TUESDAY, JULY 13, 2010 - The disappointment of underperforming at Marietta is still pretty evident to us, but while we hoped to make solid progress in Week 2 of the SuperLeague tour we didn't come home without some gains.
First off, we are working with Gary Pugh, the designer and builder of many boats, including portions of our boat, to get a new rear hood designed and produced over the next couple of weeks. Hopefully we will have this constructed, painted and on the the boat before we go to Memphis at the end of the month.
When we looked back, it was a simple hood that could have deflected the water off of our motor cover that could have resulted in a much different outcome on Saturday and Sunday in Marietta. I stuck the inside picklefork exiting Turn 4 during a heat race and burried up the sponson tip in the water which threw a big burst of water over the boat and into the motor cover. The motor immediately stalled which ended our day three laps short in the final heat race. In fact, that water ended pretty much our whole weekend.
The water can be traced right up the ladder to our poor Sunday performance. Once the water entered the motor cover and thrust right into the carberator openings it was pushed into the cylinder of the motor where air should have been pushed. The water caused the cylinder to not fire and most likely the cold water and action of compression within the cylinder caused the weakest link to break. That being the head gasket.
We thought that because the motor started later on after we dried it out that we would be OK, but our Sunday morning test showed otherwise. We traced everything down and found a broken probe on the top coil, but an earlier test showed we had fire on all three cylinders so I really doubt that coil was our biggest problem now that we look back on it. The probe was still delivering fire, it was just probably limiting our performance some, but likely wasn't the biggest issue we had going.
It was the head gasket that was limiting our RPMs, but being pressed by time and thinking the coil problem would fix it, we went back out for the final without checking it. Lesson learned. If we ever get swamped again, which I hope the hood addition will prevent, we will pull the head before going back out just to make sure. Our inexperience with this type of motor bit us. A rookie mistake for a rookie pilot and crew that we will learn from.
Anyway, hopefully that hood will solve this from happening again and we have ordered a new engine mount and cowling which will hopefully help keep the moisture out a little better as well.
Also, our Yeeeha Formula 3 boat should be ready this week. We will be picking it up and bringing it to the shop to get started on rigging it up and getting it ready for paint. We won't have it ready for Memphis as we had hoped to, but we will be running it before the end of the season somewhere to see how it does. We are still looking for a motor for it, but if we need to, we can pull the motor off of the Pugh boat to test the Yeeeha for one weekend somewhere. Our goal is to have two fully rigged and functional boats on the hauler so if we get into something again like we did at Marietta we could just switch out power heads and continue on knowing that we have a good motor on the boat.
Honestly, I really like the Pugh boat and at this point I think we can get it performing pretty well by season's end. We were running 5th place times in practice on Saturday morning but fell to 9th in qualifying and both heat races. I suspect that maybe the coil probe had us a little down on power when we were under load because we just couldn't figure out why we couldn't run the times in qualifying and on the race course that we were running in practice.
For your viewing enjoyment I have attached a photo of Herd Racing's #75 Jesus Boat getting towed in after we swamped the motor Saturday in Marietta. Check out some other photos we are beginning to upload on the photo gallery. We should have more downloaded off of the cameras this weekend and posted in the gallery.