We have not been on track with our Datsun 510 for over a year, but we resumed work a couple of weeks ago. From a list of 108 Items we are down to 55 but all the major, time-consuming, stuff has been completed. Yesterday, December 3rd, the first test-start took place after completing the following:
1. Checked cylinder head torque.
2. Verified cam to cam follower contact using machinists blue.
3. Verified cam timing.
4. Set valve clearances.
5. Primed oil system and filled Accusump by running oil pump with electric drill.
6. Motored engine on the starter, without sparkplugs.
Hearing the engine running after so many months sure lifted our spirits!
What a difference the lift makes from past circus-routines to work under the car!
An update is long overdue. The engine that failed prematurely at The Mitty in April 2015 was rebuilt and has been back in the engine bay for months. Moving from our old shop to a new much larger facility has resulted in a big delay. We decided to get the new shop fully operational before bringing our stuff out of storage and continuing work on our 510. Our plan is to finish the new shop and the racecar during this summer, do some track testing and do a couple of races before the end of the year. Our next update will be posted soon when the new shop is ready.
As stated in our previous post, we experienced a failure of our new engine during the Test Session at Road Atlanta in late April. Luckily Alex shut down the engine when he detected something amiss while on track. This prevented catastrophic damage, but will require full disassembly. We removed the engine at the track and delivered it to our engine builder, who accepted responsibility and finished disassembling the engine a week later. Stay tuned for our progress. Soon we will be back on the dyno.
Moya Motorsports arrived at the 2015 Mitty confident and not expecting any significant problems. However, a simple $0.90 part triggered a chain of events that damaged our new engine, incredibly ending our weekend on the first day.
During a Test Session, the freeze plug adjacent to the starter motor was expelled:
1) Into the last lap of the session, it was noted that the water and oil temperatures climbed above normal.
2) Initially, it was not cause for concern since it was a new engine.
3) The engine was shut down as we rolled into the pits to investigate, when the missing freeze plug was detected.
4) Since the coolant temperature sensor lost contact with the water, it could not indicate the actual maximum engine temperature reached.
5) A new plug was installed, water was added and the engine started, only to notice bubbling in the coolant expansion tank, indicating a possible failed head gasket.
6) The cylinder head was removed for further investigation when some light scoring of the cylinder walls was noted.
7) Rather than risking further damage, the engine was removed and turned over to the engine builder who was present at the event.
Since a sudden loss of coolant may not be detected by the gauge, a coolant pressure warning will be installed.
We thank all our well-wishers and hope to put on a better show next time.
This video is from clips from a hand-heald camera. The pictures are from Bimmerfest.
We reported on September 18th that, after significant updates to our Datsun 510, we would race at Savannah and then Sebring before the end of the year. However, although the car ran very strongly at Savannah, we have decided that our engine has enough racing hours to warrant an inspection of critical internal components. This means that we cannot do Sebring in December. Our schedule is very tight, but we hope to be ready for the first vintage race of the 2015 season at Palm Beach International Raceway at the end of January.
The Moya Motorsports Datsun 510 had not raced since last December at Sebring. This was our second visit to this 10-turn, 2-mile course. Savannah was cool and dry, and our test session at Homestead earlier in October had been hot and humid. This dictated a minor correction in carburetor jetting before we even fired up the engine. Between practice, qualifying and races, we were on track seven times. In between sessions, we made other small adjustments and our lap times continued to improve, besting our fastest time from last year by almost three seconds. Although practice and qualifying sessions were 10 to 14 laps each, the two races were only seven laps. During the last race, our times improved with each lap. We traded places a few times with three other cars, setting our fastest time on lap four, when a yellow flag was displayed due to oil on the track from a car that DNF. The last three laps of this race were run under yellow, preventing any further progress. We finished 2nd in class in both races and were the only 510 at the event, but really enjoyed the close competition with BMW 2002s, Alfa Duettos, a Pinto, 911s, 914s, Mazda MX5, Toyota MR2, Corvairs and others.
The 4 minute video is a collection of clips from practice and the two races.
Work on our Datsun 510 was completed last Thursday with suspension alignment and corner weighting. Yesterday, we had an excellent opportunity to track-test locally at Homestead-Miami Motor Speedway with the FARA Group. The long work hours of the previous months paid off, as the racecar performed flawlessly. Test conditions were perfect, as there was little traffic, which allowed us to conduct conclusive high-speed testing and adjustment of our brake balance. The video shows part of this test before final adjustment. We thank all family and friends who showed their support and came to the test session.
Crunch time is over, as we are ready to race and have two weekends before heading 500 miles north to HSR’s Savannah Speed Classic on October 23-26.
Take a look at the pictures below provided by our new Track Friend Tony Sarria from Tony Sarria Photography. He provided us with some fine examples of his work and these are just a few.
Worked nine hours yesterday 9/27/14 getting the Datsun completed. Other than alignment and corner-weighting, the racecar is ready. A quick street test showed that “it works”. Next race is Savannah at the end of October.