So, we went up to GLD on Oct. 31 (two Sundays ago), and had a pretty good day at the track; with the new injectors, we knocked a tiny amount of time off my previous best, although there was still quite a bit of knock that I just didn't have the patience to get to tuning around (so I suspect we ought to be able to find a little more time out of the car).
Kris, a friend of ours, drove up with us; he's been seeing no end of
problems with his GSX, having finally gotten the car back into running
order with his new clutch, flywheel, and repairs (his lower ball joint,
covered by a Mitsubishi recall, separated while he was pulling into the
parking lot at work, and caused quite a bit of damage). So, after talking
with us and Mike (another fellow we met up with on the way up there), and
getting his strategy straight, he lined up to race. I was on my way back on
the side access road, and got to see him launch: a lurch, and then a VERY
slow pull away from the starting line. Afterward, we took a few rides with
him, and it was pretty obvious that he'd toasted his center differential;
low-speed cornering behaved like he had a welded diff. So, that was it for
him for the day.
We made it through the whole day without much of an incident, although a
few launches were pretty hard on the clutch (unlike others there, I didn't
seem to be having any traction problems; on the contrary, I found I had
to slip the clutch quite a bit to avoid bogging, even with a 6000 RPM
launch). The problem was on the drive home: we made it about 15 miles from
home, and we started hearing a whirring noise, like a minor grinding. We
also felt the car jerk once, like fuel cut; the fuel was low, so I initially
attributed this to fuel sloshing around. We pulled off on the nearest exit
ramp because we were a little worried about the whirring noise (which was
coming and going quite a bit); when we reached the top of the ramp, the
whirring got VERY loud, and then the car suddenly slammed to a stop, with
the rear wheels locked up. Turns out the transfer case locked up tight; it's
a recall item that has never been serviced on this car, and when I checked
the fluid level a few days later, it was confirmed: the fluid has completely
drained from the transfer case.
So, we dropped the car off with a local
Dodge dealership for the recall work.
When they got it into the shop, they insisted that they couldn't work on it
because of fuel leak. We told them to roll it out to the parking lot, and
we'd look at it (they helpfully suggested that they could do some initial
diagnostics for a minimum of $180). Got there last night, popped the hood
and turned over the car...and SQUIRT! The o-ring on the fuel rail inlet was
completely destroyed, and fuel was leaking at a pretty good clip. We ran
home, snagged the o-ring and a couple of bolts (did I mention I over-tightened
the original bolts in an attempt to get it to seal properly, and broke one
of them off?) from the Eclipse, since I won't be needing them once the new
fuel system goes together, and ran back to the dealership and did the swap
there in the parking lot. Fuel leak fixed, and for a lot less than $180.
They're supposed to be replacing the transfer case today, and we should be
back on the road tonight, if all goes well and they don't find another
problem with the car.