After the Lancer’s first track event at Oran Park (detail’s in the Event section) there were a few issues that had to be dealt with.
Rear suspension – the rear end of the car was very loose and causing quite a few issues on the track, after some investigation, it was clear that there was not enough bump travel as the bump stops had been rubbing on the chassis rail and at the same time, the rear brake calliper was rubbing on the body work. After looking at several different options, it was decided to reduce the size of the bump stops and relocate the brake callipers to give more bump travel. This has been completed and there is now approximately 6cm more travel then before the modifications were performed. If the car behaves in a similar manner in the next event, then I will need to look at some softer springs and lateral location devices (panhard rod or watts link)
LSD – My original assessment of the LSD breaking seems to be incorrect, after the car had sat overnight, it was back to proper operation without any signs of slippage. Draining the oil out of the diff revealed that the oil had gotten very hot and was not in good condition. As the rear suspension was effectively too stiff riding on the bump stops, it was possibly due to the inside wheel being off the ground too often and making the diff work harder. As the suspension is being worked on, this should reduce the load on the LSD and hopefully reduce the temperature. I have also filled the diff with some Redline oil that is designed to cope with higher temperatures without breaking down unlike the oil that was in there previously from the diff rebuild. If these changes do not help, then the diff will need to be replaced with something that can handle the treatment better.
Alternator mount – throughout the day, the alternator charge would slowly drop and the fanbelt needed to be tightened up on several occasions. After looking at it more closely, there was a small amount of movement in the pivot point that was causing the pulley to be misaligned with water pump and crank pulley. This movement was wearing out the fanbelt at an alarming rate with small pieces of rubber being all around the pulley area’s. The movement has been removed and the pulley realigned to hopefully stop the fanbelt from rubbing too much.
Engine mounts – the drivers side engine mount had snapped in to two pieces! As it was a brand new mount fitted to the car, it was obvious that a new mount was not going to fix the problem. New mounts made from urethane suspension rubbers were fabricated and put in to place. Whilst this has made the engine vibrations more noticeable inside the car, it has stopped the engine movement and should be much stronger then the previous setup. Whilst looking at these mounts, I had a look at the gearbox mount which was also starting to break, a similar method was used to replace this mount with a stronger setup.
Front sway bar – I had had several attempts at mounting the aftermarket sway bar on the Lancer and all of them have proved to not work properly. The last method allowed some movement in the bars location and by the end of the day, the ends were hard up against the lower control arms. I have given up on getting this to work on the car and re-fitted the factory swaybar. Whilst the front suspension was out, I also decided to fit some longer control arms from a Sigma to give a wider track and more negative camber. Removal of the old control arms showed that the inner control arm bushes had worn out and the pivot hole was elongated allowing the control arm to move around. New rubbers were needed with the change to Sigma control arms so it was not an issues, but it was a concern that the old rubbers needed replacing after such a short period of time.
Hopefully these changes will reduce the number of issues with the car on it’s next outing, I’m not expecting it to be perfect, but fewer broken bits would be good.