weight and made my first pass. It was another [email protected] mph pass. They only allowed one pass so I had to wait for when they would call the True Street/Index cars again

Around 90 mins later they called the Index cars again for the last pass of the night. That race was caught on video by Cletus McFarland (Page 6 of this thread). Of course I wasn’t racing him, he hadn’t made a pass yet as the video chronicles, they spent much of the morning and afternoon fixing the clutch in Leroy.

The last pass was 14.15, not the 0 I wanted but I had to accept that. I turned in my time and got directions back to Thunder Valley.
 

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Discussion Starter · #137 ·
Day 5 - Return to Thunder Valley, Top 10 Finish, What would I do differently?

The end of the event. Honestly I didn’t think I would have any problems since the car is still mostly stock. If I hadn’t tried the nitrous it would have been uneventful but what’s an event like this without a little adventure?

The drive was the shortest of the event at 190 miles. After leaving Mid-America, I captured all two remaining checkpoints and headed to Edmond, OK. This was the town closest to the 2nd and final checkpoint.

Home of Southwest Oklahoma University, it appears to be a very upper-middle class town which is typical of most University towns. I spent the night at the Flying J truck stop.

Oh I forgot to mention the other issue I had with the car. It seems I have killed most of the reserve in the original battery. I was at Love's Truck Stop in Denison, TX where I stopped at the end of Day 2.

I left the radio running to help me go to sleep. I woke up and didn't notice anything wrong as I exited the car. I got my shower and changed clothes. I went back to the car to fire it up and nothing, not even clicking.

Now I know technically this isn’t allowed in the rules and now that I have made it public I don’t know what the consequences will be but what the hell.

I called Kia Roadside Assistance. There was a Walmart next door, and I could have spent $90 for one of those Lithium Ion jump starters but I was restricting my spending as much as I could to make this event possible.

By the way if you want to make some extra cash for you project budget Roadside Assistance is very much Gig Economy, App only, low qualifications, etc.

I had to call them again while at the Flying J, same issue, let the radio on, used all the reserve in the battery. Time for a replacement but I'll cover that later.

I stopped again at Pop's 66 (the last checkpoint) because you are suppose to restart the route where you left it. Some competitors live in the areas we go to. They can sleep in their own beds and return to the route afterwards. Since other racers were there to take pictures of the checkpoint, I ended up following a few all the way back to Thunder Valley.

Emptied out the car and waiting for announcement that zero run cars can go to a particular lane. It came and went to the lanes.

The car went [email protected] Too fast but it's fairly easy to slow the car down. I was using Map 6, I went down to Map 3 for the next pass and it ran [email protected] mph.

The DA was much better than when we first ran here last Sunday.

An announcement came over the PA (and track radio) that because of time constraints they would only take the Top 5 in each Index class and Class cars.

With two 13 second time slips in-hand that was would be the same as a 20 second time slip. It would have bumped me out of the Top 10.

I was able to lobby for a 3rd pass and taking notes from an experienced bracket racer, I added some weight back to the car. He said not to touch it otherwise, he ended up being right because I went down to Map 2 to ensure the car wouldn't run 13.999.

It ran 14.14, proving it would have run 14.0 something. If I gotten an 0 it would have bumped me up to 5th or 6th place.

I finished 7th or 8th it depends how you read the Google spreadsheet. Anyway a Top 10 finish for my first time doing this event.

I stayed for the awards ceremony.

The announcer said the impact of doing this event would be felt in the weeks and days to come especially at your home track if you leave the signage on the car.

If I can keep it from pealing over the next ten days, we'll see.

I am already planning my return to the event.

I will talk about that in the next post.

Checkpoint #1 -

Automotive parking light Tire Wheel Car Vehicle


Checkpoint #2 - Pop's 66

Tire Wheel Automotive parking light Car Vehicle


See you next year!
 

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Great Story and pictures!

You need to get some Sponsors!
 

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Well with the racing season pretty much over and the SEMA Show coming up, I am going to try and get some help.

The problem is mostly logistics.

I wouldn't mind a few things. I am going to use what I've written here to help me.

Glad you enjoyed it.
A little off subject, what I heard a few years ago was bandits were jacking old muscle cars on Route 66. They would drive next to a car and inform the driver that they have a tire going low and they would pull over and offer assistance… pull out a piece and drive off with their ride! Nice…real nice try explaining this to your insurance company. 🤯
 
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