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could be worse - Babkin Racing

Babkin Racing
Date: 2010-10-03 08:01
Subject: could be worse
Security: Public
Tags:brakes, cooling, ford, issues, truck
I've had a pretty eventful yesterday, the good luck fighting with the bad luck. Twice.

First, the the qualifying session, the brakes suddenly stop working. They were just fine before, and here I press the pedal, it goes straight to the floor, and nothing happens. It's the last turn onto the banking at Pocono North, so I'm going straight at the wall at 70 mph. So I figure that it's better to spin than hit the wall head on, spin the car on purpose. Do two full revolutions, stop just before the wall. And find that the brakes are holding now.

I've found that I've qualified first in class, but with apparently a brake master cylinder issue I was too afraid to race.

Then I drive on I-80, bringing the car to a friend to look at the brakes. Hear some strange hissing. I start trying to figure out what it is, and then a car pulls up along, beeps the horn, and people start shouting that my truck is smoking. I look in the mirror: sure enough, white smoke coming out of the truck. So I've pulled out to the shoulder, started looking. It's not a smoke, it's a spray, oily and smells strange. I can't quite figure out, where was it coming from. Oil and ATF seem to be in place, and it seems to be coming from around the A/C hoses. So I've figured that it might be no big deal, drive some more. But the temperature climbs high, so I pull over again. Called the friend, he has told me that it's probably coolant coming out of the burst hose to the heater. And sure enough, I look in the radiator, and it's almost empty, and I've found the hose that had burst on the bottom. And I guess the weird smell was coming from the sealing additive, as required by the manufacturer. But I'm pulling the race car, so I have a shitload of stuff with me, that I bring to the races! So I've replaced the hose, and the only problem was to replace the coolant. I've had some water in the sprayer, couple of liters of drinking water, and a half of gallon of antifreeze. In the worst case I could have draine dthe coolant from the race car too, but that was enough to get to a gas station at the next exit. An interesting thing is that the faint gurgling sound in the heater that was there since I've bought the truck has disappeared. I guess the hole in the hose was growing very slowly over at least 5 years until it burst.

So I couple of potentially very major screw-ups have ended with only minor losses.
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