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 Turkey Bowl warmth question... 
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Joined: Wed Jul 23, 2014 10:31 am
Posts: 67
Location: Ligonier, PA
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I'm a Turkey Bowl newbie. Any suggestions for heat for the engine? Either pre-heating or just keeping it from freezing at night... Was thinking about taking along a ceramic heater.

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Joe Teplitz - Western PA
Datsun 510


Sun Nov 22, 2015 6:37 pm
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Joined: Wed Dec 25, 2013 10:42 am
Posts: 219
Location: Mebane, NC
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Turkey Bowl allows (encourages?) antifreeze. 10%-20% would protect against any likely temperatures.

You can use a magnetic oil pan heater (on a steel oil pan) or a dip stick heater to keep the engine warm. I used to use the latter for a daily driver in sub-zero temps when we lived in Massachusetts.

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Eric Russell
Mebane, NC

1961 MGA, 1981 Alfa Romeo GTV6, 1984 Alfa Romeo Spider,
1991 Honda ST1100, 1999 Ford F250, 2006 Toyota Solara


Sun Nov 22, 2015 9:23 pm
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Joined: Mon Dec 02, 2013 2:27 pm
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Just make sure to give the engine extra time to warm up before driving on track. If you have an oil temperature gauge, make sure the oil is up to temperature before taking the car to WOT @ MAX RPM. You may also consider running a thiner oil than you normally do.

Remember, the track may have substantially less grip than the last time you were on it.

Jim

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Jim Karamanis
1972 B-Sedan Ford Pinto


Mon Nov 23, 2015 9:50 am
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Joined: Mon Dec 30, 2013 10:26 pm
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Great question and really good responses. A couple further comments: my engine (MGA) never builds any heat in the oil until I'm on the track, with the engine under some load. I can let it idle in the paddock all day, even rev it up in the paddock, and the oil temp gauge barely comes off the peg. So I always have to run a couple laps at less-than-full throttle and less-than-full RPM's, to get some heat in the oil. As Jim K suggested, I always run slightly thinner oil for TB (10w-40 instead of my usual 20w-50 -- makes it easier to start the engine, too), plus I tape off my oil cooler -- if I forget to do that, I never get full temperature in the oil. Some people even tape off a portion of their radiator. Jim's point is right on -- more than one person has blown an oil line at Turkey Bowl by running full throttle/full RPM while the oil was still cold, resulting in a major time-consuming track clean-up. Those drivers pretty much lost their chance at winning the "Miss Congeniality" award of the weekend.

Another thing to consider is the oil temp in your gearbox and rear axle (and bearing grease for that matter). At Turkey Bowl, I normally start the car first thing in the morning, and spend some time driving (slowly!) around the paddock. It probably doesn't put much heat in the gear oils, but at least it's something and at least they've been circulated and sheared a bit, and a bit of heat from the engine & exhaust might find it's way to the gearbox. You do get strange looks from people when you do 10 laps of the Summit Point paddock in 1st gear, but I just smile and wave back -- and it makes them wonder.

We've always allowed antifreeze at TB, and as Eric mentions, just a small amount will give enough protection. Forecasted lows are only 30 degrees for this weekend. Just 20% antifreeze protects you down to 16 degrees F, which seems like plenty of margin for this weekend (or any Turkey Bowl in memory, for that matter).

Another issue is BRAKES ... warm them up during the first few laps of a practice, and on the pace lap of a race. The compound I use isn't bad in the cold, but it's not a full-race compound either. If you're running hard, high-temperature pads you may be surprised in the first braking zone! (pack extra Nomex underwear)

The most important thing, I think, is to take it easy for the first couple laps and let everything come up to temperature (fluids, brakes and tires!) before gradually building up speed. Don't compare your lap times with the times you ran at Jefferson 500.

P.S. also a good idea to check tightness on all your fluid lines this week, before loading the car for the trip. Regular hose clamps are notorious for "loosening up" -- they really don't loosen, the rubber underneath the clamp tends to extrude out a bit, which makes the clamp a little looser. So it's a good idea to "re-torque your hose clamps" before the event (but don't ask me what the torque setting is!) The worst offenders are tubes that have no raised rib under the hose (straight ends), it is so easy for a hose to slip off under pressure. Double hose clamps are a good idea. Don't forget to check all the overflow hoses while you're at it, a hose that falls off the crankcase breather line or radiator overflow can cause a big mess.

Have fun!

Mark Palmer


Mon Nov 23, 2015 5:03 pm
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Joined: Wed Jul 23, 2014 10:31 am
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Location: Ligonier, PA
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Thanks everyone! Great ideas!

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Joe Teplitz - Western PA
Datsun 510


Mon Nov 23, 2015 7:54 pm
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