Alfa Track Day Prep [updated]

Illustration for article titled Alfa Track Day Prep [updated]

As mentioned, HOLY CRAP THE ALFA TRACK DAY IS NEXT WEEK THAT REALLY SNUCK UP! As such, I have a lot of crap to do and very little time to do it. Here is a list, mostly because I need to organize it, so why not make it an Oppo post?

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Must Do

I am lucky that there are very few items that MUST be done before track day. Overall the Alfa is in great shape mechanically with only a few niggles needing to be knocked out.

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Specifically, the rear brake flex hose is on its last leg. It has been for years, but now is really the time to take care of it. Losing the rear brakes wouldn’t be the end of the world, but it would be the end of track day....

While I am in there I’ll take a look at the brake pads and make sure they’re good. I don’t tend to go balls out on track day, so I’m not concerned about nuking pads, but still... cheap and easy insurance.

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Update 4:25PM: I got worried as I have front in my parts bin, but not rears. Getting rears on such short notice would be expensive, so I pulled a wheel off to check them. (Apparently I’m not doing much work today...) They’re fine. I must have changed them when I got the car or something. Pretty sure those pads are smaller than the parking brake pads on the Jag....

Illustration for article titled Alfa Track Day Prep [updated]
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Lastly there is a piece of interior trim we removed for... some reason... that hold up part of the knee bolster. That... needs to be put back in otherwise it’ll be endlessly sagging while I’m driving. Not a safety issue, just REALLY annoying.

Clean out the car. Seriously everything is covered in dust and pollen, plus we’re not supposed to have loose crap in the car so... clean.

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Should do

The big one here is getting the wipers working. They WORK, but not like... well. Meaning they take between 10 to 60 seconds to make a full round across the windshield. Unfortunately this could be any number of problems, from a bad ground, bad switch, bad relay, or bad motor. As rain is in the forecast for track day, I think I’m going to move this up on my priority list and try and sneak in some troubleshooting tonight or over lunch.

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Update 12:38PM: Ok yeah I went ahead and pulled it apart to see what it what. No smoking guns, but after some cleaning and lube I’ve got them working what I would call “acceptably”. High still seems to be the most problematic, being slower than low on a dry windshield for... reasons... but with a little bit of “rain” (read: glass cleaner) it works fine. Calling this one done.

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One easy “should” is replace the air filter. I’ll probably even go with a K&N despite some suggestions that might foul my MAF.

I’d also REALLY like the time to drain and fill the transmission. This would be a quick job and really needs to be done. That said, I hate doing that work, so who can say if I will.

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Other than that I want to investigate the cooling system a bit. Seems like the car gets a little warm under some circumstances. It doesn’t seem to overheat... just get warm. I think cleaning the condenser and radiator might help with this. I could also wrap the exhaust in heat tape, but that is very far down on the TODO list...

Would like to do (but probably won’t)

I’d like to have time to wire in a switch to the auxiliary cooling fan. As is, this is INOP because my AC is INOP, but if it is still working having a cooling fan I can control would be lovely. Wiring would be straightforward if I could get to the connector for the fan.

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Update 4:36 PM: I was reviewing the simplified wiring diagrams and noticed the AC subsystem has a thermoswitch attached to the radiator. Mine isn’t attached to the radiator, but is present. On a whim I shorted it out and TADA! The fan came on. It doesn’t sound... healthy, but it did come on so I’m calling that a win. I’ll either order a new switch or just wire it to a toggle in the cab. Or both.

Illustration for article titled Alfa Track Day Prep [updated]
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Update 5:24PM: I remembered that I could probably like... test the thermoswitch. Hit it with a heat gun. It works fine. Going to re-solder it and put it back where it belongs.

Wrap the headers in heat wrap.... because racecar?

Remove excess glue from my top. It got on there when we goofed replacing it, but isn’t a function issue. Still... I don’t want the club president to see and be disappointed in me...

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And that is it!

Wish me luck!

Illustration for article titled Alfa Track Day Prep [updated]

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