Sunday, May 31, 2009

Forget the Past!

After nursing the wounds, we are back at it.
Andy and I spent our Saturday morning at "pick and pull" retrieving a 5 speed transmission out of a 89 mr2. We almost pulled the motor but then we noticed a lot of water deposits running down the side of the the block that started right under the head. Checked under the radiator cap hmmm... oily, no go. I have been online and reading a lot lately, doing searches on rod bearings and mr2 engine components.

I now realized if we had replacement bearings, we could have done the work while the engine was still in the car, it probably wouldn't have been much fun in the dust storms but it was possible. I also realized we could have stolen a transmission from another team in the middle of the night, it would have taken us about 30 minutes to get it out. Damn and there were a lot of teams at the track that were candidates, I could only imagine their surprise when they opened up the engine lid to an engine hanging off one mount. I could also imagine that would have meant an automatic spot for peoples curse with a full expulsion from future 24 hours of Lemons races.

The plan of attack will be to get back into the shop and see if we can rebuild the engine without sending it to a machine shop. This can get expensive real fast and I don't think Jay will give us a $0 value on our car to do a complete rebuild. We are also looking at a 500 mile break-in period to get the bearings rings and such to seat correctly based on the rebuild manual. Maybe I can talk the guys into taking turns babying a motor while we break it in. I did find out that there are quite a few cars out there with the 4age motor in them including Geo Storms, Geo Metros, and Geo Novas. Now just to find the right year, with a motor with low miles on it. (Yea Right!)
It's great to get so much support from the other teams. After hearing some of their horror stories I don't feel so bad about ours. Get over it! Pick up the pieces "literally" and move on. Cheer's, and hoping every ones dreams come true in Buttonwillow.

Monday, May 25, 2009

Pics are up!

Pics from Goin' for Broken are up!
Check 'em out, and if you can help identify cars/teams, please post here or under the pic in the comments area.
Thanks, and enjoy the photos!

Nursing our wounds

So it wasn't the greatest of weekends. As everyone knows we did a test day last weekend and found out we didn't have a second gear. Andy and I tore into the car and replaced the transmission on Sunday, everything was looking up. We spent Wednesday decorating the car and Thursday we loaded it into the trailer and we were off. We arrived at the track on Friday at 11:00am. Matt and Eric were there to greet us with a sweet parking spot, right next to the judges tents. We parked the trailer and met with Eric, Matt and his team Free Range along with Pete and the guys from Killer Bee's, these are the kind of guys that make racing a lot of fun. We decide to get it in gear (Really bad Pun!) and go through tech, all the guys were great sports they dressed up in their gear and away we went, we didn't pass. We had forgot to cover the kill switch with tape. We Begged to meet in front of the judges because the costumes were hotter then hell! Just ask Jerry and Bob.
So we got on our knees in front of Judge Jonny and beg to be allowed to race with our fellow brethren. After Jonny's being impressed with our begging and our gift of a shrubbery, he allowed us to pass. He made the comment that our shrubbery was the lamest bribe they had ever gotten, we were so happy! Little did he know there was a bottle of fine whiskey imported from a little distillery right in our own back yard, I mean Park City, Utah. So I went back to let them know what they had, The shrubbery was on the ground and had been kicked around, I grabbed Judge Jonny and showed him what he really had by peeling the burlap back from the bottle, the expression on his face was one of pure horror! He gently opened the bottle and took a big sniff and gently put it into the precious Bucket "O" Bribes apologized profusely and thanked us again.
We went back, fixed the car and went through tech one more time, yes we passed!

We decided to do the afternoon test and tune session, so after throwing our money down I had Andy jump into the car for a spin. Half way around the track I hear him on the radio saying things were bad, what do you mean bad? He comes back over the radio saying that there was no third or fourth gear. Enter your comments here (..........)
After going through all of the linkage and doing some hand shifting from underneath the car his suspicions were verified, no third or fourth gear. Damn! We are so screwed, I decided to have the guys drive the track and see what they thought of our options. They all came back saying the track was mostly a second gear track and that they could deal with the straights in fifth gear but the car was sweet in the corners so if we kept our noses clean with no black flags we could compete. I sent them out to push the car a little more to see what we could get. Too much running at the edge of the red line in the corners, Andy brought the car back in sputtering and choking, at first I thought it might be the igniter and coil, I changed it out, the car still wouldn't run. I switched out the computer module thinking maybe our oil cooler had overheated it, nope still no start. After spending half the night trying to figure it out what the problem was I turned the distributor about ten degrees and it started to a loud slapping sound of what I thought was valves smashing into the pistons. I went over to talk to Randal from Snow speeder association, the only guy at the track who really knows these motors in and out. He told me that it would be pretty close to impossible for the valves to hit the pistons if the timing belt had jumped one or two teeth. I went back and took of the timing cover and sure enough he was spot right, the belt had not moved or broke. 10:30pm and I finally decided to pull the oil pan, I had drained the oil earlier to see if there was any metal in it and there wasn't, so this was the last thing to check. Sure enough when I pull the windage tray off, there were shavings all over it and the number two and three rods were loose and wobbly, Shit we are toast!
Saturday morning I made a ton of calls no-one carried the bearings and the earliest was Wednesday to get them. Andy and I went to "pick and pull" which happened to be down the street from the hotel, and left the girls waiting in the car while we did a little shopping. We had decided that if we were going to do this we would have to get both a transmission and engine to make it work. The first MR2 we come across was an automatic with oil in the water jacket, second MR2 engine looked fairly good someone had taken the cams out but everything else was there. I got under the car and tried to move the axles, nothing, solid as a rock. At first I thought the brakes were frozen except for the fact that someone had taken the calipers off. I disconnected the linkage and tried to manually disengage the trans, linkage wouldn't move I took a piece of steal and wedge it on the clutch fork, axles still frozen, so as a last resort I tried to hammer the linkage with the steel, nope nothing, the only thing I could think of is that water had gotten into the trans and rusted everything together. Back to being toast!
We left there bummed with two ladies sitting, waiting for us in a hot car, they are the best! We got back to the track and explained what we had done and the team accepted reality, we are toast with no butter or jelly to go with it. I will post the rest later but that is our misadventures in racing for the moment.

Saturday, May 16, 2009

Mister Salty

We finally found the time to go out and test the car. Larry had taken the time to get all the info on going out to the Bonneville Salt Flats, so we chased him out to the middle of the desert.

Our newly acquired used trailer towed incredibly well. Probably the first time I actually enjoyed pulling something behind me. The car fits nice and snug, so we now are stuck with little cars for racing which is not a bad thing.

Andy and Larry drove out to the the selected spot and started putting up a road course for us to practice on. I actually think everybody had more fun going as fast as they could and doing a little drifting.The car handled fairly tight but was really a blast to push. So we found out the engine is strong the suspension is nice and stiff and the transmission is close to toast. The car shifted fairly nice for about a half an hour and then it started doing the busted knuckle grind going into 2nd gear. "SHIT" oh I mean Darn! As the test progressed it started showing signs of doing the busted knuckle grind going from 3rd gear back into second. I guess this is why they call it a test.
I will be working in the shop tomorrow pulling the engine and trans and putting in our back-up tranny. Hoping that it will do the job. Geese only five days till the race and I am back to work, I guess my break will be at the track. Those beers Larry left in my cooler will taste nice on Friday night.

Our team of very experienced salt lickers, ready to tear it up in Reno.

Some people think it's heresy to wash a Lemon, I was thinking that we could leave all of the salt on but I don't think it will pass tech or the judges although it looks pretty cool to have the claim and proof of going through the desert forty days and forty nights to compete with our brethren in Reno.