‘Leroy the Vette’ Kart Finally Gets Ignition Issues Sorted

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Never make assumptions when it comes to an inconsistent engine issues.

High horsepower cars aren’t without their problems, but for Cleetus McFarland and his Vette Kart named Leroy, they have had a remarkable run so far. However, during a recent trip to the drag strip, an issue has been bugging the car, causing the car to misfire at high RPM and between gear shifts.

In the video above, you’ll be able to follow along as McFarland tackles one issue that arose from a temporary setup just to get the car running. McFarland makes a fairly accurate assessment of the prior engine issues, and decides that the upgrade will cure the problem. McFarland explains, “for the longest time, Leroy has run his boost control off of manifold pressure. I’m sure a lot of you guys know most drag racers use CO2 to control their boost controller. Today I’m happy to announce that we’re finally making the switch from the intake manifold pressure boost control over to a CO2 control on our Corvette.”


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However, a few dyno pulls later reveal that’s not the case.

With boost control no longer the issue, focus turns to spark and ignition. Even after replacing plugs, wires, and coil packs, the engine still has some problems putting down a clean run. Time to pack up for the night and call it a day.

Cleetus McFarland Leroy C5 Vette Kart ignition

With fresh minds, McFarland decided to check every electrical connection and discovered that the ground for the engine block wasn’t attached. Even that didn’t fix the issue. A frustrated McFarland went through the wires again, but then decided to check the system logs on the Holley EFI engine management system. Revealing some information, McFarland was able to pinpoint some issues, saying “we had narrowed it down to the crankshaft position sensor and the camshaft position sensor, as they were giving false readings in the system logs.”

After trying the crank sensor first, the same issue persisted. With only one sensor left to replace, it was time to find out if after all that searching, the cam sensor would get things running properly again.

As it turns out, a dyno run netting 1,127 horsepower would prove that it was the camshaft position sensor causing all the engine issues after all. Nothing like an easy fix to get your 1,127 wheel horsepower race car up and going again.

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Patrick Morgan is an instructor at Chicago's Autobahn Country Club and contributes to a number of Auto sites, including MB World and 6SpeedOnline.

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