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Author Topic: Farmboy Fab: From Scrap to Racecar in 5 weekends, Lemons style!  (Read 24636 times)
catapultkid
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« on: June 11, 2012, 09:37:18 AM »

This is the story of the Miata wagon, enjoy. We start with Justin's original post a few months ago.


Day 1

So I got the Miata running finally.  After new plugs and wires I was still having intermittent spark issues.  I went to try it again yesterday after drying it out in my garage and it had spark, but no fuel.  This was the opposite of what was happening at the dyno day.  I was confused so I decided to start troubleshooting everything listed in the Miata.net "no start" thread.  After checking a couple fuses, I made my way to the ECU.  It was buried in a pile of leaves and dirt, after uncovering it I noticed it was partly covered in rust.  I figured I should probably open it up and sure enough, more rust.  After emptying a half a can of electrical contact cleaner into it and putting everything back together it started right up!  I drove it around the neighborhood and did a few donuts in the yard.  Success!


100_0885 by jloehlein, on Flickr


100_0887 by jloehlein, on Flickr


2012-03-10_10-56-03_99 by jloehlein, on Flickr


From there we all got together one evening to talk about the possibilities ahead. Lemons just seemed like the logical place for this car. So here goes...

Justin once again came across a rolled parts car. We really needed it for its dented body panels alone, however it had a better working ecu, gauge cluster that worked and various other little bits that we could make use of. Jeff and Justin got together and pieced one car from the two, cleaned out the brush and fixed a mysterious stalling issue without too much trouble.


100_0893 by jloehlein, on Flickr


100_0894 by jloehlein, on Flickr


100_0895 by jloehlein, on Flickr


100_0909 by jloehlein, on Flickr


Success!
« Last Edit: June 11, 2012, 10:09:04 AM by catapultkid » Logged

-Paul
1990 k20 swapped Gti (3rd motor)
1985 merkur xr4ti (4th motor)
1989 6.0 lsx swapped k2500 (2nd motor)
2000 honda insight (1st motor... yay)
catapultkid
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« Reply #1 on: June 11, 2012, 09:37:41 AM »

After my initial encounter with the Miata and the decision to move forward Justin and I set up a few loose dates for construction. It seemed that there would be enough time to build and test the car safely. We decided, since the scale and timeliness of the build, that it would be best to bring the car up to Culpeper, my home town about an hour and a half Northwest of Richmond. This would keep us from working on the car during the week, but added the benefit of a full shop and tools with more “fire power”.

One early Saturday morning the rumble of the Caprice wagon was outside and behind it on Jeff’s trailer was the Miata.  Game time!

Now since it drove, a quick run about was in order. It had decent pick-up, sounded healthy, felt tight, the fans even kicked on when it got hot.  Justin really got lucky with this one, especially for a car that sat uncovered for a number of years with no panels behind some shop…

After we had a bit of fun the real work had to begin. We set some tasks up for each and went right at it. Justin and Pat drained the car of fluids and tore right into the motor. The objective was to replace anything and everything that may cause us an issue. Therefore the water pump, timing belt, rollers, every hose, every belt… etc, all had to be replaced. Nothing could be left to chance in an endurance race.  Of course while they were in there they where able to trim almost 60lbs off of the motor with unnecessary A/C equipment. Nice!


100_0915 by jloehlein, on Flickr


100_0919 by jloehlein, on Flickr


100_0926 by jloehlein, on Flickr


100_0927 by jloehlein, on Flickr


100_0912 by jloehlein, on Flickr

Pete and I would tackle the roll cage and remove small amounts of interior bits as necessary. This again, is something you can’t leave to chance. A lot of reading was in order before even this weekend to be sure we were not going to miss anything. Once we show up for tech a simple misplacement of a tube can fail you. We decided on halo type construction, NASCAR style driver door bars, X style on the passenger side. Everything else was specified out according to the rules. The start of any cage is the main hoop. After a “measure twice, cut once” and a few bends, it laid in the car nicely. The upper Halo, then A-pillar uprights soon followed. One key ingredient in a cage is appropriate “boxing” to the structural parts of the car. A huge pain in the ass, as the same OE seam sealer that kept the rainwater inside the car while sitting outside can be a pain to remove. No shortage of sitting on our knees/stomach and grinding away with wire wheel on an angle grinder in places and positions we didn’t think were possible.


