Back from the RING. tales, advice and lessons learnt.
Well everyone i got back on friday after spending the week there and WHAT A PLACE! love it. absolutely canot wait to go back! although i hope i dont have so many annoying problems next time!
After a long and steady journey, i managed 32mpg there, which i was very surprised at, ten minutes from the campsite i switch the stereo off to hear the exhaust blowin its nuts off. After inspection next morning it turned out that a bolt had dissapeared from my turbo exhaust flange and was blowin straight up through the hole (LOUD). So i did my first lap, when it just started to rain, and ended up spinning off moments after seeing a merc totalled! Im not gonna try and sound brave, i sh1t myself!, didnt hit anything and i soon completed it VERY conservatively. I will never go on it with a wet track again!
Following day i live with the fact my car will sound like a tractor the rest of the trip and it wont do much harm! How wrong was i!! second lap, a confident one, i absolutely loved it, fast but not pushing beyond my comfort zone, i turn off to the car park and smoke pours from the bonnet and through the vents, my mate immediately gets out and looks under the hood and we bail to a spot. The blowing exhaust had started to set alight the heat wrap around the turbo boost pipe. What a relief it didnt burn through!
After some searching around and speaking to some kind guys at the rental garages they referred me to a VAG specialist in the town ADENAU, the garage is called ROLLMAN motors, initially the bloke in the office was well, german, pretty miserable and not helped by the language barrier. However going straight to the mechanic, he was very helpful, actually tried to understand and came to look at the car with enthusiasm ALL british mechanics should have. He searched around and found a bolt to fit and also tightened up the two remaining flange bolts, THANK GOD!
So next day, our last, we have two laps, half way round i have the low oil pressure light come on, unable to stop i limp my way to the car park, top end sounding like a bag of nails! Now not long after i bought the car i had this light after some relatively hard driving, and i THOUGHT i had fixed it after replacing the sump and pick up pipe, which was clogged to say the least with hard oil. So i let the car rest for half an hour, and decided after starting it up again, to nail it up the road for a little test, everything was fine, no light, no abnormal noises, a smooth engine! Final lap, same again, same point on the track! grrrr frustrated man!
S o the return journey was good, steady at first until hitting the ring road in belgium where it was crawling through traffic at 9am, and from then on i cruised at a modest 120 give or take in order to catch our ferry. Firstly there wer no police the whole journey, and luckily, but bizzarely, no problems with oil pressure!
So now im back in the uk, with a list of jobs on the car! the weekend i will be dropping the oil and inspecting for any hard cloggy deposits, in which case the system will be flushed and sump and pick up pipe off, again, and put back together with new oil, hopefully curing the problem, again. My initial thoughts were that the G-forces on track and the swishing of the oil around the sump may have caused the light and poor running, but a more logical explanation would be hard oily deposits being freed from the lining of the engine, blocking the channels. Trouble is all this work will only really be tested next time i go the track as thats the only place i can really test it and drive it so hard. Other jobs include a new longitudinal sensor, causing the ABS and ESP to turn off, which had happened prior to the trip, only now the ESP ALONE turns itself off upon moving slightly, followed by the ABS upon hard acceleration. So maybe a seperate problem for the ESP, which i will find out when i scan the car.
All in all tho, a fun enlightening trip, despite problems, but then i enjoy the drama of it all, and cannot wait to return. None car side of the trip, the new buildings on the main road and F1 track are great ways to spend the day, shops, showrooms, and a museum, we got a free rollercoaster ticket valid until the end of 2011, as it still isnt open! The F1 track was open to public on the thursday from 6-8pm, although we didnt go, maybe this is a regular thing. it was 30 euros for 20 minutes track time, which is ok i guess.
tips and hints would be:
1. Don't go on the track when its wet, its not worth the risk, and you wont enjoy it, which is the whole point in it.
2. Any problems your best bet is rollman motors in Adenau.
3. Try to avoid drving in rush hour through belgium, this could make you miss your ferry, we did in the end, thankfully not resulting in paying for another.
4. Try and go midweek rather than weekend, the friday was a half day public session, and thursday night people piled in from all over makin it very busy, unless your spectating, its not the best for going on track, the following sat and sun must have been chaotic and couldn't be much fun.
5. We encountered no police on our abroard journey, maybe we wer lucky! But in case you do run late, its relatively safe to open it up.
For my next trip, whenever that may be, i hope to have solved my oil pressure problems, but also upgraded my brakes! this was a very noticable area that needs to be improved, people hell bent on power and numbers have it all wrong until they go a track and realise. Most, nearly all the regulars, have cars with just tires, big brakes, coil overs and stripped out for mods, this seems to be an ample set up. I found the car was quick and fun enough, but brake fade was massive. So maybe just new discs and pads, or even a big brake kit depnding on funds. I may even have upgraded the anti roll bars and suspension, as this is whats important!
I hope this post was entertaining and helpful to people wanting to go.