This Is Why You Have To Maintain Your Track Car

Maintenance is important on a track car. I'm not talking about doing oil changes at 3,000 miles or a transmission flush at 30,000 miles. I'm talking more about the maintenance that a track car needs. A few of you know this, I own a 2005 Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution VIII. In the years that I've been going fast and driving hard around a race track, the EVO is the oldest and the most expensive to maintain. Late last year I ended up having a few issues with my car, and here's what I learned in the three months it took for me to fix the car.

John at Raver Motorsports (https://www.facebook.com/pages/Raver-Mo...) follow them on facebook))fixed most of the issues with the car. It's a great shop, and having had tuned three EVO's that frequent Waterford Hills Raceway here in Michigan, it's a tuner and a builder I trust.

The EVO's 6-speed is a wonderful transmission for road racing; the gear ratios are spot on. The weakness of the transmission has to do with the amount of fluid the unit takes, which is just less than 3 quarts. This is where all the issues started. I overheated the transmission to the point I destroyed the input shaft bearing as well as a list of other parts within the transmission. The transmission had Redline MT90 gear oil in it. After receiving the bill from the transmission shop, it's a wise idea to bolt up a transmission cooler (which funny enough, John at Raver had told me to do so last season when the transmission went in) the temperatures you see on a hot day while tracking the car get very hot.

After replacing the transmission, things got interesting. There was an oil leak coming from the exhaust cam seal which resulted in the timing and balance shaft belt to be covered with oil. Pulled the lower timing cover to find the balance shaft belt was sheered, for those that don't know the balance shaft belt keeps the motor's vibration to a minimum. However, considering how close it sits to the timing belt, getting caught in the timing belt would result in a disaster. I'm happy that Raver found these issues, because otherwise a "simple" transmission failure would have resulted in a complete drivetrain failure.

At the end of the day, the turbo turbine housing had 5 cracks from high exhaust gas temperatures, transmission over heated to the point it cracked the casing from excessive input shaft play, and the timing system was about ready to fail as well. I cannot thank Raver Motorsports enough for all the help, if it wasn't for them I would be out for this coming season. Make sure you change your oil and transmission fluid frequently. Do research on your car, find the weak points and fix them. A lot of people don't understand how much heat and stress you put on the car after an hour's worth of tracking the car, maintenance is a must. Take care of your car and you'll have a much better time at the track knowing your car won't have any issues!