Loose Battery, Revisited

When I said I’d dodged a bullet when my battery came loose at the track, I was incorrect. I should have waited to make that declaration until after washing the car. With a pretty heavy coat of dirt and road grime and in the garage I didn’t get a good look at it. Now that I’ve bathed her, I can see the extent.

There’s a little “pimple” just above and left of the center of the photo, along with an array of spiderwebbing.

Now that I’ve put it all back together, I see that the battery was installed “backwards” when it was replaced on my way to Austin. I had no idea the base of the battery wasn’t symmetrical, so I didn’t know to check it. So that would mean that it stayed put for COTA, La Junta, and the RAKC lunch laps. It had to come loose on a left hand turn. La Junta only has one, and all of COTA’s fast turns are right handers.

The charity laps amounted to about a session’s worth of laps. With passengers, I was five to six seconds a lap slower. RaceChrono logs g-forces, in theory. The data for Thursday’s sessions looks reasonable but the lunch lap data is clearly bogus. It indicates a max of 3.4g’s, which is pure fantasy and double what it records for Thursday.

I can’t help but wonder what made it come loose, and how long was it banging around? I had the boot open between sessions, so it was sometime in my second session. I didn’t hear anything. The engine is between my ears and the boot, I have a helmet on, and with no top there’s some wind noise. Still, shouldn’t I have heard it? And I didn’t hit any curbs and didn’t go off; there was no jarring event. (I went two off in the first session, not roughly, and the battery was still in place before the second set.)

Oh, well. What’s done is done. I’ll have to have it repaired sooner or later, but it will have to be later. I’ve needed some fiber repair on the front clam for quite some time. I’ve worn holes, so you might say the nose has nostrils now. This battery damage essentially doubles the bill. None of it will likely get fixed in the next twelve months.

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