Historic Tour, Zwartkops Raceway, 9 April 2016

…… Fossa home in one piece, the biggest trophy we could hope for!

Following our excursion to the traxday at Zwartkops Raceway, engine out and find that damaged bearing. Apparent reason for that bearing failure, unbelievable, incorrect installation. Do not ask, does not make sense ……. a lot confusion around this. Water under the bridge, spilt milk …

Looking through all our available crankshafts for a suitable replacement or one most most suitable for re-machining. Measuring every journal it is rather shocking to find the sizes that these parts have been sized too. Precision is apparently not high on the priority lists of the machine shops used.

Where to find a suitable crankshaft, well we have that sub assembly in the shed that was organised by Cyril Turner ….. Disassembly finds a useable standard crank with useable bearing shells of which the big bends are ACL. Yes, yes I can already hear the community about using second hand shells, not having the crank polished and …. and …

With time running out, our AX is reassembled without removing the head or pistons. Engine installed, valve clearances set, this time to the clearances as given for the camshaft identified by a renowned camshaft shop as a BCF3. Start up and then a tappet like noise. Puzzled, check clearances again. Tapping continues. Removed the spark plugs and using an endoscope it is clear that the valves have been tapping the pistons.

Remove the cylinderhead and do a valve leak test finding the exhaust valves on one and four leaking a bit. Out comes the backup head, not as flowed as our home made job, but desperate times. Busy with this quick thinking and hard labour, MTN decides to mess with internet connectivity and our entry is not in!!! Late evening after seven or eight calls to a pretty much useless help center, the internet lifts for long enough to get that entry in.

A quick test have us confident to race, the test kept very short as the sidedraughts produce music at a volume some might frown on.

Friday pre-race day I fit an additional water temperature gauge and go electronic on the oil pressure gauge fitting them in a temporary position on the steering cluster, much easier to monitor with a oil pressure light in the mix.

Raceday, Saturday, 9 April. Track side just after six.Qualifying at 07H50. Fossa feels good, temperature good, oil pressure good. Best lap time, a 1:28.757 with five cars behind us.

Race one, 10H40. Everything sounds good, energy juices flowing and then, second formation lap, corner six, ignition cuts out. All the cars go by and I free wheel into the pits, hoping I can resolve the issue quickly. By race end we move Fossa to her spot with no answer to her cutting out. For some reason her ignition switch has failed. Hot wire our own car and she is ready for race two.

Race two, 13H55. Due to not completing race one, we start at the back. I am really looking forward to some action. Clive (Porsche) and Mel (Ford Consul) have a side by side race in front with the whole batch of non finishers of race one bundled behind them. Fossa feels good going down the straight once those sidedraughts come into play, but dead in the corners. I feel very tempted to go and join the group. After a few laps the group dissolves when Mel pulls ahead of Clive. I catch up with the Porsche and once pull in next to Clive heading to corner one, knowing I do not have the usual power in and out of corners I let the opportunity slip.

The jetting used on the DCOE 40’s was done for us by a pro, my feeling, the 36mm choke tubes are to large for Fossa. It is a new learning curve. I have got some idea’s ahead of our next outing which will probably be a super track day as our next race will only be 6 August at the Redstar Raceway with the away races of Dezzi’s and Phakisa next on the menu.

Cheers 🙂