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Re: We finished Prescott!!!

Mark Nelson wrote:
> Well, with several headaches, coolant burns, etc., in the beginning
> stages, Paul Timmerman and I finished the Prescott Forest Rally, which
> actually consisted of two divisional events.  I'll start from the
> beginning...
> Friday...we pull into Prescott with a car we feel *should not* have any
> more overheating problems, and should be pretty much bulletproof.  My
> dad and I spent Friday afternoon, finishing up some last minute minor
> details, such as installing a CHF radio (this would prove to save our
> butts later on), and cleaning up some last minute items.  Since our
> incident at Goreman Ridge, we've installed a new motor, a new oversized
> radiator, a large diameter aluminum perma-cool fan, removed the
> Thermostat, and done a few other things.  We got the car all running on
> Monday night, and I went and pounded around in it, Monday and Wednesday
> evenings.  It was hard to get the temperature above half-way...but keep
> in mind that the temperature around Reno in the evenings can get pretty
> cool...so that may have helped in keeping things cool.
> Anyway, we start the first stage Friday night that's ~10 miles long
> going up hill, on this really wide and smooth dirt road.  This stage
> wielded quite a lot of dust, and a couple of rollovers.  It was one of
> those types of stages where you can get a bit over-zealous and end up in
> BIG trouble, as our fellow competitors found out.  The two rollovers
> consisted of a Saab 90 and a mile up the road, Lee Shadbolt's Subaru
> Impreza.  Both of the crews were fine.  About a mile or so from the top,
> we started having some heating problems, and as we pull into the FTC
> (Finish Time Control), we are smoking like crazy.  The route book
> mistakenly gives us an incorrect distance to the service area, and we
> end up going down the road about a mile.  The temp is pegged, and so we
> pull over with smoke everywhere.  Paul pops the hood, and as soon as he
> opens it, the upper radiator hose busts, and spews hot coolant all over
> his face.  Paul didn't get burned too badly, but it was more than enough
> to see that the car was going to fight us all the way.  This time we had
> radios, so we were able to radio our service crew to come bail us out.
> My dad and Suzy showed up, found that one of the brackets for our fan
> had come loose, hit the fan blade, causing the blade to bend and stop
> the fan.  We bent the blade back, filled the radiator back up, and were
> on our way again.
> On the second stage, we encountered the same problem, except the hose
> didn't blow off this time.  We had a 75 minute wait, so we had time to
> let the car cool off, and figure out what was wrong.  We found that
> there were several holes in the radiator from where the fan blade had
> hit it.  Whenever we would let off the throttle, pressure would build,
> and coolant would spew out.  Several competitors and volunteers gave us
> some AlumaSeal which helped somewhat, but we still had a major leak at
> the seam.  We decided to take it easy on the third stage (which was the
> second stage run backwards), and just make it to our service area.  We
> made it back, and several people including John Buffum (VERY cool guy!)
> rushed over to see if they could help.  We ended up refilling the
> missing coolant, and removing the troublesome bracket from the fan.  We
> managed to make it through the fourth stage (which was the first stage
> run backwards) since it was downhill.  On the transit back to MTC (Main
> Time Control) ~35 miles, we had to stop and refill the radiator 3 times.
> I forgot to mention that each time we had an overheating problem, the
> turbo was GLOWING bright red!!!  Everything that could be hot on the car
> was.  Anyway, we made it back and put the car to sleep.
> Saturday...we pulled the fan and radiator, and Paul and Suzy found an
> open radiator shop and took it over.  It turned out there were 14 leaks
> in the thing, and Paul figured the repair cost out to be ~$4 per leak
> =).  In the meantime, my dad and I made a new bracket for the fan,
> borrowed some tin snips from Carl Merrill's crew and trimmed an 1/8" off
> each blade.  We moved the fan back from the radiator about 8mm, so this
> time we would have plenty of clearance.  We got the car all back
> together, and everything was hunky dory.  We didn't have any major heat
> problems the rest of the day!!!  We only had two very minor other
> problems.  The first being that the connector Mazda used for the Oxy
> sensor was very winky, and would move around causing the car to run lean
> when we didn't have a good connection...we still have to fix that.  We
> also had a minor problem with a rock jammed in the right rear caliper
> (maybe due to Paul having all that fun with Pendulum turns ;-) and would
> cause a nice squeaking noise every so often.
> The worst party of the rally, came on the last stage, 9, when Henry Joy
> in the Mitsubishi Lancer Evo II, who had been battling back and forth
> with Paul Choinere through the whole rally, went 200 yards off a cliff,
> 1.3 miles from the end, on a particularly narrow and rough section of
> the course.  Henry was only 12 seconds behind Choinere starting that
> stage and was trying to make up the gap.  Henry had some injuries, and
> was taken to the hospital, but was conscious.  His co-driver Michael
> Finnell came out of this fine.  Sam Bryan came upon them, and escorted
> them to the FTC.  The stage was canceled as we found out, so we just
> transited through.  Henry's car is apparently a total loss from what I
> had heard, when I talked to the officials at the end of Stage 9.
> Anyway, they gave us 108 minutes to transit through the 21 mile stage
> and 35 mile 'regular' transit.  We made it to the MTC with 7 seconds to
> spare, and the kicker was when they told us, "we aren't going to give
> penalties for lateness"!!!!  It figures!!
> Anyway, it was an interesting event...VERY rough in some stages, but we
> made it!!  Paul can probably post some more details that I missed.  BTW,
> Rui didn't show up, as his car wasn't ready
> cya!
> -mark nelson
> mailto:markn@brls.com
> '90 s2 Quattro (Building for SCCA Pro Rally)
> '85 4ktq (Finishing up the brakes and sway bars this week)
> http://quattro.malebolge.com/audipics

Good Show!!!!! Congratulations.
    Mike Z