Saturday, March 22, 2008

Still cold... hard to imagine it's spring!

As I write this on March 22nd 2008, it's -8 degrees outside. It still looks and feels like winter and it's quite depressing. The first track school is in 3 weeks and I'd really like one of my Civics to be ready to drive. It looks like it will have to be the blue one. Unfortunately, things have not been moving forward on that car, only backwards. I had noticed a couple of days ago that the clutch engagement was pretty low in the pedal travel. Well, yesterday, the clutch pedal had no effect at all. It turns out there was no hydraulic fluid in the master cylinder reservoir. I added some and pumped the pedal a few times, but I know that is not the proper way to bleed the system. Anyway, the clutch works now and the fluid level is stable, although the engagement is still low.

Also, the grind on the 2-3 shift seems to be getting worse. When we did the swap, we only put some cheap-o motor oil in the tranny. I'm hoping that upgrading to Honda oil or Motul will help that situation a bit. I finally picked up the B-pipe to replace the rusted out one on the car. I've decided not to upgrade the exhaust system, except to the extent that this B-pipe is a bit bigger than the old one, as it comes from an Si.

I bought back some pretty used Hankook K104's that I had sold to a friend to replace the ones on my ASA wheels, which are in pretty rough shape. These are only a little better, and they will suck in the rain. I haven't decided what to do for wheels and tires. I will probably paint another set of wheels I have lying around, some 15x6.5, and mount my last of old Toyo RA-1's on them.

For the suspension, I also haven't decided what to do. I want to keep costs on the street car to an absolute minimum, to save my little bit of disposable income for some race tires and entry fees to do a couple of events. I only have the OEM shocks that are on the car. I have some Neuspeed Race springs and some Progress street springs. I don't know if it's worth installing either of these sets of springs on the OEM shocks. I would like to have a summer suspension and a winter suspension. Hopefully, I can pick up some used shocks and then have whole assemblies that can swapped in every spring and fall.

So on the street car, I need to change the oil, the tranny oil, the B-pipe on the exhaust, decide what to do with the suspension and mount a couple of tires on the summer wheels. It's just not motivating to get started on all these things when it's -8 degrees!

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Winter will not release its grip on us!

I know it's been a while since I posted, but there has really not been much going on in the world of cars and racing for me. The race car is still dormant at Trac (unless they've started prepping it for the race season). The street car still needs a new exhaust pipe and I'm shopping around for a cheap starter since mine does not work 100% of the time.

The snow continues to pound us in Montreal. This past weekend we had 2 separate storms which dumped over a foot of snow on us. I was shoveling my balcony for almost an hour. The car got stuck in the snow a few times. I wish I could afford a limited-slip transmission. Sunday night, as I arrived home after visiting my friend Will, I searched and searched for a parking spot that was not restricted for snow removal. I eventually settled for a spot two blocks from home that was only good until 8:00 am, which would force me to wake up earlier than usual to move the car.

The next morning, the car was gone. It had been towed by the city, who left me a nice 92$ ticket on the windshield. Of course, I will contest it. There were no signs where I parked. Ironically, they did not remove any of the snow on the street right beside my apartment where they had put no parking signs!

I have compiled a list of race events that might interest me for 2008. I will only attend two or three race events on this list, because my race budget will be small this year. Here it is:

2008 events

April 12-13 - Trac school - St-Eustache
April 19-20 - Trac school - St-Eustache
April 26-27 - Trac school - Calabogie
May 3-4 - FSAQ Touring - Sanair
May 10-11- CASC sprints - Mosport
May 17-18 - Sundown GP - Mosport
May 17-18 - Hillclimb - Ascutney I
May 31-June 1 - CASC sprints - Shannonville
May 31-June 1 - Trac school - Calabogie
June 14-15 - FSAQ Touring - Calabogie
June 14-15 - Hillclimb - Okemo I
June 28-29 - CASC sprints - Mosport
July 12-13 - FSAQ Touring - ICAR
July 19-20 - - FSAQ Touring - Calabogie
July 19-20 - Hillclimb - Okemo II
July 26-27 - CASC sprints - Calabogie
August 9-10 - CASC sprints - Mosport
August 23-24 - Hillclimb - Burke I
August 30-31 - CASC/FSAQ sprints - Mosport
September 13 - War Bonnet Enduro - Mosport
September 13-14 - CASC sprints - Mosport
September 13-14 - Hillclimb - Ascutney II
September 19-20-21 - Fall Classic - Tremblant
September 27-28 - CASC sprints - Mosport
October 18-19 - Hillclimb - Philo
October 18-19 - EMRA sprints - Watkins Glen
November 15 - EMRA enduro - Summit Point

I put the hillclimbs on the schedule because I remember how fun it was the one time I attended one in 2002 (Mount Burke). I had finished near the back, but I had a 1.5 liter Civic with only 89 lb-f of torque, and that hill was steep! The atmosphere was great and the scenery was beautiful. Here is a picture: