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Berck Reader
8/11/23 10:18 a.m.

That track prep is admirable and makes me jealous.  But I'd also like to say that it's out of the reach of many of us and you don't *need* it to go race a Formula Vee.  I don't want someone reading this thread who was thinking about racing a Vee to see your awesome shop, fantastic organization skills, enormous spares kit and huge enclosed trailer with more tools than I probably have in my garage as the minimum you *need* to go racing.  It's absolutely a thing to strive for, but it's not mandatory.

I'm pretty limited by space in terms of what I can take to the track--I tow the car on a 10' open trailer with a Tacoma.  I do carry a ton of spares, but just the bare minimum of tools. I don't use those tools to prep the car--they're not as good as the tools in my garage.  More importantly, for me, if I work on the car with the track tools, the track tools might get left in the garage and not make it to the track!  So they stay packed up at home and I try to have a separate set of everything that might go to the track.

A big part of the way that my club keeps our cars on the track is that we all work together to do it.  I'd guess that for every spare part I've actually used at the track, someone else has used one of my spares 4 times over.  And that's awesome! I've never been unable to get back on the track after a failure for lack of parts or tools, and often those parts or tools are not things I brought to the track.

Last weekend, after what sounded like rocker arm noise on the Friday test day, I popped a valve cover to discover it was full of shiny metal flakes.  Rather than continue and further destroy the engine, our engine builder offered up a spare engine!  Swapped the engine at the track despite not having brought an engine or about half the tools I used to do it.  I had a huge amount of help from a ton of different people and got it done in plenty of time to get a good night's sleep.

Anyway--just wanted to say don't be dissuaded from racing with us just because you don't have a setup this fancy.  If you're in the Rocky Mountain region, buy a car, bring what tools and spares you can, and we'll all work together to go racing.

Carl Heideman
Carl Heideman
8/11/23 10:19 p.m.

In reply to Berck :

As usual, you've said some very wise things here. We're well equipped, highly competitive, and tend to take things to the extreme. So we're not exactly the best examples, but there's relatively little information out there so we're sharing our version.

The other thing I'll say is that this whole project is reminding me that running in the front is so so so much more work than running even in the top 1/3. It's totally the 80/20 rule--the last 20% (maybe 2%) is 80% of the work. We're not running at the front as consistently as we hope to be, but we are amazed at the dedication and work that the constant front runners put in to stay there.

In other news, I realized that I was looking at the Grattan MN weather, not the Grattan MI weather, and it's probably not going to rain after all...

Carl Heideman
Carl Heideman
8/12/23 3:08 p.m.

Practice and qualifying yesterday gave us some mixed results and a little frustration.

We did a little suspension and setup fine tuning and had some nice results today. 


We check pressures and temps immediately when the car comes off track.

Carl Heideman
Carl Heideman
8/14/23 5:50 p.m.

So a little more detail on the weekend. On Friday, we spent some time in testing to see what the Daytona tail was doing. We went with old school yarn and found that there were some interesting air patterns that show there is more to be done. Looking at our data, the tail was maybe giving us a little advantage, but the engine oil temp and ambient temps in the engine bay were higher than we liked. We also played with some floor options and ended up with more questions than answers.  And as you saw previously, we made some suspension changes that overall helped, but still left us wanting a little better handling.

We ended up racing with the old tail and temps were good.

As mentioned, we had good results over the weekend, but Sunday wasn't a very good day. One of our mentors, who is fast, spun while leading and got hit by another car. They were both bruised up a little but don't seem to have any serious injuries. One car was damaged with fairly easy repairs while the other one (another Zink) is going to need some tubes replaced to be straight again. It was sobering for everyone and the mood was much different for the rest of the day. It's a strong and caring community.

While we saw and participated in the comradery that Berck mentioned to fix some broken cars, there was still a lot of attrition over the weekend. We started with about 13-15 cars and only 8 made the last race.  While our car is overall doing well, we have a high speed misfire creep up that we'll need to figure out before Road America next month. And we have a few other things we want to try. Stay tuned. 

wvumtnbkr GRM+ Memberand PowerDork
8/14/23 5:51 p.m.

What track is that?

