Countdown: The Last Checkered Flag

Friday, August 27, 2010

The Devil is in the Details

The team made huge strides yesterday, but not without the discovery of new problems. I got a nice update from Eric this morning, which explains:

Hey, gang, good work day/night today. Thanks much to Jimmy and Ryan for taking care of the interior and getting the car significantly ready. Good job Kang making progress on the door bars. Sorry I had to cut you off due to noise and late hour.

Ken and I tackled 3 different fronts:

(1) power steering - this is now completely connected. My dad's hose worked great, and Jimmy's afternoon score of some AN-10 hose from Austin Performance was the perfect fit. Ken complete the tri-fecta by stealing the power steering bracket from the ITB Coupe, and I had a spare new power steering belt from the event where we broke on. I raided the last of Jimmy's stash of the special green hydraulic oil, but it wasn't enough and I need more to fill the reservoir before we can test it.

(2) exhaust - Ken and Kang cut out the old muffler, chopped up some of the lines, and have a plan to weld them back together to make a side-exit exhaust. It won't be as cool as the 444 car, but it will be a bit better than what was there and should suffice for the weekend (if we make it). We can eliminate the catalytic converter at some point between the test day and the event. I estimate this will take ~1.5-2 hours to completely finish up.

(3) brakes - I saved the worst news for last. First, the brake fluid reservoir has a crack and leaks, so no go on that. It wasn't leaking much, so we attempted to bleed the brakes. The first attempt on the first caliper resulted in brake fluid spurting from a couple of untightened junctions, much like a person who just had a big artery cut. We tightened those and successfully bled the front calipers. The driver's rear gave us a little more difficulty with the pedal, but nothing serious.

That was just a warning for the passenger rear, which isn't passing any fluid at all. We removed the caliper, but that isn't the problem. So, we have a bad hose or bad hard line. We couldn't remove the hose from the hard line, so I soaked it in penetrating oil and we'll try to remove it tomorrow or Saturday. The worst case scenario says that the rear hard line is bad and we have to remove and replace it. The best case scenario is a bad hose which we can change pretty easily. It was well past midnight so we gave up and called it quits. This is between 2-4 more hours worth of work.

Also, Ken and Ryan loaded the 444 car onto the trailer and Ken is driving it to work tomorrow. That way he can go in Saturday morning and "git 'er dun."



Ugh. I guess the previous owner didn't notice his horrific braking performance. You know, based on the condition of the clogged brakes, Mesozoic-era tires, broken gas tank venting system, and the bomb that was engineered in the engine bay, I'm looking at the possibility that somebody was looking real good for getting offed for their life insurance money (RUN kid!). I reckon this team saved his life by taking this car and I bet we get a really nice Christmas card this year.

Here are some detail photos of the cage and some of the interior stuff:

The harness bar set to the perfect height for safety.

Left-front cage support box. We only paint the cage to keep it from rusting, but it's now easily the nicest part of the car.

Right-front cage support box.

Right-rear cage support box.

One of the rear stays. The hole in the rear bulkhead will be sealed before the race.

This is the rear stay, where it is welded to a spreader plate on the suspension tower.

This is the emergency cutoff switch and the switch that runs our super-pimp power seat adjustment. Maybe next year, we will get air-conditioned seats, too. This is also a good shot of the driver's side cage support box.

I was hoping my next entry would be from the test track, but it looks like we got at least another day of work ahead of us.


1 comment:

  1. Gauges and Cage are all the rage. I have an old anchor you can use for brakes if necessary.