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The weekend is finally here and the butterflies are kicking in.
I’m heading up to CT tomorrow to see my family then on Monday to do my first track day with the car.
This week has been full of ups and downs for me with the car. Right now its on a down.

Monday evening I went out after my 2nd job and did some 3rd gear timed pulls to adjust my cam gears. Long story short but I ended up not driving the car home that night. Thanks to Jerry (my roommate), Jerry R., Keith and Justin for helping me out. Jerry R. worked on my car the next day and got it back to working order, thank God.

Thursday I headed over to Mach V in NOVA. I meet up with Dan (Mach V) and Donny (Ultimate Performance). I have a UTEC in the car but do not know how to tune with it. Why would I get a computer I don’t know how to tune with, to learn. I pulled in a little bit late because of NOVA traffic. I have 5gal of c16 with me but not in the tank yet. I have just under a ¼ tank of 93 octane in my tank.

The guys from Mach V strap my car down, Dan hooks up his laptop to my UTEC and off we go. We do our first pull at 130pm. The car pulls weak, which I expected since I’m so far out of tune.

Dan shows me what he is looking at on the computer and dyno. Now don’t get me wrong, I know the bacics…air fuel ratio, knock is bad, want to run around 12.5 but Evo’s are optimal and safe at 11.7. I’m running killer lean, like 16:1 and I’m having some knock on top end. So Dan makes some adjustments and tells me why he is making them where he is making them and also shows me how to adjust the maps with the UTEC. We do another pull, but not much change. Some of the knock is gone, but we are not richening the car up like we should be. So we make more adjustments then do another pull. Some changes are seen, but nothing major. We do this 3 more times adding in 25 counts of fuel and we see very little changes. Above 5000rpm I’m seeing 13.2:1 but at 3500 I’m at 16:1 still. Dan and I can’t figure it out. The time is now 330pm.

Dan says he wants to make a few phone calls and find out whats goin on. This is a good time to eat and take a quick break. After I shove a Subway grinder down my throat Dan informs me the UTEC I have is the old version 1.1 not the updated version 1.7. 1.7 allows you to completely open fuel loop. Apparently the 1.1 does not allow you to run a complete open fuel loop. That’s one of the problems. Also the 1.1 didn’t allow you to adjust for different injectors and other various points for tuning. So Dan loads up the new software. Once this is done he imports the maps we had made on 1.1. He overlaps his maps onto the TurboXS base map. We do our first pull and the air fuel drops but we have a few new hiccups. The CEL is on permanently, I have more knock top en and there is a lean spot from 4500-5000 rpm.

The time is now 5pm. Unfortunately I have to be at work at 630pm and Dan needs to get home. We do a few more pulls all the while adding fuel, pulling timing and such. The first pull only netted 262whp. I should be way above that. At 530 we finally get the map basically right. We have no knock and the A/F at 11.7 except for the lean spot STILL at 4500-5000 rpm. So we turn up the boost a little to 20lbs and do another pull. WHP climbs to 293. Still below were I’m supposed to be but nevertheless we are getting somewhere now. The problem is, we have knock top end again and the lean spot just became leaner.

This was our last pull of the day. Dan says he’d like to keep my car over night so he can finish the tune Friday (today) and he won’t charge me any extra. He also knows I want a race gas map too. I call my roommate to see if he can pick me up from work. Dan says he doesn’t have a problem driving me to work then spending the day tuning my car. Donny allows him to keep the car on the dyno overnight that way they don’t have to waste time on setting it up tomorrow.

We finally take off around 6pm and Dan drops me off at work. I’ll be back over there at around 4pm tonight to pick up the car. Dan knows I have a race this weekend and is trying to give me a nice strong tune on both pump and race gas.

This is my first time of having Mach V and Ultimate Performance work on my car. I’m talked to them many times and been to their shop twice. I must say their service is first rate. Dan has gone out of his way to accommodate me and make sure everything gets done with my car, safely.
I will be leaving tomorrow for CT. Monday I will be at Limerock for my first track day. I’m running with the Sports Car Driving Club. The butterflies are really kicking in, especially as I write this. I’m running in Intermediate 2, just a step above novice. I’ve requested an instructor for the morning sessions. Its been a few years since I’ve been on track up there. The last time being back in 99 with my Mustang. The Mustang lapped on a good day in the 66second range. But it was only able to hold that pace for about 2 laps before the brakes go soft and she started feeling loose. Seeing as the Mustang trapped only 99mph in the quarter but was able to pull 120 on the front straight at Limerock, I’m expecting the Evo to come close to 135mph. The Evo’s brakes are much better and since I’m on R compounds I’ll also be able to out handle the Mustang. My first goal is to run sub 65second lap times. My ultimate goal is 61seconds.

There are many things that need to be done before I’m on track. First I want to flush my radiator and dump in water and water wetter, then change oil and finally bleed out the brake system and add in some fresh DOT4. I want to make sure my car is in good working order with fresh fluids before I start pushing it hard. I’ll be bringing extra brake pads with me since I’ll probably eat through these on Monday.

To tell the truth, I’m actually very nervous about Monday. First I’m worried the car will break, second I’m nervous I’ll forget where I’m at and end up swapping ends (not that Limerock is that difficult to memorize) and third, I’m with my friends and family up there at my ‘home track’ and I’m nervous about performing well in front of them.

Track day jitters, are they great?
 
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