Blog Entry #11 June 4, 2017: Ada, OH to Dayton, OH – stop at Mid-Ohio Raceway

In my efforts to entice the members of the engineering Class of 1967 to come to the 50th ONU reunion, I learned that Jack, one of my close mechanical engineering classmates now living in Missouri, is seriously into sports car racing. It so happened that his carclass was among those racing on Sunday, June 4th at the Mid-Ohio sports car trackabout 65 miles east of our location in Ada. Jack did not bring a car, but was interested in seeing how the competition was doing and in catching up with some of his racing buddies.

June 3, 2017: Jack and Dan at 2017 ONU Reunion

So, after the farewell breakfast at ONU on Sunday, June 4th Jean and I headed over to Mid-Ohio Raceway to join Jack and his wife at the track to watch a few afternoon runs. We checked out the races from several viewing points along the 2.5 mile road course; with the final race ending just moments before a thunderstorm passed through the area. We bid our friends adieu and quickly (if 55mph on side roads can be considered quickly) headed south to our evening’s destination in Dayton, OH for the next day’s visit to the National Air Force Museum; but not without some encounters with serious downpours.

Tech Stuff

The charging system had been behaving flawlessly since we improved the ground wire connection at the mounting bolt of the voltage regulator cover several days prior. However, after a few battles with heavy rain on the trip from Mid-Ohio Raceway to Dayton, necessitating use of the headlights, we noticed a strong discharge on the ammeter upon turning off the lights and engine at a fuel stop. We immediately restarted the engine at which point the charging system behaved normally, fueled-up and completed out trip to Dayton in relatively clear weather (no headlights required). The charging system acted normally when we turned off the engine at our Dayton lodging and after a dinner run before dark that evening.

We surmised that the charging anomaly is attributable to either something in the electrical system getting wet, or use of the headlights. Not wanting to “rock the boat” with four planned stops and 700 plus miles yet to travel, we elected to monitor the system, but make no major changes unless warranted.

We do have a new voltage regulator sitting in a box in the Jeep, but without the means to make judicious adjustment if needed, we would rather see if we can complete the trip as is.Subsequent investigation has revealed that it is not uncommon for the contact points of the “Battery” solenoid of a mechanical voltage regulator to stick in the closed position under high draw situations (e.g.: headlights on), causing a direct short between the battery and ground. Allowing the car to idle for 30 seconds with the headlights off before turning off the engine has, in our case, served as a workable means of restoring normal operation.

Blog Entry #10 June 2-3, 2017: ONU 50th Reunion Celebration, Ada, Ohio
Blog Entry #12 June 5, 2017: National Air Force Museum, Dayton, OH – Highland, OH