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Thread: Tracking your Noble/Rossion

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Feb 2014
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    Default Tracking your Noble/Rossion

    Iím starting this thread to share my experiences of using my Rossion at a race track. I hope the thread will help others thinking about tracking their cars and provide a platform for sharing insights on fixing whatís broken and improving the on-track experience with our cars.
    I apologize in advance for the long first post.

    Some background first: Iím not a pro race driver neither I set track records. I go to track events in north California usually with Golden Gate Lotus Club, Hooked on Driving or Speed SF in intermediate groups. Iíve been to Thunderhill, Sonoma Raceway and Laguna Seca.

    Before heading to my first track day, I had Hoover (TurboHoses) to go over my car and prep the car for tracking. The most important are probably:

    • Installing oil pan baffles
    • Repairing turbo oil drain lines (original ones were burnt to crisp about to burst and spray oil all over the hot turbos)
    • Installing harness bar (I didnít trust the flimsy factory anchors)
    • Adding 4 point Schroth ASM harness (I didnít want to install the seat anchor plate to keep the seat position low)
    • Lowered driver seat position as much as possible (at 6í1Ē the helmet still touches the roof)
    • Installing ignition amplifier, new ignition harness and stronger valve springs (all related to power breakup at high RPM)
    • Adding intercooler pull fan
    • Installed proper front track axles
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    • Aligned all wheels to spec


    Since we all want to drive our cars back from a track day, safety should be high on your list. Read up on the organizers and their rules. Most groups also have tech inspection checklists that help with pre-track inspection of your car (brakes, fluids, hoses, suspension, tires etc.).
    Bring your own tools to the track day. I know our cars are small but I usually bring at minimum:

    • Torque wrench and socket for going over the wheel nuts between the runs
    • Tire pressure gauge and small air compressor (carís rather sensitive to tire pressure)
    • Brake fluid
    • Engine oil
    • Zip ties
    • Cloth and/or painterís tape
    • Screwdriver and other basic tools
    • Rugs and towels
    • Folding chair (fits nicely on the shelf behind the seats)
    • Bunch of answers about your car

    Itís a good idea to remove hub caps (I already lost one) and install a clear bra on the front of the car if you want to keep it chip free.

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    Now the scarier part. Things that broke and fixes:

    1. Cooling issues: the temperatures on the track in summer can reach 120F. At that temp I was able to do maybe 3 laps and the water started to boil. I replaced the factory expansion tank with an aluminum one and upped the cooling system pressure to 22PSI. I didnít see any significant improvements though. This is to be continued...
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    2. Speedo stopped working: the speedo would just stop working intermittently and eventually stopped working. It seemed to be caused by the heat generated by the brakes affecting the speedo sensor. Replacing the speed sensor fixed the issue for now. Sensor P/N XS608B1PAL2.
    3. Cracked back valve cover: it presented itself by a small oil leak in one corner of the cover. It was somehow difficult to see and discovered by a chance when checking the engine after a session. I got a used cover from Hoover but you can get a Ford Duratec 3.0L V6 cover from your parts store or eBay. P/N YL8E-6582 (right side).
    4. Read brake pad failure: one of the brake pads sheared off the backplate resulting in grinding noises from the back of the car and badly scratched rotor. I replaced the rear rotor with AP Racing P/N CP4475-134CG8. They are hard to get (there is a separate post about it).
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    5. Various vacuum leaks: you will usually get an irregular idle or loss of power. It can be one of the vacuum hoses is damaged or disconnected. Another problem might be damaged turbo wastegate actuator. These see high temperatures from the turbo that can damage the wastegate membrane. Diagnose the leak source an fix/replace whatís needed.
    6. Rear wheel bearing failure: presents itself with a rumbling noise while turning. Unfortunately my was so bad it overheated and cracked the rear upright. Replacing the bearing is manageable but the uprights are made of unobtanium! Replace the bearing as soon as you hear the noise!
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    7. Read axle shaft CV joint failure: this was discovered during the rear bearing replacement. I got an upgraded set from Hoover.
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    8. Vibration under braking: not quite sure whatís the cause of it yet. It went away with new floating brakes but came back later. I measured the disc runoff and it seems to be okay. Wheel bearings are ok. Brake pads? To be continued...
    9. Alternator failure (cracked stator leads): yes, you get the charging indicator light on your dash but mine is well covered by the steering wheel. In my case it led to blown main 80A fuse when the failing alternator caused a spike. Direct replacements are easy to get. Look for P/Ns Motorcraft GL8778RM or NGL7775N (10346). Better alternative would be e.g. Bosch GCM1 but that would require new mounting bracket. The alternator can be removed from the bottom of the car after dropping the belly pan section, battery and unbolting the alternator. While you there you might as well change the serpentine belt (Dayco 5060670)
    10. Front down pipe flange gaskets: the flange nuts got loose over time and the original (aluminum?) gasket melted and started to ooze out! Replaced with with graphite gasket Remflex 8001. I also replaced the rusty bolts on the flange and added Nord-Lock washers to hopefully prevent the loosening.
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    11. Broken turbo stud: found a small exhaust leak at turbo at first. Turned out the turbo was not sealing because one of the studs was broken. Replaced all turbo studs as part of other fixes (see below) with Flyiní Miata Stage 8 Hardware with Inconel Studs.

