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1  General / Classifieds / Re: PRICE REDUCED AGAIN! 1989 Honda Civic Si For Sale on: August 04, 2018, 09:25:51 AM
interested.  email sent.
2  General / Autos and Autosport / Re: Mid-engined Porsche 911 race car build on: June 03, 2018, 01:27:24 PM
Can we get some insigbt on the Honda muscle car build.

Yeah, I've gotta get back to it.  I set the Insight aside to build the Porssat.  Now that it's done, I need to wrap up some more urgent stuff (head gasket on my truck, rebuild trailer axles) and then I can get back to it.
3  General / Autos and Autosport / Mid-engined Porsche 911 race car build on: May 19, 2018, 04:36:52 AM
So, a bunch of you saw this car at the last practice autocross, or on Facebook. Ricardo, Gunny, Jeff, Chris, Paul, Pat and a few other friends put a second 24 Hours of LeMons race car together over the first few months of this year.  I've got all these carcasses sitting around my shop, so we picked the nicest one - Danielle's wrecked 996.  We got it under budget because I paid $5200 for the car, am selling the motor for $8k, and bought the donor car for $400.  The donor is a VW Passat with a 2.8L V6 - we've dubbed the finished car the "Porssat"

I put a build thread here on GarageJournal.  Here are the Cliff's notes



The Passat engine and transaxle are where the back seat used to be

We did our first race last weekend at NJMP and shockingly, the car ran the whole time.  We had to get some more cool air to the rear-mounted radiator, but did pretty well.  The judges liked the car so much they made up the Porsche Excellence award for us.

Here is their race writeup.

And some videos from the car

My last stint, with the fastest lap.
Another video...where I hit another car towards the end.  Thankfully there was no real damage to either car

We're excited for the next race.  Gotta fix the cooling system before then, put some real brakes on the car, and do an alignment.  Maybe get some tires, too.  I think we can fit 295s on all 4 corners, but those are expensive...
4  General / Open Forum / Re: Found Justin a new project on: January 19, 2018, 06:41:34 PM
Yes, this is excellent!  I think Danielle doesn't count trailers towards my 20-vehicle maximum.  This is a good loophole.
5  General / Technical Help / Re: Any driveshaft/axle shops around Richmond? on: January 01, 2018, 03:02:20 PM
Nice, thanks.  I didn't realize either of those places were around.  I'll have to check them out.
6  General / Technical Help / Any driveshaft/axle shops around Richmond? on: December 31, 2017, 03:58:19 PM
I'm going to need a set of CV axle shafts shortened or potentially re-splined.  Anyone know of any shops around Richmond that will do that?
7  General / Technical Help / Re: Looking for cheap track tires on: December 02, 2017, 08:20:56 PM
Very true. What do you think worst case scenario at nccar on a heavy car is?

Worst-case - probly a couple dozen.  Id expect them to last at least twice as long as other options though.
8  General / Technical Help / Re: Looking for cheap track tires on: December 01, 2017, 04:24:09 AM
275/35/18 NT01s are $249ea at Discount Tire Direct.  Can't comment on number of sessions, it depends too much on your setup and driving style...also NCCAR chews up tires.
9  General / Technical Help / Re: Looking for cheap track tires on: November 28, 2017, 07:29:19 PM
I don't have feedback on either of those tires, but I'd recommend the Nitto NT01 over any of those (including Pilot Super Sports), hands down.  I have a set of 8-year old Nitto NT01s that probably have over a dozen track days and 5k street miles on them - when I ran them in the Spring at VIR, they were still faster than brand new Azenis.  Also - I went through ~30% of the Azenis in like 4 that to like 60+ sessions on the Nittos.  The only real precaution I've taken with them is to store them inside in the winter.  They're like $1k in your size, so still "expensive", but they're the longest lasting track-oriented tire I've found.  As long as you can get enough camber in the car to make sure you're not chewing the shoulders off the tires, they might actually be cheaper in the long run.

