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Giant Purple Snorklewacker
Giant Purple Snorklewacker SuperDork
7/25/11 7:56 a.m.

I just came back from a race weekend at Summit Point where it was Africa hot. Air temps were 100F+ with humidity to match and on the blacktop it was just suffocating. In a black tin can sitting in the sun, on the blacktop with the exhaust cooking the floor... really, really unpleasant.

I was sweating thru my suit before we even left the grid. I managed a good start in the feature race anyway... worked my way from 16th into the top 10... on pace to do even better. By lap 17 or so I started getting light headed and shakey. I held on to the end but I had to concede my way all the way back to 13th about 2 sec off the pace. Needless to say... pretty disappointing after fighting so hard to get the spots. When I got out of the car I threw up and had to ice down. It took a good hour before I was able to return to normal.

OK, so... I know, everyone on the grid has a Cool Suit and I'm an idiot for not just buying one but... they are $$$ and it isn't always 100F. I might only need it once a year. I have a shoestring budget as it is. The cooler part looks easy to make - the shirt, appears easy but I can't sew. My initial plan is buy a shirt and fabricate the pump/cooler to save half the cost but... what DIY solutions does the GRM Elite use to keep from dying of heat stroke? There weren't always CoolSuits. What do you folks who race in the southern tier use to survive and keep your wits sharp over a whole race?

DavidinDurango
DavidinDurango Reader
7/25/11 8:37 a.m.

Cool Shirt, wet towel around my neck.

I find the wet towel (soaked in an ice chest) to be very good - BUTT you will be too cold at first and then the effect lessens. duh.

Maybe instead of a cool shirt I'll try a garden sprayer w/ ice water on the skin (multiple holed hose around the neck). Probably a $15 solution here.

be careful in the heat!

DavidinDurango
DavidinDurango Reader
7/25/11 8:39 a.m.

Delete my post, I'm not "GRM Elite" . . . .

(miatas for sale)

iceracer
iceracer SuperDork
7/25/11 8:39 a.m.

Do what the Nascar drivers do. Over hydrate and exercise in the heat. Yes, I know they have helmet coolers but they race for hours. I'll bet you didn't drink a lot of water before the race.

Raze
Raze Dork
7/25/11 8:40 a.m.

PAINT YOUR CAR WHITE: $35 West Marine Topside Boat Paint, $5 foam roller, $5 paint thinner, $5 600 grit we/dry sandpaper. I cannot tell you how much of a difference this makes, our XR4 which was black/primer grey for 2 years was 10-20 deg hotter than ambient, after the repaint temps inside barely go above ambient, plus the metal wasn't constantly radiating heat as it would get so hot you couldn't touch it, with white, it's cool to the touch. 100F feels arctic next to 120F...

Also, seal all vents from the engine bay and apply stick on heat shielding around the worst part of the exhaust on the firewall/front floor to keep the heat radiating away from the cabin. Sealing all vents will prevent hot engine bay heat from dumping into the cabin, I can't tell you how much nicer it was to not have 120F air blowing on my feet/legs during AutoX after sealing the car up.

Add a NACA vent in a rear side window (you can build one yourself out of lexan for cheap) and a hose back to your helmet, ventilate your helmet...

These 3 change should make substantial inroads into your problem, but conditioning and hydration are also a huge factor...

iceracer
iceracer SuperDork
7/25/11 8:42 a.m.

Richard Petty used to suck on a cold wet rag.

triumph5
triumph5 SuperDork
7/25/11 8:55 a.m.

Pedialite in a water bottle with tube to your mouth to replace the electrolytes you're losing--and what you felt as you faded in the race. Paint at least the roof of the car white. Wait as late as you can before putting on the helmet. Store the balaclava in a cooler with lots of ice--h it in a baggie to keep it dry, of course. Heat shield placed between the exhaust and underside of the car--even if it's just half an inch gap, it'll help. And, look for ways to duct the air out of the cockpit. Consult the rule book first, then a couple of NACA ducts in the rear side windows. Mega-hydrate before the race.

After two laps, Petty's rag was just wet. Chewing on it generated syliva (sp!) in his mouth. Probably not legal not: choking hazard in an accident.

DaveEstey
DaveEstey HalfDork
7/25/11 9:10 a.m.

wet yourself.

sachilles
sachilles Dork
7/25/11 9:23 a.m.

