The Great Race, Stage 8: Keeping cool on the course

Being a rookie team this year I had three goal, but I’m not going to talk about the first two until after we finish just so I don’t jinx myself.  The third goal was to earn at least one ACE award.  An ace award is when you have a perfect score of “zero” in one time segment.  After a couple of disappointing days for the Hagerty “Boys’ Team” from a score perspective, it was a huge morale booster to have a good score that included the highly coveted ACE.

The weather has continued to get hotter the past few days and I was starting to get nervous about the Mighty Model A continuing to run warmer than I wanted too. Two days ago I removed the hood after lunch in an effort in increase air flow through the radiator. That certainly helped but was not the perfect solution — temperature would still climb higher than I wanted it to during a long steep incline.  Fortunately it would go back down once we started going downhill.

The other times it would run hot were during the off-clock transit periods were we would run 50 mph.  This made me wonder if the theory that the water pump was flowing the coolant through the radiator too fast for it to cool was coming into play. Friday morning before we left I installed the thermostat I used during the winter months in the upper radiator hose. My thought was this would slow the flow of coolant and hopefully give the radiator a chance to cool things down. BINGO! That did the trick and I wish I would have installed it at the beginning of the week.  Lesson learned for next time.

Read next Up next: The Great Race, Grand Finish: Nine-day classic rally was quite a ride

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