What car are you putting them on, and do you drive the car on the street much?
10  Pictures and Media / Pictures and Media from Events / Re: Media from 11/19/2017 on: November 23, 2017, 01:44:12 PM
It was a great course.  I'm glad I got to make it out.  I don't have any videos of the Cobra, but I got Ricardo and D's fastest runs.

Ricardo (52.754):
D (54.026):
11  General / Classifieds / Re: Free racing posters. on: November 10, 2017, 05:52:58 PM
I'll take 'em, Bill.  I'm planning on being there next weekend.
12  General / Autos and Autosport / Re: Factory Five Cobra Build on: November 08, 2017, 07:15:19 PM
These are great Pictures !

Where is the place with the ESSO sign ?


Thanks.  It's on 13, right at the end of 609.  There is an old country store on the corner, that's the front of the property.
13  General / Autos and Autosport / Re: Factory Five Cobra Build on: November 03, 2017, 04:04:44 AM
So, last week I realized that I had several hundred pictures of the build process, but basically none of the finished car, other than on the dyno.  Since it was nice out Saturday, Jeff and I hung out and took a ton of pictures.  Here are some of my favorites.

These are at the parking garage at work.  You can see how the paint looks different in different light.

I also played around with some of the different settings on the camera

There is a place a couple minutes from my house that has some old buildings.  We called the property owner and he was nice enough to let us in to take a few pictures.  There were probably 30 different buildings that he had moved from around Virginia and North Carolina onto his property.  He holds auctions every now and then - it'd be neat to see what gets sold at those.

14  General / Classifieds / Re: FS: 1996 Buick Roadmaster wagon on: October 29, 2017, 01:08:00 PM
15  General / Classifieds / Re: FS: 1994 Chevy Caprice wagon - 6 speed! on: October 29, 2017, 03:45:57 AM
16  General / Autos and Autosport / Re: Factory Five Cobra Build on: October 08, 2017, 03:32:54 PM
We finally got the car down the Peter to finish tuning it.  I had gotten the fuel tables close enough while street tuning it that we didn't need to make any changes - it was running ~12.0-12.5:1 AFR at WOT, so we just messed around with the timing.  I had the motor timed at ~16 degrees base timing.  We tried going to 18 and it lost a some power.  We found peak power at only ~12 degrees of timing.  The difference was pretty astounding - like an additional 40hp compared to 18 degrees.  Here is a video of one of the runs.  Sounds good.

17  General / Classifieds / Re: FS: 1994 Chevy Caprice wagon - 6 speed! on: August 19, 2017, 01:12:28 PM
Alright, below are some pictures from today.  I also took a video of it accelerating.

Exterior photos

Interior photos

The driver's door panel is missing the armrest

Here are some detailed shots of the underside.  There is surface rust on the floorboards, but nothing serious.  The rockers are all clean.

The lower rear quarters have the most rust.  The bottom of the spare tire well has a couple of holes.  There are 2 shallow dents in the passenger quarter.

The tires are new - 10/32" tread

The engine bay is clean.

Here are pics of the spares.  The winter tires are 235/75/15s with 8/32" tread.  The headliner backer is in good shape, but needs new fabric.  I have all the interior and exterior trim, plus new carpet (not pictured).

18  General / Classifieds / FS: 1996 Buick Roadmaster wagon on: August 16, 2017, 09:04:08 PM
Name: Justin
Location: Powhatan
Contact: PM me or email at justin dot loehlein at gmail
Price: $2k obo

So, I bought this Roadmaster a couple months ago because it was in really good shape.  I was troubleshooting the CEL in my Caprice at the time and it was kind of an impulse buy.  Now I've gone and bought another truck, so I'm at 20 cars right now and really need to get rid of a few.  I decided to liquidate my stash of beautiful, wood-paneled, LT1-powered station wagons.  Here is what I know:

1996 Roadmaster Collectors Edition
270k miles
LT1 motor
All stock
Tow package (class III hitch, trans cooler, brake controller)
Drives great
Heat and AC don't work (probably needs a heater core, AC has been deleted)
Paint is good on most of the car, but peeling on the roof
Some dents on the tailgate

I'll take better pics this weekend.  Here are a couple for now.

