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Ups and downs of my day on Poconos North Track

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Old 06-23-11, 08:34 AM   #1
darbs242
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Default Ups and downs of my day on Poconos North Track

Il start with the good... The car was awesome, ran great and handles much better than I thought it did which was already great. I kept way ahead of vettes and lower end 911s all day long... Lets just say I did a fair amount of passing . Half the day was raining then it dried out and I really showed my car no mercy... At the end of the first session I had to came off the track a little early because my oil temp gauge reached the H For the second session I took my engine cover and that helped keeps temps lower by two bars on the gauge! Every time I came off the track, popped my hood to cool down the one sikky primary you can see was pink! Great product guys, its deffinatly holding up to the limits of the cars heat range.
Click the image to open in full size.

Now for the cons of the day; Random technology Race cats in your X pipe is a bad idea if your gonna hit the track hard. On my second to last lap of the day I heard a bang under me (Im on a race track, I didn't hit anything) and instantly the car was choked up. No cel and the engine was very stressed over 3000rpm. I pulled off the track and looked down my mufflers to see two handfuls of matrix cat material that had turned into shrapnel shooting out my mufflers. I drove back to my hotel and babied the car to a muffler shop near the track. Had them brake down the exhaust and the second they had the X-pipe off they knew what happened. One of the cats was completely gone (out the tailpipes) and the rest of the other cat was lodged in the center of the X. Looking into where the cats were, are now empty stainless cat cases, there is nothing left... they are straight pipes. Clearly when tracking our cars the temperature range far exceeds the Random Technology cats operating temperature, at least this model of cat. After wasting an hour trying to get this large piece of metal out of the X pipe it was decided the X pipe must be cut to get it out. So one cut was made to force out the remains of the cat and the pipe was welded back together. $500 RACE CATS, $150 to install, $90 extra night at a hotel, $250 Bill & wasted half a day at a muffler shop removing left overs and one pissed off Random Technology customer... RACE CATS THAT CANT RACE!?!
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2 handfuls of this shot out the muffler (1st cat...)
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What came out of the X pipe
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Another word to the wise, If you have Joe Z Carbon Fiber exhaust tips... take them off before you go on a race track with your car... After talking to Joe there will now be a: NOT FOR RACING USE disclaimer that goes with the exhaust tips... Joe is already working on a solution for replacing them for me. Over this Exhaust issue Joe and JE have top notch customer service, phone support and have been willing to do everything to make it right... Random tech on the other hand we will see.

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Besides the few downfalls... the trip and track were great, met some good guys and had a good time. Everyone should get out on a track at least once in your F and see what your money really has got you. Amazing car so glad i bought it.
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Old 06-23-11, 08:42 AM   #2
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Good info Darbs. I wonder if RT makes more robust cats? Keep us informed with regards to RT.
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Old 06-23-11, 09:04 AM   #3
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I googled some keywords and found more than I anticipated negative feedback on RT cats, primarily quality issues and blow-outs like Darbs. I am not trying to pass premature judgement on RT yet of course, but I am now interested b/c I'm scheduled to have them put on tomorrow.

http://www.rx8club.com/showthread.php?t=5847

http://www.preludeonline.com/f28/do-...ow-cat-186412/
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Old 06-23-11, 09:21 AM   #4
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Holy cow!!! I would have never expected to see something like this from Random Tech and I sure hope they take care of you. I agree full hearteldy that a "race cat" should be able to hold up in "racing" conditions.

Just curious, but did you ever run leaded fuel with the cats in place? That or a poor quality control by RT are the only things I can think of that would contribute to this disaster at the track.
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Old 06-23-11, 09:40 AM   #5
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Random tech cats are garbage. They had the same problem with turbo subarus- except not even on the track.
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Old 06-23-11, 09:57 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by caymandive View Post
Holy cow!!! I would have never expected to see something like this from Random Tech and I sure hope they take care of you. I agree full hearteldy that a "race cat" should be able to hold up in "racing" conditions.