100_0930 by jloehlein, on Flickr


100_0933 by jloehlein, on Flickr


100_0924 by jloehlein, on Flickr


100_0934 by jloehlein, on Flickr

By the end of the first weekend, the motor was just about put back together and the cage was taking shape nicely. What we had after two days of hard work looked promising and with a huge to-do and shopping list in hand we couldn’t afford to start slowing down.


100_0935 by jloehlein, on Flickr


100_0941 by jloehlein, on Flickr
« Last Edit: June 11, 2012, 02:23:15 PM by catapultkid » Logged

-Paul
1990 k20 swapped Gti (3rd motor)
1985 merkur xr4ti (4th motor)
1989 6.0 lsx swapped k2500 (2nd motor)
2000 honda insight (1st motor... yay)
catapultkid
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« Reply #2 on: June 11, 2012, 09:38:29 AM »

Got new parts in! That was the big relief. Almost everything came in on time, promising a sweet two days of work. Along with various hoses and belts we got the Kirkey seat in. Work resumed and we broke into groups again with the addition of two more people as Mindy and Jeff where also able to make it up this weekend.

Justin and Pat returned to the motor, finishing up all necessary replacement of hoses and parts that came in. This took most of the first day. Once things where mostly complete they finished it up with a compression test. Three of the four cylinders looked good sitting around 190, with cylinder 2 around 160. Half a tablespoon of ATF later, it was spot on. Once the rings heat up, that cylinder should be fine.


100_0936 by jloehlein, on Flickr

Jeff tackled the brake swap almost immediately. This was a much needed refurb from Justin’s lack of braking power before. Larger front rotors, new calipers and brackets from a 94+ Miata were ordered for the front and new OE-sized rotors for the rear.  We are running Carbotech RP2 pads up front and parts store pads out back. These all being “safety” items, they don’t count against the $500 budget so we took advantage of the benefit. Sorry, but I dont think we have any pictures here.

Mindy jumped on her monumental task of painting the car. Snatching the panels, removing small dents and rolling on some high dollar… Rust-O-Leum, in tan of course. At this time it is necessary to bring up the “theme”. Most Lemons cars have themes and we knew we wouldn’t just be able to show up in a stock looking Miata without risking getting the car destroyed via The People’s Curse. We decided early on ours would be themed off of Justin’s Caprice wagon. Complete with wood siding, wagon hatch, tan everything, plus carrying Woody Woodpecker on the hood. Mindy’s task was to turn this POS into something that resembled that...proper Lemons style.

Here is the start of the transformation.


100_0964 by jloehlein, on Flickr


Pete and I tackled the cage. This time the TIG welder was brought out. Starting with the standard 4 point and a couple of gusset bars, the cage went under the welding process. Once a strong tack was established over the whole unit the NASCAR style door bars, diagonal brace and X passenger setup was built and fully welded in place. Luckily for us there was no roof, making it super easy to weld most joints.


cage2 by jloehlein, on Flickr


100_0968 by jloehlein, on Flickr


100_0967 by jloehlein, on Flickr


cage by jloehlein, on Flickr

While I was tackling the welding Pete had enough time to make the seat rails. A few pieces of square tubing later, plus some plates and he had everything ready to go. Given the differences in height between drivers, we decided to use some old sliders Justin had lying around which should do the trick and pass inspection as long as we use Grade 8 hardware. Along with that a few fabricated side plates and the Kirkey seat sat in nicely.

