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Batteries & Track cars
Wiring an ammeter in line with the negative terminal of the battery is a
good way to see what the milli-amperage draw is, when car is off. It should
be milli-amperage though (things like clocks, etc), anything more (ie.
multi-amps :-)) and you will come back to a dead battery in several days.
With the ammeter hooked up start pulling & replacing fuses one by one and
check the reading each time, this should help isolate the culprit. Also
stereo amplifiers have a spec for current used at idle (the amp's idle) as
well they tend to pull some juice when they are off (you can verify this
with the procedure above, I had a carver amp that pulled quite a bit of
juice, I had a hifonics that pulled just a little).
Although I believe that you should make sure the electricals are up to
snuff, an Optima gel cell battery is really the way to go if you are going
to park your car outside in MN for two weeks. I have left my car at long
term parking in the Denver Airport for weeks in the winter and have not had
any problems. My father in law has one in his Mondial and though he uses it
in conjunction with a battery cut off switch, it will allways start even
after extended periods of inactivity. My 914 autocrosser had a similar
battery and although it saw limited use as well, it performed flawlessly.
Speaking of track cars & quattro... After several months of S4 ownership I
too have realized that it is just to heavy of a car to drop big $$$ in for
track use (IMO). That being said I will still drop big $$$ to increase
performance because: 1) I want to, and 2) I will bring the car to the
Stapleton track for some fun.
I've decided that if I really want to do it up for the track, I'll look at
something lighter like maybe a 914 with a 3.5 liter 911 motor or something
equally insane. There was a fellow PCA-er a while back that had a twin turbo
914-6, my oh my, did thing ever swallow up race tracks.
Nevertheless, I have no qualms about driving a modified S4 on the street,
the quattro, upgraded brakes, suspension, etc., and driving skills I garner
from track events make it the ultimate (read safe, comfortable & fast)
choice for driving my family around in on a daily basis.
Frank "This Probably Should Have Been Two Posts" Amoroso