Carl Heideman
Carl Heideman
8/14/23 6:17 p.m.

In reply to wvumtnbkr :

Grattan in West Michigan. 

Zink11 GRM+ Memberand New Reader
8/15/23 6:16 p.m.

In reply to Carl Heideman :

Carl,  I have a very late Zink C4/Z5, that I have raced on and off since 1988.   I would be happy to share pictures of the car and tell you how I have changed it over the years.   The white frame looks very original (but missing the front axle tube brackets).  The second frame looks nicely updated but I would add some forward facing bars to the front roll hoop.   It has the original adjustable Armstrong rear shocks.   Not sure who can rebuild them.  These cars had twin side saddle gas tanks, but I replaced mine with an under seat fuel cell.   It's a bit of a weird shape especially if you use the clutch cable and don't convert to hydraulic.  Falcon Racing (Kaz) has body work for these cars.  I think he is in South Bend.  Absolutely, you must check the front spindles.   They are prone to cracking especially the left one which is hollow for the original VW speedometer cable.  I am not sure how to send you a PM.   Paul

Carl Heideman
Carl Heideman
9/14/23 4:34 p.m.

We thought we'd get to Road America mid afternoon instead of early evening to register and set up for the Fall Vintage Weekend. So did everyone else. 

Carl Heideman
Carl Heideman
9/15/23 9:46 a.m.

I have a retired uncle who is one of those guys who can make anything.. Like he built a sawmill from junk, cut down some trees, made the boards, and built his shop.

He built this Oldsmobile replica from a lawn mower, an old bed frame, and a home water heater a few years ago.  He lives 20 minutes from Road America so we always visit him. Anyway, he thought we needed a cool pit vehicle so now it's ours. 

TurboFource HalfDork
9/15/23 3:23 p.m.


Apexcarver UltimaDork
9/15/23 3:48 p.m.

Saw this last night and thought of this thread.. https://www.facebook.com/marketplace/item/267273902831149/?ref=search&referral_code=null&referral_story_type=post&tracking=browse_serp%3A8d965c21-397b-4ef3-aeef-4cc8a1e0708e


I couldnt get away with purchasing another formula car right now, but maybe this thread will inspire someone else to do it. 

Carl Heideman
Carl Heideman
9/16/23 11:46 a.m.

Just finished qualifying. We haven't fixed the misfire above 5600 RPM so the straights are a challenge as we effectively have a rev limiter. Jack does well in the turns though. 


We're afraid the misfire may be valve spring related as we've tried almost everything conceivable with ignition and fuel. 

Carl Heideman
Carl Heideman
9/16/23 12:46 p.m.

In other news, Jack and Theo are camping in the trailer again. 

Owen pitched a tent. 

I'm old and soft, so I'm at Siebkins again in one of their cottages. Elkhart Lake is a beautiful village. 

Carl Heideman
Carl Heideman
9/16/23 1:59 p.m.

There are 40+ Vees here for the 60th anniversary of FV. 

Group photo time. 

oppositelocksmith Reader
9/16/23 11:46 p.m.

Looks like y'all are having a blast! 

Carl Heideman
Carl Heideman
9/18/23 8:40 a.m.

I wired the car with an era-correct (but not German-style) fusebox and couldn't find an appropriate one with a cover. We've had a problem where Jack occasionally knocks the main fuse out when he gets out of the car. It hasn't been serious enough to change the fusebox, but we're thinking about it.

Carl Heideman
Carl Heideman
9/18/23 8:41 a.m.

We're back home with some great memories of another weekend at Road America. 

The last race had nearly 40 cars running. Really fun to watch as there were several races in the various packs that developed.

There's an inside joke involving a different gesture that led to us naming ourselves Thumbs Up Racing. My wife designed a logo and had some T-shirts printed up. Every now and then, people figure it out.

FV_84_BS New Reader
11/9/23 1:58 p.m.

I feel like I missed out only getting the on track part of the story the last 2 years. I just found out about this, thanks for sharing. Always good to see you in the paddock, see you soon.


Brian Styczynski 


FV_84_BS New Reader
11/19/23 9:16 p.m.

Jack is a true class act driver on the vintage circuit, this car is due for a string of break out victories. 






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