I'm seen these Head band/Neck bands. You throw them in the freezer. If you don't wear a hans, you could put it on the back of your neck and that should help a great deal. Or build a swamp cooler for the car. http://www.instructables.com/id/Portable-12V-Air-Conditioner---Cheap-and-easy!/ Duct the exhaust from the cooler at your neck. If you want to get fancy take a pump and put a line or two in your seat lining to help keep things cool.

Giant Purple Snorklewacker
Giant Purple Snorklewacker SuperDork
7/25/11 9:23 a.m.
iceracer wrote: Do what the Nascar drivers do. Over hydrate and exercise in the heat. Yes, I know they have helmet coolers but they race for hours. I'll bet you didn't drink a lot of water before the race.

I actually did try to over-hydrate. I probably had 32oz of gatoraide and 2 gal of water between 7am and the race. I run 30 miles a week at lunchtime so I do exercise in what heat is available - it just isn't that kind of heat. Without all that I bet I would not have finished at all.

Giant Purple Snorklewacker
Giant Purple Snorklewacker SuperDork
7/25/11 9:27 a.m.
sachilles wrote: I'm seen these Head band/Neck bands. You throw them in the freezer. If you don't wear a hans, you could put it on the back of your neck and that should help a great deal. Or build a swamp cooler for the car. http://www.instructables.com/id/Portable-12V-Air-Conditioner---Cheap-and-easy!/ Duct the exhaust from the cooler at your neck. If you want to get fancy take a pump and put a line or two in your seat lining to help keep things cool.

The neck is a no-go... the rules make me wear a restraint device that pretty much blocks anything in that area.

Swamp cooler dry-ice solution inline in a hose from a NACA duct to my helmet might be awesome though.

joepaluch
joepaluch Reader
7/25/11 9:36 a.m.

In reply to Giant Purple Snorklewacker:

I made my own cool shirt. Small cooler from walmart+ Marine bildge pump+ tubing from Ace hardware+ dry break connectors from mc-master carr+ 2 t-shirt (one wear and the other fabric source).

Works great. Only downside is that it takes time for system to push the air out and prime.

Cost was about $80-100 for everything. I found link on the internet from a Miata guy who documented his build.

RossD
RossD SuperDork
7/25/11 9:41 a.m.

How thick is the padding on your seat? Could you hook up a cool shirt system but instead install on the outside of your seat. Then insulate on the outside of that.

Giant Purple Snorklewacker
Giant Purple Snorklewacker SuperDork
7/25/11 10:01 a.m.
joepaluch wrote: In reply to Giant Purple Snorklewacker: I made my own cool shirt. Small cooler from walmart+ Marine bildge pump+ tubing from Ace hardware+ dry break connectors from mc-master carr+ 2 t-shirt (one wear and the other fabric source). Works great. Only downside is that it takes time for system to push the air out and prime. Cost was about $80-100 for everything. I found link on the internet from a Miata guy who documented his build.

Do you have a link? I can see an easy way to do the cooler as you describe but the whole sewing surgical tubing to nomex undies with Stren seems like all I got to go with.

DeadSkunk
DeadSkunk HalfDork
7/25/11 10:05 a.m.

Find one of those shirts that has all the little freezer packs in them. Get 2 or 3 and keep them in the freezer at home, then transfer them to your cooler ,but in a freezer bag to keep the shirt dry. Put it on as close to your race start as possible.

AngryCorvair
AngryCorvair SuperDork
7/25/11 10:06 a.m.

@ beaverun chumpcar i saw naca ducts with hoses ending near drivers seat, and even a floor register looking sheetmetal vent duct chopped through the roof at top of windshield. that would provide ridiculous airflow at speed, but is probably not what you're looking for.

m4ff3w
m4ff3w SuperDork
7/25/11 10:09 a.m.

There used to be a huge thread about just this somewhere on the board, I'd go looking for it but I'm feeling a bit lazy.

dculberson
dculberson HalfDork
7/25/11 10:12 a.m.

The home made cool shirt makes a world of difference. My June 2010 race at Summit Point was a similar situation, with horrible air flow into the car. Flipping the cool shirt pump on resulted in a rush of coolness over my entire torso. That was a cotton t-shirt with tubing sewn onto it, a cooler, a 12v bilge pump, wiring, fasteners, ice, and water. Significantly less than $100 for everything and it made the 45 minute stint in the car go from "unbearable" to "comfortable." I wouldn't consider the investment just driver comfort, it's actually safety.