Weekend 2 done and still a bunch to do, but we are making good time.
« Last Edit: June 11, 2012, 02:21:33 PM by catapultkid » Logged

-Paul
1990 k20 swapped Gti (3rd motor)
1985 merkur xr4ti (4th motor)
1989 6.0 lsx swapped k2500 (2nd motor)
2000 honda insight (1st motor... yay)
catapultkid
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« Reply #3 on: June 11, 2012, 09:38:55 AM »

Weekend 3 was a lonely one. I had some time to drive up to Culpeper and finish the very time consuming job of Tig welding the cage completely. Once every conceivable angle was welded, the cage was lifted out. Yes, another very nice feature with not having a windshield or roof. I also added a few gussets per Lemons “recommend spec”. Once the welding ended, the priming and painting began. It was nice to be able to paint all the nooks before dropping it back into the car. It sat and dried over the week.


100_0968 by jloehlein, on Flickr


100_0971 by jloehlein, on Flickr


100_0972 by jloehlein, on Flickr


100_0969 by jloehlein, on Flickr
« Last Edit: June 27, 2012, 02:11:38 PM by catapultkid » Logged

-Paul
1990 k20 swapped Gti (3rd motor)
1985 merkur xr4ti (4th motor)
1989 6.0 lsx swapped k2500 (2nd motor)
2000 honda insight (1st motor... yay)
catapultkid
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« Reply #4 on: June 11, 2012, 09:39:21 AM »

Another big weekend, as it was packed with a long to do list. We were feeling the pressure now, with only 2 weekends before the first test. VMSC Auto-x number 4.

First up was welding in the cage. It was fitted back into the cage and with a few minutes of welding, it was mounted for the finial time. Along with that, a harness bar and two rear main hoop supports where fully welded in place. Finally complete and looking like a proper race car.

Once the welding stopped Jeff was able to cut the fuel filler neck and mount it in the truck. A little luck would have it that the same hole for mounting it in the OE location would be regurgitated for our trunk install. After the fuel neck, he jumped on figuring out how and where we could mount some cheap trailer brake lights. Again, luckily for us the OE wiring was still working and within a few minutes of playing with various wires had working brake lights mounted where the OE’s would go. More we could scratch off the list!


2012-05-28_15-52-49_265 by jloehlein, on Flickr

Justin tackled making a kill switch bracket, water temp bracket and wiring of the transponder. We also moved the steering column up a hair and welded it to the cage. Once this was all done and a few moments with the black spray paint it all looked pretty nice. Definitely and function over forum build, but it works.


photo (12) by jloehlein, on Flickr

Mindy continued painting the rear of the car. It didn’t take long before the paint was dry and the final touch could be added to the shell. Wood grain contact paper! Mindy and Justin tapped off the line and went to work rolling out and flattening several feet of paper over both sides of the car. It turned out looking surprisingly well done. At the seams clear tape was used to keep the peeling at bay.


2012-05-28_15-43-59_117 by jloehlein, on Flickr

On the hood, no other but Woody the Woodpecker was appropriate. I’ll let her work do the talking.


2012-05-27_19-00-56_221 by jloehlein, on Flickr


2012-05-28_15-44-15_867 by jloehlein, on Flickr
(old splitter design)


photo (29) by jloehlein, on Flickr



While they were on a mission of aesthetics it left me a little time to work on a fancy new splitter for the car. Some quick brain storming with Justin created a simple but elegant solution to mounting and material choices. We knew it had to he adjustable, it need to be made of wood and be functional. So some angle was slotted giving us about 2 inches of movement up and down. It bolted to where the impact sensors where located. At the bottom a wide plate was used to spread the load out and in the front some cables held the leading edge and attached to the OE Tow loops. It was finished off with a stock car look made from some white plastic we had lying around the shop and pop riveted together. All in all it was sturdy enough to stand on and didn’t look half bad either.


photo (10) by jloehlein, on Flickr

By the end of the weekend the panels where fitted and we were very excited to see it outside all together for the first time.
« Last Edit: July 23, 2012, 07:51:16 PM by catapultkid » Logged

-Paul
1990 k20 swapped Gti (3rd motor)
1985 merkur xr4ti (4th motor)
1989 6.0 lsx swapped k2500 (2nd motor)
2000 honda insight (1st motor... yay)
catapultkid
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« Reply #5 on: June 11, 2012, 09:40:47 AM »

Well, this is it, the last weekend of construction before the auto-x and ultimately, the 14 hour race. There was a huge list of small things “we must do” to get the car ready, and an ever growing popular list of things “we would like to do”.

