Weekend Dissapointment

This weekend was a bit of a disappointment for me.  I had been anticipating for months the event at Carolina Motorsports Park in Kershaw, SC.  Friday was the day I had set aside to do the final preparations on my car and then drive down in the afternoon.

Part of my preparations is to change out my street brake setup for a track set of rotors and pads.  I use a Raybestos set of pads that was recommended to me by the folks at Porterfield Brakes in California.  They have consistently been a source of good advice on brakes for track use. 

I pulled my wheels and then drove the pins out so I could remove the pads.  Then I unbolted the Brembo calipers so I could swap out the rotors.  With the Brembos bolted back in I slipped in the Raybestos pads and pinned them in with the normal hardware.

The next step was to make sure that my wheels were back on with the proper torque and the tires were inflated to the proper pressure with nitrogen.

Then it was on to the alignment rack.  Over time all cars alignment changes and I wanted to be certain that the Evolution was set for the track.  After mounting the targets on the wheels and taking the initial reading It was clear that I needed to tweak things.  When doing an alignment you start with the back of the vehicle first so I brought the lift up and set the camber in the rear.  Next was the toe.  Then as I snugged down on the lock nut for the driver’s side toe adjustment it just spun.  I carefully backed off the nut and then removed the bolt.  The threads were ruined. 

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This bolt wasn’t just a normal bolt that I could easily replace either.  It had a cam welded to the head and a flat spot over the threads so that another cam would be kept in place on the other side of the suspension.  I called my friends at Mitsubishi and talked with the parts department.  The earliest I could expect it would be on Tuesday.  I went ahead and ordered it, but I knew that was the end of any track time this weekend.  I tried to look on the bright side and be thankful that I had discovered it on the rack and not the track.  If I had been cooking it around the track and the threads had allowed the nut to come off it might have meant that the rear would have had a sudden toe-out situation on the driver’s side.  That would have been disastrous.

I was still frustrated as I called to cancel my hotel reservations and the track steward to let him know that I could not attend.

So what to do?  Instead of moping around the house I focused on my other vehicle, a 1992 Toyota Pickup.  It has about 200,000 miles on it, but is very reliable and my daily driver.  I put it up on the lift in my garage and changed out the oil and filter, and greased the fittings on the front end.  Then I changed out the spark plugs and cap and rotor.  The battery terminals were showing signs of corrosion so I disconnected them and got them all cleaned up.  I checked the battery fluid level and then re-connected the terminals.  While the truck was up in the air it was also a good time to rotate the tires.

There will be another opportunity to go to CMP, but I wish it could have been this weekend.

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5 Responses to Weekend Dissapointment

  1. Noel says:

    Bummer! But better safe than not. Any idea why the bolt failed? Seems like an odd failure point.

  2. Mark says:

    Jim,

    Sorry to hear that you were derailed, but glad you found a way to work on something you could make progress on. That’s perhaps one of the reasons I have so many projects going on at once.

    Sunday I was a bit under the weather physically and emotionally, and found solace in more concrete sawing and drilling in that base anchor around the perimeter of my shop. I got that part completed as the day came to an end.

    Fending off a bit of a cold brought on by the season change.

    Mark

  3. jimsgarage says:

    Noel –

    The bolt design limits the amount of torque that can be applied and here is why. The head of the bolt has a cam washer welded to it so that the excentric can work to adjust toe. On the other side of the suspension link is another cam washer that must be kept in sync with the one welded to the bolt head. to do this a flat spot is made in the bolt and the washer has a flat spot as well. That means that 20% of the thread is missing on that part of the bolt. If too much torque is applied the threads fail since the shear force is able to overcome the strength of the metal since 20% of it is gone.

    I will have to check the torque setting for that nut. It has a lock washer between it and the cam washer. Maybe it would be better to use a nylock nut instead.

    Jim

  4. Wei Yan Chan says:

    Sorry to hear about the cam bolt. I know you were looking forward to that track day. You should have called me, I could have lent you my cam bolt for the weekend from my ‘spare’ Evo.

  5. Chris Mini says:

    Jim….I hate you couldn’t make the event…I know you were looking so forward to it. You’ll get your shot at them next time.

    Chris Belcher

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