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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Just a note of recommendation after 2 reports from other cars at Rally NewYork. One car asked why their oil pressure might be low after the first pass through the rough stage and another reported a spun rod bearing later in the event. With the bashing and crashing that the cars took over that one very rough stage, it is quite possible that cars may have oil pans dented up far enough to be pushed into the oil pickup screens, with partially restricted oil flow into the oil pickup.

So check your oil pans for significant dents if you ran that event.

For those who didn't, you missed what had to be one of the widest possible variety of stage roads ever. From fast tarmac to wide hard packed gravel to narrow gravel to single track trail (like the old MI logging road stages), it sure tested the car and the drivers over a huge variety of road conditions. A cool event. Now if we only had some real suspension on the Starion to go over the rough portion without bouncing and wallowing like a whale on a pogo stick.... :)

Regards,
Mark Bowers
 

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As captain of the infamous 3-5-8-10 I drove it once in each direction. I then announced that I wasn't planning on driving the rough section any more. And I've probably got the only street Audi A4 with a major skidplate on it. It wasn't just the oil pan I was worried about but the whole suspension. Holy Mandan Road Batman}> . One of my workers (in a Honda Insite (hybrid) of all things) kept poo-pooing me saying he didn't have any trouble until we had to drag him to his work station with a holed oil pan (duh, surprise). Another unnamed driver lost the drain plug on his recce car (right Marc?) which will require some serious checkbook attention.
It was a great event, Ivan and Olga are to be congratulated on their continued contributions to the sport.
James Blumenfeld
 

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Be sure to check your tranny cases as well. Turns out JD's GTIs oil pan survived but there is a crack in the tranny case. So everyone should take a close look, a hairline crack thats covered up by mud and goop can be a big problem at the next event.

Brandon
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Speaking of VW's, if you are running a cast aluminum oil pan, it's usually just a matter of time 'til you bust it open. Switch any cast aluminum pans to steel if you can.

Mark B.
 

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Yep, the tranny case is shot, and I'm not sure if the oil pan received new injuries until I drop the pan and have a look at the pick-up. Mark, I think the loss of oil pressure wound up being the due to the oil-cooler shearing from its mounts and bouncing around foaming up the oil.

The south portion was rougher than John Wayne. The only sore spot in the entire rally, which I see as a credit to the wonderful job Ivan and Olga did putting this thing together. Thanks a bunch for all of your efforts.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Or the cooler has some dents and dings that are restricting oil flow.

Glad you made it through!

Mark B.
 

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I took out the pan on the rental car during recce, 2004 Sebring sedan. Just creeping through Mortimer still killed it. Only ran it the first direction too. We went back to town for lunch and could hear some valve ticking on the way back so I stopped to check the oil, and sure enough the cast alum. pan was leaking. Got lucky, didn't lose enough to drop pressure or trip the oil light. Brutal road, fortunately it got better over time, less water.
 

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Check wheels & tires, too!

That stage was a wheel eater. One of the Golfs from Team O'Neil busted 5 wheels. I taco'ed 3 rims in 4 trips thru. Brought 9 good ones, left with 3 bent wheels and 4 lame Kumhos.

Stage 5 ate both wheels on codriver side, probably due to whacking a shale outcrop that bounced the back end airborne enough so that for some reason the car didn't want to turn in for the L3 shortly thereafter...??!! Eventually it turned, it just wasn't going very fast. Oh well, better slow in the road than fast into the ditch.

Dave G



"...Embrace loose gravel, beware big trees..."
 

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Glad you mentioned this. As a result I looked at the position of my skidplate relative to the oil pan before removing it. It used to have 1/2" clearance and now it is up against the pan - and a small hump in the pan at the drain bolt has been flattened. I know my skid plate took a lot of hits. Looks like it got realigned a little too.

Update: Pulled skidplate. It had been sprung by the pounding and was up about an inch from its original location in the vicinity of the oil pan. The pan bottom oil canned and is up about 1/2 inch in the middle. New pans are only $15 so they are not worth straightening. Once I get the skidplate tweeked back to its original shape I will be adding improved bracing to disperse the impacts better.

