It’s always a little bittersweet when racing season comes to a close. I’m usually sad because it will be a long and cold five or six months before I can sit behind the wheel of my favorite car in the world, yet it’s not all gloomy because those six months I fill with my other passion, ice hockey!
I wish I could say that there is a huge list of projects that the Camaro will undergo this winter however with the new addition to our family coming in April; all extra funds are quickly being devoted to that side of the Cox family budget. It was my original plan to take the Camaro to a 3800 Series II engine builder this spring and have him tear into the top half of my engine and give the ol’ girl some more power. That certainly will not be happening, at least not this winter. This isn’t the end for the Camaro however, nor SJC Motorsports. We’re currently in the process of remodeling our garage for the Camaro, so that work on projects over the off season will have more room to be completed and the proper set up to do so. No longer will I have to use the lawn more as a work bench! The walls and floor are getting a good cleaning and a new coat of paint, both of which are badly needed and when the project is complete, it will look like we actually know what we’re doing.
Looking forward to the off season, the Camaro first needs a good wash and wax before the temps drop too much lower. After that it will need to have its worn out shocks replaced. We experienced a lot of bottoming out over the summer and I believe that cheap shocks, which are now worn out are to blame. New shocks should also give us a noticeable launch improvement as well. We will be bleeding the brakes lines and replacing the brake fluid that has been in the car probably since the day it rolled off the lot in 1997. That is way too long and regrettably something I have neglected to maintain over time. I’ll be replacing the crumbling/non-existent rear bump stops to help support the rear end on launch. Running the 17-inch wheels we currently are makes having bump stops a very big deal. Lastly, we will be doing the usual fluid changes: engine oil, rear end gear oil, transmission fluid, and the brake fluid I mentioned earlier. I might also try to squeeze in a coolant flush if possible, just to help with those 100-degree summer days. After that it will just be a process of checking all of the suspension parts and making sure everything is torqued to the correct specs and hitting all of the lube points with the grease gun.
I’m already looking forward to next racing season. It will likely be different than in years past as we will have a new born almost as the season starts. However, I am still hopeful that there will be better weather next year (less rain) and we will be able to make more than just a handful of events throughout the summer. Only time will tell and for now we will just look forward to a few projects over the winter and enjoying the holidays with friends and family. Come spring though, I will be ready to get back on the track!