19  General / Classifieds / FS: 1994 Chevy Caprice wagon - 6 speed! on: August 16, 2017, 08:49:58 PM
Name: Justin
Location: Powhatan
Contact: PM me or email at justin dot loehlein at gmail
Price: $5k obo

Alright, the time has come to sell my Caprice.  Many of you are familiar with the car - it has been my tow vehicle for 8 years.  I bought it with a failing transmission and immediately built it into my ideal tow vehicle.  I swapped in a manual trans from a 1994 Camaro, some 4.10 gears and a stiffer suspension.  It runs 14s in the 1/4 mile, gets 12-14mpg towing 5k lbs (is capable of over 20 empty), and handles well for a 4500lb car.  The close gearing in the 6 speed is great for towing and it'll cruise at 1800rpm doing 70mph, even while towing the trailer.  The car has 270k on it now, I've put 35k miles on it since I owned it and it runs super strong.  I have a spare, 80k mile motor that can go with it.  I was going to replace the motor when I first got it, but it dyno'd at 226whp and 311ft-lbs all stock (prior to exhaust), so I decided to let it be.  Here are the details.

LT1 engine
Rebuilt T56 transmission
Aluminum driveshaft
Detroit Tru-Trac diff with 4.10 gears
Stan's Tri-Y headers
Stainless X-pipe and mufflers
High flow cats

Completely rebuilt front-end steering and suspension with Moog parts
Bilstein shocks
Stiffer springs
AirLift bags in the rear
Crown Vic rear sway bar
17x8 wheels and BRAND NEW 255/50/17 Nitto NT450s
Will include stock wheels with snow tires (car is a beast in the snow)

Bucket seats from a Bonneville
Camaro gauge cluster (has a tach)
Class III hitch with 4 way and 7 way plugs
Tekonsha Prodigy brake controller
Hurst shifter
Recently replaced heater core, radiator and all hoses
All new brake lines

I've got $13k in the car and it runs and drives great.  I use top quality replacement parts (e.g. all the hoses and radiator core are AC Delco, belt is Good Year, bearings are all Timken, etc).  Last year, I rebuilt the transmission with $1600 in parts - all new synchros and bearings plus billet synchro keys, steel 3-4 shift fork, bronze shifter pads, new mainshaft and 5-6 gear cluster.  It's got a new clutch in it, too (stage 3 pressure plate with organic clutch disc from ClutchNet).

However, I haven't put as much focus into how the car looks.  I removed all the exterior trim and much of the interior (carpet, headliner, plastic pillar trim).  I will include all of it, but the headliner needs to be replaced and it doesn't make sense to put anything else back in until that is done.  There are some broken clips on the driver's side door panel and the handle you grab onto is broken, making it fun to close.  The AC compressor has been removed.  The brake light on the dash is on - I'm pretty sure I forgot to reconnect the switch on the parking brake when I pulled the dash to do the heater core (there are no ABS codes).

Anyways, this is a great first tow vehicle (comfortable to sleep in, too).  I've mostly pulled my Miatas and Civic, but have had everything on the trailer from Corvettes and Mustangs to a Dodge pickup once.  I use a weight distributing hitch and it does just fine.  It's also just fun to beat up on kids who think their Civics are fast in a wood-paneled wagon.

Here are a few pics.  I'll post more detailed pics over the weekend.  I wasn't planning on selling the car, but I just bought another Cummins-powered truck, so it's gotta go.  The white Roadmaster in the pics is also for sale.  I'll start another post for that.

If anyone wants a package deal on the wagon, trailer, and matching LeMons Miata, just let me know.
20  General / Autos and Autosport / Re: K swapping my Insight on: August 15, 2017, 10:06:45 AM
Alright, Jeff and I went to Chesterfield Auto Parts over the weekend because I saw they had a couple K24 Accords show up in the last two weeks.  I got lucky and one of them was stick.  We spent a couple hours and liberated the trans, shifter and cables.  Cost $230 total.  Not too bad - hopefully it's in good shape!

I also managed to pull the full wiring harness from the Civic.  Now I'm starting to un-loom everything so I can separate out the wiring that needs to run from the ECU to the gauges and the fuel pump vs all the rest of the nonsense.  This is going to take a while, but I find the work relaxing.

