Test drive. A crucial part of vehicle development. That goes for race cars too. Even more important for Salt Slush Racing since we need to know that the car is race ready when we set off for Bonneville Speed Week August 2022.
Consequently, Magnus, Cina and I flew over to Erik & Ruth in Orange, California to push out our Landspeed Amazon from the storage, load it to a trailer and drive up to El Mirage for a test drive. El Mirage; a high desert area, two hours drive from Los Angles.
We were worried about an electrical issue that we experienced at Bonneville 2019. We found errors and we modified the electrical system, but we needed to confirm if we really fixed it. In addition we want to make sure that we had no other problem. I mean let's face it. Any car deteriorate over time. Race cars too...
So we started up the car. Shortly after we noticed that all fuel hoses that has been exposed to desert sun and race fuel were crispy as chips, so we changed them all. Anything else? Well, that big aluminum alternator bracket were loose and the alternator belt did not align. Fixed that too. At that point we learned that our focus on serviceability could have been better.
We killed one of our rear tires too. An expensive mistake.
But...the turbo, engine, clutch, transmission, rear end and brakes were just great! Magnus and I drove at least 10 x 1km test drives in the desert with no stop or any other failure.
Salt Slush Test Drive at El Mirage Desert on a Monday. Blue skies. Our Race Car and Dust. A lot of dust. And the desert wind that softly howled.
We logged all runs to be able to analyze the tests performed afterwards. Magnus and I adjusted our new safety belts too.
We noticed what we've noticed before. The rear shook absorbers and perhaps as well the springs needs to be renewed and updated. We need more damping to make the vehicle more stable at higher speeds.
Our old but solid big block 2500 Suburban hauled Erik's Trailer and our race car with ease to El Mirage as always. Magnus was dressed for desert sun. As always.
Carina and the trailer in the empty desert
It's nice to see when a dog is wagging tail. But when a high speed race car do the same...you want to go to The Ohlin Guy i.e. Dough Brenner at Brenner Shocks to stop that rear end from rocking. The man to the left? The Motorcycle Hall of Fame Motor Cross Champion man; Gunnar Lindstrom.
When you need one new Good Year Eagle Landspeed Race tire, you need luck and Nate Jones at Cowboy Tire. Luck, because Good Year only produce them in batches. Nate Jones because he knows land speed racing and is a really good guy.
No competition. No top speed. But a very good way to get familiar with the car and find issues that needs action.
We got dusty. We got exhausted. We found things to fix. Still we declare it a success. Are we ready for Bonneville Speed Week 2022? Not yet. Will we get ready. Yes!