First up, were the essentials. Like wiring in the kill switch, fitting foam/padding to the cage, seat and harness install, patching the numerous holes in the rear, mirror and fire extinguisher mount and making a back brace. All of which went fairly smoothly, taking most of the first day to complete.

Now here is when things get a little weird. I’ll take you to the pictures.


2012-05-05_10-57-11_673 by jloehlein, on Flickr


2012-05-05_10-54-01_747 by jloehlein, on Flickr


2012-05-05_11-01-29_886 by jloehlein, on Flickr


2012-05-05_11-18-10_96 by jloehlein, on Flickr


2012-05-05_15-07-39_966 by jloehlein, on Flickr


photo (23) by jloehlein, on Flickr


photo (32) by jloehlein, on Flickr


photo (42) by jloehlein, on Flickr


photo (41) by jloehlein, on Flickr


photo (40) by jloehlein, on Flickr

Yep, its a roof. It was necessary... I think.

Even with the added roof the car weighed in at 2100 even. Not too shabby


photo (28) by jloehlein, on Flickr


photo (27) by jloehlein, on Flickr


photo (14) by jloehlein, on Flickr

« Last Edit: July 23, 2012, 07:55:27 PM by catapultkid » Logged

-Paul
1990 k20 swapped Gti (3rd motor)
1985 merkur xr4ti (4th motor)
1989 6.0 lsx swapped k2500 (2nd motor)
2000 honda insight (1st motor... yay)
catapultkid
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« Reply #6 on: June 11, 2012, 09:41:21 AM »


2012-06-09_17-38-20_57 by jloehlein, on Flickr

Car loaded up for autox (test day).

I would say the first day of testing was a success. With 5 drivers in the car, we all learned a lot about its capabilities.

First out was Scott Hoffman. Not on our team but someone that is truly quick and pulls out the best in any car. From the side lines watching the Miata sway thru the course was a bit exciting to say the least and with Justin’s NT01s mounted the car was surprisingly quick, but the amount of body roll was evident. The tired, old shocks didn’t know what to think. Added on top of that it didn’t have any power, but a little less of a surprise, it’s a Miata... After it was all said and done with, Scott landed a solid 41.0 in the coolest heat of the day. Not bad considering everything but a couple concerns did arise. The clutch was slipping, more on this later…


7174591205_d65a810f2a_h by jloehlein, on Flickr

Heat 2 Justin and I took the wheel. Knowing the clutch may be the weak point we started out easy, building speed and with each run tried out doing each other. By the end Justin pulled it out with a 40.1, an extremely well respected time in the 500 dollar beast.

In the third heat we quickly noticed Pete’s notorious wheel spin off the line. Astonishing, as we didn’t think it was possible for the downwards of 90 whp and fat nt01s but it was there. Maybe the clutch isn’t going out? Pat, Pete and I all finished our times in and around Scott’s and Justin’s. Looks like we are all consistent drivers as well, Excellent.

Since the clutch seemed to be getting stronger, maybe burning off some old contaminants, we decided against the clutch job mid week. Crossing our fingers as the next weekend it will be put to the test.


7359818606_3dad385fb4_h by jloehlein, on Flickr
« Last Edit: July 23, 2012, 07:16:15 PM by catapultkid » Logged

-Paul
1990 k20 swapped Gti (3rd motor)
1985 merkur xr4ti (4th motor)
1989 6.0 lsx swapped k2500 (2nd motor)
2000 honda insight (1st motor... yay)
catapultkid
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« Reply #7 on: June 11, 2012, 09:41:50 AM »

Race weekend started with Pat, Pete, Mindy and I landing in the paddock around 8-8:30 in the morning. The gates opened at 7am however we noticed pretty quick, as the paddock was packed, everyone else showed up the night before. It was a challenge finding a location but by chance we settled in next too another Richmond team and there Fiat.