Believe it or not, this is only like 2/3 of the harness:

Here is the rest:

And the Civic is out of the shop now.

I will probably spend the next month pulling the wiring apart and cleaning stuff.  I've been wanting to build a sandblast cabinet and powder coating oven for a while now.  This seems like a good time to do that.

So far, I've spent ~$850 and I believe I have the full drivetrain (might need axles?).  I'll be spending a significant chunk of money replacing wear items (e.g. wheel bearings, ball joints, clutch, etc) as I clean and rebuild everything, but I think my goal of $3k total for the swap is definitely realistic.
21  General / Autos and Autosport / Re: K swapping my Insight on: July 16, 2017, 03:30:28 PM
Well, Jeff came over today and we were super productive.  The Civic is mostly stripped.  I still need to pull the gas tank out and some of the wiring running to the rear of the car.  My plan is to lay out all the wiring we've taken from the Civic, diet the harness so it's just what's needed for the engine, cluster, and fuel system, and then do the opposite for the Insight (diet the harness so it just runs HVAC, radio, power accessories, lights).  Then I can combine them.

Here is the front end of the Civic - the kid who owned it hit a tree.

After a little bit of time with the sawzall, angle grinder, and unbolting a bunch of stuff, we pulled the whole front subframe out.  After working on my K20 Civic, Jeff's K20 Integra and Paul's K20 GTI, the wiring is super familiar.

I've got a lot of cleaning to do.  I may use the Civic seats as well - the Insight ones are terrible.  If I use the Civic seats, I'll have Danielle re-cover them.

So the Civic is sitting without a front end or interior now.  I've gotta find a way to move it around without front suspension.

If anyone needs Civic parts, let me know!
22  General / Autos and Autosport / Re: K swapping my Insight on: July 15, 2017, 08:10:36 PM
Well, the motor is out.  So is the dash.  Planning on starting to strip the Civic tomorrow.

Also, check out this's like 1.5"

I'll have to figure out if I want to keep ABS or not.  I definitely want AC, which means I have to either remove or relocate the ABS pump.  I'm tempted to delete it because the engine bay is like a rat's nest of brake lines.  Removing it will greatly simplify things.

23  General / Autos and Autosport / Re: K swapping my Insight on: July 10, 2017, 07:16:02 PM
Got tired of messing with the wiring on the Birkin, so I decided to spend a few hours taking the Insight apart.  I pulled the front end apart and removed all the stuff from the underside.  The car is from upstate NY and a lot of the fasteners are rusty.  I'll probably end up replacing the brake lines, as well.  Thankfully, the rest of the car is clean - aluminum is nice.

Should be ready to pull the axles and the motor out next.
24  General / Autos and Autosport / Re: K swapping my Insight on: June 16, 2017, 05:47:12 PM
A 14 second hatchback that gets 50mpg on 87 octane gas...why not!?!  Also, I'm tired of dealing with the hybrid complexity.  K20 should be more reliable.

I picked up the donor today.  The friendly neighborhood turkey even came and checked it out.

25  General / Autos and Autosport / K swapping my Insight on: June 14, 2017, 04:43:05 PM
Well, now that my Dad's car is done, it's back to my own projects.  I've got a 2000 Honda Insight that was my daily for about a year.  I averaged over 72mpg in the 16k miles I drove it.  Two years ago, it developed a fault in the hybrid charging system, so I stopped driving it.  I didn't want to spend time tinkering with it since I was building the Cobra.  Now it's time to "fix" it.

I'm planning on swapping in a 160hp K20 out of an RSX or 02-05 Civic Si and a 5 speed out of an Accord.  The base K20 will run on 87 octane and the Accord trans has the longest gearing.  I'm hoping to still get 45mpg+ once I'm done and have a car that runs low 14s.

I've got this week off work, so Jeff and I rolled the Insight into the garage and started stripping it.



There is a lot of space in the rear with the batteries removed.  It'll be a very practical car Smiley  It's still got the motor in for now.  That'll be next to come out.

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