Track Day 13 - SOW CCW - Bucket Seat and Oil Cooler

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After a brief hiatus from track days, I finally got out again! Yet again, we found ourselves at Streets of Willow (SOW). I'll admit at this point 90% of our track days occur here and I'm starting to get a bit bored of this track. That said, there's plenty of room for progression on this track, and it's a great place to test and tune various things.

Time wise, I ran about a half second quicker than some of my previous best times running SOW counter clock wise (CCW). Not a huge improvement, but an improvement non-the-less. I definitely have some improvements to make in the braking coming down the front straight, and my line through the bowl is inconsistent. I also have some time to pick up in the "playground" section, and I could get a bit more consistent with my drive into the waterfall. Still my front and back straight speeds are nearly matched, which is off since most people should be faster down the front straight. I believe I could pick up time there by braking later and more aggresively.

Modifications and how they worked out:

The bucket seat was a game changer. I was notably more secure in the car. I was a lot less physically strained in the car and in turn felt more comfortable actuating the controls. I'll still need to learn to trust and adapt to the setup, but overall it was excellent. I also adjusted the 5 point harness which made getting in and out a far less strained process.

The oil cooler did the trick. Check out my oil cooler install here. I was seeing oil temps around 234 at the hottest, down from a previous high of 273 or so on this track in similar temperatures running hard. That said I was running CW and running 2 seconds faster to get that temperature, and the difference between running consistent 1:27 and 1:28s for me was 10 degrees of oil temperature. That said, I feel pretty confident this oil cooler does the trick.

Problems on the track to figure out:

Coming off the track after the first session the car was very jerky in first from on to off throttle. One the drive home I noticed it as well, even the smoothest application of throttle from a standstill resulted in a jerky "clunk clunk". To me it feels like the bushings in the torque tube probably have had enough imperfect downshift shocks to them and gave up the ghost being 23 years old. My clutch is also a bit worn as I can get it to slip on really hard 1st gear launches. I've been avoiding replacing the clutch due to complexity and costs, along with me not really ever doing hard 1st gear launches so it didn't matter. Now though I think it's time to bite the bullet on an LS7 clutch, and a rebuilt torque tube. Here's to hoping with that replaced all is well!

Mid turn I started to notice the car would do a bit of a shuffle. I think the bumpsteer components I have really needs to get installed as I believe this is toe altering throughout travel. Fixing this should help pick up some notable traction. It could possibly be from going off to on throttle though with the aforementioned torque tube issue though. I'm a bit bummed out that I couldn't find a shop locally that could properly install these, but I have started to look for shops in the area to install them. So far though I can't get anyone to call me back and give me the time of day. This bit may take a bit to resolve.

Upcoming Work Plans for the C5 Corvette:

Welp, unfortunately for my budget, I think it's time I stop avoiding some of the larger cost issues I've had going on with the C5 and been avoiding.

AMT motor mounts will be installed, LS7 clutch and aluminum flywheel, Tick master with a replacement slave cylinder and a remote bleeder line. While that is all going on the torque tube will be rebuilt as well.

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