Once Justin and Jeff arrived we set up shop. Moving a couple cars out of the area and organizing our things. 2 tents, a A/C unit, thanks to Jeff, and some coolers and we where in business. Justin and I went ahead and ran through tech. The car passed fine, all we needed to do was add a few bolts to the back brace. After tech we decided to bleed the brakes with some super blue and RELAX!







After some of the teams finished Fridays practice they let us walk the track. As for Pete, Jeff and myself we had never driven the track before and took the time to give it once over.

Saturday:

Race day number one and we were all a little nervous. We decided to break the first runs into 30 minute segments to be sure everyone had a chance to drive just in case something big did happen. Justin was out first and with several laps under yellow we got started in the race. In about 20 minutes he was black flagged and brought in. The transponder wasn't working. Jeff quickly picked up a rental and we back out in record time 20 or so laps down from everyone else.



Once Justin finished up his stint, I was up next. With the new tires, over the autox tested NT01s, he noted how greasy they can get. I noted this and rushed onto the track.



Once out I noticed our first big handicap. Our speed, or lack of... We where getting blown by on the straights and as the stint went on the speed in the corners was suffering as well. Tires where heating up, and we never adjusted the pressure to compensate. It wasn't long before entering the hairpin after the straight I did the big no no. 4 wheels off...Black Flag. ouch. I was brought back in the pits, given a good talking too and returned back out. I finished off the stint on a rush, the car was a bit sketchy to say the least, but fun. Jeff was up next.





Jeff was out a little too quick. We never had a chance to adjust the pressures of the car. I hadn't warned him about how greasy those tires had gotten.



It wasn't long before we noticed Jeff was in the pits. The tires had reached around 45 psi in all four corners at this point. He had 4 wheels off and black flagged, that brought our total to 2 in 3 hours. Not looking good as when we reach 4 black flags we where required to sit out for 3 hours and 5 flags means we have to go home... We switched driver and this time set the pressures. Pat was up next

Pat's run went smooth, no hick ups and good times. We weren't crazy fast on the straights, but with the pressures around 28-30 instead of 45 we were back at it in the corners minus the suspension. Like a proper Miata now.



Next up was Mindy. Again a smooth clean run for us. Very nice, no black flags. She was definitely feeling a little nervous stepping into the car but pulled though just fine. The car was dong well, unlike many at this point who started falling off with issues.







Pete decided to go last and when he finished up the rotation started again. This time with long stints.





To be continued...
 
« Last Edit: February 16, 2014, 06:00:30 PM by catapultkid » Logged

-Paul
1990 k20 swapped Gti (3rd motor)
1985 merkur xr4ti (4th motor)
1989 6.0 lsx swapped k2500 (2nd motor)
2000 honda insight (1st motor... yay)
catapultkid
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« Reply #8 on: July 23, 2012, 07:53:15 PM »

Reserved for work weekend 6,7 and 8
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-Paul
1990 k20 swapped Gti (3rd motor)
1985 merkur xr4ti (4th motor)
1989 6.0 lsx swapped k2500 (2nd motor)
2000 honda insight (1st motor... yay)
catapultkid
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« Reply #9 on: July 23, 2012, 07:53:47 PM »

24 hour Chump car!

Here is last weekend in a few sentences and a lot of photos.


P1016774 by jloehlein, on Flickr

Got there and tech line was getting long, we failed!


P1016778 by jloehlein, on Flickr

Needed a window net. So we waited for the shop to open, 65 buxs later and we had it in hand. Just needed to install. Thank god we brought the welder.


P1016775 by jloehlein, on Flickr


P1016777 by jloehlein, on Flickr


P1016782 by jloehlein, on Flickr


P1016787 by jloehlein, on Flickr


P1016796 by jloehlein, on Flickr


P1016806 by jloehlein, on Flickr


P1016826 by jloehlein, on Flickr


P1016842 by jloehlein, on Flickr


P1016846 by jloehlein, on Flickr

Got tech'd and made it the next morning.