Don49
Don49 Reader
7/25/11 10:15 a.m.

Consider getting a Kwik Kool system from Speedway. I have the system that uses cans of refrigerant that you dispense as needed. No cooler, no plumbing and about $200. 1 can is good for a race and costs about $11. I've had mine for several yyears and am very satisfied with it.

btp76
btp76 Reader
7/25/11 10:16 a.m.

There's a lot of homemade cool shirt info on the 24 hours of lemons board. I just ordered shirts only from ultrachiller to use with a cooler / bilge pump setup.

Basil Exposition
Basil Exposition Reader
7/25/11 10:45 a.m.

I use one of these:

http://www.coolvest.com/RPCM_Cooling_Vest/RPCM_Concealable_Cool_Vest.aspx

Much less expensive and complex than the cool shirt setup. They have capacity for front and rear packs, but I only go with the front pack so it doesn't affect my seating. Works well for me.

I've got a buddy that overfilled his cool shirt cooler. Water splashed out under the rear tire on the outlap and almost caused him to spin.

Teh E36 M3
Teh E36 M3 HalfDork
7/25/11 10:51 a.m.

I know it's awful, but I'm living in the same heat (Arlington) and don't see how the hell you could race in these conditions. My daily 5-10 mile runs are suffering badly. That said- how much would having working a/c affect your lap times? I'm guessing in the miata it will have a pretty large effect, but on a larger-engined car- does anyone have a guess? MotoIQ says that the C.6R Lemans car has a/c, but it's mostly due to rules that require the inside of the car to be no more than 10 deg higher than ambient outside temp.

dculberson
dculberson HalfDork
7/25/11 11:03 a.m.
btp76 wrote: There's a lot of homemade cool shirt info on the 24 hours of lemons board. I just ordered shirts only from ultrachiller to use with a cooler / bilge pump setup.

That's it! I was trying to remember the more bargain-priced cool shirt supplier. Ultrachiller gets good marks from people I've known.

http://www.ultrachiller.com/catalog/product_info.php?products_id=34

$269 for cooler, shirt, etc. DIY is still a lot cheaper, but this is worth a look if you're not totally strapped for cash. I would spend this before racing in 100 degree heat with no cooler system at all.

Oh, and RE: the A/C system: without some ducting directing the air into your suit, you're not likely to get much benefit from working a/c. I assume that like most racing series the windows have to be down. It might help a bit, but not as much as a cool shirt.

44Dwarf
44Dwarf Dork
7/25/11 11:11 a.m.

HELMET blower makes the biggest difference of all the stuff i tried. It's not cold but pushes the heat out of your head. My 1st Home brew was a 3" brake duct fan ($28) and a plastic soda bottle cut the bottom off and taped the funnel part to the blower then off to HD for dish washer drain hose. Cut to fit leaving the rubber end for the helmet the plastic hose part screwed on to the coke bottle cap. Darn thing worked great! I ordered several other units like parker pumper and one from speedway when i had extra $$ but sent them back as they moved less air! then my $40 home made unit. sold the car over the winter and left it This year i was missing it so i bought a cool shirt brand unit with the 235CFM fan....same brand blower i used in my home brew but is 4' diameter not 3" It does move some air but at $120 I should have just built a new home built. One thing i've been looking at is a SCR type heat sink cooler. It's a semi conductor that when you apply 12v it will heat one side of the heat sink to 140deg but the oposite side cools to 50deg I might just buy a unit and place the cold side in the air intake od the blower. I found a place that sells them cheap...

44

triumph5
triumph5 SuperDork
7/25/11 11:13 a.m.
Teh E36 M3 wrote: I know it's awful, but I'm living in the same heat (Arlington) and don't see how the hell you could race in these conditions. My daily 5-10 mile runs are suffering badly. That said- how much would having working a/c affect your lap times? I'm guessing in the miata it will have a pretty large effect, but on a larger-engined car- does anyone have a guess? MotoIQ says that the C.6R Lemans car has a/c, but it's mostly due to rules that require the inside of the car to be no more than 10 deg higher than ambient outside temp.

That rule change was because drivers were coming in after long, hot stints, and some couldn't remember even pulling into the pits, and/or barely being able to get out of the cars. And, the lap times did go up. IIIRC, there's a max interior temp for the cars, outside temp doesn't factor in at all.

Another reason to race open cockpit cars. I always preferred an open cockpit formula car over a tin top. But, you don't always get what you want....

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