There is a lot to cover to bring this thread up to date, so.....
I'll start with the blown motor. the pics say it all
I found another engine at a scrapyard in ALB. for $300, and decided to do the work myself. Figured I could learn a bunch from the experience. The old trashed engine came out, and the new one went on an engine stand. I got lucky, in that the junkyard block was in really clean shape. The head went to our local machine shop for the valve work, which was basic stuff, new seals, guides and re-seating (about $80 in parts, $225 labor)
I started in on freshening up the bottom end with new rod bearings, main seals etc. A baffle went into the new pan to prevent the oil starvation from happening again. The engine went back together smoothly, with the biggest challenge being the timing and balance shaft belts. In the mean time, I rebuilt the steering rack with new control arms, ball joints, tie rod ends, poly bushings etc. Ground Hog Day was the day that it all went back together again. Viola !
I ran the car in the first NASA RM event of the year at Pueblo, CO., where I did the comp school, received my provisional license, and finished 10th in my first race, still on stock suspension. The car ran superbly for the weekend, including the trip up and back from N.M. The only issue was a shot pressure cap for the coolant reservoir, $5 at VatoZone, and burping the cooling system. I was quite proud of myself, I had a good running race car, and I did it myself
We had no events scheduled for April in the RM region, and were invited to join the Midwest 944 guys at Gateway in St. Louis. You betcha !! I drove the car straight out (1100+ miles) and was ready for a fun weekend. It was not to be.... practice went fine, but in our Sat. qualifying session my temps rose and oil pressure dropped, pulled the car off track, and cried UNCLE ! It turns out that a number of things worked against me, mostly my low budget.
I've got another trashed motor, not nearly as bad though, as I didn't even fully spin the bearings this time. Oil pressure gauge was money well spent ! I left the car with a shop from Chicago (VFC engineering) who has built and serviced a number of the MW spec944 racers. I will be going all the way with a professionally built short block this time (crossdrilled crank, external oil cooler etc.) My corner-cutting, low budget, partial rebuild was doomed from the start and many lessons were learned from it. The 944 engine has weakness in the oiling system, and I should have built in all of the preventive measures the first time.
Although I didn't get to race, our next NASA RM event in May was very fun and cool, as I took the instructor clinic, and now have a provisional instructor's license. I'll be eligible for a full national instructors license after teaching a couple of weekends. I missed the big event at Miller Motorsports Park, with 30+ spec944s in the field, but that will probably happen again next year. The Porsche may not be back on track until our Aug. event at Hastings NE.
In the mean time, the wagon is ready for more track time (Time Trials again), after doing the timing belt, clutch, rack boots, wheel bearings and new rubber. I am still a Subaru guy through and through, and will find a way to go W2W racing in one eventually. I'm happy with my choice of classes to go racing in for now, and will press on undaunted by the early adversity I've met with, trying to race a 20 year old PO