P1016843 by jloehlein, on Flickr

Last minute changes


P1016848 by jloehlein, on Flickr

Race was underway


P1016849 by jloehlein, on Flickr

Mindy went out


P1016976 by jloehlein, on Flickr

And decided to make 2 piece rotors...


P1016851 by jloehlein, on Flickr

Swapped to a new rotor, switched to rain tires and Jeff went out.


P1016851 by jloehlein, on Flickr


P1016852 by jloehlein, on Flickr


P1016854 by jloehlein, on Flickr

More driver changes


P1016857 by jloehlein, on Flickr

Night was falling


P1016858 by jloehlein, on Flickr

More night driver changes. Averaging 17 MPG!!!!


P1016863 by jloehlein, on Flickr

When refueling...


P1016866 by jloehlein, on Flickr

NASCAR bend


P1016915 by jloehlein, on Flickr

Damage at night


P1016911 by jloehlein, on Flickr

Fixing the car with Casper the friendliest ghost (Morgan)


P1016870 by jloehlein, on Flickr

VIR grand course at night


P1016957 by jloehlein, on Flickr

Night provisions


P1016902 by jloehlein, on Flickr

Pete is not only invisible at night but also faster... seriously.... it was wierd


P1016958 by jloehlein, on Flickr

whoops


P1016951 by jloehlein, on Flickr

more damage


P1016930 by jloehlein, on Flickr

pat getting zzzs


P1016926 by jloehlein, on Flickr

Jeff on the morning shift


P1016917 by jloehlein, on Flickr

morning


P1016952 by jloehlein, on Flickr

more damage


P1016972 by jloehlein, on Flickr

one of the top 25 experiences of my life


P1016982 by jloehlein, on Flickr

She made it to the end!

Special thanks to Morgan and Dad for the support. Would not have been able to do it without you guys. CMP is next. Maybe this time without the dry rotted 8 year old "sticky" tires. Its pretty bad when 5 year old 300 tread wear "rain" tires are your fastest.
« Last Edit: August 15, 2012, 02:29:03 PM by catapultkid » Logged

-Paul
1990 k20 swapped Gti (3rd motor)
1985 merkur xr4ti (4th motor)
1989 6.0 lsx swapped k2500 (2nd motor)
2000 honda insight (1st motor... yay)
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« Reply #10 on: July 29, 2012, 07:13:07 PM »

How did I miss out on this!!  Great thread! 
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catapultkid
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« Reply #11 on: August 14, 2012, 04:10:03 PM »

Thanks Mike

CMP 14hr next!
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-Paul
1990 k20 swapped Gti (3rd motor)
1985 merkur xr4ti (4th motor)
1989 6.0 lsx swapped k2500 (2nd motor)
2000 honda insight (1st motor... yay)
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« Reply #12 on: August 14, 2012, 08:40:18 PM »

Great pics. How did you finish?

David
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David Ogburn
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'13 Scion FR-S C Street
'06 F430
VMSC photos
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« Reply #13 on: August 15, 2012, 03:51:26 AM »

We were 38th out of 108.  It appears that these are after penalty laps and I think we got 30 penalty laps.  I have no idea how many anybody else got.  I'm super happy with the result considering there is only one car above us that was slower than ours.  Also, our fastest laps were in the last 30 minutes when we stopped trying to conserve tires and short shifting at 5k-5500rpm.  Prior to that, we were running around the 2:50 range.
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2000 Honda Insight - Daily Driver (in the process of engine swapping now)
1995 Honda Civic CX - Street Mod/HPDE beater
1991 Mazda Miata (plus parts cars) - LeMons racecar
250whp, 1300lb Birkin S3 (track day car in the works)
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« Reply #14 on: August 15, 2012, 07:27:22 AM »

We were pitted with you in the Red Porsche.  We got zero laps but had all of our documentation in order, final AIV was $403.  Ended up 77th, but considering we were down for 11 hours while we replaced the engine we blew after 2 hours, that's not too bad.  When we got back on track at 11pm, we were 102nd out of 108.  Our best lap was a 2:43 set at around 4:30am when I couldn't see anything, didn't get to drive full in the daylight but I think every driver was in the 2:40's.