I am thinking if the same conditions are there next time I will raise the car an inch.

I also put dimples in all 4 rims. Not enough to dump the wheels though (They are in the inside lip where stuff like that is common).
 

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I'll jump in with an echo of the oil pan saga. GIRT's got a 3/16" steel skid plate. It flexed up and compressed the oil pan. We had foam in between the skid plate and the pan so we didn't punch any holes in the pan. The first indication was that the oil level on the dipstick was higher than it was supposed to be.

I haven't looked at the rest of the suspension & transmission to see how bad we hurt GIRT.

We didn't break any wheels on GIRT. I tried the cheap 14x6 Borbet from Tire Rack because I'd been having problems with the stock VW wheels. The Borbets held up fine.

Dave & I had a great time.

Tim Meyer...........................ToeJaM Racing
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Hey Jonathan,

We apprecate your passing us on stage 9. Not because we got passed, but it was a great demonstration of very fast driving. Duffy was very impressed. (Well, OK, I was impressed too....) Sometimes you learn more about driving if someone faster passes you and you get to see how the faster car is positioned, how the corners are approached, etc.

Regards,
Mark B.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
RE: Check wheels & tires, too!

I dunno if you were running on all Kuhmo's, but if you were, IMO that was the core of your problem. They are pretty gooshie in the sidewalls, even with elevated pressures up into the low 30's, and really expose the rims to a beating. We always run steel rims on the first day of Maine, but won't do it with Kuhmo's any more; better a worn set of Michelins. The Kuhmo's are good in smooth mucky conditions, but not on anything very rocky, and they seem to peel off fast on hard packed dirt/clay.

Mark B.
 

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RE: Check wheels & tires, too!

Core of my tire and wheel problem was not the Kumhos...it had a lot more to do with my right foot

Heheh, I slowed up a bit for the next runs thru those super-rough sections...and for some unexplained reason, had no more issues with bent wheels and busted tires?!

Plus I listened to my navvie when he was calmly telling me, "really REALLY rough next 200."


Dave G

"...Embrace loose gravel, beware big trees..."
 

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RE: Check Your Oil Pans (and Spindles!) after RallyNewYork

Good idea also to check the suspension too after a bumpy event like that.

Strut towers get cracks, suspension links get bent, etc.

The left rear spindle on our car broke on stage 5, and we were not bouncing over anything particularly rough at the time. Nor did we use the skid plate much during the event, either.

Lastly, checking seat mountings between events is also a good idea.

RNY was definitely a fun event!

__________________________________________________
Another Message From... L. Mark Stone
 

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RE: Check Your Oil Pans (and Spindles!) after RallyNewYork

The car formally know as Frankenmotor, also has a crushed oil pan. Glad it was steel and not cast aluminum. I will check the tranny when I get home. We had new Michelins and no flats. I think there was a speed "sweet spot" on stage three and I was frequently running with one set of tires closer to the middle, instead of staying in the tracks. It got kind of scary when we hit something on my floor board and I felt it in the seat. I think the seat should be attached to the roll cage, perhaps with two rails down either side of the seat. Since the GTI is unibody with out a frame this might give more protection in a bottom impact.

See Ya,
Preston
 

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RE: Sweet spot on rough SS3

Heh, I tried riding that "sweet spot," Preston mentions, straddling the rough places Baja-racer style. Worked ok, except that when the car bounced or leapt out of the intended line, it wanted to come down outside the normal wheel tracks where all manner of nasties lurked. Better to whack the nasties you can see than to collect new (big) ones you can't see.

Didn't damage anything on the race car that way (luckily), but on recce the ole F250 did NOT like this tactic--had a number of escapades of getting the truck off the beaten track--busted a shock, bent a mirror, and tore off a new MOTUL decal.

Who knows WHAT I'll find after tearing Tulip apart in the shop?


ciao for now,

Dave G

"...Embrace loose gravel, beware big trees..."
 
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