Friday, August 23, 2013

FlatOut With SuperCars @ Roebling Road

   Its not very often when our #44 SOHO Motorsports Time Attack G35 is on track with anything other than track cars these days so when we get a chance to attend an event like a Flat Out Motorsports Track Day we never say no. Flat Out offers tons of track time at some of the best road courses in the south east at one of the best costs out there. But to make it even better the entry list is usually limited to a very small number of about 40-60 cars total and most of those cars are supercars. I don't use that word lightly either but damn if most of the car's tracking alongside us weren't true supercars. From multiple Audi R8's and Vipers to a full fleet of race prepped Porsche Cup cars and even some fully built Lamborghini's. Walking through the paddock on Saturday morning was pretty damn impressive and the group of guys running were all great fun and true automotive enthusiasts.

   This Flat Out event was in Savannah, GA at Roebling Road Raceway which is actually pretty close to us here in Charlotte, NC at only about a 4 hour drive. With the new additions to the car after NJMP we knew we needed a quality test weekend to make sure the car's overheating problem was fixed and also use the track time to further dial in the G35 since we have had limited quality track time this season. Unfortunately just as in NJMP the weather gods did not want to cooperate and nearly all day Saturday it was raining. Not to let that ruin our test weekend we went ahead and tracked all day anyway and had a blast doing it. With plenty of wide open track thanks to the small run groups we quickly realized that our mid season adjustments had fixed all of our problems and I could say for the first time all season the #44 G35 was at 100%. Unfortunately on Sunday we did end up having an issue with a power steering pump failure at the end of the straight away around 150mph but no damage was done and the pump which was still the 8 year old original was replaced with a new one. We had a blast at the event and look forward to future Flat Out events next year.

Saturday, August 3, 2013

Mid Season Mods at Parlett Laboratories!

   After leaving NJMP with the car still having overheating issues I decided to visit home in Maryland for some family time and also to put the #44 G35 in the Parlett Laboratories garage (dad's garage where he used to build blown alcohol dragsters) and address the issues that had been haunting the cooling system making us overheat just a few laps into each race. With the help of my mechanical wizard father and fabrication genius Eddie Vines from Waldorf Stainless we brainstormed a plan that would allow more air to each cooling component. Our theory was that with the new front end setup the Mishimoto radiator was not getting enough clean air because the inter cooler and oil cooler were in front of about 50% of its surface area. Combine that 50% of pre-heated air before it touches the radiator along with the 20% reduction in width from our previous radiator setup (new one was smaller in width to allow for new turbo config) we quickly realized what we needed to do and got to work.

   Our first decision was to move the oil cooler from the front grille opening to the bottom passenger side bumper opening which happened to be the perfect size. Placing the oil cooler here we sacrificed our ability to use brake ducts on this side of the car but with our Stoptech Trophy Series brakes and our time attack strategy of only a few laps a time we found the ducts unnecessary on our last few outings. With placing the oil cooler here it gave the radiator 30+ sq. in. of extra surface area in front of the radiator allowing more direct cold air in. Along with this simple adjustment we changed the grille shroud and made the block off plate around the edges an inch thinner all the way around allowing for another 30+ sq. in. of clean air throughout.

   Next we raised the radiator as much as possible to get it away from the intercooler and into more clean air. But with low hood clearances on the G35 we were only able to gain about 1.5 inches total but that little bit gave us over 25+ sq. in. more undisturbed air to the top of the radiator. At this point in the process every inch of gave us a mile of cleaner air. Along with raising it we pushed the radiator back toward the engine another inch or two in an effort to leave room for us to add block off plates to channel the air to the entirety of the radiator while also deflecting the hot air that has already passed through the intercooler below. After placing the radiator in the optimal position we gave it even more room by repositioning the intercooler about 2 inches lower along with tilting the top side of the intercooler forward by about 30 degrees.

   With the radiator now located higher and further back and the intercooler lower and tilted forward we gained a ton of room in front of the radiator. Now all we had to do is methodically figure out the best way to channel the air from the front grille openings to the appropriate cooling component using aluminum diversion panels. First we placed a panel on the left and right side of the wider grille opening that tapers directly to the edges of the radiator core while also blocking the air from escaping around the turbo system.

   Along with diverting the air from the sides we placed a large panel from the bottom edge of the grille to the bottom edge of the radiator core utilizing the extra room we gained from tilting and lowering the intercooler. Lastly we placed a flat diversion panel from the top of the grille to the top of the radiator. These four panels on each side of the radiator create a huge sealed air box from the grille directly to the entire surface area of the radiator, supplying massive amounts of undisturbed cold air to the radiator all while diverting the hot air that has already passed through the intercooler away from the engine compartment and under the car. Eddie had outdone himself on everything but the panels took the cake and the final result was nothing short of amazing. With the new positioning of cooling components and the absolutely awesome new diversion panel setup we knew that the overheating problem would no longer be an issue.

   Now that the cooling system issues were seemingly fixed we addressed the next issue on the car; the wiring. When we rebuilt the car we rushed through some of the wiring organization and never got time in our race schedule to reorganize everything. In our Parlett family OCD way's my brother Matt, from Computech, and I re-wired the entire Computech Datamaxx Data Acquisition System and all of its dozens of sensors along with addressing the factory harness in the engine bay and under the dash. After nearly a full week of electrical work of taking out the old and re-wiring and organizing the results were amazing. We had simplified the factory harness a ton by removing nearly all of the unneeded wires saving weight  (nearly 8 lbs haha) and most importantly cleaning up the under dash/hood mess that drove me nuts. But the shining gem of that week of electrical work is the stunning organization of every wire on the car from the engine bay to under the dash to even the data system under the center console. Everything is labeled, bundled, secured, organized and placed to perfection and its a shame that the wire loom in the engine bay and center console inside cover all of that beautiful work by Matt. Along with the re-wiring we changed the switch panel setup to feature a few new things and also installed our newly supplied eBoost 2 Boost Controller from our awesome sponsor TurboSmart and I also put in a newly updated version of the Computech LCD Dash.

   With the main stuff done we also addressed a few more issues. We replaced our old and seemingly forever slow leaking fuel cell (still cant find the leak) with a brand new ATL Fuel Cell and custom caged in surround. Created a new intake for our Turbo By Garret GTX3582R turbo featuring a K&N reverse cone filter. Added a new Moroso oil catch can and a much larger custom coolant reservoir with a pressure release line on the window cowl (similar to NASCAR) so if the car does over heat it stops spraying dangerously on the front right tire and rather on the side of the car and visible to me while driving. And lastly but certainly not least the engine bay and trunk were repainted and all of the old lines and hoses on the car were replaced to stay ahead of the curve on degrading OEM parts just like the 5 P's of Racing suggest: Prior Preparation Prevents Piss Poor Performance. Okay maybe that was 6 P's haha.

   The result of the three weeks of work from everyone involved left us very satisfied upon completion not only because it all looked amazing but when we tested the car a few weeks later at Roebling Road in Savannah, GA all of our issues seem to be resolved! Everyone that helped fix the car I cant thank enough, it was absolutely amazing to finally work on the G with my family just like we used to on dragsters when I was a child, in fact we renamed the shop Parlett Laboratories in the process haha. I learned a ton, had a blast doing it, enjoyed spending time with family and to make it even sweeter the car now runs perfect. Bring on the next race day!

For more info on the parts and components we run on our #44 G35 please visit The Car page.