We had hurt the motor at CMP when we ran Lemons there and I'm honestly surprised it lasted 2 hours.  Now I have to find a new commuter car as it's engine less.
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« Reply #15 on: August 15, 2012, 08:11:33 AM »


Pretty impressive. Congrats. Was the Sanford and Sons or the USS Enterprise there? I would be curious to know how many penalty laps those guys got. They are not $500 cars by any stretch. The truck was running 2:17/18s at Ultimate Track Car Challenge. It is the one Adrian drove there last year.

David
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David Ogburn
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« Reply #16 on: August 15, 2012, 09:36:06 AM »

Quote
Pretty impressive. Congrats. Was the Sanford and Sons or the USS Enterprise there? I would be curious to know how many penalty laps those guys got. They are not $500 cars by any stretch. The truck was running 2:17/18s at Ultimate Track Car Challenge. It is the one Adrian drove there last year.

David

They were both there.
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« Reply #17 on: August 15, 2012, 09:46:25 AM »

Quote
Pretty impressive. Congrats. Was the Sanford and Sons or the USS Enterprise there? I would be curious to know how many penalty laps those guys got. They are not $500 cars by any stretch. The truck was running 2:17/18s at Ultimate Track Car Challenge. It is the one Adrian drove there last year.

David

They were both there.

Looked like USS Enterprise got a paint job, but yes they were both there and both pretty quick.

We where wondering where you guys went for like 5+ hours. There where several teams that participated in a similar activity. Glad you guys where one of the ones that resumed.

-Paul
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-Paul
1990 k20 swapped Gti (3rd motor)
1985 merkur xr4ti (4th motor)
1989 6.0 lsx swapped k2500 (2nd motor)
2000 honda insight (1st motor... yay)
jloehlein
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« Reply #18 on: September 24, 2012, 08:25:04 AM »

Well, we just got back from our last race of the season at CMP.  We ended up 41st out of 93.  Would have been 16th if we didn't have any penalty laps.  Found out some fun facts:

1) honesty isn't the best policy at LeMons - we got 50 penalty laps, the most of any team because we spent money on: new battery, timing belt + tensioner + idler, water pump, radiator hoses, new clutch, spark plug and wires.  the motor, intake and exhaust are ALL STOCK!  oh well, they old us next time to not tell them about the new stuff.
2) filling the stock shocks with 30wt suspension fluid did not make a noticeable difference with the 600lb/in front and 450lb/in rear springs.
3) the miata can be fast and reliable keeping shift points around 6000-6200rpm.  we set a lap time that would have put us in top 10 on some shitty tires before picking up a nail ~30mins in and switching to our even shittier backup tires.
4) the car will run fine on a blend of 8-9 gallons of 93 octane and ~3 gallons of diesel fuel...whoops.  though it is backfiring on high rpm upshifts now.  maybe those things are related.
5) the car is not so reliable when being wound out to 7000rpm lap after lap.  i think we managed to blow a head gasket with a couple of minutes left in the race.  we still finished (and drove the car 110% until the checker), but it looks like there's definitely oil in the coolant and it was making quite a loud ticking/knocking at high rpms and part throttle.

Now to make tough choices.  How do we fix the car for next year:

Option 1) keep it cheap, put a head gasket in the motor that's in there and hope the bottom end is okay
Option 2) put the 1.8L from the parts car in there, spend money on the same maintenance stuff all over again, risk a bunch of penalty laps for a car that has 15 more hp.
Option 3) swap my spare LT1 in - would take lots of time and we would get a million penalty laps, but who cares...V8 miata.  if we go this route, who is going to give me a working trans that will bolt to the LT1?

