I tracked down some of my starting problem. Yes, there was a problem starting, even after changing out the starter just before loading up last Friday evening. The left Optima battery, that is about 9 years old, gave out. Under load (water pump & fan) it was only putting out 2.6 VDC. The other battery, which was new in 2007 is working just fine and had been doing the job. It has a no-load voltage of 13.06 VDC and a loaded voltage of 12.75 VDC with the water pump and fan running (I had to separate the batteries to test the voltage. While they are in parallel they both show the same voltage). If I did not have an alternator, I probably would have been out of luck during competition.
Kevin came over tonight to help me change the transmission pan. When we removed the pan, we found indication that the clutches were about to give up. The fluid did not smell right, but not the bad burnt smell that I am use too under these conditions. The color was light brown. There was a lot of grit and flakes in the bottom of the transmission oil pan.
This could have been the reason we have had to adjust the band to try to stop the slight backwards roll when we energized the Trans-brake the last two or three times we went too the track. I lost once because of that and Kevin has had to go in deep to keep the bottom light on.
We removed the transmission and will have it overhauled. The case is due for SFI re-certification in April 2011, so we will send it back to TCI for re-certification. SFI certification is due every 5 years on the Dedenbear case and the internal blanket. The transmission internals have to be removed to do the re-certification. TCI did it last time, along with a overhaul. They put the best Red Eagle Clutches and Koleen Steels in it. It has been shifting just fine for 4.5 years.
Mr. Van Johnson has promised to teach me how to do the overhaul on my Powerglide. I do want to learn that task.
While we are down, I may remove the heads, freshen up the valve job and install new springs. I will ask Alvin if he can flow the heads again and get them equalize. Maybe we can pull out a few more HP to get me into the 8 second range, even in the hot weather.
This combination has been working very well for the past 13 months. I have been very happy with the engine, transmission, converter and the car. We are probably down for the rest of this year.