Tech Zone

This page is where we will post various technical pages, reviews and updates as they relate to our race car builds.    If you have something that you think we’d enjoy or leverage, please let us know.    This is a work in progress and updates are happening all the time.  Enjoy

Fuel Starvation Issues

This feature discusses our fuel consumption related problems.

Oil Overheating

This feature discusses the issues surrounding our engine oil overheating.

Fire Suppression

This is a critical safety piece that all racecars require in all leagues.

Analytics

We installed a great live streaming analytics based monitoring system.

Fuel Starvation Issues

Fuel Cell and Hydramat

With our current build, the RatsNets, which is a 1997 Mazda MX6, the fuel tank is the worst design ever for racing.   For a street car, daily driver, it was more than sufficient.   The stock design is the plastic tank is located under the car, near the rear axle, but spread out from side rail to side rail.   It holds 15.8 gallons or 60 liters.   

When we are endurance racing, and with a full tank, we can only run for 1.5 hours until we start exhibiting fuel starvation issues.    Upon review, we are only consuming approximately 5 gallons per hour, which is pretty good for a V6 running at 10mpg.   Leaving half a tank of fuel still remaining in the tank, which does not bode well for racing.

To resolve this we ordered a proper fuel cell from Pyrotect Racing Cells and with that they installed a Holley Hydramat for us to on the fuel pickup line.   With the rules of ChumpCar, we are allowed to increase our fuel capacity by 2 gallons, and given the options on tanks, left us with an 18 gallon version.  At our current consumption rate of 5 gallons per hour, we should now get over 3 hours if needed.

The tank is also aluminium, super light and FIA FT3 safety certified.

We are going to opt for external fuel filter and fuel pump to keep things as simple and serviceable as possible.   

With the new fuel cell and holley hydramat, we should easilty be able to go the full 2 hours on any track now.   

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Holley Hydramat

Holley Hydramat is an amazing technology that helps pickup fuel from a fuel cell or gas tank.   It attaches to the fuel pickup line and sits on the bottom of the tank.   They come in may different sizes and configurations.   Excellent technology

1997 Mazda MX-6 Fuel Tank

This is what a stock fuel tank looks like on the MX-6.   Like a pancake.  

Fuel Tank Location

Stock fuel tank location is way at the back.   Just infront of the rear axle.

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Engine Oil overheating

This was a multiyear issue that had mulitissues.

As we continue to learn how to prepare a race car, and install quality parts, we improve the car at every turn of our car build.    When we first built our car, we thought the stock oil cooler, which leveraged the engine coolant mechanics, was sufficient.   We did not have an oil pressure sensor nor a oil temperature sensor.   We relied upon the engine temperature gauge as our measurement device for engine health.

The engine that we had in our car on the first race weekend, Aug 2016, was a high mileage engine.   We refreshed all the belts, hoses and gaskets.   We did not pull the heads, but pretty much refreshed the motor as best as we could.   But at the conclusion of the race, we found considerable amount of particulate matter in the oil filter.

We figured the engine just let go and the bearings were bad.   So another donor car was purchased from Lethbridge.  Long drive there and back, but we got another engine that we could leverage.   This motor didn’t look as good as the previous one, so we decided to rebuild this one and sent it to “The Block Shop” in Edmonton to get new pistons put in, rebore the cylinders to 0.020” oversize as well as grind the cylinder heads and a thorough cleaning.   Once we got this engine back, we painted it yellow.   

We installed this motor for the 2017 race season and this motor sounded better, but we still had some small noise to some of the lifters.   They would quiet down after a few minutes as the oil pressure built up.   Nothing of concern was noted really and the engine sounded good.   We were hopeful we have gotten our power back that was noticeably absent from the previous engine.

After the race in 2017 we tore apart our motor again.   upon close inspection we found alot of metal particulates in the oil filter.   We ruined another set of bearings.   We were devastated.   But we had the Autosports Labs MK3 monitoring system in the car and we were able to notice the oil pressure dropping, an almost see-saw effect.   Oil consumption was high again.   Oil temperature sensor only went to 100C and this was pegged at 100C for the whole race.   It turns out we may have found our issue with the engine bearings.   The telemetry system appears to have paid for itself in determining what was going on.

When we tore apart the yellow motor, we found what we believed to be the underlying issue related to the oil overheating.   The headers collector pipe, where the steel braided flex pipe connects the headers to the exhaust, had collapsed inside the pipe.   Instead of the pipe being 2.5” in diameter, it was actually 1” in diameter.   Not only will this reduce the power by 40%+ but it created so much heat that the oil pickup tube in the oil pan turned colour.   We found our major issue.

So we ended up replacing the flex pipe with a non-steel braided pipe, Honda style, as well as installed a oil cooler with an accusump.   We also sent the motor to Brent H in Didsbury, check our suppliers page, to look over the motor.  Brent builds race engines and we needed a second opinion as to whether or not the yellow engine could be saved.

Brent was able to replace the few worn bearings, cleaned up the debris, tightened up the motor and gave it the thumbs up.  

When we got all the parts and the motor back, we installed in preparation for the 2018 season.   With a new oil temperature sensor and all parts back in the car, we raced at Castrol for 2018.

We were still exhibiting oil temperature issues, due to air flow, but some modifictaions to the bumper improved that.    Throughout the race, we ran consistent oil pressure, oil temperature and at the conclusion of the race we were able to stay on the track for both days yet again.

Upon our post race checkup, we found some small amounts of metal in our oil filter.  We were agast and terrified we were on the verge of wrecking another motor.   We sent the oil filter to Brent for his inspection and he stated, looks Ok.   Most likely is debris from the previous issue and some small amounts are expected after each race anyways.   

Looks like we.have resolved the issue with this oil overheating issue.

Looking forward to 2019 and hitting some more tracks besides Castrol.   

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Our first motor - Red

This motor came from a donor car that had 246,000Kms on it.  Plus the car was an automatic.  It did have some lifter noise, but seemed to run well.

The eBay Headers

The infamous eBay headers.  They are Chinese made and the qualty of the metal and the welding was very good.  Quite impressed for a $150 set of headers, collectors and piping.   The flexible pipe was problematic and the inner steel braiding collapsed.

Oil Filter Sandwich plate

This piece carries the oil from the engine to the cooler and returns.   The Oil filter stlil attaches as normal.   Cool piece of technology and I like the fit an finish of the AN hoses.

Oil filter after July 2018

This was the oil filter after our race in 2018, July at Castrol.   We had some debris in the filter, but it looks much betrer than before, and could be reminants from the previous failure.   We appear to be on the path for a good motor now.   Power is back to normal and we are now finishing other items to stay on the track longer.

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Fire Suppression System

Driver safety is first and foremost important

This is one area you never want to cut costs on.   The only other piece to never scrimp on is the roll cage too.   This artical is related to our selection and installation of our fire suppression system in our car.

We purhcased our system from Pegasus Autoracing Supplies.   

We also get them to refill our bottle as they expire after two years.

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Analytics and Live Monitoring

We installed the RaceCapture Pro MK3

This system allows us to monitor critical metrics not only on our display dash, but also in the pits.   Great product, relatively easy to install and setup.   Worth every penny.

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