    12. Cracked exhaust manifolds: both front and rear exhaust manifolds were cracked. Apparently, the factory headers have reinforcement plates welded on. Unfortunately the plates and headers are made of two different materials. The different expansion rates and deep heat cycling and when tracking the car just tears them apart. I sourced a pair of very cool Inconel headers from Hoover but Raiden Performance offers 304, 321 and Inconel headers as well.
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    13. Loose catalytic converters: if you hear an intermittent rattling sound in a narrow band of RPM, the chances are your cats are burned and detached from the sides of the pipe and just move about. Again, this likely happens due to the prolonged high heat exposure. You can replace themÖ or get rid of them
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    Well thatís all for now. I donít mean to scare you from tracking your car. Hopefully this helps you to prepare and anticipate some of problems. Maybe some of you have other experiences and suggestions. Please share and advise!

  2. Default

    This is great!

    reinforcing my (very limited) knowledge with my M12 GTO.
    the oil pan is a must. If I remember what has been said. Long left hand sweeper will cost you a motor with out the baffled pan.
    The track axles are a must. The scaffolding bolt will stretch, they will give you a brake pulse. Save time and money, get the track axles.

    on the M12. The liquid to oil oil cooler was good for the streets , but you need better oil cooling for the track. I did a front mounted air to oil cooler and my oil cooling issues were solved. I can now use full power for the entire 30 min session regardless of ambient temps, and the oil temperature never gets too hot.

  3. #3

    Default

    I tracked my M400 twice, once at Big Willow and once at Auto Club Speedway. Didn't do anything special to prep other than removing extra junk in the car so nothing flies around.

    Both were on hot SoCal days. Car behaved perfectly. Then again, I'm no professional race driver.

    You only live once, enjoy the ride.

  4. #4

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    How to combat high water temps --- drain the coolant and replace with distilled water and two bottles of water wetter. This will significantly improve water temps.

    Another thing about temps, if you see >230' water temp, back off/slow down. Depending on the oil, you can realistically go as high as 300' but you would want to flush the oil afterwards -- but it's good to start backing off >260'.


    And tough break about the issues you ran into. I laughed at the "unobtanium" uprights, but all of the items you replaced with turbohoses parts -- that upright had to be cheapest replacement part considering everything from TH costs $2k+.

  5. #5
    Join Date
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    Default

    Cheapest was the used valve cover The upright was $2k+...

  6. #6

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    Quote Originally Posted by phun-ky View Post
    Cheapest was the used valve cover The upright was $2k+...
    Ouch... I got an upright from Jetstream shipped for $900 a few years back.

  7. #7
    Join Date
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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Driven View Post
    Ouch... I got an upright from Jetstream shipped for $900 a few years back.
    Well, to be fair, I was able to drive the car home the same day I brought it. Call it an express delivery charge...

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