Prerace Preparations
1990 928 S4

July 12, 2000

I was interested in putting my car on the race track and entering an Open Road Race. So I contacted Marc Thomas at DEVEK and asked him for advice. He suggested I bring my car in and he would inspect my car and tell me what I would need to do to get the car ready. He checked under the hood, found soon small bumps in the upper radiator hose and a loose wire connected to the "flappy". He told me I should replace that hose, and while I'm at it I should replace some of the other water hoses also. I told him that the engine seemed to run a little hot, so he suggested I replace the thermostat with a 75 degree C version and flush the cooling system and replace the coolant with 25% coolant, water wetter, and the rest water.
The auxilary belts seemed ok, he asked me about the timing belt, and I told him it was replaced 11/98 along with a rebuilt water pump. He checked the brake fluid, which was at the proper level, and seem clean. I had told him that the previous owner had had a brake job done at the beginning of the year.

We then put the car on the lift and inspected under the car. He checked the wheels for play, and found a loose wheel bearing on the passenger front wheel. Also the rear tires were worn in the middle. I told him the Tire Pressure indicator was always on unless I put over 45 lbs of air in the tire. He suggested I bypass the RDK computer, as a new sensor would be very expensive. He checked the brake pads, rotors, and brake lines. He mentioned the brake lines were the original, and would probably need changing in the next year.
He noticed the cheap oil filter, and suggested a change of oil and filter, also some oil leaking from the oil pan gasket under the starter, and some fluid in the passenger side steering boot. He drained the boot, and suggested I replace the steering rack in the next 20,000 miles, but it should be alright for now.

The final step was to take the car out for a test drive. Marc ask me to drive while he sat in the passenger seat. We accelerated hard onto the freeway (101) and got off at a nearby exit ramp. He asked me to loop through the clover leafs a few times as fast as comfortable. He said the engine seems very strong and responsive. The suspension seemed ok, the springs were good, but that I should replace the shocks soon. Overall the car handled well.

At the end, I came away with a list of things to fix (cooling system, oil change, new rear tires, wheel bearing adjustment, and RDK bypass) , and a better understanding of what to look for when preparing for a race. I did finished the list before the Track Event at Thunderhill Park on August 4th. I also have a list of things that I will do in the future (steering rack, oil pan gasket, shocks, and brake lines).

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Copyright 2000, George A Suennen
written: 09/04/00
rev: 09/04/00