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Frustration, maybe a little panic, and certainly some depression sets in

Posted by davecarama , 04-16-2012 · 1,966 views

The first race of the season is coming up soon and my motor is still not yet together. Last you heard from me I got a car (for the motor) and the head was leaking from cylinders 2 & 3 (leakdown determined it was the exhaust side). I brought it to a machine shop and when I got it back and attached it to the motor and did another leakdown, same issues were present.

Now, I do this for fun. I am not a pro, not national, and I am not even top in my regional class. Driving on track, racing, Time Trials, and even HPDE, are a release for me. Work life is not fun... I always say that is why they call it "work" and not "play" or "Recess". I put most of my eggs in this basket as a release for myself, mainly because I truly love it so much. But having no light at the end of the tunnel, and dumping money into things that are getting me nowhere but lighter in the bank account...

It reminds me of something Laird Hamilton said once (he is a big wave surfer), I think it might have been that he said it to his wife Gabby Reece (pro volleyball player) and she said it in an interview on the documentary "Riding Giants".

"Imagine if you were a dragon slayer. It was all you knew, all you invested yourself with, and all you loved in the world. But then, all of a sudden, all of the dragons were gone. The feeling of worthlessness, anger, frustration, etc. Doubting yourself, restlessness, etc... It is torture"

Of course, he was talking about when the waves were flat, and he had nothing to do with his time. In my case, there are tracks, and there are events, and I want to be at all of them... But I can't because my tool, my car, is not in operational order at the time.

I spent a better part of the winter working out the best strategy for getting me back on track... not winning... but simply getting me back up and running. I went through thoughts of rebuilding my motor, I went through thoughts of buying a crate, I even went through thoughts of just going forward and buying a full on screamer ITA prepped motor. I decided it would be quickest and easiest and most of all cheapest to get a junkyard motor and plop it on in. Unfortunately, they are usually a crap shoot (better odds of a good one over a bad one, but still). I lost that gamble, but it was not too bad. Turned out I just needed to re-do my head.

So that is what I did... with expectations of getting it back and having it running on Sunday. But here it is Monday, and I am no further than I was in October last year.

The amount of joy I get from being at the track are great. But this moment of being without a car in my near future is killing me. It is absorbing all of my energy and patience. I am obsessing.

I am now considering letting it all go. Is it really worth all of this? For me, and the past 15 years it was.

I am so bummed...

04-16-2012 10:20 PM
Machine shop seems to have done a fine job (of course, they are stand-up guys). When I got to the track, I installed the head and did the leak down with the cams and lifters still out.
1&4 were still great 2 was 10%(ish) and 3 was 15%(ish). Considering my bottom end is an unknown, I am fine with these numbers for now.

Advice from here on MazdaRacers.com was that it could be the lifters being too pumped up (and I am assuming with the motor running for a little bit, they would equalize eventually?). OR it could be the valves are set too deep into the head... but I am going to rule that out. These guys wouldn't do that I don't think.

So... trying to see if I should just replace those old tired lifters or is there something else I should do first... Hmmm... How does one tell if the lifters are good or bad? Time to google!
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04-17-2012 03:16 PM
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