The logical thing to do would be to pull the motor and to see if it is okay before figuring out what to do, but that's no fun.
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2000 Honda Insight - Daily Driver (in the process of engine swapping now)
1995 Honda Civic CX - Street Mod/HPDE beater
1991 Mazda Miata (plus parts cars) - LeMons racecar
250whp, 1300lb Birkin S3 (track day car in the works)
ccann26
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« Reply #19 on: September 24, 2012, 05:05:38 PM »

would an lt1 overheat ?
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If you can leave two black stripes from the exit of one corner to the braking zone of the next, you have enough horsepower. – Mark Donohue
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« Reply #20 on: September 25, 2012, 09:09:51 AM »

Probably.

I drained the radiator yesterday afternoon and dumped it into a clear jug.  It actually looks like there may not be any oil in there, but there sure is a lot of sediment.  Will have to find some other way to see if there is a blown gasket.  I'm thinking about pressurizing a cylinder with the valves closed and seeing if I can hear air escaping from the radiator.
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2000 Honda Insight - Daily Driver (in the process of engine swapping now)
1995 Honda Civic CX - Street Mod/HPDE beater
1991 Mazda Miata (plus parts cars) - LeMons racecar
250whp, 1300lb Birkin S3 (track day car in the works)
catapultkid
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« Reply #21 on: September 25, 2012, 04:50:21 PM »

remember that stuff we found in the coolent when changing the t-stat and water pump? Could be that finally breaking down and getting into the water? Head gasket may not be a issue.

Pics coming very very soon!

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-Paul
1990 k20 swapped Gti (3rd motor)
1985 merkur xr4ti (4th motor)
1989 6.0 lsx swapped k2500 (2nd motor)
2000 honda insight (1st motor... yay)
jloehlein
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« Reply #22 on: September 26, 2012, 08:43:13 AM »

I do remember that now.  Hopefully that's what it is and it doesn't cause other issues.  I'll flush the coolant a few more times, change the fluids and drive it around to see if anything bad happens.
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2000 Honda Insight - Daily Driver (in the process of engine swapping now)
1995 Honda Civic CX - Street Mod/HPDE beater
1991 Mazda Miata (plus parts cars) - LeMons racecar
250whp, 1300lb Birkin S3 (track day car in the works)
catapultkid
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« Reply #23 on: November 06, 2012, 10:55:53 AM »

CMP pictures are up. There are a lot more of other teams as well HERE --> http://www.markwinburnphotography.com/Events/LemonsSep2012/25538763_NHKNgG#!i=2110652201&k=8NKz5w3


Story goes like this. We did really really well. Mathematically, with no penelity laps and without the flat tire in the first 30 minutes as well as not dumping 3 gallons of diesel in the tank... dont ask, we would have finished right around the top 10-20 mark. We feel like that is excellent way to finish off our first  season with one of the slower cars on the track, plus next year we hope to be running tires that are more competitive as well. The down side is that we think there are some serious engine related issues that happened on the last lap or so of the race. Next season we are thinking 1.8 over re-working the 1.6. Time will tell... maybe there is a v8 in store. hmmm

Stats go like this for the season:

3 miatas
1 roadmaster (well half)
some safety stuff
some paint
some wood
some contact paper
250+ gallons of gas
3 gallons of diesel...
3 oil changes
8 different struts
2 sets of springs
3 sets of used tires
1 SET OF PADS!

totals 52.5 hours of racing this season! Well done team and a big thank you to our father, Mindy's father and Mindy's uncle.


Here we are:













Funny story behind that one





CB's are awesome



Pit stop and driver change





Battling it out this time.



The real competition (Dad and Mindy's uncle)







more CB talk



Mindy getting in





End of the race



This time it goes on the trailer with a broken engine.... to be continued.
« Last Edit: November 06, 2012, 11:05:47 AM by catapultkid » Logged

-Paul
1990 k20 swapped Gti (3rd motor)
1985 merkur xr4ti (4th motor)
1989 6.0 lsx swapped k2500 (2nd motor)
2000 honda insight (1st motor... yay)
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« Reply #24 on: November 06, 2012, 12:02:15 PM »

you broke a miata engine?! what did you do?!
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chalky white '92 miata
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