Just curious, but did you ever run leaded fuel with the cats in place? That or a poor quality control by RT are the only things I can think of that would contribute to this disaster at the track.
I have never put anything in the tank besides standard gas pump 93oct. I pull out without fueling if 91 is my best option.
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Old 06-23-11, 10:02 AM   #7
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I am concerned about your oil temp issues while at the track. I thought these cars would be fine on the track so is this an isolated issue?
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Old 06-23-11, 10:14 AM   #8
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Sucks to hear about your racing cats not being able to handle race conditions. On the other hand, I never expected Joes tips to ever burn and melt that way.
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Old 06-23-11, 10:34 AM   #9
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I had a similar experience with my CF tips, though no melting but the color change is just like yours. I am running with out the secondary cats so that may be the difference in the heat.

But my question, how do I take them off for track days?
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Old 06-23-11, 10:36 AM   #10
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Ryan. It's is a beast isn't it at the track. Dragging it doesn't even come close to this cars ability. I pretty much smoke everything whenever I go. I've never had issues with oil temp though. How long were your sessions? Sucks about your cats by the way. Major blower.
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Old 06-23-11, 10:40 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PurduePete View Post
I googled some keywords and found more than I anticipated negative feedback on RT cats, primarily quality issues and blow-outs like Darbs. I am not trying to pass premature judgement on RT yet of course, but I am now interested b/c I'm scheduled to have them put on tomorrow.

http://www.rx8club.com/showthread.php?t=5847

http://www.preludeonline.com/f28/do-...ow-cat-186412/
After this event I would not put them in my car if I were you... Im searching for different cats unless RT gives me new better cats... maybe the ones PPE is using would hold up?
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Old 06-23-11, 10:52 AM   #12
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Quote:
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Ryan. It's is a beast isn't it at the track. Dragging it doesn't even come close to this cars ability. I pretty much smoke everything whenever I go. I've never had issues with oil temp though. How long were your sessions? Sucks about your cats by the way. Major blower.
You're so right... dragging almost seems like a waste of time compared to time on a circuit/road course I have 4 more events this year... Im very excited. Nothing passed me all day on Tuesday... there was one 911 4S that would catch up in the turns then we hit the straight I would gain my 4-5 car lengths back. He jokingly told me he was getting frustrate toward the end of the day with my Japanese product haha. I told him he needed to step it up apparently...
I did 3 sessions that were an hour and fifteen minutes with hour breaks between. After I took off the engine cover oil temps weren't really a problem... it was 85 degrees out too
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Old 06-23-11, 11:19 AM   #13
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If non-cermaic coated stainless steel at 1200F glows dark red in daylight, I can only imagine your exhaust was significantly hotter yet. I don't know what the weather conditions were on your track day, but I would call this an "extreme" environment. I would bet that it wouldn't matter what cat you had on the car, you would have killed them just the same. Since the RT's are fairly open in/out they were not able to catch the clump of melted substrate, which may or may not be a good thing. It's good in that you were able to diagnose the problem immediately.

Anyway, it sure is something to learn from and you may have saved others from running into a similar situation down the road.

ps. Look how dark your exhaust is from the heat!!
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Old 06-23-11, 11:31 AM   #14
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When I've gone everyone is like what all is done to that car. When I tell them it's basically stock except the headers and exhaust they don't believe me. I haven't had a chance to track it since I got the wider tires. I really want to this season just have to find the time to do it. I was passed once by a heavily modded Sti because I made a mistake going into a turn but got him right back on the next and pulled away. I've gone up against some very respectable cars but nothing mighty like a gtr or gt3. I waxed a c63 amg. Afterwards the guy was like I bought the wrong car hahaha classic.
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Old 06-23-11, 11:45 AM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by caymandive View Post
I don't know what the weather conditions were on your track day, but I would call this an "extreme" environment.

ps. Look how dark your exhaust is from the heat!!
The conditions where 60% humidity at 75-85 degrees on the track for an hour and a fifteen minutes at a time. I also noticed that shifting 500rpm early from redline vs always being as close to redline as possible dramatically influenced the oil temp and honestly the car feels just as fast around 5500 as it does at 6500 lil more tq lil less hp you know. Im not pro on a track either, just out having a great time. Im sure a more experienced driver could get more life out of the time on the track. The F has a lot of power for someone trying to learn a line... I guess i could slow down but thats no fun

When they took the X pipe down i looked up the headers with a flash light and they very gray with no carbon build up at all...in fact there was no carbon in the exhaust untill almost the X I would say it was VERY HOT!

You don't think factory cats would have held up??? WOW would I be pissed if factory stuff failed. I think there are cats out there that could take this abuse... I just dont think they will cost 240 a piece.
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